Inosanto Letter Truth
The Truth about the 1993 Paula Inosanto Letter: The Jeet Kune Do Inquirer?
John Soet sets the story straight!
Presented are excerpts from the Feb 2010 Forum discussion regarding 1993 Inosanto libel letter offered by Mr. John Soet. The prelude:
In 1993 Inside Karate magazine published a controversial piece entitled “The Return of the Original Jeet Kune Do” by Paul Bax. In the article the author quotes several prominent jeet kune do proponents including Gary Dill, Fran Joseph, Jerry Poteet, Lamar Davis and Dr. Jerry Beasley. Each expert agrees that the method being taught as the jeet kune do concept (JKDC) is not the same as the art originally taught by Bruce Lee to his students in the Chinatown kwoon (OJKD). Paula Inosanto was offended by the article, not only by what the article claimed but by the fact that John Soet, the magazine editor published the article which she felt was offensive to her position as wife of the leader. The seven page letter complains that Mr. Soet, even though he was married to Dan Inosanto’ s sister Lilian, should not be considered an Inosanto family member.
To demonstrate how potentially threatening she felt the article was to her monopoly of the JKD trade she maliciously lambasted the individuals quoted in the article as being either poorly trained and disrespectful to her husband Dan or having no training, and thus no qualifications at all! Inside Kung Fu owner Curtis Wong reviewed the letter and determined it to be malicious libel. He refused to publish the letter. Paula Inosanto then began to distribute the letter at JKDC seminars during 1993. The letter would have simply been discarded except for the fact that Inosanto student Michael Krivka published excerpts with intent to defame named instructors in the letter on his website. He maliciously deleted the portions of the letter which provided the real intent of the attack on Mr. Soet which were of course an embarrassment to the Inosanto family.
An interesting twist of fate has resulted in the fact that today almost 20 years later, the term JKDC (jeet kune do concept) and the arts of kali/silat has been found to have been coined and organized by Mr. Inosanto and not by Mr. Bruce Lee. A common complaint and the source of much dissatisfaction to the thousands that paid for JKD seminars (‘80’s/’90’s) and were instead taught the JKDC version of kali and silat. The term OJKD (original jeet kune do) is now accepted as the art that Bruce Lee actually taught to his students at the Chinatown kwoon.
Over the years brief excerpts of the 7 page letter have found their way to many forums including the highly questionable and comedic Bullshido forum. On this particular day in Feburary 2010 the highly respected JKD Brotherhood forum members had the distinct pleasure of learning the truth about the Paula Inosanto letter (Michael Krivka website).
This article is unique because it represents the final public statements presented by renowned martial arts writer, researcher and editor, Mr. John Soet.
Here they are the facts about the libel, the letter, Paula Inosanto and Michael Krivka and why the letter has become the most embarrassing legacy to the legendary and highly revered Dan Inosanto .
Originally Posted – 01/22/2010 : 1:57:43 PM by John Soet in response to a comment offered by forum member and acclaimed JKD writer Jerry Beasley who noted that he had been falsely accused of not training with Dan Inosanto in the 1980’s when in fact he was able to present certificates for study in jeet kune do and kali presented to by Dan Inosanto. The controversy stemmed from a letter written by Paula Inosanto in 1993 and made available on the internet by Michael Krivka a student under Paula Inosanto.
In response John Soet writes…
It’s amazing to see this conversation 16 years later. What I don’t get is why anyone would cite the Paula letter as if it carried any form of authority. We found it to be amusing and quite a joke at the time as the motivations for writing it were clear, and never knew that anyone out there would take it seriously, other then those who had been libeled. I’d been lied about and libeled more than anyone but I wasn’t business competition as were the other people who were libeled.
The main thing we need to dispense with to get a clear perspective is JKD elitism. Jeet Kune Do is not shinanju. It’s not some sort of mystical art that only the upper echelons can learn — it’s just another system (yes, I said “system”). They’re all a means to an end. So nobody who holds that certification is any more special than a black belt in Shotokan or a highly trained person in any other sport. The quibbling results from the cult mentality — and as I’ve stated cults appeal to people with interpersonal relationships who want a one-on-one relationship with the cult leader. That’s why the round table was round.
Okay, first, as far as meeting Bruce Lee in HK, I was only 20 and totally in awe of being there so I couldn’t speak as to his mindset. He talked mostly film and how he was going to become the most highly paid and most sought after star in the world.
Now, as far as the history goes, we can’t really use “they” or plurals to talk about the Paula letter since Dan was unaware of it. It was done without his knowledge. He only became aware of it later. It was spawned because she perceived me as a massive threat as we’d had it out a few times and to say she was over her head would be an understatement. She had only one power source, the threat of cutting people off from Dan and I said that didn’t cut ice with me because I was not a student and if our friendship meant so little to him he would permit this, then he didn’t value me. I was estranged from Dan for years after I wrote an article on Diana and Paula called the editor and said that she had to approve the article before publication. I said she’d approve my articles when pigs flew, and pulled it, and that was that.
As editor of Inside Karate, I never engaged in conflict of interest, but I honked a lot of people off because I took frauds and BSers to task regularly. I treated Dan equally with everybody else. When I published Paul’s (The return of the original Art of Jeet Kune Do) article in 1993 I thought it was fair and honest. I learned later on that Paula conducted clandestine meetings with the people who kissed her a@@ to advance at the academy, and she had a hit list and strategies for attacking them, wrecking their businesses, etc. She was incensed because Jason Scott Lee chose Jerry Poteet as his instructor for Dragon and accused Jerry and Fran of “stealing him.” But the truth is when he tried to study from Dan, he didn’t like Paula acting like she was Mrs. Marlon Brando and Dan was teaching him silat, whereas he wanted to learn what Bruce taught, and he found Jerry on his own.
Since I was on her hit list, she used this as an opportunity to try to attack my livelihood by having Burt Richardson hand carry the article to Curtis Wong with selective passages highlighted to make it appear to be an attack on Dan. Burt apologized for being caught in the middle, and I warned him that eventually she would cross a line and they would turn on him, which eventually happened. Curtis saw it for what it was and he asked me to write a letter to her explaining the content, and that Dan was always welcome. She used the rebuttal, an attack on me filled with statements Curtis, an employer and friend already knew to be false. But then, it was a “while I’ve got your attention,” used it to attack anyone else actively teaching anything remotely attached to JKD to destroy their credibility, strictly for business purposes.
The fact of the matter is that in that era, anyone who hosted a seminar with a certain quorum got a certificate that had the term JKDC on it, and many used it as a credential. People were teaching something that was good, effective, but it was something else. You had people all over the country teaching a kali/silat hybrid as JKD. And the main agenda was to get that certificate, which was sort of the martial arts equivalent of an ordination in the Universal Life Church.
Dan in the years that follows mellowed out dramatically and become his old self again, thank God. I am only sad that his true place in martial arts history was diminished by his association with Bruce. He’s done so much in his own right, such as bringing FMA to the rest of the world and literally revolutionizing martial arts instruction throughout the entire world.
Posted – 01/25/2010 : 8:39:08 PM
And to think…one little article started it all…
Paul “The Baxtard” Bax
Posted – 01/25/2010 : 8:47:34 PM
BTW, Jerry Beasley had no faith in me… read his note to me after I sent him a copy to read before the article was published.
Posted1992 – 01/25/2010 : 8:47:34 PM
Jerry had no faith in me…19921992
Paul “The Baxtard” Bax
Posted – 01/25/2010 : 9:16:37 PM
Originally posted by pauljbax
And to think…one little article started it all…
Jerry Beasley responds to Paul Bax
What you have just done is prove that I was not supportive of the article and I requested that you take my name out of the article before it was published. My name should not have been in the article and thus I should not have been libeled by Paula Inosanto and Michael Krivka. You have also provided clear evidence for a class action libel suit against the Inosanto Academy. Fortunately, I have no interest in litigation. I would like for the truth to be made available and I hope others will post these comments by forum members.
John Soet responds to another forum member Posted – 01/26/2010 : 02:05:49 AM
A forum member complains the discussion seems a lot like bitching about Paula Inosanto and the libel she presented….. Mr. Soet responds: “ You use the term “bitching about Paula” but truthfully, had you been there and in the core of it, it would be hard not to do so. You’re talking about a groupie who used a planned and systematic approach to worm her way in, then use isolation to seriously do wrong to individuals who had not only never done anything to her, but welcomed her, helped her and befriended her. I saw the loyal core systematically eliminated one by one. I warned Chris what would happen and it did. I warned Cass what would happen and it did. I warned Burt what would happen and it did. It even happened to Diana. Even Linda Lee got a dose of it when she was forming the first JKD organization. Dan was to attend, and she suddenly received a fax from Paula with stipulations regarding Dan’s appearance. She faxed back, and she suddenly found herself engaged in an exchange of faxes where Paula was basically attacking everyone and she told me she was thinking to herself, “We’re communicating back and forth by fax when obviously we’re sitting here next to telephones. How weird is this?”
I cannot have any animosity toward Dan because I know him and know how it happened. His personality and Filipino upbringing have a lot to do with it. There was no closing of the door because there was no door to close. The only inner circle were people who decided to kiss her a@@ to remain close to Dan. The result was that you had all of the senior students going out on their own, which benefited the martial arts community enormously, but pissed her off to no end because they couldn’t be controlled.
For the record, Dan is not the only martial artist to suffer this. There is a phenomenon called Mrs. Sensei, and I even wrote an article about it, where a groupie will marry a name martial artist and start trying to run things, and behave as if she’s the wife of a superstar rather than a teacher of athletics. A very well-known kickboxer is a victim of this phenomenon. I had a famous rock star who wanted to do a cover with him and when I contacted him he said sure, then later on I talked to his wife and was told, “I haven’t decided if I’m going to let him do it or not; call me back tomorrow and I’ll let you know my decision.” A very prominent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor showed up with his wife and changed into a suit, with no partner for a cover shoot. When the editor asked, “Where is your gi, and where is your partner,” the wife said, “No, I want the cover to be like a GQ cover. Our policy is we don’t do action for the covers of magazines anymore.” “Well, that’s not my policy. See ya.” I could cite many other incidents.
John Soet continues… I once asked Remy Presas how good is Dan and he said, “The truth is nobody knows. As a martial artist he’s at the top of the heap but he has great natural attributes, but he’s so into various styles that it’s impossible to make a judgment call as to how extensive his background is in any specific style.” As a teacher though, he is excellent and remember, Dan comes from a family of professional educators and he has an education background. He was a professional teacher before he gave it up to teach martial arts full time, and he was a highly respected teacher and super popular with parents and the school district and it had zero to do with his martial arts background.
Jimi, sorry but you had to have been there. You had to have witnessed a systematic agenda to eliminate all of Dan’s seniors, the hostility and contentiousness, and it was all unnecessary as she didn’t have any enemies and was initially welcomed as someone very loyal to Dan who could be an asset. Unfortunately, people’s true character, or lack thereof, will always assert itself, and it is the nature of the scorpion to sting.
The letter ( addressed to Curtis Wong and written by Paula Inosanto) was not simply a lapse in judgment or “We all make mistakes.” You’re talking about someone who had a “hit list” and held meetings on how to “get” people. I have spoken with several individuals who were present in these meetings and my name frequently came up, which I never took as more than a source of amusement. But people were told to write letters to Curtis Wong criticizing the magazine, etc. As has been stated, the hand carrying of the Paul Bax article to Curtis Wong had certain passages highlighted that sounded like an attack when read out of context. Picture if I wrote a letter and said, “It’s not like I think Jimi is an idiot” and someone highlighting only the last six words. So someone comes to you and says, “This guy thinks your an idiot.” Then you read the entire sentence and you’d respond, “That’s not what he’s saying at all?”
It was that simple. So we crafted a response that was an olive branch which essentially said that wasn’t the meaning, but sorry if that’s what you inferred, you and Dan are always welcome here, etc. Then this response came which contained falsehoods from the opening to closing paragraph and brought people into it who were not part of the initial misunderstanding and slammed them, and sent it around to the entire martial arts community. If this is not an opportunistic way to slam the competition, tell me what it is.
My statement about the other women was to remind everyone that Dan is hardly the only one to suffer from this. Men do it to. In the film industry you are frequently admonished not to work with an actress who has a personal manager in that it’s generally her boyfriend meddling. A person who is completely unqualified forming a relationship and screwing everything up is hardly an isolated phenomenon.
I think that my characterization is accurate and stand behind it. If anything it was an understatement. There is no way to convey the rudeness, the calculated behavior and outright cruelty to which innocents who had done nothing were subjected. You have a right to your opinion but it’s pretty much speculation, as opposed to the opinions of those who were there and experienced it firsthand.
The evil in JKD comes from its direct link to a film star. Indeed, Bruce had as much of a negative impact on MA as positive in that his legacy is also responsible for the thousands of movie star wannabes who literally based their lives on the delusions that they just had a become known and be the next action star or the buffoonery that grew out of the wannabe mentality. You don’t see people getting into boxing with the hope of being the next Stallone or bodybuilding with the hope of being the next Arnold.
____________________________ A member writes: I think some people are bitter because of Paula and what she did.
John Soet responds to jimi…..
Jimi, it’s really hard to get a flavor of the facts if you weren’t there, and when you use a convenient buzzword like bitter, it sort of challenges people to justify why they feel like they do, which they don’t have to do — it’s just a courtesy to you to clarify. If there is this degree of bitterness from rational, reasonable people the question must then become “Why so much bitterness?”
Now, in my case, I saw behavior that was unjustifiable and unethical. But in the case of many, their businesses were impaired or at least there was an attempt to impair them. That would p@@@ anybody off. With me she never had that degree of importance. She couldn’t get in my way and knew it, sure I was at the top of her enemies list. Raise both hands to ear level, start wiggling hands at the wrists, “Wooooo!”
Being innocent of any wrongdoing, then being f***ed over makes people bitter. So what?
I would say I personally am not bitter. If I saw Paula on the street tomorrow I would attempt to be cordial, what happened happened a long time ago and life has taken us on different paths, and how she responded would be up to her. I worked with Dan on a video a few years ago, he was like his old self again, it was great. But certain actions have become an inextricable part of the history of JKD, and nothing can change that.
– 01/27/2010 : 10:55:49 AM
I understand it is not a good thing that Paula had a hit list as you put it as well as taking action that disturbed and pissed off a lot of people.
I am not standing up for her or justifying anything she has done. JF/JKD, Dan plays 3 card monty baiting those looking for JKD and give them Kali, or Silat or Muay Thai etc.., or that Dan (Rather Paula) is all that is wrong with the JF/JKD Community, all seeming to me to attempt to detract from any Inosanto right to teach JF/JKD.
All of this seems to me to be more about curcumnavigating Dan & Paula (The Inosantos- If you put it like that it sounds like a organized crime family- and I am sure some feel that way about them, lol)and opening the JKD seminar/camp money flood gates for others, not really about identifing who truely has the knowledge, skill, and lineage to teach JF/JKD.
It seems that Paula & Dan are now on someones own hit list and what goes around comes around right? Let the dirty laundry be aired! LMAO!
Mr Soet, from your last post addressing me, I get the feeling the word “Bitter” is the bone of contention, yet I still see and feel this anger, begrudgement, dislike, almost hate or whatever you want to call it toward both Dan & Paula. From this and the specifics volunteeered about Paulas actions & Dans misinformation on both JF/JKD & FMA I feel I am right about issues w/ them wether you call it bitter or some other expression of contempt.
Bad Paula, Bad Dan, Bad Concepts, (smack smack smack = spanking)BAD BAD BAD!!! Dirty Dirty Lil’ Concepts people. lol.
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 1:03:44 PM
There are two different issues. First Paula wrote her letter, Dan and Paula (according to a statement made by Michael Krivka)distributed the letter and Dan’s groupies circulated the letter on the Internet so it is readily available even today. Some still bring it up like it is valid and current. My friend John posted the link one time as a jab at me. So to many it is current news. Unfortunately people post only the excerpt, usually a paragraph at a time, that suits their purpose. To still have the 1993 letter up and available on the net is an embarrassment to the Inosanto family…thanks to Michael Krivka. You would think that Inosanto would ask Krivka to stop promoting this libel.
In this thread I discovered not only that I was misquoted but also I had requested that the quote be fixed before publication. The evidence was also posted. Hence Paula’s statements about me were completely untrue and unjustified. I also learned that Paula was of the ilk to do such work as to purposefully and with malice and aforethought commit libel and defamation in order to maintain a monopoly for the JKD trade.
The other issue is that in the 1980’s/’90’s thousands attended the Inosanto “JKD” seminars held almost weekly across the country and received instruction in kali, silat and other arts. That’s where the flavor of the month complaint came from. This thread was about how the “concepts” method was started and why. I think the Paula issue was from the other thread and was just reintroduced in this thread also.
This post has been made by either JB,
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 3:18:54 PM
John Soet responds
Jimi, who on earth ever said or implied Dan wasn’t qualified? That’s absurd and I’ve never heard anyone say that. I told you on this forum I heard it straight from the horse’s, or more accurately dragon’s mouth that Dan was the most qualified. “I am not standing up for her or justifying anything she has done, I am standing against the denial of as I call it “BITTERNESS” and assertions that (Because of Paulas actions) many believe Dan does not know JF/JKD, Dan plays 3 card monty baiting those looking for JKD and give them Kali, or Silat or Muay Thai etc.., or that Dan (Rather Paula) is all that is wrong with the JF/JKD Community, all seeming to me to attempt to detract from any Inosanto right to teach JF/JKD.”
That’s a mischaracterization of what anyone has said. There was no magical process whereby the moment Paula signed the letter all of Dan’s knowledge instantly left him. Second, you keep lumping Dan and Paula together as a single entity when I have clearly stated that Dan did not know about the letter. He found out about it later on. The Dan I know would never have approved this. As far as Paula, not Dan, being on a LOT of hit lists, well, “Boahds doan heet back.” But people do. There are consequences for wrong actions and when you hurt enough people they do group together. When you burn bridges, everyone falls into the same lake.
Some people are angry with Dan for letting his wife run amok and speak for him. Those who know him understand his situation. If he didn’t know, he didn’t know. The problem is it didn’t die a natural death because he’s perpetually surrounded by little toadies trying to capitalize on his name to get students, a movie career, whatever. And there’s also the cult mentality I mentioned, that tends to draw in people with interpersonal relationship issues. I remember back in the 80’s hearing him complain, at home, “People write letters for me” and it was making him crazy.
Remember, I had a familial relationship with Dan outside of the martial arts world. So my exposure was on a different level. The last time I saw Paula was when Dan’s sister was in the hospital during her final days, and my mother actually established a bit of a friendship with her. They spoke on the phone a lot, and I would get to my parent’s house and my mom would be chatting on the phone and get off and say, “Oh, I was just talking to Paula’s mom.” I never told her any of the dirt, or said, “That woman is evil,” or whatever because it was outside of a martial arts context.
But within the martial arts context, if you’re gonna get in the kitchen you have to be able to take the heat. Maybe she thought all the people who were slammed would just bow their heads and walk away. It didn’t work that way. But instead of dismissing people as bitter why not take a look at the positives. That letter unified many JKD practitioners and former Bruce Lee students. Organizations were born out of it. Because of the desire of people to learn original JKD, Dan began teaching a straight Jun Fan curriculum. So you see, even the bitterest lemon can yield a little lemonade.
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 5:32:01 PM
Stephen Connoly responds
IN REGARDS TO JIMI’S AND SOET’S REPLIES ABOUT DAN AND PAULA—I FIRST JOINED THE KALI ACADEMY IN 1974, VOTED INTO JKD CLASS IN 1976–PAULA WAS AT DEGGERBERGS SCHO0L IN CHICAGO–DAN HURT HIS BACK AND PAULA WAS SUPPOSEDLY A PHYSICAL THERIAPAST(SP?)–IM NOT POSITIVE ABOUT THAT PART–ANYWAY–SHE CAME TO L.A AND PROCEEDED TO GIVE DAN TREATMENTS FOR HIS BACK–AS TIME WENT ON, SHE STARTED TO CONTROL DAN MORE AND MORE–AND ALIENATING THE SENIOR STUDENTS–SO IN THIS CASE MR. SOET IS CORRECT. AFTER THEIR MARRIAGE, SHE BEGAN CONTROLLING ALL OF DAN’S SEMINARS AND SCHOOL AS WELL AS OTHER ASPECTS OF THE JKD WORLD–OR JKD AS DAN TEACHES–WE WERE TAUGHT JKD WAS NOT A STYLE, BUT CONCEPTS THAT YOU COULD APPLY TO OTHER ARTS–DAN WAS USING THE WORD “CONCEPTS” IN 1974 WHEN I FIRST JOINED.IN THE BEGINNING, MY BEGINNING–SCHOOL CURRICULIUM CONSISTED OF WESTERN BOXING,KALI/ESCRIMA,(DIFF SYSTEMS),MODIFIED WING CHUN TRAPPING(MODIFIED BY ANGULATION, INSTEAD OF SQUARE STANCE)SPARRING–KICKBOXING–STRONG LEAD FORWARD,EMPTY HAND KALI,BLADES,–WHEN I JOINED, BRUCE’S HEAVY BAG, MODIFIED WING CHUN DUMMIES WERE STILL IN THE ACADEMY.—ANYWAY ENOUGH HISTORY THANKS GUYS–BE WELL, BE SAFE
Edited by – kalijkd on 01/27/2010 5:43:10 PM
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 6:02:53 PM
Steve, most of these details are correct except that he didn’t throw his back out and she wasn’t a physical therapist. He came down with something and got bumps all over his skin and had to be hospitalized. Paula said she was a nurse (later on we found she’d been a CNA) and visited him every day. He could not fly because of his condition so he had to return by train and she accompanied him. Then she returned to Chicago and drove out and said she wanted to train but couldn’t afford it so she’d work it off as his secretary. Dan was living in an apartment with Larry Hartsell at the time. She started sleeping at the school, having witnessed Dan’s kindness to people who were having problems, so he said she could stay at the apartment with Larry and himself. She moved in and a few months later something happened with Larry, they didn’t say what, and they moved out on him and into the apartment in Marina del Rey. From there the isolation started.
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 6:58:05 PM
thanks john–thought it was a injury–in any case, once she got to l.a., it was difficult to talk to dan w/out paula being there and running some sort of interference–it used to be us–the senior students would run the interference for dan when some crazy would recognize dan on the street–but paula was blocking dan from his own students–anway
be well be safe
– 01/27/2010 : 7:12:38 PM
Wasn’t there some talk that Paula was good for Dan since she felt some students were taking advantage of him at the school, not paying rent but making money from teaching, etc?
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 7:28:42 PM
Everybody thought that in the beginning. That she was very loyal and good at keeping the boneheads away. Then the old “Who will protect you from your protector” kicked in.
Posted – 01/27/2010 : 7:56:21 PM
PAUL–COULD BE–AFTER PAULA STARTED—BASICALLY SHOWING DISRESPECT TO THE SENIOR STUDENTS–CHRIS KENT AND I WENT TO OPEN HIS SCHOOL IN VENICE CA.–SHORTLY THERE AFTER, I INJURED MY BACK AND ALONG WITH PAULA’S ATTITUDE, I STARTED DRIFTING AWAY FROM THE WHOLE JKD FAMILY RUBBISH THAT I SEE FROM THIS SITE IS STILL GOING ON. EGO IS A BIG THING–BRUCE LEE’S WAS HUGE–BUT I’D BET HE’D THROW ALL THE JKD RUBBISH INTO A TRASH BIN JUST TO STOP ALL THE FEUDING AND MISCONCEPTIONS AND ALL THE HE SAID , SHE SAID CRAP.
BE WELL, BE SAFE
yup–we (del, chris kent, cass magda, tim cordosa, jeff imada, and i) used to hang and train after hours.
THERE IS A VERY OLD SAYING–SOME OF YOU OLDER PEOPLE MIGHT REMEMBER IT–“YOU’VE MADE YOUR BED, NOW SLEEP IN IT”—THATS WHAT DAN HAS DONE, AND HE HAS ALLOWED IT TO CONTINUE—DONT GET ME WRONG –I LOVE THE MAN, REMEMBER I TRAINED WITH HIM FROM 1974 THRU 1989, BUT YOU CANT CONTINUE TO FEEL SORRY FOR SOMEONE WHO ALLOWS IT TO CONTINUE–ITS LIKE AN ABUSED WIFE WHO KEEPS GOING BACK TO HER ABUSIVE HUSBAND.THIS IS A SECTION OF HIS GROWTH/LEARNING PROCESS–OR ITS BAD KARMA FROM HIS PREVIOUS LIFE?
BE WELL, BE SAFE
01/28/2010 : 6:01:57 PM
AFTER READING THE 1ST FEW PAGES OF THIS TOPIC–I WANTED TO AD MY INPUT—WHEN I JOINED THE FKA IN ’74, DAN USED TO STAY LATE AFTER CLASSES ON SAT. AND WEEK NITE CLASSES,HAVING IMPROMPTU DISCUSSIONS WITH STUDENTS–DURING THESE LATE NITE SESSIONS,DAN HAD USED THE TERM “CONCEPTS” AND HAD SAID ON MANY OCCASIONS THAT HE PROMISED BRUCE NOT TO TEACH JKD–SO TO KEEP HIS PROMISE AND STILL TEACH THE JKD HE LEARNED FROM BRUCE,HE CAME UP WITH JKD CONCEPTS–AND ALL THE INSTRUCTORS UNDER DAN FROM THE FKA AND INOSANTO ACADEMY FROM THE LATE ’70’S THRU THE ’80’S (TIL PAULA TOOK OVER )ALL USED THE TERM JKD CONCEPTS ON THEIR BUS. CARDS–IMADA, KENT, MAGDA, MYSELF AND OTHERS, OUT OF DAN’S RESPECT TO HIS PROMISE. AS TIME WENT ON AS DID DAN’S SEMINAR CIRCUIT, MORE AND MORE “CERTIFIED” INSTRUCTORS STARTED USING JUST JEET KUNE DO–W/OUT THE TERM “CONCEPTS”
BE WELL BE SAFE
Posted – 01/28/2010 : 7:22:34 PM
Personally, and no offense to anyone who’s happily married to an American woman, I just don’t date American women. They’ve been raised in a male bashing culture and trained to disrespect men at every opportunity. Slam a guy’s self-esteem into the ground for 20 years and then says HE’S got the problem when he remarried to a 30-years-younger Filipina hottie.
Okay, back in the 70’s and 80’s Dan could have had any woman he wanted. He was handsome, athletic and well-known and a super nice guy. Sue used to go nuts because of all the chicas fluttering around him. After he and Sue split he rarely dated. He’s just shy and didn’t have much time for a social life. Paula got him through planned tactics — one of the oldest tricks in the book. You start off as a friend with an offer of help, the other person accepts because he/she legitimately needs the help. You behave yourself and use the closeness to establish a beachhead to isolate, and very slowly you alienate family and friends and become the only person in his/her life.
Initially Dan was not for a relationship, in fact he said that an attempt to seduce him would be like spitting on a battleship. But then she manipulated moving in with him, she certainly wasn’t bad looking back in the 80’s (Greek descent), and of course nature would take its course. This is not common knowledge but Dan was in a massive amount of pain in the era when they got married. He lost his father and mother within a few months of each other and his sister had been diagnosed as terminally ill. You can’t get much more vulnerable than that. Then, of course, a child to cement the deal.
I don’t necessarily know that this forum would be hurtful to him. Most of the guys here, I notice, like me, we don’t say anything behind anyone’s back we wouldn’t say to them directly. I’m there there’s a toady or two monitoring and reporting to Paula but who cares? My input was that in the mid-90’s, Dan was like a defeated man. He just was on autopilot. I remember one christmis where Paula put him on a plane, he fell asleep, the flight was delayed and everyone had to get off, and he thought he was at his destination. But then I heard once he reached the age where it was too late to start over she loosened the leash a little. I know when I did a video with him in about ’01 or ’02, he was like his old self. Very energetic, very into teaching did an absolutely awesome video and was very friendly and down to earth, just like he used to be.
Steve, one thing I can tell you is I often heard him refer to the advanced class that you had to be nominated for as the JKD class. I also heard him say, when asked, “Are they learning JKD” “Well, they are but they’re not supposed to know that.” Again, I think he took what Bruce told him way too seriously.
01/28/2010 : 7:36:35 PM
I THINK YOURE RIGHT ABOUT THE PROMISE–SHORTLY BEFORE HE DISBANDED THE JKD CLASS, HE GOT A LITTLE FRUSTRATED WITH THE WAY IT WAS GOING, MAYBE IT WAS JUST A VERY BAD DAY OR PERSONAL PROBLEMS GETTING TO HIM, AND BLUNTLY SAID “NON OF YOU GUYS WOULD MAKE IT INTO BRUCE’S JKD CLASS” WHICH MADE THE MEMBERS PRESENT FEEL LIKE S–T–BUT IN ALL THE YEARS IVE KNOWN DAN, THATS THE ONLY TIME I EVER SAW HIM SAY OR DO ANYTHING IN FRUSTRATION/ANGER–HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY–TOOO KIND HEARTED
01/28/2010 : 8:26:52 PM
Although I have put in more than my 2 cents worth here, I do see that Dan is a very kind hearted person, many many ,many attest to that. These kind of “giving of themselves people” are usually the target of a manipulator. Many manipulators recognize their own kind and oppose them from the get go, no you dont, he is my prize not yours.
To see that many feel Paula has secured her “nice guy” for her own will and Dan is lost is sad, very sad. I have seen in my youth that friends & girlfriends were at odds with each other for their own want of influence over me, all concerned about what they desire, not that Jimi should not be manipulated. Dont ask him for anything, I want things from him myself. With friends like that who needs.. well you all know that one.
For Dan, I hope this is not truely the case. Paula has been assessed here and many posters expressions are that she is the fault of the INOSANTOs & JKD issues. People have their opinions. To paraphrase a poster, I was not there and did not see Paula behaving like WORMTONGUE from The Lord Of The Rings, so I can nether consider her guilty or innocent of these groupie assessments. I hold my opion about Paula in reserve.
With some so recently posting here about direct personal accounts of Paulas worming her way in and leading Dan by his um, um, well ya know, I wonder who would be willing to mend bridges so to speak for Dans greater good (Not simply about who can have Dans leash) or is he on his own? (YOU MAKE YOUR BED NOW…)Or is it all water under the bridge and its all over but the shouting/bitching. (Not an attack on anyone posting here, just want to know) Who has made an honest effort to help such a downed, oppressed and loved friend like Dan? Or has all attempts meet the resistance of the ice queen?
This thread started as a question about birth of concepts, but even I have participated in it becoming a bitch session “BITCHES MAN!” lol.
01/29/2010 : 11:11:51 AM
Hello John and Steve!! been trying to contact theboth of you guys for years……….Yep John and Steve were Definately there and you can bet yer bottom dollar when they tell you something,you can take it like it “came out of the ‘burning bush’…..” oh yeah,Steve Connolly had the hardest cross I’ve EVER felt…………….Del
Two thoughts: No one can blame someone else for their behavior unless you are a child from and abusive home. So, Paula may be all of the above, but owing to(?) Dan let it happen. As far as who was at China Town and how long, the attendance records have been published or at least put out on the internet.
Posted – 01/29/2010 : 1:30:30 PM
HEY DEL—GREAT TO HEAR FROM YOU (AND THANKS FOR THE CROSS PROMO–THOUGHT IT WAS MY HOOK?) SORRY I MISSED LAST NITES CONVERSATION–(MY BACK IS KILLING ME SO I TOOK A P.K. AND FELL ASLEEP)–JIMI–PAULA HAS ALWAYS BEEN NICE TOWARDS ME TO MY FACE–BUT IT DIDNT FEEL REAL—I MOVED TO HONOLULU IN 1992, EACH YEAR I HAVE SENT XMAS CARDS, EMAILS, TEXTS,AND PHONE CALLS TO BOTH DAN AND RICHARD–RICHARD HAS ALWAYS REPLIED–NOTHING FROM DAN–SO IM THINKING EITHER PAULA OR HER CRONIES HAVE INTERCEPTED MY CORRESPONDENCE–BTW—PAULA NEVER CAST ANY SPELL ON ANYONE EXCEPT DAN–THAT WAS THE ONLY SPELL SHE NEEDED TO CONTROL HER AGENDA.
P.S.—ITS BEAUTIFUL HONOLULU–TOUGH PLACE TO LIVE BUT SOMEBODY GOTTA DO IT–I VOLUNTEERED
BE WELL, BE SAFE
Del, great to hear from you. I’ll be giving you a call and we can play catch up. Jimi, no offense but you seem very determined to play devil’s advocate here and keep trying to find some angle of attack and defense. If you’re a newcomer (AP) then you could never be a threat and there would be no reason to treat you badly. It’s only the old timers (BP) who were a threat. Every time I have encountered Paula I have always endeavored to be nice to her and said hello and she basically pretends I’m not there. So no one can accuse me of not trying.
Dan is more his old self now; at least he was the last time I saw him, and that’s what everyone else tells me. After he hit his late 60’s and passed 70, she knew he wasn’t going anywhere and there was no reason to keep up the pressure. So you’re not able to experience what we experienced.
As far as how much “Bruce time” anyone got, no one got more than Dan. That’s beyond dispute. But the others were Dan’s students and getting the material he was teaching. Arthur Rubenstein didn’t study directly from Chopin either, but listen to his performances of Chopin’s music. I can tell you that two of Jerry Poteet’s proteges, Jeanne Chin and Octavio Quintero move more like Bruce Lee than anyone I’ve ever seen. Jeanne could pass for his female reincarnation. And Jerry was a senior instructor at the Academy since its opening.
Louis, I can’t really get into too many personal details here, but I will tell you that while I know Dan never suffered any form of physical abuse of any kind, his mother was a very strong-willed woman who ran the show. She was the matriarch of the family and nobody wanted to mess with Manang Mary. Even when Dan and his sister were in middle age, they feared her wrath and when she said jump they jumped. So that should answer your question from the Freudian standpoint.
Posted – 01/29/2010 : 10:38:46 PM
Just playing devil’s advocate here.
John Soet responds:
Jimi, Devil’s Advocate is a figure of speech, an idiom. It comes from the Roman Catholic procedure of canonization, where one individual will be appointed to do everything in his power to impeach alleged miracles and the basis of in canonization. It has come to mean someone who tends to take the other stance in kind of an argumentative way. I interpret nothing you’ve said as either out of line or disrespectful. But it tends to keep the deviation of the thread going because the arguments presented require answers. And it does take on the overtones of Monday morning quarterbacking with those who were out there on the playing field.
People act according to their character and their nature. The bottom line is when we talk about her we’re talking about a person who arrived with an agenda, and hurt a lot of people unnecessarily. She didn’t have any enemies or adversaries. In fact, Del, who began posting today, one time took her aside and tried to give her advice on how to succeed without alienating anybody, and got a contentious response. I did the same and it happened to me as well, and then proceeded to do devious things to alienate people from a guy to to all was friend and to some mentor, with negative consequences.
It is impossible to compare the attitude of today to the attitude of 20 years ago. Time passes, people mellow and it gets lighter. But it is also impossible to have a thread on the history of JKDC without her becoming a part of the topic. Paula is as much of a part of the history of JKDC as Yoko Ono is a part of the story of the Beatles.
Posted – 01/29/2010 : 11:23:43 PM
Paula Ono…I like that. Fits like a glove.
This post has been made by either JB,
01/30/2010 : 10:00:26 AM
01/30/2010 : The final comment posted by soetsme aka John Soet:
In its initial form, yes, but what it turned into no. All martial arts utilized this basis for an origin. A person mastered one art and modified it with input from others, a la Hung Gar evolving into Okinawan karate, Oyama forming Kyokushin from elements of Shotokan, Goju and Muay Thai, etc. But in a fast food society it soon became a shortcut to a drib of this and a drab of that constituting a martial art. In any art, the initial training is only learning the basics. In karate it’s all basics until black belt and in Japan you’re not really qualified to teach until fourth dan. And the biggest problem was it created a justification for the seminar trained people to slap up Jeet Kune Do on the window to draw in students.
We regret to inform the reader that Mr. John Soet, renowned writer and writer passed away in spring 2010. His comments on the forum were among his last public statements.
John, Thanks for setting the story straight.