Archie at 73 - Sharing Wisdom

Archie at 73 Years Old

In the Pacific Northwest, Master Isidro Archibeque is a figure larger than life. He has been actively teaching in Western Washington for as long as anyone can remember, and today, though in his sunset years, he remains a figure larger than life. "Archie", as he prefers to be called is best know for his mastery of the Iron Hand. His feats have included driving nails through boards, breaking countless bricks, carrying a refrigerator up three flights of steps, penetrating sealed plastic soda bottles with his fingers, breaking rocks, bricks, boulders,...you get the picture! Once, to commemorate one of my promotions, he brought a 12"x12" piece of plywood, 1" inch thick (that's 9 layers of veneer!). It took two hits for him to do the break. I have never seen anyone else even attempt this.

If that were not enough, "Archie" is equally well known for his mastery of pressure points, joint locks, and fighting strategy. His art is a philosophy, requiring that each student return to nature, and develop a personal understanding and awareness of his or her integral package of instincts. His teaching is modeled on the psychology, behavior, and movement of animals...a return to the original inspirations for Martial Arts, as he would say. The name he has given to this philosophy is Gun-Fu, Animal Fighting Styles.

"Archie's" greatest fame came as a teacher to "teachers." Starting in the late 1970's, ranking Black Belts, and senior students from other styles began to seek "Archie" out, many choosing to stay and undergo an apprenticeship with this force of nature. Some of those persons are now recognized masters in their own styles, and freely acknowledge their debt to Master Archibeque.

After his retirement from active teaching in 2002, Master Archibeque continued his regular visits to schools and tournaments throughout the Pacific Northwest. In short, he went where welcomed, and freely shared all his knowledge and experience.

These clips were filmed at the Iron Crane Dojo on May 27, 2006. Archie had just turned 73 years old. The visit was unplanned, and it just so happened that a portable video camera was available. Adding to the aura of serendipity was the presence of Sifu's Russ Kauffroath; Luis Cruz-Vega; Roy Kauffroath and Bill Mc Cabe ... and some passing visitors from other classes. In short, it was a grand accident.

Because nothing was expected, and there were no time constraints, Master Archibeque patiently shared the nuances of his philosophy, while responding to all questions. We have taken the original video, and preserved the highlights of the event in the form of groupings by topic, allowing for your personal research into and understanding of this singular art of Gun-Fu.

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