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Ima Goodfriend
3/16/2009 9:33pm,
I have been training at this particular dojo for quite some time, now, and something has happened about which I can no longer remain quiet. I have reached this point after much soul-searching and feel it is my responsibility to set some things straight.

This is being written in defense of a woman who has become the victim of a personal vendetta. Our karate instructor has taken a personal matter that could have been avoided by more mature behaviour on both their parts (hers and this instructor's) and made it very public and very nasty. He has vehemently declared she has been "kicked out" of both his Estevan and Weyburn dojos, yet she had apparently quietly quit before this declaration. When anyone cared to ask, she merely stated she wasn't attending for "personal reasons" and left them to draw their own conclusions. He, however, has not been so gracious, and I will tell you why.

Events of late, and this instructorís recent behaviour, had me wondering what was going on. She was no longer attending class, and I wanted to know what had happened that has this man in such an uproar. I contacted her (no small featÖshe has an unlisted phone number and refuses to give out her personal email address!), and arranged to have coffee with her. I pressed her for a reason why the instructor would announce she was no longer part of her class. Initially, she said she would prefer to simply let the issue die. When I related to her what the instructor has been doing in at least one of her classes and pressed her further, she became very upset and quietly told me what had happened to set him off.

She sent several polite inquiries to the instructor regarding whether there would definitely be class on Family Day. No answer. Considering she had to drive further than anyone else to get to class and the weather in southeastern Saskatchewan had been highly unpredictable she didn't want to make the trip for nothing. She finally made the inquiry to someone else she trusted to ensure she had accurate information regarding classes. He had also been asked by several other students the same question, so he sent an email to the instructor to which he received an almost immediate reply. Apparently, the instructor had been ignoring other requests for this same information.

She became very frustrated and understandably angry. This latest lack of acknowledgement was the final blow that caused her to reply to the email with a short, sweet and to-the-point condemnation of the instructor's inconsideration, thinking it was being sent to the person she trusted. It went, ACCIDENTALLY, to the instructor instead, to which he has reacted childishly, vindictively, and in an extremely unprofessional manner.

This woman is not at all malicious, nor would she wish ill on anyone either intentionally or even in fun. I have always known her to be gentle, kind, generous, and lots of fun to speak with. She HAS expressed deep regret at the manner in which all this has transpired, but she does not regret that it has happened. It was coming for a long time and, now that it was finally done, she actually felt relieved.

There have been several incidents and examples of unprofessional conduct that have caused her to question this instructor's behaviour, and I have to admit I share her opinion on not just these issues, but more, as Iíve been with this man longer. I will relate some of them here.

She stood by in horror as one week the instructor deliberately hurt a 12-year old boy with developmental challenges, yet accused him of being a baby and left his older sister to deal with him. This "instructor" ridiculed the poor student repeatedly in many subsequent classes, to the point where this student and his family now no longer want anything to do with the class and now rarely attend at all.

A talented, well-renowned martial artist from Edmonton returned home to Weyburn for personal reasons some four or five years ago. Upon arriving in Weyburn, he asked the permission of the instructor for permission to work with him in his club.

This artist received recently his 10th degree as the founder of his own martial art system by the National College of Martial Arts. This is no small event. He did not "buy" the title, as he has been accused, nor had he asked for it.

The local instructor, while he should have been VERY supportive of this artist's accomplishment and proud to have him working with him, has all but ignored it. There should have been a very public announcement made at both the Weyburn and Estevan dojos, and again at the tournament held in Regina in February. This gentleman's very significant accomplishment in the martial arts community has gone largely unacknowledged, and this, in this writer's opinion, is childish, rude, and inexcusable on the part of the local instructor. When I talked to this woman, it was the first I had heard of his promotion, too, and I would have liked to congratulate him if I had known sooner.

The gentleman is apparently considering opening his own club in the fall. This is not yet confirmed, but he has made inquiries and there are rumoured to be many individuals that support his idea. Further, the gentleman in question has very generously offered to work with those students currently studying with the instructor that want to work more as the gentleman has more free time on his hands and is willing to help out. However, the instructor seems not only to be punishing the students that are currently studying with this other gentleman privately, but even seems angry that the gentleman is considering opening another club in Weyburn. Is he afraid? Should he be? I think so. I may join the new group if it becomes a reality because I simply donít think I want to be part of this circus anymore.

There are many things that have upset this woman terribly since shortly she began with the martial art she practices. She has related much of it to me, and while I know she will not be happy with me when she realizes I have done this, I feel it is time to expose this man for everything he is NOT. This woman's accomplishments have gone largely ignored or belittled, while holding potential as yet untapped and unrecognized by the man who pretended to be her instructor. Sheís a very smart lady, and has been ignored by the instructor, as have many other students that are even more deserving of individualized attentions.

This man teaches shotokan karate, yet he canít spell it. I have also learned he only holds a sixth degree in that art. He claims to hold a higher degree, but I have discovered from someone outside this club that he actually holds an HONORARY 9th degree black belt in another art. That art is kung fu, which really has no ranking system, so his 9th degree really means nothing more than someone's attempt to make him feel more important than he truly deserves.

There has never been a person on this planet more in love with the sound of his own voice than this instructor. If youíve ever been to one of his classes when he feels like talking, youíll understand. He will go on and on at length about the inter-club politics of clubs in Edmonton to 9 and 10 year old children who have absolutely NO understanding, and indeed no interest, in such goings-on. To be very honest, neither do most of we adults in his classes, and no one ever enjoys hearing him go on and on about his children, some of whom never come to his classes although they live locally. Others rarely show up and do very little when they do come to class. Much like some of the black belted students of which he claims to be so proud. They strut around like peacocks thinking they are special, all the while looking like fat hillbillies. Itís becoming rather embarrassing admitting youíre one of the students there.

This instructor has alienated several well-meaning and talented martial artists who wanted nothing more than to help him with his classes. While he accepted their help at first, he eventually alienated them through a complete lack of willingness to acknowledge either their talents or their skills, or has made a mockery of their methods to the point of contradicting them in front of the class. Most of them have left in disgust, anger, and frustration.

In the 20 years or more that this instructor has been in charge of his own class, there are many students that have started with him, but have left because of inconsistencies in instruction, poor quality of demonstrated material, refusal to teach why they were learning something, or being expected to supervise a class of 5-10 year olds which basically meant the senior students were being treated like glorified babysitters. It might be true that you learn a great deal by teaching others what you have learned, but you have to have a starting point in the first place in order to be able to perfect what youíve learned through teaching it.

Still other students were insulted by his fraudulent profession of "psychic abilities" and left in disgust when they heard him bragging about absolutely outlandish claims of psychic activities as if they were true. These kinds of professions border on the occult. Many of the former students of this instructor felt they were expected to follow this kind of thinking without question, almost like they were part of a cult and refused to subject themselves to such ridiculous demonstrations and attempts at control. It really does leave you wondering why youíre paying this man anything at all. Sometimes you wonder why you even went to class that night in the first place because you feel like you just completely wasted two hours. It's as much fun as giving your cat a bath!

The woman I am defending in this letter heard the instructor once admit he did not like children, that he couldn't relate to them and that he found the Weyburn class very stressful. She couldn't help but wonder if, since he seemed so uncomfortable around the children in his class then why would he continue? What was the point of being their instructor if it would just make the class unpleasant for everyone involved?

The instructor has failed to make all arts of equal importance, but allows the lower-profile arts such as Tai Chi to become the butt of many derogatory jokes and degrading comments from some of the karate black belts. Many of the senior black belts actually seem to see it as a punishment to have to supervise that class when the regular instructor is either late or unable to attend. Since the students follow the attitude of the senior members of the club, it followed that the comments started to come from the younger students, as well. If you were studying Tai Chi in this environment, would you want to continue being considered a joke? I often felt sorry for this poor little group at the back of the classroom that no one seemed to want to work with.

It is the habit of this instructor to test and promote his students shortly before the bigger tournaments. Because of this, they are not prepared to compete at their newer level, and thus do poorly against more seasoned opponents. Rather than promote them at the end of the season when they would have more time to prepare at their new status, he would prefer to berate them in class for their poor return of awards. However, he will NEVER admit the error in this practice.

He blames students for their failures and shortcomings in the art they have been studying, then punishes and degrades them in class. Duckwalks and pushups are used as disciplinary measures without actually explaining for what they were given. When the students are near the point of exhaustion and almost nauseated with the effort of completing the assigned discipline, he accuses them of being "babies" or "faking", usually rather loudly and definitely in front of the other students in class. He hasnít done this to me yet, but I know my time is coming, and I wonít be happy when it does.

This instructor does not recognize the accomplishments of the students as their own. The better his students do, the more he likes looking good. If his students don't do as well, I have actually witnessed what looks like a pout on his face. He basks in what should be the successful student's moment of triumph, claiming their achievements as his own, while their own pride in their accomplishment goes largely unrecognized.

This man insists everyone is psychic on some level, which is a far-fetched claim in the extreme. He forces pointless exercises on disinterested students in an effort to jump-start what he insists are latent abilities in everyone. To put it bluntly, I find these exercises a complete waste of the time I am paying to learn something else I wanted to learn in the first place.

When asked a question, he has several different methods of answering. If he knows the answer, he will sometimes tell you right away what it is and the curiosity of the student is satisfied and everyone is happy. More frequently, he uses it as a control issue and makes it into a mind game. The man is manipulative in the extreme and will sometimes walk away leaving you standing there expecting instruction you are paying him to impart, yet receiving nothing whatsoever. Other times he will simply become very cryptic and tell you to "go over there to the corner and work on it until you figure out what it's supposed to feel like". On what do you base your conclusions if you've never been given even a hint of what to look for?

I was recently wondering what was involved in testing for a black belt, as this instructor seems to think itís some kind of secret rite only to be viewed by a select few. I found out something very interesting from an outside source because HE certainly wasnít going to tell me. In this club, black belts are awarded to many under-trained individuals after flimsy testing such as being able to slice a sheet of newspaper with a knife hand so it looks like it was cut with a scissors. What practical application would THAT be used for??? Competition scrap-booking?

Speaking of application, most of the application of form is rarely taught. Students achieve elevated status, yet, for the most part, can't spar or execute a decent kata to save their souls. Basic technique is shoddy at best and he refuses to acknowledge his students aren't doing very well. I know mine needs some serious work and I am going to need to go elsewhere to find the instruction I need.

This man will NOT admit to making a mistake. He is a true artist at blaming outside forces for his shortcomings, and honestly believes he is above making errors in kata or technique, as if he were above being a human being when compared to other students, or other clubs.

In my own time as a student of this man, I have never seen someone behave as a hypocrite as flagrantly as does this man. He condemns substance abuse, yet he is a functioning alcoholic himself. He professes to be religiously devout, but gambles huge amounts of money claiming it is what keeps his head above water financially. He is a womanizer and was openly and demonstratively unfaithful to his wife with a student, yet condemns it in others. Actually, he has very little respect for women in general, but would never admit he believes they have a "place" and should stay there. When it comes to fellow instructors, he will condemn and demean their behaviours and choices behind their backs but will pretend to be the best of friends with them in public, to the point of inviting them to dinner after tournaments and seminars as if they were his long-lost brothers.

This so-called instructor refuses to share his skills. He knows the whole form for several arts, but only teaches a small section of it in order to keep his students wanting more. He has refused to share his skills with any but a VERY select few of his black-belt students, and not all of them share the same knowledge of the same form. He teaches different versions to different people, then says they're all wrong and then appears to delight in their confusion as they start debating who is right and who is wrong. This is just one example of the inconsistency that is rampant in this club and has caused countless students to quit in frustration and disgust.

This instructor is behaving childishly and is involving so many more individuals than is necessary simply because a student (the woman who is being defended here) was angry at his treatment of her and questioned his conduct. My understanding is that she has questioned his conduct before, and while his reaction has been similar, he didn't make it public. He agreed at a black belt meeting that as holders of black belts of varying degrees they must account themselves by a higher standard. This man has not done so for quite some time, nor did he specifically in this instance. For many years now, he has deemed himself to be above retribution for anything he does that is questionable, and anyone that does question his authority is to be ostracized by the rest of his "followers" as disloyal to his so-called family.

This childish, manipulative, inconsiderate, unprofessional, vindictive man has unbelievable influence on his students, many of whom are extremely young and impressionable. Some of the younger students' parents have seen of what this instructor is capable, and have quietly withdrawn their children from under his instruction. Other students, who are not so young and their parents not regularly able to attend the classes, just don't come after a while or they are so under the thrall of this man that they will believe whatever he says and sometimes even hurt themselves trying to perform techniques either taught improperly or that are far beyond their current capabilities. Does he care? He simply says they need to "work on it" to get it right. This is not just unprofessional; it is irresponsibility in its most hideous manifestation. Showing lack of concern for your own well-being is just stupid. Showing lack of concern for any student of any age under your instruction is reprehensible and should be challenged at any and every opportunity.

His most recent tactic is punishment. Not of the woman he is so upset with. Indeed, he apparently hasnít even tried to contact her to discuss this situation as would be the mature thing to do. Nor is he punishing the gentleman whose accomplishments he has currently so rudely dismissed. I have observed him taking his frustrations and his ill temper out on his students in Weyburn and Estevan, who do NOT understand what they've done wrong. Their parents are disgusted at the instructor's behaviour and are "not going to stand for much more of this", which is their own words. Furthermore, the woman he is so upset with in the first place burst into tears when I related this to her and is feeling responsible for these children getting hurt and mistreated simply because she stood up for herself. She is not responsible for this man's behaviour. Is he not, in his own words, ďa black belt to be held to a higher standard"?

I leave you to your own conclusions. Many of those that read this that live or train in this area will most certainly recognize this man just from the context of this letter. For those of you that happen upon this letter and are more curious, I invite you to visit the dojos of Vilcu Karate Klub in either Estevan or Weyburn, Saskatchewan and see for yourselves just what a charlatan and a fraud really look like.

I thank-you sincerely for your kind attention.

1point2
3/16/2009 10:40pm,
That is a very long writeup.

Perhaps you could read the (fairly short in comparison) rules for this forum. They're stickied at the top.

Plus, although you posted some valuable "watch out for this" info, it's A) unsubstantiated and B) overshadowed by the long-winded segues into minutia. I recommend rewriting this article as a proper first post to an investigation, with links, facts, evidence, and an absence of opinion. "I was there" is not a fact or evidence. "I disagree with how he treated this woman when they had a falling out" is not an earth-shattering accusal. "He didn't recognize this other guy with inflated rank" is certainly not relevant. His rank inflation, the school's lack of standards, lack of skill, age-inappropriate punishment, and claims of psychic abilities are all--possibly--good fodder for investigation and writeup.

If you condense this and rewrite it and pare it down, this could be a good thread. Try reading a few of the other well-received investigation threads in this forum for examples.

Sam Browning
3/16/2009 11:35pm,
So he didn't recognize some other guy who came into town with a questionable 10th dan. There's nothing wrong with that.

TheRuss
3/16/2009 11:43pm,
You got my interest with the whole Saskatchewan thing, but that's way too long for me to read. Could you summarize it in about a hundred words or so?

v1y
3/17/2009 1:40pm,
As a juxtaposition to your incredibly long post I offer a one word solution:

Judo.

(For those that didn't read it, basically the guy teaches bullshido -- it's unclear whether he knows it or not. He's also a dick in real life)

Matt Phillips
3/17/2009 3:18pm,
If she were my friend, I'd be glad he left her potential "untapped"

HigherLearning
3/17/2009 7:32pm,
longest, most rambling and in the end inconsequential post i've seen on bullshido

Tom Kagan
3/18/2009 9:06am,
From the moderator queue:

Ima Goodfriend has reported a post. Reason:

Please remove this thread. I was thoroughly pissed off and just trying to defend someone that deserved it while at the same time trying to show this particular instructor is a yutz and doesn't deserve to be in charge of a can of beans, let alone a bunch of little kids that are being treated like crap instead of paying students.

Pardon me for trying, just please delete the thread. I sincerely apologize for causing a problem and won't do it again. Thanks.

A. Goodfriend

So you got cold feet? Man-up and deal with the consequences of your words, if any.

philguy
6/18/2009 12:21am,
Maybe u should try some truth instead of backstabbing.The woman ????????????? is not a very good person.Try looking in the mirror before u acuse someone of wrong doing.This is truely BS from the first word to the last.This KRAP will slap u in the face
I have been training at this particular dojo for quite some time, now, and something has happened about which I can no longer remain quiet. I have reached this point after much soul-searching and feel it is my responsibility to set some things straight.

This is being written in defense of a woman who has become the victim of a personal vendetta. Our karate instructor has taken a personal matter that could have been avoided by more mature behaviour on both their parts (hers and this instructor's) and made it very public and very nasty. He has vehemently declared she has been "kicked out" of both his Estevan and Weyburn dojos, yet she had apparently quietly quit before this declaration. When anyone cared to ask, she merely stated she wasn't attending for "personal reasons" and left them to draw their own conclusions. He, however, has not been so gracious, and I will tell you why.

Events of late, and this instructorís recent behaviour, had me wondering what was going on. She was no longer attending class, and I wanted to know what had happened that has this man in such an uproar. I contacted her (no small featÖshe has an unlisted phone number and refuses to give out her personal email address!), and arranged to have coffee with her. I pressed her for a reason why the instructor would announce she was no longer part of her class. Initially, she said she would prefer to simply let the issue die. When I related to her what the instructor has been doing in at least one of her classes and pressed her further, she became very upset and quietly told me what had happened to set him off.

She sent several polite inquiries to the instructor regarding whether there would definitely be class on Family Day. No answer. Considering she had to drive further than anyone else to get to class and the weather in southeastern Saskatchewan had been highly unpredictable she didn't want to make the trip for nothing. She finally made the inquiry to someone else she trusted to ensure she had accurate information regarding classes. He had also been asked by several other students the same question, so he sent an email to the instructor to which he received an almost immediate reply. Apparently, the instructor had been ignoring other requests for this same information.

She became very frustrated and understandably angry. This latest lack of acknowledgement was the final blow that caused her to reply to the email with a short, sweet and to-the-point condemnation of the instructor's inconsideration, thinking it was being sent to the person she trusted. It went, ACCIDENTALLY, to the instructor instead, to which he has reacted childishly, vindictively, and in an extremely unprofessional manner.

This woman is not at all malicious, nor would she wish ill on anyone either intentionally or even in fun. I have always known her to be gentle, kind, generous, and lots of fun to speak with. She HAS expressed deep regret at the manner in which all this has transpired, but she does not regret that it has happened. It was coming for a long time and, now that it was finally done, she actually felt relieved.

There have been several incidents and examples of unprofessional conduct that have caused her to question this instructor's behaviour, and I have to admit I share her opinion on not just these issues, but more, as Iíve been with this man longer. I will relate some of them here.

She stood by in horror as one week the instructor deliberately hurt a 12-year old boy with developmental challenges, yet accused him of being a baby and left his older sister to deal with him. This "instructor" ridiculed the poor student repeatedly in many subsequent classes, to the point where this student and his family now no longer want anything to do with the class and now rarely attend at all.

A talented, well-renowned martial artist from Edmonton returned home to Weyburn for personal reasons some four or five years ago. Upon arriving in Weyburn, he asked the permission of the instructor for permission to work with him in his club.

This artist received recently his 10th degree as the founder of his own martial art system by the National College of Martial Arts. This is no small event. He did not "buy" the title, as he has been accused, nor had he asked for it.

The local instructor, while he should have been VERY supportive of this artist's accomplishment and proud to have him working with him, has all but ignored it. There should have been a very public announcement made at both the Weyburn and Estevan dojos, and again at the tournament held in Regina in February. This gentleman's very significant accomplishment in the martial arts community has gone largely unacknowledged, and this, in this writer's opinion, is childish, rude, and inexcusable on the part of the local instructor. When I talked to this woman, it was the first I had heard of his promotion, too, and I would have liked to congratulate him if I had known sooner.

The gentleman is apparently considering opening his own club in the fall. This is not yet confirmed, but he has made inquiries and there are rumoured to be many individuals that support his idea. Further, the gentleman in question has very generously offered to work with those students currently studying with the instructor that want to work more as the gentleman has more free time on his hands and is willing to help out. However, the instructor seems not only to be punishing the students that are currently studying with this other gentleman privately, but even seems angry that the gentleman is considering opening another club in Weyburn. Is he afraid? Should he be? I think so. I may join the new group if it becomes a reality because I simply donít think I want to be part of this circus anymore.

There are many things that have upset this woman terribly since shortly she began with the martial art she practices. She has related much of it to me, and while I know she will not be happy with me when she realizes I have done this, I feel it is time to expose this man for everything he is NOT. This woman's accomplishments have gone largely ignored or belittled, while holding potential as yet untapped and unrecognized by the man who pretended to be her instructor. Sheís a very smart lady, and has been ignored by the instructor, as have many other students that are even more deserving of individualized attentions.

This man teaches shotokan karate, yet he canít spell it. I have also learned he only holds a sixth degree in that art. He claims to hold a higher degree, but I have discovered from someone outside this club that he actually holds an HONORARY 9th degree black belt in another art. That art is kung fu, which really has no ranking system, so his 9th degree really means nothing more than someone's attempt to make him feel more important than he truly deserves.

There has never been a person on this planet more in love with the sound of his own voice than this instructor. If youíve ever been to one of his classes when he feels like talking, youíll understand. He will go on and on at length about the inter-club politics of clubs in Edmonton to 9 and 10 year old children who have absolutely NO understanding, and indeed no interest, in such goings-on. To be very honest, neither do most of we adults in his classes, and no one ever enjoys hearing him go on and on about his children, some of whom never come to his classes although they live locally. Others rarely show up and do very little when they do come to class. Much like some of the black belted students of which he claims to be so proud. They strut around like peacocks thinking they are special, all the while looking like fat hillbillies. Itís becoming rather embarrassing admitting youíre one of the students there.

This instructor has alienated several well-meaning and talented martial artists who wanted nothing more than to help him with his classes. While he accepted their help at first, he eventually alienated them through a complete lack of willingness to acknowledge either their talents or their skills, or has made a mockery of their methods to the point of contradicting them in front of the class. Most of them have left in disgust, anger, and frustration.

In the 20 years or more that this instructor has been in charge of his own class, there are many students that have started with him, but have left because of inconsistencies in instruction, poor quality of demonstrated material, refusal to teach why they were learning something, or being expected to supervise a class of 5-10 year olds which basically meant the senior students were being treated like glorified babysitters. It might be true that you learn a great deal by teaching others what you have learned, but you have to have a starting point in the first place in order to be able to perfect what youíve learned through teaching it.

Still other students were insulted by his fraudulent profession of "psychic abilities" and left in disgust when they heard him bragging about absolutely outlandish claims of psychic activities as if they were true. These kinds of professions border on the occult. Many of the former students of this instructor felt they were expected to follow this kind of thinking without question, almost like they were part of a cult and refused to subject themselves to such ridiculous demonstrations and attempts at control. It really does leave you wondering why youíre paying this man anything at all. Sometimes you wonder why you even went to class that night in the first place because you feel like you just completely wasted two hours. It's as much fun as giving your cat a bath!

The woman I am defending in this letter heard the instructor once admit he did not like children, that he couldn't relate to them and that he found the Weyburn class very stressful. She couldn't help but wonder if, since he seemed so uncomfortable around the children in his class then why would he continue? What was the point of being their instructor if it would just make the class unpleasant for everyone involved?

The instructor has failed to make all arts of equal importance, but allows the lower-profile arts such as Tai Chi to become the butt of many derogatory jokes and degrading comments from some of the karate black belts. Many of the senior black belts actually seem to see it as a punishment to have to supervise that class when the regular instructor is either late or unable to attend. Since the students follow the attitude of the senior members of the club, it followed that the comments started to come from the younger students, as well. If you were studying Tai Chi in this environment, would you want to continue being considered a joke? I often felt sorry for this poor little group at the back of the classroom that no one seemed to want to work with.

It is the habit of this instructor to test and promote his students shortly before the bigger tournaments. Because of this, they are not prepared to compete at their newer level, and thus do poorly against more seasoned opponents. Rather than promote them at the end of the season when they would have more time to prepare at their new status, he would prefer to berate them in class for their poor return of awards. However, he will NEVER admit the error in this practice.

He blames students for their failures and shortcomings in the art they have been studying, then punishes and degrades them in class. Duckwalks and pushups are used as disciplinary measures without actually explaining for what they were given. When the students are near the point of exhaustion and almost nauseated with the effort of completing the assigned discipline, he accuses them of being "babies" or "faking", usually rather loudly and definitely in front of the other students in class. He hasnít done this to me yet, but I know my time is coming, and I wonít be happy when it does.

This instructor does not recognize the accomplishments of the students as their own. The better his students do, the more he likes looking good. If his students don't do as well, I have actually witnessed what looks like a pout on his face. He basks in what should be the successful student's moment of triumph, claiming their achievements as his own, while their own pride in their accomplishment goes largely unrecognized.

This man insists everyone is psychic on some level, which is a far-fetched claim in the extreme. He forces pointless exercises on disinterested students in an effort to jump-start what he insists are latent abilities in everyone. To put it bluntly, I find these exercises a complete waste of the time I am paying to learn something else I wanted to learn in the first place.

When asked a question, he has several different methods of answering. If he knows the answer, he will sometimes tell you right away what it is and the curiosity of the student is satisfied and everyone is happy. More frequently, he uses it as a control issue and makes it into a mind game. The man is manipulative in the extreme and will sometimes walk away leaving you standing there expecting instruction you are paying him to impart, yet receiving nothing whatsoever. Other times he will simply become very cryptic and tell you to "go over there to the corner and work on it until you figure out what it's supposed to feel like". On what do you base your conclusions if you've never been given even a hint of what to look for?

I was recently wondering what was involved in testing for a black belt, as this instructor seems to think itís some kind of secret rite only to be viewed by a select few. I found out something very interesting from an outside source because HE certainly wasnít going to tell me. In this club, black belts are awarded to many under-trained individuals after flimsy testing such as being able to slice a sheet of newspaper with a knife hand so it looks like it was cut with a scissors. What practical application would THAT be used for??? Competition scrap-booking?

Speaking of application, most of the application of form is rarely taught. Students achieve elevated status, yet, for the most part, can't spar or execute a decent kata to save their souls. Basic technique is shoddy at best and he refuses to acknowledge his students aren't doing very well. I know mine needs some serious work and I am going to need to go elsewhere to find the instruction I need.

This man will NOT admit to making a mistake. He is a true artist at blaming outside forces for his shortcomings, and honestly believes he is above making errors in kata or technique, as if he were above being a human being when compared to other students, or other clubs.

In my own time as a student of this man, I have never seen someone behave as a hypocrite as flagrantly as does this man. He condemns substance abuse, yet he is a functioning alcoholic himself. He professes to be religiously devout, but gambles huge amounts of money claiming it is what keeps his head above water financially. He is a womanizer and was openly and demonstratively unfaithful to his wife with a student, yet condemns it in others. Actually, he has very little respect for women in general, but would never admit he believes they have a "place" and should stay there. When it comes to fellow instructors, he will condemn and demean their behaviours and choices behind their backs but will pretend to be the best of friends with them in public, to the point of inviting them to dinner after tournaments and seminars as if they were his long-lost brothers.

This so-called instructor refuses to share his skills. He knows the whole form for several arts, but only teaches a small section of it in order to keep his students wanting more. He has refused to share his skills with any but a VERY select few of his black-belt students, and not all of them share the same knowledge of the same form. He teaches different versions to different people, then says they're all wrong and then appears to delight in their confusion as they start debating who is right and who is wrong. This is just one example of the inconsistency that is rampant in this club and has caused countless students to quit in frustration and disgust.

This instructor is behaving childishly and is involving so many more individuals than is necessary simply because a student (the woman who is being defended here) was angry at his treatment of her and questioned his conduct. My understanding is that she has questioned his conduct before, and while his reaction has been similar, he didn't make it public. He agreed at a black belt meeting that as holders of black belts of varying degrees they must account themselves by a higher standard. This man has not done so for quite some time, nor did he specifically in this instance. For many years now, he has deemed himself to be above retribution for anything he does that is questionable, and anyone that does question his authority is to be ostracized by the rest of his "followers" as disloyal to his so-called family.

This childish, manipulative, inconsiderate, unprofessional, vindictive man has unbelievable influence on his students, many of whom are extremely young and impressionable. Some of the younger students' parents have seen of what this instructor is capable, and have quietly withdrawn their children from under his instruction. Other students, who are not so young and their parents not regularly able to attend the classes, just don't come after a while or they are so under the thrall of this man that they will believe whatever he says and sometimes even hurt themselves trying to perform techniques either taught improperly or that are far beyond their current capabilities. Does he care? He simply says they need to "work on it" to get it right. This is not just unprofessional; it is irresponsibility in its most hideous manifestation. Showing lack of concern for your own well-being is just stupid. Showing lack of concern for any student of any age under your instruction is reprehensible and should be challenged at any and every opportunity.

His most recent tactic is punishment. Not of the woman he is so upset with. Indeed, he apparently hasnít even tried to contact her to discuss this situation as would be the mature thing to do. Nor is he punishing the gentleman whose accomplishments he has currently so rudely dismissed. I have observed him taking his frustrations and his ill temper out on his students in Weyburn and Estevan, who do NOT understand what they've done wrong. Their parents are disgusted at the instructor's behaviour and are "not going to stand for much more of this", which is their own words. Furthermore, the woman he is so upset with in the first place burst into tears when I related this to her and is feeling responsible for these children getting hurt and mistreated simply because she stood up for herself. She is not responsible for this man's behaviour. Is he not, in his own words, ďa black belt to be held to a higher standard"?

I leave you to your own conclusions. Many of those that read this that live or train in this area will most certainly recognize this man just from the context of this letter. For those of you that happen upon this letter and are more curious, I invite you to visit the dojos of Vilcu Karate Klub in either Estevan or Weyburn, Saskatchewan and see for yourselves just what a charlatan and a fraud really look like.

I thank-you sincerely for your kind attention.

TheRuss
6/18/2009 9:38am,
Maybe u should try some truth instead of backstabbing.The woman ????????????? is not a very good person.Try looking in the mirror before u acuse someone of wrong doing.This is truely BS from the first word to the last.This KRAP will slap u in the face

And who might you be?

DarkPhoenix
6/18/2009 9:39am,
Why necro a post without adding anything pertinent to the discussion?

http://www.magicdeckvortex.com/images/article_images/idiot.gif

Yoj
6/18/2009 10:03am,
I'm not reading all that.

DarkPhoenix
6/18/2009 10:11am,
I'm not reading all that.


I tried, but lost interest by the 2nd paragraph. It just sounded like a bitchfest to me.

:israel7va

kikoolol
6/19/2009 3:02pm,
I read all of it.

It's basically just "instructor plays favorites and teaches crap, waah waah waah". I mean it's Shotokan, and it's in Saskatchewan nonetheless. No **** it's going to suck?

The only funny part is when the writer claims achieving 10th dan in one's own system is a big feat.

Move along folks.

ivilcu
9/15/2009 10:59am,
This instructor actually has his Masters degree from Master Margitte Hilbig. The co-founder of Shotokan karate in western Canada. Please get your facts straight before writing this slanderous crap.

TheRuss
9/15/2009 7:12pm,
This instructor actually has his Masters degree from Master Margitte Hilbig. The co-founder of Shotokan karate in western Canada. Please get your facts straight before writing this slanderous crap.

A Master's degree in what? And what body of accreditation gave "Margitte Hilbig" the authority to grant meaningful Master's degrees?