5/08/2003 1:55am, #1
Karate teacher charged with child molestation
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
EVERETT A karate teacher accused of fondling a 15-year-old girl has been charged with third-degree child molestation.
Jerry Ferguson, 42, allegedly fondled the girl and kissed her in April 2001, according to charging papers filed yesterday in Snohomish County Superior Court. The girl is the child of a former friend. Deputy Prosecutor Chris Dickinson said his office spent the past two years exploring plea agreements, but one couldn't be reached. He said Ferguson has been mailed charging papers and probably won't be arrested. Ferguson faces up to a year in prison if convicted.
Ferguson yesterday denied the charge, saying he only gave the teenager a hug. Everett Parks and Recreation contracts with Ferguson to teach the city's karate classes. City spokeswoman Kate Reardon yesterday said the next session of classes will be canceled while the city researches the charge. Ferguson, a former U.S. national champion who won several international medals as part of the U.S. national team, was the subject of a profile in The Times of Snohomish County section April 30.
Edited by - kungfoolss on May 08 2003 01:58:21Kungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Bullshido.com, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
5/08/2003 2:04am, #2
Local News: Wednesday, April 30, 2003
'Jerry's kids' stand apart
By Diane Brooks
Times Snohomish County bureau
To the casual eye, Jerry Ferguson's students look indistinguishable from the scores of other athletes who travel the local, regional and national karate-tournament circuits. But karate judges and other instructors say they know immediately when one of Ferguson's students enters the ring. It's the nuances their respect, their poise and confidence, their crisp, ritual bows that announce that these young athletes study at the Pacific Karate Organization in Everett.
"It's like a textbook. Even the little children, like 7 years old, come out from his school and into a competition, and we can tell from their posture, how they stand, how they walk, how they bow, exactly which dojo (school) they come from," said Kaz Hashimoto, a former Canadian national champion who won gold and silver medals at the 1990 Pan American Karate Championships.
Professional career: attended first international tournament at age 11; won three gold, one silver and three bronze medals at international competitions from 1988 to 1992. At age 29, he was named Athlete of the Year in karate by the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1989. He retired after the 1995 USA Nationals, where he won the gold medal in kumite.
Teaching career: head instructor of an Everett branch of the Washington Karate Association, 1986-96; U.S. national-team coach, 1994-95; board member of USA National Karate-do Federation, 1995; founder of Pacific Karate Organization, 1996; certified tournament judge and referee.
Family: son, Matthew Ferguson, 21, a two-time junior national champion who quit karate at age 14; daughter, Jordi Ferguson, 10, a red belt on the dojo's competition team.
"They are good to watch, those kids," said Hashimoto, 43, who now judges tournaments and occasionally teaches at a Vancouver, B.C., dojo. "We teach our children (those skills), too, but they are not as good as his are."
So what's Ferguson's trick?
Hashimoto laughed. "That's what we want to know, too," he said. Ferguson, 42, was a local hero during his heyday as an international tournament winner. His résumé is golden: a former U.S. national champion, a gold medalist at the Pan American championships and the Mexican Olympic Festival, and a former coach for the U.S. national team. Now he's passing on his love and respect for karate to the 180 students who attend classes at Pacific Karate. Ferguson opened the school in 1996 after 10 years as head instructor of another Everett school, a branch of the Washington Karate Association.
Loyalty is intense among his students and their families, especially those associated with the school's competition team, which includes all ages and ability levels. Tournaments are all-day affairs, often held far from home, but most families stay until the final, senior-level rounds to cheer on the school's black-belt athletes.
Nine of Ferguson's students six from his previous job and three from his own school have qualified for U.S. national teams since 1988. He estimates he's trained and developed about 50 black belts.
"He is a caring instructor who seems to be always working to give his athletes an opportunity to prepare for the national-team trials," said Gene Tibon, Pacific Region head of the USA National Karate-do Federation, the sport's governing body in America. "That in itself is very unique because we don't have a lot of instructors out there who have the abilities to put their athletes on the national team." Ferguson teaches Shito-ryu karate, which is the traditional Japanese form. Practitioners strive to improve themselves inside and out bettering themselves as human beings, keeping harmony in the world around them and developing their self-confidence and self-discipline.
"We're not just teaching kicking and punching. It's character development," Ferguson said. "Karate is a weapon, and it needs to be done with respect. It's not a toy or a plaything." Good sportsmanship and proper etiquette the bowing and formal greetings, saying "please" and "thank you" are as important to Ferguson as proper karate form. He doesn't hesitate to hand out punishments for blatant violations. "I've pulled belts. I've not allowed them to compete," Ferguson said. At a tournament in Stevenson, B.C., in March, he busted a red-belt student back to novice, white-belt standing a three-level drop for stomping away from the competition ring and tossing his fist pads on the floor after losing a fight.
Ferguson was 8 years old when he began studying karate with Julius Thiry, an internationally renowned karate instructor who founded the Washington Karate Association in 1966. He attended his first international event at age 11, traveling with Thiry to Sweden, Italy and France as a member of the national demonstration team at the World Karate Championships. After studying with Thiry for 27 years, Ferguson shocked some quarters of the karate world when he left Thiry's school. The sport is suffused with traditional Japanese values, and some viewed his departure as a betrayal. Ferguson suffered some political repercussions as well: He lost his position as a U.S. national-team coach, as well as his board membership with the national federation, which Thiry heads.
"Within a heartbeat, it was all gone," Ferguson said. "But I've worked my way back up, and I've done it on my own. The only ones I'm obligated to are my students, their families and my family." When asked about Ferguson's career, Thiry said he couldn't remember his former student's successes on the national team. Ferguson was a whiny child, "always crying," he said. Ferguson said Thiry must have been referring to his first, three-nation trip to Europe as a sixth-grader, when he became homesick. The federation offices, based in Seattle and under Thiry's oversight, repeatedly supplied inaccurate information about Ferguson and his students, stating that Ferguson had never won an international medal and that none of his students had attended any international competitions as national-team members.
Ferguson, however, continues to win respect from his peers, such as Bob Thurston, a board member of British Columbia's governing body for karate. Thurston also chairs the Sato Cup, a major Canadian tournament. In February, Ferguson's senior black-belt team won the cup, which now sits in the Everett dojo. "There are a lot of people who are in this game of karate (who) can be very political, but with what Jerry has accomplished in his life, he still remains a very humble individual," Thurston said. "He's only trying to do what's best for everybody, rather than simply for himself."
In karate, all ability levels practice together, so novices can learn from senior students. Black belts traditionally are expected to teach at their dojos, on a volunteer basis, and 16 of Ferguson's black belts help out. Many of the school's new students arrive through Everett Parks and Recreation, which contracts for lessons. They immediately are immersed in the world of karate, practicing side by side with orange, blue, red, purple, green, brown and black belts of all ages. Ferguson gives equal attention to his top black belts and the newest white belts as he conducts his classes, punctuated with Japanese phrases that are quickly learned by even the youngest students. At a recent lesson, he walked through the lines, lifting the angle of a tiny orange belt's punch, adjusting the leg width of a woman in a white belt, chastising a green belt for his lack of enthusiasm, kicking the leg of a black belt whose stance was imperfect.
He returned to the orange belt, 6-year-old Cody Crossfield of Stanwood. "Tight fist and put your thumb on the outside," he said, then paused. "What do you say?" "Ossu!" responded the child, uttering karate's standard expression of respect. "Tight fist," he repeated. "Ossu!"
Northwest Junior Classic
The Pacific Karate Organization's annual karate tournament is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 28 in the Everett High School gymnasium, 24th Street and Wetmore Avenue. Admission for spectators is $3-$5; children under 4 get in free. Proceeds will help offset team travel costs to the USA Nationals in San Jose, Calif., in June. Ferguson is less gentle with his black belts, whom he doesn't hesitate to flip to the floor and thump during class demonstrations. A lot of senseis senior instructors rely more on verbal skills and don't physically involve themselves, said Patty Morgan, a volunteer instructor at the school. Although Ferguson has attained the rank of shihan, or master instructor, he prefers to be called the more modest sensei, Morgan said. She and her three teenagers earned their black belts under Ferguson's tutelage, and several times a week they drive from Bellingham to Everett for classes. Tyson, 18, Erik, 16, and Daniell, 13, together won four medals at this year's USA Open Karate Championships.
"He can show them what he means. He'll mix it up with them, he'll fight them, and that means everything to them," Patty Morgan said. Sean Buckley was 6 when he began training with Ferguson at the Washington Karate Association in late 1985. Six years later, the Everett boy won a silver medal at the Mikulas Cup in Hungary, where he competed as part of the U.S. junior national team. When Ferguson started his own school, Buckley, then 16, was among a large group of prize, advanced students who moved with him. "I can't put enough stress on how important Sensei Ferguson was to me. He really was like a second father," said Buckley, now 22 and living near Santa Barbara, Calif. "He knew just how far to push my physical and emotional training. He knew how to push just past your limits."
He credited Ferguson with instilling character traits that helped him succeed at Gonzaga University and in other areas of his life. "I was really shy. I didn't know how to interact with people," Buckley said. "The biggest thing it gave me was confidence. I feel safe; I feel confident in who I am. And it taught me how to be respectful of other people." Tyson Morgan, who last year qualified for the junior national team, points to Ferguson's record. "He competed for a long time he was a finalist in the World Cup. He's able to coach us to win," Morgan said.
"When he goes to tournaments, people know him. They say, 'Oh, there's one of Jerry's kids,' and they come watch us."
Diane Brooks: 425-745-7802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ferguson's profile in news archiveKungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Bullshido.com, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
5/12/2009 3:35pm, #3
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- May 2009
Not Guilty! The Truth Prevails
Jerry Ferguson did not submit a plea because he knew the truth would prevail. He was not guilty of the charges against him. In the end the charges were a load of bullshitto.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - from The Seattle Times
After hung juries, no new charges planned against karate coach
EVERETT Snohomish County prosecutors say they won't file new charges against an Everett karate coach whose two trials on child-molestation charges ended in hung juries.
Jerry Ferguson, 43, was charged with third-degree child molestation for allegedly fondling and kissing a 15-year-old girl in April 2001. But during two trials the last one ending April 22 jurors returned the same split verdict, eight votes to acquit and four to convict.
"We've given it two shots, and the jury has come back hung both times," Deputy Prosecutor Craig Matheson said.
5/12/2009 3:38pm, #4
Also, are you affiliated with the formerly accused?
Third, you do realize that a hung jury and "no new charges planned" doesn't quite qualify for "TRUTH" status?What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
5/12/2009 4:26pm, #5
A six years old thread? Are you kidding me?
Here is the link:
He was not guilty of the charges against him.
Two trails and a hung/split jury.
16 people thought he was innocent. 8 people thought he was guilty.
A not guilty verdict is unanimous. Go back to school and learn the difference before you resurrect a thread.
What makes this worse is, the guy died in 2006.
Poor job idiot.
4/15/2012 2:23am, #6
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- Apr 2012
Jerry Ferguson did not die, he killed himself after he had violated the restraining order put against him, by his then girlfriend/fiancee, because he was having sexual contact with her 10 year old daughter.
4/21/2012 12:37pm, #7
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- Mar 2012