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Sicilian Dragon
9/14/2002 10:19pm,
I submit this site for comments:

http://www.okf1956.org/index.cfm?page=membership

Do most of you agree that this is McDojo ? (I assume that most do)

What would you think of an Aikido instructor who lists this organizaiton as part of his resume ? And yes, I know Aikido is not an Okinawan art.

Michael
9/15/2002 1:34am,
I don't know why this would be considered a Mcdojo, couldn't find anything to suggest it. Would you mind pointing out some facts or things you might think would make this a Mcdojo?

Gezere
9/15/2002 3:08am,
I didn't see anything that made this a McDojo. Why do you think so?

>What would you think of an Aikido instructor who lists this organizaiton as part of his resume ? And yes, I know Aikido is not an Okinawan art.


So I would say the guy crosstrained. Nothing wrong with that.

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!! THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE UNITED AUSSIE FRONT!!

matzahbal
9/15/2002 9:49am,
This guy is not quite McDojo, but so close. He expects you to pay a fee for "unity". Basicly you pay a fee get fancy certificates and get your rank "internationaly recognize" (mmmm...somebody is surfing butt) and a crappy ass news letter while he runs off giggling giggling to all the holding companies he has.

I remember I brought up this webpage when I was putting togethe resources for traditional styles in Las Vegas. I quickly lost interest in the project when this was the second page I brought up.

"But some apes gotta go, so we kill the ones we don't know" - 'Aple shall never kill Ape' by The Vandals

Sicilian Dragon
9/15/2002 10:27am,
Thanks for the responses.

For those who asked, it looks like McDojo to me because from their "membership applications", on-line store, etc. it appears that you can buy rank, title (Shihan etc), teaching certificates and membership without necessarily having to demonstrate a lot skill - I could be wrong. As for the Aikido instructor, he was not indicating that he had cross-trained, but rather that he was certified in the "Aikido Division" of the OKF.

To me it would appear they may just be selling credentials. However their history section looks half-way legit (I don't really know enough about Okinawan martial history to evaluate it). Even within the history section, however, there seem to be plenty of "reorganizations" which might lead someone to question whether the current organization would bear any resemblance at all to anything they were in the past.

I brought this here becuase I saw it posted on another forum where someone was considering joining an Aikido school where the instructor belongs to this organization. Many responded that this organization looks a bit sketchy so I thought I would bring it up here.

Miguksaram
9/15/2002 8:56pm,
I see him as someone trying to make a buck with the certs, but his creditintials seem to legit. So I would have to pass on saying he is a McDojo. OKF has been around and I have heard of it before.

Jeremy M. Talbott
http://www.homestead.com/koreanma/index.html
http://www.geocities.com/jns1994/MSA.html

Sicilian Dragon
9/16/2002 1:07am,
Jeremy,

If his credentials are legit & I buy this nice Shihan cert for $200, would that mean I would then have legit credentials as a Shihan ? Or are you saying that in your experience this organization would not issue me a Shihan certificate without closely examining my credentials ? If that is what you are saying, then I agree with you - they are not a McDojo.

However, if it is as easy to get these certificates as it would appear, then they are just a McDojo with good credentials. I'll take a black belt, a teaching cert, a Shihan title and an order of fries - hold the kyu rank please.

https://ssl9.crystaltech.com/atwhost/okf1956/store/prodpage.cfm?Cat=1&subc=1&Product_Selected=2

It may be that no out there has experience with the OKF, in which case I guess we can't really come to any real conclusion - just personal opinions. I was just hoping someone might have some first hand knowledge about the org. and/or the man who runs it.

Miguksaram
9/16/2002 9:11am,
I agree if you can do a mail order certification with out have credientials, then he is a swindler. However I was thinking, or at least hoping, that he checks your credentials before selling the cert. Selling the certs are just his way of making an extra buck. There is one way to find out. Ask him what he needs to sell the cert.

Jeremy M. Talbott
http://www.homestead.com/koreanma/index.html
http://www.geocities.com/jns1994/MSA.html

Michael
9/16/2002 12:11pm,
I'd have to agree with Jeremy on that one.

Sicilian Dragon
9/16/2002 9:43pm,
Jeremy & Michael,

Thanks for the perspective. I may have jumped to conclusions too quickly. I'm glad others on the site did not do so also.

I think I would need to do a bit more than email the head of the org to adequately evaluate the legitimacy of their certifications (ie. I would have to actually try to obtain some kind of advanced cert). Not really willing to put in that much effort (or spend a few hundred bucks) so for now I will have to be content reminding myself not to jump to conclusions too quickly.

Thanks again.

Best -
SD

Caine
9/16/2002 10:13pm,
Mmmm, I just jumped on here for the same reason as Sicillian Dragon, probably originating from the same source:) I don`t like to label anyone McDojo without good reason, I think these guys are pretty close. How can a Karate association offer recognised ranking in Aikido, well I know how they can, but you know what I mean? How about their Dan advancement, here`s the section from their FAQ

Question: Do I have to appear before a Certified Promotion Board in order to be considered for advancement as a Black Belt?

Normally YES...However the OKF has just recently introduced a New Testing Program that involves the submission of a quality video tape illustrating and containing the proficiency of the individual that desires to be considered for Rank Advancement. With the high cost of travel and uncertain employment schedules of most individuals, it is most often very difficult for an OKF registered Black Belt to travel to our headquarters for promotional reviews. Full details of this program are provided to all members upon written request.

** The OKF is not a "Diploma Mill" and considers itself as having very high standards for all those earning rank and being certified by the OKF. The OKF bases its Rank Advancement Policy on reasonable and rational guidelines, with no arbitrary barriers or unreasonable age or time restraints.


Grand Master Premru - Okinawan Karate-Do Federation - World Hombu Soke,
Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Soken-ha Karate-Do, 10th Dan, Soke
Okinawan Shorin-Ryu.Soken-ha Kobudo, 9th Dan, Soke

Has a very high pedigree but send a video along with your cheque and we`ll give you Shihan at 4th Dan, how McDojo is that not?

manofaiki
5/21/2007 6:52pm,
Found this thread in the forums, thought the people asking questions back in 2002 were very observant.

you see, it turns out they were absolutely right to question the legitimacy of the Okinawan Karate Do Federation.

http://www.azalmanac.com/AzMostWanted031304.htm

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-10146.html

manofaiki
5/23/2007 1:42am,
For those of you who don't follow the links, here's what happened:

Round about 2002 Grand Master Glenn R. Premru was arrested for mail fraud in relation to a huge mail order scam he was running out of his house. Apparently he also was involved in a fraud scheme that attempted to bilk investors out of almost 10 million dollars.

He was arraigned, posted bail.........and fled.

Today it is my understanding that he is still a wanted felon, eagerly sought by the US Marshalls.

Why is this important?

Because Glenn R. Premru is the founding owner of the Okinawan Karate-Do Federation.

He was basically selling dan certificates from his house.

I know this because I ended up taking an Aikido class from a guy in Texas who was claiming to be an Aikido 5th Dan based on his promotion by Grand Master Glenn R. Premru.

Turns out later on not only was Dan Vella not an Aikido Shihan, he had never tested for any sort of rank under any legtimate Aikido organization. He just hung around Aikido schools and attended seminars for a few years, but told others he didnt believe in testing.

'Shihan' Dan Vella managed to keep his Aikido school going for a few years, but he had high turnover and finally closed down about a year and a half ago. Too many people in the area had figured out his scam. Last I heard he was up in the Houston area teaching 'ki' seminars at New Age conferences.

Just thought this was interesting because back in 2002 before the Premru thing even broke there were observant people on this website raising questions about the idea of Aikido guys getting their ranks from an Okinawan Karate Federation.

Good call guys.

manofaiki

manofaiki
5/23/2007 1:51am,
BTW, here's some fun you can have with the whole Okinawan Karate Do Federation nonsense.

Type those words in an internet search engine like Yahoo and find out how many Martial Arts instructors there are out there with web pages where they claim advanced ranks based on being promoted by 'The Okinawan Karate Do Federation' under the auspices of 'Soke Grandmaster Glenn R. Premru' - who has been a wanted felon for the past 5 years.

I found

http://www.angelfire.com/ak4/tw/ChiefInstructorsBio.html


http://www.risingsundojo.com/Certification.htm


http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/metals/bio/resume_k.pdf


http://www.guitarstop.com/Sessakai/beisho.htm

(This guy appears to be legitimate; he was promoted by Premru back in 1974, before Premru apparently decided to prostitute his martial arts. Still, you have to wonder what that certification is worth today when you see what Premru developed that organization into)


http://www.maa-i.com/who/7/Heinz_Scheidereiter/Stephen_Colkett/Jane_F__Van_Paepeghem/hauptteil_jane_f__van_paepeghem.html


BTW, I had no idea there were so many grandmasters and soke's out there in the world:

http://www.bushido.org/whfsc/whfsc14.htm


http://arizonakarate.pbwiki.com/Martial%20Artist,%20Artist,%20Communicator


http://home.swbell.net/rianardj/shorin.html



How many can you find?

manofaiki

manofaiki
5/23/2007 6:43pm,
Just located more who claim a high dan rank from being promoted by Glenn R. Premru:

http://www.usakarateacademy.net/stigall_015.htm


http://www.geneseo.edu/~karate/Our%20Style.html


http://www.asma-usa.org/masters/Gene%20Thorner's%20Page.htm


Apparently, the fact that Premru gained some renowned in the 1970's as a Kata performer gave him some recognition, and from the very beginning he was claiming advanced Dan ranks in karate systems where he had had very little, if any, contact with the real Masters of those systems.

http://www.viewusedcars.com/smoka-usa/premru3.htm

I note that George Dillman is not unknown to the members of these forums. He and Premru base their inflated ranks on claiming promotions from respected masters with whom they had little, if any, real contact:

http://www.viewusedcars.com/smoka-usa/weakest_link.htm

What apparently allowed Premru to get away with his scam for so long is that no one questioned his claim to have been elevated by Master Soken, and he was indeed one of the pioneers of Karate in America. Unfortunatley he seems to have used this reputation to scam people.

bodhihuss
5/24/2007 2:32pm,
This site has been listed before, but I wanted to emphasize it.

http://www.smoka-usa.com/

This is the site of James Coffman, the first American student of Hohan Soken (legitimately). I know this for a fact because my Sensei, Roy Suenaka, trained with Hohan Soken from 1961-1972. Many claim to be students of Hohan Soken, but few are legit (e.g. George Dillman). Coffman is for real and he has some interesting things to say about the Okinawan Karatedo Federation and Glenn Premryu. Go to his site and read the articles. They will answer many questions about this.