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#190423 - 10/03/05 05:33 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Kintama]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
BTW: Didn't Villari go to jail for something like embezzlement or defrauding investors? Isn't that how the Supreme Great Grandmaster (who was the former R-hand guy) took over the chain & changed the name to USSD?

Any historians out there know?

#190424 - 10/03/05 09:29 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: hedkikr]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
here's an edited timeline excerpt, the credit for this basis is in the link that follows:

1946 Adriano Emperado began training with James Mitose and William Chow.

1946-1952 With the end of the war Mitose wanted to start teaching other aspects of his family's art beyond just the "war arts." Most of his American students, however, were only interested in the fighting technique and had no interest in the other cultural aspects of the art. This is when many of the students, including Emperado, began to leave Mitose to train instead with Chow. It seems this process took place gradually over the years between the end of the war and Mitose's move to California in 1953. As one of Mitose's top students, Chow did much of the actual teaching of the techniques, as was common during this time period. At some point between 1946 and 1950 Chow left Mitose altogether and many of the students went with him.

1947-1949 Adriano Emperado, along with several other martial artists (the notorious "Black Belt Society,") first formulated the system of Kajukenbo. This system used Mitose's Kempo as the backbone of the system, but also included Shotokan Karate, Kodokan Judo, Sekeino Jujutsu, Sil-lum Pai Kung Fu and Escrima. The system was designed to be the ultimate in self defense. While they were creating the system members of the Black Belt Society would intentionally get into fights in the Paloma settlement of Hawaii where they lived in order to decide which techniques were good enough to include in the system. The system consisted of self defense techniques that were created from the Kempo, Judo, Jujutsu and Kung Fu systems, forms that were derived from Karate and others that were created by the Society and originally known as the "Paloma sets," and knife and stick fighting from Escrima.

1949 By this time Chow had begun teaching on his own. Emperado was the main instructor for Chow. It is unclear exactly when Chow left Mitose, when Emperado was promoted to Black Belt and by whom. Most sources claim Chow left Mitose in 1949. It may have been as early as 1946 or as late as 1950. In any event, it is clear that by 1949 Kajukenbo existed in its earliest form and the Kempo of James Mitose's system was used as the backbone of the new system, not that of William Chow. Chow would eventually formulate his own system but this did not take place until well after the birth of Kajukenbo and Mitose's departure from Hawaii.

1950 Victor "Sonny" Gascon began training in Kajukenbo. He did not train directly with Emperado but with some of his Black Belts. He had already trained in Judo and Jujutsu from 1945-48. He joined the Air Force in 1952, which temporarily took him out of training. In 1953, however, he was stationed back in Hawaii and resumed his training.

1956 Sonny Gascon moved to Pasadena, California.

1958 Sonny Gascon began teaching in California at John Leoning's school. John was another Kajukenbo Black Belt. Leoning had already begun modifying the system, and these modifications continued after Gascon joined him. The forms now known as 1 Kata, 3 Kata and 5 Kata were among the earliest creations in the system. The modification process took place over a period of years and it is uncertain what was created exactly when, and in what order. However it is commonly acknowledged that 1, 3 and 5 Kata came first, and then the combinations, and then 2 and 4 Kata.

1960 Sonny Gascon began teaching on his own. George Pesare began training with Sonny Gascon in California.

1961 Due to "politics," Sonny Gascon left behind the name of Kajukenbo and called his system Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu. Gascon enlisted the aid of his brother-in-law, Walter Godin, in further modifying the system. By 1963 at the latest the system included 1-5 Kata, Statue of the Crane, combinations 1-12 and combinations 13, 22 and 26, although these were not numbered. These forms and fighting techniques were all based on Kajukenbo material. The Katas were combinations of the shorter Kajukenbo forms and the combinations were based on the Kajukenbo punch defenses.

1963 George Pesare opened his school in Rhode Island. This event is extremely significant because all Kempo schools in New England that are not affiliated with the Parker or Tracy systems of Kempo can trace their roots to this one, single event. Pesare was the man single-handedly responsible for bringing Kempo from California to New England.

1963 Nick Cerio began training with George Pesare. He had already trained in Judo and Tae Kwon Do.

1966 Nick Cerio earned his Black Belt and opened his own school. The system he was teaching included 1-5 Kata, 6 Kata which George Pesare created, Statue of the Crane, and combinations 1-13, 22 and 26.

1967 Nick Cerio first met Professor Chow in Hawaii. Chow promoted Cerio to Shodan in Chinese Kempo. Cerio also met Mas Oyama and trained in his Okinawan system of Kyokushin Kai Karate. Over time Cerio added 1, 3, 4 and 5 Pinan, which came from Oyama's system, 2 Pinan which Cerio created, and Hon Suki which he learned from Bill Chun, Sr., who was a senior student of Professor Chow. Cerio also added the rest of the 26 combinations from techniques he learned from Professor Chow.

1967 Fred Villari began training with Nick Cerio.

1969 Fred Villari earned his Black Belt from Nick Cerio.

1971 Nick Cerio went to Hawaii to train with William Chow. At this time Chow awarded Cerio his 5th Degree Black Belt. Cerio would go on to formulate his own system. Up until this time he taught Karazenpo as he had learned it from George Pesare, with some modifications and additions.

1971 Fred Villari left Nick Cerio and started his own school in Dedham, MA. Larry Mangone was a Green belt in the system at the time and left with Fred Villari. Evidence suggests Nick Cerio had dropped Escrima from the system. Sonny Gascon certainly included it, and it seems George Pesare did as well. However Fred Villari never did. It is unclear whether Nick Cerio or Fred Villari was the first to drop this aspect of the system. By this time the system included 1-6 Kata, 1-5 Pinan, Statue of the Crane, Hon Suki and the combinations up to 26.

(1975 - Fred Villari's 'House of Pizza' comes to Kintama's hometown in Mass. )

1971-1988 Fred Villari formulated his system of Shaolin Kempo and proliferated the system through Fred Villari's Studios of Self Defense. He added all the combinations from 27 to 108, and the forms, Two Man Fist Set, Sho Tun Kwok, Nengli South, Nengli North, Swift Tigers, Invincible Wall, Branches of the Falling Pine, Lost Leopard, Tai Sing Mon, 1000 Buddhas, Five Dragons Face the Four Winds, Snake, Wounded Tigers and Immortal Monkey and the Plum Tree Blocking System. No one knows for sure where this material all came from. Until 1971 the material up to Black Belt comprised the whole of the Karazenpo system. The Black Belt Society originally formulated Kajukenbo to be the most effective self defense system in the world. They were not interested in creating a system that anyone would study for a lifetime. When Sonny Gascon began teaching in 1958 he did so with the knowledge of a First Degree Black Belt because that was all that existed. Pesare, Cerio and Villari each also began teaching with the same amount of knowledge. Fred Villari added all the forms and techniques beyond First Degree Black Belt in his system. Cerio, Pesare, Gascon and Emperado would do the same with their systems.

1973 Steve DeMasco began training with Larry Mangone in Brockton, MA. He had already had experience in boxing and also trained with George Mattson in Uechi-Ryu Karate from 1971-73.

1982 Steve DeMasco earned his 4th Degree Black Belt from Fred Villari and his instructor certification in Praying Mantis Kung Fu.

1988 Charlie Mattera left Fred Villari and started his own chain of schools called United Studios of Self Defense. This sparked a chain reaction. Most of the top Black Belts in the Villari system would follow suit. Fred Bagely, Cal Carozzi, Jimmy Bryant, Bob Nohelty and ultimately Steve DeMasco would all leave Fred Villari.

1988 Steve DeMasco earned his 6th Degree Black Belt.

1991 Steve DeMasco earned his 7th Degree Black Belt. This would be the last promotion he would ever receive from Fred Villari.

1993 Steve DeMasco left Fred Villari and became partners with Charlie Mattera. DeMasco thus far has not added any material to the system. He eliminated the material that Villari taught beyond 4th Degree Black Belt. Villari claimed the advanced forms in the system were Shaolin forms. No one knows where the forms actually came from but they are not Shaolin Kung Fu forms.

based primarily on this timeline:

look at this website and then realize that USSD was created by this guy's students!

In a nutshell, it was a bunch of guys fighting over market share...thats how we have so many Kexpo McDojo's nowadays...that timeline basically outlines where McDojo mentality was born and how fast watering down a system can happen.
Fred Villari, I believe, is the supreme great grandmaster soke of McDojoism - he wasn't the first to water-down, but he was one of the very first to mass-produce a watered-down franchise and then over-charge for it... USSD is made from one of his students.
But, there are always people that say it depends on the instructor, not the style...I'm afraid in this case, the 'style' itself is part of the scam. now, maybe they have evolved and took out some of the rediculousness out and made it more vanilla mcdojo and less blatent...but the history of USSD's foundation was at one time based on 'what looks cool enough to sell'.

As far as the legal issues, I don't think Villari went to jail, but he certainly had more than a few trials. He was also a pioneer in the concept of 'self-promoting' yourself to 10th-dan. I'm sure people thought of it, just no one had the nuts to do it before.

The reason I dislike this chain in particular is because while I was training in an Okinawan style dojo, this clown was commercializing 'Martial Arts' and 'Karate' with his crap so people were thinking that was the image of Martial of his selling points was that he would tell people that we were doing MA in the 'old way of training'. Which actually worked out better, since the classes were smaller, but our Sensei had a hard time keeping the doors open sometimes. It was like Wal-mart vs a Mom-n-Pop shop.

anyway, enough on that. thats all I know.

#190425 - 10/03/05 11:45 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Kintama]
thisguy Offline

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 81
Loc: fullerton CA
I was wondering when USSD would come up as the McDojo question. hedkiker preatty much outlined and said exactlly what they are about. i dont know what state your USSD school is in, but here in cali they are like fleas on a lost dog. on the bright side, they have polite instructors from what i have seen.

#190426 - 10/03/05 11:49 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Kintama]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA

Now why did I know you'd have the answer?

I totally agree. Last year I managed to save a former colleague over $80.00 a month by steering her clear of USSD & to the Ryobukai dojo just down the street (Kiyoshi Yamazaki).

I'll keep doing it as long as possible. I've witnessed their so-called training.

#190427 - 10/04/05 05:41 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Leo_E_49]
shaolinmonkdude Offline

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 8

Perhaps we should all set some kind of estimated upper limit on the price of training in a non-McDojo, so that people have something to reference? I know prices will fluctuate with economic conditions but there should be some guide as to what to expect.

I'm thinking that a good price is between 50-100 USD per month, anything less is really cheap (not necessarily poor quality). Anything more than 250 USD I would call overly expensive. This excludes training equipment of course but should include grading fees.

Anyone else have any estimates? I'd like to hear what kinds of fees we're paying.

50 to 100 sounds good to me.
I meant 120,000 for a dojo.
At ussd I beleave its about 175 a month for training?

#190428 - 10/04/05 05:54 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: shaolinmonkdude]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Oh right, I must have missed the three 0s you tagged on the end there.

Seriously though, not everyone here is interested in how much it costs to buy a Dojo. Most people want to know what kind of fees are reasonable while learning.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#190429 - 10/05/05 01:42 AM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Leo_E_49]
shaolinmonkdude Offline

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 8

Oh right, I must have missed the three 0s you tagged on the end there.

Seriously though, not everyone here is interested in how much it costs to buy a Dojo. Most people want to know what kind of fees are reasonable while learning.

True not everyone wants to know how much a dojo is, but in my opinion I think everyone should know about the disease of ussd. And alot of people go into theses things pretty naive and dont know the facts.
As for the test fees their 45 for yellow and orange and 60 for purple 75 for blue and I think its 100 or 125 for green 200 a piece for all 3 degrees of brown and I think 300 for black unless they raised it again?and by the way all the green and brown and black belt test fees go to headquarters.
So in short you are good enough to teach them to black and beyond but not good enough to test them?

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