A darker side to MA schools

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A darker side to MA schools

Postby Glenn » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:42 pm

From the news: Athletes say alleged molester is still teaching martial arts

One aspect of the story that stands out to me:
And the men, all but one who still live in the Kingsland, Georgia, area about 35 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, say the community has not reacted the way they'd have hoped.

Instead of shunning Peeples, parents continue to send their children to Pak's Karate; Peeples drives a bus to pick up elementary school kids and bring them to lessons. He even participates in town parades.

"It's disappointing, it's hurtful," said one of the men, Steven Tann. "We're out there trying to make sure kids aren't getting hurt, and it's like people don't care or don't believe us. It's embarrassing that we even have to say this stuff, but it's even more embarrassing that people don't believe us."

There was a similar situation here in Lincoln a decade ago, not involving kids but rather the predatory flashing of women driving alone on rural roads, in which a prominent karate teacher and dojo owner was charged and sentenced (to probation) for what was essentially a misdemeanor sex-offender crime. His business took a hit at that time, particularly parents pulling kids out of his after school program, but many continued as if nothing had happened. I knew some people who did not pull out of his dojo, and when we talked about it most said they (or their kids) took classes with senior students at the dojo and not the dojo owner himself, so they did not see his actions as affecting their decisions. In their cases the students had limited direct contact with the perpetrator, unlike the students in this news article, but there was still an implicate level of support for him on their part. Eventually the news faded and his business rebounded, aided by the fact that for years after his dojo continued to be promoted in a Lincoln quarterly, kids-activities magazine (I have not seen it lately, so not sure if he still is).

I pass by his dojo periodically when travelling through that part of town, and I saw a banner the other day advertising that his teacher, a respected senior teacher from Okinawa, will be visiting again. I do not know if that senior teacher ever found out about his student's activities.

So what would y'all do? Obviously these two cases represent a spectrum in severity of illegal activity in which MA teachers have engaged. Would you stay with a dojo with allegations against the instructor or stand by him (or her)? Pull your kids out or leave them in? Where would you draw the line? Given the investment we can have with a particular dojo/teacher, not too mention limited alternatives in some geographic areas or in some venues like Olympic-level training, these are not always trivial or easy decisions. What about if a student faced allegations?
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Re: A darker side to MA schools

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:22 pm

I personally believe it's important to cut off ties with child molesters. The rate of recidivism is too high, and the damage done too great. It's that simple.

I was talking to a well-known Uechika at camp a few weeks ago over lunch about this. He bailed from the school when it became evident that his teacher was a predator. Good for him! He's blossomed since coming out from under that and going on his own. He in fact was the "credible" front for the guy, and needed to remove himself from the situation. Without the cover his stellar reputation provided, the entire franchise collapsed - as it should have.

- Bill
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