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  1. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/11/2013 2:34pm


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Rock Ape,
    Here is what I've got so far:


    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.
    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.

    On the facebook forum, Myron Burse, a student of Joe Alvarado, states that Joe Alvarado created the Soryu Karate Association patch. This one:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    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.


    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)
    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.

    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:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    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.


    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.
    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:



    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:



    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.
    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.

    Is the Soryu Karate mon/emblem/logo either trademarked or copyrighted in any way ?
    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.

    What is your relationship to Soryu Karate Japan ?
    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 Alvarado ?
    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 nave 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.


    Are you willing to put your real name to any formal write-up which either myself or another contributor might assist you with ?
    Absolutely. Let's do this.


    I also note that Alvarado states he's a Vietnam veteran, do you have any additional information about his services in the US Military ?
    I have no other information on that at the present time.


    Can you also confirm if the Texas Soryu Karate school uses or teaches the Japanese sword in any?
    No, to the extent of my knowledge, I cannot confirm that this is true at all.
    Last edited by MisoCray; 3/11/2013 3:00pm at . Reason: provided more screen shots
  2. Rock Ape is online now
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    Posted On:
    3/16/2013 5:04am

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks again for this information:

    I am more than happy to assist you in constructing a formal write-up on this issue and *if* approved by the site's legal team, the article will remain within the .org section of this website in the encyclopaedia

    - http://www.bullshido.org/Category:Investigations

    Please feel free to read some of the articles within that resource and familiarise yourself with what we'd hope to achieve.

    I have one more request however;

    It would be entirely unfair if we failed to bring this thread to the attention of the people concerned, we must allow them the opportunity of voicing their opinions/statements to back up/refute what has already been presented.

    Please make contact with the people implicated in this thread, ideally via email or through facebook, in doing so, ensure you retain full copies of what you send or present in the public domain. Direct them to this thread.

    From this point on, my name is Dave Humm, I'm a member of the site's investigative team. Please introduce yourself using your real name.

    Thank you
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  3. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2013 3:00am


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    These four individuals have been contacted via facebook and notified of this thread:

    Cristobal Lopez

    Richard Guerra

    Myron Burse

    Mike Hill


    James Caldwell has been notified via e-mail.

    Joe Alvarado, to my knowledge, has no e-mail or facebook as far as I know. However, I will send him a post card and take a photo of it before it goes in the mail.


    I suspect we will hear from some of them soon.
  4. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2013 3:21am


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In other news, I have contacted the honbu in Nagasaki and confirmed with Takamichi Nakamura (in a interpreter assisted phone conversation) that Joe Alvarado has a 4th dan, nothing higher. I also confirmed that Richard Guerra was issued a 7th dan, however, it is not the equivalent of a Japanese 7th dan. It is just a certificate given as a "thank you" for attempting to learn Soryu. It does not signify that he has the knowledge or skill level of a 7th dan. I have asked Mr. Guerra to show his certificate to that the kanji can be decoded and so that we can confirm what it actually says.

    Another person named Edward Huerta was also issued this kind of certificate, but as a 6th dan. Again, it is not the equivalent of an actual Japanese 6th dan.

    Seems a little complicated, but that is what he said. Takamichi also invited me to come to the dojo so that I might experience what original Soryu is like. I will take him up on his offer as soon as possible.

    There is another American, Cesar Johnson, who will visit the honbu in Sasebo next month. That may or may not be relevant.
  5. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2013 10:44pm


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I received a response on facebook from Cristobal Lopez today (3/22/13) at 11:35 a.m. (Japan time) It is as follows:

    "Ms Earsley, I am an open book. Send this Bullshido group to Chris Lopez Soryu Karate Federation. I hide nothing. I stand behind what I teach. My students are my resume. I did indeed promote Jeff Bonugli to 8th Dan. I promoted Jesse Lussier to 7th and will promote him to 8th. I will see to it that Mr Burse is promoted to 8th. Mr Caldwell? If he is supporting your vendetta, he need call you off your witch hunt or publicly disassociate himself from you. I think that you have not the common sense to understand the possible ramifications of what you are doing but I am going to assume that Mr Caldwell will, and you need advise him: Texas Soryu is and has been a separate entity for almost 50 years and will continue as such. We have been exceedingly patient. It is time for you to leave it alone Ms Earsley."

    And here are a couple of screenshots of that:

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]


    I would like to respond to Mr. Lopez here on this forum. I have sent him a reply message on facebook saying that he is welcome to respond here on this thread and that he can read my reply to his most recent facebook message here on this thread. I have also informed hi that any messages he sends to me will be made public on this forum, especially if they contain any perceived threats. So, here is my response:

    Mr. Lopez, I would like to ask you a question or a few. First, what do you mean by this:

    " I think that you have not the common sense to understand the possible ramifications of what you are doing but I am going to assume that Mr Caldwell will..."

    What ramifications are you speaking of, Mr. Lopez? Surely, you are not issuing a threat. Please explain here.

    You call my inquiries and research a "witch hunt" but please let me assure you that it is not what it is. I am simply trying to gain a clearer picture of what has gone on and why you seem to think it justifiable to promote people up to 8th dan using a Japanese system's name, when you, yourself have never received these credentials from the Japanese honbu.

    Do you not think it to be deceptive to pose with these Japanese symbols as a 9th dan, when you do not have approval from them? If I do recall, Mr. Lopez, the last ranking you received from Japanese Soryu was a 2nd dan. So, just because your teacher separated from Japan, you think it is valid to call yourself a 9th dan and issue these self-promotion generated certificates to your students? I am not sure all would agree.

    No need to take things so personally. If you have nothing to hide, just tell the truth, and those who accept it will not change their opinion of you. I do, however, hold an interest in preventing the deception of those who are not advised of the original Japanese Soryu. I also hold an interest in clarifying and making it public knowledge that Texas Soryu is separate from Japan and that the standards there are much different from that of Japan. I also think it only right for the local public in Texas to know that your 9th dan is not one of Japanese Soryu approval, as much as you would like to think it is their equivalent or that it exceeds Japanese standards. It is not from them.

    This is not a vendetta. It is only right to give the public accurate information about what you represent. However, I find your representation of a Japanese style called "Soryu" to be a bit off.

    I look forward to your response.
  6. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/22/2013 1:04am


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just a quick correction to James Caldwell's credentials. I received and e-mail from him this morning saying that I made an error in one of my previous posts, and the most recent rank awarded to him from the All Japan Soryu Karate-do Federation was a 7th dan. So, I am just making that clear now.
  7. MELIKEYU is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/26/2013 3:53pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: SHUDOKAN KARATE

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i am an shudokan black belt--and have trained in Soryu karate style from GUERRA . i have seen and read his japan authorized certificate signed by the soke, koyasu. to nanadan--it is a bona fide certificate. i really respect Guerra sensei, now i have seen his KATA AND TEACHINGS- i see no wrong in his mastery of Soryu karate.. in fact i see that his teachers have been excellent masters. perhaps you are running in circles because you can not undserstand SORYU KARATE. i am from japan, and know the real thing when i see it. this is not cause for bullshido---where are you located --i can meet you?
  8. Rock Ape is online now
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    Posted On:
    3/26/2013 5:42pm

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Mr. Lopez,

    My name is David Humm, I have no vested interest in your affairs beyond establishing the facts relating to your martial arts credentials.

    For transparency, and because I only feel it's fair, I'd like to explain who I am and my martial arts background. I began my martial arts training in the late 1980's whilst in the employment as a Discipline Officer within the British Prison Service, I trained continuously until I was mobilized for a military tour of service (Op Telic - Iraq) in late 2008.

    I'm the holder of a modest middle senior dan grade in a gendai budo (Iwama Aikido), I've completed "Kenshusei" (teacher training) graduating to sandan and appointed fukushidoin (assistant national instructor) within the organisation I was a member of at the time. Due to a number of reasons, I am not currently engaged in any martial arts training. However; my certification and accreditation as both a qualified and experienced instructor is available to you upon request.

    Outside of this website and martial arts in general, I am a manager for a well respected British Risk Management and Operational Security Consultancy.

    With my introductions aside, I'd like to ask you the following questions:

    1. What is your current yudansha grade ?

    2. Who issued your grade to you ?

    3. What rank does the person who graded you, hold ?

    4. Who issued that person's grade to them ?

    What I'm attempting to do with my queries is establish a line of credibility, through lineage , for the black belt grade that you hold.

    Let me be clear for the purposes of future discussion. I AM NOT ATTACKING YOUR CREDIBILITY. I'd merely like to establish facts. Your contribution here would greatly assist me in understanding your position, given that has been presented in this thread thus far.

    With thanks
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  9. MisoCray is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/26/2013 8:52pm


     Style: Kyokushin Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MELIKEYU View Post
    i am an shudokan black belt--and have trained in Soryu karate style from GUERRA . i have seen and read his japan authorized certificate signed by the soke, koyasu. to nanadan--it is a bona fide certificate. i really respect Guerra sensei, now i have seen his KATA AND TEACHINGS- i see no wrong in his mastery of Soryu karate.. in fact i see that his teachers have been excellent masters. perhaps you are running in circles because you can not undserstand SORYU KARATE. i am from japan, and know the real thing when i see it. this is not cause for bullshido---where are you located --i can meet you?
    A Shudo-kan black belt, eh? Who did you get your black belt from? You have seen his certificate, eh? So, you can read kanji? What is the kanji for "brown belt"? Just a little test.

    Sorry, but the honbu has already distinguished Mr. Guerra's certificate as a "thank you" certificate, and not the equivalent of a Japanese nana-dan. If it is a bona-fide certificate, why do you think Mr. Guerra is so hesitant to post a photo of it?

    You really find no flaw in his teachings? So, you think it's OK that a 7th dan cannot remember the full curriculum to the system he claims to have mastery of? Well, I think your standards need re-examining. Ask Mr. Guerra is he knows both Kushanku forms. He could not remember them when he was teaching me. That is not mastery.

    I cannot understand Soryu Karate, eh? OK, please explain it to me using concrete references and not generalized statements of his teachers' greatness, which I am also quite skeptical about. Please tell me what the distinguishing kata are for the Soryu style.

    You are from Japan, huh? You know greatness when you see it? From your statement, I have gathered that you are merely someone who blindly believes what he or she is told and has not done the proper research. What purpose do you have in meeting me?

    You know, it's really funny. Your writing style is very similar to Mr. Guerra's. Are you close with him? I wonder if it might be Mr. Guerra with a fake profile. Just a hunch, I guess.
  10. Rock Ape is online now
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    Posted On:
    3/27/2013 5:19am

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    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MisoCray View Post
    Sorry, but the honbu has already distinguished Mr. Guerra's certificate as a "thank you" certificate, and not the equivalent of a Japanese nana-dan.
    I have to be totally honest and say that I feel the issue of any 'grade' based certificate as a "Thank you" is not only stupid, but opens up a world of misuse.

    Certificates of appreciation can be issued without there needing to be a rank attached or associated with them, and again, being honest, if the Soryu Japan Honbu has issued any certificate with a dan grade written on it, without there being an explicit exception that it is issued just for appreciation or, honorary reasons, they deserve the drama that certification may bring on them.

    I don't give a hoot if about the reason a certificate of appreciation is given, if it states 9th dan on it then the issuing authority MUST recognise the holder as a 9TH DAN regardless; unless of course the caveat is clearly documented on the certificate.

    So, my question is this:

    Are these certificates of appreciation clearly marked in writing or through use of hanko (official organisational approval stamps) that the 9th dan is not a hard earned rank but one of purely appreciation, and therefore does not carry the rank privileges normally associated with such documentation?

    If those documents do indeed state words to that effect then you have a case here, if they do not, then respectfully you need to drop this and accept that Soryu Japan have brought much of this upon themselves in issuing legitimate dan grade certification (regardless of the reason)
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
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