Tale of the Black Dragons

Donald Miskel

The tale of the Black Dragons is still unfolding. It is a book that is still being written. This conference will be another page in that book.

My greatest passion in my martial art career is being a dragon. In the Christian religion the dragon represents evil but in the Chinese philosophies it represents the power of heaven and the chi or intrinsic energy.

In the martial arts the dragon represents subtlety and conservation of energy. The mythical Chinese dragon was a powerful creature but it didn’t use brute strength to attack or defend itself. Being serpentine it could twist and wind around its enemy’s attack. It is able to twist around on itself so it can circle away and attack or counter attack its opponent off line. The dragon can turn around full circle without ever losing its stability or integrity. That’s what the Black Dragons have done. We have come around full circle. To circle around means to start over again. Each new beginning represents a circle. Each New Year and each dawning day represents a new opportunity and a chance to start anew.

We, the IFAA BDFS have come around again to a new set point; a new beginning. In 1975 with the death of John Keehan, Count Dante, the end of an era took place. That could have marked the end of the BDFS but instead it presented an opportunity to start over again, creating another set point. Doctor Lawrence Day answered the call and took up the mantle of leadership. A new era had begun. Doc was the keeper of the flame. When others had gone their several ways, myself included, he refused to let the fire dim or go out. With his passing the baton was passed to the next player in line. Suddenly I found myself in the position that Doc had accepted in the seventies. I stand in this position not because of superior skill, knowledge or ability but because along with Dr. Day I was one of the Counts early students in the old World Karate Federation and the BDFS. In this position I have to try to be a leader and inspire the best out of other martial art masters, some probably more capable than myself.

Black Dragons Reunion 2013

In November of this year we will be involved in another BDFS Reunion Seminar conference. This will be the first without Doc. Still his presence and influence will be felt. The place and purpose of this reunion was Doc’s inspiration. It was his wish to expand on the themes and the presentations offered in previous conferences. Along with the seminars there will be demonstrations and maybe some competition. I personally have only peripheral influence in the planning of this event but I am in touch with Master Clinton Jacobs and his students and fellow instructors in Mississippi. They are the planning committee and they are working hard to make this a memorable event. The event will be held in . As a native of Mississippi (transplanted to Chicago) I’ve been to the Mississippi gulf. It’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. This is going to be a wonderful event in a beautiful resort area.

Many of the patriarchs, masters and grandmasters of the BDFS, the BLMAA and other schools and organizations will be present representing many traditional, eclectic and combative systems. Karate, kung fu, kempo/kenpo, judo, jiu jitsu, kajukembo, MMA and many other styles will be represented. There will be something for everyone.

The tale of the Black Dragons is still unfolding. It is a book that is still being written. This conference will be another page in that book. We will be honoring our former leaders and fallen comrades. We’ll also be honoring our veterans. Here’s an opportunity to be part of history. I invite all members and well wishers to be a part of this historical event. I especially invite martial artists from the sport and competition world of the martial arts. Come and join us and share your knowledge and experience with fellow martial artists. Those who are interested in participating I ask you to get in touch with Master Clinton Jacobs on Facebook. Join with us and help us continue the dream. I hope to see you there.