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Chief Master Dave Weatherly, World Martial Arts Academy, Fenton, MI: 5th & 8th Dans?

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    Chief Master Dave Weatherly, World Martial Arts Academy, Fenton, MI: 5th & 8th Dans?

    So I was looking online to try to find a local school with a Judo program and I found this site:

    I was really suprised to discover that they had a judo program there since Mr. Weatherly is pretty well known around here, and I'd never once heard of him doing Judo.

    I called up to ask about classes and I got the man himself on the phone:

    Me: "Hi, i saw you offer Judo classes"
    DW: "Yes we do."
    Me: "Who's the main instructor of those classes?
    DW: "Well I teach some of them, and we have some other black belts who instruct as well.
    Me: "Great! what rank do you hold?"
    DW: "I have a 8th degree black belt."
    Me: "IN JUDO!??!"
    DW: "No, in Hapkido, in Judo I have a 5th degree."

    (To me that seems a bit... high)
    Me: "Wow, ok, I'll come in and check out your classes"

    Upon arriving at his school to watch the class he notices my brother and I and invites us to come to his office and chat. He is not teaching the class. He gives us a very long speech about how Hapkido is the ultimate and original martial art. Here are some quotes:

    DW: "Hapkido is the original martial art. All martial arts come from Hapkido."
    DW: "I tell most people to do Hapkido cause it has everything in it. It has grappling, karate, throws"
    DW: "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- heh. That's just Judo with a new name to trick you and get your money. There's nothing new there, it's just Judo."
    DW: "Some people can't handle our Hapkido classes, you know some people are big guys who can't kick very well, and some are small guys who don't wanna handle the grappling aspect of it. I recommend they take Judo or TKD because those are our "softer" classes.
    DW: "I'd give demos back in the day. First the karate people would come out and do their forms, then the judo people would come out and do some throws and chokes. Then I'd come out and I'd be throwing 2 or 3 people at once and I'd impress the hell out of them"
    More Style bashing:
    DW: "Kung fu, don't even get me started on that. It's all a bunch of crap"
    DW: "Tang so doo, that's just a dance class to make soccar moms feel like they're teaching their kids to protect themselves"

    Best quote Ever:
    DW: "There some guys around here claiming to be MASTERS, they're just Americans."

    After about 20 minutes of this rant I asked him some questions.

    ME: "What belt rank did you say you had in Judo again?"
    DW: "A 5th degree black belt"
    ME: "Is it in Yudo or Judo?"
    DW: "Yudo, but it's exactly the same thing"
    ME: "Who are your belts registered with?"
    DW: "The united states Yudo assoiciation."
    ME: "Ok cool."

    At this point my brother (who holds a brown belt in Judo) and I went to go watch the class. Although Mr. Weatherly seemed not too up on Judo, dispite being a 5th dan. We wanted to see the class.

    Some things I noticed off the bat were that although this is "Yudo" they're using the japaneese name for everything. I don't know if this is the standard practice or not, perhaps a Yudoka could fill me in.

    Adults were wearing children belt colors. Some had stripes on them. Someone in the class was wearing a red belt.

    We were anxious to see the rondori, if their rondori was of high quality that probably would have sold us. Class ends, no rondori. Insted class ended with some drill where your opponent would push you a few times and then you would do a compliant very-akido-like takedown.

    Two of the kid students in there decide to spar with each other on the ground (I forget the Judo term, is it newaza?) Anyway the slightly bigger of the two pulls guard on the smaller one. One of the black belt instructors says, "What would you do from there in a REAL fight except get punched in the face?"
    The student promptly armbared the other one, and I hear someone say, "That kid used to take brazilian jiu jitsu". After armbarring the other kid (A technique which they'd just showed in class.) the same instructor who asked what he'd do in a real fight exclaimed, "If it's not in the Kodokon it doesn't belong in class!!!"
    At that point my brother looked at me and said, "Like their belt system?"

    The kids sparred again and the other one promptly pulled guard and then triangled the other kid. The instructor again yelled at the kid saying "that wasn't judo" and telling him he "watched to much TV" whatever the fuck that meant.

    During that match Cheif Master Weatherly came out and watched them spar. The kid who pulled guard was attempting a kimura. CM weatherly looked at one of his instructors, and to me he seemed a bit confused. He said, 'Looks like he's attempting some sorta "wing-lock".

    I looked on the walls of the place to see if there were any Yudo/Judo certificates next to the bunch of Hapkido ones, but I couldn't find any.

    I left there pretty unimpressed, but not wanting to be scammed I wrote an email to the united states Yudo Org asking if Cheif Master weatherly held any rank in Yudo. It's been over a week with no reply.

    Anyway, does anyone know of any way to verify a ranking in Yudo or Judo beyond writing letters to the organizations? I didn't see any certificates showing his rank. I also didn't get to see CM Weatherlys skill at all at Yudo, I just found it odd that a 5th dan in Judo would be so.... dismissive of it.

    Are Ranks in Yudo easier to get than Judo? I know a 5th degree is very high ranking.

    Looking on the internet I couldn't turn up anything about him holding rank in Yudo/Judo. But I did find this and found it Humorous:

    In 1984 Dave Weatherly was The President of "North American Hapkido Federation "

    He is A little bit controversial he claimed to have studied under someone Named Master Ji San Jae ,whom he said was the younger Brother Of Ji Han Jae .He was making these claims years ago .No one I repeat No one in Hapkido had ever heard of him ,I checked in Korea As did my teachers

    This Master Ji of his was so ly and the Best he was considered and A national treasure of Korea. He was not allowed to leave Korea ,And lived in a temple in the mountains training and Teaching Hapkido,"Weatherly" was So lucky to be his only student

    I asked Grandmaster Ji about this and he said if this guy trained under His brother ,He would be in the Hotel Business he laughed since his brother was a Hotel manager.

    I met him ( Weatherly ) in 1984 or so ,He had seen my picture in Traditional TKD magazine and wanted to get together ,And unify Hapkido I was a fourth Dan under the Old "Korea Hapkido Association" and he claimed to be under the "Kido Hae" and thougth the KHA would bless this merger

    We (mike McCarty) and I helped him to a demonstration in Flint Mich. Along with Keven Fowler a student Of Master Hyun in chicago and Mike Ausburger of Chung do mool sul kwan . Also at the demonstration were the Ma brothers (twins) and master Yang these guys were Kuk Sool at the time . They were also elected in this organization

    In order to promote the seminar/demonstration "Dave" requested I send photos of myself for a newspaper article on Hapkido and for the Posters advertising the event ,I did not send any so He found someone whom had dark hair and a mustache and used his face with my name .

    'OH" i forgot to mention He also made me the Vice president of the New association ,without an Election or anything "COOL" I resigned in about a week

    This all I know you can check with some of the names i mentioned in case I may have forgotten something
    Which was taken from:

    Anyway, humor aside I'm mostly interested in Finding out if he holds a 5th dan in yudo/judo.
    Last edited by Bustardo; 10/20/2007 9:00am, .

    How old was he in 1961 when he started training? One picture says he was 21 in 1979.


      Originally posted by sempaiman
      How old was he in 1961 when he started training? One picture says he was 21 in 1979.
      He told us he was 3 or 4 years old when he started training Yudo. I can't remember if he said 3 or 4.


        SO he was worried about being called a "Pa Ja" when he was 4 yrs old.?


          Hey... that's what his story says... I didn't write it.


            Dave Weatherly is the same guy who use to walk around Genesse Valley Mall with a group of his blackbelts, all in uniform acting as his bodyguards. Anyone who does that can't be taken too seriously.


              Wow... that's just great.... lol


                The whole idea of that weirdo throwing (anything but totally compliant) "2 or 3 people" is just too funny.

                There has to be some way to check on his credentials. I find it VERY odd that he never mentioned Judo/Yudo in his prominent ads for like 20 years, but a few years after the only legit judo school in town shut down, his j/yudo credentials popped up.
                El sueno de la razon produce monstruos.


                  Still haven't heard back from the US Yudo org. Any advice as to how I could proceed to try and validate this guys credentials?

                  EDIT: I searched the USJA for Henry L'Esperance who is one of his instrucors. He's listed on the site as a Godan. So I have no doubt that HE is legit. (Even though he runs a Judo class with no rondori).

                  The question still remains about Mr. Weatherly's 5th dan in Judo and 8th dan in hapkido.
                  Last edited by Bustardo; 11/02/2007 8:52am, .


                    Originally posted by Bustardo
                    Still haven't heard back from the US Yudo org. Any advice as to how I could proceed to try and validate this guys credentials?

                    EDIT: I searched the USJA for Henry L'Esperance who is one of his instrucors. He's listed on the site as a Godan. So I have no doubt that HE is legit. (Even though he runs a Judo class with no randori).

                    The question still remains about Mr. Weatherly's 5th dan in Judo and 8th dan in hapkido.
                    ... that's not legit in my book.

                    They should just call it Aikido or Small Circle Jujitsu
                    without any alive training.
                    It's not judo.


                      Well at the end of their class we witnessed some very Aikido-like throws and kind of looked at each other like "wtf?!". However I don't know if 1) the aikido-like compliant drills are the norm and 2) if Henry was running that paticular class and 3) if no rondori is the norm.

                      One student said to another one , "I'm gonna spar with you Tuesday so you better be ready!" to another one. Which kind of made me feel that sparring isn't normal. It looked like the Dave Almquist (2nd dan) was running the class.

                      Anyway as a side note I found a judo place a mile away from my house, ran by a shodan who's only charge is the USJA membership. They do technique heavy 1 day and rondori heavy 1 day. I'm going to go watch their class later today.
                      Last edited by Bustardo; 11/03/2007 10:06am, .


                        Hmm....look at this link:

                        Mr. Weatherly has been sued a number of times and has one misdemenor conviction. There's also reference to a "Black Belt Security". Does he run a security service??


                          Yawn yawn.

                          First of all this seems like complete crap to me.

                          Secondly, WHY when the guy does compliant drills, do you leap to call it AIKIDO?

                          That's OK for YMAS but explain yourselves here.

                          Firstly, Tomiki/Shodokan schools of Aikido do Randori (Yes it's not ROndori) and are very similar in approach to Judo.

                          Yoshinkan Aikido don't do complaint twirly stuff either - it's atemi and overwhelm, linear not circular. Their freestyle is way better than Judo randori IMHO in that you receive many repeated attacks and have to vary your defence. Judo randori produces very few techniques in a short space of time. Weapons are also involved in Aikido freestyle.

                          No, I'm not an Aikido nutrider, you just seem to need some imagination in describing the crap you saw, rather than opting for the tired old 'it's like Aikido' bollocks. If the guy is crap at Judo, call him on it. Ask him to demonstrate how to perform randori on your brown belt brother. Don't describe crap Judo as like Aikido - crap is crap, end of.


                            Nice find. I'm searching and I can't find anything about Black Belt Security being a company in Michigan, but admittedly my google-fu is a bit weak.


                              Good find. I also checked the Circuit Court records, and found that he has been sued for as much as $17k by another local karate instructor. Wonder what that's about.
                              El sueno de la razon produce monstruos.



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