Count Dante’s Dance of Death!

Deadliest Man Alive…His Kata!

Count Dante, born as John Keehan, was the deadliest man alive. He could catch not just bullets, but BIG bullets….with his ears!

Okay, so I am kidding around. The fact of the matter is that John Keehan promoted himself as the Deadliest Man Alive. And, actually, before everybody said he was disrespected, he was respected! He taught people, he held tournaments, and people actually said he was pretty good!

One Bad Ass Mofo!

One Bad Ass Mofo!

Now, the dance of death was his signature move, or kata.

Actually, it seems to be some sort of a cousin to a long Kenpo technique. It is not a particularly useful technique, unless one takes it apart and uses the pieces in smaller self defense motions.

The Dance of Death wouldn’t work, for instance, if the opponent was fighting back. However, take some of those strikes by themselves, take them out of the stylized ritual and work them as strict self defense moves…they aren’t too bad.

No, you wouldn’t keep raking with your fingertips, and one would assume that if one was to rake in the first place, they would do a couple of years shaolin style training.

But, you might rake once, twist it into a grab, and do the deed pretty darn efficiently.

Here’s a description of the Dance of Death:

  • Step to the front.
  • Block the attacker’s punching arm.
  • At the same time do a palm heel strike to the chin.
  • Rake down on the enemy’s eyes.
  • Tiger claw strike to the cheek.
  • Tiger claw strike to the ear with other hand.
  • Arm block and throat strike.
  • Claw strike to rip the groin.
  • Elbow to the face or the solar plexus.
  • Knee strike while executing an elbow to the back of your enemy’s head.
  • Throw the enemy to the ground.
  • Break his elbow while hammer fisting his spine or neck.
  • Stomp on him, both feet.
  • Smash head down to the ground.
  • Twist him over and stomp with both feet.
  • Rip the mouth and lips open with claw.
  • Grab the ears and rip up.
  • Crush his head with your knee.
  • Step away from corpse and assume guard.

Here is a video from youtube:

So, practice it a while, see if it works, and, BTW, if you want some truly efficient martial arts, head for The karate there has been refined to only the effective moves, and is fast and easy to learn. It is definitely not comic book material.

zen martial arts

4 thoughts on “Count Dante’s Dance of Death!

  1. Matt Russo

    Definitely one of the stranger stories in martial arts.  ‘The most deadly man in the world is also a hairdresser’ was one article a newspaper had about him. His school had a feud with the Green Dragon Kung Fu studio (I think the same one that used to advertise videos for sale in IKF magazine) and they had a fight one night, this was back in the late sixties/early seventies.  Dante and his students stormed their school and Dante plucked out someone’s eye.  Dante’s student had a sword pierced through him and the student died on the pavement outside the school.  You can probably find the story online.  I think before that Dante tried to firebomb other rival martial arts schools.  His schools were known for being rowdy, or so it seems.  My kung fu teacher said he was the real deal.  There’s some person trying to make a movie about him also.


  2. Jerome Johnson

    I remember Count Dante…I always thought that promo was funny as hell! But secretly I did want to learn the dance of death! Watching him in action…I suddenly have Michael Jackson’s Beat it coming to mind! lol

  3. aganzul Post author

    It’s true. We knew it had to be a hokey gimmick, but how can you stop that yearning inside yourself? And then, these many years later to come across accounts that state that he actually was pretty good. Hmmm. Have yourself a great work out!


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