the Looking Glass
Over the years since we
first went on line we’ve received considerable feedback
on the several articles describing Master Archibeque s training
philosophy and techniques .
In response to requests
for more information on how Master Archibeque taught and
trained in the old days, I researched our archives
hoping to surface whatever photographs remained in our
files from those early days. Luckily, I was able to find
enough archival material to take you back in spirit and
give you a bird’s eye view of how we trained under his
inspiration and guidance.
It must be remembered these photographs
were taken before the advent of camcorders and digital
photography. It was a complicated process, expensive and
time consuming. As I interrupted class for my
photographs, I frequently had to respond to, “Must you
take so many photos?” No one, including me, recognized
we were preserving something important for posterity.
Even now, it s hard to explain why I walked around with
the blasted camera, forever looking for opportunities to
shoot interesting new concepts. Primarily, it was for
personal use. In later years, it was to document
articles I had written for various magazines.
In retrospect, we should
have taken more photographs...many more.
Most were taken by
myself, as we trained. I took hundreds, perhaps
thousands of black-and-white photographs, in many
respects documenting the martial arts scene throughout
the Pacific Northwest. Even though I rolled my own
canisters from bulk film supplies, and processed and
printed in my own darkroom, the cost ultimately became
prohibitively expensive. Sadly, much of what transpired
in those days is preserved only in the recollections of
those who participated, and in what lives on in the
teachings of those who perpetuate the art of Gun Fu.
Those of us sharing an
extended history working with Master Archibeque often
reminisce about the old days, and the many years we
trained to the limit, before the school became public,
and subject to the many concerns regarding liability in
a litigious world.
We joke about working
out on the icy ground, the gravel driveway, drenched in
the pouring rain, covered in mud, dodging Rosie the cow,
and nearly dropping from heat exhaustion during the 12
hour , midsummer workouts. In those days, seasoning
meant direct exposure to the environment while actively
training, and was integral to the quality of our
While we all loved the
physical dojo, and recognized its importance to Archie
in honoring his lifetime achievement and
contribution to the martial arts, those of us who tasted
the old ways, never left the true road.
Fortunately, the images I
ve been able to locate are significant.
I have grouped the
photographs into multiple topical categories and will
add my own recollections with a presentation of the
photographs to take you back in time and, for a few
moments, share with you the opportunity of experiencing
a singularly unique martial arts experience.
Join me if you will, as
we peer back through the looking Glass!
Please...if you like coming, lend your
support! If you benefit from what you find here,
show your appreciation with a contribution.
Doing so will assure our continued presence on line,
and expansion into new areas of interest over
time. We have many plans and ideas for the
future, but will require significant upgrades in video
recording equipment, software and computer hardware,
on top of the increasing expenses for web volume and
throughput. As it stands, we are extended to the
limit of available resources.
Cast your vote with a donation!
WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!!!
Please note that Iron Crane Dojo is not a “not for
profit” organization. Donations are not tax
deductible. Whether you able to donate or not,
please understand you will remain our friend and
continue to be welcomed at Iron Crane Dojo.