Over the past few years, I’ve had some experiences with déjà vu, a few premonitions and what some consider precognition. I try to rationalize these strange occurrences by telling myself that it is all coincidence. After all, we’re all connected by “six degrees of separation”, or something like that.
I try to rationalize these things, but in the back of my mind, I know that there is something else involved, an unseen force, something guiding us, bringing us together.
A few weeks ago, while working on an article that covered the classic “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” comic, I took time to review and appreciate the retro advertisements that frequented the pages. There were ads for books and manuals to make you a fighting master in Karate or Kung Fu. The majority of the ads were benign, and I paid them no mind.
However, one ad stood out. It was an ad by some guy who claimed to be “The Deadliest Man Alive.” The ad said he was the Supreme Grand Master of the “Black Dragon Fighting Society” and he sold a book that taught “The Death Touch” aka “Dim Mak.”
“Dim Mak” struck a cord with me because a few weeks earlier, while speaking to local master martial artist, Bruce Lee’s name came up and the seasoned fighter said that Bruce Lee was actually killed, by the strike known as “Dim Mak.”
The fearsome man in the ad had his hands fixed in a foreboding position. The man called himself “Count Dante” and the ad said that in 1967, he was crowned “The World’s Deadliest Fighting Master” by the world federation of fighting arts.
There was something that attracted me to the ad. Unlike the others, there was nothing comical about it. There was a sense of mysticism to it. I had a feeling about it, and the man in the ad. I couldn’t put my finger on it, and I moved forward, working on the “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” article.
While still preparing the article, I received an email from the insightful reader known to the Kung Fu Cinema community as “Jiujitsu77.”
He sent me an email asking me a question that would send me on a journalistic journey, that would enlighten me about the city that had made an unappreciated and unacknowledged contribution to martial arts culture in the United States.
“Have you heard of the Count Dante documentary coming out of Chicago?” he asked.
When reading the email, I thought the name sounded eerily familiar, but I couldn’t connect it. I Googled Count Dante, and I was led to a website, where a filmmaker by the name of Floyd Webb was working on a documentary entitled “The Search for Count Dante.”
Things didn’t register, but while watching the trailer on Floyd’s site, I realized who Dante Was, he was the same guy I had seen in the advertisements, from the “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” comics. I couldn’t believe it, I was still working on the Deadly Hands article, and I received an email to check into the very character who roamed the pages… read more. Seriously, read more as this shit gets good >