Richard Barathy/American Combat Karate

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by donald, Jan 18, 2002.

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  1. donald

    donald Black Belt

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    Is any one familar with the late Mr.Barathy´s system? Are any of his former students actively teaching the system? His was a story of extreme determination. He battled lupus for many years, but God truly blessed the man with gut grit. One of his more well known students was, Mr.Mark Gastenau of pro., football fame. What ever happened to him by the way? I just think Mr. Barathy´s story is amazing. Can anyone answer my quiries?:asian:
     
  2. GouRonin

    GouRonin Guest

    Barathy was one tough mofo who was well known for ability to brawl and his breaking ability. He is probably best known for his break on TV where he lite the blocks on fire with fluid and broke them but burned himself. I believe he also suffered blindness in one eye at one point. He was instrumental in the 70's for getting martial arts to the masses. His death was somewhat recent, a few years ago.

    Mark Gastenau was a pro football player who after he left was one of the long line of men that lined up to marry bridget neilson, (Stallone and others) and when he retired he took up pro boxing. Amassing an impressive record only to have his @ss handed to him when he finally met up with a good boxer and not a tomato can or a pro-diver that his management would set him up with. In fact I believe 60 minutes did an expose on his pro-boxing career.

    Barathy was the real deal though. Ate thunder and cr@pped lightning.
     
  3. Rob_Broad

    Rob_Broad Guest

    I thought Mark Gastenau was terminally ill with some form of Cancer.
     
  4. GouRonin

    GouRonin Guest

    You might have been thinking about Lyle Alzado. Not sure.
     
  5. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I may be completly incorrect but I remember Mr. Barathy learning ice breaks and improveing his braking with/from Thomas St. Charles of Pai Lum back in the early 70's. He was even on Martial Arts Theater hosted by John Saxon with St. Charles And Mr. Charly Hattchaet(sp) durring that time.
    Mr st.Charles is now one of the grandmasters in Pai Lum (desegnated by Great GrandMaster Pai befor his death.
    Sorry I can't remember who his other instructors where.
     
  6. donald

    donald Black Belt

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    Do any of Mr.Barathy's blackbelts still propigate the system?
    From what I remember of his blackbelts, they were dedicated.
    Some, maybe all of them would get the forearm tatoos of
    Mr.Barathy after achieving blackbelt status!!! The man's grit
    was truly inspiring. I hope he has found peace...
     
  7. tbar

    tbar White Belt

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    I'm having a hard time navigating thruogh this site i find it very confusing to post anything but however i've noticed several inquiries concerning Richie
    Barathy. Well i have a trove of info about him as he was my instructor for 4 years back in the late 70's and early 80's. anyone can contact me at tony_barberi@hotmail.com. and i would be happy to correspond. tbar.
     
  8. tbar

    tbar White Belt

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    Lets try this again.
    Richie Barathy was my karate instructor for 4 years back in the late70's and early 80's. if you would like to know more about the legend please ask me some specific questions because there is alot i know about him since he was also a close personal friend as well as atleast 7 or so of his black belts and many of his students. tbar.
     
  9. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe people are wondering if anyone is still teaching his system.
     
  10. cjs350

    cjs350 White Belt

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    I had the pleasure of studying under Sensei Barathy in the mid 70's for about 2 1/2 years. A career choice lead me to abandon my studies with him and time and events have precluded me from picking up the studies since. I've studied under some of the finest teachers over the years (in subjects other than martial arts), and Sensei Barathy stands out as one of the best. He communicated his system in a way that was logical and made sense. He stressed repitition, and was quick to observe flaws in my technique and not merely point them out, but show me how to do it correctly, and he stayed with me, (and his other students) until he was satisfied that I was on the right path. He really enjoyed teaching and his enthusiasm came through. I remember his lessons well. I remember him with warmth. I was saddened to learn of his untimely death.

    When I started I paid about $35 per month, for four 3 hour classes per week. We stretched, worked on technique, learned Kata, and sparred in just about every class. I enjoyed every minute of it. He always had at least two other black belts teaching each class.

    I can tell you from personal knowledge that Sensei Barathy, was, as he liked to say about himself, the "wrong guy", as in who you might not want to meet in a dark alley. When not teaching he frequently worked as a bouncer, wore flamboyant outfits, and had straight black hair down to his waist - and his get up sometimes encouraged challenges, and he never backed down. He only had one eye, (he lost the eye as a kid - stick fighting with friends), but he compensated and his depth perception was excellent.

    His classes were long, and tough. He believed in full contact, excepting strikes to the groin and head, as he wanted his instruction to be practical so if his students ever encountered a real world event, they would know what it felt like to get hit.

    I recall that there were several schools on Long Island and Brooklyn NY that operated under the "American Combat System". I do not know if anyone is still teaching his methods. I do remember that he studied with another Sensei, Howard Teague (I think I've spelled that correctly, and that he held Sensei Teague in high esteem.

    I hope that answers some of your questions.
     
  11. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    Man you are a luckly individual..Being taught by Barathy Sensei...
     
  12. tbar

    tbar White Belt

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    i am currently in the process of researching through family and old friends, where Richie Barathy's former black belts are and if they are training. by the time i joined his school Barathy was called "Kioshi" since he was a sixth degree black belt. He did train with Howard Taig (not sure of spelling) whom i believed trained under Bruce lee for a time. Sensei Ron McCaffery, sensei Matthew Willing, renchei Dave Greene and renchei John Russel were among his best black belts and many were in 'Nam together. It usually took about ten years of serious training to get to black belt in this school unlike just a few years in others. The first school that i went to in 1979 was in Lynbrook, N.Y.
    Sometime in the mid '80s another school opened up in Huntington, N.Y. I also
    have a handful of photos and a video of kioshi in Madison Square Garden doing his thing. One time i went to pick up the 17 slabs of 1" thick granite that he broke at his school for a PM Magazine show, however this time not on fire. One time he burned much of his hair off. We were a very tight family both the black belts and the students and we used to have seminars in the mountains and have change of scenery for training and do a substantial amount of partying at night. The degree of focus and intensity was amazing among kioshi and the rest, even the brown belts. We were predominantly taught self defense and street fighting techniques, floor fighting, three or four on one, some weaponry and a ton of sparring,... brutal sparring! I believe there was about 13 different styles of martial arts being taught on a regular basis and to my memory Tae Kwon Do, Ju Jitsu, Tai Zen, and earlier forms of Ninja were used. I have some pretty incredible stories of some of the things that the black belts did but i could go on for ever so while i'm doing some research on what happened to everyone from the school fell free to write and ask what you'd like to know and i'll try to answer the best i can. And Brian who wrote in, and who was a student before myself is right in saying that kioshi lost his right eye while playing stick fighting as a kid. He also had a round belly early on with a huge diagonal scar across it from an operation. Later on he might have juiced it a bit cause he was in incredible shape but kind of puffy skinned. Either way the man was more than a man. tbar
     
  13. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    I remember watching him to break the stone slabs that he ignited on the Tonight Show, I think it was the Tonight Show...It was another time he burned his hair.It was incredible....
     
  14. TenTigers

    TenTigers Orange Belt

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    I have a friend that was very close to him, and was a personal student-private lessons several times a week for many years. They used to train in my school on my off hours. Kyoshi would let me train with them as well, which was an enlightening (and painful) experience. He was very scientific in his approach and knew how to get the best out of each individual. He had the uncanny ability to watch you do a technique and immediately adjust your structure, delivery, etc and make improvement. He was one of the best teachers I have ever met due to this ability.
    I did notice one thing, however. What he taught, and what he did were two different things. Many of the techniques he used were his own personal techniques and were different than what his Black Belts did. Kyoshi had alot of Gung-Fu technique-specifically his hands, trapping, timing, etc. There seemed to be a "style within a style" which many teachers have. Many have their own "Personal hand" which they save for a select few. I would be interested in anyone else's experience with this.
     
  15. ACK

    ACK White Belt

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    Hey people,
    I had the opportunity to train at a spot in valley stream ny about 14 years ago, operated by sensi Impalazari. I went to high school with him and several other ACK students. This was the only karate I have ever studied and think there is nothing like it to this day. I have since moved to GA and can't seem to find a place down here that teaches a style similar. Anyone know of such a spot down here?
     
  16. DEFIANCE

    DEFIANCE White Belt

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    Hi all.
    Nice to see fellow ACK practitioners.
    I studied under Renshi (at the time) Finnigan in Massapequa, N.Y. back in the late 80's early 90's.
    Unfortunately there were some problems involving younger students going into the local bars and practicing techniques on the patrons.
    This led to our public location being closed and (IMO) a better private school being opened in the basement of Renshis' house.
    This led to more intense training than we did at the public classes.
    I remember barely being able to drive home after a night of spindle strikes (lol my poor wrists).
    I also recall my friend Nick (brown belt at the time) showing me the bruise on his bicep after sparring with Renshi.
    It looked nasty, but it was nothing compared to when he lifted his arm to show me the same bruise on the inside of his bicep and on his ribs.(Ouch!)
    Ah the good 'ole days.:)

    ACK - I agree with you. I have studied many different styles and forms over the years and nothing has come close to A.C.K for pure street survivability, even at a white, yellow belt lvl.

    Well hopefully someone else from that school will be visiting this site.
    Would be great to talk to old classmates.
    I happened upon this site while trying to find our old school patch (Fist holding Lightning Bolt) to no avail.
    I still have the actual patch, but don't have a scanner.

    If anyone has or knows of a link to a pic of that patch I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks all, look forward to visiting again.


    D
     
  17. mbarberi

    mbarberi White Belt

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    Hello Friends;
    Thanks to TBar, my brother, for leading me to this site. I also studied with Richie (Kyoshi) Barathy for about 12 years. I went on to Sensei Joe Impalazeri and Renshi Richie Corfage in Valley Stream for a short period before faling out of martial arts.

    The Tattoos that the Black Belts got on their forearms were not of Kyoshi Barathy; they were all the same set of dragons but with their own various colorations. The original 9 senseis all got the tattoos around the same time, however when Sensei Don Mcaffrey went for his tats, he accidentally got them on the wrong arms. the dragons were facing the wrong way, which made for endless ribbing from the other black belts.

    Thanks for the memories!
     
  18. bdj

    bdj White Belt

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    I am so happy to see fellow brothers who love American Combat Karate as much as me ,I trained as a teenager under Kioshi Finnigan , I was one of the younger guys there along with which still are and allways will be probly 15 of my closest friends , eventually in time we changed from a ACK school , to a Tai-Zen school , which was great because of the mix of the two it was a double edged sword. I was allways facinated still with ACK and some of my other friends which three of them went on to become blackbelts in American Combat , which they got from Kioshi Barathy, and I would allway pick there minds and get pointers and ideas ,thats where I had the privlidge of meeting Kioshi Barathy , he really seemed larger than life , I wished I could have trained under him some and knew him better which is not a knock on Kioshi Finnigan ,he was my only instructor everand to this day even know Ive strayed away from the arts I conider a "good friend " as well as a mentor , he retired and moved south has to be ten years ago, ive been recently thinking of returning to trainning not sure where and when ,I dont know of any Ack schools though Iknow recently sensai Corflouge was running a school in Lindenhurst but has closed down and dont know if hes still trainning ,I do know two of the originals Kioshi Romeo and sensai Willing are running there respective Tai-Zen schools. To me it was two great systoms with alot of "bad dudes".and a great time in my life
     
  19. ACKGuy

    ACKGuy White Belt

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    Renshei Impallazeri (sp?) closed down the Elmont school but has just opened up an ACK school in Levitown, NY. I believe he is still close with 3 Renshei's from the "original" ACK system. If anyone wants info on the school PM me. As of right now we train Tuesday and Thursday nights and Sunday mornings.

    Renshei Korfaj (sp?), who was my original instructor, unfortunately closed his Copiague school a few years back. I believe he is now teaching JiuJitsu at Matt Serra's school who he became very close with while they studied under Renzo Gracie.

    There are 2 more Renshei's i know of but can't even attempt to spell their names and at least 6 Sensei's I can think of off the top of my head.

    All i know about Kyoshi Barathy are the stories i've heard and what i have read about him in 2 magazines i just recently tracked down.
    Black Belt magazine - July 1986
    Black Belt magazine - March 1997
     
  20. donald

    donald Black Belt

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    " eventually in time we changed from a ACK school , to a Tai-Zen school , which was great because of the mix of the two it was a double edged sword."

    What is Tai-Zen? Are there still Barathy blackbelts who teach his ACK system? If so, where?

    By GOD's Grace,
     
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