4/16/2007 12:37pm, #1
John Pelligrini and Combat Hapkido
I did a search and while I found a few references to Pelligrini in various Hapkido threads, no real answers as to who he is and what the story is with his International Combat Hapkido Federation and the Chun Do Kwan. So, whats the story with this guy?
Asia, what about his claims regarding being a founder of the "Military Combatives Association"?
4/16/2007 12:44pm, #2
I've heard mixed stuff about him. I think, but could be wrong, that most combat hkd schools actually do some semblance of aliveness n their training. However, he is also definitely into McDojo practices. He's a high up member of the World Head of International Sokeship Council.
4/16/2007 1:35pm, #3
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I think they offer distance training ..
I know they have some over the top advertising ...
* shrugs *
I bet some schools are good ... some ...
like maybe four .
I mean hell the basic Hapkido syllabus is awesome for a basic well rounded martial artist . But you have to train it hard and most places just will not risk training hard enough for a student to "get it" . Hapkido took A LOT of theory and technique from other arts .That is all well and good but the TRAINING METHODS must go with for it to be usefull .
If you want to throw like a judoka , punch like a boxer , and kick like champ .... you have to train very closely to the ways they train . Except with Hapkido you should be doing it all together then with limited ground work .
McDojangs just don't have enough time slots , the proper background , or desire to properly teach the skills needed to have " teh real hapkido " .
But what the **** do I know I was a quitter as a green belt under a different banner who suffered from the exact same problems .
4/16/2007 1:42pm, #4
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Just to clarify when I said four schools .. I mean with Hapkido in general . Not specificly Combat Hapkido . I just pulled the number "four" almost randomly ... but based on other peoples collaborating stories about good training .
I don't have the list handy .. it could have been five or even six schools ... but they were spread out from Canada . The UK , a Couple on the West Coast , and I think Chi-town/great lakes area .
4/16/2007 2:17pm, #5Originally Posted by TEA
4/17/2007 8:14am, #6
Here are what a few knowledgable members of the Dojang Digest have had to say.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am often very quiet about the goings on DD but there are times when
silence is not an option. Master Tomlinson, I appreciate your chronology of Mr. Pelligrini's history but there are a few facts that was left out. Before I say
anything let me make perfectly clear that I have no issue with Mr Pelligrini.
he is where is because "the system" permitted it. I will add to what Master
Tomlinson wrote because it's history and if it will help someone to make an
informed decision, I am all for it. What I have to add is based on my own
personal experience with him.
Mr. Pelligrini was also a member of the World Oriental Martial Arts
Federation (WOMAF) and the Korean Hapkido Federation (KHF) both led by GMs Sang Kook Kim and James Garrison or Portland, Oregon. He became a member of WOMAF and KHF circa 1990 then a 1st dan issued by GM Michael Wollmershauser who led the AHA. In 1992, Mr. tested for his 2nd dan at a seminar led by GM Garrison at seminar in Las Vegas. I, then a 5th dan, was a member of the exam board. Mr. Pellegrini was issued a provisional 2nd dan because is performance at the exam was not satisfactory. He was extended this privilege based on GM Arthur Gitlin and my recommendation. GM Garrison was against this idea but he went along with it.
Shortly after that weekend GM Gitlin received a letter from Mr. Pellegrini resigning his membership on the ground that standards set by GM Garrison was too high and therefore unattainable. That's I know personally.
Ian A. Cyrus, Headmaster
In a message dated 4/16/2007 4:15:27 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
I feel what Dakin is saying and I agree..work out with who you want, spend
your money on what you want...BUT please don't get defensive and mad when guys on here tell you the truth who were there and not gossiping but
informing people of the "actual history" it's a service to people to hear
this information and not a bashing on anyone....I'm getting too old for all
..I don't think Pelligrini got his BB in 1988 but I could be mistaken...the
only way I know about all of this is because I was personally there on the
mat when it all happened...Orange City...Chester Holubecki's Dojo...it was
where MY instructor taught HKD at that time...we worked out there 3 times a
week religiously and a lot of times on Saturday too, every class was 2 and a
half hours or more...once a year Mike Wollmershauser came down to do a three to five day AHA seminar...Chester was from Springfield Mass, Mike W. was from Springfield Mass, and my instructor Steve Mortel who was one of Hal Whalen's first black belts, had moved to my area of Florida from
Boston....lot's of Mass. guys who knew each other....that's why we were at
an Isshin Ryu Karate Dojo doing "real" HKD..plus Chester had some really
good mats which were hard to find in the early 90's and late 80's...anywho
Pelligrini owned a tkd school in Sunrise Florida and ONLY came up for the
seminar..no one in our area knew him at all....I saw him recieve his 1st dan
from Mike W..Pelligrini didn't do HKD then,..and knew nothing about HKD
before that seminar.
..by 1992 I was testing for my 1st dan with Hal Whalen
and we were in the WHF under Kwang Sik Myung...Pelligrini was NOW in the WHF so I was aware of his entire HKD history in the very early stages....ask
yourself this??? Pelligrini recieved his 1st and 2nd dan in the AHA...and
they were basically honorary...then he jumped to the WHF when Mike W.
wouldn't promote him anymore, where did I hear this? From Mike W.
personally...no worries..doesn't concern me and I have nothing but good
things to say about Mike W., he treated me great and showed me some awesome HKD..plus he was good friends with Hal Whalen and Steve Mortel...by 1993 or so Pelligrini was now a 4th or 5th dan in HKD under Myung....did I agree with this???
No, was it my business, no....so whatever..BUT...he was in the
AHA and the WHF and that is the ONLY place he trained in HKD before he
started his own thing....ok...fast tracked with two honorary HKD black belts
in the AHA and skipped to 4th and 5th in the WHF,,, ALL WITHIN ABOUT 6
YEARS!!! I'm not saying anything about anyone on here...it is just the
facts.....just one question more and I'll stop..... Why doesn't Pelligrini
state these facts on his website???? I read all the info on his link with
all his accolades and accomplishments and history...why would he not put his
training on there with the AHA and the WHF....it doesn't make sense to me
that you would leave off the two organizations where you recieved your
actual HKD training???? Why is that??? Just some facts and questions....again...I don't care who or where anyone trains with....it's
all up to you..if you love training with him that is great and I am happy
for you..but putting advertisements on here about a seminar with marketing
stuff that some of us old timers no better will get these kind of facts
stated everytime...it's not bashing...it's our duty as old time HKD people
to let EVERYONE know...you make your own choices and decisions...but at
least you know the truth...
In regards to the hottest mustache in Hapkido (easy ladies...try to
I still have an issue of TKDTimes from around 1987 or so. They did a
big cover story on P-Diddy with him bitching and complaining about how
TKD schools didn't teach realistic self-defense (shocking...I know).
This was back in the days when everyone was still plugged into the
Matrix and the general thought pattern was that jump spinning kicks and
endless drilling of one-steps was the high road to utter badassedness.
Anyhither, he was basically a high ranking TKD instructor and there was
no mention of Hapkido training at all in the article. It's interesting
in that the article foreshadows his movement away from TKD and into
Hapkido which I guess he thought was more self-defense oriented (and is,
Too bad he didn't just train like everybody else. Hell, after 20 years
he'd be a legitimate master if he trained properly and under the right
guidance. IMHO, buying rank is stupid unless you're going to die
He should probably call what he does "Pelligrini Hoshinsul" since the
only thing that everyone in the Hapkido community can seem to agree upon
is the fact that Pelligrini doesn't teach/know/do Hapkido. That would
be my first clue right there, folks. You talk about herdin'
Looking at his website, I see that he also claims instructor status in
JKD, Aikido, and Combat Sambo. Uh huh...right.
If my comments seem disrespectful, please keep in mind it was not my
intention (to be respectful).
Craig "The Truth Hurts Like a Punch to the Grill" Stovall
Does anyone know what his Kukkiwon rank was before he broke with the WTF and formed his own Independent Taekwondo Association, under which he claims a 9th dan?
Last edited by TEA; 4/17/2007 8:23am at .
4/17/2007 8:28am, #7
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"Combat HapKiDo" as opposed to other (Korean) versions is John Pelligrini's creation which has less techniques but a stronger core. A smaller but more practical syllabus.
That is according to an aqquaitance of mine who did one of his seminars in the early nineties.
4/17/2007 11:12am, #8Originally Posted by Sushi-Boy
Here is a what another highly respected HKD instructor (Hal Whalen) had to say on the DD.
As I read the posts from both Master Dakin Burdik and Master Mike Tomlinson ,I would first like to thank them for their compliments and kind Words.
As far as john Pelligirini goes ,A couple of things had been overlooked John
was once involved with Master Garrison out of Oregon ,Before he became involved with Master Myung and The WHFand was asked to leave.
There are reasons Master Myung Has never come out publicly I will go into a
little detail ,I was first a member of the WHF and the first Non-Korean to
receive 5TH Dan from them in 1987,This is before Pelligrini was even a member or in Hapkido he was still TKD
I first Met John in Jan or Feb of 1991 at a seminar held in Ca. at the World
Hapkido Federations Dojang ,It was a two day instructors course along with
annual Banquet. john moved Best when a Camera came out It made most of the People at the seminar laugh
I was there with several of My Black Belt students john was partnered up with Donald Hahn ,I remember Him complaining about his wrist and the fact he would only use one side doing Techniques ,And when we kicked someone said I thought He did Tae Kwon Do but his kicks "SUCKED"
After about ten minutes Donald Switched partners so we were paired up ,Don's reaction was Now we Do Hapkido he was upset That even before he applied the Technique or pressure John would tap out ,or he would have too guided to the Floor because He did not Seem to know how fall .Don and I did " Balls To walls " Hapkido the way it was meant to be every time Master Myung Had people switch he would look over at us . and "Say Not you Two"
That evening was the Instructors Banquet held at a local restaurant the guest
Speaker was Hwang,Duk Kyu the President of The KHA at that time . While dinner was going on John mentioned He was upset about the possibility we would be forced to do forms that Myung made up . He asked me Since you are the Senior American would you please approach Master Myung ,Which I did the Following day.
The next Day I approached Master Myung and Mentioned some of the Instructors asked if We could not do the Forms , And he said those that wish not to do the Forms please step over to the Wall ,John did not move he stood there to give the impression it was all me ,This was his lame attempt to either Knock me down or discredit me , He could not do it on the Mat.
That was the Beginning of my lost of respect for him.Master Myung held a
seminar in New York in or around 1992 at a Dojang owned by someone John had promoted to first or second Dan . Two of My Black Belts were there I could not make it My wife was Pregnant and Due .. Not one of the Students there could fall And My Black Belts stepped up to assisit Master Myung in teaching A seminar on how to fall ,They were disappointed since little or No hapkido would be taught ,It was around this time He was either asked to leave or suggested ,If I had any respect for him it was lost ,
4/17/2007 11:52am, #9
Well let me lay my experiance down minus the history lesson. I was asked by my SAMBO president at the time to attend one of these seminars to be certified in Combat Hapkido. I said I would watch but I would not participate. When I went to attend I was asked to pay I told them I only came to watch. They told me that in order to be ranked I had to pay, I shruged my shoulder and told them I could care less about the ranking and went to Denny's (a friend of mine stayed). Afterwards, when I went to go pick up my friend he told me that it would've been a waste of my time. I believe this was 96 or 97. I have nothing against Pellegrin I just think it's a money making scheme. Essentially a base curriculum, if you can follow it and show some proficiency you get ranked. *shrug.
4/18/2007 1:29pm, #10
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Anyone offering you rank and the qualifications to teach an art after attending a few seminars is just bad. Its a money making scheme.
I remember reading about him in BB magazine awhile back and thats the only thing I could take from it.