An Incredible Interview with Mark Reed
by Brent Raynes
Mark Reed has trained extensively in the field of martial arts. He has also had some extraordinary experiences involving meditation and the generation of chi energy. Mark, his two children and wife Wanda (known affectionately by many in Native American circles as simply Dove) live just outside of Hamilton, Alabama.
Editor: Mark, please tell us a little about yourself and how your interest in martial arts or alternative spiritual practices or perceptions developed. I know that’s a mouthful.
Mark Reed: (Laughs) I guess it started back in 1970. I’m not little now, but I was bigger than bigger then. I was around 410 and 450, and so I wanted to get into something for myself. Through martial arts I got started with everything else. I found out that through martial arts training I learned to do different things, just by applying my mind.
Editor: So you started out wanting to lose weight?
Mark Reed: Not really, because I was happy with myself. Everybody else might not have been, but I was.
Editor: So you wanted to tone up?
Mark Reed: Everything else had the body and then the mind, and I couldn’t really relate to that. But martial arts seems like it starts with the mind more and the body will follow with the mind, once you get the mind to where it knows the movements of something, and then the body will adjust to it.
Editor: What first influenced you to want to learn about the martial arts? Was it watching martial arts movies?
Mark Reed: Yeah. (Laughs) Back around the early 1970s-1960s they had what they called Action Theater that came on every Saturday. At the time I was more of a basketball player, but no matter where I was at I had to get to a TV at 1 o’clock on Saturday’s because it was “Action Theater” time, the old Chinese movies back then, and they just came on Saturday’s at 1 o’clock, and I had to be there. I could be playing somewhere and I’d tell them “I’ve got to go.”
Editor: You were living where at the time?
Mark Reed: Guin, Alabama.
Editor: So that’s where your interest first arose and you became aware of the martial arts then?
Mark Reed: I had one of my close friends who lived about a mile or two from us then. He was kind of interested in it and I was too, and we started out doing movements, on our own for a month or two, and then I told him, “I’m going to start taking lessons. I’m going to find a class and take it, just to see what it’s about.”
Back then there weren’t many. Nowadays you can find them anywhere, but back then it was rare around this area, around Hamilton, Guin, and Sulligen. Sulligen was the first class I ever went to, Tang Soo Do, Okinawa style. In the 1800s it was known as Moo Duk Kwan. Moo Duk Kwan was the main Okinawa style and the two brothers of the Master split and one went with Tang Soo Do and the other went with Tae Kyun Do. That’s where Tae Kyun Do and Tang Soo Do come from. The brothers broke it off, in a big fight. “Mine’s better, this is better. So I’m going to call mine this.” It was all Moo Duk Kwan. Moo Duk Kwan was the starter of it, but in the early 1900s when it broke off that’s when it started branching out.
Editor: Obviously you took to it.
Mark Reed: Yeah, I liked the training. What it was doing. But it really wasn’t what I was looking for. That’s one of those teachers who was more of a bully. He was mostly saying, “Don’t take stuff. Beat ‘em up!” (laughs) That was his motto. If they start it you finish it. Or if they talk bad you finish it. His class didn’t last too long because he was an insurance salesman on the side and he beat up a couple of customers for not taking his policy out. So that wasn’t what I really wanted. I stayed with him for about two months.
He was really good. He had good training. I met his teacher at Birmingham, because I traveled to Birmingham to take some training from the main man I studied with him for six months. I wasn’t getting the training out of it I wanted though. I still felt like there was something I was needing. Back in the 1970s, you moved slowly back then. Nowadays, what we did back then, in a month’s time you covered way more than we did. You would work on just a different stance, like a forward stance. You would have to have a proper forward stance. You would work on that for two months. Nothing else. Just your stance. Maybe, maybe if he likes you and you’re looking fairly close to being there you would learn a punch, and then there was another three months of working on that. Which I guess is the American way. Everything has got to be faster.
Editor: Yeah. Internet high speed, fast food.
Mark Reed: The microwave isn’t fast enough so we’ve got this new one coming out now that’s faster. It’s got to be fast. That’s one reason that I don’t like teaching much, because I go the ancient way mostly. But anyway, after I wasn’t pleased with that teacher, I found a fella in Winfield, about 10 miles from Guin, and we’re still good friends today. I help him at his schools when he needs me anytime. His name is Danny. I had been going for about eight months and felt like I was wasting time and that I needed to go back to football, and he introduced me to Shoto-kan, which is a Japanese style.
I said, “Well I’ve been doing Korean style so long, was it really going to hurt me, you know?” He said, “No. There’s not that much difference. There’s different styles, but you can use it either way.”
With Japanese everything is strong. There’s no soft style to go with it.
Now I had been hearing a lot about Danny and I found out that he had been doing a class in Glen Allen, every Saturday morning for an hour and a half, so I said, “Well, I’m going to go see.” So I went down there to just sit in on a class and watch, and after class we got to talking about what I know and what he knew, and who his teacher was and everything, and he told me that his teacher was Reverend Paul Calligan. That’s the first time I had ever heard of him, and I said, “Yeah, well he’s probably one of those who says get in there and get him good, eh?” He said, “No, he doesn’t believe in a fight. It’s not about fighting. It’s more of a mind thing.” We talked about I guess 4 or 5 hours after class that day and I said, “I’ll be back next Saturday,” and that next Saturday I was working out with them and it was different from what I thought that it would be. I had identified each style by the movements of this style. Like when you go to a karate tournament you can tell the way someone moves that “Well that is Kung Fu,” “That is Tae Kyun Do.” And I got to watching and I said, “Well, he’s doing Wing Chung and he’s doing Tai Chi, but it’s a Japanese style.” It’s supposed to be hard, you know, and I didn’t know it until I worked with Danny, I guess for half a year, and I had trained with him and I told him, “That’s real nice. I’m going to meet the teacher and let him know that I wasn’t just jumping over his head,” and I found out that Reverend Calligan, who had a class in Jasper, that he ran classes two nights a week. I said, “Boy, I can boost my learning if instead of just going one Saturday I could go to Jasper and get two more days and have three days a week. I said I could really boost my learning, so I went up there and I was real surprised at the energy in the room. Everything he taught was in Japanese. It was strange at first. I guess I kind of laughed because here was this black fella standing there and you would swear that he was Japanese. His English was broken, and I couldn’t believe it, and I said, “Well, he must be putting on an act for these people.” He had about 45 students in his class, and that was his advanced class. I had just walked in and told him who I had been working out with, one of his students from his past, and I went over and sat down and he said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Come here.” He went into the back and came out with a gi, because I didn’t bring any of my equipment. He said, “Put it on! Come on!” He just gave me the gi and said, “Come on. Let’s work out.” And that was about the best class I had ever had. That’s where I started at that point to really learn and we became real good friends. I would go to his house and eat with his family, we’d eat after class in Jasper, we’d stay there and talk, and he was the one who got me into chi and meditation. Energy, feelings, and force, because his is so high it’s just unbelievable to see the things that he can do that most people will look at you and say, “That’s just got to be a fake. That’s just impossible to do.”
I started with him in the middle of 1971. I was still big then. I was much bigger then I am now. We would sit and meditate for like 4 or 5 hours at a time and he would show me how to boost my chi or the healing spots on the body. After you train the mind it’s unbelievable what will come after that with the body.
Editor: So what kind of things did you witness or experience yourself that other people might say “What?”
Mark Reed: Well, it was a class that we had in meditation. In classes now they give belt ranks like white, yellow, orange, blue, purple, green, all the way up to black. In his classes there wasn’t all of these belts going on. When you started out you started out with a green belt and when you wore that green belt out until it was white looking, then you moved, and it takes a long time for that belt to turn. Mine had just turned and I was moving up to another level, and he was trying to get me to practice on moving my energy with my chi and encircling myself, and it was just three of us after class. The class was from 5 to 8, class was over at 8, and then we’d sit there and meditate until about 10. I don’t know how to explain it, but I guess you’d say you could feel a shift in the room. You’d be sitting straight but you could feel yourself leaning and he said, “Everybody just come out slowly out of your meditation.” He said his energy got overwhelming and everything shifted to his house. He was thinking about his family too hard and everything was leaning toward Birmingham. He lived in Birmingham. Then we had gone to Hardees in Jasper and we were sitting there and he called home and his wife was upset. She said, “Everything here is leaning.” Everything in the house was leaning. Flowers were leaning toward Jasper, and we had to go back down to the classroom and go back through the meditation to straighten up his chi. Of course, I thought this was strange. But she had taken pictures of the house and he brought them to class the next day. The pictures on the wall were leaning out. It was just like the house had tilted, and lamps were laying this way.
Editor: So there were three of you, but that wasn’t including the Master, right?
Mark Reed: No.
Editor: And he was outside of the group at the time?
Mark Reed: No, he always gets in the middle where he can let his chi go out in a circle where you can feel it yourself, but his chi got so strong that he was overwhelmed, he was telling us, that he felt so bad that he put us through that because you could feel your body. Your insides vibrate and everybody is just leaning there and you wonder how can you do this. Of course, out of respect for him nobody is going to jump up and run out because we’re in this state and he will tell you how it can hurt you through his chi. If he doesn’t control it it will hurt.
Editor: So you could look around and see the other students were leaning like you were?
Mark Reed: Yeah.
Editor: When you say leaning were you like sitting sort of on one side, your butt up off the floor, or were you just sort of leaning all the same? Since you described how the picture and the lamp were doing, I’m wondering.
Mark Reed: I was on the right side. This side was up like you were just leaning on this leg. It wasn’t like you leaned over. It was like something lifted this side up.
Editor: That’s what I was wondering. So in your case your right butt cheek was up off the floor.
Mark Reed: And you wonder like whose picking me up? And that was when I guess I really got into meditation, energy and chi.
Editor: Because you could see what it was capable of.
Mark Reed: Yup. I have felt some of his energy, you know, because he helped me a lot because I had bad knees and was overweight and worn out hip joints, and he gave me different herbs to use on these joints, and it was unbelievable. He said, “The more that you do then the more you’re going to lose without trying,” and he would generate energy into me to build up heat for inside. I guess you’d call it like a sweat lodge inside ya. He could stand close [indicated about two feet distance] and throw his energy through the floor and come up through your feet and up through your body. Your insides would feel like they were boiling. You would get so hot and sweat.
Editor: Now he’s from this country?
Mark Reed: He’s the top, I guess here in America right now, with his ability and training, the higher up people from Japan send for him when they do big tests over in that country. They have him travel over there, and pay for everything. They pay him pretty well because of his training.
Editor: But he’ll do a lot of his classes speaking Japanese, which he learned from over there?
Mark Reed: Yeah. A fellow I had known in the Ukraine, we were writing back and forth, and he told me that he studied karate and I wrote back, “I do too,” and he wrote back and said, “I want to come to America.” Mr. M., from Winfield, Alabama, was traveling back and forth over there with the church, and he told me that this fellow from the Ukraine was named Alexander. He said, “Alexander says he knows you?” I said, “Yeah, he said he takes karate.” He said, “Do you know who Alexander is?” I said, “No.” He said, “He is the head man in the Ukraine over all of the martial arts.” I said, “Really?” He said, “He wants to come over here and meet you.” I said, “Well, I’m just a nobody.” (laughs) I said, “Well there’s only one person I know who can show or impress him, and that’s Reverend Calligan.” We went to the airport to pick him up. He didn’t know any English. We couldn’t really talk, because I didn’t know any Ukraine, but after he got her I learned that he was in a different Japanese style and he went to Japan too and studied under some great masters.
On the way back from the airport we stopped and ate and he couldn’t believe that at a buffet over here it was all you can eat. I couldn’t understand him, because his translator was supposed to come with him, but she was going to come three days later, so I called up Reverend Calligan and told him who was here, and he said he had heard of him, and they got together and they both can speak Japanese. That was the only way that they could talk was through Japanese, and they just sat there and carried on a good conversation.
Editor: Reverend Calligan goes to Japan every year?
Mark Reed: Yeah, he goes two times a year. He goes over there for a month for meditation in the hills. He’ll stay up in the hills and meditate for two or three weeks straight. He says he and the old men will go up into the hills and just meditate for that long.
He has different healings of the body that are just amazing. He can take his heart and bring his heart down and out here and you can see it beating. Under his rib cage.
Mark Reed: Move it.
Editor: And underneath the rib cage you can see the heart beating.
Mark Reed: It would be right here, sticking out about that far, just beating, and he massages his heart. That’s what keeps him young, he says.
Editor: And the heart actually kind of protrudes from the skin?
Mark Reed: Yup.
Editor: You’re saying that he can actually grab around his whole heart there, under his rib cage?
Mark Reed: Yeah, almost around it.
Editor: Have you seen him do that?’
Mark Reed: Yeah.
Editor: Dad gum. (we both laughed)
Mark Reed: In the mid-1980s I was up to my green faded up to my white after I had been with him for 4 or 5 years, and some of the things that he will show, that he won’t normally show, is just really amazing. His is 32 waist around, and he can move everything up and when I grab him all I have got is the spine and skin.
Editor: You’ve got your two thumbs together and your two middle fingers together. [Mark was demonstrating]
Editor: Wow. Yeah, these again are things that a lot of people would say are impossible, including medical doctors. But you say that you’ve done that.
Mark Reed: And the healing power that he has is another thing that’s just remarkable. There was an incident in class. I had just changed my belt and there was this lady student, and back in the 70s we didn’t have pads to go on your hands when we were sparring or practicing, so we’d get out there and he wanted me to spar with this lady. Of course, she was at my level or a little higher, you know, but I had advanced more because I had done so much training outside of the class that he was doing extra with me, because of the way that I was picking up stuff. I was more interested in the mind, and the body was following pretty good. I had dropped about a hundred pounds and I was just really, really going, and I was sparing with this lady and I would come so close and then pull back, and he said, “Don’t pull back, you’re gonna get her hurt.” I’d go again, and I could really hit her, but you know I’d just make a soft hit, and he said, “You’re going to get her hurt on the street if she gets into an incident. If she’s never been hit before and she gets hit on the street, she’s going to lose everything if she doesn’t know what the pain is behind it or what to look for.”
Editor: That would be hard.
Mark Reed: Yeah, I didn’t want to hit her, you know. He said, “It would help her out, and of course I’m here.” I said yeah, I had seen him do amazing things, and we sparred for about five minutes and he said, “Let me show you what I’m trying to say.” I said, “Oh no. He’s coming out here to spar with me. I don’t want to do this.” (laughs) And the main thing he says is don’t run, and I was just so scared, and I said, “But I think I can get him. I’m just going to go as hard as I can at him,” and I went at him and he kicked me in the chest bone and slid me, I know it was 50 yards across the gym floor, against the wall. And I thought that was it. I had never hurt that bad. And he came over and touched my chest, in two spots, and pushed, and it just went away.
Mark Reed: That’s what I said. (Laughs)
Editor: Just with one hand touched you?
Mark Reed: Like he measured something down here [Mark demonstrated first a touch with a thumb and then a finger below that].
Editor: Right around the rib bone area. Over where your heart would be.
Mark Reed: He punched that and it just seemed like the hurting in the chest was gone. He said, “Come on, stand up.” I was kind of scared to move, because I was hurting bad. But the pressure points is something he’s good with, and he knows the energy flow of the body. There’s different spots that he can touch you and paralyze you. There’s different spots he can just lay a finger on you and you just hurt so bad.
Editor: And you’ve experienced that too?
Mark Reed: Oh yeah. Some of the people from China come over and we have to demonstrate. Of course, I’ve been with him so long I’m his guinea pig because once again I’m the biggest and they like to see the biggest go down. And this is not something where you go with the flow. You’ve got to actually go at him and he’s got to actually put you out. He has put me out and left me laying on the floor while he’s telling them what he did. Then come back and wake me up.
Editor: You knew what was going on, but you just couldn’t connect with your body?
Mark Reed: You eyes can move, like I say a wake coma. You can hear him talking to them, telling them what he did, how he made the move and everything, what he did, the points that he touched on the body.
Editor: Does it hurt?
Mark Reed: It’s just like your whole body is asleep. You know, like when your legs goes asleep and then you try to stomp it and get the blood flowing or whatever. Your whole body is just tingling.
Editor: Didn’t you tell me once how he let you feel the chi?
Mark Reed: We were giving a demonstration in Tuscaloosa and this friend of mine named Jerry is a good student and works hard at it. I encouraged him to come to Reverend Calligan’s demonstration. I told him that he’d be really amazed at the stuff he does with the chi energy. So after he was out there giving a demonstration for awhile and then he took a break I told him, “I have a friend here who has been wanting to see some of your chi.” So he said, “Okay, I’m going to pour some of my chi into your hand, but don’t drop it because it will hurt you,” and he was a little skeptical about it, you know, so he energized his chi into water and he said “Just hold your hand out like this” (I had done this a lot of times with him) and it was something just hard to believe. You want to throw it down because you don’t see it.
Editor: You don’t see it but you feel it?
Mark Reed: Yeah. And he poured the chi into his hand, and he said, “Don’t drop it. Just roll it back and forth in your hand.” Then he said, “Now take that chi, and don’t drop it, and hold it up to your heart.” And he’ll take that chi and push it into you and tears just come out and you’re just smiling and you’re happy.” That was at a demonstration down in Tuscaloosa.
He can tell how your chi is flowing I guess…well, I don’t know how he does it yet, but he can tell how your chi is flowing and what’s wrong with you when he’s just standing next to you.
He had this lady, out of the audience, and told her to come down here a minute and he told her that her chi was flowing good today, so be careful and don’t fight me when I do this. Told her to relax and he was about 16 feet away and he took his chi out and threw it at her and just knocked her down. She laid there and he got to talking and everybody calls him the man behind the myth. We were doing a demonstration for orphans down in Tuscaloosa and there were a bunch of kids there and he was talking to the audience about this and that. She was just laying on the floor and he was talking and he then brought this fella out and reached out and touched this guy on the head and he knocked another out, and he was just standing around talking, and this lady got to like where she was going into a fit, shaking and shaking, and he said, “Oh, I forgot about her. She’s okay. Don’t anyone touch her. Get back. Get back.” He went over there and rubbed her head and she just laid still and he went back over here talking again, and they had a little boy over here laid out.”
Editor: It sounds kind of like those preachers doing their laying on of hands.
Mark Reed: Well, that’s what we used to tease him about since he’s got a church in Ensley. I said, “I always wondered about that.” He said, “No, this has nothing to do with religion. Nothing like that.”
Editor: Now he’s a reverend. Is it a conventional Christian church?
Mark Reed: Yeah, Baptist. Then he comes back around and he can wake everybody up. He took one fella and pushed him with his energy. He had him laid out on the floor and he came up beside him and did like this and he just rolled over. He’s about that far from him. [Approx. two feet] He’s not touching him.
Editor: And he just takes his hands and…
Mark Reed: Pushes him with his energy.
Editor: And just rolls him around just by holding his hands out. Wow.
Did you ever get to go to Japan yourself?
Mark Reed: No, I was planning on a trip. I guess that was right before I met Wanda. I had gotten all of my papers ready for going and stuff, then I backed out.
Editor: Were there any other experiences? Actually that’s probably enough (laughs).
Mark Reed: Well, when I had that aortery busted all of the way down, which I wasn’t supposed to be walking or my kidneys weren’t going to work anymore, but through the training and meditation and working with Reverend Calligan, let’s just say that he did a miracle.
Editor: You’re up walking now.
Mark Reed: Yeah. I’m up walking. The kidneys run on a 2.0. That’s what the kidneys function number is. Mine run on a 1.8. I’ve almost got full function of my kidneys, which I can’t tell it until they test me. I go once a year to the kidney specialist and have tests run, and I go to the heart specialist every six months and they do the Cat scan for the aortery, and they say “We must have done some kind of good work on you.” They said I was only the second one who had ever lived through it.
Reverend Calligan is on a crusade. His wife and daughter got killed by her sister, one of those people who was on drugs. His wife and daughter were at home and her sister came by wanting money for drugs and they weren’t going to give her anymore money. She came back later and shot her and her little girl and stole jewelry and stuff. So what he does now, he’s in Ensley, and he’s got a halfway house where he’s breaking up gangs and drug activities that’s going on in Ensley. It’s a real rough part of the neighborhood that he’s at.
When I took Wanda to meet him where he was talking to her about energy and stuff, but I can’t take her to the school where he’s at because it’s so bad what he’s going through right now trying to get these people straightened out. He’s got a half way house and he’s got over 300, from gangs and off drugs, 24 hours, 7 day a week karate school. He shut down all of his schools around and just has everybody right there. He doesn’t teach to the open public like he used to.
I’ve been there three times. I go to work out and talk with him about different things I’m working on and stuff, but it’s such a bad place that I really don’t feel comfortable being there. I guess where he’s at now if you’re light skinned it’s just a bad place to be. He’s worked so hard on this neighborhood part. He’s got bars on the windows, had windows knocked out, gang members trying to hang out around it. He’s been attacked so many times which isn’t that bad on him
Editor: Thank goodness he knows what he knows.
Mark Reed: Yeah, that’s what I tell him. But it’s still dangerous what he’s doing. He’s really been doing some dangerous work ever since his wife and little girl got killed. This is what he’s been doing. This has been going on now for three years.
The last time I went down, to meet some of his students, and he has really changed over a lot of people that I met and I would go down to spar with them. Like I say, we teach the ancient way. We don’t have gloves on and all of the safety equipment, because he wants you to feel like you’re on the street, plus he’s there and he’ll always tell you that he’s there so you know that it’s okay. (laughs)
Editor: Pretty awesome sounding person and awesome story.
Mark Reed: He’s well liked. He’s a soft-spoken person. He doesn’t like to talk. He says that the best person is a listener. Ever since I started going to Birmingham I trained with him there and in Jasper, and I came back, and this was just a small incident. This fella is a good friend of mine, but Danny was hating that he couldn’t get away to train like I was doing because he was working in the coal mine, the one who first introduced me to him that led to this. Well, he started with him in 1965, and Rev. Calligan never did speak badly of him, but he said that he just wanted too much out of it too soon. He didn’t have the blessing of the Master when he opened the school in Glen Allen. But he was wanting the money out of it, which Rev. Calligan might have charged ten dollars for a class. And that was one thing, the first two classes that I took with him I had a four speed and we’d all get through at 9:30 and I’d sit there till about 11:30 trying to get up enough energy to mash the clutch to shift. I had a Chevrolet Malibu. The work outs would be so hard that all the way home from Jasper to Guin, I’d tell myself that I would never go back. That man isn’t going to put me through this again. (laughs)
It wasn’t really the physical part of it. It seems what draws you back is the mental part. He’s the one who told me, when we started working out, he said, “Remember a name of a style is just a style. It’s not the martial arts behind it.” I think that’s what drove me to make me a better teacher, because his style was Yoshukai, and everything is strong when you block, the punch has got to be strong, but he said that a style is a basic punch and the forms that you do, and other than that it’s your style. What you do to the style. If you’re just going for the style, most people doing it nowadays are teaching style which you can have a black belt in a little under two years. But that’s just learning the style, and when I teach it you would take around 4 or 5 years. People would say, “That’s just too long,” and I say, “Yeah, but I’m just teaching a style and showing you your style along the way. Because I studied under South Shoalin style, Gung Fu, and then I studied under Wing Chung, Tai Chi, and some silent Kung Fu styles, where I studied with Master John Lo Le when I went to Oklahoma. I stayed out there for two years and studied with him, and that was something else too, to just switch over like that. Which he couldn’t believe that I knew some of his stuff with the animal style from learning from Reverend Calligan. He said Japanese don’t do that, and I said, “I know Japanese style, but I studied my style.” He said, “How did you learn that?” I said, “I learned that from Reverend Calligan.”
I said that I could show him all of the Japanese movements, which, if you know them all, you can go through them in about three hours. He said, “That’s the whole Japanese style,” and I said, “Yup.” But see what I know it takes weeks to go through it if I go through everything, because energy circle movements is all I learned from South Shoalin style. Nobody else teaches it, and they don’t believe in mixing it. And that’s one of the downfalls of what he had over here on his rankings, because he believed in learning it the best way that you can learn it.
I tell you one of the incidents that came up. The head Yoshukai foundation is in Montgomery. They have a three story building there. This is what a Grand Master is over the whole Yoshukai, over the whole United States. Now he had cancer and he died, and the only person left was Reverend Calligan, and they sent a message over here that the Grand Master’s son would take over everything, because Reverend Calligan wasn’t Japanese. And boy everybody thought there was going to be a falling out, but he never said a word. He was the first one who ever had to test for his Master’s degree and his energy can be so high some times that I have felt sorry for those people (laughs).
He had a grand tournament in 1976. He was fighting for the United States and he wasn’t getting his calls right. He just said that he’d show a little energy, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a karate gi. A heavy duty gi is tough. It’s canvas like and this fella wasn’t really that good, but he was taking it easy on him and they just wouldn’t give it to him so he said he’d show a little energy and see what they’d say. He used an open palm and hit him and tore him out of the gi, and he had the gi in this hand (left hand), and that was just unbelievable. And the tournaments that we had back then in 1975, well, if you entered then you entered at your own risk, I’ll say that. We had a tournament in Rome, Georgia, where a fella got kicked in the heart and died right there and had another one with busted kidneys. The tournaments back then the judges were flown over from Japan. Back then too you had to be able to break at least five concrete blocks before you could enter a tournament. So couldn’t just anybody get in it.
Editor: Has Reverend Calligan yet gotten to the point where he is recognized as a Master over this region?
Mark Reed: No. I guess they were straightforward with him and had told him that he would never be associated that way because he is not from there. The fella they’ve put over it now was the Grand Master’s son. He’s 23 and he goes to regular tournaments, which he doesn’t win many. He’s not really that great. He doesn’t know anything about your chi. All he knows about is promoting.
You can feel your energy. Everybody has an energy circle that is at least three feet wide around you at all times, that you use sometimes when you’re standing there and all of a sudden you look back and somebody is coming up behind you. They’re getting into your energy field. And that’s a force that I’m pretty sure nearly everybody has experienced. All of a sudden, you look back and somebody is coming up. And you’re mostly going to feel it in a strange place. At home you might not notice it, but when you’re out and about like at a big mall with a bunch of stranger’s energies coming around you do.
Editor: Explain more about the meditation process in all of this.
Mark Reed: Most people say meditating is where you relax the body. Well, you can meditate while you’re walking. People can be working and doing this without realizing like, like someone in an office where their hands are moving but their thinking is somewhere else and their breathing is slowing down.
Editor: It’s like Tai Chi, which people have said is a meditation in motion.
Mark Reed: Yeah. When you get the flow going then don’t stop. A never ending motion is what they call it. Where you lose more meditation is from where you stop motion. That’s one thing that he really, really practices on is a never ending motion and when you stop a motion that’s when it’s over. There’s no hit, come back, hit, come back, you know? If you start a motion then you take that motion through. It’s like on the application of Tai Chi. It’s a steady flow, but it’s always the point of an end to it, and every end of a motion, everything that happened in between that motion, should be ready to start a new motion. Not the same motion over.
I guess that a simpler way of putting it is like you going out the door to your car. If you go straight to your car that’s one motion. That’s more of a meditation motion for you. If you go out the door and you stop at the porch, turn around and come back and start again, then you start different motions so you’ve got to reset your whole breathing technique.
In meditation we start out with a 6-3 count when we meditate. You breath in for six counts, hold it for three counts, then breath out for six counts, hold it for three counts, and you want to keep up this steady pace and not change it. You’re eventually going to find yourself getting to the point where you’re going to think you’re dying and that’s when you want to get into your third eye to get past that. Once you get to your third eye, from your breathing count, you keep that count going.
Well, Reverend Calligan ‘s brother is Master Yoga. He’s a great yoga teacher. He was on That’s Incredible. A tall black fellow who got into a 3 X 3 box and they got him into a swimming pool and he stayed for an hour or so underwater.
Editor: Another impossible thing. (laughs)
Mark Reed: Both of them have got so much energy flowing. He’s 6’ 2” and the box was a 3 X 3 glass box. He got in it, they closed it up and sealed it, and they put it down in the swimming pool and using the air he had left in the box, breathing on that count, he can get his count down so low that he breathes on a 4-2 count. That’s breathing in for 4, holding it for 2, and then breathing out, and you’ve got to keep that steady count because any time you feel like taking a deep breath then that’s it.
Editor: You can’t have any anxiety attacks.
Mark Reed: No! (laughs) We started out with this 6-3 count, just sitting there without taking that deep breathe, and it just seems like you’re going to run out of breathe, and then all of a sudden it just seems like you just open up into another thing there and you’re just floating. You’re just counting away and all of your third eye vision comes in so clear. He always said that when people said that they had this vision while they were meditating, it’s mostly in black and white and he said that really open up your third eye chakra and you’ll see it in vivid color.
Editor: What do you see?
Mark Reed: It’s a work out. When I say a work out, I mean all of the movements, all of the key movements, punch and all, I can have a full work out while meditating. I go through these movements, just as if I was really doing them, and I can place myself anywhere I want to be. I can be out in an open wheat field, working out, and that’s where I said you work the mind and the body follows, and after you get all of this vision, actually seeing yourself, not just imagining it but seeing yourself
Editor: Like you’re outside of the body?
Mark Reed: Yeah. And you’re really working, and I found out through that my faults were the same things when I was meditating. Things that I had trouble really doing and once I figured out through meditation and I got out and really worked it out I found out that I could really do it.
Through meditation I wanted to teach myself different stuff and learn different knowledge. It’s like the guitar. I said I never played it but I knew I could, and I meditated on it a little bit. After two or three months I guess, not knowing what I was doing, but I can play the guitar now. I can’t tell you the chords I play, but different songs and stuff I just play them. I had practiced on my own and stuff, and I said I’m going to take lessons, and I went to Jeff Norris of Winfield Music Center and he said, “Do you know how to play?” I said, “Yeah, I can do some chords and songs.” I played and he played with me for about an hour or two playing songs and things, and then he said, “Why are you coming here?” I said, “Well, I thought I needed lessons.” He said, “All you need to do is learn how to read music.”
There’s just different things that you can do if you really meditate on them.