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Author Topic: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press  (Read 102053 times)

Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2012, 12:28:26 PM »

Jim,

Coffee break :)

Was at 10th in 1980, Charlie Company, 3rd BN (ODA 333).  We did some great, great training on all fronts based on Cold War mission at that time :).  Went to DLI then to 3/7th in Panama. 

Yes.  At 12th we were on same ODA for years.  When we moved over to the 19th most of us stayed onboard.  By the time we went to KU/IQ we had 82 fully qualified operators with years in SF/Rangers prior to coming to the 19th. 

Of course both the 19th and 20th have since distinguished themselves in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  We've taken our losses, too.

DOL!
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2012, 10:46:53 AM »

Had good talk with Bob Taylor last night.

Been many years.

As always, very interesting and with some good laughs along the way.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #62 on: July 27, 2012, 10:51:14 AM »

And? ;D

C'mon Greg, you going to keep this idiot (aka me) in suspense?
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #63 on: July 27, 2012, 12:24:40 PM »

Bob offers he had no meaningful input regarding section in Sypderco Warrior booklet regarding Echanis.  His primary input is in next section regarding the development of the knife under Wanner, Wanner/Taylor, Wanner/Taylor/Al Mar, Taylor/REKAT.

Randy Wanner became very frustrated with all the business haggling and politics (knife industry abounds with this as almost a pasttime) and left REKAT to pursue his own life.  Little more on that subject known / available.

Bob offers the Spyderco model is definitely re-design coming from Guy Rafaeli, Israeli martial artist, one of the founders of Israel Combat Systems.

So there is distinct and substantial differences in design intent from the original Warrior through those other evolutions mentioned leading up to Sypderco's knife.  These are fairly well described in the booklet in the appropriate latter section.

As I mentioned before Bob T was wise to interact with Spyderco and arrange for the WHOLE history of the knife beginning with Wanner and then Wanner/Taylor to be documented.  Makes for a nice product insert and keeps the stories straight, for the most part.

Bob has read the Wikipedia page and to date finds it accurate in those areas he has direct knowledge of.

One new note I recently confirmed after reading a very interesting post on BladeForums last weekend.

Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Nuygen "Bobby" Nuygen are all buried in Ontario, Oregon.  Echanis and Sanders were indeed childhood friends.  Echanis is buried in Sunset Cemetery and Sanders in Evergreen in his family's space. 

Bobby Nuygen's body was unclaimed.  The Echanis family requested he be buried with their son.  His final resting place is actually the row in front of Echanis', directly in line with Mike's grave. 

Says everything about the Echanis family, I think.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #64 on: July 27, 2012, 04:03:49 PM »

Just got my copy of "The Complete Michael D. Echanis Collection" from Black Belt Books.

This is merging of all three original books into one (paperback) volume.

There is no editing of the original books' contents that I have found.  The one historical inaccuracy that still remains in the original forward that attributes "The man in the arena" quote to President John F. Kennedy when it was actually said by President Theodore Roosevelt.

In one of the new Forwards introducing "Collection" Cam Echanis, Mike's younger brother, likewise uses this quote but he correctly assigns it to Roosevelt.

In short, there was little to no proof reading done to cross reference important details such as this and, in my professional opinion as a published author and writer, it detracts from what should be an error free new product.

The back cover of the book ascribes Echanis as dying "in an unexplained helicopter crash in Nicaragua".  Again, from the beginning of the reports on the aviation crash it has been factually documented Echanis and Company were killed in a private aircraft, not a helicopter.  Again, no excuse for not getting this right in "Collection" at this late stage of the game.

The photo reproduction is good but was much better in the original books.  I would have preferred high quality clean photo reproduction in what is promoted as being a commemorative product.  You can clearly see hundreds of little "dots" in each photo and initially this is distracting if you are familiar with the original books.  Again, a bit larger budget for this project would have made all the difference in the world production wise.

There are three Fowards to "Collection".

The shortest and most relevant is from Cam Echanis, Mike's youngest brother.  This is the first time a member of the Echanis family has agreed to author anything coming out about MDE.  It is objective, to the point and clearly states the family's feelings about MDE, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nuygen's deaths as being in the defense of our country. 

One statement that caught my attention is as follows:

"Some have speculated that Mike and his colleague, Chuck Sanders, were mercenaries, while others claim they had their own agenda in Nicaragua.  This may be true, but our family believes they are fallen soldiers and were there to make a difference for the safety of our country."

Very objective.

The next Forward is by Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and was likewise written in 2010.  A bit more lengthy with GM Lee offering Echanis trained under Joo Bang Lee for 3 1/2 years beginning in the spring of '75.  What caught my attention was the following quote from GM Lee describing his recollection of how Echanis came to know/train in HWD -

"My father then tried to give Echanis some training in teaching the art by placing him in charge of our school in La Habra, California.  The students were constantly getting injured and sent to hospitals.  Echanis was also famous for crashing open tournaments and challenging the current and past champions to full-contact matches and wiping them out.  This type of behavior clearly demonstrated to my father that Echanis could not exist in the civilian sector so he encouraged him to re-enlist."

Of course Echanis could not re-enlist due to the severity of his war wounds and clearly Joo Bang Lee, according to his son, couldn't afford to have him around in "the civilian sector" where HWD was concerned. 

It appears Echanis was likely asked nicely to move on which makes an interesting tie-in to ESI founder and former HWD Black Belt Bob Duggan's published recollection (quoted by Janich in the Spyderco Warrior booklet).

This that Echanis stole money from the La Habra school to finance his trip to Fort Bragg ... an act which Duggan describes as breaking Joo Bang Lee's heart when it was discovered.

The third and last Forward is from Michael Janich.  Also written in 2010 it is interesting to note this is the same year the SpyderCo Warrior project was released with Janich working for Spyderco at the time and writing his own segment in their product insert on Echanis.

MJ shared with me years ago that he was in the Army at one time and I would have like to have seen him reflect his service in the Forward to add to its credibility.  MJ also refers to formal martial arts training he was studying and, again, I would have liked to have known what art or arts these were to better frame his observations.  Finally, MJ offers having talked with former students of Echanis who were/are in the SOF community.  I'd have liked to have seen at least one named to add substance to the claim (i.e. CPT Chuck Karwan, Retired/Deceased, who I'm sure MJ must have known before Chuck passed away).

Otherwise it's a nice little bit of writing.

I believe "Collection" is a good package in one volume if only for the nuggets of information in both Cam Echanis and GM Lee's recollections.  Black Belt Books could have done a better job of proof-reading to catch the errors noted and they could have invested a bit more in photography reproduction.  But - it is what it is.

I don't believe we'll ever see a publication reflecting the 3000 other reported photos of that three-day shoot at O'Hara.  Too many obstacles involved to include Randy Wanner stately clearly that he was the only one who could correctly place them in proper sequence and write the content for such a book(s).

I got my copy of "Collections" on Amazon for $20.91.  That's a fair price for the product.





 
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #65 on: July 27, 2012, 08:43:48 PM »

Sierra912?
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #66 on: July 27, 2012, 09:32:55 PM »

Affirm / and Kasik.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #67 on: July 27, 2012, 09:59:26 PM »

From the consolidated Mike Echanis Book:

To me Taejoon Lee has no clue of what he is speaking of in relation to Mr Echanis and Hwarangdo.

(From the new book as posted by Mr Walker ,above )

The next Forward is by Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and was likewise written in 2010.  A bit more lengthy with GM Lee offering Echanis trained under Joo Bang Lee for 3 1/2 years beginning in the spring of '75.  What caught my attention was the following quote from GM Lee describing his recollection of how Echanis came to know/train in HWD -

The following is from the Hwarangdo historical timeline:
http://www.hwarangdo.com/timeline.htm

March 10, 1975 :
U.S. Army Special Forces Training Program begins Hand-to-Hand Combat School conducted
by Michael Echanis. (Ft. Bragg,


To me:
How does one train for 31/2 years starting in the spring of 1975,when Mike was already at Ft Bragg teaching his methods and aspects of Hwarangdo in the March of 1975 ??

Mike had minimal time in training in Hwarangdo,months not years.
(stated by those who knew and trained with him to prepare him to teach at the La Habra,Ca. school)

Mr Echanis died in Sept 1978,so how did he train under Dr Lee for those  supposed 3 1/2 years ?
I doubt Mr Echanis trained with Dr Lee much at all ,and probably not at all from 1975 when he left for Ft Bragg,though they got together for pictures to enhance Dr Lee and hwarangdo possible entry into Military training.
(Would have been a better alternative to GBJJ)

The forward of the book ,is an Expanded truth by Taejoon Lee for sure,to make Mike Echanis talent all creditable to the Lee's and Hwarangdo.
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #68 on: July 28, 2012, 05:54:41 AM »

Jim,
You may want to read some of this as it has posts by some that we're close to what was going on. Personally I pretty much ignore anything Henry Lee has to say.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/95448-Michael-D-Echanis/page5
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #69 on: July 28, 2012, 08:59:12 AM »

Noload,
Thank you for the link.
I am sure others interested in Mr Echanis will like the info contained there.

I have been interested in Mr Echanis since his articles started to appear in Black Belt,Soldier of Fortune and other places.
I have his books and most of the Mags still.
Because of Mike's writings I even bought the several volumes of the Lee Brothers Hwarangdo books.

I have read the forums over the years,and I know many do not like what Mr Duggan has written,but his writtings seem to give a picture of what was going on,and it is very different from what the Lee Brothers and Taejoon Lee have written.
Mr Taylor's small outline also seems to show a Big difference between truth and fiction.
The Lee brother's ,as many Martial artists from Korea at that time,made people who became students and were given rank more like life long indentured servants ,there to serve the Master of the school.
ERRRR wrong country for that. Men who were given rank and training rebelledand they were expelled,lol.
How do you take away a man's knowledge and skill ?
Maybe say he no longer represents our group,but  to threaten people that if they teach the materials after they are expeled is a joke.
Mr Echanis provided a possible new avenue for the Lee's and Hwarangdo,so he was welcomed back and honored ,while others unable to provide a similar growth road were disavowed and shunned.

Today the field is more open.When the Master goes to far,you can leave and teach on your own,open a school under a different entity and or if so inclined find another MASTER,lol.
Most go it alone. Back then they did not,loyalty ,to a degree ,to the end.

How much did Mr Echanis Make from his so called fame from these people ?
Probably not much.
How much did his family get after his death from these people who called him friend after his death and before for money,the magazines and book writers and publishers using his name and works to line their pockets ?
Probably very little to nothing.
Mike was a showman,a with a self belief/chip,a sellable quality and SKILL and people made a bundle from him and are still doing so through today,34 years after his death.
(Just like Bruce Lee,these men will never die and be distant memories,as they are a money making product)

This renewed interest in Mr Echanis is to cash in on the release of the new condensed book,so now people that were too young and or didn't know the potential of Mr Echanis can cash in or back in with books ,magazine articles and products.

I know I will upset some,but what else is new.

Could the release of the New Spyderco Warrior have been done some other time ?
Like years ago ?
No
Could the work to make sure Mr Echanis was connected to the C/75 have happened sooner or later ?
Sure but the need is NOW.

Let's get real 3% of a 400 + dollar knife given to Special Operations Warrior Fund,a whole 12 dollars per knife,WOW.
I bet 25% to the SOWF would still leave room for a NICE profit.
Influenced by Mike Echanis,Bob Taylor,Randy Wanner and Hwarangdo.
Are those guys or their families getting anything from it,as they should ?

Keep Mike,his past and his memory alive,not to enjoy what was when he was alive but to cash in on what was and the money to be made since his death.
Ka Ching,Ka Ching
Not a martial art or skill but the cash register taking in the money.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #70 on: July 28, 2012, 11:37:18 AM »

JimH,

Spot on!

I presented Henry Lee's comment ref the alleged 3.5 years for the sake of doing so.  That is their story and it has to remain their story for all the reasons and more you have mentioned.

No where have I found where MDE actually trained in HWD for longer than 15 to perhaps 20 hours.  Lee does, in the "Collection" forward confirm Echanis did not attain his rank "the old fashioned way".  I also found his observation about the reason JBL sent him down the road to be new information coming from this source.  That, I think, makes it valuable historically as pieces are properly fitted together.

For the record MDE made only what SOF may have paid him for the martial arts articles published between '74 and '76.  He got nothing from the HWD folks other than free training (an investment for them as we've seen) and free room and board, at times, at the La Habra school.  According to my interview with Wanner many years ago now - all royalties for the first three books were signed over to JBL by Echanis et al.  I imagine they continue to receive some form of income from the books, to include the new "Collection", to this day.

Bob Duggan offers great insight about Echanis and the HWD period.  Witnessed first hand and carefully considered/presented when he has chosen.  Between he and Wanner a fair picture is presented as to Mike Echanis during the last six years of his life from those that were there.

As for the current royalty status for the SpyderCo knife -

I have it on good authority an agreement was reached that no royalty was wanted or would be accepted by anyone involved with the old AMK/REKAT projects.  Instead any royalties generated by knife sales were to go to, initially, the Wounded Warrior Project.  However, Mike Janich discovered the Special Operations Wounded Warrior Foundation and his suggestion to shift donations to this fine organization was agreed upon and continues to this day. 

Spyderco is to be commended for their support of SOF's Wounded Warriors in this manner - they didn't have to do or contribute anything.  I am not surprised as I've known Sal G at SpyderCo for years - he is this kind of guy which is why Al Mar thought so highly of him.  Good on Janich for doing a bit more research and arriving at the SOWF - that organization provides great assistance to our SOF wounded, injured and ill.  I know this firsthand.

Finally, any new or corrected information about Echanis (i.e. the C Co, 75th Infantry correction) is not due to making any money for HWD, SpyderCo or anyone else.

I began correcting the record shortly after reading a review (not four weeks ago now) on the Spyderco Knife on the SpyderCo Forums page.  The truth is out there and it is too easy to properly locate, confirm and then present. 

Several of us are correcting the record and are thereby, at this time, putting Mike Echanis as a human being, man, soldier, wounded warrior, martial artist, family member, brother and son into proper and long overdue perspective.

That's how exploitation is brought up short.  That's how a man's memory and contributions are properly honored. 

I thank Hock for allowing this thread to be one of a select few where we can discuss and present old facts anew, and do away with unsupported myth and gross exploitation.

Respect. 
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #71 on: July 28, 2012, 12:15:19 PM »

Interesting facts for the weekend -

-  Echanis' middle name was Dick.  While in high school there were actually two students named "Michael Echanis".  Michael L Echanis and Michael D Echanis.  Michael L was the all American high school success.  Football co-captain, Homecoming King, Boy of the Month.  Michael D was a thin, slightly built and essentially average member of the student body who lived his high school experience in the shadow of Michael L.  So much so that Michael L was nicknamed "Big Mike" and Michael D was called "Little Mike".  It is as of yet unknown if the two were related in some manner - Ontario is a very small community and the Echanis family is quite large and well rooted there. 

-  Chuck Sanders was married in Nicaragua just two days before his death.  His wife was a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus - Observer, Ontario, Oregon).

- Sanders, born on May 21, 1948, in Ontario was the son of a prominent family.  He graduated Ontario High School in 1967, two years before Echanis graduated.  Chuck Sanders was a star athlete in high school.  He was awarded the "Unsurpassed Award" for his skills on the football field.  (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus-Observer, Ontario, Oregon)

-  Sanders trained in Judo as a child/young man and then excelled in the art/sport while attending the University of Oregon prior to enlisting in the Army. After his death his family suggested anyone wishing to make memorial contributions could do so by contributing "to the Ore-Ida Judo club in care of Bertelson-Lienkaemper Funeral Chapel" (Obit, Charles "Chuck" Sanders, Argus-Observer, Ontario, Oregon).

- While serving with Special Forces SGT Sanders was awarded the Army's Soldier's Medal, its highest non combat award for heroism.  This for saving the life of a fellow Soldier during a high angle climbing exercise during which the Soldier fell.

-  MDE excelled at track and basketball while at Ontario High School, which he graduated from in 1969.  He played basketball for the Ontario Tigers (#21) and was on the track team's high jump squad.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #72 on: July 28, 2012, 12:19:37 PM »

Postscript -

"Big Mike" Echanis also played basketball for the Tigers during the same time "Little Mike" did.  He was #33.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2012, 07:02:02 PM »

Update to Wikipeda page made - last one for a good while and offers documented/referenced information regarding unit of assignment when wounded (circa 1971, public information source), extraction from BSM w V narrative (Army, public source, 1971) and public source information regarding Chuck Sanders.

Bad info and marketing hype just that - the result of lazy a** writers and advertising sharks -

But MDE invited and encouraged much of this so there's enough to go around, I suppose.

Thanks for enduring me, guys :)

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #74 on: July 28, 2012, 09:46:03 PM »

Been a pleasure Greg!

Jim,
I've just been thinking about all the HRD books and videos I have, and outside of the original late 70's HRD book most of the videos seem to be from the late 90's to pre-9/11. Dr. Bang's Century videos, Wanner/Taylor, Jesse Lechuga and one fellow whose tapes I've lost. Seems like there was a good opportunity that it could have caught on if not for wacked politics from the HQ as it was one of the better traditional arts in way of documentation of techniques.

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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #75 on: July 29, 2012, 03:29:09 PM »

What I forgot to ask last night, does Echanis even matter to anyone under 45, and if so how? He's interesting to me in a way, but to a guy training today how does he show up in their radar?

The books aren't that good compared to material available today, we have more SEALS willing to teach their training, we really have more of everything now than we hoped to get out of those books. So why is Black Belt still pushing MDE?
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #76 on: July 29, 2012, 04:28:08 PM »

Ha!

No, likely not (does Echanis matter?) :)

Why is Black Belt / the World Hwa Rang Do Association still milking his name for whatever it may still be worth?

JimH may agree with me -

$$, my friend.  $$.

They own the already published material and it costs them almost nothing to reproduce it / republish it. 

As with any business they have already forecast what they need to make to show the profit they want to show.  If they make more than the forecast, great, if not ... the worst that happens is they break even.

If they lose $$, which likely they won't, they can still write the losses off tax wise.  I believe the publishing industry remains the only one where for every $1.00 you invest, $2.00 can be written off.

It's a no lose situation for them.

And unless they are donating a percentage of the profit to a charity that perhaps the Echanis / Sanders families would approve of ... well, don't hold your breath :)

It's all about the bottom line.

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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2012, 05:25:24 PM »

I didn't think publishing had a bottom line anymore. ;D

It still is amazing to me that the HRD people think there's still some marketing magic in his name. I've met or trained with SF guys who did a hell of a lot more than ME in the field and have never really seen any of them held up by their respective arts in the same way. But I guess part of that is the way HRD seems unique in the degree of how it promotes itself, which is one reason it's interesting for me.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2012, 09:52:22 PM »

Ha! :).  Good observation on publishing.

I'd offer the only reason MDE continues to have the public venue it does is because of Black Belt / O'Hara Publications.  They have the horsepower to keep it going as long as it is profitable.

My copy of "Basic Stick Fighting, 2003" is the 21st print run!

So there's a strong following that continues to be regenerated via BB/O'Hara and that following is profitable.

The WHRDA has enjoyed strong ties for decades with BB/O'Hara.  However, I think it's fair to say that without BB/O'Hara and these fraternal ties the Lee Family the Echanis legend would have drifted quietly into the night long ago.

I've long appreciated the art (HWD) and have heard all sides of the politics - which are really, in my mind, no more or less than the politics of Jeet Kune Do  :).

Quick note regarding the question of whether Echanis was a ranger or not ...

From "Shadow Warriors - The History of the 75th Ranger Regiment" - which is a superb history of the Regiment dating back to WW2 -

The 75th Infantry was reorganized and activated on June 1, 1969, under the Army's Combat Regiment System.  15 Ranger companies were activated, 13 of these saw combat in Vietnam.

Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 1st Field Force (Vietnam) was activated on February 1, 1969.  It's core unit personnel, as with the other companies in Vietnam, was made up of seasoned LRP veterans.  The company was deactivated on October 25, 1971.

Michael D Echanis was assigned as a replacement to this company and was by all objective and official parameters a ranger.  He accorded himself as a ranger, per Chief Gary O'Neil who was his squad leader at the time, and was wounded/decorated for valor as a Charlie Company ranger.

Those are the facts.  Period.

With this in mind two things are also true.

There can no longer be any doubt as to why Echanis was so proud of his status as a ranger.

The reason it is important for us to ensure the facts, regardless of what they may be, are preserved is to honor his sacrifices for our Nation as well as to ensure the recorded recollections of his memory are not further marred by what is not true or accurate.

He's a very interesting part of the military and martial arts worlds -
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Benjamin Liu

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2012, 01:41:59 PM »

From my observations, in the MA world (and probably many other activities as well) earlier books/videos/instructors that become popular tend to stay popular even if much better books/videos/instructors are available.

If an instructor read the Echanis books in the 1970s and told his students to read them in the 1980s and their students read them in the 1990s, today, unless they are actively looking for new knife ansd stick books, they'd likely recommend these books to their students.

That's also one reason why authors like Grossman and DeBecker are so popular even though better books are available and why Hick's law and all the adrenaline nonsense is still considered "cutting edge" these days regardless of current research.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2012, 03:55:38 PM »

TogetherWeServed web page on Echanis just updated to include the Wikipedia page - nice - the Internet is a wonderful thing.

http://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=EventExt&ID=25950
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #81 on: July 30, 2012, 04:10:15 PM »

Interesting observation Benjamin. In my day job tech & methodologies come and go, too much really, but in regards to martial arts things move much slower until there is an event big enough to shake everyone up.

Echanis' status is interesting as he was really a relative non-player in the larger martial arts world even when he was alive outside of the small SF community.
Speaking of which, how many US SF did he actually train?

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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #82 on: July 30, 2012, 05:17:07 PM »

I don't know that anyone really knows / has a record.

He did train operators at SEAL Team II in San Diego for about 4 months, according to a post from Tom Sutherland, former SEAL, who offers Echanis stayed at his home for this period of time. 

At Bragg, very hard to say.  Again, if there's a record that's valid I haven't seen it.  We do know he ranked the people noted to belong to the Special Warfare Studies Group (i.e. Sanders and O'Neil).  There is a photo of him likewise giving graduation certificate to Keith Idema at Fort Bragg.  Idema, like Echanis, is very controversial subject.

It is my best guess he (Echanis) discovered he could not make a living doing short contracts for the military.  In his interview with Tom Fenton at AP, just before his death, he stated he was only in Nicargua "for the money" and because he hated communists.

SOF's column by column checks would have been simply beer money.

Having to eat and have a roof over his head my guess is he ran out of options at Bragg, got offered a contract in NIC, and went for it.

One reason why there is so few who can legitimately say they were trained to any degree by MDE - coming from the SOF community at the time.
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #83 on: July 30, 2012, 05:27:25 PM »

Mr Echanis was not contracted to go down to Ft Bragg to teach Special Forces.
Mr Echanis went down to Ft Bragg to hang out with Mr Sanders of 5th Group.
Mike began teaching Members of 5th SF.
Mike also Volunteered to work with members  Special Forces, the 82nd Airborne, and 18th Airborne Corps at the Fort Bragg a couple of days a week for then Commanding General Hank Emerson's“Fit-To-Fight Program”.

According to Keith Idema,11 Men only were certified by Mr Echanis as qualified Instructors of his version of Hwarangdo instruction.
A picture on Keiths Old site shows him getting his certificate from Mr Echanis.
Others in the background of that picture were others awarded their certificates that day
There were not that many courses run by Mike at Bragg.
I have no clue as to other military units.
I have seen a list of a couple of Navy guys qualified and one US Marine,supposedly of 2nd Force Recon.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2012, 07:37:24 PM »

Jim, great info.  Forgive my use of the term "contract".  Simply what I'm used to using in general.  My error.  Yes, saw the pic of Idema last week. 
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #85 on: July 30, 2012, 08:53:53 PM »

After looking around the net it seems that there are a lot of people who confuse Wanner with ME in regards to Hwarangdo history and who trained who. Also it would seem ME invented most of the techniques used by the Special forces. ;D
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2012, 09:06:11 PM »

Mr Walker,
i had written my response to Noloads question,and your response was there already.
My use of the word contract was not in reference to your post but to what a lot of people believe,which is, Mr Echanis had a contract to teach Special Forces at Fort Bragg and that is why he left teaching Hwarangdo.
He left  to go to Fort Bragg to be with Mr Sanders.
Teaching guys from 5th Group and other teaching that he did just happened.Unplanned events which made him a sort of legend to the martial arts fans and some one to seek out for certain military types.

Mr Echanis,I believe ,could have been one of the people who could have gotten his style of hwarangdo into the Military,much like GBJJ /MMA is today.
He had the personality ,skills and belief in himself which could have sold it. J.B.Lee did not have such ability to sell hwarangdo to the Military.(My opinion)

I knew Keith,he was driven,maybe similarly to Mr Echanis,but I only know Mr Echanis through stories,so similarly may not be correct,but both men were driven for sure.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2012, 04:34:49 PM »

After looking around the net it seems that there are a lot of people who confuse Wanner with ME in regards to Hwarangdo history and who trained who. Also it would seem ME invented most of the techniques used by the Special forces. ;D

I have it on very good authority MDE did indeed evolve his HWD training under both Wanner and JBL into, essentially, a hybrid system of military close quarters combatives and killing that was unique to him.

Pretty interesting as from the early 90s to the present this approach has been repeated whether it was Paul Vunak (PFS), the lads at SCARS, the Gracie JJ instructors who received military contracts with the SOF community, Kelly Worden (Natural Spirit, with a long history training - for example - the 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis) and so on.

What Echanis did would later become a trend although many years down the road after his death.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2012, 06:26:43 PM »

How so Greg? What kind of techniques did he use that were unique to him? Where did he gain the knowledge and experience to do so? Where did JBL and Wanner get their knowledge and experience?
I'm not saying it isn't so but there are some jumps in ME's training that I'm trying to understand.  8)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2012, 07:37:05 PM »

Same question I have - and my strong sense is that the missing years of MDE's development beginning January 1971 after his medical discharge from the Army and return home ... to (roughly) 1976 when he left SOF Magazine as its martial arts editor.

This is a five year span that we have little to no information about training / personal development wise. 

We do know, from a 2009 story in the Ontario Argus - Observer recalling Echanis' story that Ben Plaza, a childhood friend interviewed for the piece, offered MDE once home from the Army began working out (weight lifting) and "bulking up".

This in continuation of his rehabilitation/recovery process post the MIL hospital in San Francisco.  Mr. Plaza also offers this is when Echanis began studying Carlos Castenda's precepts regarding shamanism, among other subjects.

Not at all unusual at that point in our cultural history.

Retired Special Forces major, Vietnam veteran, writer/author/editor Jim Morris ("War Story" - the classic SF book of SF in Vietnam) has studied Carlos Castenda for years now and today teaches veterans how to successfully attain meaningful recovery on the basis of his understanding of shamanic healing.

Another up and coming martial artist during this period was Bruce Lee.  His work began being studied in any form it could be starting in 1971 as his movies caught on.  Lee would pass on in 1974. 

Lee's art, Jeet Kune Do, originated in 1967 and it can be presumed with some aclarity that Echanis would be aware of Lee, JKD, and may indeed have begun reading / watching Lee's interviews and published work as did a huge audience of martial arts instructors and students back then.

Lee was a modern pioneer in the refinement of movement and the power of the human mind to overcome adversity.  We might remember Lee's 1970 near crippling back injury.  Lee was told he'd never practice the arts again.  For months while suspended near immobile during his recovery he did nothing but read and study - he overcame his injury and exploded as a martial artist and philosopher.

It is an interesting irony that both men were severely injured in 1970...both proved their doctors wrong...both sought out of the box rehabilitation and training to excel and both studied the powers of the mind as an integral aspect of their martial development.

Lee easily could have been someone's story who Echanis, as a severely wounded veteran, would be more than interested in.

All this to say I think MDE evolved tremendously in his thinking, training and personal direction from 1971 to 1976. 

I do know from interviewing SiGung Art Gitlin that he found Echanis gifted, intense and willing any time to get on the mat and go all out.  Gitlin signed off on Echanis to Brown at SOF regarding the martial arts editor position.  Art is/was very respected in both his character and art so his opinion cannot be underscored.

In short, based on what I know and am discovering now, by the time Echanis got to HWD he was well along in a multitude of ways and on many levels. 

JBL's experience is rooted in his seniormost role as the founder of HWD as we know it.  Wanner was his senior instructor and scribe for many years.  As noted, Wanner received permission to train Echanis in anything Echanis wanted - which was primarily the killing techniques in HWD and the esoteric aspects of the art.

Datu Kelly Worden, who is close friend and brother of mine, did exactly the same when he began training SOF personnel/operators many years ago now.  He took all of what he'd been taught, what he was still in the process of learning, what he'd created when he founded Natural Spirit International and evolved a purely SOF centric training program.

Someone else who did the same is Chief Gary O'Neil.

And yet another is retired Special Forces martial arts instructor/ legend Jim West.

This is the era and generation of Special Operations soldiers that Echanis belongs to.

Fascinating stuff.  As Bruce Lee offered us "You must first open your mind!"



Anyhow, if we're going to truly understand how Echanis developed I believe we need to learn about the years 1971 through 1976 in this aspect.



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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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