Sunday, March 30, 2014

“Fear Does Not Exist In This Dojo”…The Real Life Sensei Kreese?

By Matthew Schafer
Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

The movie the “Karate Kid” really only had one villain. Johnny, the blonde antagonist of Daniel LaRusso is a punk kid that can’t be held totally responsible for his actions because he’s following the tutelage of the real villain Sensei John Kreese. The Kobra Kai Dojo, under Kreese’s leadership, instructed young kids to be bullies and to prey on the weaker members of society. It is quite possible that a true life John Kreese has just stepped forwards.

This video entitled “Kenpo Karate Street Fight - Sensei JC”, which can be seen at, may have captured a man who is not only extremely lucky but also perhaps the true leader of the Kobra Kai. In this video the man states that he is in his karate school and he sees two kids hanging around his car so he confronts them. He politely tells them to leave his car alone as one kid holds a spark plug in his hand. He then gets within distance of the kid who is standing by his car and that kid puts his hands up in a fighting stance and his friend starts to flank him from the side. Bravely, he takes the offense and attacks first which sends the first kid reeling backwards and making the other kid stop his advance and “flee like a coward.” He manages to fight off the kid who then flees and the sensei and his car are now safe like true champions.

That is how Sensei Kreese saw the events and how he narrated the video. The problem is you can clearly see that what happened was not exactly what was described. What really happens is he assaulted one young kid and then stole the other kids bicycle. Only by seeing the world through the eyes of someone like the Kobra Kai’s Sensei Kreese does this man see himself as someone who acted bravely and is setting an example of responsibility.

The video is really an example of how to get killed or end up in jail and I will be using it in my classes to teach my students how not to handle a potential dangerous situation.

To break down what actually goes on, first the guy puts himself in a stupid situation. He is in the relative safety of his school when he sees two kids in the parking lot getting a little too close to his car for his own comfort. He doesn’t know if these kids have guns, if they have 10 friends standing on the other side of the parking lot, or if they’re sociopaths who have no problem with killing him. I assume he has insurance on his car and pays tax money to support the police so why didn’t he just stick his head out the door and yell, “Get away from my car or I’ll call the police!”? He had a camera recording what went on in the parking lot so he could have even pointed to the camera and yelled, “Hey, you’re on camera. Get away from my car or I’ll call the police!”

Leaving the relative safety of the school to confront those two is pretty much everything a responsible martial artist should be teaching their students not to do. Self-defense starts with being smart enough to recognize stupid situations and not put yourself in them. BUT…not for Kreese because fear does not exist in this dojo!

Then he approaches the kid and you can’t see if he has anything in his hand and you cannot tell what they did or didn’t say to each other, but you can tell that the kid did not do anything aggressive that warranted being attacked! He didn’t throw a punch and he didn’t get into a fighting stance first. Even during Kreese’s narration he stumbles when he says that the kid got into a stance because he’s watching the video and can see that it isn’t true. There is no reason to attack that kid, unless you’re John Kreese and you know that the enemy deserves no mercy! I’m sure that as he was hitting that kid the music was playing in his brain…”you’re the best around…nothing’s going to ever keep you down!”

The second kid that is supposedly flanking him does no such thing. As soon as he starts to assault the first kid the second drops his bike and runs away. Surely, he is freighted by the awesomeness of the Koba Kai technique and not running for help because some crazy adult is beating up his underage friend. After that you see how the first kid gets hit repeatedly and offers zero resistance! Old Kreese there talks about being a responsible martial artists and using only necessary force but then why does he not immediately disengage when the much smaller kid doesn’t fight back? Why does he chase him around the car? Luckily, pain does not exist in this dojo so the kid is ok.

After all of that Sensei John Kreese steals the second kids bicycle! I don’t know about you but I don’t know a better way to top of the Kobra Kai ice cream sunday of assault and battery than to add a nice cherry of theft.

Don’t get me wrong, from what I saw in the video I absolutely think the kid planned on keying the guy’s car. I’m sure he was/is a young punk and perhaps the beating was beneficial for him. However, this lesson on responsibility this guy decided to share with the world is anything but and he is very lucky someone didn’t pull a gun and kill him right there in his own parking lot.

Once the very lucky “hero” is finished he has to take his stolen bicycle back in the dojo like a true hero to wipe his brow and get back to work instructing the next generation in the fine art of sweeping the leg. Here’s to you Kreese! Now watch out because they might come back with the Cuban version of Mr. Miyagi (or a lawyer).


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Mikhail Didenko said...

Dear Mr. Shafer,

My name is Mikhail Didenko (Moscow, Russia). I've been practicing the Russian Martial Arts since 1991, and teaching since 2004. I am the certified Russian Martial Arts instructor. Also I am the author of the known Physical and Mental Aspects of Self-Defense book (in Russian) and videos on self-defense and prevention. I am a journalist (Playboy Russia) and other mass-media and wrote about 80 articles on training, self-defense, prevention and other topics.
Also I made several videos on that subject.
I like your approach and I'd like to be a contributor to your blog - as the Russian Martial Arts voice. The RMA are quite popular now and I think that readers would be interested in the Russian Elite Forces training methods and stories (and self-defense situations analysis as well).

This is the example of my writing in English (the interview was reposted by 11 American websites):

But now I have much more to say and would like to cooperate with you.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Best regards,
Mikhail Didenko

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