Self Promotion or joining an Outside Organization.

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by James Kovacich, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Like it or not people's grades are generally accepted by those not so well informed; as the standard by which the holder is capable of performing said art.

    Now, I'm involved in both gendai and koryu budo and I'm by far the most comfortable wearing a kaku obi which has absolutely zero reference to the grades I hold; I would absolutely agree with you that debating the semantics of who holds what and from whom is pretty much a waste of bandwidth however, and I must quote your words to make a point.. You said
    And there we disagree.

    If I tell you (a perspective student) that I hold a 5th dan in aikikai aikido and okuiri in koryu iaido, then you'd expect I'd be reasonably skilled in aikido and less so in iai however; if the actual truth is that I'm a complete fraud and only attended a couple of seminars in each art, then I'd say one's "belt" to put is simplistically, is a fairly important issue. - Especially to anyone duped/conned out of their time and most likely money.

    I can't comment on the specifics (people) of the debate in this thread because I don't know them however, I have come across a few martial art frauds in my time, all of which expected/hoped others wouldn't challenge them to substantiate their claims.
  2. dbmasters

    dbmasters Valued Member

    Well, I can conceed that the rank does matter, and it does make one expect certain things. However, while, my instructor is a black belt in more than one art, and highyl ranked (tho not black) in others, that really isn't what sold me on his instruction personally, what did was his ability to fight, his record in MMA, and his ability to teach children and adults...not the color of belt around his waist.

    I don't know either of the people bickering here, but I do now want to visit both their schools for a lesson or two though. My instructor actually thinks a lot like akja seems to think based on what I have read on this forum, which does grab my interest. Danjo, to me, comes off as an immature jerk...which makes me want to watch one of his classes...just cuz it has the stank of a McDojo.

    All that said, I have no business judging anyone's skills, as I am midlevel ranking in a couple of arts, hold no black belts, and don't really care, I just enjoy learning, and enjoy seeing my children learn.
  3. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    My comments should not be taken in context to the discussion that has evolved between Danjo and akja, just the original question. My comments are more to do with the general issue of legitimacy and qualifications. Not knowing anything about the different forms of American Kempo and their politics I can't comment regarding them specifically, and to be perfectly honest I have no desire to try and figure them out either. Like you I find the bickering tiresome.
  4. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    We're singing from the same song sheet mate :)
  5. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    My apologies to the forum and for taking this thing off in a ridiculous direction. Like I said, I'm done debating akja (and harassing him). Back to the discussions.
  6. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

  7. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hmmmmm...impressive...or not.

    Some people may wonder why someone would be promoted from seventh-degree to tenth-degree rather than from seventh to eighth to ninth and finally to tenth. Dr. Nesbitt said, “I promoted Christopher from Seventh to Tenth Dan because he has done something that most men at his level haven’t done.

    That's for sure.

    I know that he can run his own system, because he’s been doing it for many years. It appears to me that his goals are high, and he has a great love for his students. He is a man of integrity and sound character.

    Yeah, just ask the Florida law enforcement.

    When you have a man like that, you want to give him the best that you can give him so that he can be the best and provide for his students the best way. If I had only given him Eighth Dan, there’s not really much difference from Seventh Dan. If you are below the rank of Tenth Dan, there’s always somebody who is looking to have authority over you—somebody who thinks that your students should pay them money instead of you.

    I think we're starting to see what it's all about here.

    I didn’t want that. I wanted Christopher to have the freedom to do anything he wanted to do in his system. He has worked so hard he shouldn’t have to be taking the money from his students and giving it to someone else, because he’s doing all the work.”

    On July 11, 2006, I took my Tenth Dan and Founder of System certificates to an art gallery to be framed.

    Gold Frames, no doubt.

    As I was leaving, my mind flashed back to a conversation that took place in the mid-1990s when I called Nick Cerio’s office to ask him a question.

    And to lie to him about how long you'd been training.

    The person who picked up the phone was Kathy Costa, who happened to be one of the editors of the State of the Arts magazine published for members of Nick Cerio’s organization, the NCIMAA. Kathy and I started talking, and I mentioned that I intended to develop my own system by choosing the best elements from other systems and teaching them to my students. Kathy replied, “It would be very immature and irresponsible for you to develop your own system without getting permission first.”

    And she was right.

    Some people might have let their plans be thrown off course by a comment like that, but I didn’t. I believe that if you want something in life, you have to be willing to go after it.

    Not EARN it, but go after it anyways.

    I have spent years saying, “Look at this, look at that,” because I knew that I was willing to do what others were not willing to do themselves.

    That would be because most have integrity.

    If my technique was not what a person was looking for, I would fix it and come away with a certificate that very few people were humble enough to try for.

    Rather "BEG" for.

    There are many martial artists who talk instead of listen. You can find them all over the Internet; in fact, some people call them the “keyboard warriors.” They try to cover up their lack of ability by hiding behind the number of years they have been in the martial arts, telling people you have to be a certain rank for a number of years before being promoted. To me, just putting in time is not important. Ability and initiative will get you where you want to go, not sitting around and waiting for things to happen.

    Or something
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2006
  8. kempojosh

    kempojosh Valued Member

    so what do you have against gold frames?
  9. Red J

    Red J New Member

    I guess in some cases going to an outside organization is the best way to go. :rolleyes: Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

    Probably the best way to do it is to be promoted by your instructor/organization and peers that outrank you in the same system or a closely related system. I don't see the merits of self-promotion or in going to a totally unrelated system for ranking. Of course, I've heard that in the day if someone felt a rank was undeserved they would come over and test you. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
  10. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    This is off topic a little, I hope you don’t mind.

    Dojo breaking is still very much alive in Japan. While it doesn’t happen as often as it did, it still influences they way you are greeted at a new dojo.

    In the west we are pretty open about just fronting up for a bit of training here and there. In Japan this was a tactic of the dojo breaker, they would turn up and wear their graded belt or just try and be a hard **** during training and humiliate the instructor in some way. You will still hear stories of foreigners entering a Japanese dojo to engage in an innocent training session in their dogi and black belt from another style. They generally leave wondering what the hell happened and why did they kick his are so hard.

    I remember a story a UK kenshi told me about Mizuno sensei (the head of our British Federation). It was not long after he had moved to the UK to teach Shorinji Kempo. He had had already received some locals that wanted to test him so he was even more suspicious of people than normal. A guy that did Karate came along in his dogi and wearing his Black Belt. This immediately raised a red flag, and then when he commenced showing off allowing the students to kick him in the groin this sealed his fate. Now this was probably an innocent act of showing off, but to Mizuno sensei it smacked of dojo busting. During randori Mizuno sensei paired up with him and during the randori he kicked him in the groin. The Karate guy went down hard, curling up in a ball. Mizuno sensei went up and said “sorry, I thought you could take it”.
  11. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    That was when most martial artist's earned their ranks on the mat. Long before ranks were obtained thru correspondence, from instructors who you never even met.
    Now days if you went into someones school and challenged their knowledge, the police would be called to escourt you out, and a restraining order would be filed the next day.
  12. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Yes your right. Here in the west we would be in court pretty quickly; however even now this still happens in some cases in Japan. Sensei with less exposure to western culture often confuse the intensions of foreign students when they show up with no prior contact or letter of introduction, if they are wearing another styles uniform and Black Belt this even compounds the confusion as it is the tactic that dojo breakers use. Challenges still occur even though their laws would not tolerate them. The cultural attitudes are a little different and it would be rare for someone to complain, as they would be ensuring that even more people know of their shame in defeat.
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Not a thing. I'm just sorry that he didn't get the actual certificates engraved in gold tablets. It would certainly be more befitting his stature. I'm thinking of getting a Christopher Geary tattoo on my chest. You know, one of him beating the crap out of somone like Joe Lewis or Chuck Liddel or something.
  14. Red J

    Red J New Member


    So I take it that you are going to the grand promotion ceremony. You could unvail the tattoo. You'd be like a living tribute. Even Chuck Liddell would be jealous, his tattoo would pale in comparison. :D
  15. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    You know, darn it, I don't think I can do that after all. I thnk Geary has his image copywrited or trademarked or something and I'd have to pay him royalties or something. Oh well, another plan foiled.
  16. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    In the interests of peace and tranquility. I would like the moderators to consider removing the posts of mine where I awarded Akja/Jim a certificate in a bogus martial art style and any others that are of me attacking Jim in any way. What was meant as a joke has obviously caused him offense. I'd remove them myself, but that option isn't on this particular forum. Either way, I bow to the forum policy on such matters.

  17. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    hey Dan, do you plan on delivering some video like you promised 5 months ago? talk < action. thanks.

  18. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I'll send it later this week.
  19. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    Lets see, Danjo offers a peace treaty in a way and others call for a video from months ago.. These conversations have been very helpful to me and I appreciate what you have all said, but i def. like some of the friendships i have made during this journey.
    In Peace
  20. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well it looks like CNG has added to chapter 14 of his autobiography:

    Mostly it's just posts about Mike Rash selling rank a while back, pictures of Joe's old school, and Sonny Gascon only being a purple belt when he broke off from Kajukenbo. But since the emailer didn't identify himself, it's just hearsay. I thought it was interesting that he's still adding to this.

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