Grandmaster Ashida Kim
Ashida Kim is an internationally renowned martial arts expert who teaches and lectures on Ninjitsu, the Invisible Fist, around the world. He is the author of The Invisible Ninja, Iron Body Ninja, Ninja Mind Control, and many other books. He began his study of the martial arts at age twelve. His father being a career soldier, he had frequent opportunities to attend a variety of Judo classes. Almost every post where they were stationed had one. At that time Judo was the only Oriental system availible to Western students. Karate was an advanced level that was offered only to seniors, although there were a few striking techniques in Judo known as Atemi-Waza. Since most of the members of these clubs were professional soldiers, they had little time for children. So, as in the Shaolin monastery experience, he was more often than not restricted to sweeping the mat and observing than to any actual instruction until age fourteen. By the time his father retired he was sixteen years old and at Brown Belt level: although the experience of often changing Judo clubs had left him with little regard for earning belt rank, since Judoka of that period held to the tradition that one must begin each time from the beginning.
He does credit this training, however, with teaching him the proper and safe way to fall; which has held him in good stead throughout his practice, and saved him many times.
While at university, he attended a Karate demonstration given by a Yudansha who had trained in Okinawa. His style was Shotokan and he too had learned while his father had been stationed overseas. By then Karate was fairly widespread and there were hints of an even more deadly art known as Kung Fu that began to surface. Adding the repertoire of kicks and punches to his arsenal of Judo and Wrestling holds, he soon picked up the system, based in large part on the discipline of patience and practice he had learned in the Gentle Way. Hard style or linear Karate is widely taught today, the most popular being Taekwondo, the Hand and Foot Way. Many basic strikes and practice forms are similar. They can be taught to large or small groups by rote, and develop excellent military discipline.
The legend has always been that Ashida Kim, using another name, went to Chicago in 1968 to work with a biker gang who were providing “security” for the protesters at the Democratic National Convention. And, that while there he became a member of the Black Dragon Fighting Society and learned the Dance of Death from World’s Deadliest Fighting Secrets, taught by Count Dante himself, in a secret Chinatown Dojo hosted by the Blackstone Rangers. Although there are those born long after these events occurred who dispute this story, two of the original members of that martial arts organization, Grandmaster Doug Dwyer and Grandmaster Lawrence Day, who were there at the time and who are still actively teaching, confirm that he was there and is a member of their fraternal order.
This made possible the study of Ninjitsu, the Silent Way. By far, the most savage and terrifying form of self defense ever devised. Among its diverse weaponry are Dim Mak, the mysterious Chinese Touch of Death. A complete study of human anatomy and a logical progression from the basic vital and fatal points of Karate to the strangleholds and resuscitation techniques of Judo. Kuji Kiri, the strategy and tactics of combat as well as the psychology of man. And, the Art of Invisibility, Inpo and Tonpo, entering and escaping in addition to secret techniques of the magical arts. Thus earning the Ninja a reputation as "men who could fight or disappear." This together with their philosophy of non-violence, has made them one of the most misunderstood martial arts of this century. All of which they relish, amused at the humor of so much confusion.
Since that time, Master Ashida Kim has written fifteen books on the subject of martial arts, distributed worldwide and in five different translations. Toured on the international circuit to South Africa, where he appeared on SABC's "Late Night Live" with Kevin Savage. And to Australia to teach Qi Gong and be written up in People magazine. In addition to teaching, both at his own Dojo and on contract to other schools, he maintains affiliate clubs around the globe, hires out as a free lance agent to select intelligence agencies, and teaches police seminars in Harrisburg PA, yet is virtually unknown to any but his closest allies. Simply because he does not boast nor brag of these accomplishments. He is much to busy participating in the glorious adventure that is his life.