"serendipity" --- The faculty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
Sifu Charles Wilk remembers, "...I was 19 or 20 years old at the time. Although I was a student at Evergreen during this period, the demo actually took place at South Puget Sound Community College. I was teaching a gung fu class at the college, part of their physical education program. I had been learning with Archie for several years and we had just finished a lesson out at his place. I asked him if he would like to come along with me and show his stuff to the students at the college. He happily agreed and the rest is on the tape. We really had fun that night....He liked to do demos with me and we did quite a few of them. Archie liked my 'gung fu' and always gave me praise on my developing skills. Of course he would tease me at the same time. 'Your stance is too wide,' and 'You kick too high, you are going to end up on the ground!', and such. The 'old man' took good care of me. He wanted me to learn the martial arts inside and out. Nothing was ever the same and I never knew what I was in for when I would go to visit Archibeque. Good times!"
Little is known regarding the photographer, and all that remains of the original film is a handful of first generation copies. Not long after it was made, I worked with several other students, compiling an archive of early films, from this demo and other events, including some footage of the original "ninja camp", and preserved them on the Gun Fu Record Tape.
Now, many years later, the tape is deteriorating. Given the limitations of the early generation camcorder used in filming the demo, even the original images lacked the crystal clarity characteristic of today's cameras. Using our limited resources, I offloaded major demo highlights from the Record tape, cleaned the images to the extent our equipment allowed, and present them now for your enjoyment.
Sifu Charles Wilk (visible in the clips), though only a young man at the time, eventually became a recognized Master, and heads Black Dragon Kung Fu of Portland. He has achieved advanced levels in Aikijujitsu and several other Gung Fu styles. We celebrate his youthful enthusiasm, so obvious on the clips, and commemorate his evolution and growth in the martial arts by also sharing his performances of "Dragon Breathing", and "The Black Dragon Form."
Grandmaster Isidro Archibeque was born May 12, 1933. Though quite a bit older today, his skills remain at the highest level, and he can be found frequenting the schools of his students. He continues to live in Tumwater, Washington with his wife Lois, and family. He loves to hear from his many admirers!
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The original video has now been enhanced and digitized. It is provided below in three sections, each approximately 10 minutes long, for your review and enjoyment.