Guro Dan Inosanto: PE Teacher at Malaga Cove School

I was lucky as a young person at Malaga Cove intermediate school.

I was lucky because I had GURO Dan Inasanto was my PE teacher in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Guro Dan Insosanto’s website is: http://www.inosanto.com

As our teacher and role model, he was authentic and awe-inspiring.  I believe this could be said about all of us, even those who detested PE in all its forms.  This was in the late 1960s, during the high water years of the Vietnam war.  Long hair and rock&roll etc   It was a convergence of opposites–Dan was an ex-Marine (?) during the Korean War.  At Malaga Cove school in the 1960s, GURO Dan was coming face to face with the patty-cakes and smart-alicks from PVE.   Thankfully, that cosmic oddity happened.

Having Mr, I as my PE teacher was an excellent experience that I recall fondly, although not without memories of pain.  It became a ritual test of defiance again da’Man for few wisecrackers in each class to give Mr. I some lippy nonsense so that  you could get chased and popped, or just popped without the chase, stung badly by his bamboo baton.  He was incredibly strong and quick, and the stick was a cluster of long bamboo strips tied together by twine and encased within a canvas cover.  It hurt but the message was clear, “you little punk, you just came up against the force of righteousness and your butt now hurts.”  His use of the baton was presumably legal.  He used it liberally, but only when necessary, for disciplinary reconciliation…those were the days when it was OK to whack an unruly student in the butt, legs, arms, or backside and not get sued.

The boys at Malaga Cove in PE saw him as a mythological larger than life super-being–after all, he was in movies as a stuntman, he was a martial arts trailblazer on the Green Hornet TV series, he was a Kali champion and legend even in those days, and he had a good sense of humor–although we knew he was leading us to higher levels.  All of that meant he was a great teacher for us in those years.

 

 

Dan Inosanto (L) with Bruce Lee (R)

 

 

 

 

This is a poem composed by Inosanto-san that I found on his website.

We are all climbing different paths through the mountain of life,and we have all experienced much hardship and strife.

There are many paths through the mountain of life, and some climbs can be felt like the point of a knife.

Some paths are short and others are long, who can say which path is right or wrong?

The beauty of truth is that each path has its own song,

and if you listen closely you will find where you belong.

So climb your own path true and strong,

but respect all other truths for your way for them could be wrong. 

– Dan Inosanto

Published by anthonycollinsfilm

I am a documentary filmmaker, teacher, writer, and musician. I have lived, worked, and traveled in many parts of the world, and look forward to more adventures and opportunities for learning in the future. I am using this blog as a process of learning, a chance to reflect upon the past, and a good way to express what I know in the moment.

2 thoughts on “Guro Dan Inosanto: PE Teacher at Malaga Cove School

  1. I lived in P.E. from about ’74 thru ’77 and I had the great fortune of knowing Mr. I, too, when I attended Malaga Cove Intermediate. Although I didn’t have him as my PE teacher, I was a HUGE Bruce Lee fanatic, and so I sought to befriend Mr I. He used to say, “Pruett…the man of the century always does his calisthenics.” I brought my nanchakus to school, and I even made some escrima batons, which he wielded a few times! When you describe him, his personality comes through. How frickin’ cool was it to have known him! Thanks for the piece, here, on him.

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