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Curtis Wong on Juko-Ryu Combat Ki

Due to the tremendous amount of world-wide interest in Rod Sacharnoski’s Combat-Ki™ system, we thought that browsers would enjoy reading an interview with Curtis Wong, Publisher of Inside Kung-Fu and Inside Karate magazines (to name but a few), who also appeared in several episodes of the highly popular “Kung-Fu” series with David Carradine.  This excerpt is from the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Volume 9, Number 3, 2000. The entire article is 19 pages long, so we’ll pick up on where he begins to speak of Soke Sacharnoski and his demo team… 

Question: Is there anything that stood out in a phenomenal way about people you met over the years? 

Yeah, Rod Sacharnoski.  His group used to write to us at the office. They would claim that he could take a full hit to the throat….you know, punches and kicks to the temple.  “You can kick him directly in the groin.”  I said “this guys gotta be a wacko.”  We never responded.  Then one day three guys showed up in my office on a Saturday.  Nice guys, dressed up in suits.  One guy says his name is Rod Sacharnoski, and said he’s the one that has been writing to us and we never wrote back.  I said “Oh, man, this guy’s a nut case here!”  But he’s a real gentleman.  All the guys there were really, really nice people.  Where are they from?  What’s their background?  He was a Chief of Police back East somewhere.  I can’t remember the state.  They may be jujitsu people.  And they started doing little demos in my office.  Sacharnoski asked one of the guys to whack him right in the temple. I told him “Don’t do that here.”  I’m thinking lawsuit.  I said “I’ll tell you what.  Tomorrow I’ll get some of the top black belts here to witness all this.” So they said “Ok, fine.”

So I got Tadashi Yamashita, Ed Parker, I think Mike Stone, Tino Tuliosega…some of the key guys.  I tried to get a lot more but it was a last minute notice.  Everyone witnessed the whole demonstration, and Ed Parker’s black belt, Tino, had a big Samoan guy that was a black belt.  These are the guys that hit their guys in the temple and kicked them in the groin.  It didn’t even faze them.  I remember afterwards, Ed Parker took off and he called me later at the office and he said “Who are these guys?”  It scared the heck out of him.  He’d never seen anything like that before.  Did they give any indication of how they learned to do this?  Well, they tried to explain it, but we couldn’t grasp it.  That was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen!  It would be different if their students hit their own masters.  They could fake it.  But it was our guys, as a matter of fact, even James was one of the guys that hit Sacharnoski.  One guy was hit in the front of the throat, the other guy was hitting the guy in the back of the neck, another two guys were hitting the side of the neck at the same time…full-blast.  The guy just stood there.  It was unreal.  They couldn’t even knock Sacharnoski off-balance.  Oh, you could knock him off balance, but that’s what I asked him, I said “Ok, if you hit a guy and the guy takes a punch and goes back a little bit, you know from the punch…” and he said, “oh, no, put the guys head against the wall.”  And the guy started kicking him on the head.  That was a scary thing.  I mean the guy got on his knees and put his head against the wall and this guy side-kicked him on the temple.  There’s no place to go.  We all had chills (laughter).  It’s unbelievable!  Then one guy got in the horse stance, a wide horse stance, and was kicked straight up on the balls until he lifted the guy up, and that’s amazing.  It wasn’t a trick.  That’s probably one of the best demos I’ve ever seen. 

Question: Did you ever do an article on these guys? 

Oh, yeah, quite a few articles and people didn’t believe it. They were even featured on the Wide World of Sports on television when they had this big tournament coverage.  I think it was aired in a big tournament in New York. They did a demo there and people wrote in saying it’s fake, but it wasn’t.

*The initial exhibition that Curtis spoke of took place in 1974 in the Hollywood offices of Inside Kung-Fu magazine.  This demo was featured in an Inside Kung-Fu magazine shortly thereafter, with Rod Sacharnoski appearing on the front cover. This was one of several articles that Rod Sacharnoski did for Inside Kung-Fu and their other publications. 

*The ABC’s Wide World Of Sports exhibition that Curtis referred to took place in 1974 at Madison Square Garden, New York City.  This event took place before a packed house, and was the first public exhibition that Professor Sacharnoski and his team completed that was aired on national television (ABC’s Wide World Of Sports).  Joe Hess, (6’5” or so) who at that time was the World Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion, did the actual punching and kicking on Rod’s students.  Look for Soke Sacharnoski’s Combat-Ki™ exhibitions on such nationally televised programs as You Asked For It, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Seeing Is Believing, The Learning Channels Ultimate 10 Martial Arts, The Discovery Channel’s Way of the Warrior, Univision,  with others on the way.  Hope you enjoyed this part of Curtis Wong’s interview.