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mrgorth
06-03-2004, 12:21 PM
Hey all. I'm new here and fairly new to aikido in general. I've got my 6 year old taking lessons and I've got my yellow belt. I'll probably start back up in the fall (I tend to mt. bike in the summer). I was wondering if you guys could let me know what you think of the dojo I'm at or if you've heard anything about my sensei Keith Badyna, the style, etc. Thanks. Here's the link: Saboten-Ryu.com (http://www.saboten-ryu.com)

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2004, 12:32 PM
Keith R. Badyna Phd.MS

Just currious...What is his Phd in? What is his Masters in?

Rank: 8th degree Blackbelt, Hachidan, Master Instructor

8th Dan? What **aikido** instructor ranked him to 8th dan?

I seem to remember a newspaper article on him some years ago. I believe it had him as the highest ranked 'occidental' in america...

I also seem to remember a retraction printed sometime later.

But if you enjoy training there, I'm not sure anything else matters. He looks like a big, tough guy, and if he's teaching what you want to learn...

Ron

mrgorth
06-03-2004, 12:37 PM
Not sure off the top of my head. I'll see what I can find out. What's an "occidental"?

AsimHanif
06-03-2004, 01:05 PM
Good questions Ron. Sensei Badyna lists Tomiki ryu as a system he trained in but does not list his Tomiki rank or instructor, although he lists some of his other credentials.
Mark, I would echo Ron in that if this is what works for you go with it. If you are looking for aikido training I would consult the recognized organizations. Even if you don't go with a "known" or recognized organization, you can probably find a link to a lessor known but still credible aikido organization.

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2004, 01:06 PM
Of or relating to the countries of the Occident or their peoples or cultures; western.

n.
A native or inhabitant of an Occidental country; a westerner.

Email me at the address in my profile if you have more questions.

Ron

BC
06-03-2004, 01:08 PM
The "World Head of Family Sokeship Council" always makes me a bit suspect. However, he does seem honest in his representation of his art as one he formed himself. As long as you are comfortable with the fact that it is probably a bit of a departure from traditional aikido, it shouldn't be a big deal. My personal preference is to practice in a traditional aikido dojo. YMMV.

John Boswell
06-03-2004, 01:30 PM
Mark,

I can't offer you any info on your current instructor, but just doing a brief check on Pa. ...I found Donovan Waite has a dojo right in the heart of Philly. That's about an hour from you (or less) isn't it? Were I in your shoes, I would go out of my way to go see him. He is highly well known in the aikido world and would be worthy of the drive... imho.

Best of luck in your endevors! :)

AsimHanif
06-03-2004, 01:33 PM
I would agree with John if only to get a comparison.

aikidoc
06-03-2004, 02:47 PM
I'm somewhat of a traditionalist. From the website, I only have questions and observations. You can make of them what you feel works for you. Here are quotes from the site.

"The founder of Saboten Ryu Aikido is Sensei Keith R. Badyna. This style of Aikido comes from Tomiki or free fighting Aikido. After many years of studying Tomiki Aikido, Sensei Badyna decided to study many different Martial arts." He gets a 3rd dan in Tomiki ryu aikido and then studies several other arts. He then makes up his own art and gets it certified by a Soke council. He then gets promoted to 8th dan. 8th dan in the aikikai is very difficult to get-usually these guys have studied 40-50 years. Generally, these are made up other other people who have done exactly the same thing. E-budo is a good place to check and see if he has been discussed before.

"Saboten Ryu Dojo was ranked the the #1 Aikido / Kenjutsu in the United States by the World head of the family Sokeship council in 2002. In 2004 by the United States Martial Arts Association."

"In June of 2002 Badyna Sensei received his Hachi Dan( 8th Degree) from Hanshi Lou Angel of the National College of Martial Arts.."
1. The National College of Martial Arts? Never heard of them. What makes them or authorizes them to award rank in Aikido-especially a style made up by someone who never held higher than 3rd dan in the style (Tomiki) he claims to use as the basis for his art? 3rd dan to 8th dan is a pretty big leap. There are also some questionable uses of the rank of dan for the arts he studied. Only Japanese arts use dan ranks. Korean (Taekwando) and Chinese (Kung Fu-Style?) do not. See the following from the site. He uses dan ranks for Korean and Chinese arts as well as Japanese.
"Tae Kwon Do - 1st Dan (Cireum).
Ninjutsu - 2nd Dan (Sasori Ryu)
Jujitsu - 2nd Dan (Sekiguchi Ryu)
Kung Fu - 1st Dan (Chow-Gar)
Karate - 1st Dan (Shukokai)
Kenjutsu - 1st Dan (Shinkendo)
Saboten Ryu - 8th Dan
Shinkendo --1st Dan
Kendo - 1st- Dan
Aikido - 3rd Dan -- Tomiki"

He has a Phd and MS. I'd check and see if these came from the same National College of Martial Arts. In other words, are these legitimate Phd/MS credentials. This is another one for the E-Budo site. Lots of good discussions on this type of practice.

I'd do a search on the instructor on e budo.

Clayton Drescher
06-03-2004, 03:22 PM
My hapkido instructor, San Yoon ( who also taught judo and taekwondo) used dan ranks for all those arts. I didn't know much about the arts at that time, but even looking back I don't doubt his abilities. He is a published author and was on the Olympic judging panel for the US Taekwondo team and had a 10th dan in hapkido and 10th dan in taekwondo, 3rd dan judo. I'm not sure how dan rankings work exactly for those arts especially as compared to aikido, but I was duly impressed and have never had reason to doubt.

Best luck Mark, hope I didn't get too off topic

CD

Berney Fulcher
06-03-2004, 03:23 PM
No comments on your present school but if you are interested in area choices, I live very near you (Harleysville, PA) and go to this Dojo http://www.asahidojo.com/ in Collegeville. Nice people, small Dojo. USAF affiliated.

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2004, 03:23 PM
E-budo is a good place to check and see if he has been discussed before.

He has been discussed before. But e-budo is down right now...

RT

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2004, 03:26 PM
Asahi dojo has some good folks...Pam and Mike are great! Trained with them several times, and they also train with Utada Sensei. You can also pick up some good judo from them. I'd train there in a hot second!

RT

Jim Sorrentino
06-03-2004, 03:52 PM
Greetings All,

In 1997, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran two articles on Keith Badyna. The reporter was Art Carey. I was able to download the articles from the Inquirer's website several years ago for a small fee.

In the first article, published February 10, the reporter wrote that Badyna "earned black belts in several Asian warrior disciplines - judo, karate, kung fu and jiujitsu, to name a few. But his specialty is aikido. He is so proficient in this Japanese martial art that in November [1996] he was awarded a seventh-degree black belt." Badyna went on to claim that he was "a shihan, or master teacher, who twice has been named 'instructor of the year' by the American Aikido Instructors Association." Badyna also asserted that he began learning aikido in Japan at the age of 10, training four hours per day, and claimed that he served as a Navy SEAL and commando assassin. He strongly implied that he had hurt or killed people during his military service. He stated that his nickname in the SEALs was (I am not making this up) "the Land Shark". Badyna claimed to have disarmed a knife-wielding mugger in a nearby mall while doing his Christmas shopping a few months before the article appeared.

The local aikido community, along with a Navy veteran and the police, contacted Mr. Carey and expressed concern about these claims. On February 24, 1997, the Inquirer ran the following story, which I quote in part:

MARTIAL ARTIST WAS NOT ALL HE CLAIMED

By Art Carey

Two weeks ago, I introduced you to a martial-arts instructor named Keith Badyna. The column told his story about how he had disarmed a knife-wielding mugger at the Montgomery Mall. He described himself as a seventh-degree black belt in aikido and said he was one of only two in North America. Badyna talked about his background as a Navy Seal and how he had transformed from a "mean guy" to one who embraced the "way of harmony."

Unfortunately, Badyna now says several things he told me were untrue.

After the column appeared, several readers questioned the veracity of Badyna's claims.

When I asked Badyna about these doubts, he insisted everything was true. After I pressed, however, he began to waffle and then admitted he had lied.

I told Badyna it was absolutely imperative that we set the record straight. I could do it on my own in print, I said, or he could make a confession. The latter route was the manly, honorable way to go, I told him, the way of the samurai or ancient Japanese warriors he so admires. Badyna agreed.

Last week, we met at a diner in Colmar, Montgomery County, near the studio where Badyna teaches aikido. He brought along a letter:

"I want to apologize to those I misled because of the untruths I told. . . . For some reason only God knows, I wanted to make things appear to be more than they were. I want to set the record straight:

"I am not a certified seventh-degree black belt and my black belts in the other martial arts are not certified, but I am confident of my knowledge of martial arts and believe my ability speaks for itself.

"I was not a member of the Seal team nor did I ever serve in the US Navy.

"I did not live or go to school in Japan or study aikido there four hours a day.

"I didn't realize what kind of effect this would have on me. When Mr. Carey called and asked if I'd been truthful, my conscience attacked me like a tidal wave. In my heart, I knew I hadn't. So many thoughts raced through my head I didn't know what to do. So I called my older brother, who is a minister in a church, and told him what I had done. He told me . . . the only answer is to tell the truth. . . .

"I am a teacher who cares about his students and always tells them there is no perfection in anyone. Through poor judgment and not believing in myself, I have proven this. I ask for your forgiveness."

Still unresolved is the mall incident. Badyna maintains it happened, though not the way he originally described it. As he tells it now, the assailant ran away before mall security or the police arrived. "I don't know what happened to the knife," he told me. In Badyna's new version, there is no third-party witness who can provide corroboration.

As for being named "Instructor of the Year" by an aikido instructors association, Badyna said he could not locate the organization's address or telephone number even though on the wall are plaques purportedly from the group.

What's sad about this is that there was no need for Badyna to puff himself up. Whatever the level of his martial-arts skills, he is a gifted, engaging instructor who is liked and respected by his students. I know this because I watched him teach for an hour.

At the diner, Badyna told me: "Anybody who knows martial arts knows that it's a dishonorable thing that I've done. There's nothing I can do about it except to move on and not make these mistakes again, and that's what I'm trying to do. I don't want to put all the other martial arts down because of the mistakes that I've made. It's not fair to everyone else who practices so hard every day."
******************

It seems that Mr. Badyna has not learned his lesson after all.

Jim Sorrentino

Ron Tisdale
06-03-2004, 04:03 PM
Hi Jim,

I searched pretty hard, but I could not find that online anymore...glad you saved it. I met you at Ellis Amdur's seminar in Harrisburg. Hope all is well.

Ron

aikidoc
06-03-2004, 04:16 PM
Here's a little on the National College of Martial Arts (if this is the one).

"The NCMA does testing by video tape, or you may travel to the NCMA International Headquarters for testing and training. Hanshi Angel also travels throughout the world doing seminars and advanced training and rank testing. Call for information about seminars and testing in your area."

The NCMA gives you the rank advancement opportunities you need without the usual strings.

Regardless of the style or method you prefer, NCMA welcomes you as a member and provides a path of advancement for instructors and individuals.

The goal of the NCMA is to see that all members receive the recognition they deserve without the politics which often plague the Martial Arts world today.

"Hanshi Lou Angel, a 10th Dan and Hanshi of the Tenshi Goju Kai started the N.C.M.A. in 1989 to provide a non-political environment for the advancement of the art of Karate. "

"Hanshi Angel has over 48 years in the Martial Arts and has studied many styles, his lifelong preference being the Tenshi Goju system. Hanshi Angel's experience in the Martial Arts allows him to judge the abilities and skill level of each member, regardless of their system or style. He is recognized as a Head of Family by the World Soke Council"

So, the guy that owns the National College of Martial Arts is also head of the same Soke Family Mr. Badyna certified his art through. He is also the one who set up the Soke Council. He set up his own art as well and is 10th dan. He set up the NCMA to provide a non-political environment for the advancement of Karate-yet he promotes someone to 8th dan in a made up style of aikido with no obvious aikido credentials!

As for being honored by martial arts organizations one needs to be careful. Those are frequently meaningless. I got one in the mail last week and for $200 and a trip to Nashville I could have been inducted into the hall of fame. Trust me I am not worthy of a martial arts hall of fame-I'm just an avarage practitioner with rank that does not justify a legitimate award. Now if I wanted to pay the $200 and make a trip to Nashville, I could have greased someone's pocket and had a fancy certificate to hang on the wall. So what. It is worthless other than as a marketing tool for the unsuspecting public.

Jim Sorrentino
06-03-2004, 04:21 PM
Hi Ron,

Of course I remember you!

I also searched on the Inquirer website, and I can't find it either. I am glad I saved the file, given that Mr. Badyna is still out there. Perhaps you or one of the other Pennsylvania aikidoka might contact Art Carey about this. He is still writing for the Inquirer as a physical fitness columnist. His address is acarey@phillynews.com.

Good luck!

Jim
Jim

aikidoc
06-03-2004, 04:32 PM
Correction. It appears from the World Head of Family Sokeship Council that Lou Angel did not set up the Sokeship council he's just a member. Here is an interesting statement from the Sokeship page.

DISCLAIMER REGARDING GRANDMASTER MEMBERSHIP
Unlike many martial arts organizations which give or charge for gradings in styles which they have no recognized authority to do so. The World Head of Family Sokeship Council DOES NOT make or grant grandmaster status. The WHFSC only accepts those who are RECOGNIZED grandmasters within the world martial arts community.

We acknowledge that the titles of "Professor" and "Doctor" are terms used in academia to describe those who have earned degrees through accredited Colleges & Universities. Our use of the term, however, is based on the HISTORICAL USE of the terms WORLDWIDE to describe high ranking martial artists who have earned that title through their respective martial art. Though some of our members actually have an academic degree, the titles listed for the most part are in reference to the historical use of the terms in martial arts".

So when you set up your own style and make yourself grandmaster how is that going to be questioned?

Fausto
06-03-2004, 05:44 PM
If you are happy and you feel that what your Sensei is teaching you it's ok even if it is true the article thing it's not a very nice thing.

DaveO
06-03-2004, 09:33 PM
Gotta be blunt - I'd say run - don't walk - out of that dojo.
Might be a nice place; might be a nice guy; but how can you trust him?
He lied about his credentials; is continuing to lie on his website. For the basest of reasons - to make himself look better. He had a demonstrated lack of integrity. Why? If his aikido is good; why need to make up all sorts of BS to make yourself look better? You don't need to be Grandmaster Mee Hong Lo to open a dojo; you need to be able to teach; to know what you're teaching, and to have the integrity to teach well. That he decided to lie - outrageously, and so transparently - is proof to me that either he's willing to stoop to cheap tricks in an effort to gain students, or he's not sufficiently confident in his MA skills to be satisfied with his current true level, or both.

George S. Ledyard
06-03-2004, 09:56 PM
Hi!
Ask yourself why you want to train. For most of us, Aikido training is not about the techniques so mush as it is about training to become the people we'd like to be. There are different aspects to that of course. Some wish to be stronger and more confident, some want to tread a spiritual Path like the one that the Founder of Aikido did, as many reasons as there are people really... But I don't know of anyone who is setting out on this path to learn to be dishonest, deceitful, a fraud, etc. And that's what you have there. Plain and simple.

If a teacher is that dishonest in his presntation of himself, you simply cannot trust him with your safety, your money, or anything else for that matter.

This line that people put out about "if you're happy there, don't worry about it" is simply untenable. I have a student whose boyfriend has been paying $400 / month for training by a mediocre instructor in a bogus Ooom Yung Do school. He was happy doing this because he didn't know any better. The fact that he was happy doesn't make it any less a rip-off.

Run away, run away! Take the advice of these other folks and visit one of the other dojos, even if it takes more effort to get there.

DaveO
06-03-2004, 11:12 PM
I have a student whose boyfriend has been paying $400 / month for training by a mediocre instructor in a bogus Ooom Yung Do school.

Yah - was gonna ask that; MrGorth, how much are you paying monthly for yourself and your 6yr. old? That's a telling point - if you're paying high; it's a pretty clear indication the teacher is in it for the money; not the art.

Falafel
06-03-2004, 11:24 PM
Hi all.

I don't want to bash anyone either way. However, I noticed that quite a few folks are posting from PA. While I am in no position to make open invitations on behalf of my sensai, I would like to say that the dojo I attend is accessable to many of you and that we do tend to be very open to visitors.

We're located in Allentown, PA.
www.kinokawa.org

Bronson
06-04-2004, 01:26 AM
A member of AikiWeb, username PeaceHeather, just went through something similar. Maybe she'll chime in on this.

My opinion---stay far far away from the people involved with any of the Soke Councils or generic martial arts sanctioning bodies like the National College of Martials Arts. Hell, there's one out there that if you send them $150 they'll certify you as a monk :freaky:

Bronson

GaiaM
06-04-2004, 01:31 AM
Yikes! I agree - get away. You and your child (and anyone else) deserve to be training under and honest sensei who has worked hard for his position and truly cares about the art. I highly recommend Donovan Waite Sensei in Philly or any of his students. He is a friend, teacher and colleague of my sesei and I have taken a seminar from him and trained with him at another. He is an amazing aikidoka and a kind-hearted person.
I'm sure there are other great dojos in your area as well.
Good luck!
Gaia

Chris Li
06-04-2004, 01:49 AM
Yah - was gonna ask that; MrGorth, how much are you paying monthly for yourself and your 6yr. old? That's a telling point - if you're paying high; it's a pretty clear indication the teacher is in it for the money; not the art.

Like Sokaku Takeda?

Best,

Chris

Chuck.Gordon
06-04-2004, 02:19 AM
Like Sokaku Takeda?

Best,

Chris

Ooooh. You're a wicked man, Chris. I like that about ya.

How's Hawaii these days?

As to the question originally posted, I'd be leery of ANYONE who lists themselves with the World Sokey Dokey Council.

Chuck

Greg Jennings
06-04-2004, 06:49 AM
Although we have a situation where we charge no tuition, I have no problem with a professional teacher. I'd just expect value for my money.

As to the other: I couldn't train with someone that had such serious issues that they went through the whole fake rank, fake credential, fake award, fake this, fake that deal. I'd be worried that those issues would eventually come to bear on me.

Why not just be independent and let one's abilities speak for themselves?

FWIW,

DaveO
06-04-2004, 07:12 AM
Like Sokaku Takeda?




Er... the dead one; or is there another Sokaku Takeda out there somewhere?

If it's the aforementioned 60-yr. dead Takeda; is Badyna a legitimate modern-day version of him?

That said; I'll retract the comment; and the implication that high prices is an indicator of unscrupulous activity. Professional instructors (i.e. Senseis that make their living teaching MA) must charge a higher price to survive; what I should have said was based on the info so far (and the website) I'll bet his prices are rather higher than one would normally be willing to pay - perhaps in the hundreds monthly that George mentioned; based upon his supposed supreme experience.
Sorry - hope that clears up my question. :)

mrgorth
06-04-2004, 07:53 AM
Wow. All I can say is this sucks about as bad as something can suck. I can't stand respecting people who don't deserve it. I mean, the he gives demonstrations all over the place and all, does kid safety courses. I'm just beside myself. OK, 2 more questions to try and save me from any more problems.

1) The site mentions that the school is the 2004 national martial arts school of the year from the USMAA. Is THIS a legit organization?

2) Is anyone familiar with Aikido Kenkyukai? www.aikidokenkyukai.org?

Thanks again for the help. I have no idea how I'm going to handle this.

DaveO
06-04-2004, 08:13 AM
Thanks again for the help. I have no idea how I'm going to handle this.

Easy - leave. Now. Don't go back there - why bother? Just go and sign up with Donovan Waite if he's close-by. If you're learning Aikido (just like any MA) you want to learn from a True Source. Don Waite is one such - he's your best bet. :)

Cheers!

mrgorth
06-04-2004, 08:25 AM
I most likely will leave Dave. My instinct is to confront him on this stuff but, being a trusting soul, I might then be convinced to stay. I'm sure that Sensei Waite is great but it is definitely not convenient and I'd like my son to train the same place that I do. I've been getting some other options though. Thanks.

batemanb
06-04-2004, 08:50 AM
2) Is anyone familiar with Aikido Kenkyukai? www.aikidokenkyukai.org?


Only what I've looked up on the web. Takeda Sensei is a student of Yamaguchi Sensei, which is very good lineage to follow.

rgds

Bryan

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2004, 08:52 AM
I just trained with the kenkyukai group last night. I emailed Mark with my thoughts. Great group to train with. How could you not like training with a guy who smiles like this while throwing you? :)

http://www.aikidokenkyukai.org/kirisawa.htm

Ron

akiy
06-04-2004, 10:05 AM
As with all other times when people ask about dojo recommendations and such, my basic answer would be for the person seeking recommendations to get out and visit a bunch of dojo, preferably at least a few times at each place. Watch how the teacher interacts with his/her students. Watch how the students interact with their teacher. Watch how the students interact with each other. Without getting exposure of the different kinds of approaches to teaching, it''s often difficult to make an informed decision.

As far as the Philadephia area goes, I've had the pleasure of training with the folks at the Doshinkan (Utada sensei, 7th dan Yoshinkan) dojo, the Homeikan dojo (where our very own Ron Tisdale trains), and Aikido Seishinkan (David Goldberg sensei, 4th dan). I've also trained with Takeda sensei who is the head of Aikido Kenkyukai several times and have had wonderful experiences with him that still affect my training to this day. I have also trained with Yamada sensei who is Waite sensei's teacher; I have also heard great things said about Waite sensei and have learned some things from his Ukemi video tapes.

And so on. And that's just from my own limited experience -- and I've only been to Philadelphia once!

There are a lot of folks in aikido now. It's worth it to take a look around.

Just my thoughts,

-- Jun

gstevens
06-04-2004, 10:43 AM
First a disclaimer:

I am a new-by, Last week I passed my 5th Kyu exam. There are a lot more knowledgabe people on this forum.

I initially went to a Dojo that is literally two blocks from my house. I didn't like it there. The Dojo was nice, the people were nice, but I could feel an undercurrent of a lot harder style that I was not comfortable with.

I am not in any way knocking that Dojo, it looked very competent! After attending two classes there, I decided that Aikido was not the thing for me, it didn't resonate with me.

So I just gave up on the idea, I was severely disappointed, but let it go.

Two months later a friend of mine that I did not know was an Aikidoka stopped in from far off. I was telling him what I was up to, and mentioned my disappointment and experience. For some moments he looked at me, then said; "Guy, what are the chances that the RIGHT dojo for YOU is the first one that you went to, and the one closest to your house?"

I looked at 4 more Dojos in about a 25 mile radius, and found the one that I am going to. It FITS me right now better than my skin sometimes. If I am able to let go of the thoughts that zing around my head, when I go in, I come out of every class with something I needed in life. The Aikido there seems very good technically, and I can tell you that when Sensei or the other sempai work with me it is effective on my 240+ pound frame.

I now attend about 6 classes a week. Can't get enough mat time.

Look around, look around. Be critical, be careful, there are excellent instructors out there, go find one. LISTEN to your own intuition!


Guy
:-)

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2004, 10:48 AM
As far as the Philadephia area goes, I've had the pleasure of training with the folks at the Doshinkan (Utada sensei, 7th dan Yoshinkan) dojo, the Homeikan dojo (where our very own Ron Tisdale trains), and Aikido Seishinkan (David Goldberg sensei, 4th dan).

Hi Jun! {waves}

I've been corresponding with the student in question, and have given him some options as to where to look. I didn't mention Goldberg Sensei though (my second aikido teacher)...I just forgot! Also a good place to train (I believe he's under Saotome Shihan now).

Thanks for the kind words! FYI, I now practice at the Doshinkan.

Ron

DanD
06-04-2004, 11:35 AM
Your sensei seem to be e VERY talented man. Soooooo many Dans to one person.......or??

As for PhD/MS - isn't it that you're dropping the "lower" title MS once achieved a "higher" degree ? (PhD, for example)? just wondering if all those degrees and Dans are making sense to him ?

Have to admit that it looks more like a wal mart that a martial art.

Jim Sorrentino
06-04-2004, 11:49 AM
Hi Ron (and All),

David Goldberg's dojo (Aikido Seishinkan, Norristown, PA) is an ASU dojo under Saotome-sensei. David has hosted seminars with both Saotome-sensei and Ikeda-sensei, as well as other senior ASU instructors.

I spoke with Art Carey of the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning. He will soon send me hard copies of the two stories he wrote in February 1997 for the Inquirer about Keith Badyna. Apparently, the Inquirer does not keep everything in its on-line archives after a certain period. I will get the articles scanned into PDFs, and post them to this thread.

Mr. Carey was quite eager to help expose Keith Badyna for the charlatan that he is. According to Mr. Carey, when students question Mr. Badyna about the Inquirer stories, Mr. Badyna claims that the Navy forced him to pretend that he had not been a SEAL, because of the classified nature of his work!

Perhaps AikiWeb should have a forum to expose fraudulent and criminal behavior by people claiming to teach aikido It would be like e-budo's Bad Budo forum, but specific to aikido. It would certainly be helpful to collect the material on John Lamont and Bruce Klickstein, as well as Keith Badyna, in one place. By the way, John Lamont returned to teaching aikido after serving over 8 years for having sex with one of his 13-year-old students. He claims that he does not accept students under 18, and rumor has it that he also still claims that the local authorities set him up because he had been a commando who did top-secret killing stuff --- just like Keith Badyna!

Let's shine the bright lights on these vermin.

Jim

Michael Neal
06-04-2004, 11:54 AM
"Tae Kwon Do - 1st Dan (Cireum)
Ninjutsu - 2nd Dan (Sasori Ryu)
Jujitsu - 2nd Dan (Sekiguchi Ryu)
Kung Fu - 1st Dan (Chow-Gar)
Karate - 1st Dan (Shukokai)
Kenjutsu - 1st Dan (Shinkendo)
Saboten Ryu - 8th Dan
Shinkendo --1st Dan
Kendo - 1st- Dan
Aikido - 3rd Dan -- Tomiki


BS Alert! If someone claims to have more than 2 or 3 blackbelts I am always sceptical. There are some very talented martial artists that have multiple Dan ranks but the legitimate ones are pretty rare. There is no way I am going to believe someone legitimately has 10 blackbelts.

DaveO
06-04-2004, 12:02 PM
I for one would be highly interested in seeing how Mr. Orth fares at a 'genuine' aikido dojo - I'd especially like to see his impression of aikido and its comparison with the possibly 'flavoured' Aikido he's taken up until now.
Mark; please let us know how things are going - and give us a report on how close Mr. Badnya's MA appears to the genuine Aikido you'll be taking. :)

Frp
06-04-2004, 12:03 PM
I agree with all the posters that say run don't walk from this dojo.

Philadelphia has had plenty of great Aikido teachers for decades (including at least one of O Sensei's uchideshi, Shuji Maruyama, and maybe Utada was too? the Yoshinkan guys will have to answer that.) If this guy couldn't bring himself to train with one of them you can be sure he's not the real deal.

Do a search you'll find loads of Aikido in Philadelphia, and around it, no problem. You can private message me, I bet the other Philly folks here wouldn't mind either, if you have questions about any dojos in the area.

mrgorth
06-04-2004, 12:23 PM
I for one would be highly interested in seeing how Mr. Orth fares at a 'genuine' aikido dojo - I'd especially like to see his impression of aikido and its comparison with the possibly 'flavoured' Aikido he's taken up until now.
Mark; please let us know how things are going - and give us a report on how close Mr. Badnya's MA appears to the genuine Aikido you'll be taking. :)

FYI, I'm 35, fit and a quick learner. I'm sure, if anything, I'd enjoy it more.

aikidoc
06-04-2004, 12:32 PM
I feel Mark's thread gave me the impression he was already starting to question some things. This thread is a great example of people checking out the credentials of the place you wish to train. A legitimate instructor will be more than happy to provide you with proof of credentials-dan certificates, lineage, instructors, etc. A quality instructor is generally humble and does not need to beef up credentials to look important. In my short career, I have run into 3 fraudulent instructors/black belts. A lack of a paper trail, or lofty credentials is generally a red flag. 10 black belts at Keith's age is generally next to impossible unless you are cross training in several at the same time or the instructors are giving rank to you based on your past martial arts experience. There are a lot of these self aggrandizing instructors out their. Fortunately, most were in the karate arts. Now, unfortunately, they are cropping up in aikido. This is the 3rd one I've seen-see e-budo, when it's back up, for more.

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2004, 01:01 PM
including at least one of O Sensei's uchideshi, Shuji Maruyama, and maybe Utada was too? the Yoshinkan guys will have to answer that.)

Yukio Utada was uchideshi to Gozo Shioda, founder of the Yoshinkan school of aikido. You can learn more about him here: www.yoshinkai.org.

Best,
Ron

j0nharris
06-04-2004, 01:09 PM
... . there's one out there that if you send them $150 they'll certify you as a monk :freaky:

Bronson

I can be a monk?! How cool is that?
Do you have that address handy? :D

Ron Tisdale
06-04-2004, 01:15 PM
I spoke with Art Carey of the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning. He will soon send me hard copies of the two stories he wrote in February 1997 for the Inquirer about Keith Badyna. Apparently, the Inquirer does not keep everything in its on-line archives after a certain period. I will get the articles scanned into PDFs, and post them to this thread.

Thank you, you'll be doing us a service! I didn't want to go into too many specifics without the article to back me up...so you taking this time to provide the evidence is important!

Mr. Carey was quite eager to help expose Keith Badyna for the charlatan that he is. According to Mr. Carey, when students question Mr. Badyna about the Inquirer stories, Mr. Badyna claims that the Navy forced him to pretend that he had not been a SEAL, because of the classified nature of his work!

That does not bode well for his having changed...and neither does his website. Its a shame...with some work, its not hard to get certified under a legit instructor. Especially if the 3rd dan in 'Tomiki' aikido (shodokan) is for real. Once e-budo comes back up I'll be sure to post these in the appropriate place...

Ron

Chuck.Gordon
06-04-2004, 01:26 PM
Sources to help verify Navy SEAL claims:

http://www.authentiseal.org/index.htm
http://www.navyfrogmen.com/phony.html
http://vikingphoenix.com/military/veterans/phonyvet.htm
http://www.veriseal.org/

Chuck

Chuck.Gordon
06-04-2004, 01:32 PM
And someone should ask Badyna what his BUDS class number was, who his swim buddy was and who his old man was.

As for his plethora of black belt ranks, that's one thing the Soke Council thingie does well ... pas out rank. Lots of it.

Chuck

Chris Li
06-04-2004, 02:43 PM
Ooooh. You're a wicked man, Chris. I like that about ya.

:cool:


How's Hawaii these days?

Pretty good - just got one of my former instructors from Japan to come down for a few days.


As to the question originally posted, I'd be leery of ANYONE who lists themselves with the World Sokey Dokey Council.

Chuck

Me too.

Best,

Chris

p00kiethebear
06-04-2004, 04:24 PM
There is no way I am going to believe someone legitimately has 10 blackbelts.

Soke Russel McCartney Sensei (my sensei) has over 25 legitmate dan ranks in different japanese arts that he has spent his entire life practicing.

Chris Li
06-04-2004, 05:50 PM
Soke Russel McCartney Sensei (my sensei) has over 25 legitmate dan ranks in different japanese arts that he has spent his entire life practicing.

Maybe, but there's some creative accounting there, it seems. In one bio. for example, it states that he has "six degrees of black belt combined in Karate, Aikido and Aikijutsu" which might work out to 2nd dans in each - not much more than an advanced beginner, and different than either dan ranks in 6 martial arts, or a 6th dan rank in one martial art. For some reason (I've never seen it in Japan), westerners often try to inflate their dan rankings by claiming, for example, to hold "three blackbelts", which makes it seem as if they hold three seperate rankings, when they actually hold just a single 3rd dan.

To his credit, though, he's straightforward about having founded Ishi Yama Ryu on his own.

Best,

Chris

Mark Mebus
06-04-2004, 08:50 PM
Mark,

If you live in perkasie you are probably only 10 minutes or so from the dojo i train at. It is called Bucks County Aikido and the chief instructer there is George Lyons. Lyons Sensei was a direct student of T.K. Chiba who was uchi deshi of O-sensei. he is ranked 5th dan and is a registered shidoin with usaf western region under Chiba sensei. No sneaky extra ranks here, haha.

check it out at www.buckscountyaikido.com

It is a great place to train and there are other younger people there as well so if you are started with your child it would be good.

A friend of mine actually trained at Saboten ryu for a while and from what he said it sounded like the guy only really wanted money. Most of the other dojos in the area seem to have a complete opposite approach so i'm sure no matter where you end up it will feel a bit better.

rachmass
06-04-2004, 09:35 PM
I'd take Mark Mebus up on his suggestion; George Lyons is an excellent aikidoka! Do yourself the favor and check him out.

Also, Donovan Waite is not too far away, and he's outstanding as well. Too much talent with just these two to limit yourself to someone with dubious credentials......

Michael Neal
06-04-2004, 10:16 PM
Soke Russel McCartney Sensei (my sensei) has over 25 legitmate dan ranks in different japanese arts that he has spent his entire life practicing.

I think that is a bunch of baloney! 25 legitimate dan ranks? Not even Ueshiba could have achieved that honestly.

Another thing that raises alarm bells is the title Soke.

Bronson
06-05-2004, 12:50 AM
I can be a monk?! How cool is that?
Do you have that address handy? :D

Unfortunately I lost it long ago :(

Bronson

Don_Modesto
06-05-2004, 08:33 AM
I think that is a bunch of baloney! 25 legitimate dan ranks? Not even Ueshiba could have achieved that honestly.

Another thing that raises alarm bells is the title Soke.

From: http://www.budo.net/Enighet/english/content.html

Nishio Shoji--"8th dan aikikai he also holds 7th dan Iaido, 6th dan Judo and 5th dan karatedo."

8+7+6+5=26

But I hear those alarm bells,too. Anyone willing to call themselves Soke hasn't read Bodiford. (giggle)

Chris Li
06-05-2004, 12:41 PM
From: http://www.budo.net/Enighet/english/content.html

Nishio Shoji--"8th dan aikikai he also holds 7th dan Iaido, 6th dan Judo and 5th dan karatedo."

8+7+6+5=26

I note that Nishio's also been training a whole lot longer than the guy in question.

But I hear those alarm bells,too. Anyone willing to call themselves Soke hasn't read Bodiford. (giggle)

For those who are interested, the article is here (http://www.koryubooks.com/library/wbodiford1.html).

Best,

Chris

p00kiethebear
06-05-2004, 03:26 PM
I think that is a bunch of baloney! 25 legitimate dan ranks? Not even Ueshiba could have achieved that honestly

Why is this so hard to believe?

http://www.ishiyamaryu.com/RMprofile12-1-2k.htm

"From his beginnings to date, he has accumulated the equivalent of twenty-seven degrees of black belt in five styles of swordsmanship and six degrees of black belt combined in Karate, Aikido and Aikijutsu"

His primary discipline is the sword which is what i learn from him. He is 6th dan in toyama ryu battojutsu. 6th dan does not get handed out like candy in japan. ESPECIALLY to an american. He also shattered the sen bon giri record in a way that no one else has even come close to. Bottom line is, this is not BS from some sokeship council (which he is not affiliated with by the way)

He has devoted his entire life to swordsmanship and has proven his technique time and time again. If you've ever seen him work or teach, you'll know he's the real deal.

But anyway that's not what this is about. This is about an aikidoka who lies about his credentials and from the sound of it, doesn't have the skill to deserve them. I'd say get out of that dojo, and get out fast. And personally, I would inform his other students of the deceit. People have a right to know the truth.

aikidoc
06-06-2004, 08:44 AM
I agree with the creative accounting statement. Holding an 8th dan in one art and a 6th dan in another and a 7th in another technically would add up to 21 dan ranks. However, saying you hold 21 dan ranks makes it sound like you have 21 separate black belts when in reality you hold multiple dan ranks or levels in 3 arts. Works as a marketing ploy but I find it somewhat misleading and self-aggrandizing. To me, dan ranks in the same art are just a progression of one's training and not separate ranks.

aikidoc
06-06-2004, 08:52 AM
Although McCarthey's background looks impressive, his bio is filled with a lot of vary vague references. He studied with high ranked masters yet never names one of them. He refers to his students placing in sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments yet never identifies any of them. He uses such references to sanction the validity of his art yet provides no specifics. If you study with a high ranked master I think it is impossible to forget their name.

BLangille
06-06-2004, 12:29 PM
I have never seen an aikido website where someone places his photo this promenently with O Sensei. (A photo which is obviously edited to appear similar to that of O Sensei)

http://www.saboten-ryu.com/index_main.htm

Don_Modesto
06-06-2004, 01:59 PM
If you study with a high ranked master I think it is impossible to forget their name.

I once asked a fellow claiming 6 DAN in DR who his teacher's teacher was and he couldn't tell me. I asked a 5 KYU in our dojo about his teacher's teachers and he could go back four generations!

Caveat emptor.

Kent Enfield
06-06-2004, 05:35 PM
Why is this so hard to believe?

http://www.ishiyamaryu.com/RMprofile12-1-2k.htm

"From his beginnings to date, he has accumulated the equivalent of twenty-seven degrees of black belt in five styles of swordsmanship and six degrees of black belt combined in Karate, Aikido and Aikijutsu"This isn't hard to believe. It's just not impressive.

I'm a nidan in kendo and a nidan in iaido, both from the All US Kendo Federation, hence the International Kendo Federation. If I wanted, and were in the right area of the country, I could switch to a World Kumdo Federation dojang not affiliated with the IKF. Since it's the same art, it wouldn't be difficult to retest for 2nd dan in kumdo. Let's suppose I then move to Tokyo. I could affiliate myself with the All Japan Iaido Federation and get nidan from them. I could also join the Haga Dojo, which practices pre-war style kendo and is not affiliated with the All Japan Kendo Federation. While there are differences, it wouldn't be that hard to get shodan. I could then switch to the Gembukan, another dojo not affiliated with the All Japan Kendo Federation, which teaches kendo with a stronger Hokushin Itto Ryu flavor. Again it wouldn't be that difficult to get shodan.

I'd then have "10 degrees of black belt" in various sword arts (2 IKF kendo, 2 IKF iaido, 2 WKF kumdo, 2 AJIF iaido, 1 Haga kendo, 1 Gembukan kendo), but I'd still be just a nidan kendo, nidan iaido--just one who has done a lot of organization jumping.

Michael Neal
06-06-2004, 06:25 PM
I agree with the creative accounting statement. Holding an 8th dan in one art and a 6th dan in another and a 7th in another technically would add up to 21 dan ranks. However, saying you hold 21 dan ranks makes it sound like you have 21 separate black belts when in reality you hold multiple dan ranks or levels in 3 arts. Works as a marketing ploy but I find it somewhat misleading and self-aggrandizing. To me, dan ranks in the same art are just a progression of one's training and not separate ranks.

Yes , it is definately something that muddies the water.

aikidoc
06-06-2004, 07:59 PM
Brian.

Kind of makes him look like he thinks he's on a par with O'Sensei doesn't it? With his impressive background and all those degrees I guess it was a logical next step:)

kironin
06-06-2004, 09:34 PM
Brian.

Kind of makes him look like he thinks he's on a par with O'Sensei doesn't it? With his impressive background and all those degrees I guess it was a logical next step:)


but O'Sensei doesn't have those nice embroidered cacti !!

mrgorth
06-07-2004, 08:49 AM
Mark,

If you live in perkasie you are probably only 10 minutes or so from the dojo i train at. It is called Bucks County Aikido and the chief instructer there is George Lyons. Lyons Sensei was a direct student of T.K. Chiba who was uchi deshi of O-sensei. he is ranked 5th dan and is a registered shidoin with usaf western region under Chiba sensei. No sneaky extra ranks here, haha.

check it out at www.buckscountyaikido.com

It is a great place to train and there are other younger people there as well so if you are started with your child it would be good.

A friend of mine actually trained at Saboten ryu for a while and from what he said it sounded like the guy only really wanted money. Most of the other dojos in the area seem to have a complete opposite approach so i'm sure no matter where you end up it will feel a bit better.

I'll look into it. There doesn't seem to be any youth specific classes though, no?

Ron Tisdale
06-07-2004, 09:34 AM
Hi Mark,

I don't know about the youth classes, but this is one of the dojo I told you about I think, and it is excellent. I believe you can find a review I did of a seminar there in my journal. I'd highly recommend them from my experience there.

Ron

mrgorth
06-07-2004, 10:29 AM
Hi Mark,

I don't know about the youth classes, but this is one of the dojo I told you about I think, and it is excellent. I believe you can find a review I did of a seminar there in my journal. I'd highly recommend them from my experience there.

Ron

Thanks Ron. What do you think comparing this one with the one in North Wales?

Mark Mebus
06-07-2004, 02:04 PM
there aren't any youth classes specifically, we all train together and people really only train at a level that is fitting for their partner no matter what age.

all i can say is to check it out and see if you like it.

mrgorth
06-07-2004, 02:23 PM
there aren't any youth classes specifically, we all train together and people really only train at a level that is fitting for their partner no matter what age.

all i can say is to check it out and see if you like it.

No problem. Can you tell me if there's a class where there happen to be a lot of kids?

Ron Tisdale
06-07-2004, 02:34 PM
Hi Mark,

You're just going to have to try each of them out. My description really doesn't count for all that much. I can say that if I wasn't at the Doshinkan, either of these schools would probably suit me very well, but the Bucks county school is closer in style to the doshinkan. But that really doesn't mean much to you, does it?

Ya just gotta give 'em a try...

RT

Mark Mebus
06-07-2004, 04:36 PM
No problem. Can you tell me if there's a class where there happen to be a lot of kids?



there are kids in any of the classes really. i'm sure your child would do fine. Like Ron was saying it hink the best thing would be to give it a try, and to try out other aikido dojos in the area too. There are alot of different styles of aikido around us so you are in a good position while looking for a new school.

I actually used to work in perkasie and i just thought "wow this guy is so close."

SteveTrinkle
06-08-2004, 12:14 AM
Hello to all,

I noticed that there have been a few references to our dojo in North Wales Pennsylvania in this thread - (thank you Ron, and it was great to train with you the other night) and I thought I would make a small introduction here: We are the Pennsylvania Dojo of Aikido Kenkyukai International (AKI). Kenkyukai basically means "research group." Aikido Kenkyukai is under the direct supervision of Takeda Yoshinobu, 7th dan, of Yokohama Japan ( http://aikidokenkyukai.com/takedashihan.html ) Takeda Shihan trained pretty much exclusively under the late Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan and that is our liniage. We are an Aikikai group.

AKI has been active in Australia for more than 20 years and we have many members there and in New Zealand. In North America, we have 4 main dojos: Nelson, BC, Canada, Santa Barbara California, Cape Cod, MA, and here in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania dojo is a small, but dedicated group that was formed in 1996 by Takeda Shihan's student Lia Suzuki, 5th dan. Currently, another of Takeda Shihan's senior students, Kirisawa Naoki, 5th dan, is residing in the USA and is the chief instructor at the Pennsylvania dojo.

AKI maintains strong, ongoing connections with Takeda Shihan and his senior students who visit often. This is very important to us and we strive to maintain the same tradions and atmosphere and train with the same spirit as our parent dojo in Japan.

We welcome visitors always and extend an invitation to anyone who might be visiting or living in our area to come train with us. Keiko yarou yo!!

Warmest regards,

Steve Trinkle,
dojo secretary

P.S. We are having a little enbukai on Saturday July 3 at 1PM. The public is invited to watch and we hope other local dojo will offer demonstrations for their groups too.

arachnoJill
06-09-2004, 07:08 AM
I am a kyu-less newbie, so I have little to offer in the way of advise. I did want to share that my husband and I went through a similar experience when looking for a dojo to train at. At the time, we were only aware of one Aikido dojo within about 25 miles. My husband trained there for about a month. The "shihan" had tons of dans in several arts and claimed 10th dan in his own style of Aikido. It was more martial than the Aikido we practice now, adding a "kill move" here and there. He also held high ranks in several martial arts, although since he was in his 70's, we did not question it. When I was about to start taking it, I posted a similar thread to yours on another board where people were more than happy to point out the flaws in his credentials, and not nearly as gently as the fine Aikiweb folks have. We ended up shopping around and we able to find a new dojo that was closer to our house and the tuition for both my husband and I together is almost as much as we were paying for just one person. We are so happy with our choice and are taking in every available minute for training that we can. We have been with our dojo for about 2 months and it is like a little family. I feel comfortable working with every single person there and have yet to encounter an ego on the mat. Looking back, I am glad we made the choice we did. I think what happens is that after years of training legitimately, some people seem to get frustrated and feel they deserve greater recognition and try to take shortcuts. I think your Aikido should speak for itself. Lets just hope I keep this attitude as I progress, lol.

Good luck in whatever you do.

Jim Sorrentino
06-14-2004, 10:02 AM
Greetings All,

Art Carey of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently sent me hard copies of the two articles he wrote about Keith Badyna in 1997. A student at Aikido of West Reading scanned them into PDF files. Because of the layout of the articles in the newspaper, it was necessary to create three PDF's. They are too large to upload to AikiWeb (1.2 mb, 2.8 mb, and 1.7mb). If you would like copies, please let me know.

As Mr. Carey said to me, perhaps these articles will help people discover the real Keith Badyna.

Jim Sorrentino

Mark Mebus
06-14-2004, 10:06 AM
i would like a copy if possible

just because i know people who have trained there and ilive in the area.

Jim Sorrentino
06-16-2004, 11:59 AM
Greetings All,

PDFs of the two February 1997 Philadelphia Inquirer articles on Keith Badyna are available at:

http://www.aikido-nova.org/badyna1.pdf
http://www.aikido-nova.org/badyna2.pdf
http://www.aikido-nova.org/badyna3.pdf

The files are large, and it was necessary to split one of the articles in two.

Thanks again to journalist Art Carey of the Inquirer for making thes articles available!

Jim Sorrentino