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Thread: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

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    Default Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    I grew up in Fountain Valley, and recall the first location for Sam Pai, of which I was aware, in the McDonalds plaza on Magnolia and Garfield. Paul Romeo mvoed it for a spell to an industrial park near the 405; then Andy took over. Andy later moved it to Huntington Beach near Warner and Springfield, where to the last time I looked (and it's been years), it still was.

    Now, enter the mystery. While Andy was still in HB, someone else came along and re-opened in the McDonalds Plaza, right next to the Miyoshi's gift shop. But what they opened was like a wierd religious cult version of a Sam Pai studio, with all sorts of bazoo stuff in the windows about being gods own warrior; teaching ancient warrior traditions and secret magickal warrior rituals reaching back to Thor & Odin, and similar stuff. Not that there's anything innately wrong with that; as an old psych, I still associate lifes chapters and fascinations with archetypal imagery, etc. But I thought it was a little odd to have stuff that looked like it was cult material from a Dungeons and Dragons game page as the first big image and constant theme running through the studio.

    It didn't last long; he was closed the very next time we went to visit, and I don't think he even ever got to grand opening. And I have been trying big time to remember who the instructor was. He listed himself as not only a 10th under Dimmick, but also in a bunch of those Soke Council-type traditions, as well as his initiations into some mystery schools (stuff one doesn't usually hold out for public information or marketing). Keeping in mind that we all have some colorful characters in our expended kenpo families, and the EPAK crew is not without their own oddities (of which some consider me one), do you remember by any chance who this guy was? I know you're out of town, but thought...if you stayed in touch with Mr. Dimmick...you might have heard.

    An old training partner of mine who blacked under Paul, then Andy, then split the SP fam to train with some of us eclectic AK-er's was mainly curious. But he don't get on these boards much.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dave Crouch, DC
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    Question Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Dr Dave...

    Well...that's a new one on me. So far as I knew, I held the title as the Official Sam Pai Wierdo? I can speculate, but I'm afraid that's all it would be. However, there are (to the best of my knowledge) only 2 and now possibly 3 who have "Snatched that pebble", from Mr D's hand.

    Mike Persons, Andy Oullette and potentially by now...Steve Freers. Of the 3, I am pretty confident we can eliminate both Andy and Mike. (I know what they were up to during that time) I can't say about Steve Freers, although seeing as how he is/(was?) part of the Dimmick Family, I have difficulty imagining that being sanctioned by Mr D.

    Now, your history, is impressively close, but not exactly accurate. The first Sam Pai School was actually in Downey, CA. Later the Fountain Valley school arose. It was actually at Brookhurst & Garfield (But you got the McDonald's Plaza right!), and was originally owned by Mr Dimmick and managed by Gary Hughs. Mike Persons bought the school for a short period, then moved north. He sold the school to Darwin Jones. It was actually Darwin who moved to the Industrial Complex you refer to a few blocks away on Garfield. Darwin ran the place til his wife passed away. At that point Paul & I ran the school for Darwin, until we determined he probably wasn't going to come back in and take the reins back. Paul ended up purchasing the school. I moved up to the Pacific Northwest. Now during the time Paul was running the school, he tried introducing some Scientology stuff, between classes and began selling Negative Ion Generators. (Which is as close a tie-in as I can fathom to strange Sci-Fi D&D Mysticism) After I ventured north, I know there was some kind of unexplained wierdness between Mr D and Mr Romero. I was never really privy to all the details. I only know there was some kind of falling out, between Mr D and Paul and suddenly Paul was Persona Non Grata. Shortly after that, Paul turned up in my neck of the woods, albeit briefly. Tried to sll me some Sam Pai merchandise he still had, and dissapeared, rumoured to have landed somewhere in Oregon. I know Andy took over the FV School and then moved as you mentioned back closer to his home in HB, where he ran the school til just a couple of years ago, where he indicated to me, he ws probably ending the commercial enterprise and going back to his roots and teaching privately at his home. Mr Dimmick recently moved to the Oregon Coast. Just before doing so, Mr Persons and Mr Oullette were promoted to 10ths. I am not certain if Steve Freers was promoted at that time. However, those are the only ones I know of, who legitimately could claim the rank.
    Im afraid that is the only light I can shed upon your mystery. However, now I am intrigued and will see if I can learn anything. Wierd relatives are kind of cool, in their own way and like you, I am sure some probably would tell you that I qualify as an Oddity myself.

    Now having said that, I know that there has been some really wierd stories circulating on some boards, regarding Gary Hughs. I ran across one a couple years ago that knocked me for a loop. Researching that lead to the discovery that Gary had picked up some kind of imposter/troll, (disgruntled former student perhaps?) who was writing all kinds of strange, fictional accounts of his exploits. There were enough facts mixed into the tales, that as strange and twisted as they were, it lent just enough credence that I was concerned and had to make some phone calls.

    Update: Michael Persons has developed his own system of 7 Winds Kenpo (www.7windskenpo.com) and has written a Sci-Fi novel called the Cosmic Warrior and is now living in North Carolina.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Now having said that, I know that there has been some really wierd stories circulating on some boards, regarding Gary Hughs. I ran across one a couple years ago that knocked me for a loop. Researching that lead to the discovery that Gary had picked up some kind of imposter/troll, (disgruntled former student perhaps?) who was writing all kinds of strange, fictional accounts of his exploits. There were enough facts mixed into the tales, that as strange and twisted as they were, it lent just enough credence that I was concerned and had to make some phone calls.
    Here is the link to the elidged incident. Leave it to Howard Stern.

    http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum...d/t-33943.html

    Nice to hear more history.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Zarny...Zarny...Zarny...


    *..shakes head laughing...*

    I'm not sure I'd have drug that particuar skeleton out of the closet. However, crude and poorly written the account is, it is mildly entertaining to envision.

    Or at least was, after learning it didn't actually take place. In fact, I think the main character was probably based upon Chuck Norris.
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    Question Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Dr Dave...

    One other possibility comes to mind. It slipped me initially, because I never knew him personally. Richard Post also carries that rank. I know virtually nothing about him, so can neither confirm, nor deny his potential connection to the Mystery in question.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Dr Dave...

    One other possibility comes to mind. It slipped me initially, because I never knew him personally. Richard Post also carries that rank. I know virtually nothing about him, so can neither confirm, nor deny his potential connection to the Mystery in question.
    I meant to write Brookhurst & Garfield; I've lived there for most of my life between 1975 and 2005...near Mag & Gar; my brain is little pickled at this moment from some meds I'm on after a recent wreck.

    What was interesting to me was that Andy was still in HB when this guy set up shop as close as he could get to the F.V. location...in the same strip mall, on the same leg of the "L" shape, as the old school. I thought for a moment it might be Paul trying to slide back in on some old vibes for locational nostalgia, but maybe not.

    May have been Mr. Persons, or one of his acolytes...I remember something about wind, accompanied by photos of white-haired zeus-like characters driving chariots through the clouds, pulled by multiple white horses. Stuff there too about things archetypally to the Pillars of Solomon, and some other mystery school references. And no...those aren't the meds. Was he anywhere in O.C, CA in about the late 90's/early 00's? (drain bamage...rough time zeroing in on a better frame of time).

    On a different note...do you remember Corey Hollis? He and I started training together in college in the late 80's; I remember bumping into Andy and another guy who loooked like an older Clint Eastwood look alike with Corey at the first Long Beach Internationals after Mr. Parker passed, and getting a serious frowning from the two of them (Corey and I surmised it was for stealing one of their BB's, but it's just conjecture). Anyway, I ask, because he asks me once in awhile if any SPKK guys get on these boards, and for any news that may arise.

    For example, he may not know Andy closed up shop, and I'm sure he doesn't know his systems name has been changed to 3 Shields, despite his previous reliance on the stance.

    I'll pass on that you're on KT; maybe he'll jump on at some point, too.

    Thanks, and let me know if you do find out who the would-be studio opener was. Interested for my own historical/hobbyist reasons.

    Regards,

    Dave
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    Red face Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Dr Dave...

    The name Corey Hollis doesn't ring any bells, but again, I've been meditating under the clouds of the Pacific North Worst since 1978.

    The tale you mention doesn't really sound like Mr Persons...(but I have a message into him as we speak...lol) I would suspect that might be in the period that Mr Romero mysteriously became the original Black Sheep of our flock. So it might've indeed been him. He might've also had motivation to be competing in the same geographical area if so. I only know one side of that story, and as you know there are always at least 3 to every story. "His, mine and the Truth"...(*Paul ran the Friday Night classes as I went up through the ranks, I have absolutely nothing but respect for him, personally as he was very instrumental in getting me up through my lower ranks! I owe him a great deal.) Now, I suppose I probably occupy a similar postion as at least a Shades of Grey Sheep.

    See, I didn't change over to 3 Shields Kenpo. Mr D with the latest change (circa 2000) has eliminated all of the old Classic Sam Pai Forms and now teaches what he calls the Fighting Warrior Sets. So now I suppose I am the upstart Rogue Old schooler. I'm not even entirely certain who might still fly the Sam Pai Banner? I may be among the last. I know Steve Freers was rumoured to have moved on to JKD. Gary Hughs has developed his own thing, blending BJJ into what he does. As I said, Mr Persons is now 7 Winds.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Dr Dave...

    The name Corey Hollis doesn't ring any bells, but again, I've been meditating under the clouds of the Pacific North Worst since 1978.

    The tale you mention doesn't really sound like Mr Persons...(but I have a message into him as we speak...lol) I would suspect that might be in the period that Mr Romero mysteriously became the original Black Sheep of our flock. So it might've indeed been him. He might've also had motivation to be competing in the same geographical area if so. I only know one side of that story, and as you know there are always at least 3 to every story. "His, mine and the Truth"...(*Paul ran the Friday Night classes as I went up through the ranks, I have absolutely nothing but respect for him, personally as he was very instrumental in getting me up through my lower ranks! I owe him a great deal.) Now, I suppose I probably occupy a similar postion as at least a Shades of Grey Sheep.

    See, I didn't change over to 3 Shields Kenpo. Mr D with the latest change (circa 2000) has eliminated all of the old Classic Sam Pai Forms and now teaches what he calls the Fighting Warrior Sets. So now I suppose I am the upstart Rogue Old schooler. I'm not even entirely certain who might still fly the Sam Pai Banner? I may be among the last. I know Steve Freers was rumoured to have moved on to JKD. Gary Hughs has developed his own thing, blending BJJ into what he does. As I said, Mr Persons is now 7 Winds.
    Old school flags are a good thing, IMO. As an AKer, I was shocked to learn that their were 2nd sets (i.e., Finger Set 2); the guys I trained with mostly had split the IKKA before the "2" sets and extensions were added, so I'm a little partial to old flags, anyways.

    Thx, and let me know. I hear y'all are taking a soaking up there.

    Regards,

    D.
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Talking Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Wait -a-minute! Does this mean...

    *...in my best Eddy Murphy Voice...*

    "Move on over Bruce LeRoy, there's a new Last Dragon in town, and he goes by the name of...DangeRuss!"

    He's got the glow, that glows, that gloooooowwwwwws....he is the Last Dragon !
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    I hear y'all are taking a soaking up there.

    The last 2 days have been absolutely brutal! Today has started out dry but it's still early. There's been flooding in many low lying areas. Nothing catostrophic yet though.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Wait -a-minute! Does this mean...

    *...in my best Eddy Murphy Voice...*

    "Move on over Bruce LeRoy, there's a new Last Dragon in town, and he goes by the name of...DangeRuss!"

    He's got the glow, that glows, that gloooooowwwwwws....he is the Last Dragon !
    How does that go now. "Just directa your visa, to Daddy Green's pizza."

    LOL. Russ, you crack me up.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Howdy, all!

    My name is Georgia Ketchmark and I've been dragged over here from MartialTalk by Mr. Rob Broad to reconnect with the Sam Pai clan.

    I remember the HB dojo, Mr. Oulette, Mr. Freers, Mr. Persons and even met Mr. Dimmick on a few occasions. Russ, if you remember Mike Richardson, you'd likely seen me - I was his fourth wife (ducks) and trained with him for a very short period of time.

    I hesitate to share any of the updates I've heard because the last time I posted what I'd heard I was embarrassingly corrected and I do not wish to spread potentially false information. Though I had heard that Mr. Dimmick had moved to the Oregon Coast. Amazing how many of us have migrated to the PNW!

    Howdy!
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Shesulsa...

    Welcome back. (Sorry ya had ta be drug back, just ta meet some blacksheep cousins) Tis true, Mr D's down near Florence. I actually spend a lot of time in your neck of the woods...(or so I gather from a reference in one of your MT posts anyway ) My girlfriend lives in Vancouver and works in Portland. She keeps threatening to set-up a school for me down there, to entice me into a full time relocation. I have had quite a few inquiries down there, so who knows? I am still in at least sporadic contact with Andy, Mike Persons, Darwin and even occaisionally Mr D. Every now and then, someone will stumble across my web page and call or write from the old school.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    Shesulsa...

    Welcome back. (Sorry ya had ta be drug back, just ta meet some blacksheep cousins) Tis true, Mr D's down near Florence. I actually spend a lot of time in your neck of the woods...(or so I gather from a reference in one of your MT posts anyway ) My girlfriend lives in Vancouver and works in Portland. She keeps threatening to set-up a school for me down there, to entice me into a full time relocation. I have had quite a few inquiries down there, so who knows? I am still in at least sporadic contact with Andy, Mike Persons, Darwin and even occaisionally Mr D. Every now and then, someone will stumble across my web page and call or write from the old school.
    No worries! I frankly don't know how much I can contribute since I no longer train in Kenpo, but I can tell you that if you decide to open a dojo in Vancouver, your main competition would only be TKD. There is a gentleman who teaches Tracy Kenpo in town by the name of Sunderland (4th dan) and AFAIK there are no commercial Kenpo schools in the area. You'd do well for the kenpo crowd here - little to no competition and (apparently) a demand! Keep me posted if you decide to open a dojo in the area.
    Experience is the best teacher ... and it teaches backwards.

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    Wink Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by shesulsa View Post
    No worries! I frankly don't know how much I can contribute since I no longer train in Kenpo, but I can tell you that if you decide to open a dojo in Vancouver, your main competition would only be TKD. There is a gentleman who teaches Tracy Kenpo in town by the name of Sunderland (4th dan) and AFAIK there are no commercial Kenpo schools in the area. You'd do well for the kenpo crowd here - little to no competition and (apparently) a demand! Keep me posted if you decide to open a dojo in the area.
    There are a few Tracy people in the area, or were anyway. John Ellis used to have 3 or 4 locations in town. (Health/fitness clubs I believe) He came up and sat in on a couple of our blackbelt tests, a few years ago. (However, I haven't looked him up since I've been spending time down there...odd, but when I'm there I tend to wanna spend time with my g/f) He's a good guy. I used to be a sales rep for an speaker manufacturer and used to cover WA, OR, ID and AK and stopped in a few times to work with him and his blackbelts. (Sunderland may be one of them?) There is a kajukenbo school in Battleground and a kung-fu school in downtown Vancouver (Broadway and 22nd-ish?), but no, there aren't many other games in town. My daughters live up north near where I am, so I will be keeping a base here for the forseeable future anyway. (and I have some pesky students here, some of which have been with me for 20 plus years that I can't seem to shake loose) I do spend enough time there, that I have been tempted to take on a few students down your way though. (Just to keep my honest while I'm in town)

    As to how you can contribute? It's just nice to touch base with someone who actually recognizes what and who we are! lol
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    I ... uh ... I remember Finger Set!

    I know of a couple of kung fu schools in town and they do QUITE well as do the TKD folks. There is an olympic TKD school in Portland (Master Choi's), so we're a hotbed of TKD here. I also know where the Kaju school is. Then there's us way out in Yacolt and a dotted-line affiliate of us at Firstenberg Center.

    I talked to Mike Richardson tonight and he thinks he remembers you, Russ.
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    Red face Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by shesulsa View Post
    I ... uh ... I remember Finger Set!

    I know of a couple of kung fu schools in town and they do QUITE well as do the TKD folks. There is an olympic TKD school in Portland (Master Choi's), so we're a hotbed of TKD here. I also know where the Kaju school is. Then there's us way out in Yacolt and a dotted-line affiliate of us at Firstenberg Center.

    I talked to Mike Richardson tonight and he thinks he remembers you, Russ.
    Greetings to Mike from the distant past. Is he still down in SoCal? If he remembers me, he probably remembers me as...."..that li'l punk who used to run the Saturday classes, after Kurt Kersten stopped ?". That'd be me. Darwin's little prodigy.

    It'd be fun to get together sometime for a cuppa coffee or somethin' and swap gossip.
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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Hey Russ. Was looking to donate pads to a kenpo studio, so I ran a search and wound up here. Wondering if you are the same Russ I used to teach. Wound up seeing some great names from the past. Saw a couple of my brown belts Greg Brown and Larry Taite at 24 hour fitness a while ago. Kurt Kersten

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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Kurt View Post
    Hey Russ. Was looking to donate pads to a kenpo studio, so I ran a search and wound up here. Wondering if you are the same Russ I used to teach. Wound up seeing some great names from the past. Saw a couple of my brown belts Greg Brown and Larry Taite at 24 hour fitness a while ago. Kurt Kersten
    Hi Kurt

    Since the post you are responding to is about twelve years old and I have never run into Russ all this time that I have been here, your best chance to get back in touch with him might be sending him a PM. He should receive a notice by email then.

    Anyway, welcome to the board!

    Hoping to learn some more about Sam Pai Kenpo.

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    Default Re: Hey Russ!! Question about SAM PAI history for you!!!

    Well, as this topic was bumped, it did catch my attention. Especially since I read Michael J. Persons' book The Cosmic Warrior and even wrote a review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    I grew up in Fountain Valley, and recall the first location for Sam Pai, of which I was aware, in the McDonalds plaza on Magnolia and Garfield. Paul Romeo mvoed it for a spell to an industrial park near the 405; then Andy took over. Andy later moved it to Huntington Beach near Warner and Springfield, where to the last time I looked (and it's been years), it still was.

    Now, enter the mystery. While Andy was still in HB, someone else came along and re-opened in the McDonalds Plaza, right next to the Miyoshi's gift shop. But what they opened was like a wierd religious cult version of a Sam Pai studio, with all sorts of bazoo stuff in the windows about being gods own warrior; teaching ancient warrior traditions and secret magickal warrior rituals reaching back to Thor & Odin, and similar stuff. Not that there's anything innately wrong with that; as an old psych, I still associate lifes chapters and fascinations with archetypal imagery, etc. But I thought it was a little odd to have stuff that looked like it was cult material from a Dungeons and Dragons game page as the first big image and constant theme running through the studio.
    Well, this story in conjunction with the aforementioned (fantasy) book's direct linkage with Mr. Persons' curriculum (at least at the time and as indicated on his website) suggests that Sam Pai (and what came of it) is indeed rather heavy on the archetypal side. And as you said, there is nothing innately wrong with that.

    I have certainly seen plenty of Chinese and Japanese style studios making quite a fuss about the cultural background of the arts that they teach. And indeed, like it or not - Dungeons and Dragons is part of our own Western mythical culture...

    That being said, such things can be overstated, and I would certainly understand anybody's sense of bewilderment in a case such as the one you described...



    It didn't last long; he was closed the very next time we went to visit, and I don't think he even ever got to grand opening. And I have been trying big time to remember who the instructor was. He listed himself as not only a 10th under Dimmick, but also in a bunch of those Soke Council-type traditions, as well as his initiations into some mystery schools (stuff one doesn't usually hold out for public information or marketing). Keeping in mind that we all have some colorful characters in our expended kenpo families, and the EPAK crew is not without their own oddities (of which some consider me one), do you remember by any chance who this guy was? I know you're out of town, but thought...if you stayed in touch with Mr. Dimmick...you might have heard.

    An old training partner of mine who blacked under Paul, then Andy, then split the SP fam to train with some of us eclectic AK-er's was mainly curious. But he don't get on these boards much.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dave Crouch, DC
    kenpochiro@yahoo.com
    714-335-4885
    I do wonder how many Sam Pai based studios are still out there and how they approach Kenpo's more esoteric aspects now.

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