Sherman Oaks Karate

Tong Po

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Whatever happened to Sherman Oaks Karate Studio?

I grew up and trained on the east coast (CT) and competed on the various tournament circuits. My instructor was an original member of the Paul Mitchell Karate Team and I always remember hearing stories (unfortunately not all good) about Sherman Oaks Karate taught by Bernie "Pops" Krasnoo and his well known daughter Michelle "Mouse" Krasnoo. He also coached the rough and tumble (now defunct) Sherman Oaks Raiders of the NBL circuit.

So I was curious, now that I live in the San Fernando Valley, what ever happened to the school, Pops, Mouse, and the Black Belts at Sherman Oaks Karate????
 

DatFlow

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I live on the east coast and have never heard of them before... Although I'm young...
 

tsdclaflin

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Michelle "Mouse" was featured in a Black Belt Magazine not too long ago. She is currently based in Southern California. I trained in TSD in CT from 1998 through 2005 and i never heard of the others either.
 
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Tong Po

Tong Po

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Sorry if I was not too clear on this. Sherman oaks is part of los angeles where I now live. I grew up in ct and following the tournament circuit is how I knew about sherman oaks karate and the raiders. I also heard that chuck norris originally taught there before pops krasnoo did. Not sure on the validity of that so maybe some socal tsd people can help me out on that one.
 

JohnASE

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Pops closed the school and got out of martial arts a long time ago. He dropped by my work (martial arts supply) a few months back. I didn't see him, but I heard he said something about releasing new videos of Mouse. I think she was teaching some kind of fitness program at a gym somewhere between Woodland Hills and Thousand Oaks. Sorry, I don't remember where.

When you ask about Sherman Oaks Karate black belts, I'm not sure if you mean former Sherman Oaks Raiders. Pops sponsored the Raiders, but they weren't all from his school. For example, IIRC, some were BKF (kenpo). Every once in a while I hear something about one of them, so I guess some are still around.

I don't know whether or not Pops's school was Chuck Norris's old school, but it was somewhere around the same area. There are a LOT of Tang Soo Do schools around here that trace their lineage back to Chuck. Mostly, they spread west from there (west SF Valley and east Ventura County).

Hope this helps!
 

Tames D

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Pops closed the school and got out of martial arts a long time ago. He dropped by my work (martial arts supply) a few months back. I didn't see him, but I heard he said something about releasing new videos of Mouse. I think she was teaching some kind of fitness program at a gym somewhere between Woodland Hills and Thousand Oaks. Sorry, I don't remember where.

When you ask about Sherman Oaks Karate black belts, I'm not sure if you mean former Sherman Oaks Raiders. Pops sponsored the Raiders, but they weren't all from his school. For example, IIRC, some were BKF (kenpo). Every once in a while I hear something about one of them, so I guess some are still around.

I don't know whether or not Pops's school was Chuck Norris's old school, but it was somewhere around the same area. There are a LOT of Tang Soo Do schools around here that trace their lineage back to Chuck. Mostly, they spread west from there (west SF Valley and east Ventura County).

Hope this helps!

Welcome to MartialTalk. Are you with Valley Martial Arts Supplies on Lankershim in North Hollywood?
 

Twin Fist

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Ah Bernie Krasnoo.

Takes me back the late 80's early 90's when I was in Long Beach and was going to all the TKA tourny's

Bernie was always around, Mouse was always around. i was there for her "Elvis Phase", the "Phantom of the Opera Phase", a few others. I remember when Butch started teaching her the kama.

And yeah, Bernie was tight with the BKF guys.
 

IcemanSK

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Pops closed the school and got out of martial arts a long time ago. He dropped by my work (martial arts supply) a few months back. I didn't see him, but I heard he said something about releasing new videos of Mouse. I think she was teaching some kind of fitness program at a gym somewhere between Woodland Hills and Thousand Oaks. Sorry, I don't remember where.

When you ask about Sherman Oaks Karate black belts, I'm not sure if you mean former Sherman Oaks Raiders. Pops sponsored the Raiders, but they weren't all from his school. For example, IIRC, some were BKF (kenpo). Every once in a while I hear something about one of them, so I guess some are still around.

I don't know whether or not Pops's school was Chuck Norris's old school, but it was somewhere around the same area. There are a LOT of Tang Soo Do schools around here that trace their lineage back to Chuck. Mostly, they spread west from there (west SF Valley and east Ventura County).

Hope this helps!

I have a friend who teaches TSD in Oange County. He laments that is very few TSD folks in So. Cal. Can you help me connect him with some?
 

JohnASE

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Welcome to MartialTalk. Are you with Valley Martial Arts Supplies on Lankershim in North Hollywood?

Thanks for the welcome! I'm with ASE Martial Arts Supply. We're in Chatsworth, but we were in Northridge before that and started in Tarzana about 16 yrs ago (maybe 5 minutes from Sherman Oaks Karate). We're a small family business, not open to the public, only schools and stores. We carry our own brands as well as Macho and other domestic brands.

I have a friend who teaches TSD in Oange County. He laments that is very few TSD folks in So. Cal. Can you help me connect him with some?

Sure! I'd be happy to! I'll put together some info and send you a PM.
 

jukado1

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The Sherman Oaks Karate school was originally owned by Bob Wall and Joe Lewis, Then Joe decided he would rather not teach, But just compete, So he sold his part of the school to Chuck Norris, During that period Chuck and Bob opened up about 6 branches of Chuck Norris karate, Then they sold them to a corporation which ran them into the ground and hurt Chucks reputation, So chuck and Bob bought them back and sold the individual schools to their black belts, Eventually Mr. Krasnoo ended up with Sherman Oaks.
 

ArmorOfGod

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I remember that Krasnoo had a really bad reputation for being a bit of a troublemaker at tournaments as well.
It's strange to hear he is out of the business now. He was a fairly big name.

AoG
 

7starmarc

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Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I started my journey in martial arts under Pops at Sherman Oaks Karate in the mid-to-late 80's. From what I recall, they didn't claim more than a loose association with Norris at that time. I hadn't thought of them for a long time, but passed through a while back and remember seeing that the store front of the school was gone. Ah, memories. I've moved on, but I still appreciate the good starting experience that I had at that school.
 

AmericanTangSooDo

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The Sherman Oaks Karate school was originally owned by Bob Wall and Joe Lewis, Then Joe decided he would rather not teach, But just compete, So he sold his part of the school to Chuck Norris, During that period Chuck and Bob opened up about 6 branches of Chuck Norris karate, Then they sold them to a corporation which ran them into the ground and hurt Chucks reputation, So chuck and Bob bought them back and sold the individual schools to their black belts, Eventually Mr. Krasnoo ended
up with Sherman Oaks.

Actually Norris and Wall had 7 schools (not counting the countless other schools owned by Norris' various students). My instructor is a Chuck Norris black belt and trained on occasion at the Sherman Oaks school back in the 1970s. He actually sat on the black belt panel that tested Mouse for her black belt back in 1987, and has sat on countless testings for the them over the years. According to what I remember him telling me everything that jukado1 is correct. However during the time he trained there it was owned by another Norris black belt Harold Gross (who also co-owned Tarzana Karate with Dennis Ichikawa). Gross then sold it to another guy before it eventually ended up with Pops. Unfortunately from what I read on Jamie Krasnoo's blog Bernie is now divorced and living with him.
 

Bobarino

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I don't have any new information, but just wanted to add in that I also trained at Sherman Oaks Karate in the late 80's /early 90's.

It was about the time they moved to Encino, CA and called themselves "Sherman Oaks Karate of Encino". I used to fight in tournaments, and yes Pop's could raise a ruckus, but he was good to have in your corner. After they closed down I trained with the former head instructor Mr Zachoratis, but he kept moving farther and farther away from me until I couldn't make it to his school anymore.

It was the start of my Martial Arts life, that continues to this day, so I have mostly fond memories. I consider what I learned there as a great foundation for what I would learn later on. Discipline, fundamentals, and fight experience.
 

JohnAy

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The studio was originally Bob Wall and Joe Lewis's studio. Chuck came in as a partner later in the mid to late 60's. The studio later changed hands to Dennis Ichikawa and Harold Gross.. Harold and Dennis owned the Sherman Oaks Karate Studio and the Tarzana Karate studio. Herold and Dennis had their differences and split the studios with Dennis taking Tarzana and Harold taking Sherman Oaks.


Bernie ended up buying a share of Sherman Oaks and then taking if over from Harold.


Harold and Dennis broke off from Chuck Norris in the early 70's.


From the stories I heard, Bernie, Harold, Dennis and several of the competing(fighting) black belts had a falling out again with Norris when they were promised parts in movies with chuck and they were kind of left out in the cold.


There was also an incident with Bernie altering the sherman oaks patch from what the patch looked like under Chuck , and Chuck made it known he was not happy.



Bernie Closed down the Sherman Oaks Karate Studio in the late 90's.


Some of the senior instructors are still around. Mark Zacharatos in in Calabasas, CA not far from Sherman Oaks is still teaching and I believe still has a studio.. I heard Tom Cole is still teaching . I think he is located in both the sfv and in the high desert town of Oak Hills, CA. Ron Pohnel is still teaching but mostly doing movie work. I heard he had moved back to Hawaii for the 3rd time. I heard Barry Gordon is still around in the sfv Last I heard he was still a public school teacher (although he should be retired by now?) but not sure if he is teaching with the BKF or not. I heard Dexter Brooks had died. Vic VanWei disappeared after he started working with Robert Bussy.
In regards to the Krasnoo's, Michelle Krasnoo got married and has a few kids, last I heard she was still doing training videos. Jamie Krasnoo no longer teaches
 

Carenrich

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I don't have any new information, but just wanted to add in that I also trained at Sherman Oaks Karate in the late 80's /early 90's.

It was about the time they moved to Encino, CA and called themselves "Sherman Oaks Karate of Encino". I used to fight in tournaments, and yes Pop's could raise a ruckus, but he was good to have in your corner. After they closed down I trained with the former head instructor Mr Zachoratis, but he kept moving farther and farther away from me until I couldn't make it to his school anymore.

It was the start of my Martial Arts life, that continues to this day, so I have mostly fond memories. I consider what I learned there as a great foundation for what I would learn later on. Discipline, fundamentals, and fight experience.
I trained at Sherman Oaks karate in the early 80's. I was one of the few females "Pops" let study. There were two others. A beautiful woman named Usha and a woman who worked with Elvis as part of his bodyguard team. I met Maurice White Of Earth Wind and Fire there, so that's how I came up on this site. I took a few classes with Pat Johnson and Chuck Norris. I remember once I sneezed and had to do 100 push-ups. I studied with Ron Pohnel, Mark Zacharatos ( my son is named Zach because he has a birthday near Zacharatos sometime in August)and Johnny Gyro. Jermaine Jackson trained there briefly. Phil Collins came in one day. It was a great time and a great community. Hulk Hogan used to pick me up and throw me around. Bernie's daughter and son were really adorable as little kids. I moved to Las Vegas and began training with Bob Chaney as did my children. I stopped practicing in the early 90s when I got a divorce and moved back to Los Angeles near Santa Monica. Now I do yoga.
 

bocch

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Not sure what make me do a search for this, but I found all of the updates really interesting. I was a student at Sherman Oaks Karate from about 1980 to 1983 or 1984. Student under Masters Pohnel, Matthews, Gross, and occasionally Zacharatos. Went to Tuesday night fight night when I could. Good times. The experience really gave me, a kid who was previously really bad at all sports, a lot of confidence, coordination, and discipline. I once went to a tournament in Ventura, and Bernie gave me (and another regular Jeremy Sweet) a ride.. The tourney was no-face-contact, but a point could be given for a "focused attack" within a few inches of your opponent's face. My very first move was a perfectly executed "secret stuff" (ala Ron Pohnel) backknuckle. My opponent moved ever so slightly forward, and I tagged him in the face. I was disqualified within 10 seconds of starting the tournament. Pops, who was a referee at the fight, tried to convince the other judges I didn't actually contact him, but it didn't work. I appreciated his partiality! But to no avail. (BTW Pops loved telling the following story over and over--I can hear him still "I took this kid all the way up to Ventura, and he hit that kid in the face in the first 5 seconds!")
 

CLUKID

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I was a student at a studio Ron Pohnel opened up in Moorpark. Jeremy Sweet was one of my instructors with Vick Van Wei, and another instructor that Master Pohnel use to call Coco Puff. Does anyone know what happened to Jeremy Sweet?
 

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