Fallen Brother of the Blade: Terry Laborde, 1941-2020
Terry served with distinction in the famous Berlin Trip-Wire US Infantry force in Berlin, Germany. He expected and accepted he would be killed. But not without a fight. An erudite historian of military affairs he also proved an insightful libertarian philosopher.
In his 60s Terry survived a violent mugging—he prevailed but was badly hurt. He turned to the blade. He explained, “All it takes is a knife”. He sought wisdom and martial guidance. He found both in Master at Arms James Albert Keating.
JAK: That is where I came into the picture. Terry had read the Paladin Press book "The Worlds Most Dangerous Men".
He wanted to do a video version of a similar nature.
It was a grand project. It was a dream of his. And like many dreams it met up with reality head-on. Soon money, travel and health issues came up for Terry. The project scaled back and became what you see today. You see Terry envisioned and co-directed a "Riddle of Steel" documentary (see link below). Professor Lee Basham was an invaluable part of this team. Now the team consisted of Terry, myself and Professor Basham. We three could do this. Pete Kautz gave insight also for behind the scenes understanding and guidance.
The film traces Terry's progress under myself James Keating with the blade, the cane and some spiritual insights thrown in for free. It earned several awards. James Keating’s famous Riddle of Steel training camp is the center of it all. It is all the reason men like Terry need to follow their spirit-paths.
I recall Terry enjoying the beauty of the land while he was here. He camped in a place that was sure to make you admire natures glory. It was just about 2 miles from my cabin. It really was a neat place. But like Terry himself, that place is now gone. Destroyed by the recent flood we experienced.
Terry liked the lessons in strategy most. We talked of this many an hour. Technique was important. But without a strong, intelligent strategy to back the technique with, it was useless. The cane part of our training really brought home the strength of strategy play. In knife, the methods are fast and short - hard to see. Cane, like sword is easier on the eye to acquire motion and learn the art well.
Terry was a fan of the Bowie Knife. As a Texan it was to be expected. It was that he sought, more than anything else. The Bowie was on his list. And so we gave special time for that part. Took the time to savor the fine points of a fine art.
There are lessons to be learnt from this film. A philosophy of case-hardened steel is slowly brought to light. The blade does not prefer young or old. In steel there are eternal truths. Here is his award-winning movie in which we see his vision done as best as he could. Please meet and remember Terry Laborde. Smile, share in his dream, his quest- which became OUR quest as well. Quest with the best and be blessed. Bingo!
"A Riddle of Steel" / Part entertainment and part documentary. Terry walks his walk, his lesson learned. So long my old friend. Find happiness in the freedom of the soul. Look not back, fly swiftly to a blissful paradise!
Watch: Full Film (1 hour)
A RIDDLE OF STEEL
W/ Terry Laborde & James Keating