When i were 'nobbut a lad' and discovered the martial arts ,originally through a few cheap photocopied sheets stapled together on even cheaper paper, i still thought it was great stuff. Then the great man himself came along...SENSEI TERRY O'NEILL....With his bible for all martial artists FIGHTING ARTS MAGAZINE(For the serious martial artist!....Not me , but i read it)...In the early days of the 70's when the legends of Karate were fighting for the national squad and mainly from LIVERPOOL..;THE RED TRIANGLE; KIRKDALE,etc,etc. Glory days indeed. They lasted for years ,but the greats ;O'neill, Sherry, Higgins ,Brennan, and on are still remembered with awe. I'd've loved to train at THE RED TRIANGLE, but never built up the courage to go and have the shit kicked outta me by the experts. I came close and had some great years training with the boss hisself TERRY O'NEILL....He worked the doors around the fair city of LIVERPOOL for donkeys years and was a legend. People say "Aw you cant do all that BRUCE LEE spinning back kick shit in a real fight!", But Terry could and did. The A merican magazine BLACK BELT named him the deadliest fighter in the world or something along those fairly impressive lines ,remember this is the yanks talking about a limey!.... Look out for a book called 'WORKING WITH WARRIORS' written by a good buddy of O'NEILLS, DENNIS MARTIN. That's got some good stories . TERRY O'NEILL was a stupendous competiiton fighter as well, inovative and spectacular and still talked about years after injury put an end to his competition side.
Another name from them faroff days of FIGHTING ARTS was a contoversial french bloke by the name of DOMINIQUE VALERA. He is a French fighter and through the late 60's and 70's he cut a swathe through anybody daft enough to stand against him. He was nicknamed 'THE CAT' or 'THE KING'...His movements and style were apparently very smooth and distinctive. The American BLACK BELT MAGAZINE named him top fighter on numerous occassions. VALERA'S moment of infamy came during the World Championships in Long Beach, California. During a fight VALERA felt a decision was unfair and smacked one of the judges and was banned from competing in international KARATE tournaments ,ever again!....VALERA stayed in AMERICA for a while and met and eventually befriended a U.S. FULL-CONTACT/KICKBOXER, by the name of BILL(Superfoot) WALLACE. He is a living legend and has never been beaten for most of his career, which is suprising as he only uses one foot and mainly one hand. His right leg was turned to mush in a judo fall and, i think he wears a brace on it, but he trained his left leg and it tops speeds people just can't imagine, if you find him on YOU-TUBE you'll see this leg and foot lashing out like a bullwhip or a snake strike it is astounding. Other fighters know exactly what they're going to get, but can't do anything about it. Valera trained with WALLACE and joined the ranks of the proffessional AMERICAN KICKBOXING or one of various names it was known by ,but it had a huge following. Apparently our French hero did quite well before returning home to promote full contact training around France, look him up on the internet as he combines the loose fighting style with traditional Karate self defence.
I'm still working on a TERRY O'NEILL caricature so i'll bung it on here whenever i manage to complete it , i'm not going to upset any of these guys for you lot!