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Old 04-14-2006, 07:12 PM   #36
Man of Aiki
Dojo: Aikido By The Bay
Location: Portland Texas
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 45
Re: Watch Out for Aikido 'Shihans'..........

Here's a cached link at about Dan Vella Sensei I managed to find:

The site is down, but you can view a cached text verison of what it was displaying.

here's what it said:

"Shihan Dan Vella began his formal Aikido training in his early 40's with Shihankai Akira Tohei, founder of the Midwestern Aikido Federation and head of the USAF and MAF, at Corpus Christi, Texas Aiki Kai. After receiving his Shodan (1st degree black belt) at the age of 47, he enrolled in the Okinawan Karate-do Federation (Japanese Aikido, Kendo and Iaido Division) as a student under World Soke Grandmaster Glenn R. Premru 10th Dan. He received his Ni dan (2nd degree black belt) in 1996 and was promoted to San dan (3rd degree black belt) upon receiving his teacher's license in 1999, shortly after the passing of Shihankai Akira Tohei 8th Dan.

Having become a full time professional Aikido instructor by the fall of 2000, he established Kuden Shugyo Dojo School of Aikido in Corpus Christi, Texas and was promoted to Yon Dan (4th degree black belt) in 2002. Shihan Dan Vella in March of 2003 founded and assumed his responsibilities as CEO of the Sanban Kaigan (3rd Coast) Aikido Association and was titled "Shihan" by Soke Grandmaster Premru. He was promoted to Go dan (5th degree black belt) after being appointed by Soke Premru in 2004 to the Post of "Texas State Representative for the Okinawan Karate-do Federation"."

Note how this cleverly leaves out who gave him his first Dan rank. It says he began his formal aikido Training under Sensei Tohei, but it doesn't say Tohei was the one who promoted him to 1st Dan.

All of his subsequent rank promotions came from Glenn R. Premru, who he claims to have been a student under and to have been promoted to his subsequent 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Dan levels by.

The impression is given that the Okinawan Karate-do Federation is so huge, it has it's own Japanese Aikido, Kendo and Iaido Division. A study of the various Glenn R. Premru bios easily found on the web demonstrate that while he was noted for his karate in the early 1970's, even being inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, he has absolutely no ranking in Aikido, Iaido or Kendo.

And as was discovered back in 2002, Premru's entire huge Okinawan Karate-do Federation consisted of the mail order business he ran in his house whereby he sold a substantial number of fake ranking certificates to people by mail. That's how he ended up being a wanted felon after he was arrested by the US Postal Service and then never showed up for his court appearance to answer to the charge of mail fraud.

I can only wonder how much money Dan had to give to Premru to keep the ranks coming so he could continue to live out his fantasy of being a highly ranked Aikido Sensei.