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Frank Argelander (aka Frank Landers) - Is an American martial arts practitioner, promoter, instructor and founder of the Seishindo and SeishinDo Karate style. Argelander, an accomplished weapons expert, is noted for his heart-dropping weapons exhibitions with the Samurai Sword, and performed his first live show slicing watermelons blindfolded in 1977 at the Sierra Madre Theater, in Sierra Madre, Ca. The Martial Arts Show was hosted by promoter Gary Gayle.
Frank Argelander ~ appeared in 1979 as a special guest on the "Good Morning LA Show" hosted by Regis Philbin. Argelander sliced watermelons off the stomachs of two students; actor David Hess and Gary Temple who was lying suspended between chairs. TV host Regis Philbin the third victim, stood while pressing the watermelon against his stomach. Argelander then put on a black blind-fold and proceeded to slice the three watermelons with a Samurai Sword, one by one, off the stomachs of each individual. Argelander was one of only several at the time that performed this demonstration live, and to-date the only one to slice a watermelon off a notable person like Regis Philbin "Live on TV".
Argelander's 1979 appearance with Regis has been aired on network TV, as Regis Philbin's best 100 shows.
Born Frank Argelander the son of Edward Argelander and Erika Argelander.
Argelander's first wife Junelehua Kalaeloa Strode is the daughter of legendary movie actor Woody Strode and Princess Luukia "Luana" Kalaeloa Strode, a descendant of Liliuokalani, the last great queen of Hawaii. They had one child together named; Luukia Kalaeloa Argelander.
(BKF) Black Karate Federation
(Personal Note: Frank Argelander is the great-grandson of Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander a Prussian astronomer, who is known for his determinations of stellar brightnesses, positions, and distances.
The Crater Argelander on the Moon and the asteroid 1551 Argelander are named for him.
Frank Argelander dropped the first part of his last name from Argelander to Landers in 1979, for professional reasons in the motion picture business.
From 1980 on; Frank Landers
Frank Argelander started his martial arts training in the art of Kenpo Karate, in 1967 at the Glendora David Hebler's Kenpo Karate Studio. David Hebler was an original student under Ed Parker. After a short period of time there, Argelander left and began training with Bernard Warshauer "Budd", in the art of Taekwondo, at a local studio in Glendora, California, and remained there until 1973.
Martial Arts in the 1970's was experiencing a huge boom, with Bruce Lee on big screen and David Carradine in the Kung-Fu TV series. There was no shortage of people wanting to train in this new art. Argelander, with black belt in hand from 1973-1974, began his teaching career by instructing class at local parks in Glendora, California, and Azusa, California, to those kids who could not afford the expense of a commercial studio.
Argelander continued his own training with a group of several different black belts from the surrounding area. They met at a local park, South Glendora and shared different ideas with each other. There was a Kung-Fu stylist; a Lima Lama stylist, Taekwondo and Kenpoist, "and even one fellow who did some kind of Chop-Suey Karate", recounts Argelander. The early influences of different styles gave Argelander a better understanding of connecting different actions together, and formulating a learning development that was based on logic and not ancient legend.
In 1974, Argelander was given the last slot available on the fight card of a newly developing sport, Full Contact Karate as it became known. This sport was the prelude to Mixed Martial Arts events of today. Promoter Sunny Hill told Argelander that the only available slot was against a fighter named Donnie Williams.
Argelander decided that Williams (who out weighted him by 30 lbs and had 3inch height and reach advantage on him) was not the best choice for an opponent, and informed Williams personally as to his thoughts of pulling out. Promoter Sonny Hill was able to find another fighter for Argelander and Williams to fight.
Argelander and Williams would become good friends and began working out together on a regular basis, and eventuality Argelander would move into Williams home, along with his girl friend Bonnie Brooks and business Ronald Goodman, Donnie's business associate who managed the Studio.
In 1975 Argelander was recruited to fight full-contact in the ring, for Joo Bang Lee and his brother Joo Sang Lee, who hosted a spectacular Martial Arts Show at the San Diego Sports Arena. Full Contact was a relatively new at this time; fighters would wear safety foam pads and head gear. It was "Point Fighting", just adding contact. No purses, just a Trophy and a pat on the back.
This event was the second full-contact fight Argelander participated in before deciding to stay focused developing overall skills as opposed to only one skill. Fighting full-contact gave Argelander a new insight into how action is addressed against an opponent actually trying to cause injury within a controlled environment. Argelander: "While Full Contact was enlightening, it still followed rules, and in Self-Defense there can be no rules, one of the most contradicting points about martial arts". Argelander continues, "What If": "Since Action is unpredictable, to have a set of rules, most assuredly you are going to get into trouble. Adaptable becomes very important as well as how we judge our Environmental Awareness".
The same year of 1975 on one occasion, Frank Argelander and Donnie Williams escorted Motown legend Issac Hayes to a full-contact martial arts event in Los Angeles, California. This was Frank Argelander's first experience acting as a bodyguard for a major celebrity.
Also in 1975, Frank Argelander's life traveled in a new direction with a request to provide security for other members of the BKF schools. While attending a special event hosted by Actress Gloria Hendry; a benefit for the Mafundi Institute, Argelander met legendary actor Woody Strode and his wife Princess Luukialuana "Luana" Kalaeloa Strode, a descendant of Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. Argelander and Strode formed an immediate friendship, and it was not long before Argelander was welcomed into the Strode family. Within a year Argelander began dating Strode's daughter Junelehua Kalaeloa Strode, and in 1979 they married and had one child named, Luukia Kalaeloa Argelander.
Again, in 1975, Argelander joined Donnie Williams and Chuck Norris to attend a private party at the Hearst Estate in Beverly Hills, California for Paul McCartney, who had just formed his new band Wings. Argelander finished off the year by joining Donnie Williams, Byong Yu, Eric Lee, Tadashi Yamashita, Steve LaBounty and body builder Mr. USA; Nathan LeBlanc, in Fresno California, for the Martial Arts Master Expo, hosted by Byong Yu.
In 1976 in Glendora California, Argelander opened his first studio venture; "Frank Argelander's Kenpo Karate". In that same year, martial artist Gary Gayle, hosted a martial arts show in Sierra Madre, California and asked Argelander to perform a Kenpo demonstration. Argelander decided that this would be a good time to introduce his skills of the samurai sword. Argelander's demonstration included slicing watermelons off the stomachs of three of his students while blindfolded, for the first time publicly, and in front of a large audience.
In 1977 Argelander left the security of BKF Kenpo, and set out on his own path. This new freedom only lasted for a short period of time. Argelander was introduced through friends to Dan Rodarte, who was the acting Vice-President of the "IKKA" International Kenpo Karate Association at the time. Rodarte spend time persuading Argelander into joining the Ed Parker Kenpo family as their friendship grew.
In 1978 - 1980 through the recommendation of Woody Strode, actor Erik Estrada hired personal trainer Frank Argelander to teach him martial arts and stay fit. Argelander acted as Estrada's bodyguard when needed and enjoyed a close personal friendship. For the next several years Argelander appeared in teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and Teen Beat and on the cover of Fighting Stars Magazine with Erik Estrada. For Argelander, this was a new experience, receiving such levels of attention.
With an invitation from Rodarte, Argelander accepted and joined the International Kenpo Karate Association "IKKA". Mr. Rodarte re-introduced Argelander to the Ed Parker Kenpo System and shared with him the core fundamentals of Kenpo Karate. Joining the IKKA and running the Glendora Ed Parker Studio was truly a rewarding experience for Argelander, who was now carrying the torch for Ed Parker in Glendora California.
Argelander spent many great moments with Mr. Parker and his family. Mr. Parker taught Argelander valued insights into his Kenpo System. He shared with him the core principles of action and most importantly, Mr. Parker taught Argelander "how to understand human nature, and how to think". This lesson by far was the most valued treasure that Mr. Parker shared. Also at this time and by request from Mr. Parker, Jim Mitchell imparted Argelander valued information into the Ed Parker Kenpo System. This included inside business knowledge about running a successful martial arts studio, employing the same courses that were used used by Chuck Norris and the Ed Parker chain. The valued information Mr. Mitchel shared kept Argelander always thinking and searching for new beginnings.
Argelander was asked by Ed Parker to introduce his son Edmund Parker Jr. to Erik Estrada. The introduction to Estrada gave young Edmund Parker the opportunity to do his first professional pencil portrait drawing of a major celebrity. The day Parker met Estrada, arrangements were made for Parker to be introduced to actor John Travolta, who was shooting a movie across the street from the ChiPs set.
(Note: Strode and Estrada were Argelander's private students. They never wore an Association Patch designating the art they were learning. Argelander transitioned through BKF Kenpo to Kenpo Karate and finally into his own art of Seishindo Kenpo, during the same period of time he was connected to these two private students. (This decision not to let his private students wear the patch of Argelander's instructor, Ed Parker caused what is believe to be the inevitable separation from, Ed Parker and the IKKA).
Frank Argelander, while attending the 1978 Ed Parker's International Karate Championship in Long Beach California, was introduced to Dana MacKay; an aspiring Elvis Presley impersonator. MacKay began training extensively with Argelander to round off his stage show, which included Kenpo Karate moves like Elvis Presley performed in his shows.
Argelander signed MacKay to a personal management contract and introduced MacKay to legendary TV personalty, Dick Clark. Clark was producing a movie about Elvis Presley's life for Dick Clark Productions, called Elvis.
The unknown MacKay, was up against actor Kurt Russell for the lead role. After a disappointing screen test, and although MacKay looked eerily like Elvis Presley, the studio executives decided that Kurt Russell, an establish actor was a safer choice.
The disappointed MacKay, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and started a successful Live Show and in 1981. He appeared briefly in another movie about Elvis's life called This is Elvis, playing Elvis; at 35 years old.
(Note: In 1993 Dana MacKay and his girlfriend were found murdered in their Las Vegas Mansion they called “Mini-Graceland.” It was reported in the local newspaper the Las Vegas Sun as an execution style hit). The case remains unsolved to date.
1979: Frank Argelander dropped the first part of his last name from Argelander to Landers, for professional reasons in the motion picture business.
Frank Landers 1979, commissioned long time friend Paul Airhart an aspiring artist to paint the Ed Parker IKKA Kenpo Crest on the front window of Frank Argelander's Glendora, California “Ed Parker Kenpo Karate Studio”. Airhart hand-painted the Kenpo Crest from the inside of the studio's window backwards, resulting in the crest appearing in its correct form viewed from the street.
From 1980 on: Frank Landers
Founder of Seishindo
Read - Seishindo
Founder of Seishindo Karate
Read - SeishinDo Karate
In 1974 - Argelander fought full-contact at the San Gabriel Auditorium; Promoter, Sonny Hill.
In 1975 - Argelander fought full-contact at the San Diego Sports arena; Promoters, Joo-Bang Lee and his brother Joo-Sang Lee.
From 1973 through 1980, Argelander competed and won in various tournaments throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona, and while living briefly in Delaware attended several open tournaments in Philadelphia.
In 1980, Argelander, now known as Frank Landers competed for the last time at the Ed Parker's International Karate Championships, in Long Beach, California, on a five man Kenpo team. The Parker team was; Dennis Conatser - Frank Trejo - Clint Carvalho - Frank Landers - Hank De La Vega.
As the 1980's began Landers did not have the time for tournament competition any longer, and retired. Landers was now fully engaged in developing a system of martial arts that brought together his past training skills or style, and embodying the spirit or the mind's inner strength Seishindo "Way of the Mind".
Landers applied concepts, principles and ideas of combining the assumed Kicking skills of Taekwondo and the the lighting-hands skills of Kenpo Karate to merge with his system of self-defense called SeishinDo Kenpo.
In 1978, Argelander began promoting "Karate Tournaments" as they were commonly referred to, starting with small events between several local studios of different styles.
After introductions where made between Dan Rodarte and Frank Argelander, there was a shift in Argelander's thinking regarding tournaments and their future. Rodarte and Argelander discussed the troubles plaguing open competition at the time, such as: No standers between each event; Promoters acting independently of each other; events being billed as "Open Tournaments", yet once inside, it was easy to see what the results were likely to be for the "Kenpoist".
Styles like Taekwondo which promoted "Open Tournaments" were incredibly one-sided in judging, resulting in many angry competitors who were just trying their best, yet being cheated for no other reason than they were a "Kenpoist". Kenpo practitioners wanting to win at these events would even try wearing white "Gi's" with no patch. This problem was not exclusive to Taekwondo. Other styles also billed their event as "Open Tournament" with the same results. Kenpoists rarely ventured into a Traditional Karate Tournament, but if they did the Traditional Tournament promoter would make it clear before they entered what the results might be. In those days Argelander expressed that "When I want to see competition between two competitors with the Spirit of Martial Arts filling the competition hall, I'll go to a traditional tournament".
The real problem was simple, there was no harmony between martial art styles at the time. The spirit of competition between styles was drowned by voices of cadences, echoing of ego, and assuring victory for it's follower.
Argelander, along with Dan Rodarte; Montebello, Studio, and Frank Trejo; Pasadena Studio, began promoting inter-school or "Dojo Tournaments" between studios, giving the new students the ability to compete in a fair environment. Later, other Kenpo Studios like the Flores Brothers in Oxnard California joined in. This was a good way for students to participate within a controlled environment, against other students of the same teaching Philosophy, yet different instructors producing different quality of competitors. The rules being used became the foundation for organizations to come, like the "T.P.A" Tournament Promoters Association. It's founders were David Torres, Dan Rodarte and Jerry Fisher and others who recognized the need to do something, rather then nothing.
During this time period of the 70's, there was a struggle between the traditional martial artist, and the new open philosophy beginning to sweep America, spearheaded by Kenpo pioneer Ed Parker. Ed Parker's tournament "The International Karate Championship" in Long Beach, California, was established in the 1960's, and during the 1970's began drawing competitors from across the world, all seeking the coveted title of Grand Champion. The rules being used, and the great numbers of Kenpo Karate Black Belts attending the event made it much fairer to the Kenpoist. In fact the traditionalist found even more fairness in wining titles at this event than the Kenpoist, a tribute to Parker's fairness. It would be Frank Trejo, the first Ed Parker Black Belt, that would win the Grand Championship in "Forms" some 15 years after Ed Parker first opened the doors in Long Beach.
Rodarte, Trejo and Argelander/Landers helped shape Southern California Tournament Promoting, along with others like Jerry Fisher, David Torres and Bob White, to establish rules and guidelines for tournament promoters to follow. The first form of standardizing how to judge a "Karate Tournament", was the organization of the "T.P.A", Tournament Promoters Association. Judging Clinics were held, in attempt to educate judges on how to call a point. Even though, with all good intentions, Tournament promoters still relied on asking for help from black belts to Judge their events. Promoters would be forced to take anyone who showed up with a "Gi" and Black Belt and who was willing to work for free all day. As a result traditionalists, and those who had very little or no skill at judging continued to work these events, even if it was sanctioned by the T.P.A. or any other Promoters Organizations. It was a start and even with its many flaws, the T.P.A was something more then before; it was a beginning.
Motion Picture Business
(Note: In 1979 Frank Argelander has changed his last name to Landers).
In 1979, and with new horizons before him, Landers was afforded the chance at working in the Motion Picture Business, and was given the opportunity to join the coveted Screen Extras Guild and AFTER; then later the Screen Actors Guild.
(Note: Joining SEG, AFTER and SAG was a catch 22 position for most new actors. However, Landers mother-in-law, Luukia "Luana" Kalaeloa Strode was a founding organizer who help start the union in Hollywood as a struggling background performer, and made things for Landers more easily possible, and to her he owed a great debt. Also brother-in-law Kalai Strode an accomplished writer and successful Assistant Director of TV and Movies opened many new opportunities for Landers. Working together, they co-authored a short action film called "The Dragons Eye" an independent martial arts movie staring Frank Landers and Tommy Madden.)
Working in the business was only fun to Landers, who would always empathize; "I'm just a martial arts instructor, enjoying other things". Argelander never hid from being in the Screen Extra Guild and working as a background performer, as many Actors do.
"One should take pride in all endeavors in life, no matter how small. All our gained wisdom in life is from those small beginning steps that shape our future forward" ~ Frank Landers
Landers could be seen periodically on Hill St. Blues, and Dukes of Hazard. Landers appeared on one episode of St. Elsewhere and did a martial arts Nunchaku scene opposite actor Eric Laneuville who also was a Black Belt, had a regular part on the show. Eric was best noted for his regular appearance on the TV sitcom "Romm 222".
Dave Hebler ~ (Kenpo Karate - 1967-68)
Bernard Warshauer ~ (Taekwondo - 1968-1973)
Steve Sanders ~ (BKF Kenpo - 1974-1978)
Ed Parker ~ (Kenpo Karate - 1978-1980)
Donnie Williams ~ (Taekwondo - BKF Kenpo - 1974-1978)
Dan Rodarte ~ (Kenpo Karate - 1978-1980)
- Frank Argelander — Official Web Site - Frank Argelander.com
- SeishinDo Karate - Official Web Site - SeishinDo Karate.com
- Seishindo Kenpo — Official Web Site - Seishindo Kenpo.com
- Dream Vision Publishing — Official Web Site - Dream Vision Publishing
- Seishindo Kenpo: (Landers, Frank (1985). Frank Landers Seishindo Kenpo, vol.3: Encyclopedia of Knowledge, a teachers guide. Facta Publications).
- 1979 - Good Morning LA Show hosted by Regis Philbin Watermelon Slice Demonstration.
- 1978 - Inside Kung-Fu Magazine - "Kenpo for the Streets" - Inside Kung Fu Magazine
- 1978 - Inside Kung-Fu Magazine - "Woody Strode Training" - Inside Kung Fu Magazine
- 1979 - Front Cover, Fighting Stars Magazine - "Erik Estrada's Training".
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