Would You Teach Gang Members MA?

Touch Of Death

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Yes; It all comes down to, "Do you feel these Kids are worth saving and do you feel that a discipline will help?"
Sean
 

Makalakumu

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I certainly don't have all of the answers, but after six years of working with kids who have joined gangs or are interested in gangs, I think I've been able to glean a little general information.

The thought that kids join gangs because they need fellowship and security may have been true in the past, but I don't think its a major driving force now. According to the Head of the MN gang taskforce the fastest growing gang population is among suburban teens. In schools that never had gang problems and are affluent, we are suddenly seeing active recruiting going on.

It's not because these kids lack for opportunity, fellowship or security...something else IS going on.

In my own community, we have at least half a dozen non-religious non profit organizations with well funded, well staffed, and well organized youth programs designed to designed to give kids an alternative to gangs. Yet they still join these organizations.

And like I said before, these are criminal organizations. They make no effort to hide what they do. In fact, they flaunt it to those they are recruiting.

All of this begs the questions, if there are so many other options available now, why are kids still choosing to be in gangs?

Answering this question is as simple as talking to a gang member and asking them a question. "Hey Lovell, why ya rollin wit GD and not hangin out at Lifehouse? Ya might stay outa jail that way..."

The answer is that people in the hood respect thugs. They think they are cool. Gangsters are role models. Doing the right thing by hanging out at Lifehouse doesn't give a person as much respect as being a criminal.
 

Drac

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I wish I could post the page (of a 200 pg book) taken off a POS "gangsta" in Calf my Narc officers..It is a system of hand-to-hand combat that they learn to use against LEO..The drawings all show the cop as fat , overweight and wearing swastikas..While the perps all look like stunt doubles Westley Snipes or Denzel Washington..
 

Ceicei

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I wish I could post the page (of a 200 pg book) taken off a POS "gangsta" in Calf my Narc officers..It is a system of hand-to-hand combat that they learn to use against LEO..The drawings all show the cop as fat , overweight and wearing swastikas..While the perps all look like stunt doubles Westley Snipes or Denzel Washington..


That says a lot how they *hope* things would be like... :rolleyes:
 

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VERY VERY good topic!!!


I work with Gang-members in my career as a Juvenile Correctional officer.
I'd ONLY be their instructor IF they demonstrate an effort to leave gang life/mentality!! I'd have to be given written permission to visit their PO...and things like that.

thats rare, but it's the ONLY
ONLY way I'd do it. BUT I'D DO IT IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are my brothers! I have a real heart for those boys/young men. That's WHY I do what I do! If me and my Kenpo school could play a role in helping them change their mentality and their life...
I'd do it and do WHATEVER it took to keep them there and make them feel at home, accepted, appreciated and useful/successful!!!!!!

First sign that they're still "bangin"...and they refuse to quit......
Out like a dirty diaper.

Your Brother
John
 

tshadowchaser

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When I lived in Southern Calif. I had a couple of known gang members ask me to teach them. One wanted out of the gangs and said he wanted the discipline and some extra knowledge. The other had left the gangs and wanted to put his energy somewhere and to learn to control his more violent tendencies. I taught both of them. Both stayed away from the gangs, but one did get killed in a drive by because of where he lived.

It depends on why they want to learn and if i know them personally.
There have been some who asked that I said NO to
 

MJS

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Andrew - this is actually a minor reason people join gangs. Even in the worst neighborhoods, there are lots of opportunities to connect with other people and form positive relationships. The schools and churches have great programs that can offer kids an alternative to gang life. An alternative that can keep them safe and give them the familial relationships they may be lacking.

The unfortunate reality is that kids are joining gangs because its cool to be a criminal. These organizations make no attempt to hide what they are really about. They sell drugs, they rob steal and murder, and they fight with other gangs over who gets the rights to do that in a particular part of town. Kids who join gangs think that stuff is cool! And you do not want kids like that in your dojang.

Theres no reason to be sympathetic to the criminal mindset here. The kids who join gangs think its cool to be a thug, they want to ride that power trip, and they don't care who gets hurt. We need to stop making excuses for these kids and hold them accountable for their actions.

They chose to be bad, so they don't get to walk through the door of my dojang. Plain and simple.

But do kids need to join a gang to steal a car, mug someone or shoplift? Values, morals, etc., start at the home. If someone isn't feeling loved, etc., the kid is going to look elsewhere for that 'family' feel, and a gang is where they'll find it. Sure there are other options, but someone has to show them the way.
 

jks9199

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Why kids or adults join gangs is a very complicated issue, and there are multiple facets. Some do join for cameraderie and fellowship. Others join for the excitement of the thug lifestyle, while others join for the money they think they'll be able to get as a member, or for protection against other gangs... or even just because.

It's certainly no help that society is currently glorifying the thug/gang lifestyle -- but gangs existed and flourished without that. I've got stacks of books on gangs; even the so-called experts (some cops, some academics, all with varying degrees of real knowledge and "ivory tower" knowledge) can't agree on why people join gangs. The simple truth is that people instinctively join groups, as a general rule. I don't know why; maybe a sociologist can tell you. But we do it. We've done it here on MT; we've done it other places.

Then -- consider that, while there is a national and international aspect, gangs remain a highly localized phenomena, as well. The "rules" for West Coast bangers aren't the same as Chicago gangs, which are different from East Coast gangs. Even on the East Coast, we see different things in Maryland and Virginia, and New York, and so till you're bored naming states. It's even different on a local level; drive 20 miles, and the rules can change. What we see in Northern VA is not the same as what cops in Virginia Beach see.

But, at heart, banging is more than just hanging around with a group of like minded individuals. There is a definable mind set and world view. It's quite comparable to religion, and it's as hard to really change.

So... would I teach a banger? I can't imagine the circumstances where I would knowingly instruct a banger.
 

kidswarrior

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When I lived in Southern Calif. I had a couple of known gang members ask me to teach them.
I taught both of them. Both stayed away from the gangs, but one did get killed in a drive by because of where he lived.


It depends on why they want to learn and if i know them personally.
There have been some who asked that I said NO to
Good point, tshadowchaser. For me, also, it's a very personal, case by case proposition. And the ones who don't do it my way (including showing some humility and humanity) don't last long.

Brother John said:
I'd ONLY be their instructor IF they demonstrate an effort to leave gang life/mentality!! I'd have to be given written permission to visit their PO...and things like that.
Also a good point, Brother, and something I realize I took for granted in earlier posts. I've gotten to know all the guys I teach before we ever started, and have their PO's cards in my file. Never had to call one for one of the Kempo boys, tho.

Brother John said:
BUT I'D DO IT IN A HEART BEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are my brothers! I have a real heart for those boys/young men. That's WHY I do what I do! If me and my Kenpo school could play a role in helping them change their mentality and their life...

MJS said:
But do kids need to join a gang to steal a car, mug someone or shoplift? Values, morals, etc., start at the home. If someone isn't feeling loved, etc., the kid is going to look elsewhere for that 'family' feel, and a gang is where they'll find it. Sure there are other options, but someone has to show them the way.

Both these quotes show heart imho. Teaching MA to a kid with a problematic past is a risk, yes, but a calculated risk, and when you're talking about kids, one that can carry a huge reward.

Drac said:
I wish I could post the page (of a 200 pg book) taken off a POS "gangsta" in Calf my Narc officers..It is a system of hand-to-hand combat that they learn to use against LEO..The drawings all show the cop as fat , overweight and wearing swastikas..While the perps all look like stunt doubles Westley Snipes or Denzel Washington..
Obviously no one on this board ever wants to see any harm come to LE, CO, teachers of adjudicated kids, or the general public. And I personally would never take on a MA student that I doubted would do the right thing/change for the better along the MA path (or if I did later regret it, would turn up the heat--if they're for real, they'll take it; if not, they're gone). There's a big difference in California between adult and juvenile gangs, and gang members. Drac, I'm wondering if the book you're talking about was more for use by adult gangsters, who are basically career criminals? For one thing, the juvenile bangers I've known (and the number is legion :uhyeah:) wouldn't have near the discipline to learn anything that complicated. Just bring this up because I and probably some others are only speaking of juveniles. Adult gangsters I would never touch.
 

kidswarrior

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Then -- consider that, while there is a national and international aspect, gangs remain a highly localized phenomena, as well. The "rules" for West Coast bangers aren't the same as Chicago gangs, which are different from East Coast gangs. Even on the East Coast, we see different things in Maryland and Virginia, and New York, and so till you're bored naming states. It's even different on a local level; drive 20 miles, and the rules can change. What we see in Northern VA is not the same as what cops in Virginia Beach see.

Forgot to include this in my prior post, though I had thought to: jks makes an important point. Even while having this discussion, we may all have a different picture in mind of what it would mean to 'Teach gang members MA', and who exactly we would really be teaching.
 

searcher

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It would be a difficult decision. My biggest concerns is for that of my other students either through there recruitment or through retribution on the gang members while they are at my school.

I ahve been fortunate enough to not have to make this decision. The worst I have to deal with is the occasional goth.
 

Brother John

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Why kids or adults join gangs is a very complicated issue, and there are multiple facets. Some do join for cameraderie and fellowship. Others join for the excitement of the thug lifestyle, while others join for the money they think they'll be able to get as a member, or for protection against other gangs... or even just because.

and it's as hard to really change.
.
There are a MULTITUDE of real reasons why they join!! and it IS extremely complicated!!
...and you're right
REALLY hard to change.

very sad
I've been to FAR too many funerals and court-trials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Brother
John
 

Bigshadow

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care to elaborate further?

Your Brother
John

First I believe the OP was referring to street gangs which are commonly associated with crime and often VIOLENT crime. For obvious reasons, I would not knowingly teach someone who is part of the criminal element. I don't believe what I have to offer should be taught to those who are part of the criminal element, it is also against our guidelines.

I hear about those who's lives were turned around by martial arts, but I am not so sure the martial arts actually turned their lives around or merely provided enough distraction to get them away from crime. Then there are those who are criminals and actually train in martial arts (I don't know any personally but I am sure they are out there). I would rather them get their lives straightened out BEFORE coming to me for training and then I might consider it, based on how I feel about their sincerity and honesty.
 

Drac

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Obviously no one on this board ever wants to see any harm come to LE, CO, teachers of adjudicated kids, or the general public. And I personally would never take on a MA student that I doubted would do the right thing/change for the better along the MA path (or if I did later regret it, would turn up the heat--if they're for real, they'll take it; if not, they're gone). There's a big difference in California between adult and juvenile gangs, and gang members. Drac, I'm wondering if the book you're talking about was more for use by adult gangsters, who are basically career criminals? For one thing, the juvenile bangers I've known (and the number is legion :uhyeah:) wouldn't have near the discipline to learn anything that complicated. Just bring this up because I and probably some others are only speaking of juveniles. Adult gangsters I would never touch.

Unsure about that...I believe the officer that put that info sheet for us together said it was "juvies"..NEVER underestimate these punk kids..To learn a new skill to put a hurting on "po-po" they'll invest the time..I
 

Makalakumu

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Unsure about that...I believe the officer that put that info sheet for us together said it was "juvies"..NEVER underestimate these punk kids..To learn a new skill to put a hurting on "po-po" they'll invest the time..I

When the OP was referring to gangs and kids, he was referring to a time decades ago. Individuals like Mike Pick and the rest that he referred to came from a different time. Now, I think that gangs are different. I get the feeling that they are more violent and more willing then ever to do crime. Also, it seems like the organizations are a lot tighter and far reaching then ever before.

I agree with what Drac is saying, how can you really trust that they are out? How can you really know that you are not being had? Bangers these days lie as much as most people breath. They'll do whatever they feel they need to do to get what they want. And I think the story about the guy who joined the military and then brought the marksmenship training back to his homies is a great illustration of this.

It would take a lot for me to accept an "ex-banger" and even then it would take even longer for them to gain my trust. These guys can be nice to your face one minute and stab you in the back in the next without even a blink.
 

Drac

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When the OP was referring to gangs and kids, he was referring to a time decades ago. Individuals like Mike Pick and the rest that he referred to came from a different time. Now, I think that gangs are different. I get the feeling that they are more violent and more willing then ever to do crime. Also, it seems like the organizations are a lot tighter and far reaching then ever before.

I agree with what Drac is saying, how can you really trust that they are out? How can you really know that you are not being had? Bangers these days lie as much as most people breath. They'll do whatever they feel they need to do to get what they want. And I think the story about the guy who joined the military and then brought the marksmenship training back to his homies is a great illustration of this.

It would take a lot for me to accept an "ex-banger" and even then it would take even longer for them to gain my trust. These guys can be nice to your face one minute and stab you in the back in the next without even a blink.

Well said..They did an interview on HBO with "bangers" already doing time for a serious crime..When they asked one of them what he'll do when he get out his answer was "Whatever it takes to get back on top"..If you get in my way , you get put down...This person was 19..
 
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