Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014, Feliz Ano Novo, 明けましておめでとう

Me in 1984 at the Scranton Boys Club
2013 Ends, 2014Begins. Time flows on,  As our lives move through this moment and as is customary, let us think on the last year,

First, my disabilities remain, I still am classified as having  Paraneoplastic Neuromyopathy & Neuropathy. Still no clue to the cause or the treatment. I am weaker, loss of balance, difficulty with fine motor control and speaking, to the point I am often incomprehensible. I virtually cannot write and even typing is a chore requiting much spell check. After a fall that broke 3 ribs I now employ a walker when I walk outdoors or when I am driven to go shopping.  I no longer drive and am much housebound.

I still walk often except in rain or snow. About 5 or 6 miles a week. I still practice kata, it took a year to figure out how to do tai chi (my lack of balance makes it very difficult) but I found a way finally. I still am involved assisting Mike and Young teaching the young and I still train the adults. Martially speaking I am involved with things.

It’s interesting that Karate is easiest to do, abet with some changes too. I am currently working with Tikko to keep as much martial potential as I can.  I guess its safe to say my karate isn’t exactly empty hand.

As you are undoubtedly aware I continue my efforts on my blog. The context behind my study remains much more material than is in class. I am committed to saving so students in my lineage don’t have to start anew but have it here if the need arises. It consists of much of our shared art (except for those portions which are transmitted separately and privately),  history so it is not lost, and my ongoing  Martial researches. As there are no secrets (except those I choose not to share) I have freely done so openly. Most interesting the rest of the world finds it interesting with so far 75,000 views from around the world (Blogger tracks this in great detail I find).

I have also continues my fan fiction in the Destroyer novels universe. I’ve written about 15 novels at this point.

Along with much time to look into martial studies that interest me, I am also learning much about being disabled. What it means in how I conduct my life. How others react to me. How communicating with others is difficult. One learns to cope as everyone is disabled in one sense. Life continues.

My hope for 2014 is that things are better for all. I will continue to train and learn more about my arts and those of others. Oh and World Peace might not be a bad idea either.

You will find I don’t worry about what others do. I have much more that is interesting in my students learning and my researches. Why dwell on the negative, it all seems to resolve itself in the end.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sayings of Motobu Choki


In 1978, an essay entitled “Collection of Sayings by Motobu Choki” was published in Japanese. This essay is based upon the oral teachings of Motobu Choki to his students, and was overseen by one direct student of Motobu, namely Marukawa Kenji. Let us now take a look at these “oral transmissions.”
1. Everything is natural, and changing.
2. Kamae is in the heart, not a physical manifestation.
3. One must develop the ability to read how much striking power any person has in one glance.
4. One does not have to take care to block every single attack by an opponent with weak striking power.
5. One must develop the ability to deflect an attack even from behind.
6. In a real confrontation, more than anything else one should strike to the face first, as this is the most effective.
7. Kicks are not all that effective in a real confrontation.
8.”Karate IS Sente” (Here, sente means the initiative, or the first move. c.f. Karate ni Sente Nashi – there is no first move in karate).
9. The position of the legs and hips in Naifuanchin no Kata is the basics of karate.
10. Twisting to the left or right from the Naifuanchin stance will give you the stance used in a real confrontation. Twisting ones way of thinking about Naifuanchin left and right, the various meanings in each movement of the kata will also become clear.
11. One must always try and block the attack at its source (i.e. block not the attacking hand, but deeper on the arm).
12. The blocking hand must be able to become the attacking hand in an instant. Blocking with one hand and then countering with the other is not true bujutsu. Real bujutsu presses forward and blocks and counters in the same motion.
13. One cannot use continuous attacks against true karate. That is because the blocks of true karate make it impossible for the opponent to launch a second attack.
14. I still do not yet know the best way to punch the makiwara. (note: this statement was made when Choki was over 60!!!)
15. It’s interesting, but when I just think about performing a kata, when I’m seated, I break a sweat.
16. When punching to the face, one must thrust as if punching through to the back of the head.
17. When fighting a boxer, it is better to go with his flow, and take up a rhythm with both of your hands.
18. It is necessary to drink alcohol and pursue other fun human activities. The art (i.e. karate) of someone who is too serious has no “flavour.”
19. It is OK to take two steps forward or back in the same kamae, but over three steps, one must change the position (facing) of their guard.
20. When I fought the foreign boxer in Kyoto, he was taller than me so I jumped up and punched him in the face. This is effective against people who are taller than you.
21. I started having real fights at Tsuji when I was young, and fought over 100 of them, but I was never hit in the face.
22. When I was 4, I was made to go to a school, but I hated studying, so I often skipped class and played somewhere with my friends.
23. When I was still in Okinawa, Kano Jigoro of the Kodokan visited and asked to talk with me, and through a friend we went to a certain restaurant. Mr. Kano talked about a lot of things, but about karate, he asked me what I would do if my punch missed. I answered that I would immediately follow with an elbow strike from that motion. After that, he became very quiet and asked nothing more about karate.
24. There are no stances such as neko-ashi, zenkutsu or kokutsu in my karate. Neko-ashi is a form of “floating foot” which is considered very bad in bujutsu. If one receives a body strike, one will be thrown off balance. Zenkutsu and kokutsu are unnatural, and prevent free leg movement. The stance in my karate, whether in kata or kumite, is like Naifuanchin, with the knees slightly bent, and the footwork is free. When defending or attacking, I tighten the knees and drop the hips, but I do not put my weight on either front or back foot, rather keeping it evenly distributed.
25. When blocking kicks, one must block as if trying to break the opponent’s shin.
26. When I came to Tokyo, there was another Okinawan who was teaching karate there quite actively. When in Okinawa I hadn’t even heard his name. Upon the guidance of another Okinawan, I went to the place he was teaching youngsters, where he was running his mouth, bragging. Upon seeing this, I grabbed his hand, took up the position of “kake-kumite” and said “What will you do?” He was hesitant, and I thought to punch him would be too much, so I threw him with “kote-gaeshi” at which he fell to the ground with a thud. He got up, his face red, and said “once more” so we took up the position of kake-kumite again. And again I threw him with kote-gaeshi. He did not relent and asked for another bout, so he was thrown the same way for a third time.
Translation  By Joe Swift (thanks Joe-San)_

Monday, December 23, 2013

Isshin and Zanshin from Trevor Leggett’s “Zen and the Ways”


Isshin and Zanshin    from Trevor Leggett’s “Zen and the Ways”

Page 156

Isshin (one-heart) means to throw oneself wholly into the action without any other thought at all.  Zanshin (remaining-heart) means some awareness still remaining. Some of the texts (victor note – of the Way) give both, some of them do not mention zanshin at all, and some of them mention it but say that the heading ‘zanshin’ means that there must be no zanshin.

With a spear, isshin is to commit one’s body wholly to the thrust; in a judo throw, it means to throw one’s body and heart at the opponent. If the action is technically defective, or the opponent more skilful, it will miss; then one is generally in an unfavorable position. On the other hand, the more impetuosity and immediacy and completeness of the movement may have so upset him that he cannot utilize his momentary advantage.

Still, in theory might it not be better to take into account possible failure, and keep something back in order to be able to adapt it/ But then, the one-heart will be broken into two: one saying ‘everything into the throw’ and the other ‘what if it fails?’  The latter is called a fox-doubt, and it infects the physical movement, to cause hesitation.

Similarly, if the attack is successful, must  new isshin be formed to deal with a new opponent?

The schools which speak of zanshin take it as an awareness which is wide and unmoving, and which contains the isshin. The immediate awareness is thrown into the action, and yet something remains, unconscious? conscious?, which can handle a failure or even a success. This is zanshin. It must not be consciously aimed at, as that would split the ‘one-heart’.

In a sense the one-heart is the ji or particular technique, and the remaining-heart is the ir or universal principle which manifests in particular situations but is not exhausted in them.

Isshin is the unity of the wave, zanshin is the unity of the water. Isshin defeats an opponent at a tme and place, by a technique. Zanshin is awareness of the whole process of defeating opponents, and wider than that, defeating them with minimum harm to them, and wider than that, for a good purpose and wider than that…

In this verse, zanshin is referred to as ‘water holding the moon’.


Jorge Luis Borges Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

A work of Philosophical Fiction, the short story by Jorge Luis Borges ,the Argentine author,” Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”  (originally written in Spansh) has a lot to suggest how karate terminology may have moved from Japan to Okinawa.  This is a difficult read but this is something to  think about.


This is a work of speculative fiction

Chin Woo Tan Tuie Springing Legs







Mee No Jiffa Kata




 
 

Mee No Jiffa Kata




 

Wankan katas Shotokan gift translation



En Exclusivite pour officiel karate Kanazawa Sensei execute Wankan.

 

Aussi connu sous les noms de SHIOFU et HITO, c’est un kata tres representatif de Tomari-Te.

 

La vitesse de la projection apres avoir esqive une attaque sans donner le temps a l’adversaire de reagir en lui donnant l’impression d’une techniquie secret en karate-do, est un des points tres importants a observer.

 

Wankan appartient au groupe de MATSUMURA. Il a ete adopte par les styles SHOTOKAN et SHITO-RYU, mais les deux versions sone tres differentes.

 

Dans le style SHOTOKAN, il se distingue par les nombreuses attaques at articulations, HASAMI-UKE des deux mains en levant simultanement le genou,  JODAN SOTO-UKE, TETTSUIUCHI et KOKO-UKEau genou en bloquant KERI, etc.

 

C’est le KATA le plus court du SHOTOKAN. D’une execution tres difficile, il se termine avec YAMA-ZUKI en FUDODACHI, les hanches tres basses.

In Exclusiveness for official karate Kanazawa Sensei executes Wankan.

 

Also known under the names of SHIOFU and HITO, it is a very representative of Tomari-Te kata. The speed of projection after having dodged an attack without giving time has the adversary to react by giving to him the impression of a secret technique in Karate-Do, is one of the very important points has to observe.

 

Wankan belongs to the group of MATSUMURA. It has been adopted by the styles SHOTOKAN and SHITO-RYU, but the two are very different versions.

 

In the style SHOTOKAN, it is characterized by many attacks to the joints, HASAMI-UKE with the two hands while raising simultaneously the knee, JODAN SOTO-UKE, TETTSUIUCHI and KOKO-UKE with the knee blocking KERI, etc.

 

It is the shortest KATA of the SHOTOKAN. Of a very difficult execution, it finishes with YAMA-ZUKI in FUDODACHI, the very low hips.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Seisan’s Opening Movement Study in 1990

In one sense the amount of time I had with my instructors was quite brief. Then I was not around other Isshinryu to train with others. When I did train with extremely skilled individuals, while I did learn, that training only intensified my need to understand Isshinryu better. I eventually moved my study into a different paradigm, trying to understand better how to use each gesture of the system. Logic being my main tool.


Starting from the point every gesture of Isshinryu should be able to stop  any attack, I worked in the later 80’s toward understand how to do this. I did not consider this Bunaki. As I studied with Tristan Sutrisno he taught me ‘Bunkai’ before others were using he term and his ‘bunaki’ was extremely different from what others did. Actually more like Itosu’s other students explained.. In fact as ‘buakai a more modern version  was later used, I felt what was shown while somewhat reasonable, was too limiting for my understanding.


As I made my initial studies, one of them focused on the potential for Seisan Kata’s opening movement. I have described this elsewhere on this blog.
While this was a 2013 listing back in 1990 I made a video of my first explorations. 5 years later I met Sherman Harrill and I felt I was in graduate school from his 40 years of work.

You will note I was ably assisted by my son Victor Michael, then ! year old.

------ Other thoughts on Kata application ______________


Friday, December 20, 2013

First Impression V John Kerker

Last is John Kerker who is Sherman Harrill’s senior student. I met him first in Chicopee, Mass. Giving a clinic to several of his students. That first meeting made the impression of what direct training with Sherman would have been like. He struck his demonstration partner for the day harder than I have ever seen anyone strike another. And each time he went down he was still able to return for more. Sherman always told me how much he was holding back because he wasn’t directly training them. Watching John in motion explained a great deal. Yearly visits there explained many other details about their art. I am grateful  I have had the experience.


Cumulatively I probably studied sever thousand techniques from all of them. More than plenty for a lifetime, yet each of their understanding of their arts still grip me, and also my students. I only have a small piece of their arts. But the first impressions remain strong.

First Impressions IV Sherman Harrill


In 1995 I first met Sherman Harrill. He had been a training companion with Tom Lewis. He then spent the rest of his life looking at the potential uses for Isshinryu technique. On that June Day he did maybe 160 application studies. The mind grown numb, when first experiencing this. At this time what sticks out was where he showed us ways to strike into the arm, and a while later I figured out how this could also be used to strike into the neck. Sherman then showed me how to use this more effectively. Later during the day he used Naifanchi stepping as a lower body drill. The whole experience blew me away.

First Impressions III Tristan Sutrisno


Soon there after a friend from tournaments, Tristan Sutrisno, invited me to visit his school in Hazleton.
From my study in Tang Soo Do I had a rough idea of the forms. What I experienced was different. The form he was using, though somewhat different, I could follow.  But there was also Bunkai for the form movement, I had not seen that, at that time I was not taught the word from my instructors, not at many of the other schools I had trained at. Of course the paradigm for his Bunkai was different from any others I later saw (Today Though I use ‘application study and practice’ and’ application realization’ for my own practice).  The only practice I recognize as Bunkai is what he taught me. Of course this is what I studied.

There were also aikido drills which fit into his karate program. And the day he first showed us his skills in Kobudo (Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Kama, Jo, Kintana, Kama, Tanto) I realized the depth of a program beyond what you could see at a tournament. Later I would discover he had other arts.


First Impressions II Ernest Rothrock













It was 1979 and I was a new shodan teaching karate at the Scranton Boys Club continuing the Isshinryu program Charles had begun in his church before he returned to active duty with the USAF. I ahd the time and I saw Ernest Rothrock was doing a Kung Fu demonstration including Tai Chi at his Scranton School. ( had been interested in Tai  Chi since learning of it in college so I attended and watched his performance of the Yang form. That was all it took, I started with a ½ hour a week class. Months later observing his classes before my tai chi class, I thought it a worthy idea to study some kung fu in order to be a more knowledgeable  judge at tournaments.  He began me with a difficult Northern Shaolin form.

video

IFirst Impressions I Tom Lewis ,Dennis Lockwood anf Charles Murray

The first impression of someone often creates the basis for later bonds. Let me give some examples that have made greatest imprint on me.


I must begin with my first instructor Tom Lewis. When I had learned of his program from someone at work, I went to see him. It was a night that the club didn’t meet, but he did meet with me in his office. The dojo appeared to be a barn from a distance, however inside it was all business.

The first night, class for the beginners were taught by several greenbelts. During our class I saw Sensei working the brown belts on the bag. I heard his roundhouse kicks strike the bag harder than I could hit it with a baseball bat. That made the first of many impressions.

My second class I met Dennis Lockwood. After warmup’s and some drills, I remember he announced we would be sparring. I had no idea of what I was doing and my partner was a younger woman (by 8 years) green belt who kept hitting me in the mouth and kicking me there. I had no idea beginners were target practice for the green belts.

My third class, after warm-ups we were told by Sensei to practice kata. I just knew the first three movements of Seisan. For the next two hours I repeated them innumerable times till there was a puddle of water on the tile floor around me (which was am oft repeated experience in the future and proved to be my best weapon sparring brown and black belts). Sensei just stood next to the wall and watched.

He taught about 1/3 of the classes with Dennis Lockwood the most often instructor but there were a never ending chain of other Black Belts who would come to class and help.

A few years ago Sensei confirmed that his teaching paradigm was patterned a great deal by how Shimabuku Sensei taught class.


My greatest impression of Dennis Lockwood came on the night we were practicing Kote Kitae. He had chosen me to work with and began to strike into me. As his power became evident I worked to match it. Before long I was striking him as hard as I could and my stomach muscled worked to absorbed those strikes. He kept increasing the power. Suddenly he stopped and I was still standing.

Those classes were mostly for the White through Brown Belts. There were separate Black Belt practice times.


One night Charles Murray was home from college. He came to the Dojo with one of his friends. I didn’t understand why but others moved to the side of the dojo leaving the center open. Then the two of them began sparring, and I understood why no one wanted to be near. The fighting was levels beyond our best. with my attempts being non existent at best. Other times he came to spar with Dan our current strongest brown belt. He looked like target practice for Charles, but really he was sparring with him to help him improve.

A little later Sensei called me into his office. He told me for a demonstration at an Ocean City he wished me to spar with Charles. While I agreed to do it, no one said anything else. The next few weeks I drove myself into training. The day of the demonstration all of my seniors were performing, Charles had to be shown how to wear safety-gear as it was a new product those days. Sensei called hajime and I guess I tore into Charles. Then he responded to my attack and again I went all out (for me) so he proceeded to tap dance all over me. Nobody had told me it was to go easy and I was trying my best to perform before my Sensei. Later I heard someone was concerned that they should stop it for my safety, but Sensei let it go on.  Charles and I were destined to become fast friends.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Article Sanchin by Roland Habersetzer - my translation
















Bushido – Arts Martiaux d’ Aujourd-hui No 47.

Kata Sanchin by Habersetzer

Kata Sanchin is very old and came from China.  One can find it with several variations in several styles. In Goju-Ryu it is a basic kata. It coordinates technique, breathing and movement. It is also a kata of muscle building exercises.  In the time of Chojun Miyagi Sensei, it was the first kata studied. It gives an excellent idea of the feeling that one must have in the other postures, the same even if they do not have similar forms. 

The juxtaposition of the two ideograms ‘San’ and ‘Shin’ have several significances. San : three, Shin: heart or spirit. Then one could give, “the kata of – or on – three steps, that could be equally the kata of three sprits. According to what the practitioner wants to find there most, they could wish to read these ideograms as ‘clear’ or in ‘code’.  What there is of this kata – one of the oldest – exists under different forms since time immemorial.  Today following the force given to its practice, one can find muscle building exercise, of force (strength) and of endurance, but also a practice capable of causing profound “mutation” to the ‘trefonds’ [???]  of that which one devotes oneself to regularly.  One could say that if all karate isn’t in the san shin, there isn’t karate without san shin.

Bernard Cousin gives us here, the version of his school.

There exist two forms of Sanchin kata. That of Kanryu Higaonna Sensei, where one turns two times, and the second form created by Chojun Miyagi Sensei whoe one doesn’t return and where there is a step or more to the rear.

Why he changed this kata


When a part of the human body isn’t in service, it degenerates.  For example: since we walk with shoes, the feet have lost much of their agility.  We walk naturally towards the front (often with  regard where we place the feet). Nour muscles are developed to march to the front.

When you move back in this kata, you must concentrate your attention on your heels, the plant of the feet, your knees, the muscles of the back and the muscles of the anus.  Progressively with your progress in this kata these various parts will become more precise and your technique more precise.  Also, if you have certain problems with your back, this type of exercise will be to your benefit.

Position, Movement, Breathing


From the position ‘yoi’, your basin (bowl?) must be in retroversion (??? Again not in my dictionary). It will be there throughout all the kata. The muscles must be contracted during all the kata with a maximum intensity to each finishing exhalation.

Sanchin dachi: heels of the front foot on the same lien as the toes of the back foot. The width of the position is the same as that of the shoulders. The feet are turned towards the inside and the plantar surface is the making the most possible contact with the ground.  The knees are flexed and the balance falls on the toes. The back is well right.

Movement


  1. The front foot, while pivoting on the ball of the toes, is placed perpendicular to the line of the shoulders.
  2. The rear foot moves the arc of the circle and is always in contact with the ground.
  3. Arrive to the place where the rear foot is before the front foot and the two heels pivot towards the exterior.
The feet while advancing and retreating, rest constantly in contact with the ground.

Breathing


Inhalation is made by the nose. The thoracic cage does not have to raise itself.  During inhalation, the abdomen is contracted. The exhalation is sonorous (ibuki), mouth open and complete. The abdominal muscles are always contracted.

Sanchin = Sensations


It is a kata which often works to two.  The one executes the form, the other tests. The tester visualizes the general form first, and corrects as needed.  Then he verifies if the muscles are well contracted: abdominal, dorsal, muscles of the legs, the ankles and the force of the arm techniques is well employed.

For [working] the form alone one must work before a mirror, from the front and from profile.  Correcting oneself for the form is often best for one retains the best sensation.

Conclusion

Kanryo Hiagonna Sensei practiced this kata of force often and most dynamically, his breathing was rapid.

Chohun Miyagi Sensei slowed down the gestures and the breathing to improve the muscular feelings, the work of the muscles while coordinating with the breathing.


Note on the pictures showing the kata.

While seeing the demonstration of Sanchin of Goju Ryu of Okinawa – tendency of Higakonna – we can only note one time more ever the difficulty, not to say the impossibility which exists, to learn anything by an image… the ancients didn’t they have reason of not conceiving the transmission that of the ‘visual’ and of the mouth to the ear?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Take the Next Step


In the later 1980’s I began to work on my own application analysis studies. I first began to study the least likely techniques to use and from my study discovered they had great potential. That led to principles of application and more study.

Principles like ‘a technique can stop any attack’ means you have to work to make that potential realized, and in turn at that time I worked up a great many ways to just use Seisan kata’s opening technique as an initial study. Later I discovered that you should not limit yourself to what an initial technique where it would start or stop. “You control the vertical and horizontal of that decision.A technique might be defined as  fractal of a movement, a standard movement of the kata,  perhaps starting in the middle of a movement and concluding in the middle of the next movement, or even a sequence of movements together.

With that later principle in mind one of my development was “Take the Next Step”.

While one trains for technique superiority, in power and speed,. often that is not the case. Your student might be young, or less powerful or aged or disabled. Of course I now resemble this with my Paraneoplastic Neuromyopathy & Neuropathy, being disabled. Well if we look to kata, there is a remedy to use as a Force Enhancer to increase the student’s ability.

By extending the technique in question through including the next step from the kata you increase the effect of the movement by attacking the opponent’s lower body. The next step becomes a sweep or reap to their legs. The student’s hips being larger that the opponent leg, makes the initial move unbalance them and then drops them with the following movement, each time.

This understanding led to further analysis.

Isshinryu Seisan kata is performed several ways. With a Straight Stepping motion, with the Crescent Stepping motion, or with a combination Straight and Crescent stepping motion. Each method is effective. However I was only trained using Crescent Stepping. Having observed each in other schools after reflection I decided to stay the course with how I was taught.

I then discovered that the motion should not be constant throughout the stepping. Another Force Enhancer was to perform the first ½ of the stepping motion at 1/3 of the speed and power, and the last ½of the stepping motion accelerating to 2/3 of the speed and power. Thus exploding into the technique, and also exploding into the lower leg use as a sweep or reap.

Thus every motion of any kata would be enhanced.

While later developments would come, this is what I did then.

The accompany video was saved in 1990 showing one example of this principle. Note I am holding my son here, he was 1 year old at this time. Perhaps the truth is he was telling me what to do.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The value of Keeping Notes on Training


About 1980 I started training in other style schools. I came to several realizations I needed to enhance my ability to learn more quickly and accurately, I also realized there were often unique one time opportunities to learn new material,, and I had to find a way to retain what I had learned.

To enhance learning new forms and applications of techniques I realized most were governed by what the eyes saw first, being the upper body and the arms. But I saw there was less retention doing this. What I found more critical was watching and duplication of the manner of stepping and movement. By first knowing where to place the feet, it was then easier to learn the upper body movements.

When in clinic setting try and grasp the movements involved and then help someone else learn it. By trying to teach it you enter another layer of learning.

Retaining the knowledge is another thing altogether. I found it best to take notes, either hours later or the next day what you couldn’t retain that long you really didn’t understand.

Recently I’ve been reviewing those notes along with later notes. I developed a short hand description methedology from Mr. Lewis’s Isshinryu chart descriptions. Frankly with this shorthand the notes mean little to others.

But to me I saved those precious movements and techniques to study In the future.

1.       I discovered that you rarely saw the depth of any system of training by watching tournament performance, and certainly not the full range of a systems training.
2.       Study of any system was decades of work to be able to know where that training led.

The further I went the more there was to see.

For the most part those studies I shifted to my developing program I worked on each one 5 or more years, the only exceptions were when they were taught to my students by those instructors.

Over about 30 years I accumulated about 2,000 studies. More than a program needed. Decades of training choices for decades of training and development. As Ernest Rothrock put it “It isn’t about what you can do,  it’s what you have learned in the process.”

Over the years my shorthand descriptions came more accurate for me. And O’ the primary technique studies.
1.       Tai Chi Chaun
2.       Northern Shaolin, Tai Tong Long, Pai Lum studies
3.       Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai study
4.       Sutrisno Shotokan studies
5.       Sutrisno Aidido studies
6.       Sutrisno Tjimande studies
7.       Harrill Isshinryu applications
8.       Kerker Issnhinryu Isshinryu applications
9.       My own Isshinryu applications

Together they represent over 2,000 studies, at least 2/3 are from Isshinryu. They represent a wealth that I draw upon. More interesting they often cross disciplines in potentials. By way of some examples. I can find Eagle Claw in Seisan Kata. Or I can see Aikido, and Tjimande within Chinto Kata and so forth. By far the greatest depth came from time spent with Sherman Harrill and then with John Kerker..

Of course this represents more applications than anyone needs. And on the whole I have made choices to the system I teach, but I am currently working on how I can preserve some of this for the instructors I have trained to use in their future study. I see the instructor besides working on their own system as needing a pool of other studies they can choose to draw upon.

Bushi No Te ShoDan Lower Body Drills


Thirty years ago I developed this set of Shodan Lower Body exercises to expand ShoDan potential.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Very Sinanju Christmas

From Destroyer #015  Murder Ward


* Title : #015 : MURDER WARD *
* Series : The Destroyer *
* Author(s) : Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir *

“He was halfway down the steps when Chiun halted him.
"Remo," he called.
Remo turned slowly and looked back at Chiun who waited on the top step.
"Merry Christmas," Chiun said.
"Thank you," said Remo, meaning it.
"Even if you do not give me a gift."”


Chapter One              T’was the Night before Christmas


It was Christmas Eve 2003 and CURE scheduled another of their annual Christmas presents, taking out America’s current cheapest criminal.  Remo and Chiun just arrived in Bowling Green in New York City and Remo called Dr. Smith to get directions to their target.

Hitting the one on the pay phone outside of a local drugstore, in short order Remo heard Dr. Smith answer the call in Bermuda.  Howard was visiting his sister for the holiday and CURE was still operating black, under the table of Presidential approval.

“Smitty, where do we find Michael Fieldglass, attorney at law, he wasn’t in his office as you told me he would be?  I thought you had better information that that!”

“Remo, you called just in time, Condition Red!”

“Another terrorist attack?  Where?”

“Their activities to unload their weapons begin in the hour, not too far from you at the old TriAm pier 14 in Port Johnson NJ.”

“Smitty, it’s 3pm in NYC on Christmas Eve, fighting traffic it might take hours to make our way there.”

“Remo, the fastest way there is to use your NYPD identification and use a Police speedboat from The New York Police Department (NYPD) Harbour Unit facility not to far from you on the East River.  The terrorists supplier is using an old Liberty Ship,  named ‘La Vie” refurbished to haul ammunition for the first Gulf War and later sold to a small French transportation group.  They’re delivering a payment of 50 million dollars in return for state of the art French weaponry.  Apparently the work you’ve done eliminating the other attempts to destroy New York, without us having to alert authorities and letting the holes in Homeland Security become obvious have force them to work under the communication net. All their communication has been face to face, nothing for the CURE Four to pick up anywhere. But somehow the American Aryan’s got wind of it and are planning a strike of their own once the weapons are unloaded to arm their own forces. In other words in a short while there will be a war taking place in Port Johnson, one with the potential of forces obtaining weapons that could be used too dramatically to consider. CURE needs you to eliminate everyone before the authorities have to get involved.”

“Boy, you sure have a great way of celebrating Christmas.  I and Chiun are here keeping America safe, keeping Homeland Security working and you’re in Bermuda. Great Life, well Merry Christmas to you too. Later Smitty…”

“Remo, I would also like you to retrieve the money and…”

But Remo hung up and turned to Chiun.

“Chiun, my assignment’s been changed and I’m going to have to rush to Port Johnson in Jersey.  Why don’t you go back home and I’ll see you there later.”

“Remo, no I’m coming with you. This will be the first time I’ve had a chance to see you work since you’ve become Reigning Master and I want to see if you’re technique remains pure. For the next few years I need to re-check everything you’re doing just in case any of the old habits remain.”

“Where in the annals of Sinanju does it say the Reigning Master is still learning?” Remo replied with a grin as he broke into a run.

“In the ones I’m writing. Besides, I need some exercise when you obtain Reigning Master Emeritus you still must keep improving after all some day there may be a serious threat.”

Being Christmas Eve there were no cabs in the City, but Remo shifted into cruising mode with Chiun in tow and before long they tore into The New York Police Department (NYPD) Harbour Unit grounds.

Two officers were getting off a 35 foot Dauntless Class patrol and rescue boat and Remo flashing his NYPD identification raced past them leaping on the boat. Chiun following sliced free the lines and Remo took the boat out into the East river heading to cross the Upper NY Bay towards Port Johnson NJ.  They never paused to listen to the officers left on the dock shouting at them.

Chapter Two                         And All Through The House


The famed Dautless class patrol and rescue boat lived up to its deserved reputation. It cut across the Upper NY Bay in short order and Remo was able to locate their destination among the many docks with ease. The TriAm Pier 14 was remote in a desolate area. That was good as it would cut down on the chance of others involvement.

This would be a classic moving assassination, long ago recognized in Sinanju. When you have targets that are focused on killing each other they were not watching their backs. That is where Remo would be working.

Unfortunately about ½ mile from the Pier the Police Speedboat engine sputtered and died. Out of Gas.

“Remo, why is the boat no longer moving?”

“Little father it sounds like we’re out of gas.”

“And this is how the Reigning Master goes to work? Are we to paddle our way to our target?”

“Our target, its my work, you’re just along for the ride.”

“Ride, you call this a ride when you pick a ship with no gas?  How are you going to get me ashore?”

“I’m sorry little father but you’ll just have to walk as I am.”

Remo then stood tall and stepped off the side of the ship. Focusing on the cold late afternoon air and the density of the water, with steps that measured the force of a tablespoon of whipped cream, he began walking across the water without breaking the surface.

Chiun followed suite and instantly closed the gap striding alongside Remo. About a quarter mile from their ship they heard the first gunfire from the dock. As one they each began to race at top speed across the waters surface as if it was the hardest ground, from two men strolling on water becoming two racing blurs no eye could follow.

In an instant they were alongside “La Vie” and then they were clinging to its side ½ the way up the ship.

“Little father, these terrorists are depending on using weapons brought to America in this ship and they’ve just begun unloading them. This is a Liberty Ship, manufactured during WWII, and we’ve worked them before, especially due to their unique manufacture to piece them together as quickly as possible. Would you like to see if our knowledge is still correct?”

Chiun slowly nodded his head.

Each of them hung by one hand amid the centerline of the ship’s side.  The Liberty ships were amazing construction where primarily welding held them together. This caused a great problem in fracturing noticed as early as 1946. With this knowledge Sinanju entered the picture.

Remo’s free hand struck the ship apparently lightly but created a deep gonging sound. Chiun then counter struck, also apparently lightly to create a harmony gong. Listening to the two sounds, both Remo and Chiun looked at each other, now knowing the ship.

Their response was to drum out the traditional Korean melody “Tribute to Prince Yi”, with hardened fists.

Then they stopped, the groans from the ships thousands of welds continued the piece on its own accord until it stopped.

Of course when it stopped all the welds gave way at the same time and the ship of thousands of pieces simply dropped into the bay.

The instantaneous collapse of ship integrity into a down, created an energy vortex our Sinanju Masters could and use, turning it into an up.

The ship dropped and they flew up, unobserved, into the air in separating arcs towards the dock.

Chiun shouted his intentions to Remo before they landed. ”Toe work tonight for me.”

Remo replied back, “Variations on the Floater Stroke”.

Sinanju landed.



Chapter Three                       Not a creature left stirring, not even a mouse

On the Dock a group of 15 American Aryans were attacking the terrorist underground group and a handful of French sailors who had offloaded a Frog 03 Urban Assault Vehicle.

Both groups were ill trained and when the Liberty Ship disintegrated in the background they were so preoccupied from the sounds of bullets flying they didn’t even notice the ship’s departure. Instead they kept ducking and firing blindly towards each other.

Remo and Chiun landed lightly at different ends of the pier, flanking both groups, and prepared to complete their mission.

At that same instant a lucky shot from the American Aryan Commander, Ralph Freeze from Clark, Ohio struck one of the French sailors in the chest as he was trying to move the UAV. In death the sailor rolled forward and struck the firing button.

Immediately four Frappe Mort 67 short range missiles with incendiary warheads  fired into the air, arcing over the landscape towards Bayonne, New Jersey.

‘Shit!’ thought Remo, ‘Smitty will have a cow about that and its not even our fault.’

The fact that both warring factions were so incompetent reminded him what trash today’s terrorists were. By Sinanju standards, one of the biggest sins was getting oneself killed plying ones art.  The world kept calling the thugs and warped personalities in action today, terrorists when they were really very lucky incompetent fools.

Thank goodness they really didn’t know what real terror was. But this was happening here in America, the country paying Sinanju’s bills, America a country that Remo fought to defend time after time and once more needed his efforts.

Remo made to enter the variations of the Floater Stroke.

At the same time on the other side of the pier Chiun didn’t stop to understand his targets. There was nothing to understand, there was just his technique.

Tonight he slipped out of his sandals and stood preparing. On his left foot his middle toe began to stand straight up. Now he was ready for Toe work.

Chiun was the first Master of Sinanju in 2,000 years to revive one of the Great Wang’s private techniques. The study of the use of the individual toes to destroy ones opponent.  In Toe Work, it was important to keep switching toes and switching feet target after target.

And the toe strokes were not just straight in strikes, instead different planes and fractals of toe movement were to be used.  This was arcane and advanced Sinanju.

Chiun stepped out behind two attacking terrorists, so intent on their opponents they didn’t hear his approach, as if they had ears to hear it.

Chiun delivered the left middle toe as a strike to the rear of terrorist #1’s neck, shearing his head off, but before it detached itself from the neck, the second terrorists had his lungs punctured with his right little toe, collapsing his heart.

Without breaking stride Chiun kept moving forward toward the others.

Returning to Remo, where the floater stroke had no energy behind it, instead it created energy where there was none inside the body of the opponent, for Variations on the Floater Stroke he released his entire body so there was no base to be found. Instead he moved forward with a non-focused rolling motion, releasing palm strokes and finger strokes that floated gently in mid air, assuming of course you can see hands moving 4,000 miles per hour.

His first target, a member of the American Aryans was surprised when he noticed a thin man with dark hair standing toe to toe before him as he was depressing his M-16’s trigger. The man was smiling as his hand seemed to float towards the barrel of his gun.

Unfortunately the gun barrel didn’t stop the hand, nor did the bullet being propelled forward in the barrel. Instead the hand entered into the barrel, split it in two, including the 223 round firing forward. Then the hand kept leaping forward through his body.

The shock so swift and intense he never felt his death as the floater stroke imploded him.

Sinanju’s assassins kept their forward pressure, meeting terrorist or American Aryan and then finishing same.  Each other also aware of the progress and technique of the other.

As there was no doubt of the outcome they met in the middle and all of the evil do-ers that remained were their corpses.

“Chiun, very great technique tonight. I was very impressed at your Toe Work.”

“Remo, I would be remiss not to mention you have full mastery of the Floater Stroke. Of course that still leaves many other techniques to keep an eye on. Can we go home now?”

“Eventually, I was short with Smitty but I think he wants us to return the money the terrorists brought to pay for their weapons. I also have to get rid of the bodies and weapons by dumping them in the river.  Let me do the cleanup and check out that truck to see if it has the money.”

“Money, can we keep it?”

“No, its not gold so its not real anyway, just paper for Smitty.”

Chapter 4       The Children were to be nestled all snug in their beds


At St. Jude’s International Home for Children, over 300 hungry children sat down for their dinners. Afterwards they would go caroling, attend an evening Mass and then get to bed hoping Santa would bring them something for Christmas.

The orphans really wanted homes and families, instead only having the Sisters of Care and each other.  But the Church and donations provided enough to eat, the Sisters took care of their educations and souls, and on Christmas enough toys were found for everyone to receive something for their own.

Dinner was just finished and all the children dressed for their evening outing singing carols around Bayonne.

Sister Victoria stood on the stage to announce the route for their travels when suddenly the roof exploded, showering timbers and flaming debris into the dining hall.

Where those children should be safe, instead a most unexpected brand of hellfire struck, explosion following explosion.

Yet Sisters being Sisters ignored the danger, moved the children out the doors calmly rank after rank of them.  Their voices remained calm and the children acted as if it was one of their regular fire drills, troopers all, marching out into the cold December evening.

Outside the children were formed into their choirs. Sirens from Police Cars, Ambulances and Fire Trucks were heard.

Across the street Hook and Ladder Company 5 were just setting down to their own dinner when they saw the old orphanage across the street burst into flame.  Instantaneously moving into action, one crew grabbed their gear and moved for their trucks, the  rest charged across the street and tore into the orphanage looking for children. They couldn’t see all the children were out on the far side of the building.

Joining them three patrol cars from the Bayonne Police Department pulled up first and rushed inside to join the firemen.  Likewise three of the younger Sisters also raced inside to seek out any other children or Sisters inside.

Inside the older construction of an orphanage 150 years old worked against them. It was turning into instant conflagration. Additionally the missiles that struck from the terrorist encounter contained some delayed fuses, finally exploding driving the flaming debris horizontally across the floors.

The end result was the entire orphanage lost, two Sisters, two Firemen and one Police Officer also giving their lives searching for any other survivors.

For the children and surviving Sisters, for the families and friends of the fallen, Christmas was gone.

As the cold grew worse the town officials decided the best course of action was to keep the children together so they would know each other was safe. Busses arrived and they were taken to the Lincoln High School, which had been an old Civil Defense shelter. There were cots and emergency supplies to turn the double gymnasium into a shelter for now.

Nobody was happy this night.

Chapter 5       Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter


Locating the truck with the $50,000,000 as Remo completed the rest of the cover-up, till Smitty’s specialists from the CIA would make sure no sign anything had happened, Remo and Chiun entered it and began their drive back to Connecticut.

Following Avenue C into Bayonne, Remo was surprised to see a traffic backup on Christmas Eve.

Chiun first noted the smoke in the air and the glow in the dark air on the other side of town.

Finally Remo neared the Lincoln High School and saw a very sad police officer directing traffic around the area.

Rolling down his window he asked, “Officer, what’s the problem, why the traffic tie-up?”

“Big fire on the other side of town, lighting struck a Catholic orphanage and it burned entirely down.”

Remo’s knuckles turned white as he grabbed the steering wheel more tightly.

“And the children what about the children?”

“The Sisters got them out ok, but several of the Sisters, several brother fire fighters and my uncle died inside. We’re moving all the orphans here for the night, the busses are just arriving. Thanks for asking, please move on.”

Remo was silent in pained shock.

Chiun reached quietly for his hand.

“Remo, we must move from here. Drive up this street a little and pull over. Give yourself some time.”

“Father it couldn’t have been lightening, it had to be those missiles that were fired in the fire fight.”

“Remo, you may be right, but we are only Masters of Sinanju not Masters of the Universe. You and I can do what we are trained to do. This is a problem we can’t resolve.”

“Little Father, I love you and am pledged to preserve the village. But I’ve also been an orphan. I know what they’ve lost. First their families, their lives and now the only one safe place they had left all gone.  You know how I’ve been trained. If something is more sacred than the village, it is children. I must do something and right now.”

“But Remo, what can we do.”

Remo sat silent in thought.

“First we go and watch what’s happening.”

Silent wraiths they were gliding from the cab of the truck. Silent they stood in that night watching the children straggling off the busses. Older children pulling younger children along. Officers Police and Fire together carrying the youngest, the remaining officers forming a line guarding Lincoln High.

Then Chiun was as to step forth. “Remo that young boy is Korean! He’s Korean!”

“Little father, they are children from all lands and races. They share something deeper that I feel with them, deeper than family deeper than blood, the fact they’re orphans.”

“This night I, Remo Williams, Reigning Master of Sinanju, vow they will not suffer anymore.”

“Remo, how will you do that?”

“Simple Little Father. You’re going to become Santa Claus and I’m going to be Rudolph your elf. Together we’re going to give them the magic of Christmas.”


Chapter 6       The Luster of Mid-Day to Objects Below


“Remo, whatever you’re thinking of you can’t use the wealth of Sinanju to try and solve this.”

“Little Father, I’m not Reigning Master for nothing, I think I have a better idea anyway. First lets find a phone I want to place a call to Geneva and the Bank of Sinju’s Board of Directors. Let’s see that the Chief Executive Officer can actually do.”

“Not your Bank of Sinju CEO drawing account. Again you..”

“No not that, I have another thought. Let me place the call and then we’ll talk.”

After about an hour of discussion and several phone calls Remo approached Chiun with his news.

“… so you see Little Father, this answer will work. That covers one of our problems and I know you and I can do the rest. Are you ready to turn in your robes for a red cape?”

“I’m not Santa Claus. I’m not dressing in that ridiculous costume.”

“Nope, but you will be Santa tonight no matter how you’re dressed. Lets head off for the City, I want to visit the new World famous Restaurant Row, they’ve closed for the evening and they’re having a group employee Christmas celebration.  Let’s see how they handle a visit from a couple of angels.”


Vincent Tappino of Vincent’s Bayonne Cab’s was looking for his shift to end to get home to his wife. He knew it was strange to see two lightly dressed strangers, one Caucasian the other oriental, hailing a cab, but a fare was a fare.

Once they got in Vincent’s cab he tried to tell them he couldn’t go into the city, he needed to get home to the missus, but when he heard they only wanted to go to Restaurant Row, just off of the Hudson Tunnel in the City, even after they were told it was closed Christmas Eve, and he saw the $10,000 they stuffed in his pocket, he realized he really didn’t need to get home to his wife that early tonight.

Instead he gave her a call and told her he’d be a little late, but he’d be bringing something special home with him. After all spring $1,000 on her and she’d be happy and he would have money for some fun, too.

Thus in a short while he pulled up at the world famous Restaurant Row, where any food specialty in the world was to be had, for a price of course.


Inside the largest establishment, Francis’ Down Home French Kitchen, hundreds of cooks, servers, maitre’d’s and all the rest were partying hard. In the kitchen the elite of the elite owners and cooks gathered to toast another year of success.

“Ahemmmmmm!”

A voice was raised above the din, standing before them was a stranger, a lone man dressed in black.

“Think of me as the ghost of Christmas present. I’ve come to tell you your future.”

“Hey Mario, get rid of this bum!”

The bodyguard rose and moved  toward the stranger only to find himself spinning as a top on the strangers upraised finger. Suddenly he was placed sitting on the food on the table, unhurt.

“As I said, think of me as the ghost of Christmas present. Let me tell you your future. Today a horrible tragedy struck an orphanage in Bayonne, Jersey. It burned down and the children are spending the night and day at the Bayonne Lincoln High School. That’s over 300 children and their Nuns.”

“All of you are going to make a very quick choice. You will all start cooking and tomorrow treat the kids to a feast like they’ve never imagined and in turn each of you will receive $100,000 on the spot now, or you will be on the receiving end of whats going to happen to this table.”

The stranger dropped his hand as slowly as a feather floating to earth. The difference was when the hand touched the table it split in two down the middle. Dumping Mario on the floor with the food, too.

“So which will it be, will each of you give your Christmas to feed the children and receive $100,000 cash, tax free, or will you join the table.”

The owners all lined up with their hands out.

“Hey this is good, we all love kids anyway. But what about our help, we can’t do it ourselves.”

“When you go out those doors you’ll see the answer.”

They gathered their money and walked together out to the full party.

Instead of their employees making merry, they saw all of them sitting on the floor, crying.  A small oriental standing before them.

“Please boss, we’ve got to help those children. Can’t we feed them tomorrow, please.”

Individual after individual joined in the plea.

“Everyone, lets get back to the kitchens, fire up the stoves and ovens. We’ve got a Christmas feast to deliver.”

Remo and Chiun, satisfied looks on their faces walked back into the night for Vincent’s cab and a return ride to Bayonne.


Chapter Seven           With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment

Vincent left them off and returned home for the evening with his wife.

Remo and Chiun stood outside of the Lincoln High School watching the police and fireman standing guard over the children’s temporary home.

“Well that’s two tasks down. Next we have to have a real Christmas miracle, a visit from  Saint Nick.”

“And how do we do that Remo?”

“We just have to give them oodles of toys and clothes. I have a plan for several blocks west, just about a half mile from here, I saw a Toys R Us and a Kids R Us which is closing. Here’s what we’ll do.”

Remo separated from Chiun. Chiun softly slipped into the back schoolyard, an outdoor basketball court. Before long a bicycle flew across the moon and into Chiun’s hands, to be softly deposited on the ground. Then Balls and Bats, Dolls and Cars, Toys, Computer Games, a mountain of toys were flying across the skies, one after another. Each caught by Chiun and neatly stacked on the grounds.

Remo entered Toys R Us, kept the door open, and jimmied on the first cashier station. He literally skated across the toy store floor, grabbing toys, and giving them an underhand snap so their bar tag would cross the scanner as the toy flew out the door and rose to cross towards Lincoln High School. This continued for about 90 minutes, till he realized he had more than enough toys for the kids.

Remo then saw the bill, opened one of the suitcases he brought with him and left the amount in cash plus 10% from Santa.

Then he hurried next door. This Kids R Us closed that day and its store contents were all packed to be shipped out. In this case he simply grabbed carton after carton and flipped them towards the school. Eventually he ran out of cartons, picked up the shipping invoice, noted the cost shown and left cash again.

Racing back to the school he was worried about Chiun, he had worked him hard. But reaching it he didn’t see Chiun resting, instead the school doors were open and Chin was racing toys inside and placing them across the school stage, covering it. 

Joining in, Remo started moving the cartons of clothing for the kids to the far wall, opening them displaying what was inside.

When they finished and made way to leave Remo caught Chiun finding a ball of silver and gold and quietly slipping alongside the sleeping Korean boy, leaving it with him on his cot.

Now 4 am, there were still several tasks to complete.  Remo and Chiun, carrying a suitcase made their way to Hook and Ladder Company 5, where tired firemen were grabbing  some sleep, or a cup of coffee, after a trying night.

Unnoticed they approached the commanders office. Inside a shell shocked fireman sat trying to pull himself together after the nights losses.

“Sir,”  he looked up,  tiredly

“We and all America are very proud what your men and the Bayonne Police Department did today. The losses will not be forgotten. I have here a small token of $5,000,000 for the families of the firefighters and police who have fallen tonight. It can’t replace the lost, but it can help repay what can’t be repaid.”

“Who are you?” the now awakening commander spoke. “This is a magnificent gift.”

“Well in one sense we’re the Spirit of Christmas, in another sense we’re not here at all. In fact you won’t remember us, you’ll only find the money in a few minutes, you’ll protect the families of all who have fallen, now and always.”

Remo leaned forward, put a finger against his throat, and whispered softly.

Then they left.

Chapter Eight            The sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too!


The sun of Christmas morning would be hitting Bayonne New Jersey in moments. Tragedy or not, Children would soon be wakening to Christmas morning.

Remo and Chiun slipped yet another time into the school. In the school office the Sisters were sleeping or holding silent vigil. The children were still asleep. Mother Superior was in the Principal’s Office.

“Sister, it is time to awake.”

Mother Superior Janet raised her tired head. Standing before her was a tall, thin man with thick wrists, dressed in black, except for a green elf cap. Beside him in Yellow robes was an extremely elderly Korean gentlemen with a red Santa cap sliding off his head.

“Who are you and why are you here?”

“Sister, we’re here to thank you for saving the orphans. They need so much and all of you labor so hard to give them what they need. I think we can help you preserve the spirit of Christmas today and for the future.”

“Please don’t speak, we have much to say and there is very little time before the children awaken.”

“First, last night was a senseless tragedy. But we will try to make something magic rise from it. You will notice the suitcases piled around the room. They will take care of most of your financial needs. There’s about $45,000,000 there, build a new, safe, fireproof orphanage with it. Later today NYC will be providing an endless feast for the kids and you Sisters. We’ve found a place for all of you to stay the next three months. Cinabar Cruise Lines has their newest Shepard of the Disney Seas liner in the New York Port as a stopover for their final shakedown cruise. Cinabar will be hosting the children for a three month cruise. You’ll be able to teach them there and see a part of the world that orphans rarely see. There will be no cost for the three months. We happen to know the banker that financed the ship and they’ve convinced Cinabar to give the ship to the children as they train their new crew. After all if they can take care of 300 kids they can take care of anybody. The Disney Corporation is also hosting the kids for an entire week in Disney World, supporting their cruise line decision.”

“My God, thank you both.”

“Sister, there isn’t enough that can be done for these kids, but we know you Sisters know what they need. It’s not cash or baubles, nor is it freedom, instead love and the discipline you’ve always instilled give them the freedom to grow into adulthood, away from pain.”

“There’s one more surprise, would you wake your Sisters and have them greet the children with one of the Christmas hymns and you’ll see what we mean.”

“O’ and by the way, we were never here, just the spirit of Christmas and the smallest of miracles, the largest which was you saving all of them last night.”

Mother Superior Janet, now awake only notice the suitcases filled with money, her visitors forgotten and all the events they foretold were locked in her dream memories. But they gave her assurance that the day would be magic.

Then leading the sisters, they threw open the doors to the gymnasium, singing “Hark the Herald Angles Sing!” only to be stunned beyond belief.

Sunlight streaming through the high gym windows fell on the stage filled with toys. The children hearing the singing awoke with a start and like the oldest of Christmas cartoons rushed the toys in glee. More than enough fore everyone.

Somehow in the middle of the floor a gigantic Christmas tree stood, fully decorated, lights now blinking merrily, and two very small angles standing tall atop the tree.

The children didn’t see, but the Sisters all noticed the clothing on  the other wall. The most important needs of the day were settled.  They didn’t even notice truck after truck of catered food arriving for the Christmas morning breakfast.

Unnoticed, in a far corner, Remo and Chiun stood, silently, watching.

Chiun paid most notice to the awakening Korean boy. The boy saw the ball and grasped it tightly, singing to himself.

“Chiun, our time to be here is gone, now its time to return home. Merry Christmas Santa.”

Chiun, tears streaming from his eyes, left with Remo.

Chapter Eight            Happy Christmas to All and All a Good Night


The cab turned onto Billy Goat Bluff in Stamford, Connecticut. Home for the holidays.

“So you see Little Father, Smitty can’t miss what he never knew we had. All bases covered, we presented those kids with a Christmas miracle, the best one I’ve ever known, I didn’t spend the treasure of Sinanju, or even touch my CEO drawing account. All accounts squared.”

”Son, that is a real Master work you’ve done. This story will be one of the highlights of the scrolls of Remo, the White Master. Of course first you have to write all of this down.”

Remo groaned as the cab pulled to a stop.

“Thanks buddy, keep the change.” And Remo gave the cabbie $500.

But before they could climb the stairs to their house Chiun stopped and turned towards Remo.

“Being Christmas I haven’t forgotten the holiday of the Roman Church you celebrate. Wait outside here a minute and then come inside.”

Remo puzzled as Chiun slipped inside. Would it be another small tree covered with shredded golf ball? What would Chiun consider a Christmas Gift, especially after last night.

The minute passed and Remo came inside.

There sitting in a chair before the fireplace, facing the door was his daughter, Freya, her golden hair streaming in the sunlight. Behind the chair stood his son, Winston, slowly turning into a man. Beside him on the left was his father Sunny Joe  and there standing on the right was Chiun.

There are no words left…

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night….


Seasons Greeting,

Victor Smith