Thursday, September 29, 2011

Closing Martial Arts Schools

When martial arts businesses are closing down with little or no warning, it puts a bad name on the martial arts community as a whole and students and parents alike are left in the dust.

What is even worse is that some of these closed schools is down to criminal activities of the operators, or quarrels and disagreements among instructors and owners - often times "political" issues over power, control or money.

The following two cases are recent examples:

South Dakota -- A Sioux Falls martial arts school abruptly closed its doors Monday morning. Now, the owner of the school and parents of students taking lessons are accusing each other of wrongdoing.

Each side says the other took money and failed to live up to various obligations. And it's the kids who are being caught in the middle of a very different kind of fight.

The first word many parents of those students received about this dispute was notice during the school day that the vehicle that normally picks up their children to take them to classes wouldn't be showing up.

The Elite Martial Arts Academy was officially formed on August 1. Back in April, when it was called the Sioux Falls Martial Arts Academy, owner Tom Werner asked for $35 membership fees for students to join USA Taekwondo.

That membership allows kids to travel to national competitions. But according to former instructors, as well as some parents, those applications haven't been processed more than five months later.


South Carolina -- When a Boiling Springs mom went to drop off her children at a popular martial arts business last Thursday she found a sign on the door that said "no more classes."

The woman (...) says she paid $1,132 to All-American Martial Arts Center in Boiling Springs on August 31. The money was paid as a six-month advance, but she says her children received only two and a half weeks of classes before the place closed.

The woman says another mother at the facility told her, "The owner's been arrested, and they're closing, and I said wait a minute. I just paid for six months! ... I paid in full.

Spartanburg County deputies did arrest (the owner) on August 16 and charged him with 2nd degree burglary, petite larceny and obtaining goods under false pretenses. Deputies say (the owner) stole jewelry from the home of one of his clients and later pawned it.


What's your take on situations like this? Any experiences about martial arts businesses closing down you care to share with the rest of us? Feel free to comment below!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cage Fight and Children? and other ill informed British newspapers have been all over a "shocking" revelation of children doing "cage fighting" recently.

All though there are some things that were not good decisions about the two young lads fighting, one really has to wonder if the sensation seeking press has totally lost their collective marble...

Yes, the fight was held inside a one of the cages used for cage fighting, and yes it was during an MMA event. But had the half-wits of the press done any basic research they would have discovered that A. this was not an MMA fight, and B. not a "cage fight".

In fact it was nothing worse than a regular wrestling, grappling, judo or BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) match - something children all over the world are doing with great success day in and day out.

Yes, the setting and arrangement around this "cage match" should definitely not been handled the way it turned out. But one should also hope that the nitwit press representatives and the sensation seekers (some of which probably want children to wear a helmet indoors to avoid being hurt - poor things...) could refrain from talking about things of which they have absolutely no frigging clue what so ever.

Am I a great fan of young children fighting? Nope. How about MMA? I do find some parts of that questionable as well. Still I do find passages like the ones below (from said newspaper) very offensive and totally laughable really:

"The spectacle of grown men punching the life out of each other in public was stomach-churning enough. But the behaviour of the crowd as two young schoolboys were led into the cage set up in the centre of the dingy room, was sickening to the extreme."

"As the boys began to pummel each other into submission, the baying chants of the 450 adults could be heard in the streets beyond."

For your information - this was a grappling match - no punches or kicks to be seen anywhere...

"Footage of that awful fight, which had all the aggressive hallmarks of a backstreet brawl, provoked a wave of outrage this week when it surfaced on the internet."

"(...)But the British Medical Association (BMA), the NSPCC and the charity Safechild have all reacted with fury, branding the spectacle 'disturbing and sick'. They are calling for a police and social services investigation. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also condemned the 'sport' as 'barbaric'."

Let's hear it - what's your take on these ill-informed representatives and sensation seekers of the press? Are there any hopes of educating reporters about what martial arts is about, and finally - what's your take on MMA fights and children fighting in particular?

Feel free to comment below.

Karate Business Fraud Scheme

In the following story from, you can read more about a local karate business owner who, according to prosecutors, is leading the largest false tax claims case ever prosecuted in the state.

The 46-year-old suspect, reportedly maintained an office and karate studio in Blue Springs.


Missouri -- U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips announced Thursday through her office that 16 defendants - five from the Kansas City area - were charged in the tax fraud scheme, which spanned from July 1, 2008 to September 21, 2011.

Phillips called Kansas City the center of the operation, one that reached as far east as Georgia and as far west as California.

"Kansas City was the hub of a nationwide conspiracy that attempted to receive nearly $100 million in fraudulent tax refunds," Phillips said in a press release.


So, let's hear it from you - what's your take on this tax return fraud scheme? Any thoughts on karate business owners in general or this person in particular?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Not What it Appeared to Be

Update, October 16: reports that local police has found several holes in the woman's claims and that they consider it a case of "fatal attraction".

Police said the allegations of the British-born woman were just "figments of her imagination," and that documentary evidence and medical tests had debunked her claims.


Update, September 27: reports that The mayor of Iloilo City demands an apology from the woman in the story below who claimed she had been held captive and made a sex slave in the Philippines.

The mayor reportedly said the British born woman had tarnished the image of the city and Ilonggos through her "baseless" allegations.


The following story is sad and disgusting indeed, something which again shows the importance of doing proper background checks.

Philippines -- had a story about a 39-year-old woman from New Zealand who said she was lured with a Facebook invitation to join a martial arts school in the Philippines - only to be robbed and forced into prostitution upon her arrival.

The martial arts enthusiast reportedly replied positively to an invitation to participate in an intense training camp in October.

"They were meant to be world class and I thought this was a chance for me to learn from the best," the woman said.

Feel free to comment on this story below. What is your take on invitations to training camps and the potential dangers? Is this an indication that we all too often take things at face value within the martial arts?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ninja Warrior, at 87

Australia -- "I've always said to myself I'm not going to feel old until my hair goes grey," says 87-year-old Doreen Lanning from Penrith.

The frisky senior took up ninjitsu 16 months ago and she's is now training to become a ninja warrior, in spite of her age and two hip replacements, according to

Charged With Indecent Assault

Pennsylvania -- A 13-year-old martial arts student was allegedly assaulted indecently by her karate instructor for over a year, according to state police and court documents.

The 52-year-old man has now been charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors, according to The man had a karate school in Lower Macungie Township.

Police started an investigation in May after the teenager told friends about the alleged assaults. These friends in return told her parents.

Assault on Taekwondo Team

India -- Thirty-seven Jharkhand taekwondo students were on board the Moori Express when they tried to stop a large group of students - alleged to be hundreds - from harassing their female team members.

In the melee - where reports that 11 girls were harassed by the large crowd - eight individuals, including six of the taekwondo students, received serious injuries.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Confuse-Us Speaks #25

Canada -- There are a couple of good points to this 'Buyer Beware' post; like doing your homework and conducting at least some basic background information check-ups before signing up for martial arts training.

But the rest... my, oh my what a dribble! Where do people find all this nonsense which they then present as "the truth" about the various arts. OK, I'll admit it, I'm at least partially inclined to agree about the ninjitsu claims here.

Still, I'm not sure if I want to laugh or cry regarding the so called explanations about ju jitsu, judo and ninjitsu. Dear, of dear what a mess...

"Translated from Japanese ju jitsu is called 'the gentler way' while judo is called 'the gentle way.'" Master Confuse-Us is clapping his hands in amazement and approval! Just brilliant :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

He Denies Sex Charges

Update, September 28:
The shamed karate instructor from Birmingham was found guilty as charged and has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.


UK -- A 48-year-old Birmingham karate instructor is in court, charged with having a sexual relationship with a student when she was 13 and 14 years of age (between February 2008 and May 2009).

The prosecutor said the victim, who has since died, told a nurse about the affair when she feared she might be pregnant, according to

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Too Young to Teach

India -- When an argument between two groups of youngsters in west Delhi turned violent, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death.

Two young men, among them an 18-year-old individual said to be a karate teacher, was arrested following the murder.

Apart from the obvious tragedy, there is another thing that stands out.

I don't know about you but I do find it very strange that an 18-year-old can be a karate teacher. I mean, come on... it's a teenager for crying out loud!

Sex Offender Protected?

Australia -- A Jewish community in Melbourne and some of it's prominent senior members, have been accused by police investigators of covering up sex offences alleged to have been committed by a man who worked at one of the schools run by the order.

A 43-year-old security guard at the college in East St Kilda, was arrested and charged with 29 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency relating to former students, according to

The alleged offences is said to have occurred between 1984 and 1991. The alleged victims were between the ages of 7 and 17 at the time of the incidents, and it is alleged to have occurred through the suspects connections with the school. These connections reportedly included private karate lessons and a teaching group.