MEMORIES: 1981 SILAT & PEKITI DEMO
Eddie Jafri, myself and Warren Brown during a performance at the June 1981 Philippine Independence Day celebration at the World Trade Center in NYC. Greg Alland is heard describing the action, where he mentions I was training some stunt men in LA.
A year before this demo, I was in California where I worked at Balisong, inc and trained some stuntmen for the group “Stunts Unlimited.” Bobby Bass was the main student from the group and taking private lessons from me and so he brought me along to watch Guro Dan Inosanto at his stunt test for the Bert Reynolds’ movie “Sharky’s Machine.” (I had a hand in making the balisong Guro Dan used to “cut off” the fingers of Reynold’s character in the movie while I was working at Balisong, inc.)
Guro Dan and Jeff Imada did a short demo for Reynolds as his stunt test. When they were done, Reynolds asked if he could attack Dan randomly and see if Dan could defend himself. (Meanwhile I’m trying to hide my grin thinking Bert has no idea who he is talking to). Bert took a stick and came at Dan with what looked like sport fencing moves. Dan just backed up and countered with several strikes and cuts for every one of Bert’s. Dan was using a rattan stick and an aluminum training knife.
Bert made a big lunge, charging in and Dan countered with a hip throw and threw Bert to the ground. He later said that as he saw Bert’s feet going through the air, he thought “Well, there goes my chance for getting this job.” Bert was good natured about this though and got up and told Dan that he was hired. As he looked down at his hand, Bert saw that there was blood coming from between his fingers. During the throw, Dan’s aluminum knife had stabbed him in the hand. (While the blade was dull, it did have a sharp point. ) Bert didn’t miss a beat, he just held his hand out while he continued to talk to Dan and waited for help to arrive. A second later, two beautiful blonds came running out of his trailer with a first aid kit and started to bandage Bert’s hand. Meanwhile, I’m thinking “Wow, this really is Hollywood!”
This was also the time when I taught my first seminar at Guro Dan’s school. Tuhon Gaje was visiting LA and was scheduled to teach a seminar at Dan’s school in Torrance, CA. When Leo fell ill, he asked me to go in his place. I had a great time and had an interesting experience at the school; but that’s a story for another day.
Train Hard-Train Smart,
Tuhon Bill McGrath