Here is what I've got so far:
As far as I am aware, there are no statements available on the internet at all from Joe Alvarado. I have some personal experience with him, in which he has only claimed the 4th dan ranking from Japan.
Are there any instances in the public domain which show Alvarado claiming to still be associated with Soryu Karate in Japan ? If so can you capture that information here.
On the facebook forum, Myron Burse, a student of Joe Alvarado, states that Joe Alvarado created the Soryu Karate Association patch. This one:
Here is the screen shot of Mr. Burse's claims that Joe Alvarado created the patch, and a somewhat irrelevant post (although revealing about the general thought that Alvarado was the founder of Soryu, which is totally incorrect) by his daughter:
Joe Alvarado only implies his connection to Japan by allowing his students and their students to use the Soryu emblems. He is a “behind the scenes” figure, really. He does not have a facebook and he does not have a website. His students are responsible for misrepresenting the style, and he has done nothing to stop them. He does, however, have a trophy shop in Austin, TX. I can provide the address and phone number if you like.
To my knowledge, Joe Alvarado does not claim any rank publicly and I have never seen his certificate. Yet, he exercises the authority to promote his students up to 9th dan without Japanese approval.
Has there been any publicity surrounding his promotion (by any means) to the 9th dan he now claims ? If so can you capture that information here. (does he have a certificate on show - for instance)
Chris Lopez, Joe Alvarado’s student, flaunts his 9th dan openly on facebook. You can refer back to the screenshot that I posted of his comments on facebook to confirm that. There is also an article, accessible to the public eye, about one of his local MMA fighters in which he states that he promoted a man named Jeff Bonugli to 8th dan in 2008. In the image, you can also see the Soryu spiral logo. I drew a line around it in red. Here's that screen shot:
Well, that’s strange, isn’t it? How can Chris Lopez promote a student to 8th dan if his teacher, Joe Alvarado, was only a 4th dan in Soryu karate? And how can Chris Lopez be a 9th dan when his teacher, Joe Alvarado, was only a 4th dan? The answer: Alvarado self-promoted and then handed out promotions without the approval of Japan Soryu.
Also, Cristobal Lopez (Chris), has a photo of Joe Alvarado handing him some kind of framed document. On the caption, he writes that it is his promotion to 9th dan. Here is the screenshot of the photo. This page is available to be viewed by the public:
Joe Alvarado is the man wearing glasses on the right and Cristobal Lopez (Chris) is on the left, shaking Mr. Alvarado's hand.
I have seen the certificate that Joe Alvarado gave to Richard Guerra. I do not recall the rank. But, it is not Japan approved and it had many type-o’s. I have never seen any of their Japan-approved certificates, including the one that proves Joe Alvarado is a 4th dan. I suppose people have just been taking their word for it.
I, personally, have never witnessed Joe Alvarado refer to himself using any honorific title. However, many of his students absolutely do. For example, Chris Lopez, (the 9th dan promoted by Joe Alvarado) uses the term “Chief Master Instructor” to describe himself of facebook, and has even named his martial arts organization, “Chris Lopez Soryu Karate Federation.” This organization can be viewed publicly on facebook. Here is the screen shot:
Does he refer to himself as "Soke" or "Shihan" "Osensei" or any other such honorific title since assuming 9th dan ? If so can you capture that here.
Myron Burse, also another student of Joe Alvardo, who awarded Mr. Burse a 7th dan, likes to wear a red karate gi that reads “Master Burse” on the back. Here is a video that contains that:
From what I know, there has been no action taken against Alvarado for the use of their intellectual property. Frankly, I do not think Japan has been made thoroughly aware of Texas “Soryu’s” actions. But, I would love to change that.
What action has Soryu Karate Japan taken against Alvarado for unauthorised use of their intellectual property ? Again some form of evidence here would be very useful.
I am currently unaware of any solid answer on this. However, I do know, from James Caldwell, the Japanese Soryu approved U.S. Head of Soryu Karate, that Emiko Koyasu, Michio Koyasu’s wife is the successor and most likely the trademarks are registered in her name. I can work to find out more about this.
Is the Soryu Karate mon/emblem/logo either trademarked or copyrighted in any way ?
My connection to Soryu Karate Japan is through Mr. James Caldwell, the Japan Soryu approved U.S. Head of Soryu Karate. I have e-mailed him frequently and he has received permission from the Honbu in Sasebo, Nagasaki for me to visit. I am in the process of arranging for an interpreter to accompany on my visit during the summer of this year. I have not made direct contact with the Honbu yet, but I plan to.
What is your relationship to Soryu Karate Japan ?
Joe Alvarado would sometimes come to training sessions when I was practicing “Soryu” karate under Richard Guerra. He was a mentor and helped me with preparation for tournaments. AOK tournaments. I know, I shouldn’t have but I was na´ve back then. I also visited his trophy shop once a week for about 2 months so that I could learn self-defense techniques and pressure points. I also interviewed him about his experience in Japan and his philosophy pertaining to martial arts. I still have the audio.
What is your relationship to Alvarado ?
Absolutely. Let's do this.
Are you willing to put your real name to any formal write-up which either myself or another contributor might assist you with ?
I have no other information on that at the present time.
I also note that Alvarado states he's a Vietnam veteran, do you have any additional information about his services in the US Military ?
No, to the extent of my knowledge, I cannot confirm that this is true at all.
Can you also confirm if the Texas Soryu Karate school uses or teaches the Japanese sword in any?