I Don't Understand How ...

Discussion in 'Kajukenbo' started by Wo Fat, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    someone who is promoted to a Grand Master rank in Kajukenbo, can have an instructor who: (a) was never officially recognized as a black belt and (b) created and taught a system that was technically not Kajukenbo.
     
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know where you're going with this, and I'm not sure who you're talking about... but I have this strong suspicion that I need to remind you about the Martial Talk policy on fraudbusting. Quite simply -- we don't want it, and we don't tolerate it.

    There's room to discuss someone's qualifications, but tread lightly on the demands and attacks, OK?
     
  3. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    No attacks were intended, and won't be coming anytime soon. And no names will be mentioned, OK?
     
  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Somebody considered the teachings sound; and, there are enough variations of kajukenbo to create such a debate. But not here.:ultracool
    Sean
     
  5. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    Sadly, not all Kajukenbo organizations are equal in their promotional standards. The vast majority of the Kajukenbo instructors I know abhor cross ranking. But there is one particular organization that is trying to expand it's membership by cross ranking, since most Kajukenbo black belts don't support their agenda and will not join them.
     
  6. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    I wouldn't mind at all if someone was grandfathered in (if they had taken a leave of absence from Kajukenbo) at a black belt level. I could even see awarding someone color belt rank if they came from one of Kajukenbo's foundation arts.

    But it doesn't seem right that someone should be grandfathered to a Grand Master rank in Kajukenbo, after having spent decades in a different art.
     
  7. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    I hear what you're saying. But at what point does a variation of a variation of Kajukenbo become another art altogether?

    I guess that horse has been out of the barn for years.
     
  8. Todd Reiner

    Todd Reiner Yellow Belt

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    I will answer your question without names hopefully as this site requires.... they can't, yet they can. Sounds messed up huh?

    They can't because one must bleed, sweat, and tear through training to earn the right to be considered Kajukenbo. This used to actually mean something. Where I am from it used to be an honor, that no other martial artist knows what Kaju is. This was because we were few, except in certain areas of the west coast and Hawaii.

    Now we are becoming more and more commercial, watered down. There is big money to be made on Kaju and many are taking advantage. So they are paying big to become lineage and cash in. A few notables from the MidWest and East because their own lineage is dead or dishonorable, because there really is none respectable except Sijo. Big money equals promotion, big money equals ones own legacy and family strength after ones passing from this earth.

    All in all it is about money, not legacy as many would hope. This is how some claim Kaju (rank by money) righteously without actually training in it! Sad huh? How many other once respected arts have followed this path and how many of those would YOU want to train in?

    Anyone who is really interested in Kaju may PM me and I will diligently find you a true Kaju instructor to the best of my abilities in your area, if there is one. I only say IF there is one because Kaju is not McDonalds, there is not, and should not, be one on every City block.
     
  9. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I don't do Kajukenbo. I'm a kenpo man myself. But I got a whole lot of respect for the real Kaju. Seems like some tough cats who like to get their claws wet. In my book, that's good karate. Something worthy of respect.

    There will always be some people who claim to do what you do and don't deserve that honor. There will always be pretenders, and charlatans, and salesman dressed like katateka. It is what it is. Musashi was complaining about it four hundred years ago, and it was nothing new then.

    I see this all day in kenpo. The arnis guys complain about it. The tkd guys complain about it. The ninjutsu guys complain about it. In fact, you should be glad you're so late to the party. It means your art has been purer, longer.

    Try not to let it get in your way. Who cares what rank the frauds and phonies claim? Are you a fraud? Is your instructor? The only thing that should matter to YOU is YOUR PATH. Everyone else is on their own journey.

    If you let this crap get in your head it will only become an obstacle in your own training. And it won't affect the behavior of the people perpetrating the fraud at all. Because they don't care what you think. Take a page from their book, and stop caring about them.

    Keep your eyes on the path. One eye towards the horizon, and one on the stones at your feet. That way you can see where you're going and watch for obstacles that might trip you up. If you have your eyes fixated on the rank and actions of others, you aren't going to get very far.

    I've always wanted a chance to train with some real Kaju guys. I respect real fighters and artists. Be that. Let the rest be what they will. You're better served practicing your punches and kicks than pointing out others who aren't.


    -Rob
     
  10. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    The reason that Kajukenbo--a comparatively young art--finds itself in this position of having to tolerate cross-ranking is because of poor leadership. Sure, we can heap blame on the beneficiaries of their new Kaju rank, but it's the leaders/elders/Grandmasters who make it possible.

    RANK-CHASING

    Contrary to some, I have no problem with a Kaju person changing their lineage or instructor. Sometimes it's because of a death or retirement of an instructor, but sometimes it's due to other reasons. Reasons that might want to be kept private. The problem lies with the expectation of high rank. Sometimes a person can be unfairly or unduly held back. I know that if I were due and deserving of a higher rank and my instructor or superior was withholding that promotion, I'd either seek it elsewhere or become a Kaju independent.

    The fix for this rank chasing lies, I believe, in a change in ranking. Personally, I have withdrawn from a previous Kaju organization and publicly committed to disclaim any degree rank. And right now, I am independent and "under" no one, so. And for the first time in my Kaju life, I feel a since of freedom and ability.

    WHO ARE YOU UNDER?

    Having been in Kaju for over 30 years, I know for certain that being "under" this person or that person means less and less. I can count on one hand the Grandmasters who I believe are worthy of being "under". Most people still subscribe to this because it's all we know. Even when our elders show themselves incompetent, incapable, untrustworthy, and undeserving of such loyalty and honor, we still continue to bow our heads and keep our mouths shut.

    OUR FUTURE

    In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Krav Maga ... or even TKD, they have their share of politics. But their popularity outweighs their politics. But in Kaju, our politics now outweighs our popularity. I say this because, outside of California or Hawaii we are hardly known. We have been so busy bickering over petty BS that we have failed to grow our art responsibly. And once most of the good-for-nothing grandmasters die off or retire, there will be precious few people who know how to propagate the art. They have created generations of thick-headed, ham-fisted, cave men instead of preparing future generations to be better leaders and innovators than the previous.

    We have a lot of work to do. Starting with a house-cleaning at the top.

    Edit: I mis-named the title of this thread. I DO understand how and why.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  11. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    Just curious. Is this coming from you, or are you quoting someone?
     
  12. Todd Reiner

    Todd Reiner Yellow Belt

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    I agree Rob, cant let that stuff get to a person and the wording I used did not portray what I wanted to get across. I came across very negative (out of line) and thats my bad. I tried to edit but dont see the button. Maybe a mod could delete the entire post and I'll re-word through this one.

    Yes Kaju has gone to the point of some other styles by commercialism slowly but surely. All we can do is mind our own house and protect what we can, what we are in control of and not lose sleep over what others are doing. Honestly I have not lost sleep but I would be a liar if I said it doesnt bother me.

    The cross ranking has happened all over the country, and maybe wordwide, and we all hope it has stopped. I have heard money has been involved but it doesnt really matter, its just wrong. This ranking has been done at high levels not just Kaju but other arts as well. What this does is it takes away the systems roots and thus the system itself through that high ranks lineage, that they call Kaju or whatever art when it ain't, if that mouthfull makes sense?

    Wo-Fat I could not agree with your post more, very well written. Lets hope for a great future for our generations to come, stay strong together through respectfull communication, and speak our minds when bs happens instead of bowing down. Hopefully we can keep Kaju's integrity through unity, unity through all orgs and those solo. :)
     
  13. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    It's coming from me, Prof. Bishop. Nothing that I've discussed on the Cafe.

    Ron Baker
     
  14. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    OK, thanks. I asked because I didn't know who "Wo Fat" was. You make some good points. Kajukenbo, like any endeavor made up of human beings has flaws.

    I have tried to avoid a lot of the discussions about new "leadership" now that Sijo has passed. Truth of the matter is Sijo hadn't been the leader of all Kajukenbo since the 60's. The A.K.A., K.A.A., K.S.D.S., K.N.F., and several independent groups did what they pleased without asking for any input from Sijo. The did their own promotions and self promotions, established their own traditions, and chose their own leadership. And they still do. It works for them. And as long as they turn out martial artists who represent the system with quality technique and good ethics, good for them.

    Too many people worry about who's going to be the next great leader for the system, instead of looking in the mirror for a great leader.
    To me the leader or leaders of a system are not as important as every individual instructor.
    The individual practitioners martial arts life is molded by the guidance and instruction they receive from their instructor. Not their instructor's instructor, his instructor, or the leader of the system. The quality of the instruction and ethics displayed by each instructor is what makes a good or bad system.
    If someone is looking to get into the martial arts, they most likely will go visit a school and watch the classes. They may go to several schools. They will form their opinions of a system based on what they observed in the schools they visited, not by who the leader of the system or organization is.

    Good instructors will turn out good students, who in turn will be good instructors. Therefore the quality of the system starts from the bottom up.
    People didn't join Kajukenbo because Sijo was a great leader. They joined Kajukenbo because Sijo created a system of excellent self defense techniques and training methods, taught in a atmosphere of creativity. And if the individual instructors continue his way of teaching, the system will remain strong, whether it has 100 leaders of 100 organizations, or 1 leader of 1 organization.

    But this is just my opinion, and how I approach Kajukenbo. I basically only have a strong influence on the 40 students I teach. If the Kajukenbo instructor in the next town is doing a poor job, there's not much I can do about it. But hopefully he has a good instructor that will guide him in a positive way. Instructors and their students as a whole make the system, not the leaders.
     
  15. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Train hard. Learn from instructors you respect. Stop worrying about what other people do.

    That's my advice.
     
  16. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Well said, Prof. And I understand what you mean about the "leadership" discussions. They eventually devolve into revisionist history, and another useless game of "Sijo Said". I admit that I was one of those who questioned and challenged the current "leadership" only to realize that leadership starts first in MY school and not in someone else's.

    That said, with so much attention paid to the past, there is precious little attention paid to the future. Yes, there is a small percentage of instructors like myself (and you too) who are trying to prepare a better generation of martial artists than the current. Yet those who can best help to solidify our future seem dedicated primarily to cementing their place in history, and not the present or the future.

    You may have seen the new thread about Kajukenbo's Future. And while there is the predictable "don't fix what ain't broken" appeal to the status quo, there have been numerous offline responses from men and women wanting to do their part to ensure a future. These responders have been Kaju men and women with multiple schools, strong business sense, and well-respected in the Kaju community.

    With that, I will ask a question here that I've asked elsewhere. And it goes toward the things I've complained about up-thread: now that cross-ranking and rank-chasing are a reality, what do we do now that they've slowed or stopped? Since we can't implement a mass Kaju "deportation" ....

    what do you think about some kind of Kaju "amnesty"?

    Kind regards,

    Ron
     
  17. Todd Reiner

    Todd Reiner Yellow Belt

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    So far this has been a good conversation. I think we are on a few different ends and thats fine, its nice to agree to disagree. It makes good open conversation, something we have been a little short on as a whole in the cafe. Too much my rank is higher than yours, I'm right your wrong, Whatever.

    John your strong influence goes way past just your 40 students. You've influenced me (and many many others) with your posts on these forums for about 10 years now. You are a true gentleman with a ton of class.

    Ron I think you are on to something with looking to the future. To do this I think you will need to go outside the cafe. I don't post there and I have deleted most of my posts because of the attitude of my rank is higher than yours. I will email you on that subject and help as I can.

    We do need to worry about ourselves and our schools. Rob made a true comment that we are young, and we should be thankful that the bs that has been happening to others are just recently happening to us. Perhaps it happened because too many were concerned over themselves and not their art as a whole? Too much of staying in a box instead of looking outside the box? I dunno, but it makes sense to me. Can we prevent history by looking to the future and save our arts integrity? Isn't it worth a shot for our future generations?

    I was talking to one of my seniors last night and these subjects came up. When the distance learning was a threat to our integrity a few spoke up. Because of that we put the issue at bay, for now. Family members went nuts over the cross ranking and we think it is at bay, for now. The deportation of the past bs cross ranks ain't gonna work, I agree the damage has been done, but we all know who they are and we can honor it or not, I love freedom. We together can make change, can we fix/prevent all bs, no, but a little is better than none, and we have to start somewhere.

    I just don't really know about our leaders, I am proud to belong to an Org that votes on a leader annually, and forbids money. That does not mean a high ranks action does not or will not affect me indirectly, or directly somehow in the future. I don't mind the many orgs, just wish they would open a line of communication instead of all these petty attacks on the internet. Agree to disagree.
     
  18. John Bishop

    John Bishop Master Black Belt

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    Rank chasing and cross ranking has been going on since day 1. And it will continue as long as there are instructors willing to build their organizations by bringing in outsiders. Personally, I think cross ranking sucks. It's a insult to every Kaju man who earned his rank the right way.
    I have a saying, those who have been in Kajukenbo long enough, know who came in the front door and paid for their rank with blood and sweat. And also know who came in the back door and paid for their rank with a check.

    As to amnesty, I think we already have that too. Nobody has tried successfully to strip any cross ranks that were given in the past.
    But even if everyone agrees on amnesty, amnesty will never buy these people the same respect and knowledge that others of their rank have earned. So other then commercial purposes, what good is rank without the respect of your peers?
     
  19. Wo Fat

    Wo Fat Purple Belt

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    Ironically, I think more and more people are counting on a continued dysfunction and vacuum in leadership, because it means that their peers have settled for the same. It's similar to not having the respect of your former peers at Enron. Yes, there were some good people who worked there, but it was still Enron.

    I've only suggested amnesty because I didn't know of any other future-oriented action to take. It certainly wouldn't be popular with some (kind of like amnesty for illegal immigrants during the Pres. Reagan years was unpopular). But in the end, it was necessary. And in our case, it can also be useful. For instance:

    Require that all cross-ranked BBs first acknowledge they were cross-ranked into Kaju;
    Require that all rank advancements are frozen for x years;
    Require that the cross-ranked BB's and their students pass a certification course of Kaju standards within x years;
    Require continuing education every year after they pass certification.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  20. Danjo

    Danjo Master Black Belt

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    Cross ranked people don't even get me to call them by the title they claim. I simply won't do it.

    Rank grubbers and rank chasers are bad enough. Those are the people who skip around from instructor to instructor in order to get promotions that their actual instructors didn't see fit to give them. There is supposed to be protocol for how to switch instructors, but alas many do not follow it either. But at least these people did get their original training in Kajukenbo even if their ethics aren't what they ought to be.

    Those that are cross ranked in anything but an honorary capacity are essentially invisible to me. I don't count them any more than I would someone commiting any other type of fraud. Abraham Lincoln used to ask people "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?" When they answered "Five" he would give them a disgusted look at say, "Four! Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg!" So when I see someone that has been cross ranked to me they are still a tail and not a leg at all.

    Your proposals for how to handle "amnesty" or anything else have the unfortunate problem of being unenforceable. Those that are vested in they way things are will never change and put themselves under any unified rules like that. Even when Sijo established the BOA for 8th and 9th degree promotions for KSDI, there was a group of malcontents who felt they ought to be able to get rank in KSDI anyways and formed their own group and promoted themselves with KSDI certificates. I don't acknowledge their rank either. They too are "tails" rather than "legs" regardless of what the try to tell themselves and others. But it makes my point about the inability to ever enforce these things.
     

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