Authors: Susan Lynn Peterson
These stories are works of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are fictitious or used fictitiously and should not be construed as accurate representations of actual persons, events, or locales.
First published in 2003 by Tuttle Publishing, an imprint of Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd., with editorial offices at 364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759 U.S.A.
Copyright © 2003 by Susan Lynn Peterson
Illustrations © 2003 by Joe Reynolds
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission from Tuttle Publishing.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Pubication Data
Peterson, Susan Lynn, 1957.
Legends of the martial arts masters / by Susan Lynn Peterson. p. cm
ISBN 978-1-4629-0353-5 (ebook)
LCC No.: 2003045820
GV1113 .P48 2003
796.8/092/2 B 21
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To my mar
tial arts teachers
Linebarger, Lend McCaster, Johnny Linebar
ger, Jeff Zauderer, John Spooner,
and Bill Mailman,
who over the years ha
ve taught me far more than martial ar
My thanks to all the people who made this book possible: To the folks of the CompuServe Writers’ Forum, especially the Research and Craft section, for insights into everything from botany to bow strings, tigers to tofu. Thanks especially to section leaders Diana Gabaldon and Susan Martin, and to Jo Bourne, Peggy Walsh Craig, Steven Lopata, Nan McCarthy, Janet McConnaughey, R. W. Odlin, Robert Lee Riffle, Larry Sitton, Kit Snedaker, Dodie Stoneburner, and Maya Rushing Walker.
To the folks of the CompuServe Literary Forum’s Children’s Literature section for comments and critiques—to section leader Marsha Skrypuch, and to Merrill Cornish, Linda Grimes, and Rosemarie Riechel.
To Moses Orepesa, Jr., and D. J. Sieker for their comments on the manuscript.
To the martial artists of KoSho Karate in Tucson, who listened to these stories as I learned to tell them. To Rosina Lippi Green for her insights into the business of writing and her honesty and kind words.
And most especially to my husband, Gary, who has always believed in me.
Most stories are either nonfiction or fiction, true or make-believe. But a legend is often both.
Most of the people in
Legends of the Martial Arts Masters
were real people. Tamo was a real monk who lived fifteen hundred years ago. Yet because he lived so long ago, we know almost nothing about what he was like as a person. The stories about what he could do have been told and retold so many times that we no longer know what is real and what is make-believe. On the other hand, Robert Trias died in 1989. Many of his students are still alive, still teaching karate, and still telling their students what they remember about Grandmaster Trias. But already Robert Trias is becoming a legend. Stories about him are told and retold, sometimes growing a little in the telling.
Did Ueshiba Osensei really disappear into thin air? Did Nai Khanom Tom really defeat twelve Burmese Bando fighters? Did GogenYamaguchi really fight a tiger? I don’t know. That’s the way I heard the stories, but maybe they had “grown” a little before I heard them.
Even if these aren’t true in every detail, they are great legends. Why? Because legends aren’t just about what happened. Legends are about how we feel when we hear stories about great people doing great things. Legends are about wondering whether people are really able to do such spectacular feats. Legends are about wondering if we could do great things, too.