The 'Legit' Rank B.S.

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by KGS BBS, Jul 26, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    I would hope if someone attacked the reputations of Kara-ho, or called Prof. Chow, or my friend Sam Kuoha liars, that you would take offense and respond.
    If someone wants to argue about dates 50-60 years ago, that's fine. But the founder of my system has been called a liar. The history of our system's beginning and creation has been called a lie, which basically infers that all 5 founders are liars. And no documentation or reliable sources have been quoted to back up the accusations.
    Accusations have been made about me saying certain things all over the net. So when I ask for proof of where and when I supposedly made these statements or comments, I'm told the poster is too busy to get the proof. But yet he has time to post more accusations.
    The strength and credibility of any debate is in the quality of the sources. If someone in a serious discussion or debate used as his source "some say", he would be laughed off the podium.
    I'm not aware of the guidelines that your moderator staff use. Myself, being a moderator/admin on 3 other forums, use one common rule more then any others, "the poster can attack the argument, not the person making it".
    So yes, if the moderation policies of this forum say that I cannot respond to the accusations made against my system, founders, and self, then please delete my membership.
  2. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hey Joe,

    I was re-reading some of this and something sort of jumped out at me. It' something to think about. You stated,:

    "John, we went through this before At one time and probably still to this day many were told five martial arts masters behind locked doors from 1947-49 created Kajukenbo from Korean Tang Soo Do, SeKeino Jiu Juijitsu (which was actually Danzan ryu), Kodokan Judo, Sil Lum Pai Kung Fu w/ Escrima as it's hidden art along with western boxing. Man, that's a big mission in just two years not to mention there has been much discussion on the net lately about 'young' masters. Didn't Emperado start under Chow in 1946? and then founded his own system in 1947-49? Hell, these guys were in their early 20's if that!"

    I thought that made sense, but then I got to thinking about this: GM Gascon stopped teaching Kajukenbo one day, and then started teaching Karzenpo the next. Now, he either was still teaching Kajukenbo and merely calling it Karazenpo, or else he made up an entire system in essentially one day. If he was still just teaching Kajukenbo, then he really didn't create anything new, but was merely teaching what he'd been taught. In other words: He didn't create a system at all. At least not at the time he started calling it Karazenpo.

    If he did create a new system in that short of a period of time, then it seems that five martial artists could have created Kajukenbo in two years. Plus, if it's possible for someone like Pesare to absorb an entire system in 2 and 1/2 months, then that also makes the two years (or three years if you count it as '47, '48, '49) spent developing Kajukenbo much more feasible. Something to consider anyways.


    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  3. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Dan, exactly my point. I totally agree and couldn't say it any better. You are correct in my opinion AND that is EXACTLY what I was trying to get through to John. Everyone has done the same damn thing, every system, every lineage, NO ONE EXCLUDED, not Gascon not Leoning, not Parker, not Chow, not Mitose and NOT EMPERADO ! NO ONE!!!

    Okay John, I'll address your sarcastic remark. LISTEN AND GET THIS STRAIGHT. My orignal ranks were from my instructors HERE in New England. Okay, got it, my original high ranks from 6th to 8th were from Cerio and Pesare and YOU KNOW THAT. Don't play 'mickey the dunce', that sh_t don't work with me. You damn well know that SGM. Pesare and myself had a falling out over what started as a political matter and escalated. In the end, I did not make my one year probation period and he cut me off his family tree. It was very regretable. HOWEVER, during my estrangement from a man I met and totally respected since 1978, that happened on December 31st/ January 1st of 2004, I have always totally and unequivically supported him on the net as to his accomplishments and everything he did for the propagation of Kempo/Kempo in New England, the east coast and eventually world wide, No Pesare no Kempo out here as we know - bottom line. Does anyone really want to debate that one!! Dan, you would probably stayed with Shotokan or whatever because there wouldn't have been any SSK as you know it!

    SGM. Pesare and myself have since worked out our differences and I couldn't be happier over that, you guys don't know our history and it really bothered me over the blow-out we had. Anyway, AND John knows this, because I had at the time time lost my 7th dan from Mr. Pesare, GGM. Sonny Gascon promoted me to 7th dan. That was okay with John Bishop BUT when Professor Gerry Scott spoke up for me to Sijo Emperado and GM. Edmund Louis, Prof. John Pagdilao and Prof. Jaime Abregana, they all okayed me with a 7th dan and this upset John to no end. (John, you should read some of the signatures on my certificate AND I am proud of them). Anyway Tough S.....John. This is all fact and anyone can check with Gerry Scott on this. John was besirmirched that I got a 7th in Kajukenbo (everyone please remember, I never got a rank I didn't already have, I was a 7th in a Kajukenbo subsystem, it was a subsystem only because Gascon had the balls not to play their game and Emperado has offerred gascon to come back under the Kajukenbo umbrella GOE (1999). Believe it or not John, I couldn't care less.

    John has admitted in the past that his former articles on Kajukenbo were inaccurate THAT eventually all the material got to the system BUT by different means. Run a close check on Georger Caltence Change and Walter Peter Choo and you will see what i mean and then check out the others too. Unlike John, I give kudos when do, Kajukenbo is a supberb system and Adriano Emperado is a living legend and his contributions I totally respect. Is he flawless? ofcourse not, who the hell is, there's the problem. John will never admit any of the negativisim in kajukenbo and I have no problem with that until he jumps on everyone elses art. let me say this for the record, Mitose's Shaka In training has as much credibility as these 5 guys referred to as masters, yes John, you in your magazine articles referred to them as young masters, met behind closeed doors and created Kajukenbo in 2 years. Choo, who contributed Tang Soo Do, there's a good one. Japan left Korea in 1945. Tang Soo Do has a birth date of 1946 BUT Choo according to John's articles is a Tang Soo Do master in 1947! What a crock! Wait till you check into George Chang's Sil Lum Kung Fu training and his TRUE contributions to Kajukenbo.

    So John, you accuse me of a cop out , I don't have the time, no cop out, I just am sick and tired of wastimg my time overv the s.o.s. everytime it comes up. I notice you won't even go there over Deichi and her selling of high ranks! You say this came up over the Geary incident, lol, no John, this has been brewing for a long time. I debated this before with you. Remember, the guy I mentioned her George pesare ripped up the check on and you guys gave him what he wanted is not atll like the Geary situation who it cost the KGS BBS and Prof. Mike Rash out of his own pocket to go there. These guys were trying to do a good thing, unmotivated by MONEY, the promotion I spoke in kajukenbo was BOUGHT, sign, sealed and delivered so don't even go there, I know the situation, I know the history. When I make my accustations, I respond with facts and I can back them up, so don't give me that bull. Just became you can trhow a few dates around (like anyone can) and have the bqack up that you were a freelance writer for the mags doesn't make everything you say and write credible and eteched in stone.

    Dan, remember this, before Funakoshi went to Japan, their wewren't any ranks. Sakaguwa, Matsumura, Itosu...these guys taught and passed on the art with no black blet or dan ranks. The ranking system was created over politics and so wasn't the introduction of karate to Japan. I would have rather studied any day from Motobu than Funakoshi.

    Look, like I said, I have a life and my parents just stopped by and they are more important than answering John b.s. so I'm signing off. I don't like battling you over this, John, but a man of your postion should be more sensitive to other martial artists and their systems. I don't have timne to spellchek so this post will stand as it is. Take care & be safewto all, Prof. Joe Shuras
  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hey Joe,

    Seems to me that there are three different arguments going on here. One is, "Does rank mean anything as far as ability goes?" another is "Who had rank from whom when they started this or that art?" and the other one is, "What is the true history of the given art?"

    For the first one: No. Rank means nothing as far as someone's personal ability goes. I have met many black belts that I could kick the crap out of and yellow belts that have given me trouble. This, however, has little to do with the topic as far as I'm interested in it. We have all known people who have had high rank from known instructors that weren't any good at martial arts, and we've also met some pretty good martial artists that were essentially self-taught and practiced in their yards.

    The second one is more interesting from a historic point of view. It goes to what Akja and I were arguing about as far as being a recognized black belt before creating one's own system and whether the person that gave you the belt was the one who trained you or not. For this, we need things like certificates etc. to prove points with. After all, what good are certificates if not to prove this very thing? If someone questions whether I got a certain college degree or not, I can whip out my diploma and show them. They can then call the institution that issued it and verify its authenticity. It's a valid thing to do. So I'm not sure why Pesare's certificate would be a secret as far as who signed it etc.

    Third point: Well, this is where it comes to proof of another kind. If someone can prove that the five Kajukenbo founders really didn't work out together between the years 1947-1949, then I'd be glad to listen to them on that. But, when the remaining founders all say the same thing and so do their first generation students, I'm forced to say, "Who am I to question their story?"

    You and I have talked a hell of a lot over the past couple of years and I totally respect your knowledge of East Coast Kempo history. You personally know Gascon, Pesare, and Villari and you knew Cerio as well as a ton of others. If I ever have any questions about East Coast history, you're always the first one I go to on it.

    However, I have to say the same is true of John out here. He seems to know damn near everyone and has interviewed them at length over the years about Kajukenbo history on the West Coast and Hawaii. If I have to go to someone for the history on that side of it, he's the one I go to about it.

    Also, I think I missed it where John was saying anything negative about SKK. I know what his opinions are about the USSD and Villari's modern organizations, but I really don't remember him saying anything demeaning about SKK or Karazenpo as arts in and of themselves.

    But as far as opinions about those organizations go, Mine are harsher than most out here on the internet and I have made no secret about it. Whatever Villari's was back in the 1970's, it isn't the same now and the USSD is worse.

    Regardless of how each art was started and how similar they were in the beginning, they've grown one hell of a ways apart in terms of technique etc. and I think that's what kind of got a lot of this started. I don't think that saying they're different arts is saying that one is inferior to the other. It all comes down to the instructor and the student. Saying one is better than the other is like the old Ford or Chevy argument. But, trying to say they are the same now a days, is not quite true either in my opinion. One person might prefer a Ford to a Chevy,or vice versa, but they are not the same as each other except that they both are American made automobiles.

    At any rate, that's my opinion.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  5. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

    Gentlemen. I've followed this thread with great interest due to all of the information being strewn about, but at some points it seems that more heat than light is being generated.

    I don't think that anyone was meaning to call any particular founder a liar, whether implying mistatements about which founder was or was not a black belt before creating his system (either Gascon or Emperado),or other statements about dates, times, etc., but there was a more general plea to reconsider the 'accepted' histories of the respective arts. I know for a fact, that even the 'horses mouths' of both styles have said things and reconsidered them upon further reflection. Each style naturally wants to emphasize the positive aspects of its history. I've seen prominent names fade out of the Karazenpo history over the years, and I know some of the things said on the Panther Kajukenbo History DVD have since been reconsidered.

    Did Kajukenbo spring out of the 5 founders collective heads a complete product as it stands today? Of course not. However, according to Sijo Emperado, they did work at it essentially full time. They probably certainly had a pretty concrete idea of what is was and or wasn't. I'm sure it has evolved since then, and will continue to do so. At least I hope it will.

    After the visit from the Kajukenbo representatives, did Sonny Gascon go home that night and think up Karazenpo and have a complete and new product to present the next morning? Of course not. However, the constant in John Leoning's territory was change. He was messing with things, tinkering with things and adding and deleting before the visit. His 'Kajukenbo' and correspondingly the Kajukenbo of Sijo Gascon was already speciating to a degree. By the time George Pesare left (according to George Pesare) he had 1-4 kata and 10 (yep only) combinations. A work in progress. No overlap? The picture I have of Joe Emperado doing the sidekick / backfist combination to Marino Tiwanak looks just like the end of 1 kata. Having done both the Shaolin Kempo katas and others that seem to overlap about 90% with the Kajukenbo katas shown on the Gary Forbach Panther DVD's, I still feel that they share some fundamental movement patterns. Are they the same? No.

    To go back to your car analogy. It's not like Chevy vs. Ford. It's more like Camaro vs. Trans Am. One's a chevy, one's a pontiac, both are GM. If you don't know any better, they look the same from a distance. If you do, they are obviously different, but came from the same manufacturing plant. If you take them apart, you find they have a lot of parts in common, but have enough that aren't that they are truly different things.

    There seem to be a lot of different arguments going on, but I'm not sure any of them are reaching the intended targets.

  6. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member


    My thoughts on this are similar to an extent. Kajukenbo obviously wasn't a "Finished Product" in 1949, but I have no reason to doubt that it had a basic curriculum established by then and see no reason to doubt the basic story of the founders. Stories are often told in a way that leave out detail so that they can be easily transmitted and remembered, but I don't think that there were any outright fabrications about what went on there.

    I think that before the internet and dvds of the complete systems etc. that there was genuine confusion as to how much of a similarity there was between the various Kempo systems. They started from Mitose and Chow and sort of went from there and when all you might have to look at are the occasional article and photograph in a magazine, it's easy to get the idea that they have more in common than they do. Especially when the arts had developed seperately for 30 years on two different coasts.

    It's easy to see how it would happen. Gascon was Leoning's student, Pesare was Gascon's student, Cerio was from Pesare and Villari from Cerio etc. People just assumed that the systems were pretty close to each other in content etc. Now, however, the information age has changed that to a large exent and we're all sort of coming out of the dark and seeing what is and isn't the same. There's nothing wrong with difference. Variety is the spice of life and if everyone practiced the same thing, it'd be a pretty boring place.

    However, even SGM Pesare said in no uncertain terms that what he taught was not Gascon's system:

    "You (Great Grandmaster) did not found Kempo Karate, you only founded a name (Karazenpo-Go-Shinjutsu). Kempo was born way before you were born, and if I remember correctly your first generation student amounted to 3, me being one. I need to say this, when I left California you told me to spread Kempo in Rhode Island, I did better than that; I founded (my) brand of Kempo Karate in New England which is not what you taught me. You simply gave me the vehicle to create my system which is superior to what you taught me, which you said to me at our beach camp reunion, quote, your words (I could never teach my students like you taught yours) unquote."

    So, I don't know how Cerio could have gotten Gascon's system and passed it on to Villari if Pesare didn't teach it. 4 forms and 10 combinations are far less than what is required for a modern purple belt in Kajukenbo (8 forms and 32 combinations). It sounds like SGM Pesare created his own thing and should get full credit for it to me.

    Like I said, the confusion is genuine and understandable, but as we find more out, we should be willing to embrace things as they are.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  7. dbmasters

    dbmasters Valued Member

    I have been following this thread with some interest and some confusion.

    What is interesting is how seriously people take ranking sometimes compared to how little it means. I personally take pride in a belt when I am awarded it, it's a good feeling of accomplishment and recognition of it, and to have it knowingly recognized by my instructor feels good.

    That said, I have also seen a rainbow display of belts from this art and that art that have really nothing to offer in terms of fighting, and likewise seen some dude come in off the streets that grew up in a tough part of town that can absolutely kick ass with virtually no real training...just a black belt from the ol' school of hard knocks.

    Now, looking at all these people, who would I rather learn from, the black belt that was awarded through some org that can't fight or the street kid that can actually fight. Personally, I'd rather train with the street kid that can kick ass regardless of ranking, the education would still be more practical.

    Why does somebody have to be a black belt in anything to make their own system? They don't...anyone can do anything they want. If they street kid want to organize his "Street Can Do" fighting system, what's wrong with that? And more importantly, why will he be trashed on if he does?

    While I find these bickering matches kind of humorous, I would like to see a lot of the bickerers just get in the ring and settle things, regardless of rank, who gave it to you, how long you've had it, etc...and just settle it the way a fighting art should be fighting, not saying "my belt is higher than your belt".

    But, then I guess it depends why you do it, I'll wear whatever color belt my instructor tells me to, if he strips me back down to a white belt, whatever, that's fine, I still know what I know and can do what I can do. Am I the ultimate fighter, no, but it's a fun journey. All this preoccupation with trying to make yourself feel better by making others look bad or "exposing them as frauds" (if that wording helps justify it) is just a waste of time you could spend in the gym working the bags.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  8. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Look db,

    While I acknowledge what you're saying here, I also have to disagree a bit with it. I have no problem with someone starting their own system without having rank. But, when that same person seems to need rank given to him and then displays that rank even though it wasn't's open for criticism. Especially if that person is using the rank to bolster the idea that he has ethos on a given subject.

    The same comment can be directed back at you. Why, instead of criticizing what people post about here, are you not punching a heavy-bag instead? Are you assuming that those that post here (aside from you) don't workout because they post?


  9. dbmasters

    dbmasters Valued Member

    Fair criticism, however I would suggest one or two posts explaining my two cents/alternate view is vastly different than the few people who are spending days on end with countless posts going containing long winded explinations of why their system/rank/credibility is better than the other persons. I just don't get the worth other than just for bickering for the sake of bickering, it's not like anyone is going to change their mind or say "oh, that's right, you are the king of Kenpo". :bang:

    As far as the ranking, showing it, earning it, or seems to be coming more and more clear to me that the ranking system is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to MA on the whole. While I see the benefit into lumping people into groups, much like grades do in school, it appears to me it also turned a lot of big, tough black belts into whiney little babies crying about why they are better than this other black belt, or why that black belt isn't really a black belt...

    Who gives a crap? Invite them onto the mat...find out who's who and then just shut up, ya know?

    I just can't believe how much time you and a few others have spent whining about who's real and who's not, wasting loads of time explaining why...I find it funny in the same way I find my children fighting about "this is my crayon and you can't use it" kinda funny.

    I am working at a green belt, relatively new, a couple years in, and having fun. I have a lot of respect for my seniors and for highly ranked people on the whole, but this kind of childish crap has made me laugh at a lot of them too, much respect lost, not that the opinion of a lowly blue belt should matter to you big, tough black belts. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  10. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Glad to see that you don't get into long winded posts db. :)
  11. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Dan stated: Third point: Well, this is where it comes to proof of another kind. If someone can prove that the five Kajukenbo founders really didn't work out together between the years 1947-1949, then I'd be glad to listen to them on that. But, when the remaining founders all say the same thing and so do their first generation students, I'm forced to say, "Who am I to question their story?"

    Dan, unless I dreamed this one up....John and I had discussed this via phone and e-mails as to the early history and the five young masters. We discussed this after an e-mail was being sent out about the alleged true history of Kajukenbo by an annonymous source whom John felt he knew who it was. If I remember correctly, John had told me that was in error about his wording in the article of five young 'MASTERS' and from my recollection he left me with the understanding that the Korean art, the Kung Fu and so forth eventually found its way into Kajukenbo to form this eclectic blending but it wasn't put in the system as one would believe from reading the early inception period of 1947-49. Now, my opinion, from what I have researched and I could stand corrected on it, but this early Kajukenbo was 'mainly' the Mitose/Chow Kempo of the 1942-46 era and this makes sense to me because Emperado started with Chow in 1946.

    Please, don't take me the wrong way, this does not throw stones or cast doubt on the effectiveness of this system which came to be known as Kajukenbo, not at all and I don't mean to call anyone a liar at all BUT I'm just trying to point out that ALL martial arts history is like this, all of it. There is nothing told or written that one should ever bet their life on if you know what I mean. It appears there is much dramatics and creative writing in telling the stories of the inception of the early systems and the legends behind them. It makes great movie material but is often inaccurate but this, however, does not degrade the system in any way, it's just how the martial arts tradition is. Does anyone really think Bodhidharma sat for, what was it, 15 16, 18 years... whatever, meditating and cut his eyelids off so he wouldn't fall asleep which fell to the ground and tea leaves, plants or something, lol, grew in their place. His shadow was burned into the wall from his long years of meditating,lol, and this was the birth of the martial arts, the 28th Indian patriarch, Bodhidharma (Daruma, Ta Mo, etc.) 527. C'ome on guys, see my point.

    Therefore let's not go after other peoples' lineages and styles because we're all in the same boat. The only things that should possibly be judged is the character & ethics of who is propagating the arts or a particular lineage and style. Yes, cut people slack for making mistakes because we all do, it's human BUT some do not make mistakes for they know exactly what they do and do it anyway. It is then I am outspoken on the matter if it's brought to my attention and affects my lineage and/or style. This I agree.

    dbmasters, in my opinion, is right on in his post on his perspective of what rank is and how everyone gets all bent out of shape on it. In the early years of our kempo systems, a black belt was a novelty to find a teacher of this 'modernized' kempo art of Hawaii because of that reason, this current rendition of the art was new to Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. You're not going to get many experienced black belts and masters to propagate it, something that comes in time through evolution which it finally did! Please remember, as I previously posted, the old masters were teaching with no rank and we only had the stories of their years of study and we all know how accurate 'stories' can be, especially the farther you go back in history, much is based on myth with some facts thrown in. We still have several renditions of who brought Chinese Kenpo to Okinawan and how. It was for political reasons that the whole rank thing started with Funakoshi and he himself never claimed anything over his 5th dan.

    Yes, I saw on the DVD what GGM. Gascon taught SGM. Pesare and don't forget Dan, curriculums back then were very limited. The original Hawaiian derived kenpo was based on drilling the basics and a limited number of techniques that when borrowed upon from the basics created others. The only forms I ever heard of being taught was Naihanchi, so you got just one form too. That was your original stuff! BUT it was more than enough for the times, to plant the seed that was nutured and spread by others down the lineage. SGM. Pesare started with a handful of forms and another handful of techniques and some extremely hardcore training and drilling of the basics. He is an exceptionally creative man and a tough s.o.b. who had what it took to take the ball and run with it. He modified and added and substracted. Isn't that was is done in most successfull practical fighting systems? Whether you look at Cerio's Kenpo or Villari's Kempo you will clearly see this connection back to Pesare and finally to Gascon in its core. You will also clearly note the Kajukenbo influences. Nick Cerio wrote several books and in one of them, Ed Parker did a forward for him. He stated the Fred Villari schools that blanket New England teach Nick Cerio's concepts of Kenpo. He also stated that the farther from the source you get, the greater the dillution from the original influence. I guess this was mean't as a negative but I would say it can be good or bad. Dillution can result in the exposure to additonal material of other arts and if such material is balanced and blended correctly, it can lead to a superior martial art. Isn't that what Kajukenbo did?

    Okay, I have to take a break from all this, lol, Take care & be safe, with respect, Prof. Joe
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  12. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    And you were beginning to seem more civil. First (I'm stating calmly) you ignored all along that I told you I was evaluated and promoted by someone with a closely aligned lineage. Hanshi co-signed my rank on "my system."

    I never claimed to be a part of any of the American or Hawaiian Ken/mpos.
    I did not seek a founders degree. If I would of been evaluated at a 1st degree, I would of taken it. I was evaluated by the few years video taken of me being trained with my Sifu in Jun Fan Gung Fu which connects me to the promoting instructors Sifu. Don't tell me that your art and all the others do not promote non-students with "similar" lineages.

    I NEVER sought recognition in anything except in what I was already doing, teaching my system for nearly a decade on my own. You may not be addressing me but you keep using me as an example. Maybe subltly, but still doing it. I'm not trying to raise your blood pressure. We just don't agree. You see yourself as equal, maybe better. Could be, but you still need closer guidance and thats why you seek it. I already have the tools in my tool box.

    I really should never of chosen the word Kempo. It has proven to be a big mistake. Maybe I should just "pimp" the word Kempo and be done with it.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  13. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Look, stating the original reason for my posts wasn't trying to get this whole thing going again with you.


  14. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    I'm not going there, just disturbed with Kempo as a whole. No one can stake claim to kempo and I was wrong to choose that name.
  15. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Hey Joe, my point is that unless there's some reason to question the origin story, I'd just as soon let it stand.

    I know the email that you're talking about regarding the "true history" etc. and also know that the one who was supposed to have authored it said he wasn't the author and it was just someone trying to start crap. So how reliable that one is is anyone's guess.

    Also, the "Young Masters" quote was the editor of the magazine inserting that in to John's article if I read those posts correctly. John didn't write that term in the article himself according to him:

    "this thing about the Kajukenbo founders being masters in their 20's? That's the invention of a few magazine editors. Sounds pretty enticing, and sells quite a few magazines. But it's never been put forward by any Kajukenbo organizations as the "official" history of Kajukenbo.
    Simple truth is that these five 20 something gentlemen gave themselves the nickname "the black belt society". Not a great philosophical statement, but hey they were 20 year olds."

    As to the rest of it, I agree. Things change and evlove and additions are made etc. No problem with them from me. I have always stated that I liked SKK as an art, but hated how it was taught out here. You and others have assured me that it is taught better back east and that it retains its effectiveness etc. Obviously I believe you on that. The issue is not whether SKK is effective or not, but whether it's the same as Kajukenbo. I find it hard to believe that 4 forms and 10 combinations were all that existed of Kajukenbo back in 1958, or that it was no more than the basics of kicking, punching and blocking etc. I've seen footage of Gaylord and Godin performing some of the known combos back in 1956 or 1957 etc. so they had to be around back then at latest, which would still put it before Gascon broke off etc.

    It seems that SGM Pesare isn't very anxious to make the connection back to Gascon himself. With his numerous black belt rankings in various arts, it seems he spent far more time in them than he did in Karazenpo and is perfectly content to claim his style as wholly original. Cerio went back to Chow and Parker (and Oyama) for training rather than Emperado and Villari seems to be content to say that his style is his very own also. My questions is: When did people decide to make the link back to Kajukenbo from SKK when there were so many other arts that were incorporated into it?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006
  16. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    Danjo asks;
    "My questions is: When did people decide to make the link back to Kajukenbo from SKK when there were so many other arts that were incorporated into it?"

    The key word here is link. In my humble opinion i think people maybe emphasizing this to much. If i look into my Irish family tree and go back through the tree i may find a 6th cousin living in Ireland named Katherine. We have zero influence on each other but yet i can link her to my roots. So there is a link. When i teach, i teach my students history (to the best of my knowledge) and in the history line there is a "link" to kajukenbo, but also to the other styles that you have mentioned, explaining how all have had an influence on what is being taught.
    When i have first hand knowledge to an influence in a move i give that person the credit. I am not bragging that this move comes from some great person... I am giving credit to the influences this great person has had in the growth of martial arts.

    ok, I keep erasing my words so it comes out with as much respect as possible so here it is.

    East Coast Kempo people are not trying to sell ourselves off as Kajukenbo people especially those of us who have never trained in it (I hope), I personally have a tree lineage on my web that eventually links to Kajukenbo for the respects that it deserves. This does not mean i would not gratiously trade ideas and techniques with anyone who likes to learn and teach.
    So Danjo i dont think we decided to just link ourselves to Kajukenbo it just is.
    as a side note. My friends and I when having long discussions came up with a system to keep our cool when we could not tell the tone of their voice or basically their sarcasm.. I do not like the lol because there are some bad laughs out there. but when i put sm=0 that means no sarcasm and 10 would be just completely busting on you. my words above are sm=0, because i am not trying to get into any infighting over who,why what, just respecting what has been passed down even if its just a block to the inside.
    In Peace
    Jesse Dwire
  17. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    What you said here makes perfect sense and I have no quarrel with it. Now I'll get to my point and tell you why I've been beating around the bush here. It seems to me that the reason is that people seem to want to link to Gascon etc. is because they are unwilling to stop at Villari as the creator of SKK and leave it at that. Personally, I think he deserves the credit for it. I think Nick Cerio is the creator of Nick Cerio's Kenpo and Pesare of his personal brand of New England Kempo with influences from his rankings as a "5th dan in Judo, a 4th dan in Escrima, a 4th dan in Tae Kwon Do, a 2nd dan in Aikido and according to the late Nick Cerio, a shodan in kenpo, all starting in the early 1960's." I think that Gascon can take credit (along with Godin and Leoning) for Karazenpo. I think that these are discreet arts, each sufficiently unique as not to need to be linked to a previous one.

    Having someone in your history is fine and accurate. Saying that the arts are all the same is not accurate. Emperado does not say that Kajukenbo is the same as Kara Ho Kempo simply because Chow was his instructor. He doesn't say that a black belt in Kajukenbo is the same as a black belt in Kara Ho Kempo etc. I think that due to Villari's reputaion, people feel the need to go further back and find a martial artist that is well regarded to link up to in terms of identity and that is the beginning and ending of this problem. But in my opinion, if you want an identity in Kajukenbo, go study it and get rank in it. Same goes for any of the others. We already know that Pesare doesn't let anyone come in with rank from one of the others and claim that rank in his school and I think this is the right approach. Each art should have its own identity and acknowledge it's founder. If that's not good enough, study a different art. Learn it, and then test for the rank in it and claim it. Otherwise, these things cease to mean anything at all and confusion ensues.

    I personally wasn't satisfied with what I was getting in the USSD so I quit. I don't live on the East Coast where decent SKK is taught, so I went to Kajukenbo and am very happy with it. But they're not the same thing. Nor, in my opinion, should they be.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006
  18. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    16 years training to 5th dan is not to fast but you sent out some things that seem a bit wild.

    You said you started at the bottom with Kimo yet in 2 years you were promoted from the "bottom" to 4th dan.

    And you said in 5 years you have "probably" hundreds of training hours with Kimo. Well with 200 hours in 5 years you would have 3/4 an hr a wk for 5 years and at 300 hours you would have over an hr a wk for 5 yrs.

    Thats a large "probably" for 5 years of training under an instructor 5000 miles away.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006
  19. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    In response to AKJA about Matt Barnes
    When Prof. Kimo comes to the East Coast it is likely that the KJK representatives will train at least 20 hours or more with him on the mat during each stay. Master Hatch and myself after our Hugely successful East Meets West seminar(thanks everyone) where up until 3 in the morning training. Training doesnt stop on the dojo floor either. It continues in life with Prof. Kimo, at dinners he will ask us questions on either history, technique or just philosophical thoughts to make sure we are of the right character. So yes i am sure that Matt Barnes has had hundreds of on the mat training hours with Prof. Kimo in the years and even more of the off the mat training. I was on Matt's testing board as a witness and he showed up for action and passed with honors.
    Prof. Shura's - you said in a previous thread that you would of trained with Motobu Sensei instead of Funakoshi any day (paraphrasing) I tried to call you a few times over the past month but never got through- You could of had your chance to train with his son who did his first Boston seminar ever. It was a great one.
    In Peace
  20. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Don't take it disrespectfully but I've been bastrdized to the max. I have nothing to lose and I'm just doing what I have to.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page