Investigation: Dr. Jerry Beasley
Dr. Jerry Beasley fact or fiction?
Original letter provided by Paula Inosanto
Commentary by Michael A. Krivka
NOTE: Following are excerpts from a letter written by Paula Inosanto to Curtis F. Wong, Publisher of Inside Kung Fu and Inside Karate. The letter is well over 5 pages long and deals with articles, commentary and letters concerning Guro Dan, Jun Fan Gung Fu and JKD Concepts. I (Mike Krivka) have condensed the letter, to highlight some important passages, and have made notations to clarify information or to identify certain individuals...
Dan has been involved in the martial arts for over 40 years, the last 20 have been devoted largely to carrying on the arts of Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do Concepts, as mandated by his Sifu Bruce Lee. As I am sure you will agree Dan's skill, reputation and credentials in the martial arts are above reproach.
[In reference to a recent article in Inside Kung Fu ...] I have included an excerpt from Si Gung [Grandfather or your teachers instructor...] Lee's notes, "The Martial Way", from his original "Tao of Jeet Kune Do". Please note that the excerpt on Pentjak Silat is in Si Gung Lee's own handwriting. This passage on Pentjak Silat clearly shows that he did in fact investigate the art, as he did every art that he came across. To quote someone such as Fran Joseph [A student of Jerry Poteet ...] on what Si Gung Lee would, or would not have investigated or studied is completely irresponsible.
Perhaps I should explain how the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute was run. Dan taught 90% of all the classes, with the remaining 10% of the classes being taught by Si Gung Lee himself. At the time the institute was founded in 1967, Dan had already been Si Gung Lee's constant training partner, student and close friend for three years. In addition he was already a certified instructor in Si Gung Lee's three arts: The Tao of Chinese Martial Arts, Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do. When the school opened Dan invited his Kenpo students (Jerry Poteet, Pete Jacobs, Daniel Lee, Steve Golden, Larry Hartsell, etc ...) to train under him at the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute.
[In reference to Jerry Poteet's training with Si Gung Lee ...] ... Jerry Poteet's actual training time during the Chinatown era was less than ten months, and his attendance was not consistent during that time. In fact, the vast majority of Jerry's training in the arts took place after Si Gung Lee's death, when Dan accelerated Jerry's training schedule to help him "catch up".
After the death of Si Gung Lee, several of Dan's students were promoted to the status of "Instructor". It was Dan, not Si Gung Lee, who promoted Jerry Poteet, Daniel Lee, Ted Wong, Richard Bustillo, Larry Hartsell, Steve Golden, etc to "Instructor" rank.
[In reference to the many JKD "experts" being published in Inside Kung Fu and Inside Karate ...]
As for Dr. Jerry Beasley [A professor at Radford University in Virginia ...], he is neither qualified nor certified, and has apparently proclaimed himself an authority on a subject which he knows close to nothing. Dr. Beasley is not a trained practitioner in the arts of Si Gung Lee. To the best of our knowledge, he attended less than a handful of seminars, during which time he would merely observe and take notes. He is an "armchair" Jun Fan / JKD fraud. He misrepresents the facts and misleads the public. It is a shame the press lends space to promoting this type of individual. [Not to mention the fact that he is currently teaching a class in Kali at Radford University ... another art which he is not qualified or certified to teach.]
Gary Dill [A student of the late James Lee, who was not certified by Sifu James Lee to teach Jun Fan Gung Fu or JKD ...] is yet another example of someone trying to "cash-in" on the late Si Gung Lee's name, and who, like the others, is without the proper credentials or qualifications
Lamar Davis [An extremely prolific student of Gary Dills ...] is another unqualified and uncertified individual who like Dr. Beasley, is merely capitalizing on the name of Si Gung Lee.
Contrary to what is often stated in articles appearing in your magazines Dan teaches the Original Jeet Kune Do. He is truly the only individual that knows the roots, techniques, principles and concepts of the arts developed and taught by Si Gung Lee. Dan however, will always recognize Taky Kimura as his senior and fellow instructor, along with the late James Lee.
Dan continues to train a core group of lineage instructor in the arts of Si Gung Lee, not only here in Los Angeles, but in various locations around the world. Dan has done what Si Gung Lee desired of him: to continue exploring the concepts and ideas of the martial arts as developed and taught by Si Gung Lee. What Dan has not done is sold out. He has not commercialized, mass-marketed, prostituted or capitalized on Si Gung Lee, the man or the martial artist. Dan has never charged the instructors under him in Jun Fan or JKD for private lessons and he has never charged anyone to join an association or society. Dan has never "sold" instructorships.
Dan has kept the art, philosophy, teachings and techniques of Si Gung Lee alive, true to form (and integrity), as well as protected and preserved for the future. There is no one alive today, with the exception of Si Bak Taky Kimura, who can stand in judgment of the job that Dan has done.
And the response of Jerry Beasley to Michael Krivka.
Backlash - Part 3
by Michael A. Krivka
NOTE: Following is the final response to the publication of Paula Inosanto's letter in the November '93 newsletter. This month we we'll examine Dr. Jerry Beasley's heated response to her comments as well as his personal attack against me. Next month, in the final installment of "Backlash", I'll summarize the current situation and future actions to curb these "cowboys". Dr. Jerry Beasley
Dr. Jerry Beasley (Dr. B) is the author of 2(+) books and more than 40(+) articles on Jeet Kune Do and is "a recognized authority" on the subject.
In numerous articles Dr. B states that he trained in JKD and Kali with Guro Dan Inosanto over a five year period (1983-1988). According to Dan and Paula Inosanto, they did see Dr. B in attendance at several seminars and camps. But they are both quick to point out that Dr. B was there taking notes and that they never once saw him train. [Sitting on the sidelines of a seminar and taking notes is not what most consider a valid method of "experiencing" a training method or system.]
Where does Dr. B get the vast amounts of information that he writes about concerning JKD? Well, as of January 1993 he was given authorization to teach "JKD Fighting Principles and Strategies" by Joe Lewis, a student of Bruce Lee's and world class kick boxer in the 70's. This certification was given with the following stipulation: "Remember, as I maintain my respect for Bruce Lee, you must maintain respect for his art as he left it." [Looks like he has already broken that promise ...]
In response to my questions concerning his training, background and use/abuse of the term JKD, Dr. B has responded with several letters. Threatening physical violence [using words unbecoming a college professor] and legal action [nice try], he has demanded that I publicly apologize for the commentary made in this newsletter.
Consider the following as an "apology": Having been unable to distinguish yourself through other means, you "drop" the names of people who have dedicated their lives to the development and propagation of the martial arts. I find your abuse of the curiosity and relative ignorance of the general martial arts community [in regards to Bruce Lee's art] to be reprehensible and self-serving.
Regarding Mr. Lewis I have always, and will continue to have, the greatest respect for his ability as a martial artist and fighter. I can only hope that his name will not be tarnished by his association with you.
I am looking forward to that "personal JKD lesson" that you are so anxious to give me ...