SHIHAN! is an inspiring walk through the life of legendary martial arts Grandmaster, Dr. Ernie Reynolds, Soke, who founded the Black Dragon Association, International. This engaging work will appeal to all who understand bushido and who sincerely walk the martial path with humility and dedication. Part biographical, part philosophical, part historical, part testimonial, and very personal throughout, Shihan! will take the reader on an exciting journey of discovery and inspiration. This book is a literary monument to Shihan Reynolds´ life and to the thousands of lives that have forever changed for the better through his teaching, dedication, and martial skill.
SHIHAN! is not a book for everyone. But for those who walk the martial path with humility and bushido this work will have special appeal. Shihan! was written specifically to commemorate the ongoing legacy of legendary martial arts Grandmaster, Dr. Ernie Reynolds, Soke, a formidable martial arts competitor and founder of the Black Dragon Association, International. Dr. Ernie Reynolds, Soke is truly one of the last of the great American martial arts legends. This work was undertaken in order to preserve his legacy among current and future generations of Black Dragons both here and abroad. Nevertheless, some of these contents doubtless will have wide appeal to many others in the broader martial arts community. This is because Shihan’s own life was transformed by the martial arts. The reader will gradually come to realize that the abundant gems of wisdom contained herein spring from a life dedicated to the transformation of others through the martial arts.
Shihan means “teacher of teachers” in Japanese. It is a title of honor and respect given only to a select few. Shihan Reynolds holds, or has held, many other titles as well, such as Sensei, Master, Grandmaster, Soke, and Doctor. But it is the title of Shihan, teacher of teachers, that most martial artists know him by. Shihan Reynolds is one of the original martial arts pioneers in the United States who contributed greatly to the early growth and popularity of the martial arts throughout this land and indeed around the world. Thousands of lives have been forever changed for the better through his teaching, dedication, and skill. While SHIHAN! is primarily intended for his many loyal Black Dragons and martial arts historians, it is hoped also that even non-martial artists will find in these pages something of value. A grain of truth perhaps, an insight, inspiration, or simply a glimmer of “light” that can be carried along that uncertain path called life. For there is wisdom here. There is truth here. Just know that the path to knowledge never ends and that when we think we have achieved our goal in the search for enlightenment, we quickly learn that we have only just begun our journey.
The material in SHIHAN! is based primarily on nearly ten hours of recorded oral history sessions conducted in person with Shihan Reynolds. The recordings were made under the auspices of the Black Dragon Oral History Research Project in Hialeah, FL throughout 2001 and were designed to provide a documented record of Grandmaster Reynolds in his own voice for historical purposes. Only three sets of these original recordings (along with a detailed transcription of each tape) have been produced and are now carefully preserved and have become treasured artifacts.
To all fellow Black Dragons, a special note: Never forget where you came from. Know your roots. Honor your brother and sister Black Dragons. Be proud of your Black Dragon heritage for you are the bearers of its collective legacy. Represent it well and defend it with honor and integrity. Remember our founder, our Shihan, Dr. Ernie Reynolds, Soke- for all we are as Black Dragons, we owe to this one extraordinary life!
An Excerpt from the book:
“Shihan’s early years were marked by poverty, dif