How to Do Karate with the Hells Angels


Yes, I learned how to do Karate with the Hells Angels. I mention that fact every once in a while, but I rarely get into it. But it was an interesting experience which deserves a nod.
I studied at the Kang Duk Won, which was a form of Korean Karate, very pure, very pre-funakoshi, back in the sixties and seventies. I would drive my Volkswagon bug up the street, and there would be a row of choppers lined up at the curb in front of the karate dojo.
Took some getting used to, I was a white boy from suburbia, knew nothing about the world, and I was walking on to the mat to do martial arts, to learn Karate, with a bunch of certified murder-cyclists.
biker karate
Well, the truth, they were about the most polite people I have ever met.
And there wasn’t any bushwah or two faced nature to them. They shook hands, and unless you started acting weird, they treated you pretty darned good.
Of course, when you started to practice your karate moves with them it got pretty intense.
You were expected to hit hard, to put everything into your punch that the face could stand, and not one ounce over.
What was of extreme interest was the reality of the techniques. There were quite a few times I would be practicing a technique, and one of them bearded psychos would grumble up to me: “That ain’t gonna work.”
“Why not?” Blinking, all innocence.
“‘Cause I tried it last night. Didn’t work worth S***. But if you twist the arm when you’re pulling, he’ll fly right through the plate glass window.”
And then I would see a big happy grin, and I would know that somebody really did fly right through a big plate glass window.
Oddly, the things that sort of made me wonder, was that none of these guys ever made it to Black Belt. A couple of them made it to brown belt, but no further.
This was interesting, because you just know that to do Karate you have to be tough, right?
Well, there’s tough and then there’s making a statement. You see, when you do the martial arrts there comes a point at which you make a statement of self, where you sort of blink inwards, glow outwards, realize that ‘I am,’ and then your life is different.
And the different life had to do with virtue, honor, that sort of thing.
I’m not saying the Hells Angels don’t have virtue, amongst themselves there is nothing but virtue. But it is a different type of virtue, a quality that enhances the human being and makes him more than a man.
Unfortunately, the Angels I met couldn’t make this statement, so they never made black belt.
They were good, though, real good, and I remember that my experience with the outlaw bikers, when I learned how to do karate the real way, was one of the richest experiences of my life. You can learn about the karate system we studied at Monster Martial Arts.

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