Odd claim against Mark Tripp's credentials, his response.
Stay with me, I have a point to make.
It has just come to my attention that the general belief elsewhere is that I bought my rank from Phil Porter. This is simply not true, his name is not on my Rokudan papers, and I still hurt when I think of my week at the Spirit of the Eagle camp when I took that test. I am also deeply humbled when I think of it because, due in large part to the silly comments elsewhere, there was infighting over who would sign my promotion papers. It was settled (I knew none of this at the time), when every black belt member of camp signed it, from highest to lowest. Some pretty great names there, and it is an honor I do not feel worth of, even now.
However, I DO accept a great deal of the blame for what happened with Phil Porter. I will make that case right here and now. When it comes to me and my martial art study, nothing less than 100% TRUTH will do.
When I was getting back into teaching full time, after years on the road as a magician/comedian/Hypnotist, etc (which is why you will see the jackasses making fun of promo pictures they find. It's ok, I bagged a great many show girls at that time.) Anyway I began looking into who to join up with.
I knew nothing about Juko-lie (Juko-kai) other than their ads and claims. I had no idea people would lie about this stuff, and I did join up with juko-kai. Thats a story for another time. However, after about a year, I could no longer be with them. I knew they were full of crap. So I left. My Uncle put our entire program in USJA and that was that... or so I thought.
Juko-kai then sued me. Much of this can be found if you search for then Cunningham vs Juko-kai matter. Rod would make that threat to everyone. Mr. Cunningham forced the issue into court and kicked butt.
As I was gathering material for my court case, I sent all the information to USJA. THERE IS MY FAULT IN WHAT WAS TO COME. Phil, in looking over the materials, clearly came to a different conclusion than the rest of us did. He saw it as a wonderful way to make money. He turned USJA into Juko-kai, giving out ranks in anything for two box tops and a check.
My Uncle and I tried to make him listen to reason and stop. He didn't and I then spoke to Ron at great length, and from there the NGB (USJI) insisted Phil step down or USJA would lose its Class A rating.
Phil did, and then started his own group. But I do feel partly to blame for the mess, as I was the one who sent the juko-lie stuff to him.
However, to assert my ranks are not 100% legitimate and in keeping with requirements is simply not true.