Author Topic: "Junior" Black Belt  (Read 27256 times)

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2003, 07:58:22 AM »
  Some real good points. I currently use the 16 year old rule because that's what my 'mother' school has always used. S. George Pesare's Kempo Karate Institute-Kaito Gakko in Providence, R. I. I am opened minded and have given thought to the 18 yr. rule, you guys have some good points, like I said. ;)
   If a student shows true dedication, seems to have a 'nack' for teaching (I feel good teaching skills is a God given talent, you either have it or you don't no matter what courses you may take) and has the ability, then in the school, not at tournaments, not at demos, not at anyone elses school, they wear the half black/half white belt. I got this idea back in the 70's when I first started training at the Pesare Institute. If a Brown belt assisted in teaching, he would pick up this belt that was on a hanger on the wall of the dojo, remove his brown and place it on. It was not a dojo rank, per se that was worn at all times in the school but just if he/she taught a class. There was a sign up above the belt as a reminder that stated this belt shows where the student is coming from and where the student is going to. It all comes full circle.
   So, I adopted but expanded upon it to give recognition to an exceptional student within the school and only in the school. It is not for everyone. Correct me if I'm wrong and I might be wrong on this, I heard this was discussed at the first Gathering of the Eagles and 16 years old was decided upon. Is this true?
  
                                Respectfully submitted, Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2003, 08:11:25 AM »
I think that martial arts has to grow and change always.  If people stagnate by only doing things the way their instructor does/did then no one grows.

My teacher now is Bruce Juchnik, Hanshi of the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai International.  Before then I was involved with directly or indirectly with the Villari organization.  I've never heard of any 6-12 months colleges to earn a black belt.  I've first started with the Villari Shaolin Kempo back in the early 1980's.

I'm not sure I would call Kajukenbo a "traditional" martial arts becuase it is eclectic in nature.

People should judge people, not arts or systems.  I've seen good and bad in all styles.  There isn't a single one out there that doesn't have someone who's an idiot running a school or teaching classes at the local YMCA.

I would say the the "tradition" of Kajukenbo is to train for a few years, then get together with some friends secretly and put together your own system.  Isn't that what Emperado and the 4 other guys did? (I'm not saying it's wrong.  But that is what happened.)

I think what works in some areas of the world doesn't work in others.  And if you're running a school full-time, there's nothing wrong with making a good living at it.  We all have the rest of our lives to achieve someone elses ideas of what a black belt should be.  As long as we're working towards the goal of improving what has been given to us, that's all that matters.

Just my thoughts.  I'm sure I offended every Kajukenbo practictioner on this site.  And then some.  I speak for myself and no one else.

I'm sure many will have things to say.  I welcome your comments.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2003, 08:20:54 AM »
Sigung Bishop wrote:

I don't know who you consider the head of your system; if you do have one.  But, Kajukenbo is a traditional martial art with a founder and creator who is still alive, and who has set down traditions and policies for the art .  It is not up to the "dojo owner" to change the policies and traditions of Kajukenbo just because he owns his own school.  
In Calif. I have seen the Fred Villari's Studios and United Studios chains where traditions and policies come from board meetings and marketing research.  Where they have 6-12 month "Black Belt Colleges", and instructors have "Regional Manager" or "Marketing Director" on their business cards.  Where they have put profit and expansion first and martial arts a far second.  
I welcome the idea that Kajukenbo is still a "Ohana" (family) where Sijo is the head, and martial arts and tradition is still the main purpose of our role in Kajukenbo.  
 
Sigung, that is why I enjoy my relationships and affiliation with S. George Pesare's Kaito Gakko, its "family'. ;)   As far as some of these super commercialized business orientated schools go, let me say this. I was an early Villari black belt and school owner, as you know, from the 70's, I left in the beginning of '81 because I didn't agree in the direction the organization was headed during the super expansion plans. Another thing, when I was recently tested for my 7th dan at the Kaito Gakko, do you know what my test fee was ?  Nothing! :) The fee of the Three day-sleep over Black Belt test-Nothing! :)

Respectfully, Shihan Joe

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2003, 08:28:16 AM »
Sensei Evans, all martial arts, no matter how far you go back are 'eclectic'. All the Okinawan systems, Shotokan, you name it. A traditional martial art is basically an art that has withstood the test of time. if practiced long enough by many people it becomes a tradition. There isn't an art around that wasn't influenced by several sources from Itosu to Motobu to Funakoshi to Oyama to Korean Tang Soo Do and General Choi's Tae Kwon Do, their forms look like Shotokan's to me and Shotokan's looks like they came from Okinawa.  ;) Just my 2 cents.  Respectfully, Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2003, 08:30:17 AM »
I don't charge any testing fees after 3rd dan.  But let's look at this from a different viewpoint.

Let's say you went to college, earned a degree and never paid for classes, books, etc.  The college would go out of business.  No one ever speaks badly when a company does certification for computer related fields or electrictians.  But when a martial arts school asks for a fee to certify someone at a certain rank, people tend to look badly on this.  

I think it is OK to run your business as a business.  If you don't wish to, that's fine too.  But don't get mad at those who do.  Don't compare yourself with others and think that just becaue you are doing something "tradtional" that it's better.  Many people want something different from a karate school than what someone may offer.  That is why there are so many schools out there.

It's called supply and demand.  Give the consumers what they want and they will keep coming back.  Don't change with the times and you will be left behind.  Some like that, and it's ok.  Some don't and it's also ok.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2003, 08:35:29 AM »
That is true, Sensei John, but my point was that Mr. Pesare's motives are not at all indicative to financial gain. One would have to agree that Hanshi Juchnik, in all due respect, is a businessman and marketing expert. I don't question his martial arts abilities but the marketing aspect is not a path I would like to follow.

Respectfully, Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2003, 08:39:00 AM »
Quote
A traditional martial art is basically an art that has withstood the test of time.

How long is long enough to be considered "traditional"?  I don't think anyone has actually placed a time limit on that.  10 years?  100 years?  Or perhaps we create traditions (and new traditions) as we go?

I have two parents, 3 brothers and a sister.  I am part of that family.  When growing up (living there) we had our own traditions that we did.  Now I have a wife, 4 kids a dog and a cat.  We have new traditions based on our new family.  I am still part of my "original" family.  And I still like to carry on SOME of the traditions from back then.  But I don't keep them all.  

I've changed.  My situation has changed, and so must the things that I do.

Only in "traditional" martial arts do I see people stagnate so much.

I don't let my parents tell me how to run things in my home, although I listen to them and then make my own decisions.  They are fine with this, as should a teacher be when his student "leaves home" to start something new.

We all must eventually leave home and start a new life.  With new rules.  We learn from the mistakes of our teachers (and yes, they/we make plenty) and move on with even more knowledge then they had.

Just my thoughts.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2003, 08:44:06 AM »
Sensei John, that is not my opinion. I once did a research on what makes a martial art 'traditional' and this is the popular interpretation of historians and experts in the field. Take Shaolin Kempo, that is now considered a 'traditional' martial art. In 1922-23, Shotokan was in the same boat as Kajukenbo was at one time when Funakoshi introduced it to Japan. True? ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2003, 08:49:54 AM »
I wouldn't call Shaolin Kempo from the Villari system traditional.  But that really isn't my point.

My point is that back in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and even the 90's, people have been breaking off from "tradition" and creating something new.  They do this because their instructors feel the need to control them to the point of telling them how to run their schools, what to teach, how to teach it.  If I am to grow as an instructor, I need to explore different ideas.  I can't be held back by someone else who is maybe trying to get me to do things exactly his/her way.

In Sijo Emperado's interview in another section of this site, he states something to the fact that he was happy to see so many branches of Kajkenbo.  He said there was only "one" kajukenbo, but that it's fine with him that so many people have different versions.

Emperado knows that this is how martial arts grow.  He did it, and now many of the students under his lineage are doing it.  And that's a good thing.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:05 PM by -1 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2003, 09:03:06 AM »
I may not agree with the organization but Villari's Shaolin Kempo is a Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu subsystem which is a direct subsystem of Kajukenbo. What of Kosho Shorei Ryu? A traditional martial art with two 22nd descendant Great Grand Masters of the same system? How's that?  Sijo Emperado is the head of Kajukenbo, Sijo Gascon is the head of Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu, S. George Pesare has never used Sijo because he recognizes Mr. Gascon as the founder of Karazenpo. Mr. Pesare is considered  by historians as the New England Founder and goes by the title grandmaster or professor.
   Some do leave 'traditional' martial art systems for political reasons as did Victor Gascon. However, many others leave to be the 'top banana' and the newest 10th degree black belt and entrepreneur, wouldn't you agree?    Respectfully, Shihan Joe

PS: Good sparring session, John,  ;Dlol
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2003, 10:09:24 AM »
1 more point for Shihan Shuras!   :D


I trace my Villari lineage back to an island in the West Indies!


I can agree with you about people leaving to be top dog.  But what I haven't heard yet is that Emperado, at age 24, left his instructor because he knew things could be better.  Isn't this fairly accurate?  

I could easily start my own style.  And in some ways, every teacher does have their own style.  And everyone here would think I was just another dude trying to make himself look good by becoming the next 10th dan.  But in 40 or 50 years, when my style was being taught all over the place, I wouldn't be thought of as some young guy who had an ego problem.  Now, I would be the founder of a "traditional" martial arts system.

Point is, that if Emperado never left Chow, then he wouldn't be the Sijo.  If Gascon never left he wouldn't have founded his system.  And so on.

All of these students left their teachers to become the top teacher of their own system.  So isn't that what tradition is teaching us?  Leave your teachers (move out of your parent's house) and go off and start something new (get a job, married, kids, etc.).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #56 on: May 28, 2003, 11:03:05 AM »
Quote
That is true, Sensei John, but my point was that Mr. Pesare's motives are not at all indicative to financial gain. One would have to agree that Hanshi Juchnik, in all due respect, is a businessman and marketing expert. I don't question his martial arts abilities but the marketing aspect is not a path I would like to follow.

Somehow I missed this post until I went back and read through them all again.  I will respond to it now.

I would agree to some extent that Hanshi Juchnik is a businessman.  He is also the best martial artist I have met to date.  He sells lots of tapes and books on the art of Kosho.  He is, from what I can tell, fairly successful at this.  He alone (I think) has about 150 tapes out.  And the Kosho students continue to support him by buying more and more.  

Is this wrong?  No.  Why?  Because we keep buying the tapes.  If we didn't buy them, he wouldn't make them.  But the fact is that there is a lot of excellent knowledge on these tapes.  I personally have over 100 videos from Hanshi Juchnik.

Does it matter that the videos are not the best in video quality.  Not to me and all the other folks that keep buying them.  Maybe to the martial artist who is just peeking in to see what Kosho is about.  But for the ones who are serious about Kosho, we don't care that much.  And Hanshi Juchnik has always, without question, allowed us to exchange a video that we didn't feel was sufficient video quality.

I would say that as a loyal student we should always try to support our teachers and their teachers in some way.  The best way is to buy what they are selling.  This will help them out financially and is an easy way to show our appreciation for what they have done.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Karazenpo

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #57 on: May 28, 2003, 12:31:36 PM »
  Doing good, Sensei John, you got some points in there!, lol. Okay, ready?.......................

For one thing, I firmly beleive the reason why these guys left their instructors in the early years, let's say 1942-1950 is because of the limited information provided by the 'Founder' of Kosho Ryu, James M. Mitose. I thinks these guys caught on to what was going on in 'more ways than one' and seeked greener pastures. Chow was a great fighter but his system didn't really get going until well after Parker left him around '54. Mitose seemed to have a handle only on the 'surface arts', I really didn't want to get into this but you opened the door, lol. Also you stated in a previous post about these four guys working out with Emperado behind closed doors........well, if you go back and check other sections of this forum you will see that Sigung Bishop and others felt this is not how it went down. They pointed out many historical inaccuracies but the bottom line was the end result of the 'eclectic blending ' of the different arts that finally got into Kajukenbo to make it a very devastating art. 1947-1949, not quite, more like 1947-1957 but we don't make excuses and don't try to hide the truth (I don't mean you, Sensei, but those over you), we have confronted the history on this forum and its a Kajukenbo Forum, if there was any 'cover up' then you would think it would be here.
   My other point you commented on is the businessman issue. The point is MOTIVATION & INTENT......... many make videos, nothing wrong with that but what is your instructor's primary motivation and intent? If the money isn't there, would he be there? I pay a very humble tuition at Gm. Pesare's school, yet it still is a school that has put out 'Undisputed World Champion' fighters and 'legendary students' and its Chief Instructor has been out here teaching for over four decades, so I'm certainly not getting short changed.
   Villari's Shaolin Kempo, has it not earned the right to be called 'traditional'? You say no, now first of all, you know I'm by no means a fan of his organization. I'm not saying they don't have some excellent, hardworking talented martial artists there because they do. I just have a difference in opinion in how the martial arts should be........let's say marketed. I know you have much respect for the late Nick Cerio. His system, Nick Cerio's Kenpo was founded in '74, its regarded by all including your instructor Hanshi Juchnik as a 'traditional' system, ask him. Now, Fred Villari took the initial system that Mr. Cerio taught to him that he learned from Mr. Pesare with some additions and modifications but pretty much what he learned from Pesare. Villari broke away and called it Modern Chinese Kenpo Karate in 1971, a direct Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu subsystem that's been taught for 32 years by Villari. Hanshi Juchnik has just put together this Kosho Ryu system that really didn't exist until Mitose died in Folsom. Wait a minute, I know what you're going to say but let's do the comparison. Mitose practiced one form, that's it, Naihanchi. he had some basic Okinawan karate and Jui Jitsu techniques by all accounts. Wasn't it Juchnik that added all those forms or was it Thomas Young? What does Thomas Mitose teach now? Will the real 22nd descendant Great Grand Master please stand up! Barring the West Indies bull and being taught by his father, Villari has a much more credible background than Mitose ever had with his training under Professor Cerio. Bottom line is will the real traditional system please stand up. If none of these others mentioned have a time proven traditional system than neither does Bruce Juchnik.  Boy, that took a lot out of me... :P

                           Great fight, Sensei.......Your round or anyone else that would like to join in! What say you? Shihan Joe
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Kempo-Sensei

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #58 on: May 28, 2003, 01:02:53 PM »
OK.  This will take a bit to go through.

Quote
For one thing, I firmly beleive the reason why these guys left their instructors in the early years, let's say 1942-1950 is because of the limited information provided by the 'Founder' of Kosho Ryu, James M. Mitose. I thinks these guys caught on to what was going on in 'more ways than one' and seeked greener pastures. Chow was a great fighter but his system didn't really get going until well after Parker left him around '54. Mitose seemed to have a handle only on the 'surface arts'

I have heard that Mitose didn't teach the students back then all he knew, because he felt they were not smart enough (to put it lightly) to grasp true Kempo.  Most of these guys couldn't read or write and just really enjoyed beating each other up.  (like most 20 year old guys do!)  I still don't buy into that Mitose only understood basic (surface) martial arts.  Hanshi Juchnik is way to good.

Quote
They pointed out many historical inaccuracies but the bottom line was the end result of the 'eclectic blending ' of the different arts that finally got into Kajukenbo to make it a very devastating art. 1947-1949, not quite, more like 1947-1957 but we don't make excuses and don't try to hide the truth

I thought it was Emperado himself who stated that it was developed in 1949?

Quote
My other point you commented on is the businessman issue. The point is MOTIVATION & INTENT......... many make videos, nothing wrong with that but what is your instructor's primary motivation and intent?

I'm sure he is happy that the videos are making a profit.  I'm sure all who sell merchandise are happy when it turns a profit.  I'm sure if the videos were costing him more to make them than he was earning, he wouldn't do it.  That would be a bad business choice, for anyone.

Quote
Villari's Shaolin Kempo, has it not earned the right to be called 'traditional'? You say no, now first of all, you know I'm by no means a fan of his organization. I'm not saying they don't have some excellent, hardworking talented martial artists there because they do. I just have a difference in opinion in how the martial arts should be........let's say marketed. I know you have much respect for the late Nick Cerio. His system, Nick Cerio's Kenpo was founded in '74, its regarded by all including your instructor Hanshi Juchnik as a 'traditional' system, ask him. Now, Fred Villari took the initial system that Mr. Cerio taught to him that he learned from Mr. Pesare with some additions and modifications but pretty much what he learned from Pesare. Villari broke away and called it Modern Chinese Kenpo Karate in 1971, a direct Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu subsystem that's been taught for 32 years by Villari. Hanshi Juchnik has just put together this Kosho Ryu system that really didn't exist until Mitose died in Folsom. Wait a minute, I know what you're going to say but let's do the comparison. Mitose practiced one form, that's it, Naihanchi. he had some basic Okinawan karate and Jui Jitsu techniques by all accounts. Wasn't it Juchnik that added all those forms or was it Thomas Young? What does Thomas Mitose teach now? Will the real 22nd descendant Great Grand Master please stand up! Barring the West Indies bull and being taught by his father, Villari has a much more credible background than Mitose ever had with his training under Professor Cerio. Bottom line is will the real traditional system please stand up. If none of these others mentioned have a time proven traditional system than neither does Bruce Juchnik.

OK.  I agree with your definition of traditional.  You win!  ;)  But I still have my reservations about Villari Kempo being traditional.  As well as some of the other arts.  

Of course I believe that Bruce Juchnik is the heir to the Kosho system.  I don't buy the blood thing for Thomas.  He was given 10 years to learn Kosho but decided not to.  How much longer should Hanshi Juchnik have waited?

As for the forms, they were added, to my understanding, as a way of honoring all of the old masters.  Kosho doesn't have any forms, unless you count the nai han chi kata Mitose taught.

One thing I haven't heard John Bishop or anyone else talk about was that Emperado was only 24 years young when he left and created this new style.  If today a 24 year old person went off and created his own system (with or without the help of others) we would all be laughing at him.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: "Junior" Black Belt
« Reply #59 on: May 28, 2003, 01:50:30 PM »
Quote

One thing I haven't heard John Bishop or anyone else talk about was that Emperado was only 24 years young when he left and created this new style.  If today a 24 year old person went off and created his own system (with or without the help of others) we would all be laughing at him.


OK, again we are using the standards of 2003 to judge martial artists of the 30s & 40s.   Of course now days we would laugh at a 20-25 year old founder.

But, look back to the first half of the 1900s.  

Jigoro Kano developed and founded Judo at the age of 22, after studying differant styles of jujitsu.

Most of the Okinawan karateka were young men in their 20s when they founded their styles.  

Many medical doctors and dentists were schooled for 1-2 years.

When Sijo Emperado received his black belt there were perhaps 4 kenpo (Hawaiian lineage) black belts in the whole world.  Even though Mitose promoted 5 men to black belt, only Thomas Young and William Chow were promoted before Sijo Emperado was promoted by Prof. Chow.  (Paul Yamaguichi and Bobby Lowe were promoted around 1952, and Jiro Nakimura was promoted in the 60-70s after Mitose moved to California).    
So, if you were 1 of only 4 kenpo black belts in the world, by that days standards you would be without question, a master.  
Now days 50+ years later there are tens of thousands kenpo black belts, so yes a 24 year old kenpo black belt would be no big deal, today.  
 
  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
Under Grandmaster Gary Forbach
K.S.D.I. # 478, FMAA


"You watch, once I'm gone, all the snakes will start popping their heads up!"  Sijo Emperado