Karazenpo: the Confusing History

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by DAnjo, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Gary, there you go with those Masonic Conspiracy allusions again :rolleyes:

    I'm not in any "Inner Circle", "Inner Sanctum", "Cabal" etc. Sorry to disappoint. :Alien:

    Then again, if I were, I'd deny it anyways right? Hmmmmm.... :yeleyes:

    An while there are those people who want to go through you to say things for them on the internet, I'm not one of them.

    Nope, just thought I'd try to see why the history of Karazenpo has three different histories on three of its top representative's websites. When the Founder, President, and Mass. State President all have different stories, it makes you wonder why. :confused:

    Nearest answer that I can derive from the posts of KGS BBS is that Gascon can't remember things very well, so who knows? For example:

    KGS BBS wrote: "Anyway, to answer some questions. I got the information on David Kamalani from Peter Teymourez. True, Sonny Gas does not remember him. Now putting aside whether the info. is correct or not that I originally received, it is also possible that being over four decades ago Sonny Gascon doesn't remember. I believe he did not tell Mike Rash he was positive that he was never in KGS but he simply does not remember him being there."

    That seems like a fair enough answer. If people get to the point where they start losing their memories, you can't fault them for that, so I'm prepared to accept this explanation and move on.
  2. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Hi, Some information I received from an old timer...

    As far as mis-representation. You really have to believe half of what you hear and read, and even then I would divide the result by 10.

    There are so many in the Ken/mpo world that are 5th degree and senior - almost everybody.
    REAL Kempo is unbelievable, and certainly a superior martial art. Today, it has been reduced to a shambles by the many "masters" who walk around with their thumbs in their belts - able to do nothing.

    If you were at John Leoning's school in the mid 60s, then you are probably much more a fountain of info than anyone else that wasn't there! Therefore, who cares what anyone else says.

    Sort of sums it up don't you think? Or not???

    Funny how memories work. From the latest Mayo stuff I have found. People have a tenedncy to forget as they get older. Everyone.
    So I believe Dan has a valid point.

    He mentions;

    If people get to the point where they start losing their memories, you can't fault them for that, so I'm prepared to accept this explanation and move on.

    Seems like a good place to end it?

    Regards, Gary
  3. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Dan, you know, you are a piece of work. Everyone lately has been handling themselves in a professional manner, putting differences aside in an attempt at a friendly discussion which is the purpose of this forum YET you have to be 'cute' and sarcastic with your remarks in another feeble attempt to stir the pot and get everyone at each others throats again. This isn't 'your' high school. Please don't spin this and say that's not your intent because I'm sure I'm not the only one who can read between the lines.
    Furthermore, if you have a problem with Sonny Gascon I'll let you know AGAIN the next time he's in your area, maybe this time you can make it and then you can take it up with him mano mano. I'm sure he will oblige you. If not, please knock off the sarcasim and cheap shots so this thread doesn't end up locked like the others you have been involved in. This is why many view but do not participate in these discussions. It's really too bad. If you have anything more to say to me, take it to me personally for you have my phone number. You dialed it before when we were friends so I'm sure you can dial it again. As of now, it appears friendly and professional particpation in this discussion is futile. See ya, Joe
  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member


    look, you say I'm being sarcastic etc. when I'm merely pointing out what you said. Honestly your explanation makes sense when it comes to the various discrepancies concerning the Karazenpo history. If Gascon really can't remember whether he gave Pesare a black belt, or who was involved in the KGS back in the day then that's just the way it is and we've hit a dead end in terms of information from that source. And when that source is the only one we have for certain events etc. then we're at a dead end period. I think your honesty in saying matter of factly that Gascon can't rember these things is good. It means that he's being honest and not attempting to re-write history to suit his own ends, but rather just telling things as well as he is able to remember them. However, it also lets other off the hook who remember it differently.

    In other words, you can't come up and say, "Hey! That's not the official history!" when the founder can't really be too sure of what happened when and who was involved one way or the other. That is why I started this thread. Mike Rash is refuting the article on Mailman's page on his website, yet you come on here and say flat out that Gascon can't really remember whether that stuff is accurate or not.

    I'll admit to the sarcasm, but all of that aside, it's a serious issue.
  5. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Dan if I did not have a couple of signatures I'd borrow this one. LOL

    ****I'll admit to the sarcasm, but all of that aside, it's a serious issue.****

    Actually I am going to make it my first one, thanks, great line.

    I posted above and was trying to allow this to slide off, and go away, like you mentioned. But...

    Someone in high circles mentioned this to me.
    If you were at John Leoning's school in the mid 60s, then you are probably much more a fountain of info than anyone else that wasn't there! Therefore, who cares what anyone else says.


    So with that bit of information I'll mention:

    We actually need to allow some breathing room in this discussion and accept the obvious...Agenda's.

    I'll bet in a few years we will still be talking about it only from a different angle. When the "King" died they said long live the "King". Will it go as easy when that happens? I don't think so. ;)

    So maybe if none other want to throw in their glove we need to allow this to
    go and not pick at old wounds.
    Do I believe John Leoning was a brown belt when he came to the Mainland?

    No, and when the time is right it will be made clear that he was a Black Belt and I will be here, I hope. I am counting on the "Pitmasta" and others to step forward and explain it to me one on one. I have a location in North Hollywood and I visit it (real estate). Burbank is not that far, I am going to go by Bill Ryusaki's home you can count on it.

    I am pursuing as we type.

    Alvin is an interesting name and used in some circles with children. How old is Alvin Emperado? As I recall James Mitose had a son named Alvin? HMMM

    Regards, Gary
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  6. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Gary, it's all in the book. You just got to look for it. I'll give you a hint. On page 200. One man pictured is one of the 3 who made the infamous "visit" in 1958. Another man on that page is Leoning's most senior living student. He was with Leoning at the Kalihi school up until Leoning moved to the mainland in 57. If you really want the story, talk to people who were there at the time, not those who came long after.
  7. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    Overall this discussion is going well. Let's try to keep it on track without anyone getting all bent out of shape. Thanks :)
  8. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    John I did ask Dan to let you know about the information on page 200.
    I'll try and follow that up. But one has to wonder, why would you be giving me the information, unless it follows party lines?

    At the Chow Memorial I will be talking to many and hopefully, I'll have a good time, I believe so...LOL

    Some believe it might not go so well and have mentioned I need a few bodyguards. LOL

    To bad the "Kara Ho" group is boycotting. Master Chun Jr. asked me if I was a spy (I like him, seems like an honest soul) LOL.
    Some of the Kosho group from other schools, (than Thomas Mitose) have a chance to go but arn't, to bad.

    There will be some from the east coast and one in particular that I want to seek out, but his name escapes me at the moment, never to be concerned it will come back at the right time.

    Looking for the truth is the best, as far as I am concerned anyway. If I was told wrong, long ago and faraway or I just forgot, or did not know in the first place, it is still good to search for the truth. Turn over a few stones and see what is in the past. Must be why I like geneology.

    Most of the names I have tried to contact have always eluded the querry, if you don't mention it at first they will return the E-mail (probably thinking a potential student) but when you clairify no more e-mails HMMM. But I am used to that kind of thing. When I was a LEO most of your investigations seem to go that way. LOL

    Reporting via media is a lot like that I have learned. Talking to reporters is just not done by many, in the private sector. Government will talk because if they don't Hmmmm then the reporter's are like a pitbull after something. Similar to good investigation by LEO.

    Where is Johnny Leoning Jr now? He would be a good one to talk to. But really if I was just the kind to be satisfied with confirmation (as to my own thoughts) I would have stopped when Sonny Gascon and Richard Bustillo did that.

    I was a little bit surprised that Sonny mentioned the person in the picture of Ed Parkers book was not Johnny though. Oh well. Need to keep turning over those stones. Reminds me of the song by Johnny Cash, sung at a U2 concert, " The Wanderer".

    Regards, Gary
  9. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Saturday, July 15, 2000
    Former Hawaii boxer John Hackleman, center, was promoted
    to 10th-degree black belt and given the title of "professor'' during
    last night's ceremony at the Miramar Hotel in Waikiki. Presenting
    the certificate is professor Walter Godin, right, of Godin's Kempo-
    Karate. Also receiving their 10th-degree black belts were Billy
    Takeuchi, left, and Delilah Luis. Hackleman is a kempo-
    karate instructor in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  10. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Hi Dan, okay, this is the first time I have logged on since my last post to you and I didn't plan to come back to this thread. However, your response to my post seems to have been done in good faith and you admitted the sarcasim I picked up on, so I think we can put this all behind us and have a respectful correspondence here. I'm willing if you are......

    Here's what I know. Again, due to history being history, especially verbal history, sometimes I may end up with several accounts of the same event or as Bruce Corrigan pointed out, sometimes I could be given inaccurate information but in good faith, so I'll report what I've been told and everyone can take it for what it's worth.

    I do wish to remind you that all martial arts, and in all due respect and I mean that, Kajukenbo is no exception but neither is any other art, they all have confusing dates, events, inaccuracies, who trained in what and under who, blah, blah, blah. I was just looking at Tang Soo Do lately, wow, what confusion there. One of my 4th dans is also a 2nd dan in Hapkido. He told me there are two senior grandmaster founders, both laying claim to the system with different histories. Confusion in EPAK and Chow and promotions and the Jimmy Woo controversy. Chow himself, no one really knows where his Kung Fu came from and if he really had a 5th dan in judo and exactly what his father knew or didn't know. This should not, however, reflect negatively on any of our arts. Having said that, let's get to some good discussion.

    The Godin mystery. Okay, I liked Walter Godin also the week I met him in Virginia. We had a blast out there, both in training but socially too! This is what I know. It has been posted on other forums, maybe even this one too, about Godin's problems with the law and his incarcerations involving narcotics so I'm not letting the cat out of the bag. Last I knew, his daughter was supposed to be writing a book on his life but I haven't heard anything for several years now. Sonny Gas had sent for Walter Godin to train with him and to assist in KGS in an attempt to keep him away from certain elements and out of trouble. Sonny Gas is very anti drugs. Unfortunately, this didn't work out and Godin left after that short period of time, I think around 6 weeks as Mike Rash reported. I'm not sure exactly how long after but this eventually led to his first incarceration. Later, ammends were made and Sonny Gascon took him back in and both seemed to get along quite well when I was in their company in 1994. Now, again, I'm not sure of the dates because I don't have them but Godin did another stint (I was told he did two stints in prison), I don't know if it was this time or that he just got in some kind of trouble that Sonny found out about but that's when Sonny Gas wrote him off for the final time. That's why the patch change and so forth. Sonny Gas brought him in, in good faith with good intentions but it didn't work out. So, that's the story on that. I didn't want to say too much before but when I recently did a search I found a thread where this was discussed (incarcerations) so I'm not giving away anything here. It's unfortunate but Professor Godin made some mistakes and misjudgements in his life. He's certainly not alone.

    Okay, you mentioned George Pesare. When Bruce Corrigan first contacted Sonny Gas the name (Pesare) did not immediately ring a bell, this was back just before the private gathering we had in 1994 but when Bruce discussed it further, Sonny Gascon did indeed remember George Pesare. Remember, at this time it was like 35 years ago. I spoke to Sonny Gas myself, personally, and he told me George was a good fighter and he emphasized that, and although the smallest of his students, he held his own against anyone he threw at him. He also stated no matter how much of a beating he took in training, George Pesare would always show up bright and early the next morning ready to train again. He also stated he didn't know exactly how long Pesare trained under him but it may have been 4 or 5 months or so. Now, I know, we've all heard the 2 1/2 months and the purple belt thing. Mr. Pesare stated to me and Kathy once, after we saw and was totally impressed by his DVD of his 60's training, "2 1/2 months of training, huh?" and he laughed. He even sent a recent e-mail joking about it ( the 2 1/2 months) to his mailing list. I say to anyone, please send for the DVD and you will see why.

    Now, I remember Bruce telling me not too long ago, from what he recalls, George Pesare trained in the Karazenpo on the west coast around a year and two or three months, so we got 14-15 months not 2 1/2 months or 4 or 5. Please also bear in mind, however long it was, this wasn't two or three 60 or 90 minute classes a week but it was from dawn 'till dusk and sometimes into the night. I believe on Saturday's, however, was party time, and they would have a lua. George lived with the Hawiians during this time. If you look back at this period, you will see guys like James Ibrao who made black under Ed Parker in 9 months, Joe Lewis in 7 months, Mike Stone in 6 months. There is an article I still have from a History of Kenpo (New England), from what I recall it was at least two volumes long in Nick Cerio's International Martial Arts Association Newsletter (NCIMAA). In it there is a story of Mr. Pesare training in California and during testing, he threw a jump spinning back kick (later to become one if his signature techniques) right into the rib cage of a large Hawaiian guest instructor who came to assist in the test. It was stated from the look on his face, Pesare passed the test. Later, of course, he came back to Rhode Island and resumed his training in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Judo, Eskrima, Aikido, Boxing, Shotokan, Tai Chi amongst other arts and weaponery. Dan, you and I have also spoke about Nick Cerio stating Mr. Pesare did indeed have a black belt certificate in KGS from the west coast because he saw it when it arrived, implying the paperwork came a little later from the time he initially brought the art to New England which is perfectly acceptable during that era.

    There is no question in anyone's mind, at least I hope there isn't, that these men are indeed, the real deals. They are most certainly accepted by their peers and seniors as such and all have publically and formerly acknowleged them as such. Why the discrepencies? Who knows..... Why did William Chow say Ed Parker was a purple belt in "The Lost Interview"? Why the twists and turns in the history and lineages of all the arts? I guess we can just go back to Bruce Corrigan's post, I think he said it best.

    Dan, I have answered your post as honestly as I can, that's all I can do. Take care & be safe, Joe

    Note of edit: Dan, to explain this a little further - Okay, you mentioned George Pesare. When Bruce Corrigan first contacted Sonny Gas the name (Pesare) did not immediately ring a bell, this was back just before the private gathering we had in 1994 but when Bruce discussed it further, Sonny Gascon did indeed remember George Pesare. Remember, at this time it was like 35 years ago.

    Dan, from what I gathered Sonny didn't connect the name with the face right away but once Bruce continued his description of SGM. Pesare, he immediately remembered. After all, it was around 35 years from the time he asked him.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  11. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Dan, if I recall on a previous post I did say that Sonny Gas did not recollect a David Kamalani. This I didn't ask of Sonny, Mike Rash did and told me. I believe, again, according to what has been written, that Kamalani died in a car accident something like a year after he opened a school. Now, Kamalani contributing #3 kata came from Mailman's website. I did get that info. as I had previously stated through Peter Teymourez but remember, Peter, who is, undisputedly, an honest man, was a student of Mailman's so that's obviously where he received it. Although Mailman was originally from the Boston area, I never met him nor heard of him until Peter.

    Now these so called 'facts' on the J. Madriga (Mailman) site have been answered by Sonny Gascon, I think pretty thoroughly. Yes, there is some faded memory and he admits it but hell, we're talking events that took place in the 50's and very early 60's, I think we should cut him some slack. I'd be willing to bet this would apply to anyone whom we would interview and ask questions regarding people and events that transpired so long ago. Like Bruce said, people have trouble remembering accurately what transpired 20 years ago, never mind nearly 50 years! I did not really want to get into the the Godin questions you asked me earlier, out of respect to his memory, family and lineage, I was not being evasive in any way. Yes, regretably, he made mistakes. I pulled up a thread on M/T where John was discussing his incarceration in a post and came to realize it's a well known fact in the Kempo world so I answered your questions.

    This is now my opinion, I'm going to guess at this one but I'd bet I'm on the money. The history page on the Mailman website, J. Madriga. Mike Rash, another instructor and Bill Mailman had a falling out years ago. It sprang up again when Chris Geary posted an e-mail on his Guestbook from Mailman. Mailman had no idea Geary was going to post his private e-mail. (it has since been deleted). Mike Rash confronted Mailman about it and Cc'd me all the e-mails. He took issue with what was said and several others who were around then also reponded in support of Mike and what really transpired. It doesn't matter the details because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand. The only reason I mention it, is that it shows a motive of why on Mailman's website the history is totally slanted against Sonny Gascon with an emphasis on Walter Godin as the founder. Know what I mean? I believe it was his way of tucking it to Mike. Well, Mailman sent Mike a very humble e-mail over the whole thing which I thought was class. These things happen in life.

    Anyway, this is the b.s. that goes on in everyone's house, not just Karazenpo's. Dan, you had used the term 'Official History". It is my belief that because something is the 'Official History' it does not mean it is the exact history. I think a better term for it is "Accepted History". All these arts, all of them, have a history that through the years became 'accepted' and your current art is no different, no zing here what-so-ever, we're all in the same boat, all of us and I say, big deal, who cares.....I tried very hard to have a nice factual history of the art but it is impossible. I totally agree with Bruce Corrigan. Who the hell cares? We all have a great martial art to practice for a lifetime, both you and me, that was built on the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us. Our arts have been around for 50 to 60 years and are still going strong. That's all that matters. Our arts will continue their successful propagation long after you and I have left this planet. Who could ask for anything more than that, that's better than history! Sincerely, Joe
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  12. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Hi all,
    Thanks Joe, good info...
    When at the Chow Memorial, yesterday it was very apparent that these various flareups occur in all the different arts. LOL. But...Kenpo is truly one that tops the list.
    For good reason I might add.
    I talked to many and all are very honest and forthright face to face, but who wants to mention it on the G..D.... web, as one old timer said... Sifu Davis and GM Bautista, great guy's...

    Talked to Hanshi Thomas Mitose, I like him. He mentioned his book is delayed but still working on it. Man of few words, but a real deal guy in IMHO...

    The Memorial was really a nice event. I enjoyed myself (did not get ice picked) so it was all very rewarding. LOL

    Some real good players in the arts, all of the arts are like Chicken (just different flavors) Really... Ken/mpo related anyway. I think Capoeira is original though LOL...

    I see the same strikes in FMA as I do in the Kenpo of Kaju,HMMM..

    Kosho Ryu (Juchnik) is different but very similar is the Naihanshi stuff. But not the true JU-jutso stuff.

    I am going to be able to visit with GM Bill Ryusaki pretty soon, got an invite from two of his top students last night. Dinner and conversation, Great...

    So many twists and turns in the MA world. Shihan James was mentioning it last night in the Nick Cerio lineage. Similar to others??? You bet.

    But all who attended put aside the differences and trained or observed, it was great.
    Great food and enjoyment. Long day but well worth it. I really enjoyed all I met and conversed with which was many...Some even seeked me out. I stood with my back to the wall a lot of the time LOL...

    Walter Godin's name came up but not a bad word was mentioned, only discussed the arts and the great legends that contributed to them. Very enjoyable indeed. He is a real legend among everyone. Crimes aside, I have not paid much attention to the crimes that were done by others in the art and never liked to dwell on them but some do.

    When a man is a warrior he is guilty of many crimes, by just picking up the sword. Then if you wield it for good or bad, others will condemn. Look what happen's in the USA daily and the Viet Nam era. I'll bet it will again flow that way for the vets of todays war (by some anyway).
    We discussed that last night, OJ, if he was guilty or not LOL...Same thing with others.

    I am glad we are able to discuss this I think it is important not to leave your relatives and family in the background and obliterate because of problems. Good or Bad...

  13. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Thought I'd revive this since Mike Rash is now better, and things are the way they are.

    David Kamalani is a discussion at another location.
    Anybody able to help out on that one? Maybe Bill Ryusaki?
    I am going to try and get over to the Pitmasta's soon and will ask a few question's

  14. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Hello Gary, yes, I have some good stuff on Bill Ryusaki's background, a Kenpo/Kempo legend, it's from John's thesis I discussed on M/T. However, I'm not at the school right now and it's late (EST time) but I will get back to you on this. - Joe
  15. linders

    linders New Member

    David "Kalei" Kamalani

    Just to set the record straight David "Kalei" Kamalani died on 13 Aug 1969. He was very committed to his martial art and served the community of Gilroy, CA by working with their police force. It's been a long time since he went away but he is still remembered. I am his wife.

    Attached Files:

  16. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    To Linders...

    Did you yourself, ever study and martial arts with him?
    I was curious as to how he taught, and his curriculum.
    I thank you for your time.

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