Thank you for sharing your Uncle Borino's thoughts and experiences.
Very well constructed and presented.
Please give him my respect.
As for the commentary about grips, situations, this/that and the other thing...bear in mind the most "critical" will be those who make a living teaching edged weapon subject matter. Ya gotta keep the "mystery" and the "magic" in it to make a buck.
It is always INTENT. Means and Opportunity follow.
I have no doubt your uncle, there in Cebu, cares not a rat's behind what our stateside "experts" think or pontificate about his reality. As you said, he would just light a smoke and walk away knowing far more about them they they think they do about him.
Early on in Fighting Knives Magazine, the late Al Mar sent me up to Tacoma, Washington, to meet and "interview" a friend of his. Ron Ishida lived quietly up in North Tacoma. His wife had passed away a few years back. He was a career corrections officer at the prison on Puget Sound.
He was born in Hawaii and had, in the mid-1930s as a very young man, traveled to Japan. There he learned the Art of the Sword, among others, in a traditional school. When the war broke out he was kept from returning to America by the Japanese military government. He was sent to train Japanese Marines in close quarter combatives, specifically the rifle and bayonet.
He did so under penalty of harm to his family on Hawaii.
When the war was over he was repatriated to the United States and imprisoned until the truth of his story and circumstances was discovered and proven.
He was not bitter or angry. Life was what life was.
He and Al met and he became very close to Mar.
When I met Ron at his home he was very kind. I asked him many silly questions. All smug and sure of myself and what I thought I knew. He was patient.
When I took out three knives, all specialty cutlery "combat knives", I asked him which he felt was the superior knife for fighting.
He took each in hand one at a time. He examined them briefly then put each down gently (we were sitting on the floor). Ron said "These are all very fine knives." Then he slowly pointed to his head with his right index finger and said "But this is the true weapon you must develop!"
He then took me into his small and very lovely backyard. "Would you like to see my dojo?", he asked.
Of course, I responded.
He took me to a place in front of a large window and had me stand in front of it. "Here is where I train every morning," Ron offered. "I stand here and make 500 cuts, then I go about my day."
I looked into the window and saw his and my reflection.
It was my "wax on - wax off" moment. Al had known all along I needed a reality check
Ron passed away several years later. A warrior, an accomplished martial artist, a peaceful man who protected our society by watching over some of the most violent criminals then behind the walls and bars of prison. A gentle and wise man. Humble because of his Life's experiences and training. However clearly a man not to be trifled with even in his older years.
My sense is your Uncle Borino is much the same at his core.
I would have loved to have sat at his feet and learned from him.
Greg Walker (Retired)
USA Special Forces