Will Tracy has a new website.

OP
hongkongfooey

hongkongfooey

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
625
Reaction score
19
Is there something specific you feel needs to be discussed, that hasn't been discussed before?

Or are you just interested in dragging out old skeletons? 'Cause everyone has some of those...


Apparently, there are supposed to be some new articles that were never published, when he put his version of Kenpo history on the net a few years ago. While most of the old stuff is just a cheap shot at Parker, who can't defend himself against the "truth" that the articles supposedly contain, the new stuff may be interesting, in a plane crash sort of way.

I myself, don't take what he says too seriously. It's just one man's point of view, likely with many embellishments of the truth. After the whole sex cult thing, I don't see how anyone can take him for face value.

Just my opinion.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,525
Reaction score
2,955
Location
San Francisco
quote=hongkongfooey

Apparently, there are supposed to be some new articles that were never published, when he put his version of Kenpo history on the net a few years ago.

That will be interesting to read, if they are there.

While most of the old stuff is just a cheap shot at Parker, who can't defend himself against the "truth" that the articles supposedly contain,

Taking cheap shots is certainly bad form and disrespectful.

the new stuff may be interesting, in a plane crash sort of way.

Sounds like you want to take cheap shots.

I myself, don't take what he says too seriously.

Neither do I, but I suspect there may be some level of truth in there, and I doubt anybody will ever know for sure, one way or the other.

After the whole sex cult thing, I don't see how anyone can take him for face value.

They are two completely different issues. Just because he did something that our society frowns upon, doesn't automatically mean everything he has said and done is folly. Keep the issues separate.

Just my opinion.

Which you of course have a right to. But again, taking cheap shots is bad form and disrespectful. The tone of the thread has already started to sound like it is going in that direction.
 
OP
hongkongfooey

hongkongfooey

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
625
Reaction score
19
quote=hongkongfooey

Apparently, there are supposed to be some new articles that were never published, when he put his version of Kenpo history on the net a few years ago.

That will be interesting to read, if they are there.

While most of the old stuff is just a cheap shot at Parker, who can't defend himself against the "truth" that the articles supposedly contain,

Taking cheap shots is certainly bad form and disrespectful.



the new stuff may be interesting, in a plane crash sort of way.

Sounds like you want to take cheap shots.

I myself, don't take what he says too seriously.

Neither do I, but I suspect there may be some level of truth in there, and I doubt anybody will ever know for sure, one way or the other.

After the whole sex cult thing, I don't see how anyone can take him for face value.

They are two completely different issues. Just because he did something that our society frowns upon, doesn't automatically mean everything he has said and done is folly. Keep the issues separate.

Just my opinion.

Which you of course have a right to. But again, taking cheap shots is bad form and disrespectful. The tone of the thread has already started to sound like it is going in that direction.


I agree that taking a cheap shot is bad form, that is not my intention. In person I am a jokester and a smart ***, sometimes that causes confusion on the net.

The guy must enjoy the attention that his articles create, since they seem to be reintroduced to the internet every few years. That's what I meant by the plane crash comment. He must know that there are people that knew Ed Parker that can dispute what he claims.
 

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
After the whole sex cult thing, I don't see how anyone can take him for face value.

They are two completely different issues. Just because he did something that our society frowns upon, doesn't automatically mean everything he has said and done is folly. Keep the issues separate.
.

I disagree with you on this one. I think that the one firmly establishes him as a whacko and thus throws everything else he says into question. That he might occasionally be right about something is like saying that a broken clock is right twice a day.
 

JamesB

Green Belt
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
188
Reaction score
1
Location
Cheltenham, UK
I suspect many AK folks may dismiss these articles out-right, but I do believe there is a certain amount of truth there as well. Assuming the details are correct (the dates, the people involved etc), it is no secret that Mr Parker went through several evolutions of his Kenpo system, and also that his black-belts defected at one point which prompted a change in his methodology. Doc has mentioned this fact several times on this forum. Will Tracy also gives many details about how the Tracy franchise was based on the 'Arthur Murray Dance Studio' business plan, and how the Tracy's became very successful in their enterprise - and it is this success that prompted Parker to follow suit. Again, Doc has stated this many times even though a few AK'rs have in the past found it difficult to come to terms with this information. Personally I find it very interesting reading about kenpo's history, warts and all....

But there's certainly a lot of spin in those articles as well, which is being used to validate Will Tracy's own perspective. There's much talk of how Mr Parker stopped teaching 'kenpo karate', and that after 1962 (or whenever) what he was doing was not this 'original kenpo' any longer. But it's put in such a light as to suggest its a lesser form of kenpo. Perhaps in _some_ later 'commerical' forms it might be (also, it might not), but Tracy also down-plays the 'Chinese Kenpo' era as if the Chinese influences (presumably taught from Ark Wong) do not have any merit. There does seems to be a tendency for Tracy to want to align himself under a Japanese (Mitose) lineage and to downplay any other influences.

Personally I find the articles interesting, but the overall theme that is presented - "original (Tracy) kenpo is the best, all subsequent forms of kenpo are inferior" - is debatable.
 
OP
hongkongfooey

hongkongfooey

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
625
Reaction score
19
I suspect many AK folks may dismiss these articles out-right, but I do believe there is a certain amount of truth there as well. Assuming the details are correct (the dates, the people involved etc), it is no secret that Mr Parker went through several evolutions of his Kenpo system, and also that his black-belts defected at one point which prompted a change in his methodology. Doc has mentioned this fact several times on this forum. Will Tracy also gives many details about how the Tracy franchise was based on the 'Arthur Murray Dance Studio' business plan, and how the Tracy's became very successful in their enterprise - and it is this success that prompted Parker to follow suit. Again, Doc has stated this many times even though a few AK'rs have in the past found it difficult to come to terms with this information. Personally I find it very interesting reading about kenpo's history, warts and all....

HONG KONG FOOEY
I agree that there is a probability of truth is some of the statements. I don't believe that American Kenpo is squeaky clean, either. But, when the guy starts hinting that he knows what Ed Parker did, better than Ed Parker, I have to roll my eyes in disgust. He even goes ahead and nicely calls Mrs. Parker a liar about a date that she says Ed Parker was in Hawaii.
How would he know?


But there's certainly a lot of spin in those articles as well, which is being used to validate Will Tracy's own perspective. There's much talk of how Mr Parker stopped teaching 'kenpo karate', and that after 1962 (or whenever) what he was doing was not this 'original kenpo' any longer. But it's put in such a light as to suggest its a lesser form of kenpo. Perhaps in _some_ later 'commercial' forms it might be (also, it might not), but Tracy also down-plays the 'Chinese Kenpo' era as if the Chinese influences (presumably taught from Ark Wong) do not have any merit. There does seems to be a tendency for Tracy to want to align himself under a Japanese (Mitose) lineage and to downplay any other influences.

Personally I find the articles interesting, but the overall theme that is presented - "original (Tracy) kenpo is the best, all subsequent forms of kenpo are inferior" - is debatable.


I kind of get the same read.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,525
Reaction score
2,955
Location
San Francisco
I disagree with you on this one. I think that the one firmly establishes him as a whacko and thus throws everything else he says into question. That he might occasionally be right about something is like saying that a broken clock is right twice a day.


well, I'll agree to disagree. He may be a wacko, but I'm not a psychiatrist so I can't formally diagnose that and unless you are a psychiatrist, neither can you. It's just personal opinion.

He didn't murder anybody. He didn't pull an Enron and cheat thousands of employees out of their pensions while ruining a company after price gouging the State of California for energy charges. He didn't swindle a bunch of old ladies out of their life savings thru dubious and crooked investment schemes. These are the things that in my opinion would really make someone a pariah.

He was found guilty of running a house of prostitution, with his wife as the main attraction, under the guise of a newage religion. Sounds to me like she was in on the show and not coerced. It's hardly a flattering situation, not something to be proud of, probably not the kind of people most of us would want to associate with, but at the same time, in the scope of what terrible things people have done, it's not all that huge. It hardly suggests that he's a true wackjob who's every word should be automatically doubted.

He made some dumb choices in life, he has stood before the courts and answered for that and taken some embarrassing publicity for it. But that doesn't mean everything else that he has said and done in life is folly.
 

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
well, I'll agree to disagree. He may be a wacko, but I'm not a psychiatrist so I can't formally diagnose that and unless you are a psychiatrist, neither can you. It's just personal opinion.

.

You don't have to be a wheather man to know which way the wind is blowing.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,525
Reaction score
2,955
Location
San Francisco
You don't have to be a wheather man to know which way the wind is blowing.


There's a difference between making poor, even stupid choices, and being a nutcase. I've never met the guy, I'm in no position to judge.

Kenpo past and present has some colorful characters in it. Enjoy it for what it is.
 

John Bishop

Master Black Belt
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 21, 2002
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
71
Location
Southern Calif.
One thing good about the internet. No matter how far fetched your beliefs may be, if you search long enough you'll find something on the net to support you.
A common thing many so-called researchers do is sprinkle just enough truths in their statements to make the rest of the story seem accurate.
Good research should consist of examining all sources, with the most weight being given to first hand accounts that are supported by documents, events, or other eye witnesses.
Many people like to push the credibility and character of the story teller to the side, as long as his/her story supports their personel beliefs or agenda.
It's pretty sad that the common sense and good judgement that most people use in their everyday lives, is not also used in their martial arts lives. If someone was approached by a salesman with a investment offer, the smart person would check into the salesman's credibility, and his reputation for truthfullness before believing his claims and investing their money. Yet, when martial arts history is put forward by people with known histories of untruthfulness, fraudulent schemes, and even criminal records, it's unquestioned.
Some of Will Tracy's historical accounts appear to be accurate, according to some people involved in these events. Some claims are truly incorrect, although this may not be intentional. And some claims appear to be totally fabricated.
One claim that appears to be fabricated is the claim that James Mitose's sister, Clara Mitose (aka Fusae Oshita) was also a kenpo grandmaster teaching in Hawaii in the 50's-60's. People like Bruce Juchnik and myself have interviewed many students of James Mitose and William Chow. Mr. Juchnik even has video tapes of some of his interviews availiable for sale. First generation Mitose students like Thomas Young, Antoine Krutchy, Paul Yamaguichi have been interviewed. First generation students of William Chow, like Adriano Emperado, Ed Parker, Fred Lara, Bill Chun Sr., have been interviewed. Thomas Mitose, Wally Jay, Sig Kufferath, and others who knew Mitose have been interviewed many times. Not one of these people support the story of Mitose's sister being a kenpo instructor, let alone a kenpo grandmaster.
The one thing the internet has done is given people who never had the credibility to be taken seriously by magazine editors and book publishers, the ability to put forward all the false claims, far fetched notions, and revisionist history they choose.
 

Sigung86

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
898
Reaction score
15
Location
Wright City, MO
Hi John,

For what it may be worth. There either is, or was a page on the Tracy website wherein Al Tracy met Fusae Oshita, I believe. I haven't really looked in a good long while. Kenpo Dave has a better memory than I on that stuff, anyway. In the interview she, apparently, validated much of the information regarding Mitosé. At least enough to make Mr. Tracy feel that it was all correct.

As I have said before, having suffered the slings and arrows of questioning those issues while on the inside of the organization, I no longer have a dog in this hunt ... Nor an organization, so it would seem .... :lol:

It is interesting to see, essentially, the same material that was on the original Tracy website, back a bunch of years ago, but without all the use of the large words and pointed barbs at Ed Parker. It does make for an interesting, if, however, stilted set of observation.

And, as an aside to Michael of Flying Crane fame ... I think what Danjo is trying to say is that Leopards don't change their spots. If you would, for whatever reason, not do your dirty dishes, what gives anyone cause to believe that you would be religious about scrubbing your toilet? All we really have to go on is the observable actions and reactions of any given moment. That, along with the fact that, at any given moment, we are dealing with life and its various subtleties, with the best tools we have available, would lead one to believe that someone who might play loose and fast with his wife and the supposed sanctity of marriage, would not appear to be to quick to be above the board with his facts. Of course, it was this observation and attitude, on my part, that got me started down the road of evil and so on ... :lol:
 

John Bishop

Master Black Belt
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 21, 2002
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
71
Location
Southern Calif.
Hi John,

For what it may be worth. There either is, or was a page on the Tracy website wherein Al Tracy met Fusae Oshita, I believe. I haven't really looked in a good long while. Kenpo Dave has a better memory than I on that stuff, anyway. In the interview she, apparently, validated much of the information regarding Mitosé. At least enough to make Mr. Tracy feel that it was all correct.

I think I recall seeing that on his website, or in the old "Tracy's Newsflash" he use to send me in the 80s-90s. Don't know if it is still on the website or not. But I do seem to recall that the converstion/interview occurred in the 80's or 90's.
What I'm saying is that people who were there in the 40's-50's, and affliated with Mitose, never saw or heard of her. The group that were Kenpo black belts in Hawaii in the 40's-50's was extremely small. In fact in the late 40's you could count them on one hand and have 1 finger left. James Mitose only promoted 2 people to black belt in the 40's. The others were promoted in the early 50's. William Chow only promoted 1 person to black belt before 1950. Now some one has come up with the claim that this sister is the woman in Mitose's book doing techniques. Even though people who were there when the book was being written, knew the woman in the book as Mitose's girlfriend.
In the 80's-90's I had conversations with Thomas Young about Mitose, his students, and his school. This sister was never mentioned as one of the instructors, black belts, or students. At that time I put Tim Toeniskotter (sp) in touch with Young also, since he had contacted me about kenpo research. Tim later provided me with copies of the letters he exchanged with Young (which I still have). Again, no mention of any other Mitose's being involved in the kenpo scene in Hawaii.
I don't know if Tim is still affliated with the Tracy group, but I've seen no mention in their websites of the fact that in a letter to Tim dated 8-5-93, Thomas Young said that Mitose taught them the "naihanchi katas from karate, and the jujitsu hand arts".
 

Kenpodoc

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
734
Reaction score
19
Location
Ohio
The most dangerous lies are half-truths. Because some of what is said is verifiable people are tempted to believe everything. Will Tracy's stuff is written in an apparent attempt to slander Mr. Parker. It has just enough truth to keep popping back up on line.

Jeff
 

Hand Sword

Grandmaster
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
58
Location
In the Void (Where still, this merciless GOD torme
True, and, unfortunately, it goes both ways, from slander to Idolize. I guess that's true, in general, of all topics. Somewhere in the middle is the real truth. It's getting harder to find, though, as more time passes.
 

HKphooey

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,613
Reaction score
17
Location
File Cabinet
True, and, unfortunately, it goes both ways, from slander to Idolize. I guess that's true, in general, of all topics. Somewhere in the middle is the real truth. It's getting harder to find, though, as more time passes.

That is why I concentrate on my training, not the politics. :)
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
13,525
Reaction score
2,955
Location
San Francisco
And, as an aside to Michael of Flying Crane fame ... I think what Danjo is trying to say is that Leopards don't change their spots...

Well, that is often true but I hesitate to apply it across the board without good reason. I don't know Will Tracy and have no other knowledge of him. From what I understand, his little house of prostitution situation took place a number of years ago. Perhaps he has gotten himself on a better path since then. Obviously, I don't know one way or the other, nor do I really care.

As far as his writings on Kenpo History, I certainly understand that much of what he writes is often disputed. I am not trying to be Mr. Tracy's Champion, here on Martialtalk. I realize that what he writes, entertaining as it may be, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Like I stated earlier, how much of it is truth and how much is fabricated, I am sure we will never know for sure.

But I choose to not let my opinion of his kenpo writings be influenced by his personal legal problems. I prefer to consider those issues separate. That's just how I see it.

My concern was with the tone of the thread from the beginning. Many are quick to jump on those who say a negative word about Mr. Parker. OK, I agree, it's bad form to criticize or degrade someone who isn't here to defend himself, and it's also bad form to foster animosity between different schools of kenpo. It's politics and it's silly and pointless and the later generations should just move on and not worry about it. Unless you were there and directly affected by the events that happened 40 years ago, it shouldn't bother you and it shouldn't mean anything to you.

Yet sometimes I see the same people who are so quick to defend Mr. Parker, freely criticize and deride others, and I think that's just plain wrong. It's a two-way street. If the Parker defenders want respect for Mr. Parker (as they rightfully deserve), then they need to be willing to give the respect to others as well. I think by calling attention to Mr. Tracy's website, if the intention was to poke fun and take cheap shots at him, is stupid politics and is dishonorable. If my impression of the poster's intentions were mistaken, then I apoligize, but that is how it looked to me.

Kenpo as a whole has a lot of skeletons in the closet as well as a few colorful characters. In a way, they are all part of the same family, and unfortunately you can't pick and choose who your family members are. We are stuck with each other, like it or not. We may not agree about everything (or even anything), but we are all part of the same community in some way or other and I just think a little decency is in order.
 

Danjo

Master Black Belt
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
1,378
Reaction score
60
Location
Fullerton, CA
Well, that is often true but I hesitate to apply it across the board without good reason. I don't know Will Tracy and have no other knowledge of him. From what I understand, his little house of prostitution situation took place a number of years ago. Perhaps he has gotten himself on a better path since then. Obviously, I don't know one way or the other, nor do I really care.

As far as his writings on Kenpo History, I certainly understand that much of what he writes is often disputed. I am not trying to be Mr. Tracy's Champion, here on Martialtalk. I realize that what he writes, entertaining as it may be, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Like I stated earlier, how much of it is truth and how much is fabricated, I am sure we will never know for sure.

But I choose to not let my opinion of his kenpo writings be influenced by his personal legal problems. I prefer to consider those issues separate. That's just how I see it.

My concern was with the tone of the thread from the beginning. Many are quick to jump on those who say a negative word about Mr. Parker. OK, I agree, it's bad form to criticize or degrade someone who isn't here to defend himself, and it's also bad form to foster animosity between different schools of kenpo. It's politics and it's silly and pointless and the later generations should just move on and not worry about it. Unless you were there and directly affected by the events that happened 40 years ago, it shouldn't bother you and it shouldn't mean anything to you.

Yet sometimes I see the same people who are so quick to defend Mr. Parker, freely criticize and deride others, and I think that's just plain wrong. It's a two-way street. If the Parker defenders want respect for Mr. Parker (as they rightfully deserve), then they need to be willing to give the respect to others as well. I think by calling attention to Mr. Tracy's website, if the intention was to poke fun and take cheap shots at him, is stupid politics and is dishonorable. If my impression of the poster's intentions were mistaken, then I apoligize, but that is how it looked to me.

Kenpo as a whole has a lot of skeletons in the closet as well as a few colorful characters. In a way, they are all part of the same family, and unfortunately you can't pick and choose who your family members are. We are stuck with each other, like it or not. We may not agree about everything (or even anything), but we are all part of the same community in some way or other and I just think a little decency is in order.

Michael,
while I can see your point to a certain extent, I still feel that some things cannot be just left alone. When someone comes out and writes articles for the general public to read, then they are going to come under scrutiny. When someone says things that are untrue they should be challenged on them. Otherwise their story stands and is repeated and eventually so clouds the true events and history that it makes it nigh unto impossible for future students to get an accurate picture of things.

One of the criteria for evaluating someone's writings etc. is credibility. When one has been shown to believe things like say, that his wife was a re-incarnated goddess from Egypt and that she needed to be worshiped by having over 2000 men have sex with her, I tend to doubt that person's grip on reality. When he makes claims about people that he trained with that are found nowhere else, and that he provides no evidence for aside from his own recollections, that further strains his credibility.

Who else has made claims, for instance, that James Mitose's sister, Fusae Oshita was a Kenpo Great Grandmaster? Where is the evidence for that? Or his other sister either? the only place one finds this stuff is in Will Tracy's articles. Does he provide documentation to prove these assertions? NOPE. But again, when I read that he thought that his wife was a re-incarnated sex goddess, it doesn't reall ysurprise me that he thought that Fusae Oshita was a Kenpo Great Grandmaster Either. It does not, however, make me likely to believe either one.
 
Top