View Full Version : Karate in the 1950s

Hans Bachmann
14th August 2008, 20:15

Does anyone know who was teaching Karate in New York in the 1950's?

Thank you kindly,

Hans Bachmann

14th August 2008, 22:10
I know George Mattson was teaching it in Boston...

Sorry. Don't know about New York.

Rob Alvelais
15th August 2008, 17:04
Was Peter Urban back from Japan by then, teaching in NY? What about Anthony Miraken?

Hans Bachmann
15th August 2008, 18:53
Anthony Mirakian opened a dojo in 1960, I believe in MA

Peter Urban opened a dojo in NJ in 1959 and one in NY in 1960

Anyone else?


-Hans Bachmann

16th August 2008, 05:34
See Joe Svinth and EJMAS.com. Bob Mackey was active in 50' MA in NYC, starting with Judo. S. Henry Cho, with Korean Karate, soon after in the early 60's. THis is just for starters!

Tom Militello

6th October 2008, 01:18
Did Bob Mackey ever do any professional wrestling under the stage name of "Cowboy Bob"? Also, did he teach any form of karate or kempo in addition to his Judo?

6th October 2008, 02:09
The reason I'm asking about Bob Mackey is that he is a possible match for my grandfather's martial arts instructor. A few years ago I posted a similar inquiry, but maybe there's some new blood on the board that can offer some insight. My grandfather, Bill McCarthy, was a merchant seaman from the 1940s to the 1970s. He was quite a scrapper in his day and I've talked with a few of his buddies who let me know that he was the real deal.

We were quite close and he would always teach me his "tricks" as we horsed around. His small joint manipulation was quite good and his ippon seiken was well-developed and accurate (a lot of pressure point striking). When I started training in MooDukKwan TKD in the mid-80s he and I would compare notes on a regular basis. He was bored with my kata and didn't like TKD's emphasis on kicking. He did once perform Sanchin kata for me (closed fist style with no turn - maybe that's a clue) and showed me a toe kick to the inner thigh that was very painful - that was it for his forms and kicking repertoire.

As I've left TKD and moved on to other MA training over the years I've come to appreciate his insights more. Sadly, he passed away years ago. The only thing I know about his formal MA training was that it took place in an east coast city in the late 50s or early 60s. Gramps was in his 30s at the time and was the oldest of his training class. The guys (all men) trained everyday for several hours in a loft or warehouse under the direction of an American teacher who was also a professional wrestler. He may have wrestled under the stage name "Cowboy Bob", but I might be mis-remembering that.

Last note about my Gramp. He was the youngest bos'n on the east coast in WWII and, despite dropping out of school in the 8th grade, learned three languages. He was both the toughest and kindest man Ive ever met. I'd love to learn more about this aspect of his life.