I had a few people contact me after the last post and ask about Count Dante. I probably know as much as you which is not much! So if you want some intersting reading spend a little time in the Black Belt Magazine archive. You can also skim the Wikipedia article on Mr. Keehan.
“In Chicago, Keehan co-promoted America’s first full-contact style martial arts tournament at the University of Chicago on July 28, 1963, and hosted many other such tournaments during the 1960s, pairing practitioners of different styles against one another.
Keehan also worked as a hairdresser and had reportedly worked on some of the hair designs for Playboy models of the time.
During the nationwide racial strife of the 1960s, Keehan was one of the first American sensei to openly accept Blacks, Hispanics, and other non-Asian minorities as students, and reportedly left Trias because the latter refused to promote black students to black belt.”
Here’s a video of Keehan’s deadly “Kata Dante”:
“Kata Dante is without doubt the most savage and terrifying self-defense form known to man. This practice form is composed of fifty-seven of the deadliest poison hand techniques ever devised. Each one of which is guaranteed to kill, cripple or maim any attacker. The ultimate self-defense.”
I suspect Dante was one part legit and one part huckster. Regardless, he certainly was a part of American martial arts in the 60s!