Michael “Atters” Attree:
Greg Dyke’s BBC dynasty annihilated TV wrestling. Was its TV demise inevitable or was there room for a newfound renaissance within the sport?
After the cessation of British wrestling on ITV, the American shows exploded all over Sky television, so there was definitely scope to reinvent British wrestling. I tried to do this with a spectacular show at the Hippodrome, but British wrestling promoters gave me very little support at the time. It’s taken them 30 years to realise how to do this, as can be seen in the most recent developments in British wrestling – which are modelled on the American ways – but it is a shame that this vision wasn’t present earlier.
How come America’s WWF puerile approach to the sport has remained so successful over there?
The WWF and WWE are successful because of their modern media appeal and the evolution in the tastes of wrestling fans, and such visually extravagant showmanship is understandably popular worldwide. Success on this scale speaks for itself!
What, in your opinion, defined the halcyon days of British wrestling?
One word – credibility. In the “golden years”, wrestling was very much more about raw ability, as showmanship alone had no currency among the highly trained and highly skilled combatants of the old days. If an opponent couldn’t hold his own against myself or any of the veterans, they would be made an example of – skill in wrestling was our craft, and we used it to provide a demonstration of skill-against skill, and the audience appreciated such a contest. Showmanship added something, but, in the old days, was simply not enough by itself.
I was encouraged by several promoters to give wrestling fans a truly powerful – and sometimes brutal – experience, and it is true that such activities were too much for family TV entertainment. However, such a live experience was extremely compelling!
During the 1960s, your opponent Count Bartelli left the ring pouring with blood and you were branded too vicious for TV. However, was this exclusion more due to the closely guarded ranks within TVs contract wrestling?
I was encouraged by several promoters to give wrestling fans a truly powerful – and sometimes brutal – experience, and it is true that such activities were too much for family TV entertainment. However, such a live experience was extremely compelling! Ultimately, there was so much demand to see me that in order to provide acceptable family television, I was asked to calm things down. At the same time, Gorgeous George became part of the Kendo Nagasaki experience, which made things more TV-friendly as well.
If you could bring one British wrestler back from the dead for a final match, who would it be?
I would bring back Count Bartelli, as he was both skilled in wrestling and visually excellent, and he created a most compelling and highly charged atmosphere. The audience always responded supremely enthusiastically to my matches with The Count, which was most rewarding for us both.
You have a sexagram (sic) with a pyramidal all-seeing eye tattooed on your scalp. What does his represent to you?
I presume you mean a hexagram? I imagine that sexagrams are not legal in most countries! What appears as a hexagram is actually two trigrams, one indicating earthly aspiration to celestial wisdom, and the other indicating the availability of ancestral and divine wisdom and healing to ourselves, if we aspire to receiving it. The “eye” at the centre indicates vision of the enlightened planes, which I seek to help others to achieve through empowering meditation and aspiration to enlightenment.
Are you a Bilderberger?
Do you mean in reference to supporting NATO’s policies, or one who advocates higher vision? In respect of the former, world politics is part of a larger karmic picture, which getting mentally entangled with may be no more than time-consuming and frustrating, but in reference to the latter – yes, definitely.
How much awareness do mainstream educators, media barons, politicians, bankers and the masses (as a whole) have on the reality (or potential non-reality) of everything?
The reality which most people believe surrounds them is nothing more than an inter-subjectively agreed construct, the parameters of which are ill defined and subject to fashion and other whimsy. The first recourse is to question everything, and then question the answers, and work towards an understanding of what truly matters in life. Society must function, of course, but the higher one’s influence, the greater their responsibility for wielding power with as much enlightenment as possible. We can only hope that the examples of aware persons inspire such rectitude.
You’ve know your ‘Voice of Kendo’ spokesperson Roz MacDonald, formerly known as Atlantis Chronos Goth, for 30 years. Did you ever meet her during her Atlantean life?
Becoming preoccupied with past lives is a distraction, and examining them should only be done as part of an evolutionary process – events may virtually repeat, but how we deal with them next-time-around calls for a higher response from our evolved selves. Of more importance than past lives is the here and now. It’s true of everyone that practically every friend and relative has some reincarnational history with them, but it is the pursuit of the most positive and productive interactions with everyone right now that matters most, now and for the future.
Have Atlantis, you and I ever met in a future incarnation?
There is every reason to presume that we shall, but many reasons to avoid speculative musings upon such imponderables!
Within the great celestial tapestry of life, how does Buddhism relate to the savage forearm smashes and hitting opponents on the head with a stepladder of your Kendo wrestling role?
In the wrestling ring, in a clash of skills and wills, a drama is seen to play out, whereby rules being broken opens the awareness to possibilities outside conventional structures – sui generis – know thyself in and of thyself, not in terms of external proscribings. In the wrestling ring, I have exhibited the pure focus and determination of the samurai, all of whom were also Buddhists, and who would use “classical” martial arts – anything can be used as a weapon to achieve the ends. This process relates to thinking outside the box of conventional society, as you asked about in your previous question.
Is there another important side to both you and your life that is very different (when unmasked) that people may be aware of, without realising it is in fact the man behind Kendo Nagasaki himself? A simple yes or no is all I ask here – unless you are willing to disclose more for a discerning Chap readership.
Chap readers are clearly most discerning, and I would expect that their observations would be insightful.
Have you ever met Terry-Thomas?
I did not ever meet Terry Thomas, at least not in this life!
Are you a good cook? What’s your favourite tuck?
I never go into the scullery and I don’t cook, therefore I like whatever is cooked for me!
Since their deaths, have you communicated inter-dimensionally with Big Daddy, Giant haystacks, ‘Gorgeous’ George Gillette, Brian Glover or any other well known deceased public figures?
As Zen Buddhists, we are inspired by the essence of those who have gone before us, and the wisdom that their highest selves represents.
Do you utilize aspects of sexual energy (possibly in conjunction with occult ritual) to heighten your own physical/occult powers?
Everything contained in this question is alien to me.
To those who do not yet understand their challenges, I advance the view that things of great strength and beauty may be forged on an anvil.
In this life, did Yogensha (as you are now also known) enjoy a physical, emotional and intellectual childhood positively nurtured by your parents and peers?
Everyone’s formative years are many-hued and, in seeking to be the most whole, most evolved, most pro-social beings, we must all seek to derive the greatest insights from each and every experience. I was fortunate to be cared-for and well-guided, but there were events which at the time I perceived as fundamental challenges to my well-being, but which I can now appreciate were essential aspects of the being I became. To those who do not yet understand their challenges, I advance the view that things of great strength and beauty may be forged on an anvil.
You acknowledge the importance of the occult and both good and evil. Do you ever find yourself under attack from dark forces vying to take control of both you and your samurai inner guide? How have you triumphed over such entities – or is it ongoing?
Occult simply means ‘unknown’, and ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are dynamics in the learning experience of life. Rather than ascribing individuality or autonomy to the forces which act upon one, it is preferable to have confidence in one’s own abilities to flow with external forces (understood or not), and make discriminating choices which support oneself and one’s environment. Not all choices are founded in the mind – meditation enables the intuition, which broadens one’s ability to react in the most enlightened way to whatever acts upon one.
A mask can of course be both a projection and protective barrier against many things – what is the one most significant thing Kendo’s mask protects Yogensha against?
Kendo’s mask symbolises the energies exemplified in the projection of the samurai spirit guide that is Kendo Nagasaki, and – if anything – the completeness of Yogensha’s conscientiousness in his role in of providing the best possible vehicle through which Kendo can express himself.
Where’s my prezzy then? That mask you’re wearing now looks rather good…
The exact mask I’m wearing is personal and symbolic, and I would not part with it, but I can help you to share what it feels like to express the Kendo Nagasaki power and mystery, with your own Kendo mask.
Kendo continues his work with his charity, The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, which is now working with the Lee Rigby Foundation to support forces veterans and their families. www.kendonagasaki.org