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  1. #31
    TEA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    TKD, Relson GJJ, Judo
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by ADAPT View Post
    I am aware that this is an old thread, but I'll add my two cents, seeing as it's 0800 on a Sunday and I'm awake. I have seen my share of bad instructors/McDojos, what-have-you (I posted here a few years ago about a "grandmaster" who ripped a bunch of us off in Arizona in the early '90s). I always research these pages before I attempt to try a new school. My background is in Japanese Jujutsu, but I've studied BJJ and Aikido over the years. I couldn't find a good JJJ school here in the Tampa suburb of Brandon, and I didn't want to study Aikido again. I found a few Hapkido schools nearby and started researching. One instructor (who was Korean) advertised Hapkido but said that he taught Tang Soo Do and that Hapkido was part of the TSD training. It didn't make sense, but when I realized that he was pushing the TSD and trying to woo me away from asking about Hapkido, I left. There were two other HKD schools in the area. One was an ICHF school. I looked up the instructors online and found Pelligrini. The second I saw the amount of DVDs he had for sale and the fact that he was wearing an American Flag for a gi (I'm new to Korean arts, so I forget the name for uniform), I thought "McDojang". I then saw his list of accolades and immediately had flashbacks to "Shinan" John Sharpe, my first martial arts instructor. There were many similarities in their claims (both were members of the now defunct ASLET, and both claimed 9th or 10th Dans in arts that they seemed to create themselves). I'm glad that there are webpages like Bullshido that can be used to "out" bad instructors. I don't know what Pelligrini's true story is, but it seems to have been told on this thread, so I'll accept that he's not the instructor for me. I ended up starting HKD under Master In W. Kim. He seems to be legit and his teaching skills are phenomenal. I thank everyone here for the insight on good vs. evil!
    AFAIK, there is a very good Gracie Jiu Jitsu school in Tampa, just FYI.
    Mushi mo atsui hodo

    Originally Posted by chuey
    ...Well **** if that isn't the most anti-Mr. Miyagi **** I have heard in ages.

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but
    Three rights make a left.

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Combat Hapkido Scam

    John Pellegrini is the epitome of the phony grandmaster. His claims of 9th degree rank are truly the example what is wrong with the martial arts. The following are facts which are indisputable;

    FACT #1:
    Pellegrini claims 9th degree rank and Grandmaster In Sun Seo as his instructor. The truth is that In Sun Seo teaches Kuk Sool Won and not Hapkido. Kuk Sool is a sister style similar but not exactly identical to Hapkido. Pellegrini never trained in Kul Sool. He never enrolled, took classes or physically tested in Kuk Sool and his relationship with In Sun Seo is a business relationship, not a documented training relationship. Pellegrini cannot produce an enrollment form, training history, promotion history or black belt ranking in Kuk Sool. His claim to rank is purchasing paper certification from In Sun Seo in return for providing a business relationship involving seminars and the ICHF members also purchasing certification from In Sun Seo.

    FACT #2:
    Pellegrini has no school. He does not train nor can you train with him. His supposed Federation involves a mail order retail office run by he and his wife. They sell dvd’s, t-shirts, and memberships. There is no school, Pellegrini has not owned a school in decades and when he did, he failed miserably. He can only manage a mail order office, he cannot manage students, a training curriculum or a martial arts school. He survives on retail and mail order sales and also requiring his charter schools to host him for his very basic level Hapkido seminars and political speeches.

    FACT #3:
    Pellegrini has no standards of training or martial arts ethics. Those without formal Hapkido training can purchase an ICHF Charter and promote without testing or proper credentials. ICHF instructors apply for rank when they decide and there is no physical test of skill or knowledge required. Most often rank is decided over the phone. No belt is presented, no official testing or promotion takes place based on skill in Hapkido. It is a paper and monetary transaction only. Below is a clip from a recent newsletter where Pellegrini is offering a “Sale on Rank certificates”. He is offering his members to come to an event and regardless of their time in grade “If they are within one year” they can purchase their next rank certificate. No testing or proper time in grade needed. When you add up an instructor doing this several times over the course of their blank belt ranking, they can be 3, 4 or 5 years over ranked quite easily. So you have Masters that are not true Masters, 4th and 5th Dans that are not true 4th or 5th dans. No testing needed, no belt issued, skip a year on your next promotion.

    “If you are due to advance to 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th Dan but are up to one year short of your time in grade, we will waive the time requirement but only for this special occasion ( you must attend the banquet to qualify).”

    That's directly from his latest newsletter. So in addition to his already extremely low Dan ranking requirements, he's now offering special sale promotions to knock a year off of rank requirements for Dan black belts!

    FACT #4:
    Pellegrini cannot demonstrate his own entire curriculum or even a reasonable percentage of it. He cannot demonstrate a Kuk Sool or Hapkido curriculum. He travels around demonstrating the same dozen or so joint locks and delivers alot of political and quasi-patriotic propaganda. When asked about particular concepts, techniques, or requirements at a particular belt or dan level he can never answer the questions or demonstrate the techniques. He is the ultimate phony. If brought before a panel of grandmasters and asked to demonstrate his physical talents and the depths of his knowledge of Hapkido technique he would be ultimately discovered as the phony he is. His biggest fear is all of this information being found out. He has no answers to the above facts. He simply attacks those who bring these facts to light. He has no other defense for the truth.

  3. #33
    hungryjoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    judo hiatus
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's been nearly twenty years since I practiced HKD, but jointlocks, throws and brake falls, with alive training were the order of the dojang.

    Looking at the Wikipedia article on CHKD, there's a real need for someone to edit the BS.

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