Late to the party, BUT stay far away form NY Seibukan. The only reason Fink got appointed Menkyo is because he gets Shitami Boozed up and Laid whenever he comes to NY. Fink's credentials are very Questionable regarding his Years of Study, and whom he supposedly studied under. And the TRUTH, or rather LACK OF is stretched beyond comprehension. Those who are aware of the TRUTH regarding fink's training, are curiously No Longer at the Dojo. After all, fink can't have others there who can disprove the lies that fink spews. And those who can disprove fink's falsehoods, are those whose rank is Verifable. The NY Seibukan is a Farce, although their Self Defense is very good.
That may sound like a contradiction, BUT when you look for a good Dojo to practice in, 2 Main aspects that you look for >>
1) Respectable, Ethical people to learn form
2) Good, Usable self defense
The NY Seibukan is lacking in #1.
They are some of the most unethical people you will come across. The Leader of the pack, Fink, is one of the most unethical. The rest of the Senior Black Belts are, for the most part, his concubines, who do whatever Fink says, no matter how unethical his request is.
Once you get to be a Black Belt, Fink, as well as other Senior Black Belts, will ask you to do things of a personal nature, such as house work, yard work, etc. for no pay, because it is the martial Arts way.
Of the Yudansha (Black Belt list,) of which there are approx. 12, ONLY 5 Senior Black Belts are active. The rest either Quit, or moved away, or like Williams, started a faction in Washington.
One of Fink's standard lines of why there are so few students who have been promoted to Black Belts is the following >>
'We concentrate on Quality, Not Quantity." On the surface, that sounds good, BUT the reality is that once students see the BS that is going on in this Dojo, they Usually leave, and once they leave, they are removed from the Yudansha List, if they were Black Belts,AS IF THEY NEVER EXISTED. Recently, within a 1 year period, 10 Black Belts left the Dojo because they were tired of the Unethical ways of Fink and the other Senior Black Belts, and the way they were treated. 10 BLACK BELTS.....Now that is a lot of Senior Students. Between the 10 Black Belts that left of their own free will, there were a total of over 100 Years of experience between them. Now that is a lot of years. The funny part is that when many of us first began working out there, Fink used to talk about other black Belts that used to work out there and now were gone because of 'Their' indiscretions, and he would talk very badly of these Former black Belts. Little did WE know, that years later, we would be the one spoken about in the same Derogatory Way...........
I just wanted to give a Heads Up to others who were thinking of joining this Dojo, and to those who are members now, keep a Heads Up.
Btw, Fink and some of the other Black Belts always speak how they are, or were FDNY or NYPD, as if they are beyond approach. While some of the members are affiliated with the FDNY or NYPD at the present time, or are retired, don't be fooled they are beyond reproach. At the present time, Fink is retired FDNY, and another Black Belt is present NYPD, but that title means Squat in the Martial Arts World, especially when that power is abused.
And when Williams defends the Seibukan the way he does, thatg is at the Command of Fink, his leader. Willaims has done some despicable things at the request of Fink, and he is retired NYPD. Btw, Williams is at the Washington Faction now.
Black Belts leave the NY Seibukan at a high rate. They can't ALL be wrong. 10 in one year is a lot by anyones standards. Remember that a Black Belt has put many years into their training, and do not taking leaving a Dojo lightly. But it gets to a point where, if you are an ethical person, you can't just take anymore, and make the decision to leave. There are others that see the Unethical ways of the Dojo, BUT stay because of RANK. To these people, RANK is all important and will do Anything to attain the Next Highest Rank. They give up their ethics, and cater to Finks every whim, just to get promoted. If they are Black Belt, they want 2nd degree black Belt, etc.
There were some of these there, but even a few of those left after a year or two, when even these members couldn't take it anymore. This happened during the period of time when 10 Black Belts in total left during a 2 year period. 6 left at once, and the other 4 took another year, and even 2 to leave. They wanted that additional rank, and figured they would listen to their leader, Fink, no matter what he did, in order to get that rank. But those who left a year or 2 later, gave up whatever ethics they had, by ultimately staying at the Dojo that abused and used them. At that point, these members showed their true colors.
In total, these 10 members names were eventually removed from the Yudansha, and were Bad Mouthed to Existing, and to Future members. And so The Seibukan ritual continues..........................
Stay away from this dojo, and if you join, let me know how you feel after 5 or so years of being there.
And if you happen to speak to any members that are presently there, seeking their opinion, they will NEVER talk badly about the Dojo, because they are either Brainwashed, or are afraid word will get to fink, and they will be demoted.
Nothing, and I mean Nothing gets done or said, without permission of Fink. This is a Dojo, and in the scheme of life, means little. But fink has his own Little World, and his own set of rules that he orders everyone to follow, that has Nothing to do with the Martial Arts, and has Everything to do with Demanding Respect from others, and those who don't obey, suffer, what to fink, are consequences.
Remember, You EARN Respect, NOT Demand Respect.............Whether it is a Dojo, or Life in General...............
Dennis H Fink
For me he was my former Company Commander CSC 1st BN / 107th IN.
His Dojo is for real and he also knows what he is doing.
He is formerly 18 Series with 13 SF group , retired NYC Fire Marshall.
I was his Company Trainning NCO . He is as real as it gets .
I actually joined this forum a few months ago, for some reason when I attempted to sign in the system couldn’t find my profile. Well anyway I just registered again.
Since there are conflicting views and/or opinions as to the New York Seibukan, I thought I would do some research, speak with people and try to solve this caper. Sorry for the late post, it took a while to get responses from several people and organizations.
I think the post by Samari1, which is obviously biased, and sounds like sour grapes, as opposed to a legitimate critique on the dojo. In the interest of fairness I believe the readers are entitled to know about the mudslingers, their character and their ethics.
Samari1, who doesn't have the fortitude to identify himself or herself is apparently Joseph (Joe) DeLuca and his misguided group, some of which and most likely contributed to this post are Brett Diamond, Joe Lopez and Joe DeLuca's son, little Joe.
They sling a lot of mud, however they miss the target, as they don't provide any specifics concerning the alleged unethical behavior that they purport.
Specifically, what did Fink do that is/was unethical? What did ALL the members (children and adults) of the New York Seibukan do that warrants them being labeled unethical? A very broad accusation.
Samari1 purports that TEN black belts left the dojo within ONE year, or is it TWO years, as the inconsistent rhetoric states BOTH time frames. However, Samari1 fails to list names. My research discovered that this is not true.
Even if it was true, in all dojos people come and go for various reasons, i.e., change in job or family situation, relocate to long distances from the dojo, etc. or just simply move on to another chapter in their life. The fact is that not everyone that makes black belt continues to train or teach for their entire life. That's just the way it is. How many people leave the dojo is not relevant, the reasons that they leave might be, however.
Specifically, what has Williams done, as Samari1 states that he “has done some despicable things at the request of Fink.” Wow, what could he have done that was “despicable?”
Now a little about the honest, ethical Joe DeLuca. Since there have been personal assertions concerning Fink's character, an examination of his accusers character is not only fair game but relevant to determine their credibility. A little background into DeLuca's character may be in order. After some research the following has been revealed.
According to the “official” records of Sosuishi-ryu Jujitsu in both, the USA and Japan Joe DeLuca is graded as shomokuroku (first degree black belt). He now purports that he is a rokumokuroku (sixth degree black belt) and has since issued his “own” certificates promoting some of his “students” including his son, little Joe and others to higher grades than he himself possesses. Since he cannot receive legitimate certificates from Japan, he has “printed” his own certificates issuing them to unknowing students, who believe that he has the authority to do so, which he DOES NOT. Would this be considered ethical?
Prior to him going to the printer and having his own certificates produced he promoted students to black belt in jujitsu and acquired certificates in karate from an Okinawan sensei that trusted him and believed him to be honest. One such promotion was to his son, little Joe who Fink refused to promote because he didn't meet the standards in legitimate sosuishi-ryu jujitsu. And DeLuca has the gall to talk about ethics.
It was discovered that this by the way was the REAL reason that DeLuca and his misguided clique left the dojo, that Fink would not “unethically” promote his son, little Joe DeLuca.
Now a little about Joe DeLuca's personal background to quantify his “ethics.”
Sources indicated to me that Joe DeLuca worked most of his life in the recycle business; also know as the “junk” business, as a “junkie.” His father had a shop on the Bowery, New York’s “skid row” where they would “take advantage” of homeless alcoholics sending them out to go through trash and collect paper, metal, etc. They would “pay” these mentally ill people with small change, just enough to buy a pint of cheap wine, so they could reap a larger profit.
When Joe DeLuca was of age to be drafted and serve his country he received a deferment because he had a daughter. Ironically, he has been arrested several times for failure to pay child support, so much for the need for him to be at home for his daughter. He never served his country in uniform when millions of Americans did, more than 58,000 died in Vietnam at the time that DeLuca “hid” behind a little girl.
On their Nakami Dojo MySpace page they indicate that Joe DeLuca began training in 1963, which from what I can tell is probably true. However, they fail to mention that he dropped out and DID NOT TRAIN for TWENTY-YEARS. Several sources tell me that DeLuca and Fink had a dojo together around 1972. Fink went to Japan and Okinawa (it was not part of Japan at the time) to train. DeLuca was to take care of the dojo while Fink was gone, instead he depleted the bank account, not paying the rent and other bills and disappeared, causing the dojo to close. Fink then taught for over 15 years at a local YMCA for free. DeLuca went into hiding and Fink didn't see him again until many years later. His excuse was that there was a warrant for his arrest for non-payment of child support and he needed the money to go away for a while. Would DeLuca's conduct be construed as ethical?
Fink being either a fool or a kind-hearted person (take your pick) forgave DeLuca and in late 1991 took him into his dojo (New York Seibukan) as a student, where DeLuca had to relearn everything after his 20-year absence from the martial arts. Would the failure of mentioning his TWENTY-YEAR absence and misleading people that he was training continuously since 1963 be considered ethical?
Furthermore, on their dojo MySpace page DeLuca and company stretch the truth and make some outlandish claims. He purports that he was promoted by Kichiro Shimabuku (who does not know who he is) in 1993, two years later the United States Judo Association promoted him (who in the USJA promoted him, he must have a name), in 1988 he was promoted by Angi Uezu, and in 2000 he was promoted by Manzo Shitama. The TRUTH is that Joe DeLuca trained at Fink's dojo, the New York Seibukan from 1991 to 2001. ALL promotions that DeLuca received during that time came from FINK not anyone else. He may have received certificates from an organization after Fink requested that he be certified. However, that doesn't mean that the organization per say “promoted” him, they just issued the certificate. That's how it is done, period. Would this stretch of the truth be considered ethical?
Brett Diamond who is learning the art of stretching the truth from Joe DeLuca states on the same MySpace page that he went to Japan twice to study. What he fails to mention is that Fink took a group of students (which he has done several times), including DeLuca to Japan to train at Manzo Shitama's dojo, the Sekiryukan. They were welcomed as FINK's students, as he is on the board of directors of the Sekiryukan. Diamond purports that he was “teaching” as a brown belt in 1995, which is hilarious. Everyone that trains in legitimate martial arts knows that sometimes kyu students or mudansha (below black belt) “assist” the sensei with “new” students in the class. Apparently, Diamond can use some classes in ethics.
Joe Lopez on the same MySpace page states that he began studying jujitsu in 1992; guess where? That's right the New York Seibukan. He did not take his training serious and dropped out a short time later, only to join DeLuca's gang years later, when he didn't have to pay dojo tuition. Sources tell me that Lopez has long pockets and short arms. In other words he is cheap. DeLuca was interested in gathering a following to get back at Fink for not (unethically) promoting his son, little Joe and Lopez was looking for a freebie. It was a good deal for Lopez, as DeLuca rapidly promoted him so he could open a dojo that DeLuca would oversee. Lopez indicates on the page that he was a Golden Glove boxer, which is an annual amateur event sponsored by the New York Daily News, as if this adds to his lacking martial arts experience/credentials. The only requirement to be a “Golden Glove boxer” is to show up, boxing skills are not required or necessary. With the exception of the semifinals and finals many of the fights are comical. A little stretch of his credentials, don’t you think? Interestingly, their dojo is about a 10-minute drive from the New York Seibukan. Could this biased anonymous post under the guise of being a legitimate review be a ploy to steer potential students to their dojo? Would the aforementioned be considered an ethics problem?
Ironically, the ethical Joe DeLuca became upset when his daily lobbying efforts to promote his son, little Joe, who did not meet the requirements and did not take his training seriously, fell on deaf ears. Sources tell me that Fink indicated to Joe DeLuca that he would work with his son privately to help him meet the requirements, but refused to promote him unless he met the standards. Sounds like Fink had some ethics here, don't you think? DeLuca and his clique then left the dojo and little Joe was promoted by his father to black belt and obtained a certificate from a karate association even though he only studied jujitsu. Ethical, eh? Diamond was also upset, as he and little Joe were good friends. In fact, little Joe was the best man at his wedding.
A little more on DeLuca and Diamond's poor character. After leaving the New York Seibukan they would telephone on a weekly basis an elderly student of Fink's that was training since the 1960's. He was happy to receive phone calls, as he had no family and lived alone. DeLuca and Diamond would “take advantage” of him and try to pry information about what was happening with Fink and the dojo. When this gentleman passed away at the age of 79, although Diamond was told of his passing, neither DeLuca nor Diamond had the courtesy or decency to attend his wake or funeral. I guess they figured they were done “using” him, as they could not get any more information from him. Nice guys, eh. Ethical?
A number of years after Joe DeLuca's departure from the dojo, his wife, (a lovely woman I'm told) was sick with cancer. Fink and the dojo sent her flowers. Joe DeLuca answered the door and when the deliveryman told him who sent the flowers he told him to take them back, that they didn't want them. The deliveryman called Fink and informed him. Fink then called his daughter who is friends with Joe DeLuca's daughter. Fink's daughter then called Joe DeLuca's wife who apologized and said to send the flowers back. Joe DeLuca was at the door again and was very angry this time telling the deliveryman, not very politely, to go away. What kind of man would deny his cancer stricken wife flowers that may have cheered her up?
Oh, and Samari1's repeated references to Fink's students as his concubines is a bit ironic. According to a few sources, DeLuca finds it arousing that one of his “boy's” in his clique enjoys inserting a sex toy in his anus. One only wonders what he has done to be promoted by the “ethical” DeLuca.
Compare the above to Fink's background as a respected martial artist in Japan (from several sources in the USA and Japan), retired supervisory police officer and firefighter. A retired military officer who served in both the USMC and the US Army as a Green Beret and infantry officer, who began his career as a private, advancing to Staff Sgt before being commissioned to lieutenant. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and served his country for over 32 years. Unlike DeLuca, Fink seen action in Vietnam. You tell me who is what.
There is a Japanese proverb, “tall trees catch much wind.” It certainly appears that Fink is the victim of a malicious character assassination by individuals who make anonymous unfounded allegations. Maybe if the undisciplined, unethical DeLuca served his country in uniform and/or served in a disciplined quasi-military organization such as the police or fire department, or had a disciplined, ethical upbringing he might understand something about ethics, character and discipline and not take his ball and go home in a childish manner. He and his cohorts need to GROW UP and move on!
It seams that Samari1 has a credibility problem.
Originally Posted by Shinjitsudake
Do me a favor, go take a few rhetoric courses at your local university. That way, you can learn how to effectively write an essay that reaches your target audience. The second you show hostility and bias, early in your writing, you cause severe disinterest and invite ridicule of your essay.
Originally Posted by Shinjitsudake
I highlighted where I lost interest and stopped reading. You know why? It is highly hypocritical and set you up as biased. Kind of ironic considering how you are critiquing S1 for the same things in his post.
I saw this thread pop up and the name of the NY Seibukan and Dennis Fink were sticking in my head for some reason...
Then I figured it out! My dad and Dennis were NYFD Fire Marshalls together (My dad retired a supervising FM years ago). I knew Fink when I was a younger. I even recall talking some martial arts back in the day with him. I may even have his old business card somewhere.
In any event, I read the thread out of curiosity. I don't have a dog in this fight. Neither side has offered any evidence for their cases. But, I wanted to chime in and note that the NYFD connection is absolutely true.
As an aside, anyone interested in the topic of the NYFD Fire Marshalls should pick up the book "Heat: The Fire Investigators and Their War on Arson and Murder" by Peter A Micheels.
Anyone who knows Dennis, please say hi from Stephen Koepfer
This should be added here as a point to consider.
I believe that a lot of Mr. Fink's behavior or any personal problems experienced in the spectrum of this discussion can be related to the situation briefly outlined in the hyperlink's memorandum, coupled with serious depression and a possible struggle with alcoholism. There is a full docket of records and transcripts of court records available online regarding this.