Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where's My Website...http://thesearchforcountdante.com


Test bested. The site is back up and I am working on my new interviews. I am still getting these harassing emails but hey, walk in the forest bugs are going to annoy you. They are still God's creatures.

Now on to more serious stuff. I got interviews to arrange. Hopefully a few surprises will be forthcoming interview wise.

My initial assertion of Fair Use has been tested after being thrown off YouTube and having my site shut down. You would think they would see this as an opportunity. They do, as an opportunity to get rich. If you want be rich, if that is your sole purpose, then you work hard at what you do and build a solidly based infrastructure, do creative marketing and deliver superior services.

They need to talk to Sifi Dodaro about how that is done, not that I am saying he is rich. But he is very sucessful with his school and is really a true tribute to the kind of business acumen that Dante possessed. Two sides of John Keehan/Count Dante are at work here. Chicago had more John Keehan then we had of Count Dante, Fall Rive had all of the Count Dante Side. The sad man who got his best friend killed in an unwise act of bravado.

There are no heros in this story but the ones who continue the organization and entrepeneurial legacy of John Keehan/Count Dante. Preston Baker, Jimmy Jones, Tolo-Naa, Woody Edgell and Sifu Dodaro. These people and other students of Keehan have developed whole human beings with the martial arts as a principled foundation.

And in some cases they have not. But what do we do? Accentuate the positive. This negative stuff will wear a brother down.

1 comment:

Ed Brophy said...

I just starting looking at all this about Count Dante. It brings back a lot of old memories of Chicago.


I remember in 6th grade I use to go all the way to 79th and Ashland from 95th and Western on the bus. I worked for 5 years cleaning up Gene Wyka's DOJO. Coming from humble beginnings myself, I remember the nice duds John Keehan wore.

I was learning to be a greaser. I had always pictured myself wearing those Mohair sweaters and iridescent pants someday to pick up the babes like he did.

Although I made extra money making coffee, spit shining shoes, selling oriental concoctions of salve to heal and strengthen hands, and running errands among other things-- my Judo lessons were in exchange for clean-up work I did. My magnificent obsession(6th grade) though, was to someday be able break a brick with my hands.

When I told that to 5th degree Judo black belt and owner of the school, Gene Wyka, he threw a fit! He picked a brick up off the floor of the DOJO and slugged it with his fist and told me he never took karate. He also said he would fight ALI and felt he could win too.

Wyka never taught me Karate, but he did put me in that faithful state to break a brick.

He wanted me to get my Judo black belt at 16 and be an instructor.



People would shoot arrows directly at each other and snatch them out of the air. They would hold 5 bricks in their hands and break them with their forehead.

I learned to kiai (short shout) until I could lie flat on the mat and a 200 pound karate instructor would leap from above on my stomache.


Some guy named Jhoon Rhee use to come there sometimes with all these Okinama and Oriental guys doing demonstrations. It was a first class martial arts school.

There's no doubt if you were around these masters some of their attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs weren't going to wear off on you in one way or another.

My parents made me quit working there when the DOJO wars came out between these guys, although I never recall either of them speaking badly about each other.

I do remember John asking me one day if Wyka treated me okay. I have never seen more vicious fighters in my life than at that school where it was half Karate and half Judo.

I was rolling newspapers for the Chicago Daily News the day the headlines came out.


Keehan would pay me to run down to the restaurant below or walk USKA (baby lion mascot)sometimes until she got too big. He was a good tipper.

Wasn't Keehan's father a judge?


John Steven's(the Supreme court Judge) had a son who was also named John Stevens. He used to hang around, with Keehan once in while (if I'm not mistaken). I knew Stevens well, who was about 5 years older than me.

If the cops picked up Stevens for anything, they walked away like nothing happened.


That would have been around 95th and Ashland. I think Keehan had an apartment there for a while. Steven's was a Vietnam Nam Vet. He since passed away from cancer in Clearwater, Florida.