Holy Crap! My old Karate instructor may be part of the mafia!!
About this time last year a new Karate studio opened up in my town. I had previously given up on all forms of Karate out of disgust of the sadness that passes for martial arts around these parts. I looked into the new place out of curiousity, fully expecting to see the same pathetic BS. But instead I walked away impressed and wound up joining the school. After two months I quit because I didn't have the time for karate classes, and we spent seventy percent of our time perfecting our forms instead of learning the karate moves that Mr. Palazzo could do perfectly.
But anyway now I find out that he might be former con artist under the witness protection program, and that he conned his students out of investment money. This is really interesting because he told us all that he had taught Karate in Italy for years, and that he started training in Korea, in Tang Soo Do Soo Bahk Do when he was seven. But according to the link at the top of this thread he was in prison during that time.
So just where did he learn his Karate from then? He had to learn it somewhere because nobody could just fake Karate moves at me and make me think they were legit. The guy knew how do to everything down to the knitty gritty stuff, better than anyone I had seen before. (And I've been in and out of MA classes since I was ten years old.)
I would be shocked to find out something like that. But, I think your surprise that a person with a questionable background (outside of martial arts) can't have legitimate training is a little bit misplaced. A common theme you often hear in martial arts schools is how training will teach discipline and self control, improve grades, make you a pillar of the community, etc....
The unfortunate reality is that people of good character and people of evil character and everyone in between can train to fight. There is no reason legitimate martial artists can't be SOBs.
So during the time he was supposed to be in Korea learning a type of Tang Soo Do, he was in prison? And he was seven? Who'd he whack?
Oyama reportedly spent some of his youth as a Yakuza enforcer. Even if true (or maybe ESPECIALLY if true), I'd still have taken lessons from him...
Hey, at least you know your sensei practiced his techniques on non-compliant opponents. Maybe karate could take back some of the adult market it's losing to bbj, my, etc. if it advertised as the official MA of mafia enforcers.