Monday, November 12, 2007

The most amazing martial artist you ever met

I've got an cool idea...Let's put together our own Hall of Fame. Take a few seconds and leave me a comment. Let me know who is the single best, most amazing martial artist you've ever personally met? Who is the genius that you would most like to emulate? I know that there are so many that it's not an easy question, but I think my readers would be interested in knowing the names of the folks to watch for.


  1. Major William Hayes, USMC Retired-Shobayashi Shorinryu.

    Unfortunately, my time was cut short with him at our summer training camp, but he is an amazingly cool person and he can hit you 15 times before you even see the first one coming. Very cool. He wrote the book "Journey with the Grandmaster" and it's on my list to read asap.

  2. I can't play this one. For various reasons, it's probably just as well I don't mention his name in a forum like this.

    But I will say this: the man has almost what might be described as a photographic muscle memory. Show him something once, and he's got it, maybe better than the guy showing it to him.

    It's uncanny.

  3. I would have to say... that guy over at TDA Training. Nathan whatshisname. I've see his videos and even listened to him speak. Amazing coordination. Though I heard that he hit his nose with his car door last week and split it open. So, I'll leave him off this list and think of someone else.

  4. A lot of people must have been beaten when they were young for expressing opinions.

    Compared to the HUNDREDS of people who have (so far) looked at this post, three have responded. Come on. I know someone has to have an opinion. Nobody is going to kill you for expressing it! Surely more than 2-3 people have been exposed to amazing martial artists. Let's hear their names.

    Admitedly, I have only given it a half a day so far, but three. come on. It's easy to leave a comment...

  5. It's true. It was easy. See? I'm doing it again.
    Actually, the most impressive that first comes to mind is Mike DePasquale, Jr. Excellent grasp of, ability to demonstrate, and teach skills. All around awesome. Nice fellow, too.

  6. Akido and Judo, Pat Parker, Usher, Vincent Fernando. Karate, Ed Johnson, Bill Pouge, Mike Belote

  7. I must add I have had the pleasure of learning from great martial artist. Pat Parker and Mike Belote. I try to emulate these guys and the others I listed on my anonymous post. I want to be like these guys.

  8. I guess this really depends on what you consider to be representative of a true martial artist. Personally, my standards are very high-- i look not only at mastery of technique and physical skill, but also at the character of the sensei as represented by his or her willingness to teach, and his or her character outside of the dojo. I think that the true martial artist is the epitome of what all humans strive to achieve--discipline, stength of mind and body, perfection of the soul...

    This being said, there are many people who i would have loved to have been able to work with who have lived before my time who seem to embody these traits of the true martial artist. It must be noted that because of my aiki background, my opinion will be slighty biased.

    1. Morihei Ueshiba-- a visionary. a complex and enigmatic martial genious, who had a vision of perfection of character and all things martial. This is especiallly true during his post wwii years.

    2. Kenji Tomiki-- a true master of efficiency and organization. An incredible teacher who had visionary ideas on how to easily share the gift of martial arts.

    3. Jigoro Kano-- Wonderful genious of motion and of character. One of my all time favorite people, and a person who i truly look up to and respect.

    4. Bruce Lee-- a visionary in his own right and an incredible example of what the human body can achieve is only the mind and spirit are truly willing.

    5. Bruce Leroy-- he had the glow, lol.

    (Slightly biased towards aikido my ass, lol. ;) )

    Now to the true question at hand-- who is the most incredible martial artist i have worked with?

    DRUM ROLL.......

    Dr. John Usher.

    ---I know this looks bad and extremely biased considering he is my sensei, but i can think of no better example of what aikido stands for, and/or martial arts in general, than in him, and i consider myself extremely lucky to be able to work with him.

    I want you to know, Patriclus, that you ranked number 2, and thats not me sucking up either. With your theory and attitude, as well as your character and interactions with your students and humanity at large, you are a great example of a martial artist, and i consider myself lucky to study with and uder you as well.

    I wonder to myself why i didnt pick Karl, or Henry, Ms. Miyake, and i think that the answer lies within a recent blog of yours-- the one where you talk about how every new generation has more potential than the one that proceeded it, and it is Dr. Ushers and your generations of martial arts that have touched me the most.

    Enjoy this incredibly long comment, Patriclus, you probably wont see another of this length from me for a while-- i have enough to write for my eng. comp and creative writing classes ;).

    thank you again for your inspiration Pat. Best wished to you and your family and I hope to see you soon.


  9. Probably the best all-around martial artist I know is my old choy lay fut sifu in Gainesville, Fl. -- Desmond Jackson.

    He's one of the very few that I've met who is totally traditional, and yet he can fight like the devil with his kungfu. He taught me the art through full-contact sparring, not something that you see much in the Chinese arts. He could actually use drunken kungfu and other things to hit me at will.

    But he brought more than that to the table. He was also very mentally stable and an excellent teacher to boot. I credit the fact that he's a Christian with some of that, as well.

    He was trained as a graphic artist and could bring that flair to his fighting and interpersonal skills.

    I've met many teachers since I left his school, but none besides him have really shown the overall development that I would expect of a truly excellent martial artist.

    Formosa Neijia

  10. Soke Don Angier, Yanagi-Ryu Aikijujutsu.

    I met him a few times on seminar when I was associated with Gendai Bushi Dojo in Dallas Texas.

    Don's mastery over his art surpasses anything that I have seen of anyone past or present or on video. His explanations are detailed, reasonable, and logical.

    In my 25 years of martial arts, if there was anyone I'd give up whatever little skill I have gained, it would be for the Don.


  11. I cross-posted this to BudoSeek and E-Budo and some of those guys posted over there. They came up with...

    Randy Couture
    Dave Camarillo
    Takahiko Ishikawa
    Aleksander Karelin
    Mike Miles
    Tri Thong Dang

    And last, but certainly not least...

    Sensei Rex of Rex Kwan Do

  12. Soke John Waldrop (Illinois Combat Karate Organization) for the fluid way he can manipulate anyone, and for his vast knowledge of seld-defense techniques.

    Grandmaster Bruce Gunderson (Winning Edge Martial Arts) for his outstanding behavior outside the Dojo--this man agreed to come teach a seminar this coming January to a bunch of high schoolers as a personal favor, and he's amazing at stringing techniques together and responding to attacks.

    Shihan Todd Keane (Academy of Traditional Karate) for the insight he's given me into martial arts and Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate, also for his willingness to answer my questions and help when I ask for it.

  13. Probably the best master level instructor I have ever met is Leon Jay, son of Wally Jay (founder of Small-Circle Jujitsu). When Leon turns it on, he's downright scarey. You know something is going to hurt or get broken. The Jays are masters at manipulation through stand-up grappling, and Leon has skill in "Light-touch knockouts", which I witnessed. I also saw him "move" three rows of five people, all with hands on the shoulders of the person in front. He stood about eight feet behind them (out of their view) and (without touching them) had them swaying to the point of falling over. Pretty amazing.
    As far as just plain fun and great concept stuff, Mike Martello is a guy I would really like to train more with.

  14. Well, my teacher of course, who else? :)

  15. I have to steal Chops' disclaimer on this one and claim that i'm not sucking up just cause he's my sensei, but Patrick Parker would rank up at my number one spot for most amazing martial artist i've ever met.

    Not only is he extremely talented at what he does and extensivley knowledgeable about it, but his ability to convey this knowledge in an easy to understand manner to whomever his teaching is directed at makes him a rare breed indeed.

    I consider myself really fortunate to be one of his students, he's a warm and friendly guy both in and out of the dojo and his patience and teaching pace is something i will always value. There were many times where i found i was still clueless about that night's lessons after a half hour of attempting it and Pat always took it in stride.

    To me he represents what an aiki practitioner should strive to become.

    There are honorable mentions though:

    Henery Copeland, who showed me with a few minutes of randori that aiki exsists without resistance.

    Zenpo Shimabukuro, as imposing and talented a grandmaster of okinawan karate as one could ever hope to meet and who, with a surprising warm smile, gave me great advice: "Just breate"

    And all those breakfasts and dinners after class in no way influenced my decisions Pat ;-)

  16. At first I was going to choose my dad since he first showed me what martial arts were and fueled my latter passions for them. Then I thought Pat for being my first real teacher and demonstrating what someone can be after years of practice. My choice however for most influential would be Bryce Lumpkin, one of Pat's students. I should mention that Bryce is the one who told me to attend Pat's classes in the first place. This was after an Aikido class I took at a college the was being taught by one of Pat's other students who mainly did a very hard martial art. This made his Aikido very hard and I was about to quit going when Bryce attended a class and showed me how gentle and effective Aikido could be. He also showed me how different techniques can be from teacher to student and person to person. Lastly and most importantly, Bryce has incorporated Aikido and Judo into who he is. His 3D animations all stem from his Aikido knowledge of body movements. The games and pranks he plays on his friends he does continually, they're always movement oriented, and different from the ones before. This means that even though he won't admit it, he's still thinking about martial arts even though he claims to not practice them anymore. He's got the gift of gab explaining things in simple terms to people they can relate to (a gift he most certainly got from Pat). He also will freely and openly admit when he doesn't know something. If he doesn't understand a move or how something works he'll simply say "I have no idea how that works, but let's break it apart real quick and figure it out". He incorporates the best parts of Pat's teachings (of which there are MANY) and adds his own twist showing me that I can't just emulate Pat or him...I have to make Aikido and Judo my own.

  17. Here are some more names that came up on BudoSeek when I crossposted this over there. In no particular order...

    Billy Hong
    Masayuki Shimabukuro
    Jhoon Rhee
    Dan Anderson
    Raffy Pambuan
    Jim Thompson
    Kuda Shinshi

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