Posted On:12/21/2009 11:21am
Style: Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Judo
I received an unsolicited email about martial arts books written by Fred Neff.
Mr. Neff has written several books about martial arts although this is the first time that I have seen them.
Fred Neff Awarded Title of Shihan
Fred Neff started his (Fred Neff) training in the Asian fighting arts at the age of eight. In 1974, Fred Neff received a rank of fifth-degree black belt in karate. He (Fred Neff) was also awarded the title of Shihan. Mr. Fred Neff is also proficient in kempo, judo, ju-jitsu (ju-jutsu), and certain other methods of chuan-fa (kung-fu or gung-fu). Fred Neff's study of East Asian culture has taken him to Hong Kong, Japan, the People's Republic of China and Singapore. Fred Neff has spent over fifty years studying martial arts and a large part of his (Fred Neff) life working to help other people in not only achieving martial arts skills, but with their personal concerns, challenges and goals.
He claims that he started at age 8, so using today's date then he would have started in 1959. Was there anyone teaching karate to children in 1959?
He seems to have written his own reviews for his books on Amazon. The reviews talk more about his bio then what the book is about.
Has anyone met Mr. Neff or know anything more about him.
You have to work the look.
Posted On:12/21/2009 12:16pm
If his (Fred Neff) writing style in his (Fred Neff) book is anything like that in his (Fred Neff) reviews, then that's going to be one excruciating read.
Beyond being a crappy author, do you really have any case against him? Granted the 5th degree/shihan does sound dodgy.
Posted On:12/22/2009 12:02am
I do not know anymore about Mr. Neff then what I posted. He has written books on Ju-Jitsu, Kempo, Karate, and Kung Fu. I did not even know he existed till this morning. I find it suspicious that there is not more about him. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything. I suspect that I will not be buying his books.
Ghost of Kawaishi
Posted On:12/22/2009 1:09pm
Style: judo, parenting
I have seen several of Fred Neff's(Fred Neff) books. They seem to be children's level books. I buy almost anything on subjects I'm interested in,didn't buy his books. Is he the mostest awesomest martial artist of the last century? Don't know. Just know I wasn't impressed.
Posted On:12/22/2009 11:26pm
I emailed and asked for a clarification about Mr. Neff's martial arts background.
This was the response "Thank you for your inquiry. You may go to the library and review the books and decide for yourself. Seasons Greetings & best wishes for the new year."
Posted On:12/23/2009 3:16am
I just checked my library. They have copies of Karate is for Me and Running is for Me, both in off site storage. I could order them in after the new year if anyone's really interested.
Posted On:12/23/2009 11:24am
I wouldn't bother. I do not think the books are of much merit. I am sure that you have better things to read.
Posted On:12/23/2009 11:33am
When books sell for 62 cents on Amazon, that sould tell you of their value. All the glowing reviews are done by one person, who only reviews Fred Neff books. Curious, eh?
Posted On:12/23/2009 11:39am
The ad copy is pretty crazy, isn't it? I googled the guy and I found pretty much the same ting on his own websites. It's all just so repetitive and full of unnecessary words. Kind of like a student essay where they're trying to fill out a word count. I wonder if the actual books are like that.
Posted On:12/23/2009 9:30pm
I received a longer email.
In response to your most recent e-mail, I will give you a short synopsis of some of the salient martial arts background of Mr. Neff. As a child, Fred Neff studied fighting arts under his uncle Maj. Barney Neff United States Marine Corps. Major Neff had extensive training in self-defense and boxing before World War II. He had been coached and worked out with the Gibbons brothers in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mike Gibbons is profiled in the book THE 100 GREATEST BOXERS OF ALL TIME by Bert Randolph Sugar. Wikipedia states about Mike Gibbons that he, “is regarded as one of the all-time best welter and middle weight boxers by historians.”
Major Neff also worked with Edwin Haislet who was very active in developing boxing programs including being involved with the creation of the naval aviation physical training manual. While in military service both during and after World War II, Barney Neff continued his training in boxing, wrestling and various forms of martial arts. After leaving active military service, he continued to be involved in the fighting arts including but not limited to teaching self-defense, being a director of the Golden Gloves program, Deputy Commissioner of Boxing for the state of Minnesota and inspector for the Minnesota Athletic Commission. He taught and worked with Fred Neff until shortly before his death in the early 1980’s. Fred Neff also studied with various other teachers. Among the martial arts that Fred Neff studied was judo. He learned from different black belt instructors in the local Minnesota regional area. This included involvement as a student in YMCA Judo classes. In 1971 he was awarded the rank of first degree black belt in Judo. He was a certified active black belt member of the United States Judo Association. Fred Neff also was a student of the late Albert Church Jr. who at a ceremony held at Inver Hills College made clear his recognition of Mr. Neff’s status as a Shihan along with his black belt ranking. Mr. Neff’s rank in martial arts has been recognized by various organizations including the United States Judo Association, United States Karate Association, Nippon Kobudo Rengokai and the Society of Black Belts International.
Black Belt magazine ran an article in April of 1977 entitled ONE WAY TO CHECK ON A BLACK BELT’S CREDENTIALS. The article cites an authority on credentials as W. Scott Russell, who was the president of the Society of Black Belts International. The article in talking about Mr. Scott Russell’s own background stated:
“studied under the Pioneer martial artist in America, Albert Church of the Nippon Kobudo Rengokai. Church is not to well-known publicly, but is considered one of founding fathers of the martial arts in America.”
Mr. Neff received in writing in August of 1974 from the same Society of Black Belts mentioned above that it certified that he was officially recognized as Godan in Karate. One sign of Mr. Neff’s recognized status as a qualified teacher of karate was his selection to be an instructor of karate classes for credit at institutions of higher learning such as the University of Minnesota. He no longer teaches martial arts.
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