The 'Legit' Rank B.S.

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    I dont know who you are and i dont know how bad you were blasted., I am not disrespected because i do not know you you are and that is not a blast at you, i find myself on here late night when i am still trying to unwind.
    In Peace
  2. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    New Question

    Hey Joe,

    I had a question that hopefully will be aside from any previous debate. This is mere curiosity following up on what Akja pointed out:

    When it comes to history especially Kajukenbo, John Bishop is the one to listen to.
    John's earliest black belts in California were not until 1962-63.
    Carlos Bunda and Bill Ryusaki were the first ones

    In 1958 there are only 3 karate schools in all of So. California. Tsutomu Oshima's Shotokan school (1955), Ed Parker's Kenpo school (1956), and John Leoning Kajukenbo school (1958).__________________

    I talked to John Leoning's first black belt, Carlos Bunda. He told me that Leoning came to the mainland in 1958[/B]. I talked to Ed Parker. He verified the date of 1958. He also told me that Leoning was a "brown belt" when he first came here. He said he know's this because he called Sijo Emperado to "check him out", (competition you know) when Leoning opened his school. And Sijo told him that Leoning was a "brown belt". Ed said that Leoning later got his "black belt". I never asked how much "later". It really didn't matter to me at the time.
    Bill Ryusaki also confirmed this information.I then talked to Alan Reyes, who is a Kajukenbo historian. He grew up in Kajukenbo and his father Aleju Reyes was Sijo Emperado "scribe". In other words he recorded for Emperado all the "techniques", "black belt promotions", and other matters important to the Kajukenbo organization.
    Alan told me that Leoning, like most of the other early Kajukenbo instructors on the mainland, was "not a black belt when he first arrived". He, like most of the others came here looking for jobs. When the opportunity arose to teach,they did. Like I said before, at the time he opened, there are only 2 karate schools in all of So. Calif.

    That tells me that Gascon most likely created his style without EARNING his black belt the hard way as you say. It also tells me that even if he did earn his black belt later, he still founded his own style at a minumum of 4+ years before earning a legitimate black belt.

    During 1958-62. If he promoted anyone to black belt. He issued a rank that he did not earn.
    He is the first in your SSK line to self promote himself to 10th and all the others under him self promoted themselves to 10th.

    Emperado didn't promote Leoning to black belt until after 1959, which is after Gascon broke off and founded Karazenpo. Emperado said that he moved Gascon under him on the tree because he had been "Leoning's student." in 1977. I notice that Emperado didn't say, "One of Leoning's black belts.", but "student."

    We also know that Leoning was, according to Emperado and Ed Parker, just a brown belt in 1958 when he started teaching. Obviously, that's no big deal given the state of things back then. If he was the highest ranking guy around, then that's just the way it was etc. Sort of like Pesare being the only Kempo guy back east een though he was only a purple belt, etc.

    Some later said that Gascon got his black belt from Godin, though he's not listed under him an any family tree I've ever seen.

    So here's the question that Jim started to ask before: Who gave Gascon his black belt and when?

    If Leoning was only a brown belt in '58, then he couldn't have promoted Gascon to black belt. Plus, wouldn't he have had to be at least a 2nd degree black belt to promote Gascon to 1st degree?

    This has been fairly disturbing to me to realize this because I've defended SKK and it's ancestors for some time, so I'd like to get to the bottom of this. If Gascon had no black belt and Pesare had no black belt, then that makes things interesting indeed.

    If you have inside info on this one, please clear this up for us.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2006
  3. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    Well since you're having fun quoting me. I have a question about you're quote.

    You said:
    post# 176
    Well, having talked to a number of instructors there, it's all about the money. They tested the celebrities right next to us in Lake Forrest, (Christian Slater and I went for Green belt at the same test session, and Steven Seagal's kids also trained there) and it seems that if there were a "Special Club" that they would be the one's who would have gotten it.

    When I would go to the tests in Charlie's Lake Forrest HQ, I would work my butt off before testing to learn all of my material and be able to do it well. I would be standing next to people that forgot forms and combinations and some that even had to take a break and sit out part of the test. Well, at the end of the session, everyone got their tested for rank. When one of my fellow students that was testing at the same time asked one of the "Masters" what the deal was, the "Master" shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's a business." That's a quote I heard myself right from the mouth of Dennis B.

    You recognize that green belt test? And you Villari test? You stated you outranked Geary in in SSK. Are you sure?

    I can't see how based on your own standards that you are praising on the net.



    Last edited: Aug 2, 2006
  4. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    LOL. Take a deep breath Akja. The post where I said I outranked Geary was meant to be IRONIC. I put no value in the Villari brown belt. I put damn little in the USSD ranks either. Point is, even though it was video tested etc. it was still signed by Fred Villari, not Lou Angel etc. Villari, last time I looked had the right to issue rank to people in SKK. Lou Angel does not. Neither, for that matter, did Nick Cerio since SKK wasn't his thing either. So, say what you will, I got no rank from anyone that wasn't in the art I practiced. All of Geary's rank after green belt was awarded to him by people outside of his art. See the difference? Crappy USSD/Villari standards, versus no standards. You can't make me feel bad Akja. The only art I started myself is the one I gave you an 11th degree in Grasshopper. :)
  5. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    I took my deep breath and I'm still the one that got bastardized while the biggest voice's ranks in his own words, or at least on that post on that day, were weak. How can you voice the standards over me and what I do? So basically you're saying it dosen't matter how weak your intructors teaching and testing was just as long as it came from the correct source?

    I never was Gearys friend and he is the reason why so many people are mad at me right now.
  6. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Akja, the way I see it, you're right on the money. When you made your point about the SKK line not having black belts etc., I had no where else to go on that. The timelines are pretty damning and I stand corrected on what I had earlier said regarding it. I've said this to you before in private, but I'll say it here now: I have no way of knowing how talented or not you actually are. You may be very good for all I personally know. The rank issue came about when we saw Geary's video and you started defending Lou Angel's promotion of him. It made me wonder about you and your skill level because if Geary is what a Lou Angel 7th degree looks like, what must a Lou Angel 5th degree look like? Obviously, there is no actual standard there and all I was looking for from you was, "Hey, hell if I know what happened there." and I would have dropped it long ago.

    Nearly all of my martial art skill prior to starting Kajukenbo, comes from the Shotokan I studied years ago. I have tons of power, but I am constantly being told to loosen up and develop more flow. In the USSD, I got ZERO feedback in the time I was with them ZERO. So I just kept going with the Shotokan stuff I had had for twenty years. In Kajukenbo, I get feedback on nearly everything I do good or bad. Big difference. Reminds me of my Shotokan training except the art is different.

    You obviously have a logical mind and put together the stuff regarding Gascon and Leoning that I had never noticed. You nailed it, and I responded by giving you crap and making that fake certificate. So here I am apologizing for it since it offended you so badly. It was childish of me.

    That might not make it okay by you, but I don't say it with any sarcasm, so take it for what it is.

    All I want from this are straight answers not based on rumor and inuendo. Everyone's facts should be out on the table. If Pesare got a black belt in kenpo, then who gave it to him? Or Gascon etc. etc. Facts only please.

    Dan Weston
  7. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    This has been an awesome thread, and Professor Bishop I hope that you haven't really given up discussing things on here. I personally feel that this kind of exposure and discussion can be good, because it takes away all the $@&! talking that's done behind closed doors and replaces it with cold hard facts gained through discussion. Up until this point I had felt it an undeniable truth that Pesare never gained his black belt from Gascon but instead decided to leave and start his own system with little MA experience. Now I'm not so sure, and I feel it would be great to have that resolved for everyone especially on an open forum. Now if Pesare DIDN'T ever get his rank then he'd have something to hide and I wouldn't blame him for trying to cover that up, but to me I feel that even if that was so, if he knew how to fight and really put up like his students say he did then that's good enough for me, and earns alot more respect in my eyes than all the cloth sewn onto belts in the world.

    Oh and for the record 99% of east coast kempo does suck, simply because commercialism reigns supreme. I see both Kempo and Kajukenbo being the same the earlier days they trained hard, fought hard and techniques that were lacking in ability were discarded or glossed over. Now focus on memorization of rote (and often impractical) technique with the reward being a bran-spanking new belt with complete lip service being paid to actual ability is the way of the "warrior." :bang:

    The reason why so many East Coast guys want that Kajukenbo claim is simply legitimacy. So many schools were spawned as ******* children of the Villari tree, and they want a more stable and respected father-figure. Kaju guys to the best of my knowledge for the most part still train hard, fight hard, and aren't too fond of copping out of real training in exchange for asianphillic pseudo-philosophy and impractical complicated techniques that they claim are too deadly for this world.
  8. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    to Kempofist:

    99% -- thats being a little critical. I know of a lot of tough kempo schools out here ranging from NY- through New England. Some actually still stick to the old ways of doing it.... you know.. actually testing. Now there are a lot of schools out here (and west coast) that after your' 28th class you get your next rank... thats crap. If i were at a school like that and some Joe Schmo gets his rank the same time as me and he cannot do the basics but has 28 classes in i would feel my rank is not a true recognition of skill. I am on a small break now but after this i have to go down and really work my students. but i will write more later. And please refer to my earlier post where i comment on "us" not trying to claim that we need a new father,, just that in reality if you go far enough back and it is linked to Kaju (but that does not make it Kaju). I have respect for everyone i have trained under and stayed with. I have trained under others who got one lesson out of me and that was enough
    In Peace
  9. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Perhaps it's a bit critical, and I can't really say till I visit some more schools, but from what I've seen is alot of watering down techniques to make them easier for students to learn and progress faster (more $$$ for less skill) and then the complete flipside of the coin being that they are overcomplicating the entire concept of unarmed combat itself in order to make the instructor appear more knowledgable than he or she really is.
  10. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    Thanks for doing the math.

    Yep, but when you host him three or more times per year training about 20 hours per visit, visit him when he is at other schools, train before and after seminars he gives at other locations, I guess it adds up. Even disregarding the 'in betweens' I guess you were right on the money. 20 hours x 3 visits x 5 years = 300. I hadn't thought it was quite that high.

    By the way, how big is his curriculum? You have no idea, do you. It's about 1/5 the quantity of the Kempo I had been training in. Apparently when you train on principles using thoughtfully devised techniques that can be deconstructed and fit together in a myriad of ways and can be used logically against a large number of attacks, you don't need a preponderance of techniques. Having studied a bit of two different Filipino arts for a bit made learning his knife technique concepts much easier, as that's where many of his ideas came from. And, as his teacher (Walter Godin) made up some of the techniques the previous flavor of Kempo was based on, it was a pretty easy transition. In fact, I could apply his movement ideas to my old rank material and forms and it made them better too. Thanks for caring.

    By the way, please find evidence of me saying you were a bad martial artist, or that your system is not valid, and post it here. I can't seem to find it. I can find where I questioned the judgement of the guy who gave you the 7th dan based on another individual he ranked similarly, and warned that that fellow was like a cancer to your teacher's organization. I find it funny that I exasperate you so, when I'm not entirely sure you read my posts accurately.

  11. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    I'm still waiting for the answer to this simple question.
  12. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    the plot thickens....or rather my head aches....
  13. James Kovacich

    James Kovacich RENEGADE

    1) We agree on that.

    2) I am not a 7th. This is way off.
    "I can find where I questioned the judgement of the guy who gave you the 7th dan based on another individual he ranked similarly, and warned that that fellow was like a cancer to your teacher's organization."

    I am not friends with that guy you speak of and never spoke up for him. I only spoke on behalf of my instructors name (and mine) being dragged through the mud when the "other org." placed the blame of theoir promotion on my instructor. You were a part of that mess. If it was your instructor, you would do the same. If I find dirt on Kimo will you speak up?

    My name is dirtied from that mess on several forums that can't be erased. I don't owe anyone anything except if their are questions out there, then maybe I or we should answer them.
  14. Matthew Barnes

    Matthew Barnes Valued Member

    I'm glad we agree on something.

    My bad - it's 5th right? I forgot. That doesn't change things for the better. The analogy still fits. I can't imagine you watched the tape of the fellow in question (the one where the organization made the giant mistake of not watching before promoting him) and then said to yourself, "gosh, someday I hope to be his equal". And now he's a 10th. I guess he didn't need karazenpo or your teacher.

    Reread my stuff - I also entreatied the other organization to act professionally. Here's the rub. I feel this applies for every promotion- so it is a general 'you'. When you promote someone to whateverth dan, you put your little 'seal of approval' on them. You and they become linked. If your picture appears on their website with a quote saying "they are the best thing since sliced bread" it implies that you endorse them, and that what they do is certainly 'good enough' for the rank you bestowed upon them. You are now attached, good or bad. When it turns out they are an embarrassment, you are now between a rock and a hard place. Did you really look at them and see 'good enough' or did you give without looking. Organization 'A' seems to be taking the latter. You were absolutely sure your teacher did the former. Organization 'A' is disowning him as thoroughly as they can because it's clear he's on the 'mud ride' and they don't want to go with him. Until otherwise stated, he reflects your teacher's judgement. That's the problem I'm trying to get my head around. Based on everything I've seen about the person in question, be it the really poor video and still techniques he posted of himself on his own site, the video that made the rounds, or the newspaper articles documenting his (now at least settled by a $7500 payment to his landlord years later) character defects there is not a single good reason I can imagine why your instructor would tolerate this blight on his organization.

    I've been there, done that. I responded by providing factual information and deconstructing the logic of their statements. Very recently, Kimo had someone approach him for rank and we - the folks who are working hard for the good of his organization - found discrepancies in the persons background. We brought them to Kimo's attention to ensure we didn't have a situation like this. There's a formal process with set requirements. We promote our people. Folks who come in must join, complete a probationary period, and learn Kimo's material. It's not rocket science, but it solves these problems. Sometimes it's uncomfortable when you have to be the one to present an awkward truth to the head of the organization, but that's what loyalty is about. Only your true friends will tell you that you sat on a brownie in your white pants before you head out to the dance floor.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  15. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    nitpicking, don't let me interrupt

    The Geary video as made while he was a 1st dan, submitted to Lou Angel, and Angel gave him a 3rd. Later the SAME TAPE was sent to the KGS and a 6th came from it. Gascon said in Omaha "the tape was fine" and then his people said "we never watched it".

    AKJA, having multiple forums where Danjo criticizes you is a badge of honor in some circles, and not at all a smearing of your reputation. Besides, nobody listens to Green Belts anyways LOL.
  16. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, I can't argue that one. Either they watched it and then gave him rank, which tells you what a 6th dan is supposed to look like to them, or they gave him rank without looking at anything. Either way it was a screw up.

    I take it you mean the circle in the back of Geary's and Steiner's dojo? Or was it some other cirle you had in mind with you guys out there in Omaha?

    I've apologized to Akja, and I'm not going to take it back, so go back and have fun with your 10th degree master Dave.
  17. Red J

    Red J New Member must be referring to a crop circle...right??? LOL.
  18. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Exactly. It's from the same aliens that are going to promote Geary to 50th degree, Master of the Solar System.
  19. KempoFist

    KempoFist Attention Whore

    Should I Gong Sau the aliens before that happens?
  20. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    For God's sake, at least make sure that you're wearing your tin-foil hat when you do that!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page