My name is Shazaaye (Pronounced "Shazawn") Puebla. I was raised in Apache Warrior ways from birth, yes we are alive and well and very modern, I learned Jeet Kune Do from Dan Inasanto, and Bujinkan Ninjitsu from Dale Seago. I have my own art I call Akimbo which is a blend of the above along with Druid Cosmology. :) Welcome to the twenty-first Century.
Because of a comment made by a poster on the Blaise Loong issue, I have to state that our culture is thriving and growing, a culture that stays stagnant dies; we are a Living People with a Living Culture. There is no need to reconstruct our Warrior Traditions because they have never been lost; few people know them because they are not needed by most people. even if enthusiasts like myself didn't exist they would still not be dead because they are part of a "complex Matrix" that makes up Apache Culture: Simply put our traditions are like a windows program, anyone proficient in our culture can "down load" information as needed. Most Apache Warrior Ways enthusiasts learn in this manner, self taught, and we all come up with the same conclusions by "down loading" our elusive warrior traditions from the pattern of our culture. In Short our culture is an information network: LOL We surf OUR Web by eating Peyote. (For more info on this see the book "Living Life's Circle: A Mescalero Apache Cosmovision" by Clair Farrer; 1991 University of New Mexico Press. "It's the best book ever writen about my people.")
On that note, I express myself on the Blaise Loong issue.
Originally Posted by eyebeams
I am Niit'ahende Band Mescalero Apache and was raised with this "Martial Art" Blaise calls Apache guerilla warfare. I can tell you that it has never died and if Blaise wants to teach it to nonnatives he's going to run into the same problem Bruce Lee did when he taught Kung Fu to non Chinese. If you ask any Apache about this they will likely reinforce your belief that our warrior traditions are Dead or, better, ask you "What do we need those things for; are we about to be attacked or something?" The bottom line is that it is neglected out of lack of necessity not dead.
The Archaic methods exist only as historical reference, and for the purpose of improvised weapons development, as times have changed. Most people are taught that us Apache Stopped fighting in 1886; LOL no, the last of us freedom fighters continued fighting out of the Apache Stronghold in the Sierra Madre until 1935. I know this first hand because my Great Grandfather is the Apache Kid (San Carlos Apache), and Known to my family as Libredo Sanchez.
If you look at the pictures of our people during the 1800s, you will see a radical change in our armorment. We went from shields, war clubs, spears, and Machetes, to Rifles and Pistols. Adaption is vital to the Apache Warrior tradition. We don't hold on to things nostalgically.
Blaise's site says:
"Being part Chiricahua Apache, Blaise sought out his relatives on the San Carlos and FortApache Indian reservations in South Eastern Arizona..."
Blaise allows himself to be called "Part Chiricahua Apache,"we do not call our selves "Part." When I acknowledge my Scottish blood, I say "I am Niit'ahende Band Mescalero Apache/ Clan Macpherson Alba." Note that there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
After proving himself worthy to the elders, the old Grandfathers (since 1985) have meticulously trained Blaise in 3 areas : hunting and survival, Nagondzog -- the uniquely Apache brand of guerrilla warfare, made famous by such Warchiefs as Geronimo and Cochise,...
Blaise dose show some knowledge of the Apache Language; how ever he dose not appear to grasp our concepts within the context of Apache Culture. "Nagondzog" dose appear to be San Carlos Apache, or other Western Apache dialect, which is were he claims to have learned Warrior Ways. By the way Cochise is Famous as a Diplomat, not a famous war leader. When they say "...the uniquely Apache brand of guerrilla warfare..." this is rather hokey: One can learn elements of Apache warfare from the United States Special Forces; for those of you unfamiliar with the History of the Special Forces, prior to being called this they were known as "The U.S. Army Indian Scouts." To this day the Special Forces Crest bears the Crossed Arrows emblem of the U.S. Army Indian Scouts. I know because I was a Chaplin's Assistant with the 19th Special Forces Group. Funny thing really; they were freaked out by all the weapons I hid on my person when ever we went to the field. They used to joke that I was a mobile Weapons Room. LOL (In the Special Forces, a big part of being a Chaplin's Assistant is being his body Guard. My Orders on this "The Chaplin doesnt die unless you die first in defence of him. If he dies and you don't, you will be Court Marshaled.")
...and Diyin, the Apache realm of supernatural Power."
Here Blaise is allowing himself to be called a Medicine Man: "Diyin" Is Chiricahua for a Medicine Man, it is not the "Apache realm of supernatural power." In the Dialect he claims this would be "Diyi." The "n" personifies this to mean Medicine Person (we have no gender pronouns). A person not knowledgeable of Apache Languages could get this confused by reading the writings of Anthropologist Eve Ball.
What Blaise Loong has going for him and against him:
Many of our methods resemble Kung Fu, such as spear methods (We are genetically related to Tibetans), our foot work is more similar to Bujinkan Ninjitsu (Watch Traditional Dancers at Powwow and Eagle Dancers and compare this with the stealth methods taught by Ninjitsu). The "Besh" (Knife) is a primary weapon, but I do not see Blaise refer to the Tse'aal (Stone Carrier) which is also a Traditional Primary Weapon; it is a rawhide equivalent of the Flail (Mace and Chain), and is as complex a weapon as the Nunchaku.
He is right when he says that our Warrior Traditions are formless and informal, many of our attitudes are actually shared by the Celts, a leader keeps discipline by being a competent leader, if he fails at this he gets impeached. My problem here is that he dose not refer to the Cosmological elements of our traditions which are important to understanding the warrior Path, anyone who knows anything about our Traditions knows that every element of our Culture works like a windows program, as everything is interrelated to everything else. Blaise is claiming to have a large amount of technical Knowledge here (Can you say the equivalent of a PH.D. in Military Science?)
What Blaise Loong has going against him:
I was a Traditional (Shield) Dancer in the California Powwow Circuit from 1989-1995 and "Traditional Apache Shield Dancers" are rare. Because of this we grouped together and there were all of five of us in Northern California and Three in Southern California; I never heard of Blaise Loong during this time. Dancing and Running are primary physical activities in Apache Warrior Ways.
Blaise has not responded to a very friendly email I sent him when I found him on a search for others involved in Apache Warrior Ways. In that email I gave him my Credentials and offered to work with him and share knowledge. I can tell you first hand that any Apache who carries this Medicine is eager for company, we are rare due to the fact that there is not much use for War Medicine when we are not at war.
Native American Indian Civilizations are based on community, not being Rambo, this includes Warrior Ways. Blaise fails to address the importance of community and patriotism, the Monster Cycle of the Twin Warrior Gods, Preparation and Cleansing, and "The Four Laws," our equivalent of the Bushido Code.