Through the Looking Glass

Through 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.

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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 lessons.
 

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!


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