Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Back from Vegas and the Amazing Michael Felkoff

Several weeks back I went out to CES to handle some business and also too time out to meet Master Michael Felkoff, formerly of Chicago. Master Felkoff is, along with Nganga Tolo-naa(Ray Cooper) a master of the "Secret Family Style of Yang" Tai Chi.

Master Felkoff was a friend of John Keehan's and accompanied him to the Green Dragon Society's Black Dragon Hall on the night of the Dojo/Dragon War, in his interview he said he went to act as a referee and to make sure no one got hurt too badly. In his interview he tells me it did not go as planned, as they were attacked as soon as they came through the door. No one tells the story the same...as can be expected, the audience will have to make up it's own mind. Felkoff was injured by a sword and a spear and escaped arrest. He was a witness and did testify in court. He is yet another person to talk about pictures in the newspaper from the fight and images of the weapons. A Green Dragon says it was in the Sun-Times and New York Times. Felkoff says, Sun-Times. I am thinking more like The Chicago American or Chicago Daily News, two evening papers if my memory serves me right. The story may have broke too late for the morning edition and made it into the evening papers with pictures. Back to the library I go.

Master Felkoff was not a student of John's but was a contemporary. Felkoff tells about having the audacity to walk into John's Dojo with his shoes on to instigate a challenge during one of John's classes.

Master Felkoff's history in the martial arts begins in the early 1950's at the Uptown Boys Club here in Chicago. He learns jui-jitsu under the guidence of a Japanese Sensei Mori, who had been in the detention camps during World War II.

He later joins the Military and becomes a special operative in the early stages of the Viet Nam War. While in Hawaii recovering from injuries he begins to study with Keith See a disciple of Adriano Emperado Kajukenpo. Keith See is also his adopted brother.

Master Felkoff is quite a character and is a joy to listen to. He is clear and non-evasive about most questions. Truly a singular personality. You can see an excerpt of the interview on the website.

As I was leaving for the airport Master Felkoff gave me a copy of his nicely produced DVD titled The Seven Golden Movements of China. Very nice, and it features Nganga Tolo-naa(Ray Cooper doing forms. Professor Huo Chi-Kwang is a very important figure, having brought the Secret Family Style of Yang to Chicago and also for his knowledge and teaching of healing arts and Taoism in the Chicago area.

There is lots more to tell but I have to keep some secrets. And I like to keep my confidences until I make solid contacts and get an interview on tape. I have been getting calls constantly and emails with pertinent information as far away as the Netherlands. I got a few names that are possibly the identities of the US Marine team that went up against the Black Muslim Team during the second World's Tournament. I also got a reference to the arms running to Castro and now I have a name for it, Operation Water Buffalo. Now did John Keehan have any part in it? We will see.