Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Amazing Ted Vollrath

It was in 1976, I was attending the evening show at a Karate Tournament in York Pennsylvania. As part of the show a man in a wheelchair rolled onto the stage and began to speak to the crowd. He asked everyone to stand up, the audience did. Then he grabbed the armrests of his wheelchair and pulled them up and shotguns came out and fired. Blanks of course, but everyone in the audience shot into their chairs. That was the first time I saw Ted Vollrath.
He talked to everyone about his movie “Mr. No Legs” and that he was a practitioner of Isshinryu. Following that he did a very vigorous self defense demonstration. Even grabbing a belt and diving out of his wheelchair taking the attacker to the ground.
He was an inspiration to who could do Isshinryu. If having no legs did not stop him, what could the rest of us accomplish.

From the IMDB 

Ted Vollrath was born in 1934 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Vollrath served in the US Marines and fought in the Korean war. Ted had to have both of his legs amputated because of severe injuries received in combat. He began training in the martial arts in 1967 and was the first person to earn a black belt in karate while training out of a wheelchair. Vollrath eventually became a karate Grand Master and acquired black belts in several different styles of the martial arts. In 1971 Ted founded the Martial Arts for the Handicapted Incorporated; this organization is dedicated to teaching the martial arts to disabled people. Vollrath made his sole foray into feature film acting with a solid performance as Lou, a vicious and lethal enforcer for a drug dealer in the positively jaw-dropping low-budget action exploitation oddity "Mr. No-Legs." Ted put on an impressively vigorous and exciting display of his martial arts prowess in a simply incredible protracted set piece which occurs halfway through the picture. Moreover, Vollrath also appeared in the documentary "Let Me Live in Your World." Ted Vollrath died on November 18, 2001.

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