Saturday, February 26, 2011

Martial Arts Celebrities

Japan -- It appears the 53-year-old current (2010-2013) Japanese Minister of Finance, Yoshihiko Noda, is a keen judo practitioner and a combat sports fan. This tidbit is reported by Reuters.

As we all know by now, the same goes for the powerful Russian Prime Minister (and former president) Putin.

If you want to read more about public figures and celebrities with a background in martial arts, then feel free to jump over to: Martial Arts Celebrities.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Former TKD Champ Fined

Singapore -- Along with his young wife, a 40-year-old former South-East Asia Games winner has been fined for corruption and vice-related offences.

The man was 22 when he won his weight division at the 1993 taekwondo competition, according to

During his sentencing, he admitted to eight charges, according to reports. Three of them were for living on earnings of a prostitute from Uzbekistan, receiving the 21-year-old woman at the airport, and managing a place for her to sell her services at a hotel in 2010.

Karate Instructor Extradited

Florida -- A 56-year-old man - a former karate instructor - has recently been extradited from Kentucky to Florida, according to and

The man is facing a charge of sexual battery on a person under 12 and investigators from the Volusia County Sheriff's office are concerned that there may be more victims.

Officials have investigating the case since October, when a. woman came forward. Investigators said a woman, who is now in her 30s, came forward to report sexual abuse dating back to 1978. She said the man began touching her when she was just 3 years old and allegedly raped her until she was 15. She told officials how she was breaking her silence in order to protect other children.

Officials said they definitely shared the woman's concern about the possibility of other victims out there. Investigators said the suspect have confessed to assaulting the victim.

A friend of the suspect said he ran a martial arts school in Deltona for years, where he worked with hundreds of children. Furthermore, the suspect volunteered with the Boy Scouts. The friend claimed that the man often watched children at his house.

Ex-MMA Fighter Jailed

Canada -- A former Edmonton boxer and MMA fighter, 41, has been jailed for trying to extort money and sexual favours from a girl he caught shoplifting while posing as a security guard.

According to, it is the fourth time the man - described by as a sexual predator - has been convicted of extorting or trying to extort sexual favors from young females he found shoplifting while posing as security at a mall.

In March 2006, the same man was praised by Edmonton police after taking down a machete-wielding individual who charged at a police officer in a crowded mall food court.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Right to Reproduce?

Australia -- IVF (In vitro fertilisation) is an established and widely used treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology haven't worked out.

"Down under", a 32-year-old man and his wife have recently been denied having such a treatment continued, according to

Why? Well, it appears the man - a former school aide - has been released from prison after serving time for having illicit sex with a 'cognitively impaired' teenager. The victim was reportedly a student at a school where the man taught martial arts.

Doubts have been raised whether or not the man comprehends where his moral boundaries are, or what duty he owes a child. The man has been called immature and it is said he is lacking any significant insight into his behavior.

During the trial, a psychologist recommended that specific treatment in the sex offenders program was needed in order for the defendant to develop comprehensive remorse.

Without knowing the details in this case, I have to admit it appears to me that denying IVF treatment seems the right thing to do here.

Instructor admits guilt

California -- On Facebook, he supposedly compared his teen accuser to Judas and himself to Jesus, and also encouraged others to intimidate the accuser. His supporters created a Facebook page for the accused La Mesa karate instructor and were soliciting donations for his defense fund.

The 38-year-old defendant - called a "wonderful man" and a "role model" by his supporters - has now plead guilty to 29 felony charges, including lewd acts committed on a child, according to

More Kung Futball

Technique (kick): 10 out of 10
Hitting ball (focus and precision): 10 out of 10
Speed and direction: 10 out of 10
Positioning (ability to thing strategically): 0 out of 10
...unless a total kung-futball face-plant is your idea of success, progress and bliss :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Facebooked MMA Fighter

Canada -- A 27-year-old man said to have extensive experience as an MMA fighter  was arrested by Victoria police, according to

The man was wanted for a violent assault January 18 in North Park, Victoria against a man he allegedly knew.

A distinctive tribal tattoo on his face made the man easily identifiable and police used a picture from the man's Facebook profile as a wanted poster. "Kind of a dead give-away," according to police.

An alert citizen spotted the man as the passenger in a vehicle and the citizen immediately dialed 911.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kung Fu Instructor Jailed

Texas -- McAllen police said that a kung fu instructor has been arrested and charged with one count of indecency with a child and one count of sexual assault of a child, according to

The man is suspected of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl who began taking martial arts classes with the man since she was 10 years old.

Kids and MMA, Overtraining

California -- Dr. Jeremy Frank, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at a children's hospital in Hollywood is warning about potential overtraining in MMA, according to

The doctor is warning that more kids may get hurt, not only from the techniques being used, but also the increased physical demands and the inherent potential of simply training too much.

The doctor, who is a former wrestler, says he is not against MMA. His aim is to make parents aware of the potential issues and that they make sure their children aren't doing too much, too soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Sue-Jitsu?

More sue-jitsu - or a giant suemo maneuver even? Seems like everyone and their uncle has come up with the kung fu panda idea...

California -- For the second time in under a year - see: this earlier blog post - DreamWorks Animation is being sued over the "Kung Fu Panda" movies; this time by an artist named Jayme Gordon.

Mr Gordon is claiming he created the inspiration behind the animated hit movie. A lawsuit alleges that Dreamworks and distributor Paramount copied the film from Gordon's copyrighted works, collectively titled "Kung Fu Panda Power," according to

Parole Request Halted

Michigan -- A 53-year-old former police officer and children's karate instructor is serving a 20- to 40-year jail sentence, according to

He was found guilty in 1993 of raping his then 12-year-old stepdaughter over a two years period.

A judge has now granted a prosecutor's request to halt and appeal the man's parole. The prosecutor said the man still blames the victim for his actions, something which is causing concern that he could re-offend.

Death Penalty

Florida -- Former karate instructor and junior champion, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, was handed down a pair of death sentences in the murders of Melanie and Byrd Billings, according to

The murders, described as "execution-style" was proven to be done by Gonzales July 9, 2009 inside the couple's home in Beulah.

Gonzalez reportedly led a gang of five men and one teenager to the spacious home early in the morning. The gang were after a "fortune" that Gonzales believed were kept there.

While handing down the sentence, the judge told the court that Gonzales clearly was the ringleader - directing the other participants.

The other defendants, cooperating with the state, testified that Gonzalez was the one who shot and killed the couple in the master bedroom.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Summer Camp Lawsuit

Oregon -- A child nearly drowned during a children's taekwondo summer camp in 2011, and now the girl's mother is suing the Tigard organizers for "negligence" she claims allowed the incident to happen, according to

The incident occurred at a Tigard high school pool August 20, 2010. The woman has named the taekwondo association, the taekwondo school leaders and the Tigard-Tualatin Aquatic District among the responsible defendants.

The mother had reportedly told told a staff member at the school her daughter was a non-swimmer. The mother was allegedly told the activities would include safe options for non-swimmers.

The complaint alleges camp organizers were responsible for the incident after "failing to keep a proper look-out" over the 6-year-old girl while she was in the water. The mother also alleges staff members weren't properly trained to watch over her daughter.

Rape Conviction

California -- Jeremy Jackson, a former, well-known MMA fighter has been sentenced 25 years to life for a raping his ex-girlfriend in 2008, according to

The former UFC fighter was charged with breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home, holding a BB gun to her head, intimidated and then raping her.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Martial Arts Website Fraud

India -- reports about a 40-year-old man from Nainital - a science graduate - who has been arrested for fraud.

The man is suspected of hacking into the website of a Japanese martial arts association, and using it to trick martial arts' tutors across India, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries over the past few years.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Black-Belt Journey

As a regular reader of this blog, you're more than likely aware of my opinion on the practice of handing out black belts to kids. To me this quest for having "the youngest black belt holder in ..." (pick you city, region, country or art), is nothing but plain and utterly ignorance.

Yes the kids are cute, fired up, good and what not at what they do, and of course the parents are totally proud. Myself, I love kids who succeed and thrive in martial arts to death, make no mistake about it. It is just this idea of handing out a black belt to a young kid after a few years of training which really ticks me off royally.

Consequently, when I do get the odd chance to read about a teacher, school or art who does it the proper way; who understands the intrinsic value of a black belt - having a child go through the stages as they are intended to - this gives me a renewed faith in the martial arts.

Enter this article from It's about a young man named Steve Goodiski Jr. Steve began training karate at the age of 5. By working steadily and hard, he is now graded to junior black belt at the age of 12. When he reaches 18 - and if he continues his study - he can test for his shodan black belt (1. degree adult black belt).

Now, compare this to the two or three years to black belt time span that some schools insists on having, basically handing out black belts like it is candy to kids at 5, 6 or 7 years of age. Not good at all, in my book...

That's why I'd like to take the opportunity to applaud Perry Culver Jr. sensei, and the other teachers at Culver Karate Club in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Seems like Shotokan karate-do at it's best.

My sincere congratulations and a big thank you!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Instructor Facing New Charges

Update, May 2011:
The 58-year-old defendant was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Washtenaw County Circuit Judge.


Update, April 2011: reports that the man has been convicted after he entered into a plea deal with prosecutors.


Michigan -- A 58-year-old former taekwondo instructor of Scio Township is facing additional sexual assault and child porn charges, according to

In January, he was initially accused of of assaulting a 12-year-old boy sexually while driving.

When police executed a search warrant at the man's home, they found child pornography, officials said.

Then a second victim, now 19, came forward, accusing the man of sexually assaulting him in 2004. The suspect was teaching at a martial arts school in Ann Arbor at the time, and the alleged victim was a student there, according to police.

Instructor Gunned Down

Florida -- A martial arts instructor was recently gunned down "execution style" in his driveway in Tarpon Spring, according to

When police did a search warrant at the home, they reportedly seized three guns and a large quantity of computer equipment.

In the home's garage, police also found a car that matched the description of a vehicle that allegedly was used in a nonfatal shooting earlier in Palm Harbor, according to officials.

The murder weapon, an AR-15 rifle which belonged to the victim, was found at the scene. When searching the victim's residence, police found two more weapons - an MP-5 submachine gun, as well as another AR-15 rifle.

The truck found in the victim's garage, is allegedly similar to a truck seen nearby the scene where a Palm Harbor man was shot in the face, before the martial arts instructor was killed four hours later.

Earlier this week, the Sheriff's Office said that it was possible the two crimes could be connected.

Blind Won Taekwondo Gold

Croatia -- A man who became blind after a 1998 accident took the top spot at a taekwondo competition in Zagreb, according to

"Yeah, yeah ... big deal, so he won a sparring match", some folks may perhaps be tempted to think. Well, let me assure you it IS a big deal as it appears the 36-year-old Mirsad Becirovic was the only competitor with a disability!

If that is not impressive to you, then I seriously don't know what might be.

Teacher on a Blind Date

In the spirit of Valentines Day, here's a sweet and romantic story titled Love is Blind. It's about a karate teacher and firefighter who found his mate at a blind date several years after a brief encounter at a karate demonstration.

Even though I'm definitely not a romantic guy - at least not in the traditional sense - stories like this still hits a soft spot in me. And in any case, it does say something vital about never giving up - whether that is life, love, business, martial arts, or something completely different :-)

Happy Valentines Day!

Karate Convict

Louisiana -- As part of a plea bargain ending with a seven-year sentence for indecent behavior with a juvenile, a 40-year-old former south Bossier martial arts instructor will have to serve three years in prison - and an additional three to five years on probation.

According to, the man first came into contact with authorities in August, 2009 after investigators contacted him regarding his relationship with one of his karate students, a 15-year-old girl.

Vi previously wrote about this case in this blog post.

Karate Dojo Scam

Florida -- A 45-year-old man has been arrested and charged with organized fraud and grand theft. He is accused of scamming at least close to 70 people who joined his Brandon martial arts school.

The man reportedly ran a karate dojo in a Brandenton strip mall, where a number of people signed contracts for martial arts tuition, according to

Complaints started coming in to the Sheriff's Office early in 2008, shortly after the accused closed down his dojo and moved out of state. Members told officials they were still being billed. Not only that - their outstanding balances were sometimes reported to be a lot (like in thousands of dollars) higher than the prices they had previously agreed to.

Officials recently found the accused in Roseville, California. The man was reportedly running a martial arts school there too, according to officials.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Child Porn Charges

California -- A Lincoln karate instructor who taught the martial art to children in East Nicolaus admitted taping young naked students in a locker room, according to a federal criminal complaint.

The 29-year-old man was arrested by FBI on January 19 - suspected of distributing child pornography, according to

The federal complaint stated that the man confessed to having recorded several videos of students changing clothes with both naked fronts and backs.

Friday, February 04, 2011

We Will Wok You!

Here's the latest trailer for the Kung Fu Panda 2 movie - appears to be good stuff if this short clip is anything to judge by. "We Will Wok You" - excellent "panhandling" :-)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Blind Champ

Colorado -- 59-year-old Army Vet Jim Stevens wanted to give up many times, but his daughters wouldn't let him, according to

And it is a good thing he listened his girls because Mr Stevens is the oldest man to ever win the men's fighting competition at the nation wide martial arts Tournament of Champions.

Oh, and he is also legally blind.

On top of that he's a world-renowned scrimshaw artist - tiny etches in ivory, filled in with pigment to make glorious designs.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Go Should Go

Philippines -- Go Teng Kok, the current president of the PKF (Philippine Karatedo Federation), is being accused of violating the association's charter and with non-performance of his duties, among others.

It is claimed a majority of the  general assembly wants to remove the PKF president, according to

Karate Coach Charged

Update, November 10, 2011: reports that police in Staffordshire had failed to respond to concerns about the karate teacher which had been logged 11 months before a boy revealed he had been sexually abused by the man.


Update, September 9, 2011:
The 52-year-old karate coach has been found guilty of two teenage boys and was given a 10-year prison sentence.


Update, April 2011:
The man is set to appear in court, and he is expected to enter a plea.


UK -- The 51-year old main instructor at a karate club was arrested January 21 and is being accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy, according to

Police said the man runs a martial arts and day center in Longton. It is alleged that the offences were committed between January, 2009 and January, 2011.