Dr. Rodney T. Hard
By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard
Ed McPherson was legally blind and read printed material by holding the writing within an inch or two of his thick glasses, but, he sure could fight. He had awesome power and speed in his hands and was one of my best students in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970's.
While going to high school, and not having earned his black belt yet, he had already mastered the multi-man defense techniques and principles I had taught.
Because of his disability, he often became the brunt of jokes and taunts. One day at school, while he was in the bathroom, he was accosted by several other students and felt that he was physically threatened. So, he kicked one of the attackers, knocking him across the room into one of the stalls.
That boy got a total of sixteen guys together and waited for Ed after school. They waited until he was walking across a small bridge over a creek and trapped him on the bridge approaching from the front and back.
Ed jumped off of the bridge but stumbled around on the rocks while the gang caught up with him on either side of the stream bed.
The fight was on. The sixteen attackers were all injured and unable to continue while Ed walked away from the fight without a scratch or bruise on him.
A few months later, Ed was walking home from teaching classes at my Karate school. It was dark and he had a friend with him. A group of his former attackers, thinking that they had the advantage in the dark, tried again to beat up Ed. As they surrounded him, Ed told his friend to keep clear of him because he could not distinguish who was friend or foe.
Ed pulled out a set of Nunchaku and made short work of the attackers and his own friend, who failed to get out of the way as Ed had directed.
Ed McPherson is second from the left standing next to Rodney Hard at the St. Louis Tracys Karate School.
What I learned:
I learned that the mass-attack fighting principles, spinning techniques, and aggressive offense bolstered by hundreds of hours of training and practice REALLY DO WORK!
I learned that having a weapon, knowing how to use it, and being willing to use it can give you a big advantage, even against overwhelming odds.
Ed McPerson training with his instructor, Master Rodney Hard.
Rodney Hard demonstrating defense against multi-man attack at Heman Park in St. Louis, Missouri in May of 1972.
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