Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Famous Comic Book Martial Artist

Charles Atlas
ninety nine pound weaklingI remember comics strips as my generations new media experience, like our video games or our internet.

The comic books in the 60s often had a few pages of small advertisements at the back. The classic advertisement that I remember was the Charles Atlas advertisement on how to stop being a ninety-nine pound weakling who got sand kicked in his face by the big bully.

Another famous advertisement from the comics was about learning self-defense, learning the mysterious and exotic art of karate. Count Dante was the leader in this area. I just ran across a 3 minute documentary-style video about Count Dante. (Sometimes, the video doesn't run here and you have to click through to see it on  a site called Babelgum
:  The Deadliest Man Alive - Count Dante -

In the early 60s, he was a respected fighter and teacher and karate promoter. Then he got weird.The video is by Floyd Webb who has a website on John Keehan (Counte Dante). It's worth a visit. I was just reading his post on A Timeline of Martial Arts in America.


Anonymous said...

Incredibly cool - retro martial arts! Want a picture of Steve Lavallee when he has a 70s mustache and sideburns?

ronsan60 said...

Very good stuff I love history like this.. I also grew up in the 60's, The Martial Arts has sure changed over the years... On YOUTUBE if you do a search for Ed Parker (Considered the Father of Kenpo in the US) you will find some of his old TV commercials it is great history....

BBat50 said...

Ron, Thanks for kudos. Any interest in doing some guest posts here? I'd love more on the history of kenpo. At one point, I was trying to track the line between Ed Parker and Kyoshi. It's only one or two steps. I looked at who signed his 7th degree certificate, googled them, and some of them were Ed Parker students. I should update it for his 8th. Any interest?

Cheri said...

Great video! Thanks for posting. I'm a little too young to remember Count Dante (born in 1966), but I remember similar ads in comic books from the 70's.

He certainly was a colorful character.

BBat50 said...

It turns out that Floyd Webber, the film maker who did the short on Counte Dante and who studied under him, is pursuing a full film project. And he's a blogger.

Here's the Count Dante Progress Status.