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sambosteve
3/18/2008 3:43pm,
I got this e-mail today (which I obviously could give two sh*ts about), but I thought I might throw it out to the BSer to chomp on. I am going to do some digging and see what I get.



Attention Fellow Martial Artists,

I need your help with something that I am working on. In
exchange for your feedback I will give you a very special gift.

Hi, Grand Master Marek here. I have been a martial artist
for the past 39 years and I used to run a very profitable Kenpo
Dojo in Phoenix, AZ. Part of my success was the fact that I
uncovered the hidden secrets of how to literally print money
in the back of my Dojo. (just kidding)

Since I no longer own the school (I sold it to a competitor)
I would like to show you how you can quickly and easily copy
my success. You will discover why I was so successful (I enrolled
more than 180 new students in less than 6 month and 80 % of ALL my students
were in the Black Belt Club with a 3.5 year training agreement and paying Premium
monthly fees).

This is where I need your help. Before I spend hundreds
of hours writing manuals, recording CDs and videos I am
hoping that you could give me some ideas as to what info
is most important to YOU and what will help you become more
successful. (see questions on the bottom)

After I get your feedback I will tally up all of the responses and
start writing the manuals and recording the CDs and Videos.

As a Special Gift for helping me out, I will give you a HUGE
discount off the regular price, when I release the information.

PLUS, you will automatically be enrolled into my "Martial Arts
Inner Circle Club" where you get additional money-saving
offers and discounts for new products and tele-seminars before
anybody else even knows about them.

To participate, simply hit the 'Reply' button and send me your
answers to the questions below.

Q 1. What would you like to be able to do better -

- Answer the phone better so that prospects come to their lesson
- More effective enrollment procedure that causes prospects to enroll
- Learn how to teach fun and exiting classes to keep students motivated
- Learn how to upgrade students into the BBC quickly & easily
- how to get more info calls from your advertising
- what advertising works the best and what ads are a waste of money
- anything else that you want to learn

Q 2. What format would you like the information in?

- written manuals
- CDs / audio recordings
- Videos / DVDs

Q 3. How much do you think other Martial Artists would pay for this
information? Remember, you are getting it at a HUGE discount.

Q 4. Last question. Please tell me a little about yourself so that I can
properly set up your "Martial Arts Inner Circle Club" membership

- Your name
- rank
- name of your school
- complete address
- phone number
- system/style you teach
- number of students
- last time you were promoted
- how long have you been in the arts
- what association do you belong to

I am looking forward to getting your feedback today.

Sincerely yours,

GM Ron Marek
10th Dan - Bushido Kenpo
[email protected]

P.S. Now go ahead and hit the "Reply" button and send me the
answers to the questions and you will SAVE BIG when the information
is released.

sambosteve
3/18/2008 4:03pm,
Can anyone in the Kenpo community speak about this guy?

Found these:

From Martial Talk:
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4297

Bis "Bushido Marketing" site:
http://www.bushidomarketing.com/about.htm

His 2003 bio here:
http://home.att.net/~erik.mann/marek.htm
Here it says he is a 9th dan in "American Bushido Karate" and a 6th dan in "American kenpo". I guess mathamatically plus 5 years, that makes him a 10th dan in "Bushido Kenpo"...LOL

Here is his International Kenpo Karate Federation website:
http://www.ikkf.com/index.html
Interestingly the affiliate schools link is dead.

His club - textbook "takemydough" school:
http://www.usbushidoacademy.com/

Here is a 8/2007 theard on kenpotalk:
Seems to be some mixed reviews about him
http://kenpotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5926

Some "hall of Fame" awards.
2002 - http://www.umahof.org/2002inductees.htm
2006 - http://www.mararts.org/2006ihoftc/2006Inductees.shtml

He and his degrees are affiliated with this "university". Distance learning/independent study degrees.
http://www.internationaluniversity.edu/

Apprently, his association is an "accredited university":
http://www.widu.us/recogn_us_gms__ikkf

retrograde
3/22/2008 9:48am,
Heh, I got that email the other day (God know why, I'm not a martial arts instructor) and was going to post it in YMAS for giggles, but this does seem like a more sensible place.


Part of my success was the fact that I uncovered the hidden secrets of how to literally print money in the back of my Dojo. (just kidding)
This was my favourite bit, as I find it funny when people use 'literally' when they in fact mean 'figuratively' and laughed at the mental picture of some fat old guy in a gi printing counterfeit notes out the back of his training hall.

EDITED TO ADD: Ahaha, I just clicked on his school website and he looks exactly as I imagined him in the money-printing scenario. I KNEW there would be a moustache involved.

Slapsymaxi
3/23/2008 7:15am,
This stuff is usually just a marketing program, no?

Some really, really legit people are into really, really shady marketing...

Take Lloyd Irving for example... One of the world's top BJJ instructors, but some of the shadiest marketing tactics ever.


Max

Beezer
3/23/2008 9:16am,
This stuff is usually just a marketing program, no?

Some really, really legit people are into really, really shady marketing...

Take Lloyd Irving for example... One of the world's top BJJ instructors, but some of the shadiest marketing tactics ever.


Max

Do you get any of Lloyd's "Grappling Blueprint" emails? I have been saving them, for some reason, my wife finds them funny.

sambosteve
3/25/2008 1:02am,
Well, yes some legit guys have marketing schemes. But is Marek Legit?

Lets look at what we can establish...

1) His websites:
www.bushidomarketing.com/about.htm
www.ikkf.com/index.html
www.usbushidoacademy.com
www.usgrandmasterscouncil.com

OK, his "I can make you a million dollars" sales pitch is far from unique, in fact, it is run of the mill McDojo style marketing. But what about Marek?

2) He claims to be a martial arts "Hall of Famer".
Well we all know how nebulous the multitudes of possible Hall of Fame awards are. But, let's see what he's got:

2002 - Kenpo Grandmaster of the year. From the "Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame".
That year there were 106 HoF recipients. Further investigation of the UMAHoF leads one to find that they are a marketing group cut from Marek's own mold. Here is a quote: "The UMAHoF presents the executive black belt club where you can earn $75,000 a year with just 10 studetns!". UMAHoF is a money making organization that masks itself as a hall of fame. You need to pay to be awarded you HoF and you must become a member of the UMAHoF. It is bogus. Wanna get your HoF award?


What to Do Next
1. Confirm your induction. Please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible. We request timely response your notification if you plan to accept the nomination and attend the event. This is a formal event (tuxedo required). Family, friends, students and other guests are invited to attend.
2. Pay your induction and Expo fees. Unlike other organizations, the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame does not charge you an extra fee for the induction itself. The actual induction is free. Your induction fees help cover the cost of the event, your customized trophy, the printing of your Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame personalized and numbered induction certificate, your membership card, the induction ceremony and banquet dinner and your permanent induction into roster of honorees in our office of records and on the Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame Web site.
They even have a payment center just for you! http://www.umahof.org/paymentarea.htm

2006 - Marek was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Association International Hall of Fame...wow! And he is a member of the USMAA as well. He was awarded "Most Distinguished Grandmaster of the Year". Lets look at the USMAA.

The USMAA inducted 89 people that year. Guess what, you pay for this HoF award as well. In fact, here is the acceptance form. Can you believe that you have to pay even if you can't attend the black tie award ceremony! http://www.mararts.org/2008ihoftc/AwardAcceptForm.pdf
OK, I call BS on this award too.

So, essentially, Marek pays $$$ so he can call himself a hall of fame award winner in his own marketing scheme

3) Let's look at his MBA and Ph.D.His many bios say he recieved an MBA and Ph.D. from "International University".
Hmmm...let's take a look at international university: http://www.internationaluniversity.edu/
It is a distance degree program. Not in itself a "bad" thing (to me it is), but let's look deeper....

Basically there is a consortium of "schools" which can offer credits for your "degree". These "school" or "Universities" have been granted unitversity status by a few sketchy organizations like this one:

...is duly approved under the decree No.06/72 of the AEI Senate, as an official degree granting member institution of the World Information Distributed University (WIDU). WIDU is an entity included in the L'Academie European d'lnformatisation (A.E.I), established in Belgium under the decree of the Belgian King Albert II. WIDU is also licensed by Moscow (Russian Federation) to train and award scientific degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Grand Doctor of Philosophy and approved to act as a world base of educational programs and to facilitate the development of expertise Vis educational programs

Let's look even deeper...

Marek founded the "Grand Master's Council" and the "IKKF". When researching Marek's GMC and IKKF, I found something interesting...that this L'Academie European d'lnformatisation (A.E.I) in Belgium, has recognized Marek's Grand Master's Council and IKKF as part of a "global education system" authorized to train Ph.D's! www.widu.us/recogn_us_gms__ikkf

And Marek' very own "university" is a member of...you guessed it "International University", which is accreited by this group in Belgium, and where Marek got his bogus MBA and Ph.D. www.internationaluniversity.edu (scroll down on home page). But, it get's worse. Marek is the Dean of the School of Business for "International University": www.internationaluniversity.edu/faculty.html

What a giant mutual masturbation session...where the happy ending is a Ph.D.!

4) But what about Marek's Martial Arts?

Well he now claims to be a 10th Dan in Bushido Kenpo. But just 4 years ago he was a lowley 9th dan in "American Bushido Karate" and a 6th Dan in "American Kenpo". I tried to find out about this guy from sources other than his own bios. My assumption is that Bushido Kenpo is his own creation and is "sanctioned" by one of his pay your way associations...or as he calls it "international Martial Arts Associations". His bio says (http://www.bushidomarketing.com/ron.htm)

The core of the American Bushido Kenpo system comes directly from Ed Parker's system - American Kenpo Karate. Over the years Mr. Marek continued to expand his Kenpo knowledge by training with some of Mr. Parker's life-long personal students. He then took the best of most effective material, discarded the less effective and the sometimes too convoluted and unnecessarily complex techniques, and developed one of the most mortal self-defense systems in the world. This material is only available to mature martial artist and is NOT to be used in tournaments or during unsupervised training sessions, as these techniques WILL cause unintended injuries, if one is not cautious while training with a partner.
So he created this art and gave himself a 10th Dan. Like we have never seen that before...

But, was this guy on the path of goodness before the $$$ hit him in the eyes?
It is hard to tell really. I checked the kenpo forums and found mixed, but generally lack luster opinions. It seems most people never heard of the guy, or only saw him at big annual seminar type things. A few folks thought he was wierd and was not very good. But, there was not much to go on.
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4297
http://kenpotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5926

One notable post from the kenponet thread:

He's purportedly a 6th Dan under Lee Bachman. Mr. Bachman is a Tracy Kenpoist under Mike Miller I believe....

This is verified by Kenponet's family tree, but I know from personal experience that their info is not entirely accurate.

Take that for what you will.

So, in the end, I have not found much about his skill...

At the very least, he is a good martial artists who has become greedy and has found all the typical BS ways of marketing his scheme...HoF awards, "graduate degrees", founding multiple money making "associations". According to his bio he has also ran a private investigation aganecy, mortgage bank, and a real estate company.

He claims he had this law enforcement background:


After leaving the service Mr. Marek continued his education until he was accepted to work with the Parma Police Department. He was one of only six new recruits that were selected from a pool of more than 223 applicants. After 15 long weeks he graduated in the top 10% of his training class at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. During his tenure with the Police Department, where he worked as an Undercover Narcotics Detective and a DUI enforcement officer, he was well known within the Metropolitan Cleveland area for having one of the highest narcotics and DUI arrest and conviction rate. After resigning from the Police force in Ohio in 1989, he moved to Phoenix, AZ

But, I am really interested in his background in Kenpo and Karate. Who he trained with, etc. In his bio he claims to have trained with "Ed Parker's student's" but mentions no names. The same bio says he has been doing martial arts for 37 years including shotokan, judo, and tae kwon do. No mention of "American Bushido Karate"...whatever that is. He claims to be a 6th dan in kenpo under Lee Bachamn.

That is what I got...

sambosteve
3/26/2008 1:57pm,
Well, I guess Marek trains Jedi too...LOL
http://www.spiritsoftheforce.com/cast/willrencenberger.asp

Here is his commercial for the "Ed Parker American Kempo Association" but the website is for his "International Kempo Karate Federation"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FytFXGonKiw

Listening to this is like torture man...LOL! What a horrible commercial!

LOL...Marek has these out there as audio podcasts as well...
http://www.mefeedia.com/feeds/34735/

sambosteve
3/26/2008 2:11pm,
LOL...

Here can can help you air conditioning company! www.toptenongoogle.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXXsEYMzBkM

sambosteve
3/26/2008 2:12pm,
Here he is...clearly the same guy, claiming to be Gene Smith (not Ron Marek):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL5cP0RSnjo

sambosteve
3/26/2008 2:14pm,
Her, he can help you with e-mail marketing...LOL. This guy is priceless!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ODsPyYEB8


I could go on forever...just check out his youtube page!
http://youtube.com/user/kenposoke

sambosteve
3/26/2008 2:19pm,
Wow! I found yet another Marek run federation! This one is called the "International Martial Arts Foundation"
http://www.grandmaster.cc/adpage.html

sambosteve
3/26/2008 2:27pm,
OK...here he is selling his Blank Rank Certificates from the "Grand Master's Council" on ebay! This guy knows no bounds.

http://cgi.ebay.es/Martial-Arts-Rank-Certificates-from-the-US-Grand-Master_W0QQitemZ110223927228QQihZ001QQcategoryZ160 44QQcmdZViewItem

Furthermore, Marek comes from the Tracy Kenpo Linage, which apparently sells their ranks on e-bay as well:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Martial-Art-Certificates-quantity-of-20-Kenpo_W0QQitemZ320232082972QQihZ011QQcategoryZ1604 4QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Kempo Chris
3/26/2008 3:13pm,
when your a 10th dan and only trained 39 years your full of bullshido

CoffeeFan
3/26/2008 3:38pm,
Well, I guess Marek trains Jedi too...LOL
http://www.spiritsoftheforce.com/cast/willrencenberger.asp

Here is his commercial for the "Ed Parker American Kempo Association" but the website is for his "International Kempo Karate Federation"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FytFXGonKiw

Listening to this is like torture man...LOL! What a horrible commercial!

LOL...Marek has these out there as audio podcasts as well...
http://www.mefeedia.com/feeds/34735/


Wow, that is a disturbing commercial. Sure makes me want to buy his stuff and get stinky rich:car40:

I think it's pretty safe to say this guy is totally full of ****

KO'd N DOA
3/26/2008 4:17pm,
Sambosteve,

I laughed checking out all of these sites you listed. Good job, it really shows how gullible people can be...surely no body would fall for those old tired MLM ploys!

However...then I see a hit counter on some of them, and was wondering as a gullible NooB if I had been trolled by you into somehow inflating his rankings, Google placement and advertisement, and now you and Marek both are millionaires and Soke 10th dans, running Universities. Great Job Professor Steve...I fell for that one.

sambosteve
3/26/2008 5:13pm,
Sambosteve,

I laughed checking out all of these sites you listed. Good job, it really shows how gullible people can be...surely no body would fall for those old tired MLM ploys!

However...then I see a hit counter on some of them, and was wondering as a gullible NooB if I had been trolled by you into somehow inflating his rankings, Google placement and advertisement, and now you and Marek both are millionaires and Soke 10th dans, running Universities. Great Job Professor Steve...I fell for that one.

Dude, I hope you are kidding...me a troll?? You are a noob for sure...

Marek spammed me and I went digging around about him. Plain and simple.

Anyone who falls for his horrible marketing deserves what they get....buyer beware.