Grandmaster Frank DeMaria convicted

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by Bill Mattocks, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have known about the accusations and the trial for some time now. I refrained from mentioning it because a) we martial artists appear to be averse to discussing issues surrounding sexual abuse by martial artists and MA instructors and b) GM DeMaria is, unlike most MA figures arrested for such things, a very well-known individual.

    I will not claim to know the facts, and I do not sit in judgment. But the verdict has been rendered, and GM DeMaria stands convicted of the crimes of which he was accused.

    I would hope we could have a discussion on this topic, without personal anger or vitriole, if it is possible to do so. If not, I would hope the mods close the thread promptly to avoid issues. I am not trying to stir the pot here; but this subject deserves discussion. I'm not sure how much longer we can pretend it doesn't happen quite often.

    http://www.delawareonline.com/artic...tiger-claw-move?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

    http://grandmasterdemaria.blogspot.com/

    http://www.kungfu.org/grand.shtml

    Keep it civil if you choose to respond. Maybe we can discuss this like adults.
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I read about this back when he was first charged. He was accused, he was found guilty, and he will go to jail, I'm ok with that, whether or not he trains MA has nothing to do with it.

    What do you want to discuss?

    Giving this some direction other than lets discuss and keep it civil may might help you get to the discussion you where after.

    I know nothing about the case but it may help your discussion if you know the NYS laws that apply NYS Penal Law -ARTICLE 130 - SEX OFFENSES
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  3. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    why does his name sound familiar to me?
     
  4. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    I've known Frank for a loong time-I grew up living just down the road from him, and I'm friends with many-probably most-of his senior students. When they were getting ready for shuai chao tournaments, and needed to wrestle with judoka (because at the time, judoka were entering and winning those tournaments) I was one of the guys they got to try and toss around. here was always what I perceived to be a bit of a "cult of personality" thing going on there, but it wasn't that different from some other TCMA groups.

    It's a shame-you think you know somebody, but there's no way you can, I guess. I don't really have much of anything else to say really-I wasn't there. I haven't been there for a long time, and don't know how much he's changed., or how much he actually kept hidden-it sounded an awful lot he'd probably gone nuts to me: to do such a thing almost directly in front of parent's and other's' views isn't the usual MO for a pedophile.

    My heargt goes out to those kids and their parents, though, as well as to his many students who are really, really good people.
     
  5. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    one reason to discuss this is that those of us who teach need to be mindfull of such things.

    like me, i refuse to be alone with a student under the age of 18 of either gender

    thats to protect myself.

    I tell people that if thier kids are taking lessons, to never allow the kids to be alone with an instructor.

    thats to protect them
     
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  6. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    Who knows whether or not he is truly guilty of sexual misconduct, but IMO he is definitely guilty of ill judgement. This is why risk management should CONSTANTLY be on the minds of all instructors.

    Awareness is key. These days, you need to be aware of anything that could be interpreted as inappropriate. Once you are aware of it, you need to make a conscious decision about what to do. If you feel that it is necessary/appropriate to condone/support/perform something that could be interpreted as inappropriate, parent education and student education is vitally important. It's called informed consent.

    I have been struggling with a potential liability in my training hall recently. Particularly after the Sandusky scandal. It deals with the locker rooms. We have a mixed age class, so there is the potential for young children to be in the locker room with adults. All it takes is an allegation to ruin the school and its reputation. Now, this has been the standard before I even started (at age 5) back in the 80's, and nothing has ever been a problem. But it is a risk. I have debated on mandating that parents accompany their children in the locker rooms.
     
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  7. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    He's the adopted son of Great Grandmaster Chang Dung Sheng-he starred in some movies back in the 70's. He was kinda famous.

    Oh, and he was one of the kenpo students of John McSweeney in Elmsford, New York a looong time ago....
     
  8. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    As a semi-unrelated note: All males wear groin protectors at all times in my training hall, which on some level would negate an issue like this. However, I stand by my previous comment that it was very poor judgement to put himself in such a risky situation to begin with.
     
  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wasn't after anything in particular, but since you ask, one thing I wonder about is how we, as a martial arts community, can respond.

    I think it is pretty well understood that any activity which involves children and puts adults into leadership positions can and has been abused by predators. From religion to scouting to coaching to teaching to martial arts instruction; if the potential is there, there will be a small minority of predators attracted to that situation.

    Unlike many other groups, we have fewer ways of talking about this together; we do not have overarching national or global organizations or associations, we have no central hierarchy. I'm not suggesting that we should, by the way...but I am wondering how we can together spread awareness and combat this sort of thing. It affects us all, as students, instructors, and owners of martial arts training facilities (I am just a student, but just saying). So how do we address this - or do we just ignore it?
     
  10. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Its really a shame that this stuff happens. I suppose that you can never be too safe. Going by the article, it would seem to me that these kids must've been in a class or private lesson, without any adults present. Whats worse, is that due to the fact that the arts involve contact, it goes to show that you need to be more mindful of whats going on.
     
  11. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    No, or, at least, not always-it was witnessed by two adult students and a parent.
     
  12. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    A few things that come to mind:

    Check your local sex offender registry.

    Contact your local LE agency and see if theres any way to conduct some sort of background check on the inst. Yeah, that may be a bit on the extreme end of things, but hey, if this is your childs well being we're talking about, it'd be worth it,IMO.

    Do research. Yes, in some cases, its easier said than done, but something like this forum is a good resource. Who knows...maybe someone might have some knowldged of a particular school, inst., etc.

    Keep your eye on your child. So many times, I'd have to wonder if some kids actually had parents, because I never saw them.

    Talk to current parents/students at the school.

    Watch a few classes before joining.
     
  13. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh ok. Well, in that case, this guy must be pretty dumb to do something like this. I mean, what did he think, that nobody would see him with these young kids?
     
  14. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Frank would have passed by all of these-and I find it hard to believe that after teaching in the area for more than 39 years, this was a long time pattern of behavior on his part.

    I don't know what it was, and can only speculate.

    Here's Chang Dung Sheng performing the tiger cllaw to the groin:

    View attachment $chang.jpg

    Which is not, of course, an appropriate move for a man to be instructing a 6 or 11 year old girl in a corner of the training area by himself-or at all, for that matter.

    Nor is it what witnesses and the girls themselves described.

    A few more speculations come to mind, because Frank's a pretty intelligent guy. He's 68 years old, though, and, as I said, this doesn't seem to be something that goes back decades (though maybe it does, who can really say?)

    He actually was teaching them a tiger claw to the groin, and it's a case of hysteria.

    He actually molested them, and he's gone nuts somewhere along the way-it's not completely unheard of for men his age to behave this way after suffering a stroke, which can sometimes be undetected
    He's also been under the ridiculous mental strain of having a wife in the hospital with cancer.

    None of which is an excuse-maybe just reasons, for something that seems so unreasonable to most of us..
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  15. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I HATE this.
    Why?Because I love Martial Arts and I've seen this so many times over the last forty years, that, frankly, I find myself continuously stunned. And, yes, I know it's only a small percentage of the fine men and women who teach the arts, but I'm starting to think it's a higher percentage than it is in a lot of other professions/pastimes. I can tell you that here, in New England, it's happened so many times that it just makes me want to cry.
     
  16. David43515

    David43515 Master Black Belt

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    I`m afraid it`s way too common. Over on the kungfu magazine forum they have a very loooong thread that is nothing but martial artists (mostly instructors) who`ve been accused of crimes. Every post is linked to a news story, so it`s not just a bunch of "he said- she said". And unfortunately most of them are child sex crimes.

    I`m not sure what we can do to make it less likely. Run background checks on your kids` instructor? Run them on your staff and adult members if you run a school? Don`t allow any training without a minimum number of people present? Stop kids` classes all together? Use a buddy system? The problems are that some solutions aren`t an option for every club or school, and preditors find ways around each solution.

    On top of all that, how do you avoid being falsley accused yourself? Is making sure there`s always a 3rd person in the room enough?
    I spent 2 years as a missionary when I was young and we had very strict rules about fraternization with members of the opposite sex. One of our duties was teaching English once a week. One time I was yelled at for being alone in a small classroom with two young women where no one could keep an eye on us. So the next time our class was smaller than usual I moved a couple of chairs into a gymnasium where we would be out in the open and easily seen by everyone. The next day I was called into the Mission President`s office to explain why several church members were calling to say that I`d been sitting in a corner of the gym talking to two young ladies. I couldn`t win either way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  17. Black Belt Jedi

    Black Belt Jedi Blue Belt

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    It doesn't surprise me. These things can happen in any Martial Arts school where an Instructor can be a pedophile and have affairs with minors as much in an educational institution. Not that I have witnessed it or anything. Martial Arts Instructors should always lead by example, but unfortunately in most cases we hear bad things about these individuals such as physically abusive to students, scam artists, tyrannical, egotistical and now we get to child molestor.
     
  18. fightdoggy

    fightdoggy White Belt

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    Hmm. I studied with this guy a while back and what struck me most was his ability to talk me to death. Beyond sheer boredom, his fighting was all based in his mind. Sure the moves worked when someone was standing still in front of you, but gm DeMaria was chiefly a self promoter and blabbermouth and most likely produced many deluded "non-fighters". I was not in the least bit surprised that this tool did himself in. His hubris and constant denoting of his semi-pedigree telegraphed a profound insecurity and jive ***-ness. I'm certain he will have plenty of time to contemplate sexual relationships with his peers where he's going and meditate on the children and adults he victimized thru his actions and excruciatingly boring personality.
     
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  19. YOGAMAN

    YOGAMAN Yellow Belt

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    in jail i dont think they care if he says he has a perfectly good explanation , that it was all a mis understanding , he s fair game now for other sexual predators , he will have to trust heavily on his MA skills to survive.
     
  20. decepticon

    decepticon Green Belt

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    Perhaps it would help for each one here who heads a school to draft a list of rules that they will commit to follow, such as no one on one training with a minor unless a parent is present, etc. And then make everyone who instructs at your school aware of exactly what is expected. Possibly you could even provide parents of students and adult students with the list and ask them to help you follow them by not placing you in a situation where you would be alone with their children.123
     

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