By Nikolaj Fænø Skarbye
Back in 2003 my main Kyusho Instructor Karsten Dam started to invite the four founders of Kyusho International to Denmark to share their teachings one-by-one. Mark Kline came to Denmark in 2005, at that time, I did not have the opportunity to go there, and I had merely just started my own journey into the world of Kyusho. First after another 5 years of Kyusho training I happened to train with mr. Kline at the International Kyusho Convention 2010 aka IKC2010. Mark is one of very few, if not the only person, who have accomplished to receive a black belt from George Dillman, Remy Presas and Wally Jay. At the IKC i was impressed on how he combined his knowledge to one unity – his way of Kyusho.
I am proud to present my interview with Grandmaster Mark Kline 8th Dan Ryukyu Kempo
- Where are you from and when was you born?
I was born the 25th of February 1967, and I’m from the state of New Jersey, US.
- What was your first experience with martialarts?
Well, i started with wrestling through high school and also at college, it was scolastic wrestling, not free style. It differs from the free style wrestling. I don’t really remember why, but i chose to do the wrestling.
- Then what… ?
In 1986 or 1987 I dislocated my elbow wrestling when I was 19. I was wrestling with a guy 20 lbs heavier than me who had would go on to take 6th in the state championships that year. I was actually throwing him around, until he tried to take me down. I resisted and posted my arm on the mat and my elbow popped. Several months later I started Tang Soo Do hoping the hand techniques would help to rehabilitate my arm. I had many questions that the black belts did not like. Since I wrestled…it was easy for me to take them down and they were not sure what to do other than to tell me that “this was against the rules.” I was confused because I thought I was learning self defense. What they were teaching me was sport karate (for tournaments) and calling it self defense…I guess they were the ones confused.
- What was your first experience with Kyusho?
There was a woman who owned a martial arts supply store near my house. I had separated my shoulder one night training. I went to her store to look around the next day with my arm in a sling. The doctor told me that I would be out of action for 6-8 weeks. It was very painful. She asked me if I wanted her to do some shiatsu on it. I said ok, but did not think it would help. Within 20 minutes I had full range of motion in my arm and the swelling had gone down. That is my first experience with Kyusho. She lent me George Dillmans first 4 videos and he had made sense out of what my Tang Soo Do instructors could not. Soon after I went to a seminar with Dillman. This was in 1989 in Pottsville, Pa. I was hooked after that.
- Do you remember the first time you got Knockout from kyusho and the technique used and who did it? (on you)
George Dillman performed it on me at a PA seminar in Pottsville. Struck me on Lung 5 (armpoint). I woke up on the floor.
Kline medical study along with evan, gary, jim
- You have had experience with both remy presas and wally Jay Can you tell us some
more? Like how did you meer Them and ender up training with Them etc
I met Wally and Remy in Delaware in 1990…I think at a seminar with Dillman, Presas, and Jay as the teachers.
Each time they came to the east coast I went to their seminars. Eventually it got to a point where I was hosting them for seminars. The first seminar I hosted was Remy in 1992 at my school. Remy would stay at my house and I would drive him around, take him to seminars, help him with paperwork, etc.
- My next question is regarding organizations, you told mé that one of the Reasons you left DKI was due to the fact that they interfered In your private ma-business. Dó we need organizations – whats your oppinion?
Organizations can be great things if they are organized. DKI was not organized at the time. Not sure if they are now and regardless…it is no longer a concern to me. KI is organized and growing. When issues come up…they are voted on and a consensus is reached…this is an organization, not a loose collection of people. There are some in DKI who are highly organized, but they do not run the organization. Organizations can be good or bad…depending on whether or not they are organized and everyone is moving towards a common goal. Being a part of an organization can be very rewarding.
- how and when did you start your own School and when did it become your way of living? what dó you Think it is that you dó different, that does that your schools are sucessfull?
I started my school in 1992. I got a loan from a student to start the school. I have been doing this full time since 1992. The major difference is what we teach and our methods of imparting this knowledge.
- Any advice for the students who have just started doing martialarts?
Just take your time. The only person you are competing against is yourself
- Any advice for the more advanced people who have been training for many years?
Same as #9
- what is your oppinion regarding changing style and blending different arts vica the more traditional stay-In-one-style for 30years or it os betrayal oppinion?
There is no pure style. Everyone borrows/steals from other styles
- Can you do your favourite technique and Knock me out with it?
I have no favorite technique, but I have been doing this one a lot (see video reference) –
When asked after the interview whether he could describe what he did to me Mark answered “You asked to be KO’d. I obliged, I don’t know what else to say except I hit you, and you fell down, with a tricky smile”
At Mark Klines webpage, there will be a lot of DVDs I can recommend for inspiration – remember when practicing kyusho seek out a qualified instructor.