Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Beat Goes On. Progress continues

Well for those of you who keep writing to ask about the blog, here I am again. I slowed down the blog during the court case because of verbal attacks on informants I mentioned here. None of the people who provided me with information deserve to be lied about and ridiculed on 2 people in Fall RIver, MA ( that's right, 2 people) disagree with me about not making them a major part of the film: are angered because I would not pay them $10k to look at their archives with no list of cataloged materials; and hence they taken me to court to sue me for copyright infringement.

In spite of the Federal Court case lots of great progress in the work itself and in potential financing has occurred. I am very close to a deal now that the court case has published transcripts (118, 119) with the court opinions to date.

After a bureaucratic delay of almost a year we are back on track with the court and have a schedule worked out by the Judge to get us moving pretty rapidly. Our last court date was a few weeks ago. My attorneys, Anthony Falzone, and Julie Ahrens at Fair Use for Documentary Film Project and David Kluft at Foley Hoag in Boston filed for dismissal and Judge Mark Wolf made a decision on sanctions for Mr William V Aguair III, the plaintiff in the case.

The result? Judge Mark Wolf decided that it was too early for a dismissal and gave us the present schedule. Mr Aguiar has been ordered to pay a sanction of $3000.00 to me for failing to follow court orders. He pleaded hardship against these sanctions but this is how hardball is played and he started the game.

In a lot of ways this has been a big waste of my time and few resources. I have other projects I would like to move onto. My passion for the project is high as it has ever been. Information good nd bad keep pouring in whether I look for it or not. 80% is crap but that 20% of good stuff is really compelling. But I have had the opportunity to really dig deep into the nature of my subject, examine the promises mythic and real of pursuit of martial arts, and thoroughly examine the creation of an urban mythology first hand.

One of the people who has contacted me is David Flores, who studied with Count Dante as a child student. His father David J. Flores took him along to classes with Doug Dwyer and . David is wearing one of Ken Knudson's red satin Gi's from his Midwest Enterprises.

David discovered the my blog and website and contacted me. And provided me with the pictures you see here. I plan on interviewing him about his experiences as a child studying with Dante and his Chicago martial arts experiences

David's mom was a hairdresser who studied with the same instructor as Count dante on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Here is is an image of David J. at the 1967 Jhoon Rhee Washington DC Tournament attended by Bruce Lee and won by Chuck Norris. In 1964 Jhoon Rhee was one of the attendees of the 1st World Karate Tournament, in Chicago. At this same time , John Keehan was shaking up the Karate World by announcing a no-holds-barred, mixed martial arts event that was denounced by the nations top martial artists.

Ben Neverez is pictured at the right here circa 1964 in a picture given to me by David Florez. Navarrez ahd come to the US from Mexico City where he started studying Shotokan. When he came to Chicago in 1961 he began training with John Keehan/Count Dante and earned his Black Belt. Keehan helped him start his first school.

I met Chuck and Dean in Oak Park a few years back. They were looking for their biker karate instructor who taught them out of a garage. They subsequently found out their instructor was never trained by Count Dante, but by Doug Dwyer, I went out to Doug Dwyers house with them this past Saturday to watch them train. He is in amazing condition. He is working with some guys a bit younger than me wearing them out. Watching him hold that heavy bag while they kicked it gave ME pain. Dwyer had pictures of David J. Flores from back in the day.

Doug Dwyer is a well conditioned senior martial artist. Elderly is a term that does not quite apply to him. He continues to learn, Karate is still his passion. He is hoping to take a trip to train in Okinawa next year. He showed me some of the Monkey Dance, the Okinawan equivalent to Dante's Dance of Death. John Keehan added the drama necessary for marketing it to American 15 year olds. ;-)