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  1. Bolverk is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 6:05pm


     Style: Jeet Kune Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The End of the Original Karate of Japan

    Hank Slomanski. I am sure you have all heard of him. Before this man entered the Karate scene, asians believed that techniques were superior to the opponents size. Well, he proved each and everyone of them 100% wrong.

    In 1956 the course of Japanse Karate competitions were changed forever by a man named Hank Slomanski, who began training in Karate in 1955 at a Police station in Beppu Japan and later began training under O-Sensei Chitose, who sought him out. After only a year Hank Slomanski went on to compete in an International Karate Championship in Japan. Hank, who was one of the very first Americans to earn a Black Belt in Karate while training in Japan, was seen by the Japanese as another big, lumbering, dumb and slow competitor who would have no spirit when the fighting got tough. Which is interesting, since he started his training in Judo in 1946. Anyway, this estimation of his ability would go on to prove that old style martial arts was just plain Bullshido when compared to an American competitor.

    Hank Slomanski entered the competition floor and waited his turn. The next thing that happened was the complete and utter destruction of the Japanese martial arts myth that size does not matter, because superior technique and spirit will prevail!

    After Hank Slomanski bowed in for his match he began to systematically vanquish his opponents one after the other. He fought for 4-5 hours, bowing in, fighting a fresh opponent and then bowing out. He defeated each opponent by a full point, no half points. They were using a system that had no rounds and a match would end with a "ippon", full point, or two half points, regardless of time. Many of his opponents were knocked out, because a 130 pounder does not stand up so well against a 230 pound pure fighter who is in excellent condition. At the end of the first day, he was undefeated.

    On the next day of the tournament, the Japanese were scrambling to find someone to beat him. They brought forth their best and biggest fighters, their cream of the crop. By the end of the second day, they had no one left, and Hank Slomanski stood undefeated, inspite of six broken ribs. In all, he had defeated 119 or 126 opponents, depending on which source you go by. He was the International Champion of Karate, and the very first American to hold that title. And before returning to the United States, he was issued his go dan certificate from O-Sensei Chitose.

    The Japanese were in shambles, and it would take sometime before they recovered. The situation is best summed up by Shigeru Oyama, a student of Masutatsu Oyama, and also a fighter who had completed the 100 kumite, 100 straight wins in succession. He said, "I studied culture and technique (when I came here) because if I fight a 150-pound man in Japan and a 220-pound man here, the same technique does not work. You have to change how you generate power. Timing is everything. The power changes. I started everything over. If I hit a 220-pound guy -- I kick him in the face -- he is still standing. If I kick the 150-pound guy with the same kick, he is on the floor. My technique changed a lot when I came to the United States. The people are different -- they're big!"

    In the wake of Hank Slomanski's destruction of Japan's best and foremost karate-ka, the tournament hosts decided to make major changes in the rules. From that point the rules were restructured to include eliminations, where at the end of each round half the competition would be eliminated. And, even more importantly, weight divisions were established. Hank Slomanski had brought about the end of the Japanese Karate era where a competitor could actually earn more then 100 wins.

    Hank Slomanski went on to return to the United States and train students at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He trained some very familar names as well. Danny Inosanto trained with Hank Slomanski in Chito-ryu while stationed at Ft. Campbell. Also, Elvis Presley received his first Black Belt with Hank Slomanski, and it was a true Black Belt, Elvis kept his sho-dan certificate in his wallet until his death and often sported a Chito-ryu pin on his lapel.

    Hank Slomanski passed away on Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000 of pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years old and ended his life as a Reverand. After his retirement in 1966, he entered the Maranatha Eastern Orthodox Bible Seminary earning the Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Theology degree. Thereafter he was ordained as a Priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church of the East. His ministry focused on Christian counseling and Hospital Chaplainry while serving at the New Haven Memorial Church in Wilmington, N.C. and at Henrico Doctors Hospital Richmond Va. He earned a Doctor of Law degree with emphasis on Canon Law from the University of Los Angeles. He was a lifetime member of the National Chaplains Association, a charter member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and a Diplomat in the Association of Biblical Life Educators.

    Look him up on the internet and remember his name. He shall forever be the man who changed the face of Asian Martial Arts.
    Last edited by Bolverk; 10/03/2007 6:08pm at .
    Knowing it is not enough, we must apply.
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  2. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 6:26pm

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    tl;dr
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

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  3. Goju - Joe is offline
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    I am a Ninja bitches!! Deal with it

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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 6:31pm

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     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's a good read

    I mean I don't agree with he conclusions and such about how he changed Asian MA.

    being a point sparring champion even a hard contact point sparring champion is not the end all be all.

    also being the guy who gave Elvis his BB isn't exactly and accomplishment.

    Well it is but not for good reasons.

    Still an interesting piece
  4. Bolverk is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 6:37pm


     Style: Jeet Kune Do

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Soju - Joe
    It's a good read

    I mean I don't agree with he conclusions and such about how he changed Asian MA.

    being a point sparring champion even a hard contact point sparring champion is not the end all be all.

    also being the guy who gave Elvis his BB isn't exactly and accomplishment.

    Well it is but not for good reasons.

    Still an interesting piece
    Like I said, do a little reading on Hank Slomanski. He was a tough dude, who would only do full contact sparring in his class, with no protection. And, the kumite event was full contact as well. Hell, even the Japanese stood and took notice of the short comings of Karate, and changed. Just because you don't agree does not mean it isn't true. Danny Inosanto is a major source for much of the information, so I have little doubt of its authenticity.

    Even one of Mas Oyama's best students acknoweledged that he had to change his style and start over, due to American competitors.

    Japan also made the same miscalculation in Judo and lost the World Judo championships in 1961 and 1962 and the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo to a Dutchman named Anthony Geesink, and lost the Olympics again in 1972 to another Dutchman named Willem Ruska, Japan did not even place in the top eight.

    No, Hank changed the competition forever. Along with the face of martial arts. Let's give credit where credit is due.

    You can even find a recounting of how Elvis got his ass kicked in his first class by the top student of Hanks. He was beat down good, but still kept getting up. People like to make fun of the fact that Elvis had a Black Belt, but he was a real martial artist in Hank Slomanski's eyes, and Hank was the best in America at that time, and quite possibly the world.
    Last edited by Bolverk; 10/03/2007 6:48pm at .
    Knowing it is not enough, we must apply.
    Willing is not enough, we must do.

    Never approach a Bull from the front, a Horse from the rear, or a Fool from any direction!

    He who dares not offend cannot be honest. -- Thomas Payne
  5. Goju - Joe is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 7:20pm

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     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's not the historical facts but you hyperbole that I don't agree with.

    Making the Japanese believe in weight classes is interesting and good for him but it's hardly ground breaking

    Don Draeger is an example of an American who had more of a world wide impact. Same with Bruce Lee and Royce Gracie.

    Not trying to take away from the mans accomplishments just some of your over the top evaluation of his over all contribution.

    Things like
    "Along with the face of martial arts. "

    Again I'll point out a large man beating up a bunch of smaller men isn't exactly earth shattering news. Great that it made the Japanes realize that when skill is equal size and strength matters but really -whoopdy doo. It's not like 1950's America had an inferiority complex to Japan.

    Royce Gracie at 180 pounds choking out 300 pound men is an accomplishment that changed MA worldwide
  6. Goju - Joe is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 7:25pm

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     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Anyways I don't want to sound like a dick or say that it's not an interresting story or the guy wasn't influential for Karate in America for his time.
  7. cyril is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 8:20pm


     Style: No-Gi BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Soju - Joe
    Anyways I don't want to sound like a dick or say that it's not an interresting story or the guy wasn't influential for Karate in America for his time.
    I think (without reading further, i.e. with only the provided reading) that this man changed things just as much as Rickson Gracie did. Japan was #1 for studying martial arts at the time, and this changed the values of the top dog. When the values of the top dog changes, everything changes.

    Rickson started beating stronger people with super-choking. Suddenly there's more to a fight than punching people really hard. I'd say that they're an equal contribution in different ways. Whereas Hank made people realize that strength IS an issue when striking, Rickson showed that being a good striker isn't enough.
  8. kwoww is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 8:33pm


     Style: punching bag / crew jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Cool piece, but it's true there's some hyperbole going on there.
  9. ysc87 is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 9:09pm


     Style: crapp-lawl-ing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I won't say that Hank Slomanski wasn't a somewhat important figure in the world of Martial Arts, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    this man changed things just as much as Rickson Gracie did.
    ...no.
  10. cyril is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2007 11:33pm


     Style: No-Gi BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ysc87
    I won't say that Hank Slomanski wasn't a somewhat important figure in the world of Martial Arts, but...



    ...no.
    Nice rebuttle. Please back up with additional text.

    I would say that THOG is the most influential martial artist, since he started using rocks to hit people, rather than just his hands, but if I don't back it up, then you don't know what the hell I'm spewing.

    EDIT:

    Honestly, educate me. I really want to know your opinion on this. Plz?
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