Wheres the shaolin in ussd's shaolin kempo?

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by buda warrior, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Gufbal1981

    Gufbal1981 waiting to train...

    Don't forget...your instructor was with USSD till the rank of Green Belt.
  2. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    I guess the question is,, Is the begging working. Is Sijo giving Kajukenbo ranks to people who do not know Kajukenbo? Or giving high ranks to people who only know a little of the material?
    In Peace

    Kajukenbo in general has very strict ranking requirements, and some of its branches (the Dacascos ones) are even more strict. As a general rule you can assume someone with Kaju rank earned it, and knows their stuff. However, nothing is perfect, and there are a few bloopers here and there, but we try to keep the quality control as strict as possible.
  3. John Bishop

    John Bishop Valued Member

    All rank is not the same. There's earned rank. And then there's honorary rank.
    Honorary rank is just like honorary college degrees. Their nice to bring out on special occassions, and hang on the wall (website). But you can't kid anyone into believing it's the same as earned rank.
  4. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    Old topic, only half of the qoute listed was mine. a piece of it was qouted from someone else. To bad people with honorary ranks go around talking as if they are a lot more, and im not talking about just one organization or another.
    In Peace,
  5. KenpoDavid

    KenpoDavid Working Title

    ROFL thanks I guess... who reminds you where your teachers started? I am so lucky to have you <3 hee hee

    he has modified so much of the USSD stuff it is hard to find any techniques after SDM 6 that are unchanged.

    and... he's not my teacher. he's the President and Founder of the Corporation, and was my Techer's teacher. But I don't train under him directly.
  6. James Funaro

    James Funaro Formerly "joe nobody"

    Actually the Tak Wah page has a seminar listed he will be doing in USSD school in Miller Place, Long Island. I remember a few USSD instructors training with Tak Wah in NYC while I was there.
  7. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    In the beginning, in New England, (the building permit on one of his first schools, I was co-owner of w/ Hanshi Craig Seavey, in Framingham, Ma. read 1971 and his first school (Villari) was in Waltham, Ma. at 450 Moddy St.) when Fred Villari started his franchise under the original USSD (Charlie Mattera was with him then), the system was called Chinese KeNpo Karate, I still have some old brochures, t-shirts, etc. Even after the Kung Fu televison series, it was called Chinese Kenpo Karate. I made my shodan on 01-07-77, Mr. Villari and Mr. Mattera gave the test, still Chinese Kenpo. I left in 1981, it had changed to Shaolin KeMpo Karate on the patch and certificates by then and in his first book that was published in the 80's (Martial Arts and the Real World), he used 'Amercian' Shaolin Kempo, although the patch, certs and merchandise didn't reflect the "American". I would say he made the change in 1980, 8 years after Caradine's Kung Fu hit the t.v. screens in 1972. The early brochures did tie in the temple roots. So, Mr. Villari did not 'cash in' on the the style name "Shaolin" Kempo to market his art back then because it simply wasn't true, the time line doesn't fit.

    As far as the early roots go as mentioned in the brochures I wrote of, it was not unusual when reporting history back then or even now for that matter, especially Hawaiian derived Kempo/Kenpo and also the Okinawan karate arts to tie into China and Shaolin. You have Okinawa tying into Southern China and White Crane, Singing Crane and Feeding Crane styles and I think the 5 Elders system may have been mentioned also. You have Kusanku, the Chinese emmissary, some list him as a military man- a general as being involved in a cultural exchange w/ Okinawa who was the purported teacher of Sakuwaga of Okinawa, the first karate founder who started the whole thing.

    In Hawaii, you have James Mitose who started this whole Kempo/Kenpo thing. According to Prof. Thomas Young, Mitose first called his art Shorinji Kempo, which we all know Shorinji being the Japanese word for Shaolin. It was Mitose who first tied in this Kempo to Shaolin and China. We later have Prof. William Chow at one point, calling his art Shaolin Kenpo Karate and later giving permission to GGM. Ralph Castro to call his art Shaolin KeNpo as Chow chose another name. It's funny because no one really asks Mr. Castro where the Shaolin is in his Shaolin Kenpo for he studied under William Chow and Ed Parker. These are all branches of the same tree or root - Chow/Mitose tree.

    Back in the 70's when Mr. Villari was going over the form Shou Tung Kwok with us, this was around 1977, maybe '78, I distinctly remember he did not mention Shaolin, he stated to us it was the first in the series of the CHINESE forms. (Several of us used to take notes back then). I would have to go back and review his article in Black Belt magazine in 1975 but for now I will go out on a limb and say he didn't mention Shaolin then either, he mentioned CHINESE Boxing as kung fu.

    As far as the current USSD, the Mattera/Demasco organization, yes, imho, I do believe the use of Shaolin was for marketing reasons no doubt but as far as Mr. Villari goes, that wasn't the case. I believe in Villari's early brochures, although I'd have to check, he mentioned the early beginnings of the art from the five animals and CHINESE Kung Fu (this was of course related to him from Nick Cerio due to the Chow/Mitose connection along with the historical link to Kajukenbo). So, this was historically accurate on his part.

    Sir, you mentioned you learn Japanese katas and pinans. Yes, your pinans have Japanese origins to Mas Oyama's Kyokushinkai of which Nick Cerio borrowed from. Actually, it was originally SGM. S. George Pesare's (Karazenpo) idea to add what you call #1 pinan (Taikyoku shodan-first cause form or student's first look at Karate/Shotokan) in the mid 60's, Mr. Cerio added the rest. Oyama, a Korean, studied Judo, Shotokan, Goju ryu and Southern Chinese Kenpo (as in kung fu). Those pinans tie into Shotokan. However, your katas do not, except for #4 which was inspired by Shotokan's Heian #2 which is Okinawan karate's Pinan #1, although altered by Sonny Gascon of Karazenpo. Katas 1, 2, and 3 were created from scratch during the inception of Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu (1958-60). #5, #6 & #7 by SGM. Pesare which SKK altered and calls Swift Tigers and Nick Cerio altered and called it Circle of the Panther. I also believe from what I learned on another forum that the current USSD uses some of the Nick Cerio Kenpo forms such as Circle of the Tiger (inspired by #1 kata).

    The Shaolin Defensive maneuvers you speak of were originally Karazenpo from George Pesare to Nick Cerio to Fred Villari. Nick Cerio stated to me he taught Fred Villari around 35 numerical combinations (not counting all the various punch techniques and weapon defenses) and comparing Cerio's art with the Villari combinations it looks like that's pretty much on the money, probably closer to 39. #40 appears to have been inspired by EPAK's Leaping Crane, the rest were most definitely added by the Villari organization. Hope this was of some help. I know this stuff gets pretty confusing, it all does. - Joe
  8. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Sorry, I forgot a couple other forms. Honsuki (original spelling Hansuki) is not traditional Japanese kata either, although the name is Japanese. The form is from the William Chow/Bill Chun Sr. connection to Nick Cerio (Chun taught it to Cerio) to Frank Cerio (brother of Nick) to Fred Villari.

    I also forgot to mention Statue of the Crane which was added by Karazenpo Senior Grandmaster S. George Pesare to Prof. Cerio to Master Villari. Mr. Pesare learned the Korean version of this form (also called Rohai in the Okinawan systems-Vision or Symbol of the White Heron). In Rohai, all key movements are done in a series of three which clearly reflects our Statue of the Crane.

    SGM. Pesare also refers to the form as No Hi, although a rare and different form found in Shorin ryu, it's Okinawan translation, "Crane on a Rock" better suits our translated name of Statue of the Crane. It's like SKK's #1 and #2 pinans are not Okinawan karate's #1 and #2 pinans. Kajukenbo had originally done the same thing for many years, calling their forms "pinans" before much later changing the name to Palama sets to more accurately represent the origins of their art.

    Shou Tung Kwok, essentially the nucleus of the Villari system has a strong Chinese flavor to it as does the rest of the advanced forms Mr. Villari added (and/or) created to his system. - Joe
  9. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

    Hi Joe,
    At what stage did Nick Cerio teach the Naihanshi or Naihan... Kata? I learned something at the Chow memorial that was interesting.

    Kajukenbo has it as the 11th Kata.

    In an old Donn Draeger book he explains the process of how the name went from "china hand" to "empty hand"...The below listed is his thoughts.


    Kara can mean empty in the kanji and te is hand in the Okinawan thought.

    It originally ment "china hand" then when Gichin Funakoshi went to teach the Japanese the art of Te or ti (because the Emperor liked the physcial strength of the Okinawans and their art) He decided it was time the Japanese youth needed to do more physcial activity. During that time Gichin Funakoshi decided to acknowledge all three with the above, Karatejutsu. It was later changed to Karate. With the new kanji.

    When some give interviews and make statements, it say's lots...Not to be confused with knowledge. Interview and knowledge are not the same.

    Plus in the same book he give many of the Boxer arts of China that were in China for many many years. It is pretty obvious the way the evolution of the arts went. But of course just like a family tree, it can go sideways and backwards also.

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  10. KGS BBS

    KGS BBS Valued Member

    Hi Gary, technically, the Okinawan/Japanese traditional empty hand forms were really not part of his NCK curriculum as far as I know. He told me he had 20 forms (empty hand) of NCK. I took the NCK curriculum up to and beyond sandan, I was tested and certified up to 3rd dan in NCK and 6th dan in what he called American Kenpo rather than SKK. Mr. Cerio called it this for something like over two decades (until his death in 1998) and Mr. Pesare for over three decades but some EPAK guys get all upset thinking Cerio was saying he's certified in American Kenpo. He never even implied that. I have tried to explain countless times, Mr. Parker did not have a copyright to the generic term American Kenpo which is probably one of the reasons why he later put his name to it: EPAK. Prof. Cerio said I could choose and because I was more comfortable with a system I knew since white belt, I stayed with my original system, nothing against NCK. However, he surprised myself and Kathy by making a rare exception and teaching and ranking us in NCK also. Normally, it would be one or the other but not both.

    The weapon forms I learned from him were traditional Okinawan and of course he had a syllabus of the Shotokan forms. SGM. George Pesare was the first to teach him Bassai. Mr. Pesare also taught the traditional karate forms but they both did that for something extra, not required for ranking in the system. I do know that Prof. Cerio saved some of the traditonal karate forms for good tournament students and I don't think rank made a whole lot of difference, it was how well you can do the form in your division.There was some protocol that carried over after he passed away. For instance, let's say another NCK instructor gives you a traditional karate form (or any form for that matter), maybe he's a friend or it comes indirectly from another student to you, if this was done without your instructor's permission it was against proper protocol. If you ever had the audacity to do it in a tournament and your instructor finds out, well, not good, not only for you but who taught you the form also. I saw it happen once in Boston.

    I'm sure Prof. Cerio knew Naihanchi but I never thought of asking him about it. It wasn't a big thing back then - Joe
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  11. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned


    Thanks for the information. I find it pretty interesting the various takes on all these in and outs, of MA.

  12. Gufbal1981

    Gufbal1981 waiting to train...

    That school is not longer with the USSD franchise. They are a breakoff school
  13. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    Master Tak is no longer with USSD

    Master Tak is no longer with USSD
    Why, maybe GUF knows the answer more, but i can ask around, but rumors flew that Tak was not about "The Money" and USSD was.
    Rumors also flew around bout' USSD's Trip to China for 4000 dollars, well, to stay a month in the hotel is only 445 dollars a month!!!!
    So, people need to research these things.
    Anyways, Tak also has some video collections as well, never saw any of them, but heard they are the real deal.
    Also heard of another rumor that Steve Demasco is Training at the shaolin temple ALOT, so, I know first hand, that he is pretty good when it comes to The Martial ARTS.
    Sorry for Rambling on...
  14. Gufbal1981

    Gufbal1981 waiting to train...

    I do know more about this. I would be happy to entertain people with it in PM. I'm not going to print it on the forum because I know how USSD is...
  15. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    sorry Guf, i forgot

    sorry Guf, i forgot
  16. Gufbal1981

    Gufbal1981 waiting to train...

    No worries.
  17. shaolinmonkmark

    shaolinmonkmark Valued Member

    back to the topic...

    The reason why USSD and alot of other SKK schools teach the japanese pinions and katas first, is because they want their syllabus to first be," learn karate first, then at black belt, you will start to learn The Kung-Fu aspect and forms of it."
    They claim they are "basic" moves to get down first before tackling the harder chinese kungfu aspect of kempo.
    I guess it seems they want to try to blend "Flowing" movement and the concept of line beats a circle,circle beats a line.
  18. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    I've heard this before too as the SKK theory. However, I tend to think it's not the best way to do it. I think it should be integrated from the outset if you're going to work with all of the ranges otherwise you can get overly ingrained with the hard style patterns of movement which you will have to unlearn in order to develop the type of flow that you are aiming for after black belt.

    In SKK my Shotokan background was very useful due to the fact that SKK is so Karate-like at the color belt level. When I switched to Kajukenbo, it was an issue because they teach the flowing integration of hard and soft techniques from the outset so that you have yellow belts that already know how to move smoothly into and out of that various ranges as a part of the whole rather than learning it in phases.
  19. RevIV

    RevIV Valued Member

    Master Bill Chun, Jr. also teaches his art from a hard to soft manner.. This is one of the reasons they say their style goes from KeNpo to KeMpo. And to correct myself, Master Chun never says it is his style.. it is the style that was taught to him by his father and Prof. Chow. I like the karate aspects because it does give hard fundamental boundries to proper "Karate" technique. I have seen through the years that this transition can be made but it takes work. Danjo, i know what you are going through with the trasition out of Shotokan. One of my Asst. instructors who i respect highly still has trouble getting out of his shotokan background. But at the same time i use him to help teach that principle when we are working on it.
    In Peace
  20. DAnjo

    DAnjo Valued Member

    Well, it's a matter of preference for me. Chun stuck with the older Chow method of teaching and no one is going to argue with Chow's effectiveness even back then. Emperado took off in a different direction with his more integrated approach from the ground up. For whatever reason, Pesare and his students went back to a more segmented approach to instruction. We know, for instance, that the Shotokan kata were added after Pesare had left Gascon which probably goes back to the fact that his material was limited (4 forms and 10 combinations) and he added things to flesh out his system. Either way, it's a matter of preference.

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