Posted On:2/13/2003 6:20pm
Style: Brazillian Kung Fu
I looked a bit into this, and found some stuff linking these guys to the Oom Yung Doe people, who are essentially a martials arts cult, or so I've heard. KC Elbows knows a lot about these guys. In all, a VERY scary group.
If there is a link, stay far, far away.
I found the site with the info I mentioned. This link is to the top of the thread; follow the replies for some very interesting info:
Edited by - gong sau on February 13 2003 18:28:37
"The difference between us, and other martial arts websites you might be looking for, is that we're not going to feed you, well, bullshit about martial arts."
Posted On:2/13/2003 6:47pm
No, there's no known link to Oom Yung Doe, though they appear to have followed a similar early course, but without the weird philosophy thing that tips oom yung doe, in my opinion, into some weird territory. Basically, from what I've read, it sounds like a system where the founder wants very tight control of the schools, and it follows that this also means control of the money, which IS similar to oom yung doe.
However, from my time in chung moo doe/oom yung doe, the least complaint would be how the grandmaster keeps the schools under him by whatever means necessary. More important in THAT school is the teaching of an us vs. them attitude. Essentially, the day I quit, I became them, and here are all the terms they use to describe those who are not part of their system, especially those who were once part, but leave:
Their web site even sums up this system of intolerance on a section called "pa doe vs. Chung doe". Of course, they are chung doe, the good guys.
From what I've seen, I've yet to see a school that creeps me out more. Even if you had taken lessons at that school, there's worse. Trust me on that one.
Posted On:2/14/2003 9:31am
Wow. Jungyae Moosul must be more like Oom Yung Doe than you thought KC. Before I left them, I had heard several people talking about the school that split and how no one was supposed to talk to them. They were painted as traitors you could say. People quoted the master as calling the instructor selfish and greedy. Funny thing though, the master drove a mercedes and from what I could tell the other instructors drove buckets.
What other cult like activities should people look for?
Im sure I saw plenty and just didnt realize it.
Posted On:2/14/2003 11:20am
The grandmaster in mercedes and instructors in buckets was apparently common in the moo(oom yung doe/chung moo quan) as well.
However, the us vs. them thing preceded schools breaking away in the moo by almost twenty years. In fact, until two years ago, there were no breakaway schools, because control was so tight, and because everyone was so eager to learn from grandmaster, even though the vast majority had never seen more than pictures of him. I was in until first degree black belt, and never met the grandmaster. However, having learned a lot since then, I can't say I missed much.
These types of mcdojos have a lot of angles, in the moo, it was lineage. They said all martial arts came from them, but really they hardly had any of any of the arts except tang soo doe. Also, mcdojos like this never seem to spar. It is my understanding that at the start, the moo did a little sparring, light stuff, but after that initial time, once they started opening school after school, the sparring was not part of the training, probably because insurance would have taken from the grandmaster's cut.
There's actually a site where a group of us have been putting together a timeline of exactly what happened in the moo from early on, a who's who of members, a dictionairy of their cult-speak, and so forth. I'll probably post it here as an article sometime.
It's crazy. The grandmaster actually didn't come up with the business model for the schools, as far as it appears. It was actually a guy by the name of Forrest Troutner, he was Kim's first black belt, and Kim authorized him to open schools in IL while the grandmaster tried to open schools in CA. Well, the grandmaster got nowhere, whereas Troutner formed a veritable empire of schools in Chicago, all run by instructors completely taken with fanatical enthusiasm for the Grandmaster, as Troutner must have pumped him up so much. This group ruled the schools with somewhat of an iron fist. Troutner is said to have had a breakdown, and the Grandmaster ousted him. Not that long after, the news reports about the schools and their cultishness hit. The general consensus among former instructors is that the reports would not have happened under Troutner, because people would have been 'taken care of', though a whole new set of problems would have come from that. In any case, informants within the moo went to the authorities and they were nabbed for conspiracy to commit tax evasion.
Here's how the scam went. Every day, each school would total their lesson payments, which were always in cash. On an envelope, they would write a dollar amount equal to one tenth of the actual amount, so ten dollars would be written $1. Then, the envelopes of cash from all the schools in a region would be brought together, and then delivered(I believe by hand) to the grandmaster, even if he was in another state. The grandmaster would supposedly give back the cash that the schools needed to subsist, but I'm sure you can picture how that worked.
It was the only place where a school with 150 regular students paying $150 and more a month could struggle to make it.
One school owner was accused of skimming cash before it went to Kim. As the story goes, his retort was "So, report me."
Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Posted On:2/14/2003 12:03pm
Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu
I am leery of any school that has this weird code of honor base on adherence to the teachers's principles. That's the beginning of creep. KC, I am really interested to hear your whole story. I think there's something weird about the Koreans that....I don't know. But it rings true, and everybody knows I lived there and speak the language blah blah. But I think it's the combination of weird Christianity and "little brother-ism" that causes these kooks to spring up. From Ch'ei Jae-u to Sun Myong Mun, and then John C. Kim et. al.
**The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**
Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
Posted On:2/14/2003 12:27pm
I've spoken with a number of people that agree on the fact that there is this segment of Korean immigrants to the US that behave...uniquely.
Frankly, my story of the moo is not the most exciting one. I bought it lock stock and barrel, and found I loved martial arts. The era I started in is generally agreed to be the time the moo had the most rigorous training, though it was still a disjointed and poorly thought out fighting system with no sparring. My main instructor was an absolute fanatic on both martial arts and John Kim. However, when the reports hit, business started to go bad. Then, one night during lessons, IRS agents with stakeout shotguns burst into the schools, had everyone on the floor, face down, and took the school records. Then, the grandmaster had my teacher moved to another area, and the school quickly became lackluster in training. By the time I tested for first degree, my belief in what I was doing was so far gone that I never bothered to pick up the belt or go back to the school.
The easy thing about their us vs. them system is that, by the time you're in for a long time, if you leave, you DO act screwy, because you were acting screwy before, but now you're in a position where you're acting screwy alone, so it sticks out. A lot of people who leave contact one or the other of our group, and I've really been shocked by the way these people sound. It takes a long time for them to clear their head of what they've been taught.
Frankly, I've come to think of the moo as a ticking time bomb. It's only a matter of time before a paranoid pschizophrenic or some other person who has similar difficulties joins, and is tipped into some dangerous territory. I suspect that might be one possible explanation for Forrest Troutner's story, though I have precious little info on him at this point.
Those in communication with me who were once in close contact with Kim have some really weird stories, weirder than the mainstream Kim talk. About him being sent to earth to do what Christ did, but get it right(because christ was too easy on people). Or that he could cure cancer(though one instructor ended up dying of cancer, and Kim said he didn't heal him because the instructor didn't earn it, and healing him would be 'taking advantage'). The environment was so engineered to be manipulative that kim once told an instructor who was chubby not to wear red, but didn't explain that it was to hide the weight. For a time, people in the schools were told not to wear red.
Fortunately for me, I was a damn weird guy before I joined, so I was able to return to my natural weirdness in lieau of their imposed weirdness. I'll tell you though: it seems like the people that seemed most normal going in came out the most bizarre.
Posted On:2/14/2003 1:07pm
Style: JKD, BJJ
I've gotta say, this is fascinating. I thought the JKD politics were bad ...
(board breaks with a kick)
"Is that it? I feel like I should bow, or have honor or something."
-- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Once More, With Feeling"
Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
Posted On:2/14/2003 1:28pm
I'll put up our timeline as soon as I get it editted and get all the typos out. I'll also put up the mootionary, a dictionary containing the bulk of their cult speak. Oh, and the listing we have of moo rituals, that should go over big.
Right now, I'm in contact with a great number of former school owners, and the picture always comes out the same of what exactly happened, so I'm fairly confident in much of our info.
Another interesting bit. There was a piece of land in Illinois owned by the schools(Kim didn't seem to directly own ANYTHING, for tax reasons, of course). This land was known in the schools as The Farm. When fear grew that they were going to get caught, the inner circle would be called to go to the farm and meet with the man in charge.
Anyway, after Forrest Troutner's madness, and after he was demoted and all power taken away from him, he was moved to the farm and, as has been described to me by four separate sources, all high ranking former members, was allegedly kept there as punishment and as a servant to his master, and was purportedly 'beaten like a dog', until, broken and undoubtedly beginning to wake up from the long nightmare, he left the system that he himself built up.
All as a direct result of walking into a martial arts school as a boy. Which is why a number of us are collecting these stories. John Kim has a history of oom yung doe on his website and in his schools. We have a more accurate history, with the real innovators of the style, and he, the so called grandmaster, is the least interesting of them all.
As of now, the former instructors are a loose coalition called the rogue schools by kim's org. They appear to study under different legitimate martial artists and travel back and forth to trade martial arts with each other and make up for lost time. Most have gradually dropped the mooisms that once colored their thinking, but it is harder for some than others. A number spent five years in a federal penitentiary for taking part in Kim's scam and trying to cover for their master in court. One of those was my teacher. He was a bloody bastard, but man did he love martial arts.
Posted On:2/14/2003 2:46pm
These Korean masters sure seem to have a similar way of doing things wherever you go. I'm so pissed of at this Won Kuk Kim of Jungyae Moosul. What is the best way to really find out what he is about and let the most people know?
I love the martial arts and it really pisses me off to run into these greedy assholes who turn them into a sceme to make money. They cast a dirty shadow on all of the martial arts.
How can we flush these asholes out and expose them for what they are?
Posted On:2/14/2003 3:02pm
Well, I'll tell you how it works. The only way I know takes a long time. Basically, we get our best info from former instructors. In the moo, it takes a LONG time for an instructor to get to the point where he or she realizes the level to which he or she has been duped, so, until recently, there was only a very small number willing to talk. Some are also loathe to talk because of potential blackmail for things they did under instruction from the leaders. They usually will only provide info very indirectly.
Once you've got the instructors, you've got the inside info. You'll also find that there are 'generations' of instructors, once you find someone from one generation of instructors, word of mouth brings more to the cause.
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