Henry Strzalkowski was our AD again, and I didn't mind at all, cause I could get along with him pretty well, I liked the fellow. To me he became legendary with his imitation of Moses at the moment God gave him the new rules: “Let me get this straight God, You want us to cut the end of our dick?”
He was always around Ken and Maria's place and had his voice in the casting as well. They thought I could make it a nice bodyguard in the movie: “American Ninja”. And that is what I did.
Mickael Dudikoff plays an American who was raised by John Fujioka, a master in martial arts.
The little boy got used to this training as it was eating or drinking, and his skills came in handy when he needed to save the generals daughter. This was new for me, different acting, no GI uniform, no M16 nor 60, but just a civilian outfit. The make-up was from a different kind, not green or brown and mud, but nice suntanned, and gel in my hair.
The location hunters had done a good job. It was a beautiful scene at Taal-lake and I was part of it... A gorgeous villa and swimming pool were the set-up for an exclusive Ninja training center. I do the bearded bodyguard...hmmm. It took a lot of time for every new set-ups and rehearsals so in the meantime I got plenty of time to become acquainted with mr. Fujioka, a lovely man, modest and gentle. He didn't look like a martial arts master but one can be mistaken. But his moves and expression made it a complete picture. Among the filippino crew I 'made name' as “the helot'”, the others called me “psychic” and indeed I had a lot of patients overthere. It weren't really injuries from the set, but often older sore and pains... Don Stewart found his way to my healing hands as did Tony Carrion, Manulet Escudero and Renato Morado, the coördinator for the SOS stunt team. A top professional who carefully inspected every location to be sure the safety was at maximum. I learned a lot from him.
I was surrounded by all kind of masters and well skilled martial arts fighters, and I was a little disappointed that most of them were just fighters without a 'mysterious Ninja aureola'. I would like to make an exception for Jesse Ramos and Erni Ortega (who shot himself thru the head, years later, after suffering a painful cancer), cause those two guys had this little extra which makes a man special. Although Joonee Gamboa was not exactly a Ninja, I like to mention him because I think he is on of the kindest men I ever encountered.
I got to know many of the filippino crew already from earlier films and picked up quite some Tagalog. I became good friends with the boys from the Philippine stunt association as well. Once in a while they showed up with innocent injuries. We did plenty of waiting on the set so enough time to do my healing stuff. It was a great pleasure to see that variety of martial arts techniques, like throwing a shuriken star or dart, shooting bow and arrow, climbing, tumbling, including the necessary expressions. I really picked up nice things, I'ld rather had carried the Ninja outfit, but there only can be one American Ninja and that was Mike. It would have been a lot easier however if they had cast a better skilled martial artist. It took too many rehearsals and slowmows. There were plenty other 'white guys' having black belts so that shouldn't have been a problem. To me the part could have fit Don Gordon Bell, he sure had the looks and I don't doubt his techniques. Anyway, Michael got the job and he didn't do too bad at all.
I felt like in heaven when we arrived on location in the training camp. A ninja could be spotted every were, they were all over the place doing their routines, spectacular !! My part was an easy one: I was a bodyguard watching the boss... and there wasn't really much action for me. OK, at the end we had to do some shooting and fighting, but most of my action was walking around the camp and keep an eye on everybody who could be a threat to the 'boss'.. I had a dialog with Toy Carrion, but that part was not edited, shit ...
I had plenty of time to enjoy the scene and to learn from what I saw. It was very diverse, there were Judoka, Karateka and Tae-Kwondoka showing the best they had. And other experts being specialists in Kendo, Nunchakudo or Shurikendo. I started to like Kuntao with its typical short moves and whipping kinda techniques, very effective !! They were the peeps from the SOS-team and members of the Philippine Stunt Association, great guys. Many of them I would see again in other productions I joined.I had the time of my life in this training camp
My roots to Karate came from my friend and sensei Zeljko Iljadica, a Yugoslavian expert in Shotakan Karate from Zagreb. He used to work in the metal industry in the Rotterdam harbors during the 70's. They were building the largest, the biggest oil tankers ever built at that time... I think the largest I've seen on the slope was a 420 meter long and 65 meter wide ship, then your talking about 450.000 mtons. From top to bottom its like a skyscraper. Not to mention the outboard propeller and the huge machine room . Zeljko wanted to start a karate-class . I thought it a good idea to add this art to my Judo, Ju-jitsu and Kendo practicing and I joined him.. I wasn't used to punch and to kick so it came in as a nice extra training to very different muscles. He was a 6th Dan master in the Shotokan style and also adapted in Nunchakudo / Kabudo, and well known in Zagreb where he was a chief instructor of the arts and nicknamed 'Karate'.!! His moves were short but FAST and when he hit something there was an impact. His motto: no bull.. but efficiency. I was impressed by his power.
It's an art to concentrate all energy to one point to enable a perfect impact. Speed and mass, well Einstein knew all about that. The next clip shows a master using his index finger to penetrate coconuts. I'ld say: Don't try this at home!!
It's easy to get struck by an injury at a sudden move, a wrong (or non) warming-up, a failure while falling or inadequate techniques. My Dutch Judo-sensei: Johan v.d Bruggen was skilled in Shiatsu as well and taught us a lot about pressure points. I was very interested in that subject .
And indeed after some time I managed to master the healing chapter, this is absolutely mind over matter.
Often painful shoulders, sour backs and other physical harm came to my hands, and I can say 9 patients out of 10 could do their thing after one of my healings, no shit.
A gentle touch seemed to be enough to have pains disappear. Most of the times however I didn't even have to touch the patient. Magnetize, mesmerize that kinda things, but it worked.
Now creating a bio-magnetic field is one thing, to make some one else feel this energy is something different...to make it a healing power is an enormous mental issue and has to do with an alignment between sender and receiver, like tuning a radio station.
From here it's more difficult, harder to explain, but I'll give it a try. Each element has its own frequency and has a unique vibration number. Crystals are well known for their use in radio techniques and in watches. Each living being has its own private 'shake'. The trick is to find somebody's frequency and to tune-in to it. It doesn't need to be the same frequency, a higher or lower harmonic vibe will do as well. Example: a patient has a vibe of 12, then I can step in with a 2, 3, 4 or 6 on the denominator. Chords are possible as well .
When I can't reach a patient with my 'field' I call them primes. The number 13's. !!
You're not surprised I guess when I tell you that there is a link between the Atemi points on which a Karateka can KO you, and acupuncture point which are used to cure. It's all about the right way to touch. A gentle approach to these points will have a healing effect, while a tougher treatment might cause damage or even death. Although there are several exceptions to this rule.
It isn't easy to be a Ninja...
I'ld like to quote Don Gordon Bell in one of his comments to this matter (Carradine): . ~~~~~~~~~~~~