Ashida Kim,

the Man behind the Legend

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Rev. Dr. Donald Miskel Black Dragon Fighting Society Head of Family

13th Day of the 1st Month Year of the Dog

I am a prolific writer though Iíve never been overly concerned with publishing. Actually itís impossible to do as much writing as I do and not end up with something in publication. To date I have one book, quite a bit of prose and poetry, several short stories and perhaps a couple of hundred articles in publication. Aside from that I have a lot of unpublished material in existence including several novel length manuscripts that Iím too lazy to proof read for possible publication. Really Iíve been too busy with my ministry, continuing my education (a never ending process) and running a couple of martial art organizations. In several of the short stories Iíve written Iíve shared my belief that there is a thread of truth in every legend, myth, superstition or tall tale. One just has to know where to look to find that hidden truth and then upon finding it one would have to be able to separate the fact from fancy. I would like to do a brief exposeí on one such legend.

There are a number of controversial individuals in the martial arts. As the head of the IFAA Black Dragon Fighting Society I am acquainted and associated with several. Knowing several of these individuals personally I am privileged to be in a position to separate the men from the myths. One such individuals, and I might say one who is dear to my heart, is Grandmaster Ashida Kim.

Loved and venerated by some and misunderstood and hated by others is this quiet, sharply intelligent and should he care to be a very dangerous individual Ashida Kim is actually one of the real gentlemen of the martial arts. Along with his extensive knowledge and skill in the martial arts he has a background as a magician, illusionist and showman. As a practitioner of ninpo, or ninjitsu all of that has become interwoven in his mystique. Ashida Kim is at the same time an easily approachable and elusive character, all of which fits seamlessly into his persona of the ninja master.

In these modern times certain individuals have tried to make ninjitsu something that it was never intended to be. There were as many incarnations of the art or rather the non art as there were practitioners and ninja clans. There was no one pat definition of what comprised a ninja or ninjitsu. Some individuals have tried to rewrite history and make the ninja into a romantic and heroic character steeped in the philosophy of bushido, the samurai code of conduct and honor. That never was ninjitsu. Ninjitsu existed in shade and shadows and its proponents were as shadowy as the arts they practiced.
      I have been active in the martial arts since the mid fifties and prior to Ronald Duncan and yes, Ashida Kim I had never heard of ninjitsu. Before I knew of Master Hatsumi or Stephan Hayes Master Duncan and Ashida Kim were ninjitsu to my limited knowledge. Unknowingly I had studied with an individual who taught some facets of ninpo without knowing its origin or what it was. Along with kobudo my aikijitsu instructor taught the shuriken, shaken and manriki gasari. I came to find out well after his death that he had been introduced to those implements by a ninjitsu master when he served in Japan late in the occupation of Japan.
      I knew of Ashida Kim long before I actually met him. I had heard a few things about him in the early seventies when he did some cursory training with John Keehan during the infamous Democratic Convention in nineteen sixty eight. He came to my attention again in around twenty eleven during one of the Black Dragon conventions. I was immediately impressed with his character, knowledge, skill and cool persona. In my mind he had the carriage of the consummate martial artist. In my martial art career I studied with several Japanese, Oninawan and Chinese masters, several in the birthplaces of the arts that I studied. They had the same calm persona and balanced aura about them that I see in Ashida Kim. In my mind that speaks more of mastery than a powerful throw or strike or a nasty arm lock, all of which Ashida possesses, by the way.
      Ashida was an army brat. He spent much of his youth living on some army base or another. While many of us were playing cowboys and Indians Ashida was dabbling with judo, jiujitsu and whatever unarmed combat training he had access to. He was initially a judoka. Looking back his background was a lot like my own initially. My father was a WW II marine M.P. and taught the U.S. militaryís combat judo and hand to hand combat. My first exposure to the martial arts was through my father. Ashida was introduced to some of the same things at some of the same times as myself. That gives him over sixty years in the martial arts.
      Because of the similarities of what we studied and what was available for Americans at the time our arts would probably have been pretty similar but along the way our training branched into different paths. I discovered chaun fa and Okinawa kempo and Ashida was introduced to ninjitsu. Because of our early training in what were less than popular arts and our longevity Iím told that we are pioneers in the martial arts. That might be questionable in my instance but Ashida was certainly a pioneer in what was to become a martial art trend. The trend came and went and kick boxing and mixed martial arts became the flavor of the day but Ashida stayed the course. He had found his niche and though he has studied additional arts he hasnít wavered from it.
      Iím a minister and pastor and Iím thought to be pretty calm and centered but because of my past experiences and where I grew up I can become pretty volatile if I feel that Iím threatened or challenged. Ashida on the other hand seems to have that air of perpetual calm that is often associated with martial artists. Which just goes to show you that things arenít always what they seem. With all of my aggression Iíd probably be less likely to peel your head than Ashida will. Heís pretty calm if allowed to be but he is a martial artist and he doesnít intimidate well. There have been occasions when I, with my Chicago back alley attitude, have had to almost sit on Ashida to stop him from giving someone a well deserved attitude adjustment. Ashida may be quiet and outwardly calm but he possesses some real combat prowess and he will fight.
      Many people tend to judge others by what theyíve heard or what someone told them. Some people donít like or agree with someone elseís lifestyle or personality. Some people donít like or appreciate what some other people do. All of that is well and good as long as they donít physically confront that person. People have a right to be what they want to be however they want to be it. Ashida chooses to be Ashida. Some donít like it. Some donít appreciate it and some donít understand it. None of which phases Ashida Kim. However physical confrontation probably wouldnít be the best idea. If you dislike him I would advise that you dislike him at a distance. All of the opinions of Ashida Kim are based on rumors, opinions or supposition. I donít concern myself with the authenticity of a manís lineage. I look at his martial prowess. I have an advantage over most of the nay sayers. Iíve seen Ashida fight. It ainít pretty but I wouldnít want to be on the receiving end of it.
      Lastly I would like to speak on legacies. As martial art masters and grandmasters Iím sure that we all want to leave behind a legacy; something that will live on after weíre gone. I strive hard to do that. Ashida already has. For all practical purposes Ashida Kim is the father or better yet the grandfather of ninjitsu in South Africa and ninjitsu is a very popular and prevalent style of martial art there. They have some serious practitioners there and most draw their lineage from the training of Ashida Kim. Iíll say to the trolls out there, top that. When you do come and talk to me and maybe Iíll listen to what you have to say.
      Iíll end this by saying that Iím not that impressed with many martial artists. I am impressed with my brother and friend, Ashida Kim. He and I are the same age which means weíve become elder statesmen in the martial arts. Our role is to be mentors and teachers to those who are following in our footsteps. Iíll say to those who have questioned Grandmaster Ashida Kims authenticity to look beyond the things youíve heard. Meet the man behind the myth. Sit down. Talk to him. You might be pleasantly surprised and if you open your closed mind you might learn something.

Rev. Dr. Donald Miskel

      And for you idiots out there that have questioned my education I am both a licensed and ordained minister and pastor, a retired psych professional and a provost professor at a university in the Chicago area. And, yes, I have several honorariums but aside from that I have a masterís and two doctorates from an actual university. A fool speaks without knowing what it is he speaks of. Not fussing but just saying.

Ashida Kim, Paul Dyer, Dr. Miskel Atlantic City Expo; January 2018

      Master Kim was recently honored at Alan Goldberg's Atlantic City Martial Arts Expo with the Platinum Award for sixty years of training in martial arts. Here he is seen at the evening banquet accepting the award with Dr. Paul W Dyer has been studying and practicing the human condition and martial arts for over 40 years.

      He has earned two PhDís one Martial Science and the other In Alternative†Medicines and is currently working on his third in Metaphysics counseling. He has written three books on energy and changing your life. He is†Grandmaster of Martial Arts and is constant practitioner of life and energy forces. He is the founder of the martial art called Mukan-Da.

      He is a certified Life and Wellness Personal fitness Coach and he also is the owner and operator of Healthy Life Choice Center and Dakota Dragon Defense that is located in Fargo, North Dakota. †

Ashida Kim with Dr. Bob Goldman, Prof. David Furie, Mark Henry and host Alan Goldberg

      Dr. Bob Goldman Dr. Goldman is a 6th degree Black Belt in Karate, Chinese weapons expert, and world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records and has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of his past performance records include 13,500 consecutive straight leg situps and 321 consecutive handstand pushups. Dr. Goldman was an All-College athlete in four sports, a three-time winner of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Physical Fitness Award, was voted Athlete of the Year, was the recipient of the Champions Award and was inducted into the World Hall of Fame of Physical Fitness, as well as induction into numerous Martial Arts Hall of Fames in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. He founded the International Sports Hall of Fame, recognizing the worldís greatest sports legends, with ceremonies held annually at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival the largest sports festival in the world, with over 200,000 participants, 70+ sports represented and over 20,000 competing athletes, making it double the size of the Olympic Games.

      Prof. David Furie is the Training Master at the Fight Factory gym located in the heart of Brooklyn that has a unique layout; it is divided in six zones. Each zone is dedicated to its unique disciplines and trainings run simultaneously by different instructors, who only specialize in one particular discipline. Three full size boxing rings are assigned to boxing and Muay Thai training, and kickboxing are surrounded by a large variety of punching bags. Two huge wrestling mats, one Judo area, one Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial arts area. Free weight area with TRX training and second floor with full equipped treadmills, elliptical and cable crosses machine. "You can improve your stamina, endurance, and fighting skills with us. And our professional trainers will help you at any level. If you like to participate in competitions, we can make it happen, only at our gym, best in Brooklyn."

      The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry is an American powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, strongman, and professional wrestler, who is currently signed to WWE as a producer. He was a two-time Olympian in 1992 and 1996 and a gold, silver, and bronze medalist at the Pan American Games in 1995. As a powerlifter, he was WDFPF World Champion (1995) and a two-time U.S. National Champion (1995 and 1997) as well as an all-time raw world record holder in the squat and deadlift. Currently, he still holds the WDFPF world records in the squat, deadlift and total and the USAPL American record in the deadlift since 1995. He is credited for the biggest raw squat and raw powerlifting total ever performed by a drug tested athlete, regardless of weight class, as well as the greatest raw deadlift by an American citizen. In weightlifting, Henry was a three-time U.S. National Weightlifting Champion (1993, 1994, 1996), an American Open winner (1992), a two-time U.S. Olympic Festival Champion (1993 and 1994) and a NACAC champion (1996). He holds all three Senior US American weightlifting records of 1993Ė1997. In 2002 he won the first annual Arnold Strongman Classic. Since joining the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in 1996, he has become a one-time WWF European Champion and a two-time world champion, having held the ECW Championship in 2008, and WWE's World Heavyweight Championship in 2011.

      Sifu Alan Goldberg Sifu Goldberg has a long list of high profile students such as actor Joe Piscopo, who co-starred with World BlackBelt's First Founding Member Chuck Norris in Sidekicks, former heavyweight fighter Dimitrius "Oaktree" Edwards, who broke Mike Tyson's ribs in a sparring session just prior to the former champion's first fight against Evander Holyfield, and Dr. Richard Pearl, who was recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the United States. "I am particular with who I train because my students become part of our very close family," explained Goldberg. "I have had opportunities to expand, but I am really not interested in having a large school because it loses some of the tradition." His Hall of Honors Expo and Trade Show continually expands in many different directions, with over a 100 vendor spots. He has also expanded to include Martial Arts Business Conference with top of the line speakers. He brings in over 800 school owners that mold and decide on the purchasing and discussion of tens of thousands of students under their school banners.

On Saturday 15 October 2016, Judan Ceremony, Lexington KY

Ashida Kim was awarded 10th Dan for his methods of teaching the only non-violent technique that will enable anyone to overcome any foe, regardless of size, physical strength or skill, without physical contact! How to fight or disappear. Mugei Mumei no Jitsu, meaning "No Name, No Art." The name is in keeping with the Ninja tradition of not revealing your style or system so that the enemy would not know what to expect. This single, most effective trick of making the enemy blink so you can duck out of sight and magically vanish into the night is the most secret and dreaded weapon in the forbidden Ninja arsenal. It is the hallmark of the Art of Invisibility, Ninjitsu. Grandmaster Kim was presented with the Ceremonial Grandmaster's Red Belt, signifying his position of rank, authority and time-in-grade in the international martial arts community.

Ashida Kim, Frank Dux, David Harris, Dr. Don Miskel, Len Kirschbaum, Dan Ryan, Teresa Rudd

Ashida Kim demonstrating invisibility techniques from Mugei-Mumei no Jitsu

Click HERE for Video of Ashida Kim in Action!

Ninja Magic

      All Ninja are schooled in the arts of espionage and intelligence gathering. One of the ways they were able to move about the feudal countryside and observe strategic and tactical considerations that could be used in warfare was by masquerading as minstels, actors, circus performers and magicians. Since many of their techniques were based on invisibility, it was only natural that they should also be skilled in other magical arts like illusion and slieght-of-hand. It is said, that if you learn one good magic trick, you will understand all you need to know about invisibility

      Ninja Levitation is a metaphor. Like many illusions, it is intended to represent a principle of Nature in an extraordinary manner so that it will be remembered for its signifigance. In Ninja Mind Control meditation techniques are given that train the student how to "see things no one else can see, hear things no one else can hear and do things no one else can do." An example of this is the "sound of one hand clapping." No one else can hear this sound without special listening devices. It is the sound of your own heartbeat. To percieve this phenomenon one must be completely relaxed. It cannot be described because it is always the same, different for everyone. But, once you hear it, you will instinctively know what it is.

      So too, with levitation. The feeling of lightness, of floating, can only be experienced when the student has reached a level of deep and profound meditation.

Click HERE to see Ninja Levitation and Slieght-of-Hand

Martial Arts Hall of Fame Sports Museum Interview

On 15 February 2018, Ashida Kim was interviewed on Prof. Gary Lee, founder of the Martial Arts Sports Hall of Fame in Houston TX.

Click HERE to Enjoy this up close interview with Ashida Kim

AMAA Masters and Pioneer Radio Network Professor Gary with Ashida Kim

Show host Professor Gary Lee and the Sports Karate Museum

      Black Belt yes, Controversial, yes,,, Mysterious definitely, Ashida Kim One of the senior members of the longtime group known as the Black Dragon Fighting Society. Ashida has been around a long time and has had in his life open challenges and threats of mayhem but knowing him on a personal basis I can tell you he is the calmest martial artist I know. Cool, Calm and Collected, yep, extremely cool.

      He also is one of the most dangerous, calm in mind persons I know also and his looks are deceiving with a slender build and horn-rim glasses he wears, it is deceiving for Ashida is a Ninja!

      As a student in the art of stealth and surprise, it is not a sport, it is not played, it is as real as he believes and he believes he is extremely dangerous!

      Ashida is a student and master of the art of Ninjitsu. I know his reputation for in his world it is not a sport, it is martial arts by the way of the warrior.

      One subject we can not leave out are the mysterious controversy of the Black Dragon Fighting Society and the history behind all the Dim Mak, Comic Book, Challenge Matches, Dance of Death, the levitation video on the internet and the Count Dante alias John Keehan history and how he created the Society.

AMAA Masters and Pioneer Radio Network

With host Professor Gary Lee and the Sports Karate Museum


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Ashida Kim
American Representative
DOJO-Academy of Martial Arts

copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

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