Re: Watch Out for Aikido 'Shihans'..........
Mike Rains had left by the time I got there, Jorge. So had most of his original students.
One of the first things that tipped me off that something wasn't right was how Vella's 3rdCoastAikido website had a page with with a bunch of pictures of students that he was supposed to have.
Since the photos of the two people that joined right before I did were up on that page, a father and his young son, I wondered who all these other people were who's pictures appeared there, with their names under their picture.
Mike Rains was one of them. There were about 30 pictures up on that page, and only around 7 of them were currently training there when I started.
If the pictures of the latest people to join are up on the page, why are there so many people who don't train here anymore?
What I think happened is that when he launched his school Dan got a whole gaggle of students all at once (this would have been around 2000 or so) and that's where most of these pictures came from.
As time went on it got harder for Dan to hold on to those original people like Mike Rains since over time if they really knew anything about Aikido Dan's misrepresentations would become evident to them. That's what I suspect. When I joined last year he never had more than 8 or 9 people on the mat at one time; most classes consisted of around 4 or 5 people, myself being one of them.
I think it started big and then got smaller and smaller as time went on. After I left I don't think it continued on for much longer.
I wish I could really find out what Hector is up to these days. I hope he didn't do what Gilbert did and just stop training altogether. Why didn't Gilbert go train with Joel at his school?