Posted On:10/01/2008 10:49am
Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
is well worth checking out. Lots of videos and history and personalities. Peter G. Urban and Goju are featured a lot and there's lots of old articles, magazine covers, gossip and trivial.
Here's a small sample of a very large site (warning, even with high speed, it took some time to download, the phone guys might not want to try).
Picture it, around 10:00 pm I receive a phone call from John LiButti's brother Frank, informing me that John had been in a motorcycle accident and was in St. Vincent's Hospital in the intensive care ward. John's leg had been amputated and irreparable damage had been done to his arm. They did not know if he was going to survive. I went to the hospital to see him in the morning. He was laying there in intensive care, literally torn apart both physically and mentally. No matter what I said to him made no difference. He had "nothing left to live for," were his only words.
I was at a total loss for ideas when all of a sudden I remembered watching a man named Ted Vollrath do a demo at Aaron Banks' Oriental World Of Self Defense at Madison Square Garden years before. Ted Vollrath had lost both of his legs while fighting in the Korean War as a US Marine. He began martial arts training in 1967 and is concidered the first person to reach black belt level from a wheel chair. During the demonstration that I had remembered seeing, he performed very impressive technique against multiple attackers from his wheel chair. Using his arms to boost himself outward, he used his stumps to kick with. He leapt from the chair and continued fighting from the floor. He also leapt from the chair and broke an impressive stack of cement slabs!
It had been many years since I had witnessed the demo, and having no idea of his ware bouts I began my search. Visiting the popular NYC martial arts store Honda, I thought that I had struck gold running into Aaron Banks, but alas, he did not know where Ted Vollrath could be found. He did tell me that he was somewhere in Pennsylvania though. I called George Dillman, but once again was told that no phone number or location was known. Then it occured to me, duhhhhhhhhhh, to look up his phone number through Pennsylvania's 411. Bingo!
I called the number that they gave me, saying a quick prayer and holding my breath, and the next thing you know, I had his wife on the line, asking me to hold on while she got him for me. After introducing myself briefly, I commenced to tell him about John's accident, and explained the situation. Grand Master Vollrath explained to me that he had formed an organization to help people in such positions, and told me that if I gave him my location that he and his black belts would drive up and meet with John and I the next day! Here we had a man, with his own health problems and physical situation, who had just agreed to make a trip that would take many hours, to lend a helping hand.
The following day, I met Grand Master Vollrath and his people at an exit off of New Jersey Turnpike, and lead them into New York City, and to St. Vincent's Hospital. This time when I entered the hospital, I had a much more confidant feeling of being able to help. Reinforcements had arrived!
John had been moved to a private room. I stuck my head into the doorway, and after saying Osu! I told him that I had a little surprise for him.
You had to see the look on John's face when Grand Master Vollrath wheeled himself into the room.
After introducing them, I stepped back and let the master do his magic. He accepted absolutely no negative attitude from John about the situation, telling him that if he could become a grand master in his condition, then John had no excuses! I stood there and watched a hopeless person's metomorphosis into someone who later got in trouble at the hospital for instigating wheel chair races in the hall way!
Unfortunately, Grand Master Ted Vollrath passed away on November 18, 2001.
Yes ladies and gentleman, it's campy, it's low budget, it's chop socky, but it's Ted Vollrath and that makes up for it. So with no further ado, I give you Mr. No Legs.
YouTube - Mr. No Legs
"Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
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