SKK over NCK?

Justin33

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So just sitting in my room playing on my phone, I noticed the country (USA) has many Shaolin Kempo schools, under many different banners (Villari, USSD, z-ultimate, independent), but I can only find like maybe 10 Nick Cerio's Kenpo schools across the entire country.

Why's that you think? Anybody out there trying to revive NCK?
 

dancingalone

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Cerio kenpo never hit critical mass. It was always a New England/Canada thing only. Meanwhile, Villari did a good job of popularizing his system in the USA and his students and partners expanded it to Florida and California and random spots in between. This far from Nick Cerio's death, his name really doesn't sell anything. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than those 10 schools you refer to in operation. They probably just call their art generical kenpo or karate.
 
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Justin33

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Seems kinda sad...I started EPAK in 96( the year I got my driver's license)...and I've always had a deep fascination with New England... You can find pretty much the entire NCK curriculum on YT...one of these days I'd like to make it up there and train NCK or maybe even Villari's...

I did always think that Nick Cerio naming the art after himself may not be good for business (but what do I know about business?)... I would've called it 'New England Kenpo'... Not 'American Kenpo' but...yeah, y'all get it.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Villari was a good businessman. Really good.

And like dancingalone said, people are probably teaching cerio kenpo under just the name 'kenpo'.
 

Buka

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As long as people are still training, still learning, still teaching - especially during or after this crazy world pandemic - it's all good.
 

hoshin1600

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As long as people are still training, still learning, still teaching - especially during or after this crazy world pandemic - it's all good.
What, that's it? The V word is used in comparison to Cerio and that's all we get for a response? Are you ok, you feeling ill? I got to say in highly disappointed .
There is something not right in the world when the name of the one I shalt not utter is evoked into the world and Bukka sits idle as if a causal breeze has blown by him with not so much as a glimpse of a shutter or shiver, much less an utterance of distain.
 

Buka

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What, that's it? The V word is used in comparison to Cerio and that's all we get for a response? Are you ok, you feeling ill? I got to say in highly disappointed .
There is something not right in the world when the name of the one I shalt not utter is evoked into the world and Bukka sits idle as if a causal breeze has blown by him with not so much as a glimpse of a shutter or shiver, much less an utterance of distain.

Tis a ray of sunshine, your post. :)

You’re correct, of course, at least in historical perspective. And it’s especially applicable this morning, as cultists have already been mentioned.

But I just learned, not a scant moment ago, that Freddo has matured. He is no longer a Twelfth Degree Black Belt, he is now a Fifteenth Degree Black Belt. With gravitas like that he could very well sit at the right hand of The Orange Man.

That would be a match made in Bag of Dishes heaven. (Bag of dishes….you know….Dish Bags)

Edit - not sure which one I'd like to slap the ship out of more. Sure would like to do both. Might be able to rate it on Yelp or something.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Tis a ray of sunshine, your post. :)

You’re correct, of course, at least in historical perspective. And it’s especially applicable this morning, as cultists have already been mentioned.

But I just learned, not a scant moment ago, that Freddo has matured. He is no longer a Twelfth Degree Black Belt, he is now a Fifteenth Degree Black Belt. With gravitas like that he could very well sit at the right hand of The Orange Man.

That would be a match made in Bag of Dishes heaven. (Bag of dishes….you know….Dish Bags)

Edit - not sure which one I'd like to slap the ship out of more. Sure would like to do both. Might be able to rate it on Yelp or something.
Convince them to fight each other. Then sit back and watch them both do the slapping.
 

Shotoguy

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I had a pretty bad experience with SKK. I joined a SKK school based out of the east coast. I don't want to give the school name, but let's just say it's a breakaway from Z-ultimate (but it's NOT z-ultimate)

Having had experience with other martial arts styles, I knew that what they taught in this school was not traditional or very serious, and that's ok. My point is that I wasn't expecting to train with Vandamme's Shidoshi from Bloodsport, I had reasonable expectations.

I practiced "shaolin kempo karate" for around 4 years at this school, and it was an enjoyable experience. There were some red flags here and there but I chose to ignore them because all I wanted was to get some physical activity and to practice something similar to what I used to practice when I practiced several other more traditional styles.

Sadly, after 4 years, the school took a hard turn into mcdojo-ville, at breakneck speed:
- They began a "teaching corps" system. What are the "teaching corps", you ask? Any (and I mean any) student can pay for extra "instructor courses", which aren't much different from the regular classes to begin with.
- If you pay for enough "instructor courses" you will be given the "honor" to work for free for the school! You will become an "instructor" and they'll give you a red belt.
- Now you have to teach the toddlers and young kids (for free) and labor around the dojo (e.g. doing the admin work, booking stuff in the computer, being an assistant at tournaments, etc)
- After some months teaching toddlers and stuff like that, you will teach grown ups too!


This is more problematic than it sounds. Turns out few people are interested in paying a steep price for extra classes just so they can work for free for the school, so who ends up taking on this "amazing" offer? The worst students in the entire school. The students with self esteem issues, the most out of shape students, and the students with a penchant for authoritarianism are the ones who end doing this and becoming "teaching corps".

For 2 years (so, years 5 and 6 of my time at this dojo) me and other students tried to keep the dojo from sliding into total mcdojo status, but we could not. The owner and instructors fully embraced the mcdojo idea.

It's hard to see that some dad or mom enrolling their kid to kempo and depending on sheer luck they will be taught either by a real (and very capable) actual martial artist or by one of the worst students in the entire school.

Actually, on top of my head, I can think of 4 "teaching corps" "instructors" and a "full time instructor" (former "teaching corps") who are in the bottom 5% of the entire student roster (yes, I mean, the bottom of the bottom, the worst students out there). These are people with no skills, no knowledge, no fitness and who have absolutely no business teaching.

On top of all that, I found out that their entire kata curriculum from white to brown belt is made up. The school owner made up all of the color belt katas, and he changes them every couple months as he sees fit.

I realized there is no way I could fix this school and return it to how it used to be so I quit today. After telling them I quit they made no effort to keep me, it seems they don't want to keep the students from before they chose to become a mcdojo, since they ask questions and scrutinize things too much.

Now I feel I wasted my time :(
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I had a pretty bad experience with SKK. I joined a SKK school based out of the east coast. I don't want to give the school name, but let's just say it's a breakaway from Z-ultimate (but it's NOT z-ultimate)

Having had experience with other martial arts styles, I knew that what they taught in this school was not traditional or very serious, and that's ok. My point is that I wasn't expecting to train with Vandamme's Shidoshi from Bloodsport, I had reasonable expectations.

I practiced "shaolin kempo karate" for around 4 years at this school, and it was an enjoyable experience. There were some red flags here and there but I chose to ignore them because all I wanted was to get some physical activity and to practice something similar to what I used to practice when I practiced several other more traditional styles.

Sadly, after 4 years, the school took a hard turn into mcdojo-ville, at breakneck speed:
- They began a "teaching corps" system. What are the "teaching corps", you ask? Any (and I mean any) student can pay for extra "instructor courses", which aren't much different from the regular classes to begin with.
- If you pay for enough "instructor courses" you will be given the "honor" to work for free for the school! You will become an "instructor" and they'll give you a red belt.
- Now you have to teach the toddlers and young kids (for free) and labor around the dojo (e.g. doing the admin work, booking stuff in the computer, being an assistant at tournaments, etc)
- After some months teaching toddlers and stuff like that, you will teach grown ups too!


This is more problematic than it sounds. Turns out few people are interested in paying a steep price for extra classes just so they can work for free for the school, so who ends up taking on this "amazing" offer? The worst students in the entire school. The students with self esteem issues, the most out of shape students, and the students with a penchant for authoritarianism are the ones who end doing this and becoming "teaching corps".

For 2 years (so, years 5 and 6 of my time at this dojo) me and other students tried to keep the dojo from sliding into total mcdojo status, but we could not. The owner and instructors fully embraced the mcdojo idea.

It's hard to see that some dad or mom enrolling their kid to kempo and depending on sheer luck they will be taught either by a real (and very capable) actual martial artist or by one of the worst students in the entire school.

Actually, on top of my head, I can think of 4 "teaching corps" "instructors" and a "full time instructor" (former "teaching corps") who are in the bottom 5% of the entire student roster (yes, I mean, the bottom of the bottom, the worst students out there). These are people with no skills, no knowledge, no fitness and who have absolutely no business teaching.

On top of all that, I found out that their entire kata curriculum from white to brown belt is made up. The school owner made up all of the color belt katas, and he changes them every couple months as he sees fit.

I realized there is no way I could fix this school and return it to how it used to be so I quit today. After telling them I quit they made no effort to keep me, it seems they don't want to keep the students from before they chose to become a mcdojo, since they ask questions and scrutinize things too much.

Now I feel I wasted my time :(
Keep in mind, this is dojo-specific, not style specific. Any school can create a program like that for free labor, regardless of style.

As for wasting your time-the first four years, did you accomplish your goals? Do you feel like you learned something, and before they went mcdojo-was there a net positive? And every kata was made up at some point, personally I prefer ones my teachers have made since I know the purpose behind them, but I get how that can be disappointing).

From what you've described, years 5 and 6 may have been wasted, but not necessarily the first four years. And even years 5 and 6, while the younger classes were taught be incompetent individuals, what percent of the adult classes were? If the actual instructors were still the one's mostly teaching, then not as much time wasted as there could have been. That said, when they start doing something like that is when it's time to have a frank talk with the instructor, which would likely lead to leaving.
 

Shotoguy

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Keep in mind, this is dojo-specific, not style specific. Any school can create a program like that for free labor, regardless of style.

As for wasting your time-the first four years, did you accomplish your goals? Do you feel like you learned something, and before they went mcdojo-was there a net positive? And every kata was made up at some point, personally I prefer ones my teachers have made since I know the purpose behind them, but I get how that can be disappointing).

From what you've described, years 5 and 6 may have been wasted, but not necessarily the first four years. And even years 5 and 6, while the younger classes were taught be incompetent individuals, what percent of the adult classes were? If the actual instructors were still the one's mostly teaching, then not as much time wasted as there could have been. That said, when they start doing something like that is when it's time to have a frank talk with the instructor, which would likely lead to leaving.

awesome reply, thanks.

Years 1-4 were not a waste, in a way, because I reconnected with the martial arts (I did karate for a long time) and I rediscovered the footwork, muscle memory, etc. I also regained my non-sedentary level of agility. Even then, there was a degree of mcdojo-ness in years 1-4, but I knew that, so I was ok with it.

Years 5-6 were not a waste in the sense that I decided I'd not be "a quitter" and this time I'd get my shodan before quitting (I quit karate as a brown belt, and later regretted not getting my shodan). But things got too stupid too quick in that school, and the incompetent people basically run the dojo now... I am not taking a class from there, ever LOL
 

angelariz

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So just sitting in my room playing on my phone, I noticed the country (USA) has many Shaolin Kempo schools, under many different banners (Villari, USSD, z-ultimate, independent), but I can only find like maybe 10 Nick Cerio's Kenpo schools across the entire country.

Why's that you think? Anybody out there trying to revive NCK?
Cerio kepo is a serious art. SKK is a fantasy made up to sell memberships to GM Villaris day cares.

I was told GM Villari is a tough guy but I've been to more than a few SKK schools (teaching FMA seminars) and getting some workouts and i have to say, it is a system based on the tv shows of the 80s.
SKK is not in the same league as Cerio or Ed Parker American Kenpo.
 

Gentle Fist

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NCK is still pretty big in Canada but is becoming pretty rare in New England and other Eastern states. Aside from Master Chamberlain in Texas I don’t think it made its way very far west, especially with EPAK being so huge and already established out that way.

I earned Shodan just a few years after Cerio passed away and learned the original curriculum as it was envisioned by the professor. As with everything I’m sure the NCK of today has evolved and modified quite a bit of the curriculum. That could be viewed as good or bad I suppose. So with that being said I can’t speak on the current version (post-cerio NCK).

I have trained with several SKK practitioners over the years but never obtained rank or tried to learn SKKs specific curriculum.

So back to the topic... Given my time in NCK and observations of SKK.

NCK has fewer moves required for black belt than SKK.... but has a much greater emphasis on footwork, balance and variant application.

SKK has some ground work implemented into the system while NCK was very very limited. I say this as a black belt in Judo.

SKK has a lot of forms.... and seem to push forms over fighting. NCK has forms but variations of the main 36 self defense techs seemed to be the focus. The goal of NCK was to get to a point where everything was clean and proper reaction and the move by move techs didn’t matter anymore. I have studied Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for over 15 years and this is their approach also.
 
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