Sunday, October 16, 2011


Halloween is on the way!

What a perfect time to review this deluxe set!
For the "Four Horsemen" game scroll down lower to the blood-red fonts!

The cards are nice quality, they come with a really nice glow-in-the-dark case, I find that really cool because I just like things that illuminate in the dark for some reason!
I know when I was a kid I would end up damaging and even losing the cards, so it's really thoughtful of them to include a case.
There is a variation where the actual cards have some glow-in-the-dark on them, mine is just the case, which to me is just as cool but in a different way.
The art work is good, looks almost like a painting. And there are 6 different stats displayed so you can compare the cards to each other. There is even a short description which is some quick but sweet reading material that can instantly put you in the mood for horror.


There are 30 cards, all of them are familiar characters from horror films and stories.
With these cards you can play a game of "War" with a tiny little twist thanks to the stats.
On their turn, a player calls out the stat of their choice before everyone reveals their card and the card with the higher number wins, taking the loser's cards. Calling out the stats give it slightly more variation and thinking involved.
Even with the modification, it's still an overly simple game geared more towards children.

The TOP TRUMPS cards were highly popular in the UK back in the day, with many types of various subject matters such as sports, super heroes, military jets, warships, super cars, wild life, Dr. Who, and tons more!

This is exactly the kind of toy that brings me back to nostalgia lane, because I could see myself as a kid just marveling at the art work and reading the descriptions over and over, comparing stats, memorizing the cards during a road trip. Kid's today just play their portable video games and probably would have a hard time understanding the splendor of this kind of item!

The Four Horsemen is a variation on the normal rules and it is a little bit more complex and allows for some more strategy.

The game has been play tested with 2 players only. It seems like it would be fine with 3 or 4.

Object of the game: Player with the highest sum of "Horror Hall of Fame" points wins.

First shuffle the deck really good.
Next, pass out 4 cards to each player. Players should not show their cards to other players.
Then players will take out 1 card from their hand and place in the middle to do TOPS TRUMPS HORROR style game of war. Round 1 is "Fear Factor". The rounds will go in order of the stats until they get to "Black Magic" which is the last round. You may make "Horror Hall of Fame" as your last round for a total of 6 rounds. If you want a longer game you can keep playing and start over again from "Fear Factor".
At the end simply add up the "Horror Hall of Fame" points in your hand and the player with the highest points wins. By going down the stats in order for each round, it makes the game play more predictable and less random. This allows for a more strategic play.

The winner of each round gets playing card from the other players, and trade with all the cards they won that round until they end up with four in their hand. Toss the rest under the pile.
At the start of each round players must always have 4 cards.
Players who lost their card will draw a new card from the deck.

Each player before the game, calls out a "Ten Card" which is usually their favorite card. During the game if you actually get your own "ten card", then only to you, that card is worth 10 Horror Hall of Fame points.

The cover card of the deck, can be used for the game. If you get the cover card, and you put it down during the war battle phase, then all the cards are returned to each player, and you chose a player from which you want to take a card of your choice from, you must discard the cover card to the bottom of the deck.

The advertisement card can also be used for the game as a wild card. If you get the advertisement card, then it simply doubles as a card already in your deck when counting up the Horror Hall of Fame points at the end of the game. You can also use the wild card for war.



Crazy Priest
Demon Doll
Dr. Jekyll
El Diablo
Frankenstein's Monster
Grim Reaper

Killer Clown
Mad Axman
Mad Magician
Phantom of the Opera
Skeleton Soldier
Sweeney Todd

The Alien
The Headless Horseman
The Mummy
The Robot
The Thing Under The Bed
The Yeti
Wicked Witch
Witch Doctor

My 5 top favorite
5. Demon Doll
4. Killer Clown
3. The Alien
2. The Robot
1. Dracula

Not Included in mine
STT Loch Ness Monster (Glow-in-the-dark)

Cards not found in my set from the Glow-in-the-dark cards set.
Dracula's Slave
King Kong
Mad Butcher
Stone Age Ma
Swamp Creature
The Flaming Man

Cards I would have liked to seen
Dorian Gray
Dracula Bat Form
Dracula Myst Form
Dracula Wolf Form
Dracula's Daughter
Elizabeth Bathory
Evil Doll
Grendel's Mother
Grey Alien
Kyonshee (Chinese Vampire)
Masked Butcher (Jason Vorhees)
Spring-heeled Jack
The Black Knight
The Bride
Wolf Woman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


From my personal collection of NINJA magazines, Robert Bussey interview. Back when I was in college, I had a friend from Indonesia taking an Aikido class with me. He use to live in Nebraska, and he trained under Robert Bussey for one year. His ninjutsu background made it easier for him to learn Aikido. He showed me some RBWI moves and an instructional video tape starring Robert Bussey, which we enjoyed immensely. Ah the sweet memories!

NINJA magazine #19 March 1987

By Keith Jones

"Accomplished, versatile, provacative." "Dynamic!" "One of the greatest warrior technicians of our day." "I've never seen faster hands." "The man is simply awesome. He's got some of the best techniques I've ever seen." "His kicks are great. Great flexibility and extension. And speed. I wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of them." "He's bad, man. I mean, he's just baaaad!"
These and many other quotes just like them have been used time and again by those fortunate enough to have seen Robert Bussey work out, either in his dojos (one in Fremont, the other in Omaha Nebraska) or at one of the seminars he infrequently attends outside his own. He may be called "bad" by some, but it's said with affection and respect rather than derision. He is a hard-working, hard-training, God-loving man of the '80s who quietly and independently goes his own way. Because of his independence he often sparks controversy, but he eludes that issue as deftly as he demonstrates his taijutsu: with supreme confidence and exceptional ability. And as each of his endeavors succeed and more people become aware of him, more people seem to follow him.
NINJA: How did you first get involved in the martial arts and how old were you?
BUSSEY: I got started with five of my older brothers and sisters when I was about eleven years old. It was always something that I wanted to do as a child. In fact, my parents enrolled me because I got picked on quite a bit.
NINJA: You got picked on? Who picked fights with you?
BUSSEY: Class bullies. You know - bigger kids. Actually, I was a pretty small child for my age.
NINJA: Did you finally gain confidence in your abilities to defend yourself?
BUSSEY: Oh yes. In fact, nobody bothered me again all though grade school and high school except on a few isolated occasions.
NINJA: Could you detail for us what one or two of those occasions were and how you dealt with them?
BUSSEY: Gosh. I don't want to sound proud of the fact that I got into some fights. But when I look back on them now, I am happy to say that I always acted in self defense. I never once encouraged a fight with a dirty look or a smart remark like many people who look to prove something to themselves. I never had to prove anything to myself in that respect. My friend and I were once attacked in a railroad yard by four large individuals. When they attempted to me, I kicked one of them in the face - lifting him up off his feet and down onto the ground. I knocked the other three silly with a 2x6 board that was lying on the ground next to me. The whole thing was over in a matter of seconds.
NINJA: Can you tell us of any other instances when you used your martial arts as a youngster?
BUSSEY: In high school I had a reputation as a martial artist because I was teaching and giving demonstrations at that time. Most of the people in my home town respected me and didn't give me any problems. However, on one occasion, I was at a carnival in a near by town and was challenged by a huge football player/street fighter who had heard a rumor from someone that I was the toughest guy on the planet. He and nine of his buddies tracked me down and tried to encourage me to fight. I told him that I was not going to fight - that I hated fighting - and that I wasn't tough. I turned around and just walked away. Frightened that they might follow me, I decided to leave the carnival. The ten guys tracked me down before I could get to my car and surrounded me. When they moved in to beat me up, I tore into the big guy with a series of moves that left him looking like a mess. I guess it scared the others because they all took off running. Shortly thereafter, a few of them came back to carry the guy off to the hospital. I felt terrible about the whole thing. Later, the guy told me that he was sorry, that it was all his fault.
NINJA: You mentioned that you were teaching martial arts during your high school years. How old were you when you began instructing people?
BUSSEY: Let's see. I actually began teaching when I was fourteen but it wasn't until I was fifteen that my partner and I opened our first commercial storefront academy. Before that I worked at a gas station in order to save up enough money to help cover the initial costs of the business.
NINJA: Fifteen... That sounds pretty young. How old was your partner?
BUSSEY: He was about twenty-four I guess. I instructed all the adult men and he taught all the women and kids. James Rosenback is now the President of my Fremont Corporation. We're still together after all these years.
NINJA: Did you ever meet any resistance from any of the adult men because of your age?
BUSSEY: Believe it or not, many of my students thought I was older than my partner for some reason. But there were quite a few times that I had to put my skills and reputation on the line to defend my position as the owner and chief instructor. One time a student attempted to beat me up during a class. It was a ten-on-one sparring match against me - just having fun - taking it light and easy with very light contact. This one guy kept losing his temper and getting frustrated. Four or five times other students told him to calm down and relax or he was going to get hurt. I even stopped the match and told him to cool down. He had a real problem with my age and all that. Anyway, a little later in the match he spazzed out and went crazy on me. He jumped in, grabbed me, threw me down on the floor and started to punch my face in. Before the students could stop him, I struck him in the head and popped his eyeball partially out of its socket. My partner put it back in his head; and that student forever respected my skills and age. In fact, he studied with me for many years and became a black belt instructor.
NINJA: Tell us about your martial arts background.
BUSSEY: Well, I started out in Korean tae kwon do and studied under quite a few different people. I attained a third degree black belt in that art before I gave it up for ninjutsu. I trained here in the States and also in Korea.
NINJA: Besides ninjutsu, I understand that you also hold various degrees of black in hapkido and mookido as well as experience in other forms of the martial arts. Is that true?
NINJA: When did you begin ninjutsu training and why?
BUSSEY: When I was seventeen I met a Japanese foreign exchange student who invited me to come to Japan and live in his home as a guest. At that time I had seen a lot of politics in the martial arts circles, and I felt very limited. I had read as much as I could on ninjutsu, and had made up my mind to go after it. So, I saved my money from teaching and took off for Japan to find Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi when I was eighteen years old. Although my foreign exchange friend knew nothing about ninjutsu at that time, he helped me find Dr. Hatsumi, and translated during our conversation. I spent the next two months training under Toshiro Nagato, one of Hatsumi Sensei's top people. My friend was so impressed that he began training and eventually became a nidan in the art. During my first trip I practiced thirteen solid hours per day, trying to take in as much as I possibly could in a short time. At first the training was difficult because I couldn't loosen up. I tried to force all my my techniques, snapping every movement. But after long hours of training - and a real desire to learn - I was able to grasp the feeling and essence of ninjutsu.
NINJA: How many trips have you made to Japan since your first visit?
BUSSEY: I have traveled to Japan five times in the past six years. My last visit was in July of '85. I was chosen to be a personal student of Dr. Hatsumi, and I trained with him and many of his high level students. It was very interesting. I took one of my top students, Daniel Clark, with me.
NINJA: What was it like working with Dr. Hatsumi again?
BUSSEY: It was fun. He is an unusual person. We were able to spend quite a bit of time together talking about various issues and concepts of fighting. He was also very open to what I had to say about the Lord. At the end of the trip he promoted me again, which was encouraging - not in a sense of attaining rank or piece of paper, but in a sense of mutual respect for each other.
NINJA: In the past several years there has been much controversy surrounding the differences between you and other ninjutsu instructors in this country. Would you care to shed some light on this issue?
BUSSEY: Well, actually, I am not associated with anyone except myself and my people. I do not believe that any one man has a monopoly on ninjutsu in this country. It is up to the consumer to carefully choose the best instructor and dojo for them. There are all kinds of phony as well as legitimate ninja teachers out there; many of them don't have any real skill, and only play the game of being a ninja or warrior. I speak for my abilities and the abilities of my students. I cannot play pattycake with my taijutsu skills. It has to be real for me - and that's the way I train and teach.
NINJA: Tell us about your academies?
BUSSEY: This year marks our ten-year anniversary. The Lord has really blessed us in the past decade. The Omaha dojo has been a dream of mine for many, many years. We've got almost ten thousand and square feet of room, complete with Nautilus, saunas, whirlpool, traditional training equipment - the whole nine yards. It has fourteen-foot high mirrors that run the entire length of the dojo. It's beautiful. Ninjutsu is practiced six days a week - Monday through Saturday. We've got a lot of strong students. Guys come and train there from all over the country.
NINJA: Are most of your students from the Nebraska area?
BUSSEY: Yes. A majority of them are from the Omaha area. We have women and men from all different trades and backgrounds. For instance, we've got high school students, police officers, doctors, factory workers, military personel, children and so on. It's exciting.
NINJA: As a Christian, what are your views and beliefs toward the Eastern mystical aspects of the martial arts and ninjutsu?
BUSSEY: That's a great question and I could fill a book with the answer. I receive hundreds of letters from people who are just like me, Christians who want to develop skills in the martial arts and personal defense without all of the Eastern philosophy or mysticism. I used to study all kinds of mind control, energy channeling, meditation and so on. I used to think that there were many different ways to reach God. But after I received a personal relationship with Jesus and began to study the Bible, I soon realized that those techniques were not of God and that there is only one way. The techniques that I thought were bringing me peace were only an imitation and perversion of the true gifts and love that God has for His believers. God and the universe are not one in the same. God created the universe. You cannot search deep inside yourself to find God, you must invite Him in. Man has very little ability to change his ways - the Lord has the power to change the insides of a man and is the source of all authority. If you don't believe me, ask God. He will prove it to your heart and your mind. It's not a case of religion or dogma, it's a personal relationship with God - one-on-one. That's the way it is with me and millions of others. That's why I cannot compromise for any art, man or idol.
NINJA: Is your style in keeping with what was originally taught, or have you expanded or broadened its scope in any way?
BUSSEY: What I teach is not the same as what is taught in Japan. I approach the art in what I feel is a more realistic way. Although the techniques are fundamentally the same, I have expanded on its foundation to accommodate the attitudes and skills of the American martial artist. My approach has been criticized by a few folks, but that's okay - the proof is in the pudding. The controversy only makes people take a harder look at what I am doing. If people are given a choice and they see the difference, they will pick the best that they can get. That is one reason why my dojos and camps are such a success.
NINJA: What do you feel the future holds for ninjutsu?
BUSSEY: I do not practice fortune telling so I cannot say. But seriously, I feel that the ninja art is still growing out of its infancy stage. There are very few good people teaching in this country. As the art grows, we will need more and more qualified instructors to accommodate the interest. People write and call all the time asking if I have a teacher in their area. But we just don't have enough to go around, so we get them involved with one and two day seminars, or we get them into one of our dojos in Nebraska.
NINJA: How old are you now?
BUSSEY: I was twenty-five in August.
NINJA: You have accomplished more in your life so far than most do in a lifetime. You have appeared on the cover of magazines, authored a book and have built a successful business. What's next for you?
BUSSEY: Whatever the Lord has planned for me. I recently invested in a Christian Book Co. that is doing extremely well. I'm also working on a couple of new books. We'll just have to wait and see.
NINJA: Thanks for granting us this interview.
BUSSEY: Oh, thank you. God bless.

Monday, October 10, 2011

SHO KOSUGI interview

From my personal collection of NINJA magazines, Sho Kosugi is the star of one of my favorite martial arts movie, Revenge of the Ninja. I'm happy to bring to you this interview from back in the day, a trip down memory lane! The golden age of ninjas in America!

NINJA magazine #20 April 1987

Sho Kosugi Interview by Mary Townsley

Sho Kosugi is the hottest thing going in ninja movies today. The thirty-nine year old martial artists has credits that include Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, The Bad News Bears Go To Japan, The Master, and now Pray For Death. His latest film, Rage of Honor has just been completed but is still in the editing stages, so the public has not yet had access to it. Not too shabby for a person who began martial arts training because his sisters thought he was a "mama's boy" and needed to learn to be strong as well as strong-minded.
Sho was born in Tokyo in 1948. He began studying the martial arts at age five and now has mastered nine different arts. His home in Arcadia, California has one room devoted exclusively to his vast weapons collectionthat numbers over 650 at this time. There are 120 different throwing stars.
Starring in ninja movies isn't all fun and games according to Sho. "I almost kill myself four times during movies," he tells us when elaborating on working his own stunts. He doesn't work with stuntmen as a rule since he prefers to use local martial artists who are more than willing to "be in movies"! "Wherever I go I give opportunity to all martial artists because always they very humble and they work very, very hard. Pay not so good, but at least they get opportunity. They know how to take a fall and they know how to kick."
Sho came to the United States in 1969 to attend California State University at Los Angeles. He has a Bachelor degree in economics. Originally he planned to go into international trading, the import/export business. During his school years he opened a martial arts school and ran the import/export business on the side. As more and more students came to his school, however, the teaching occupied more of his time than the other business. He eventually expanded to two locations and seemed happy with the direction his life was going.
Sho's wife is Chinese. He taught her the martial arts for four years until she started raising his children (Kane is 11, Shane, 9 and Ayeeshi is 2 1/2). In 1981 Mike Stone wrote the script for Enter the Ninja and sold it to Cannon Films. He was supposed to star in the film but ran into difficulties with the producers who then brought in Franco Nero to star. Mike originally asked Sho to play a bit part in the movie. But the producers watched Sho on his first day of shooting, they were impressed with his natural ability as a ninja and increased his part. From there Sho Kosugi became synonymous with "Ninja".
Turning his schools over to his students was an easy task for Sho when the movie business became productive. "I had more than enough teaching," he states. "You contribute so much time to the person (student) and because he changes jobs (he) quits or feels he doesn't like it and quits. So all energy you spent with person...someone you don't get the return. I don't get the mental satisfaction because I feel, 'This guys is very good I'm going to try and teach all my skill.' But suddenly he got to go away and there is nothing you can do.
"So now I teach my sons. Now I make them study because is it good for them. Just like when they're young you force them to do what's good for them. It's good self-disciline, self-control. They need martial arts in the United States. Children in private schools learn good manners, but children on street need to learn martial arts to learn good manners."
Sho's hobbies include reading, swimming, tennis, relaxing while watching movies and sports with his kids. He has competed in karate tournaments in the past in Tokyo, Seattle, San Diego and Mexico. His collection of over 600 trophies include winning the LA Open in 1972, 1973 and 1974.
Sho doesn't believe the average martial artist will have the same success he has had in the movies. "I was in the right place at right time with the right things I did," he says. "To be honest, it almost impossible for martial artist to get into movies as star now. I work so hard and it was no easy to get part to start with and they were looking for that part! I knew right things for ninja. Martial arts movies continue forever, but up and down. Ninja movies very hot and will continue a couple more years. I don't expect movie career to be forever. I have a limit to acting. Maybe I go to producing and directing.
"Ninja do espionage and assassination. Some ninja are good. If you work for government you good. If you work for individual you bad. Movies always exaggerated. It look very easy, but to get dynamic movement and dynamic tension on screen you have to do it almost for real. I break heels twice, dislocated shoulder three times. A one-and-half-hour movie takes about one year to make with location scouting, hiring, shooting and editing."
Sho's father is a retired fisherman who still lives in Japan. He is proud of his son and told him earlier in life, "Whatever you do, as long as you can take care of yourself and are happy, that's fine."
Sho has been on a relentless tour, promoting Pray for Death. In each city he works a grueling schedule teaching seminars at local martial arts schools, appearing on TV and radio and helping with community groups like Big Brothers and Sisters. His objectives is to promote his current movie, but he goes one step beyond to make friends with the people he meets and pass on some of the good manners he has learned through the martial arts. He is a considerate and thoughtful man who has earned the respect of martial artists and movie fans worldwide.
For those of you who would like to know more about Sho, his Sho Kosugi Fan Club is located at 1029 East Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776