Tag Archives: bob babich karate

After 50 Years He Passes his Black Belt Test!

Newsletter 972

Can You Believe It? This Guy Got a Black Belt!

The guy’s name is Russ Holder,
and his earning a black belt is definitely
one of the sweetest wins I have ever had
since I started the martial arts back in 1967.

Russ sent me an email a few years back,
it concerned the Kang Duk Won.
Kang Duk Won means ‘House for Espousing Virtue.’
I had studied kenpo for a few years,
then a friend took me to the Kang Duk Won
and the top of my head blew right off.
I had never even imagined an energy like this school.

The instructor,
Robert J. (Bob) Babich
was simply the best martial artist I have ever seen.
After 50 years experience,
and having seen and met a LOT of martial artists,
after working for the mags,
this is quite a statement.

And the people at the Kang Duk Won,
MG!
This was before the MA got popular,
there were no strip mall dojos,
and only the most diligent,
hard working,
Craziest people studied there.
I drove fifty miles for a class,
suffered bone bruises, contusions,
and definitely a few concussions.
And loved it,
and never wanted it to end.

Bob had studied with Don Buck,
and Mas Oyama,
and he conducted classes that were totally unbelievable.
And this bozo guy,
this Russ fellow,
wrote me and said,
‘Hey, we probably worked out together.’
And,
comparing notes,
it was obvious we worked out together.
He knew about the sweat,
the pain in the bones,
the unbelievable exhilaration
one of Bob’s work outs created.

So we have talked over the years,
shared stories,
taken each other back to that point in our lives
where everything mattered,
and nothing mattered.

Russ was a biker,
(is a biker!)
one of those guys that the newspapers slandered,
but who you could trust with your life.
A man as good as his word,
and worth more than a handshake.

So go here…

http://www.russellrazholder.com/eventpics/Karate_idx/2019/190529_1stDegreeBlackBeltTest.php

Poke around,
see the pics,
read the wins.
It only took Russ 50 years,
but he earned his black belt.

So many people start and quit.
So many people are in it because ‘it’s cool.’
Russ was in it for the art.
something was boiling in his bones,
and it came out after 50 years,
50 years to black belt,
but what a journey, eh?

Congrats, Russ.
You are old school and more than cool.
And I hope that people understand what you’ve done.
A humble bow to you.

Here’s a website I set up to teach the Kang Duk Won,

http://kangdukwon.com

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

Hi Al,

Your Kang Duk Won orange-belt course is amazing!

People say that kids are supposed to learn faster than adults, and
that is generally true. But I have the feeling that I’m learning way
faster than when I was a kid!
It is not astonishing, I can train when I want, I can “see the
teacher” showing me” the forms and techniques as many time I want,
thus I’m more motivated and there is no culpability with missing a
lesson or anything.

Plus, Your course is clear and complete. For the first time, I came to
really understand, and see the usefulness, of what I’m doing! It is
very simple yet very complete, a true joy to go trough.  What a change
for me!

“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
– Bruce Lee

New Kwon Bup Karate Book

Karate Encyclopedia Going Great Guns!

Got a new martial arts book out.
Actually,
it was available in Evolution of an Art,
but I couldn’t get it on Kindle,
and I finally managed to get a real, live paperback version!
So
click on the side bar cover image on the Monster, or just go to

http://www.amazon.com/Kwon-American-Karate-Alton-Case/dp/1494995549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391376085&sr=8-1&keywords=kwon+bup+al+case

Now,
a few words about what Kwon Bup is.

When I went to the Kang Duk Won
it was pretty unique.
The owner,
Bob Babich,
had walked on on tournaments,
caused a ruckus that did,
everybody wanted to push the tournament,
a lot of community spirit,
and Bob just stood up and walked out,
and all his students followed him.
Why?
Because it was bogus.
Not real.
Decisions made by favoritism,
decisions made by people
who wouldn’t know a real technique if they saw it.

And,
because of this and other things,
such as the fact that Bob taught outlaw bikers,
gave him a ‘bad’ rep.

And outlaw school.
a rogue school.
Only bad people go there.
Yet,
on any good day,
you would see people from other martial arts schools
come down to see the class.
I was shocked,
one day,
when Ralphie Vallederez (sp, sorry)
the guy who had won the California Karate Tournament one year,
and who happened to be the big gun at my Kenpo school,
showed up to watch a class.

And,
for those who think we were crazies,
unwashed and disrespectful,
Bob studied with Don Buck,
who happened to be Mas Oyama’s favorite American student.
And when you walked into the dojo,
you bowed,
you were polite,
and you never lost your temper,
period.

It was quite the sight,
to see all these Hell’s Angeles,
standing so polite,
talking to Bob.

Not because he was a brutal a-hole who would knock the crap out of you.
But because when he started getting more polite,
you perked up,
something was wrong.
When Bob was upset
(almost never)
he would speak softer and softer,
almost whispering,
could’t hear him,
but you suddenly felt like your bowels were going to loose.

I remember one time
I was on the left side of Bob
during a class,
and Mud Car was ont he right.
Mud Car was our resident crazy.
He was just loopy,
looney tunes.
I’ll tell you about what a wacko he was some time,
but
during that class,
Bob really into it,
pushing,
and every feeling the push,
getting the pure art
worked into their bones,
really in heaven,
and suddenly Mud Car says,
“Hey Bob,
I have a pain right here,
on my shin.
Doesn’t hurt a lot,
but it comes and goes,
pinches,
really.
Do you know what I can do about that?”

POOF!
The magic evaporated,
everything went.
The plug was pulled and the intensity disappeared.

And,
believe me,
this really was a spiritual moment crushed.

And Bob turns to me and snarls,
“You could hit it with a lead pipe!”

He didn’t say it to Mud Car,
because it would have been wasted,
and maybe because Mud Car deserved to be knocked down,
and Bob wasn’t that kind of guy.

But I,
feeling the rage of that moment,
was absolutely frozen.
Couldn’t move.
Not terrified,
just so stunned I was incapable.

Bob continued,
and I managed to somehow move,
after everybody,
not even knowing what I was doing,
just copying somebody,
stunned and brain dead.

I never wanted to see him mad,
ever.

And,
that was the only time I ever saw the tip of that iceberg.
I saw him talk soft,
and that wasn’t so bad.

One time I used poor control,
after class he came up and spoke softly to me,
“Your control wasn’t good.”

Man,
I turned into a blithering idiot,
I could feel the weight of the world on me.
“I’m sorry,
I got excited, I–”
He stopped me with,
“Don’t worry. Just watch yourself.”

I have watched myself for forty years because of that whisper.

Anyway,
I could go on and on,
really golden times,
but…

After I left the Kang Duk Won
I started a project
of recording the art.
But,
after teaching for a while,
and realizing certain things,
and coming across variations of the Kang Duk Won,
I realized that I had been learning two arts.
One was the Kang Duk Won.
The other I called Kwon Bup.
It was the art practiced by Bob,
developed by Bob,
and put into the Kang Duk Won.

Now,
it is said that only a person with several decades experience
can hope to make an art.
And then,
that person has to be of rare quality.

Bingo and bingo.
Aside from a politeness
that made gentlemen out of Hell’s Angels,
Bob had the most immaculate technique I have ever seen
and I have seen a lot in nearly fifty years of studying
every martial art I could.

So I wrote the Kwon Bup book.
It is the forms and techniques
of the best martial artist I have ever seen.
This is a guy who could thrust his finger through a board,
and not break it,
but leave a hole.

Very few people have ever done that,
and I don’t know of any in America.

So,
now you know what I am pushing,
higher abilities,
politeness,
a very rarified realm of Martial Arts.

And,
I’ve got a few more books coming out
in the next couple of months.
The ones I’m working on right now,
however,
are in the vein of evolution of an art.

Pan Gai Noon for the china to Okinawan connection
Kang Duk Won for the pure Karate pre-Funakoshi
Kwon Bup for the American translation
Outlaw Karate for work I did on synthesizing KDW and KB,
and Buddha Crane for the Matrixing breakthrough.

A complete history,
not in talk,
but in technique.
An encyclopedia for the faithful.

Okily donkey,
there you go,
hope you like it…

http://www.amazon.com/Kwon-American-Karate-Alton-Case/dp/1494995549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391376085&sr=8-1&keywords=kwon+bup+al+case

Now,
while you’re looking at that,
I’m getting back to work.
Have a great work out!

Al