I recieved a videotape of fight footage from England. It contained old black and white footage of fights with legendary point fighter Joe Lewis offering commentary with an unidentified interviewer. During his fight with Victor Moore he starts talking about Count Dante.
Victor Moore was a student of Master Robert Trias as well. I have spoken with Mr. Moore and he tells me he used to train with Count Dante when they were both with Master Trias.
This is a transcript of that commentary below.
"...there was actually one up in chicago in 1966. That "Count Dante" thing? Robert Trias made him a third degree black belt, I guess, in that Kempo style that they were in?
Interviewer: That was Okinawan style...
Joe Lewis: Yeah, Trias was Shorin-ji, but Dante used to call that stuff Kempo and that's what he was doin'. And the next thing I know he was a "master"....Count Dante, you know.
Interviewer: John Keenan was his real name..
Joe Lewis: John KEE-han..
Interviewer: He was a hairdresser...
Joe Lewis: Yeah, a hairdresser. I remember watching him break bricks, he would lay two bricks flat against the ground, he wouldn't raise them up and he would hit the top and break both of them. He had hands like a woman, I used to talk about his hands, how could this guy hurt anybody with hands like that? But he sure could slap through those bricks.
I just wish people wouldn't hokey up karate with all this nonsense carnival act stuff."
I am working on gathering together a few of these fighters from those days to talk about Dante and get a real assessment of who he was and what they think, really happened.
More interest on the film for distribution is coming in. That is a great thing. But what I need is some production monies. I will be off to Las Vegas and London in November this month to interview some people related to the Dojo wars and the popular cultural legacy of Count Dante.