Well, guys and gals... looks like the steam is just about gone on this thread. I'll keep watching, but don't expect much more on this particular line. I plan on sticking around on the board... I'm really impressed with the intellect level compared to a couple of other sites I spend time with. If anyone has questions about the SEAL Teams, I'll be happy to provide whatever answers I am able.
If anyone has any questions about SEAL imposters, please do not hesitate to contact me by message, through a posting, or via regular email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'S'been FAAAAABULOUS! I've enjoyed this immensely! I'll be lurking around on the other threads, seeing what kind of trouble I can get into... contributing to the general mayhem whenever possible. Thanks for the invitation and the magnanimous welcome... and not one person told me to "STFU Noob"! I feel so honored and special
*BlacksmithSEAL thinks about suggesting a group hug, then decides against it since these are people who LIKE to grapple!*
STF-, can't do it.
Welome to Bullshido.
Thanks for your time, you are a fantastic addition to the boards.
Hey Steve, I sent you an email. I also thank you for your time here.
I recently got this letter from ex-seal Tom Sutherland concerning Mike Echanis who was mentioned earlier in this thread. While I am skeptical whether Echanis had a contact with Seal Team Two as verses individual Seals and whether un shin bup was actually a historical korean art, I think it is only fair to print a letter from one of Echanis's defenders.
In reply to your inquiry referencing Michael Echanis as a martial arts instructor for the Naval Special Warfare Community. I will add the following comments!
Mike Echanis did in fact instruct Navy SEALs and Underwater Demolition Personal in the early 70's up to the time of his death in 1978. I was one of a small group of individuals that worked out with Mike during this time frame. Most of the UDT/ SEAL Team guys were very proficient with our taught discipline Korean Tae Kwon Do. Most, if not all the guys in this group had attained the rank of 1st to 3 rd degree Black Belt. Many of the Team guys had all attended the airforce Judo school.
Mike had brought to the Teams a new effective discipline of un shin bup or ninjutsu. He basically taught us effective killing techniques in the hand to hand combat arts. I heard the name Jo Bang Lee mentioned several times but nothing ever came out of those conversations. Although, I personally got the idea that there was a conflict between Mike and Jo Bang Lee. Mike was a very effective teacher, extremely demanding, and very tough on the troops. He lived with me as a guest in my home for several months, traveling back and forth from Va Beach and Ft. Bragg N.C.
Mike had one flaw with his life, He liked to be seen and heard from. He could never accept the term "Stay Low, Go Slow" old SEAL TEAM axiom! This flaw was in my humble opinion, the fact that cost Mike his life in Nicaragua. Check Soldier of Fortune magazine for articles on Mike Echanis. Mike was doing personal security work for Somoza in Nicaragua and being highly publicized in all the news media. A group to include Mike took off in an aircraft bound for Miami, Fla without a proper preflight on the airplane. It exploded over Lake Nicaragua! End of story!
Mike was a decorated Viet Nam veteran, I've personally seen the citations. Silver and Bronze stars if memory serves me correctly. He did write three book on knife fighting and hand to hand stick combat. Hope this helps you out Mate, All the Best, Tom Sutherland"
Thanks for your time Blacksmith.
Great read. Still think you Navy boys are a punch of pussie but unfortunately I can't back that up with our performance on the grid iron.:(
I've done extensive research over the years on Mike Echanis, the most recent in 2012 to include meeting with and interviewing the Echanis Family.
Mike did provide training, per documentation from SEAL Team 2, for SEAL/UDT operators at Little Creek. He was invited to do so by then ST2 Commander Richard Marcinko. He taught 3 courses using a variation of the program he was teaching at Fort Bragg (shortened).
Mike was very close to Bob Nissley, who I know and visited with in Tampa, Florida, last December. Bob had a copy of the letter Mike received from ST2 confirming his instructor/course status at the time. Mike always pursued some form of documentation for his resume which he was building at the time.
Echanis very much enjoyed the SEAL/UDT community and often visited with Nissley and other Naval Special Warfare operators both at Bragg, Little Creek and in 1978, prior to his untimely passing, Florida while he was providing training in Nicaragua for the NIC military at EEBI.
Mike did not receive a Silver Star per his military records as obtained by me via FOIA last year. He did receive a Bronze Star with Valor device for herosim in Vietnam. During this action he was severely wounded. He also recieved the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Mike was not a graduate of the Army's Special Forces course or Ranger School. He did attend Phase One of the the SFQC but was removed from the course during this phase. He immediately volunteered for service in Vietnam and upon arriving there was recruited by now retired Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neal into C Company (Charlie Ranger) as a ranger. Mike was a graduate of the Army's Jump School at Fort Benning.
Mike Sutherland is correct and in the kindest of ways regarding Mike's need to be seen and heard. Many reasons why as I've learned - and all understandable.
Black Belt Magazine has just accepted an article I've written with the permission and participation of the Echanis Family about Mike's journey as a Wounded Warrior. This is a subject never before explored/covered and I thank Bob Young at Black Belt for keeping Mike's memory, legacy and contributions alive in this manner.
Finally, the plane Mike and three others were killed in was a private aircraft belonging to General Ivan Alegrett. Alegrett, Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen were flying a reconnaissance mission over the southern town of Rivas during heavy combat operations in September 1978. Alegrett was well known for placing armed hand grenades into glass jars and dropping them from his plane on suspected guerrilla positions. He was known among his peers as "El Loco" for this and other extreme behaviors. On September 8, 1978, Alegrett was engaged in his brand of aerial bombardment when one of the devices exploded inside the aircraft. This is what brought it down killing all onboard.
The above is based on my interviews with retired SEAL Skip Crane, retired SF/Ranger Gary O'Neal (who participated in the body recovery mission) and my review of the formal NIC Government documentation of the incident last year.
Mike Echanis was a comet of a human being. Compicated, vulnerable, exceptionally talented and intelligent and war wounded yet recovered and rehabilitated. There will never be another one like him.
May he, Chuck and Bobby rest in peace.
Is this the Greg Walker of Fighting Knives fame by chance?
I don't know about "fame" but yep, same.