The Kajukenbo Hui

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

  1. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    Wow, that's such a simple and effective way to take the politics out of BB promotions. I think a lot of MA's across the board and even the numerous Kaju organisations can learn from the example the Hui sets. I like that the Hui members are willing to openly answer the questions and are doing so in a civil manner.

    Of course you will have your detractors who are used to the way things run and are finding it hard to accept that someone is trying to make a change for the better and for the future of Kajukenbo. They will call you names, they will try to confuse people by raising irrelevant points or derail the intent of the Hui, they may even make threats. I'm sure the Hui will survive these attempts to bring down one of their own. All the best! :)

    It definitely makes me laugh that one of your own, as is the case in this thread, is so bent on making a fool out of people he keeps stating are 'still part' of the 'Ohana'. Danjo, you make me want to puke. John Bishop, do you support the idea of the Hui or are your students posting their own opinions on here?

    P.S. - I'm not sure who runs the KajuCafe but props for the way you guys cut off people's access when things are not going your way. Truly t3h d3adly. :D
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  2. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    Nobody has the authority to speak for me. Most people who have read these boards know that I participate freely in discussions that I'm interested in. I have no problem sharing my opinion on topics that concern me. Just because someone may share the same point of view, that doesn't make them somebody's spokesman.
    If I ever do have a spokesman on the internet, all will know because the first sentence of his post will be: "John Bishop has asked me to post this for him, since he has broken all 10 of his fingers in a freak accident". As long as I have 1 finger working, I will post for myself :) .

    At this time I can't say if I support the "HUI" or not, since I don't know who the members are. An organization is a group of members, so that's the important part.

    I support Sijo Emperado, and am a member of his KSDI. I will be as long as he is alive. As a member of the KSDI, I feel it would be hypocritical to not abide by his policies. So if the HUI has KSDI members who are going to act in violation of KSDI policies, then I probably will not be supporting them as a organization.

    That does not mean that I do not support some of them as individual Kajukenbo practitioners. You would have to be Kajukenbo to understand that we are a family, and like all families we have fights and disagreements. But we are still family.

    If the premise of the HUI is to have a majority vote of lesser ranked black belts promoting others to ranks higher then their own, then I cannot support that policy, since it contradicts kajukenbo tradition set down by Sijo Emperado.
    If they have boards set up of members of a higher rank to promote those of lesser rank, then I possibly could.
    But like I stated before, "I and many other of my peers think it would be more beneficial to have a organization that would put "orphans" together with qualified instructors, so that they could continue their training. Then ranking could be done by someone who has actually taught and observed the students progress, efforts, and abilities.
    Something about taking the instructor/student relationship out of the martial arts just sounds wrong".

    The Kajukenbo Cafe like most forums is a privately owned website. Even though there is a site owner, the policies and decisions are made by a vote of the moderator staff. The moderator staff is made up of 23 members who rank from 1st degree to 9th degree. The positions are "Adminstrator", "Sr. Moderator", "Global Moderator", and "Moderators". Each one of the 23 members has a equal vote during a 72 hour voting period.
    Fortunately the close to 2000 members for the most part conduct themselves in a cordial manner. In over 5 years, we've only had to ban 3 members.
  3. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Wow. If I can make an Aussie puke, that's really saying something. Thanks for your outside opinion on everything. Have a great day. Or should I say, "G'day Sheila. Go crack a fat and throw a praun on the barbie." or whatever you Aussies say.
  4. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Judo actually already has a very similar format through the Kodokan. There are guidelines for rank with specific techniques that must be displayed, in addition to a point structure based on tournament success. No one can get rank without first attaining those standards, no matter who likes you and wants to promote you. Not so revolutionary...just forgotten :)
  5. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    KF, I'm waiting to see the actual rank requirements once the are determined by the Hui and posted publicly. The current posted requirements appear to be completely based on time training/teaching and time since last promotion.

    Under these requirements, every 5 years or so you go up a rank so in fifteen years one could go from 6th degree to 9th degree (+3 ranks).

    I'm yet to determine if this is good or bad... but it is at least a start. Not that it matters what I think, it will be up to the Hui to vote which I'm not a member of.

    As for it being like Judo... look at it this way... can someone in the Kodokan be ranked to dan ranks without meeting the requirements or do all the black belt students in a school also following the same requirements? what I means is that under the Hui, the head person can acquire rank through the Hui but they are free to promote anyone under them as they see fit. So under the Hui an instructor could be ranked 7th degree and then go and make everyone in his school 6th degree without following any of the requirements set by the Hui.

    I'm not saying this is a bad thing... what I'm saying is it is a sort of loop hole and a dishonest person could use it. This loop hole doesn't exist in the Kodokan because all students also have to follow the same rank requirements.

    Still I respect what the Hui represents and is trying to do. My long time karate instructor was Goju-Kai and he lost all when that organization had fallouts when the founder died. An organization like Hui would have worked good for him.

    However, there was no Hui for him, but my instructor found a new home under a Goju-ryu organization. He came in as a black belt but had to test up from there in the new organization. Having a high ranking master take him under his wing is exactly what Professor Bishop is saying should be done. So I will say in the case of MOST orphaned instructors IMHO, finding an organization with a grandmaster heading it is the best way to go. Something like the Hui is really only for those instructors that seem to want to stay independent from any grandmaster.

    Just some thoughts.
  6. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Wado, you raise a very good (or bad in this case ;)) point, and one I admit I personally had not considered. It would be rather utopian to believe that everyone would abide by the standards set forth, but I'll be the first one to say that honor is all but dead in the martial arts these days; and to believe otherwise is just naive with wishful thinking.

    Perhaps Dan can comment on the topic of potential abuse, as he has put much more time and thought into this than I have, as I'm kinda playing catch-up at the moment myself.
  7. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    On the notion of matching up black belt instructors with higher ranking instructors for training...

    Well I'm going to stay in my typical character and just be complete politically insensitive on the issue, because there's no way I can sugar-coat it without offending someone.

    What do higher ranking (eg: 7th-10th) dan black belts have to offer in terms of instruction that the mid-ranking dans don't already have under their belts beyond time in grade? There are many 4th+ degree black belts in both Kenpo and Kajukenbo who run their own schools, some of which who have their own chains and small organizations.

    What revolutionary technique or training are they going to get that they haven't already experienced in their own training at this point 15-30 years down the road? Are they going to practice the tricks and counters and forms of the new "instructor" so they can say they have the same material and then get promoted to a higher dan? After all, he already had the foundation laid that those techniques are supposed to grant, even if it was a different variant from his old instructor, why do it all again? Is the mere image and illusion of actual training that valuable, that we have to have this song and dance?

    Say I'm out of line here, but I always felt that after 5th dan in particular you were considered a master of your art, and beyond that point was completely personal growth and refinement. You have all your colors on the palette, now go get better at painting so to speak.

    If you contrast these higher dan grades in other arts, you see they are based far less on physical accomplishments, and moreso on service to and proliferation of the art as a whole. I have a number of black belt Jiu-Jitsu instructors I train with, and the only ones that I know what dan they are, are the ones I saw get black during my time training there. No one cares what degree black belt Matt Serra is, because they are more interested in his grappling and mixed martial arts accomplishments to notice the cloth holding his gi together.

    Anyway, I'm gonna stop here because I see I'm about to go off on a tangent about how pointless I see belts as a whole are, and that's for another thread another time.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  8. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    What did a 60 year-old Cus Damato have to teach his boxers that a 30 year-old Cus Damato did not? What did a 55 year-old Ed Parker have to teach his students that a 25 year-old Ed Parker did not?

    You are assuming by your statement that the only thing taught by the instructor is the base material and that refinements and innovations etc. are lacking and therefore there is no difference between a 5th degree and a 9th degree in terms of knowledge to impart.
  9. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    ...I don't know what to say KempoFist. Usually your arguments make some sense, even if I don't agree with your point. In this case though, it makes no sense. From what you wrote, I must assume you have never trained with a Kaju grandmaster like Al Dacascos, Al Dela Cruz, Greg Harper, or Philip Gelinas (to name a few, and not to offend anyone I excluded). The insights they provide, the way they move, and in general the quality of instruction is significantly greater than what a 5th degree can provide.
  10. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Like the man said, "When you kick a rock down the side of a hill, a whole lot more than that rock is going to end up at the bottom." It's nice to think that when you set out to deal with one problem that a whole lot more aren't going to be created as a result.
  11. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    Mr Bishop - thank you for your polite response, it was a good read and gave me a little more understanding on the different perspectives that exist within the Kaju Ohana.

    You're welcome :)

    Did I hit a nerve? Would you rather post from the protection of a site where you can complain to the mods you know? Considering that politics is not unique in the MA world, I'd say it doesn't take much more than good comprehension skills to make comment on this issue.

    SifuJason - do you think that the difference between a good 9th dan instructor and a good 5th dan instructor could also boil down to experience and finding the most effective way to impart their knowledge (as opposed to some new technique or delivery system etc.)? It might be more likely that a 5th dan is still practicing the art actively. It would be interesting to start a thread in General MA about this issue.

    I personally wouldn't turn down instruction from a 5th Dan! I think its amusing that we have so many belts and grades that a 5th Dan just no longer has the significance it might have once had. The difference between a 1st Dan and a 5th Dan is probably more significant than the difference between a 5th and 9th Dan (in terms of ability, skill set, effectiveness of instruction, experience, promotion of the art).

    Of course with what the Hui is proposing, you will be able to have a guideline (formed by experienced practitioners of the art) as to what to expect from various Dan levels rather than use ambiguous terms such 'insights', 'quality instruction' 'way they move' to discuss the meaning of rank.
  12. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    I'll have to disagree with you here Lily, although I see where you are coming from. In my opinion (and general experience, although there are exceptions), in Kaju the difference between Dans is exponential. Thus the difference between 1st and 5th is less than 5th to 9th, or at least it should be. You are right that some of the difference in working with the 9th degrees is more experience at teaching, but then again many of the 9th degrees in Kaju (and there aren't that many) are some of the most frightening fighters in system, and can whoop any number of 5th degrees. They simply execute with a level of perfection that doesn't exist outside that elite few.
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I've never complained to a moderator. I'm the one that is usually told by the moderators to complain to them next time, rather than try to fight it out on the forums.

    Being informed might also help when making a decision, but don't let that stop you.
  14. Pacificshore

    Pacificshore Hit n RUN!

    Sifu Jason, I will say this only because of my first hand knowledge of being able to attend one of GM Al Dacascos's seminars....that man is one scary dude and fast as hell ;)

    Not only was he able to show his physical attributes but his knowledge as well. :)
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  15. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    The refinement comes from experience. The experience grants insight. With that in mind, I will contrast this with real Kajukenbo examples. Grandmaster Greg Harper is a person I would give my left kidney to train with! Now why do I want to train under him? Because he's a 9th degree black belt? Not really. Because of his wealth of technical knowledge? Getting much warmer, but not quite there yet. It's because I know that he trains hard and knows how to train fighters. I know that if I show up at his gym and ask to train, I will get beat on, and I will be better for it. I know that the knowledge imparted will be top notch, because that knowledge is forged from real experience, and the real experiences of his training camp in and out of the ring, on and off the battlefield.

    Now would I reconsider this training if he was not promoted, and was still an 8th degree Professor, and instead seek out a Grandmaster? Of course not! Because I know I won't get anywhere else, what I'd get there. Now what if GM Harper was on bad terms with higher ranks within the Ohana, and was never promoted past 5th degree due to politics? Would that lack of rank reflect his lack of knowledge and training methodology?

    I can find knowledgeable martial artists everywhere, but only in certain dojos, gyms and camps can I find the training environment necessary for myself as a 3rd degree BB to truly progress. Pandering to higher ranks who don't train as I do with empty gestures of money, curriculum adoption, and payment of lip service to "Ohana" doesn't benefit myself, or the credibility of the rank I now hold. Even if it looks real nice on paper :rolleyes:

    As they say, a belt only covers 2 inches of your ass. Skill covers the rest. I go to where the skill and training can be found, not the politics.

    Read above.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  16. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    I haven't spoken to Dan about it yet, but I did speak to Sifu Mike and we both agreed that if it's not already stated in place, that it should be made mandatory that if you intend to join and support the Hui, that you must uphold those basic standards in your personal black belt promotions as well, even if you do not run it through the Hui itself.

    Besides, nothing is set in stone yet till a list of members is cemented, and discussion of all these issues can begin. Rome wasn't built in a day you know ;)
  17. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    Idealistically, your rank should be a measure of your skill and experience. Something the Hui is doing right is setting standards for the belts--similar in many ways to what the WHKD branch does. If rank doesn't measure skill, then your point is very valid, but that is the whole point of rank (to measure skill, etc). I know that in practice, the correlation of skill and rank isn't as strong as sometimes desired, but I think that ideal should be aspired towards, and any ranking policies created should aspire to uphold that policy. Yes, politics do get in the way sometimes, but that isn't desirable, and saying that high rank is meaningless is dangerously cynical.
  18. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    Glad you had a chance to train with GM Al! Some of my students haven't had a chance to meet him yet, and keep asking how fast/good/etc he is. I just chuckle and tell them he makes me look like a white belt, but that they'll have to see it to believe it.
  19. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    I am not saying that those who hold high ranks have meaningless belts -heck I haven't trained with any of them, so I couldn't say so if I wanted to- but I am saying that the lack of structure for rank leaves the value in ambiguous terms at best. I personally judge individuals on what they can do, have accomplished, and have to offer; not on what belt, lineage or certificate they have.

    If rank was universally respected, why do so many disparage GM Rich? Just as GM Dacascos teaches his own way and method as approved by Sijo, why is Rich's value disputed by some despite being approved of teaching his own system under Sijo?

    Anyway, I'd like to continue this discussion separate from the Hui as it is getting off-topic (and yes I acknowledge it is my own doing). If someone would like to quote me and start a discussion about the value of varying black belt ranks, I'd be more than happy to continue.

    As far as the Hui is concerned, it is important to make it clear that there is nothing set in stone yet. Not until the Hui is formed and these discussions take place as a community. I do not speak for the Hui, but just myself and my own opinions. Other Hui members may disagree, so I do not claim to represent them. The entire concept is based on community, and community standards, and none of those standards can be cemented until these types of discussions take place, albeit through a proper forum, and not a public MA discussion board.
  20. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    I'm up for a separate discussion if others want to continue. I do want to say though that 1) you keep pointing to examples of exceptions, not the norm (within Kaju at least). People get upset because these exceptions destroy what rank is supposed to mean. 2) GM Rich doesn't have approval to teach his own system with the Kaju name to my knowledge. He teaches Original Method.

    Finally, in regards to the Hui, I think vetting it in a public forum is actually a good idea, especially given its goals of community standards and openness (at least as I perceive it).

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