Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Whatever Happened To ... ?
This is a short post, likely of interest only to silat players, and, in particular, those who are long-time students of Maha Guru Plinck's class in Washington.
Remember Rocco Latino? That's him on the milk crate. He's studying silat with Guru Sean Stark, down in Florida. You can see the vid here, about 2/3rds of the way down the page.
Rocco was a student at our class for a year or two. This was back when we were divided into two groups, beginners and -- I hesitate to say "advanced," but perhaps "a little past beginner" is a bit unwieldy. "More advanced" wouldn't be too far off. You get the idea.
I don't recall exactly how it happened, but Rocco somehow managed to con his way into the more advanced class instead of the beginners where -- in my opinion -- he belonged. I believe he told Guru that he couldn't schedule things to get there for the beginning class, and I suspect this was probably not the case ...
He was a pretty funny guy. "Before you can be the tiger, you must first be the monkey." was one of his pesudo-Bruce Lee aphorisms.
Two memories in the class center around Rocco: The first was one cold Hallowe'en night in Cotten's garage when Rocco and I were paired and doing one-step sparring. I hadn't warmed up properly, I pushed off, and tore my right calf muscle pretty good. Six weeks, much of which was using a cane, before that healed. I don't recommend that you try this at home.
I warm up real good these days before I start serious dancing around.
The other memory, somewhat more amusing, was during the second vid shoot when, dressed in a sarong (and bicycle shorts), I was the attacker and Rocco the defender. The technique ended in a sweep, I went down, and the camera got this great upskirt shot, which somehow made its way onto both of the first two tapes ...
Rocco was a teacher, and fed up with the local school system, elected to fly off to Auckland, NZ, to teach there. Apparently, dealing with some of the problem kids down under, some of whom were big and tough, wasn't the most pleasant experience, either, and he moved back to Florida to be near his aging parents ...