Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Caribbean Study Tour

Just returned from my tour studying the Diaspora of West African Martial Arts throughout the Caribbean.

The highlight was my interview with Sifu Wayne Quintyne of Bridgetown, Barbados. Sifu Wayne graciously met with me to discuss his study of Barbados "Sticklicking". During the course of the time I spent with him, he showed me videotapes of interviews he had conducted with now deceased master of this system complete with demonstrations of various techniques. Pictures of showing me rare antique Guava wood fighting sticks will be up on the website soon.

What interested me greatly was his take on the use of Christian rituals in the Caribbean to replace the rites of passage for boys into becoming African warriors. The ritual of Christian confirmation at the time of puberty emphasizes "turning the other cheek". This, he believes, led to a repugnance to violent activities such as stick fighting, which in turn, led to the demise of the art and the lack of information being safeguarded. He is currently working on a film documentary about the Bajan art.

While in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, I was unable to connect with Ron "The Dragon" Van Klief, Chinese Goju Karate master, martial arts movie star and the oldest competitor ever to enter the UFC Octagon, who has relocated there. I will be following up with him to ascertain the state of Caribbean Arts in this US territory.

Despite contacting the Minister of Culture and the St. Lucia Folklore Centre, no evidence was unearthed about arts on the Island of St. Lucia. The same situation was found in Dominica when corresponding with scholar and historian, Dr. Honychurch.

I will continue to work with Prof. Desch-Obi of Baruch College of NYC to ascertain if my research can be of assistance to him. His definitive work,"FIghting for Honour", is a must read for those interested in this area of hoplology.

Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27, 2009

Just finished putting the last touches on an article I wrote after interviewing MMA and BJJ legend Renzo Gracie. What an interesting and very warm guy. Renzo had just finished working with Guy Ritchie and Jude Law who were in New York filming the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie. Renzo extended an invitation for me to come train at his Academy in Manhattan. Looks like a possible road trip in the making. I, however, plan to tap early and often if I roll on the mats with him.

Waiting to hear back from the UFC that my press credentials will be approved for the sold out April show in Montreal. Press credentials for the Nabil Khatib - Carlos Newton fight in March in Gatineau are on their way, and I look forward to watching it from ringside. It will be a hectic day as I will also be teaching Kali and Muay Thai in Valleyfield, Quebec that morning.

Just spoke to Sifu Dwight Woods of Miami Beach who is hooking me up with one of his students in Barbados who is researching the indigenous slave stick fighting system called "sticklicking". This will be part of my hoplological study tour of the Caribbean to continue researching the Diaspora of African Martial Arts in the Caribbean. The research started some years back when I interviewed the late Kermit Ford (Father of Karate in the Bahamas) about the sponge fisherman's wrestling art of Piappry and met with the Ministry of Culture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Welcome to Perry William Kelly's Blog

Hello and Welcome to Perry William Kelly's Blog

Jan 29, 2009

The new year has started off at full speed.

Over the Xmas holidays, Sensei Lori O'Connell from Vancouver and her assistant instructor journeyed to Ottawa to do some training with me. Lori is a budding MMA fighter, so I shared with her how to keep herself safe when an opponent engages in some illegal dirty boxing tactics.

So far, I have taught a Kali seminar at the Therien Dojo in Chesterville (last Sunday) and will be teaching Muay Thai at the Therien Dojo Stittsville this Saturday. Following the seminar I will be heading down to Nabil Khatib's Team Bushido training center to interview him and Carlos "The Ronin" Newton about their upcoming fight, and then catch the George St. Pierre v. BJ Penn fight.

In the next few weeks I will be interviewing Renzo Gracie for a cover story in Martial Arts Success Magazine.