The Kajukenbo Hui

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by Nuck Chorris, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Nuck Chorris

    Nuck Chorris I prefer North South

    Press Release

    January 9th, 2008

    To the Kajukenbo Ohana and its Extended Family:

    Hui: (n) club, organization (Hawaiian)

    I would like to take the time to announce the creation of an independent ranking organization founded on the
    principles of equality and democratic self-regulation - The Kajukenbo Hui. The Kajukenbo Hui has been created with the intent of giving those that do not have a way by which to gain recognition for their efforts a means in which to do so.

    The Hui will promote Kajukenbo black belt ranks based on a criteria agreed on by the members without regard to branch, lineage, or politics. The Hui will provide these promotions of rank without accepting any payment or oath of loyalty. The Hui will recognize the orphans, black sheep and the outcast of the Ohana and award them for their accomplishments. The Hui believe that the recognition and promotion of rank should be based on your efforts in promoting the mind, body, and spirit of Kajukenbo.

    The Hui will accept Kajukenbo black belt ranks of first degree and above as members. You are not automatically a member and must fill out an application form either online or by mail. There are no fees associated with becoming a member nor will you be asked to contribute anything other than your studied vote during elections.

    Our goal is not to take. Our goal is to give.

    Yours in the Martial Way,

    Dan Tyrrell - HEO

    cc: Sijo Emperado
  2. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    how the heck do you pronounce "hui?"
  3. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    It's like "Phooey" or "Screwy"
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  4. Nuck Chorris

    Nuck Chorris I prefer North South

    Careful. Wouldn't want to offend the Hawaiian people by mocking their language now Danjo.
  5. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    It's not the language I'm mocking.
  6. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Hey misunderstandings happen. ;)

    Anyway, it's good to see an outlet for achievement for those who are no longer under their former instructor and are left running their own schools with no opportunity for recognition or advancement.

    It's also great to see some real standards and regulation in the Kajukenbo community. The vast majority of martial arts and MA organizations have fallen into the same pitfall of cronyism and McDojoism to the point that rank has all but lost its meaning. Perhaps one day soon we can add Kajukenbo to the list of widely respected ranks amongst the martial arts community as a whole, where now only Judo, BJJ and Kyokushin/Enshin Karate to a lesser extent reside.
  7. Nuck Chorris

    Nuck Chorris I prefer North South

    It is always nice to see the good guys jump out and support what you are doing. Try not to let politics cloud your mind. If I disagree with you on an issue, that doesn't mean that I disagree with you on all issues. Nor does it mean that I don't support you and your causes. I would hope you would show the same respect.

    Dan is lucky to have an instructor who is as compassionate as he is wise. Not all are that way. There are plenty who come from rather capricious halau and will have no place to turn when their instructor leaves or kicks them to the curb. I have seen this in my own life, as well as others who are close friends. The Hui isn't trying to take students. It is only giving those that have lost their home a place to call home.

    Any person who has a problem with that concept has no real concept of what Ohana really means and the word to them is just a catch phrase that they use to look cool.
  8. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    You've got my respect Sigung Dan Tyrrell. I can see how something like this would work well for people that train hard and have a good attitude and willingness to learn such as the situation KempoFist was in.

    However, I can't help but picture other attempts at organizations where people would pay a fee and send in video tapes of themselves for evaluation and ranking. While video tapes can be useful, what was missing, IMHO was actual person-to-person training.

    Somewhere I thought the purpose of organizations was to open doors and give people a means to find and train with each other... support each other's efforts... and to share training, experiences, and knowledge.

    What is the point of having the rank among peers that your have never interacted with? OR maybe I just am missing something here.

    Best of luck to you, nevertheless.
  9. Nuck Chorris

    Nuck Chorris I prefer North South

    I completely agree that there is nothing can substitute for person to person training. Unfortunately, there are situations when a black belt can no longer maintain that connection with his/her instructor. This could be for political reasons, the instructor moving, the student moving, etc, and there is no adequate alternative. This is where the Hui would benefit the orphaned black belt.

    Obviously, the black belt must be doing their work in order to receive rank. This could be through cross training, teaching, and other means of promoting the art. That effort should be recognized. There will never be a connection with someone we cast aside. They will never come to our gatherings. They will never share their knowledge. They will never have a beer with us because we have not given them the opportunity to feel like they are part of the Ohana. It is important to remember that when my brother's child falls, I fall. I must be there to help the child up.

    I have received many requests to join the Hui. Not one has asked about rank or wanted promotion. I am sure that there will be cases in which someone is merely seeking rank. I would rather give them the opportunity to do it within their own art by their own people. Then we can encourage them to take part in the whole Ohana.

    I have so much to write about this. It fills me with a lot of emotion and I have gotten a lot of joy reading the positive responses to the announcement. Good questions and please feel free to keep them coming. The organization by no means is perfect. However, it is not set in stone. The Hui can change because it is designed to be run by the black belts. As the Ohana changes, so can the Hui.
  10. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    As a skeptic of ALL organizations, and a cynic/critic of this one long before the public announcement I can say that I fully agree and understand your concerns. I don't want some Chris Geary-esque hack sending in a video of him doing some crappy kata and having a McDojo full of kiddie instructors holding out his hand asking for rank.

    If you check the site (I think) the list of requirements and factors for rank are listed. For the first time, having factors other than "who likes you" are weighed into determining ones grade after the rank of black belt; such as hours of instructing and training, accomplishments in competition, and even knowledge gained and spread to the Ohana from cross-training.

    There can and will be people who will try to abuse this organization for their own gain. And they will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis, which is why we will have to stand together to determine the fakes and wannabes. But that is the beauty of REAL organization -as opposed to other misnomer organizations which are really just "good ol boy" cliques of like-minded individuals, and their voiceless students- where everyone has power and a say without fear of reprisal.

    To compare, in BJJ and Judo rank is determined by the group. Yes your instructor awards you the rank, but only after determining your skill by comparison against your peers, your technical superiors, and other school's fighters via competition. Without the aid of the group and local community to keep things objective and in perspective, these schools would be floundering in the way most martial arts schools fail.

    Additionally, this is also the reason why no money is involved with the Hui. When money is involved, corruption and a loss of integrity are soon to follow.

    Anyway, regardless of whether one agrees with the enactment of this organization, I don't think anyone can say that it isn't a step forward from where we are right now.
  11. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    I respect the mission.

    Good luck, and here's hoping much success. I've read the articles of organization, think your goal is admirable. I'm 'just off' the family tree, so I can't do much other than offer moral support.

  12. Nuck Chorris

    Nuck Chorris I prefer North South

    And that is plenty :) Thanks.
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, I don't know of a lot of instructors who kick their students to the curb aftetr they reach black belt without a pretty good reason. If they did kick them to the curb and you take them in as an "orphan" how is that not disrespecting the instructor? You put yourself in the postition of saying that you know better from the outside than the instructor did from the inside.

    I doubt that there are many Angel Garcias out there that are true orphans, i.e., their original instructor left them in Spain and was then killed with no one knowing about you until years later. If that's the case, I don't seem to remember the existing Kajukenbo folk having a problem taking them in which would seem to make your organization redundant.

    I think that what you're talking about taking in is the rebels and outcasts. Those that weren't respectful enough to remain under their original instructor or too arrogant or proud to go under another one to learn and be promoted. Also, you're talking about taking in those that aren't really Kajukenbo and ranking them if they can show the most remote connection in their lineage.

    I'm not really very clear on how many high ranks you already have that authorize you to promote past the one rank below yourself and have it recognized by anyone outside of your own group either. We know that the founder of Kajukenbo put together an Advisory Board to oversee rank, so it seems like you're ignoring his wishes regarding that on this too.

    Doing the wrong thing for noble reasons is still doing the wrong thing. You clearly have compassion for those who lack a home in the martial arts world, but there is usually a good reason that they are not attached to someone and it is likely a problem with the student rather than the instructor.
  14. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    I don't know - I've seen instructors removed from the tree (with good reason) orphaning some folks, and I've seen folks 'kicked to the curb' only to be welcomed back later.

    In many cases it seems that even when one side kicks, the other side welcomes. Good example though.

    I didn't get the 'remote' link impression - for instance I wouldn't think a shaolin kempo guy would be 'in', unless his teacher was already 'in'. That's happened a few times I can think of.

    Seems they aren't the only ones. I didn't get the impression they planned on promoting above their rank, but I don't have inside knowledge. That's a good question (and a valid concern, I think).

    I think folks see the state of things and the lines already being drawn. My guess is that they feel like plan a isn't working and is often abused. I can't guarantee plan 'b' will be better, but I give them props for trying.

  15. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Danjo, if you are referring to the BOARD OF ADVISORS (BOA) for SIJO Adriano D. Emperado then the Grandmasters will be responsible for promoting ONLY (KSDI) Members to the rank of 8th degree black belt (Professor) and 9th degree black belt (Grandmaster).

    Sijo does not want any of his (BOA) to promote anybody outside of his Organization, (KSDI). You may give your blessing or be witness to that person being promoted, but not signing that persons promotion as the person promoting him or her.

    There are many Kajukenbo Organizations out there with there own selected Board of Grandmasters or Advisors to promote members within there own Organization and that is the proper way it should be done, Sijo Said.
  16. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, I don't see any grandmasters in Hui except Gary Brewer. As to my point about "orphans" I'm still curious as to who these people are and why they are no longer with their original instructor. People talk about Ohana, and first thing you know they break off to do their own thing.
  17. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Yes, this is a small part of Sijo Emperado's total message on 12-13-07. And even though there are many Kajukenbo organizations that make their own promotions, there are "Kajukenbo traditions" that were established by Sijo Emperado that should followed by all Kajukenbo practitioners, since he IS the founder of the system they are practicing.

    These are a couple of the traditions Sijo Emperado has established.
    1. The only 10th degree's in Kajukenbo are the founders (3 still living)
    2. Instructors can only promote to 1 degree below their rank. Which means all 9th degree promotions would have to be done by one of the founders. It also means no self promotions. No promotions by a group of equal or lesser rank. No promotions by a organization outside of Kajukenbo.

    Founder Frank Ordonez has named a heir (Clarence Emperado Luna) to become 10th degree upon his death. Upon Ordonez's death, GM Luna would be able to promote up to the rank of 9th degree.

    Sijo Emperado has named a "Board of Advisors" (SGM George Kaanana, GM Edmund Louis, GM Emil Bautista, GM Gary Forbach, GM Jon Loren, GM Rick Kingi, GM Vince Black, GM Angel Garcia, and GM Philip Gelinas) to do promotions to 8th and 9th degree.
    And since Sijo Emperado has stated ON 12-13-07 that he WILL NO LONGER PROMOTE ANYONE, it falls to his Board of Advisors to make ALL KSDI promotions of people who were previously directly under Sijo.

    This "Kajukenbo Hui" organization has procedures in place to make promotions up to 8th degree and above. I am not aware of any of the founders being members of this organization, so who will be promoting people to 9th degree?
    Some members of this organization are members of Sijo Emperado's K.S.D.I., so will they be resigning their memberships so that they no longer have to follow Sijo Emperado's K.S.D.I. policy on the promotion of 8th & 9th degrees?

    Yes, with Sijo Emperado being hospitalized and 81, there is a opportunity for some people to strike out on their own and form their own little kingdoms. But it would be really sad to see Kajukenbo go the way of kenpo with mail order promotions, and enough 10th degrees to fill the Rose Bowl.
  18. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    So far, very sensible. Are there any other 'heirs' in line? It seems that there will be a situation with 9th dan as the de-facto top, and a continuing inability to promote leading to an eventual (we all get older) top down evaporation of high ranks once there are no founders. Not that it would be bad or good, I'm just doing the math. I also hope that Sijo is, and will always be the only Sijo in Kajukenbo.

    Doesn't this conflict with the first section?

    I can't speak for them, but it would seem shady promoting above their rank. However, I get the impression, this was more about putting on the brakes with 'pal' promotions, and the folks who liked to gab about who paid or got paid what for high ranks.

    I can already sense battle lines being drawn, and that's sad. However, there already are 10th dans that aren't founders, promotions sight unseen, folks coming in from the outside who don't know any of the material, and so forth. Maybe some of the ideas of the Hui could be adopted by the mainstream, for I bet they would be delighted to have no reason to exist.

    Take all of this with a grain of salt, as I know I'm 'extended family', but I don't want Kajukenbo to turn out like Kempo either. Kempo rank has lost pretty much all meaning.

  19. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Matt in answer to your questions.

    Sijo has not named a "heir" to be 10th degree in his place. His sister GM Dechi Emperado is and will continue to be the "administrator" of the KSDI. She was originally on the "Board of Advisors", but has stepped down.
    In lieu of a heir to make promotions, Sijo has decided to make promotions the responsibility of his Board of Advisors. He is the only one who can overrule the board. They are authorized by him to promote up to 9th degree. The promotions will be by board vote, not by individual board member. So there will always be the ability by the KSDI to have ranks up to 9th degree. The bylaws are not all set in place yet, but the board members have agreed that there will be no fee attached to any promotion.

    As to 10th degrees that already exist and are not founders.
    I only know of 4. Two of them are dead. All 4 have honorary 10th degrees that are only recognized within their own organization. They are not considered 10 degree ranks in the Kajukenbo system.

    I hear people talk all the time about division in the Kajukenbo system, but I don't really see it. And much of this talk comes from people on the outside looking in.
    There have been different Kajukenbo organizations since the late 50's. Other then a few individual schools that don't get along, just about everyone in Kajukenbo gets along very well.
    I go to several Kajukenbo events a year, and there's always members from several Kajukenbo organizations coming together. If you go to Sijo's annual birthday event you'll meet members from the KSDI, KAA, KOA, AKA, KNF, PRKA, and many other organizations.
    If you take a look at the Kajukenbo Cafe (forum) you'll see 22 grandmasters, 33 professors, over 350 black belts, and close to 2000 members representing all the Kajukenbo organizations in the world. They all get along pretty well.

    An organization is only as good as it's members. So far the "Hui" has not made public a list of their members, other then it's "executive officer". So only time will tell if it becomes a respected organization.
    There are many practitioners in our system that are respected and looked up to by the Kajukenbo community. They are respected for making decisions that benefit the system, not themselves.
  20. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, it's not really "battle lines" either IMO. Dan Tyrrell and his merry men are still family and I wouldn't even be responding on MAP if it wasn't posted here in the first place. It's more just to get the idea out that the initial post isn't representative of the larger part of the Kajukenbo Ohana.

    No system is perfect in regards to who gets ranked etc., but Kajukenbo has been better than most about it and has put in some safeguards of late to tighten it up even further, and I doubt that yet another organization handing out rank is going to correct anything.

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