I cannot defend any qualifications or certificates that he earned. I was young and did not know about what good or credible martial arts were at that time. At the time - I was amazed at the power that he had in his right hand when he punched. Later on, after researching his training methods, I found out that damaging your hand like that was irreversible. I am sure that now in his 70s that he is paying the price for damaging his hand.This alone makes me doubt any credibility he may have.
Talking about Elvis, 7th degree???? From 1st or 2nd to 7th in a few years???? Should take 20-30 years in most any style. I read he did get a six week intensive course to get his black belt skills at some point.
I also read that the guy that gave him 7th degree got a Cadillac for his trouble. I know Elvis gave an expensive engraved watch to Ed Parker - he showed it to me. It's because of these kind of things a celebrity's rank are to be taken with a (very large) grain of salt. A celebrity's teacher gains celebrity too, as well as cars and jewelry. It's a shame as it makes it difficult to separate BS from those who may actually deserve the honor of rank.
I wonder if I gave my sensei a watch for another degree? He'd kick my *** and kick me out, and not just because it was a only a Timex.
His Jujitsu was impressive, but then again, I was a young man who never saw any real jujitsu before, so you have to take what I say from a lack of experience point of view. I did look up Hakkō-ryū Jūjutsu and Jukishen Ryu in the Detroit area and could not find any old schools where he could have trained back in his youth. He must have traveled out to the East Coast in order to train in those arts.
His son, Little Al, was very good and had all kinds of trophies from tournaments. However, in the 90s he was killed in an auto accident in Nevada.