Anyone heard of these guys?
Anyone heard of Self Defense Systems (SDS) International? This organization is headed by Prof. Gary Dill of Oklahoma, a JKD practitioner & purveyor of security training. One of his people---Henry Blankenship---teaches a hybrid jujitsu/kenpo course at the local parks and recreation department in my home area. The course, titled Taijitsu is described as being a combination of SDS's "Bushido Jujitsu" and Chinese Kenpo. I am trying to determine, prior to any further contact with this school, if their "Bushido Jujitsu" is "Bullshito Jujitsu". Given the natue of this particular forum, I thought someone might recognize the corporate (SDS) name or the name of Dill or Blankenship.
This information is tajen from his website...
Professor Gary Dill has the rare honor of being one of the few original students who trained in one of Bruce Lee's three JKD schools while Bruce was still alive and heading up the JKD training program. Dill has been teaching Jeet Kune Do for almost 30 years, and is considered by many as one of the nationally known authorities in JKD today. He has written numerous articles concerning JKD for "Black Belt", "Inside Kung Fu" as well as other martial art magazines, has authored a JKD training manual, and produced a comprehensive collection of JKD home study videos.
Cannot argue with the pedigree, although I am sometimes cautious with People who trained under Bruce for extended periods (Inosanto, Wong etc) and those with peripheral association (Jabbar, McQueen et al). At a first glance it seems he is the former rather than the latter. Certainly there is a photo of him with Bruce
Professor Dill trained at Bruce's Oakland JKD branch school under Sifu James Yimm (Jimmy) Lee, which was located in James' garage. In December 1972, just a few days before he died, James gave Dill a two year JKD training outline along with a dozen of the "JKD Student Handbook", so that Dill could pass on his knowledge of JKD to his friends and selected students. Professor Dill started teaching JKD in January 1973, and has trained thousands of students in JKD since that time.
Hmmm...Was he one of Bruce's students or Jimmy Yimm? It is still lineage of sorts though....
In 1986, Dill was appointed to the Board of Directors of the former Jeet Kune Do society, and served on that board with several of the other original students (Inosanto, Wong, Jackson, Linda Lee, etc.). this was the forerunner of what is now the JFJKD Nucleus. In 1991, Professor Dill founded the Jeet Kune Do Association in order to preserve and promote the authentic JKD, and to provide training to those open-minded and sincere students who wish to learn the real JKD.
Pretty illustrious company...he must have level of credibility within the JKD world at least (although peoples views of JKD'd credibility vary greatly)
As well as being a world known authority on JKD, Professor Dill is also a fully certified grandmaster of Bushido Kempo, a pure combat system with techniques from Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Aiki-Jitsu, Gung Fu, and weaponry. He has been inducted into several martial art hall of fames, and is a member of three different grandmaster councils. He has also received official rank recognition from mainland China as an 8th Degree Black Sash in Chinese Wu Shu. The Professor has been active in the martial arts since 1963, and hold black belts in several different combat martial arts.
I am suspicious of a "pure art" that has so many components...particularly from not entirely combative sources such as Aikido. HoF's etc mean little so are only there for teh congnoscenti
On a personal note, Professor Dill has spent many years in law enforcement, having served as a federal intelligence agent, state police criminal investigator, and as a chief of police. He was also a firearms instructor and a senior police defensive tactics instructor. He is a Vietnam veteran, and served in both the US Marine Corps and in the US Navy, and was a special agent with Naval Intelligence (NIS). Professor Dill now delegates all of his time to teaching the combat arts.
Cannot argue with that pedigree - being a cop is about as real as it gets (but then I would say that!).
Overall he seems legit within himself - the bestthing to do would be to check the school out because what Mr Dill is personally and what his system may be are two different things
Hope this helps a bit
Thanks---that helps. Appreciate the extensive background vis-a-vis Dill and his SDS Intl. Given that stellar pedigree, one could logically extrapolate that a senior member of Dill's outfit (Blankenship is chief of one of the SDS corporate divisions) would not be a charlatan.
One would certainly hope so!
Dill DID NOT train EVER directly under Bruce Lee. He was trained by James Lee, one of Bruce's close Friends, but James Lee did not authorized him as an instructor merely a practitioner. This lineage story evolved into the half truth it is today. The story was a bit different back in the very early 90's!
I was there when Dill also spontaneously became a "soke". Many of his titles are honorary and not earned thought physical effort. I am not saying he is not well versed in combat arts. He can be quick and deadly. His techniques in Karate are in my humble opinion solid if somewhat diluted. Other aspects of the SDS/JKD system are highly improvised. He has seen alot in his time; and from what information I have seen over the years was really a cop and armed service personnel. I think the bottom line has become the main focus of Mr. Dill's francise. So tread lightly!
Last edited by Disobizqit; 11/25/2007 12:26pm at .
phil, where is your home area? i know of a kempo instructor around here named blankenship, but i don't know if it's the same guy.
edit: looks like it is. interesting. i don't know anything about him outside of a brief intersection with my karate training, and not enough to provide any real feedback; he was described to me as an extremely laidback instructor.
Last edited by pauli; 11/25/2007 12:52pm at .