View Full Version : O-Sensei Porter - History?
06-26-2001, 09:55 AM
I have read and heard various bits of information over time about Mr. Porter, and have some basic confusion. Up here in backwards Canada, there is one Judo Association (Judo Canada, the IJF affiliate) to which all provincial associations belong. Any belt promotion is only good if ratified by Judo Canada (and with the test done in accordance with the National Syllabus), and all Yudansha promotions are registered with the Kodokan. My questions:
1. I have seen Mr. Porter noted as being a 9th Dan. Is this a Kodokan recognized rank, or something else?
2. without having to give me the whole story (although please do if you wish) how is it there are several governing Judo associations in the USA, and where does Mr. Porter fit into them?
No disrespect intended - I just don't know.
06-26-2001, 01:03 PM
I am sure this post will open a whole can of worms, but I'll try and explain the U.S. judo mess. At first, there was only one governing body authorized by the IJF for each country. In the U.S., this was the USJI and ranks had to be approved by them. A couple of decades ago, there was a major law suit contesting this situation and resulting in the Sports Act of 1978 (?). Basically, it was determined that no one group could hold a monopoly on such decisions. Monopolies are frowned upon in democratic societies like ours unless they are a public utility and can offfer serious financial incentives to our locally elected officials.
In any case, two other organizations were recognized as rank-granting groups in judo among other administrative functions. These were the USJA and the USJF. The former was run by Phil Porter and for many years was very effective in returning to grassroots support for judo. They did a lot of good things, like define and clarify specific rank promotion requirements.
Phil was a very charasmatic leader and outstanding fund raiser. Unfortunately, his accounting methodologies, as well as a tendency to pocket funds for private use, led to a serious financial dilemma for the USJA. He also began offering a lot of high yudansha rank, first to old friends, then to friends of old friends, then it seems to anyone with an open checkbook. He also started referring to himself as "O'Sensei" and claimed the 9th dan rank status. Eventually, Phil was forced out of the USJA and formed the USMA where I understand many of the same former policies are still in practice.
I have met Phil on a couple of occasions and for a long time was a devoted supporter of the USJA. My club raised thousands of dollars through memberships and fund-raisers for the USJA, supposedly to help build U.S. judo and hopefully someday win an Olympic gold medal. After all the scandal, though, I have become quite cynical regarding any organizations with such poor leadership and poor accounting. Otherwise, I thought Phil was very dedicated to judo, but I may have been blinded to a lot of his faults even back then.
I personally don't care about his claim to 9th dan rank or his self-appointed reference as "O'Sensei," but there are worse things in this world.
06-27-2001, 05:25 AM
You are correct about one thing, Judo Canada is the national governing body for judo in Canada, and is the national arm of the IJF. But I doubt all yudansha rank is Kodokan approved as one has nothing to do with the other.
The Kodokan Institute runs its own tourmaments, ranks those who are schooled in judo at the Kodokan, and the ranking criteria is probably the only thing similar.
It is the same in every country represented in the IJF. Individuals train at the Kodokan for Kodokan rank. For example, their are two judan now recognized by the IJF, A. Geesink, and C. Palmer. However, neither ranks anywhere near those rankings at the Kodokan, and I am pretty sure Geesink is a Kodokan rokudan. As the Kodokan has recently (1997) announced that it will no longer grade anyone ever again to judan, the highest Kodokan Judo rank is now kyudan.
As to Porter, similarly, I've met the man and seems rather nice, but his game is another ball of wax and has nothing to do with Judo USA.
Porter did, however, help to organize the US Armed Forces Judo Association (now the USJA) and did successfully sue the US Blackbelt Federation (now the USJF), the original Judo organization here, to break the monopoly over judo. Don is correct, but the lawsuit took place in 1968 or 1969. Both changed the names, and when the IJF wanted only to deal with the one organization, the US judo, Inc, an umbrella organization and the true governing body here, was formed. However, one may be a member of any one of them.
Porter now runs something called the United States Martial Arts Association, in which there are hundreds of martial arts, some must be seen with one's own eyes.
The website is here (http://www.mararts.org) . It has no connection with any of the NBs of Judo in the US.
I hope this helps some. You may want to check in the Gendai Forum for more information on the USMAA.
06-27-2001, 05:17 PM
Mr. Porter had been promoted to 9 th dan in Judo by the United States Judo Association...
As I have stated before in another thread about Phil Porter....If Phil did any wrong doing while President of the USJA and I am not here to argue anyone's else's opinion....
I think that the blame for any mismanagement or questionable use of funds within the USJA....Should also be shared with the Executive director and Board members during Phil's tenure as President of the USJA.....They claim he had been doing things not to there liking for years....Then the question is simple: Why didn't they act immediately on each issue of concern instead of allowing things to build into a much larger problem ?
The Executive Director who is based at the USJA headquarters reports to the Board on what is going on if they don't already know....Then they take it from there..... It makes one think who is in charge of an organization, the President or Board of Directors ? Where were the Checks and Balnces within the USJA ????
Why didn't the Executive director and Board members do there job ?
Just my opinion that one man isn't totally responsible for the problems within an organization....
Thanks for listening
Barry E. Southam
06-28-2001, 02:57 AM
I thought this thread would get you to drop in. Someone wanted information on Mr. Porter, and got pretty good info. I'm glad you dropped by.
My feelings on Mr. Porter and the USMAA is one to allow them to see and judge for themselves and lately, I have just copied from the website when it comes up, and is to why I put his website in a hyperlink.
Nice hearing from you.
PS: Is my jugodan ready to be signed?
06-28-2001, 05:21 AM
Yes, your Judo Judan rank is almost complete..I must have only the world's best martial arts authorities sign it however...This way you can be extremely proud of the certificate and be able to tell your friends...
The following individuals from the U.S.A. will be signing your credentials: Dr. Parulski, Dr. Sacharnoski, Dr. Durbin, Isao Obato( If I can find his grave to get the correct spelling)...Japanese based names are: SuzukI, Okazaki and well,I have to read a few martial art mag. articles to mix and match other names...But don't worry ,you'll be proud of it....
I am giving you an added bonus of having your rank and certificate honored by the very legitimate Japanese based organization called: Dai Nippon Seibukan Budo Bugei Kai...
I must hurry to get Dr. Parulski to sign your certificate...Due to the fact if he ever dies, No one else knows the address in Japan for the organization that they are all paying yearly dues too....In addition your Judan rank since it will be accepted by Seibukan will also be accepted by the KODOKAN JUDO INSTITUTE through the Seibukan....Mark you are a lucky man....Yes, don't worry your Judan rank will be accepted by all organizations based solely on the names of the examiners.....For personal reasons I think it's only fair that I not sign the certificate....
Mark you deserve the best....
BARRY E. Southam
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