Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kajukenb/public_html/cafe/Sources/Load.php(183) : runtime-created function on line 3
Print Page - Teaching individuals with a crimnal history

Kajukenbo Cafe

The Business of Martial Arts => Legal Issues => Topic started by: Rob Poelking on January 17, 2007, 09:50:03 PM

Title: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Rob Poelking on January 17, 2007, 09:50:03 PM
Are there legal ramifications for giving martial arts instruction to individuals with a criminally violent past? Does the appalling nature of the crime have anything to do with it? If so, how do you go about protecting yourself and "investigating?"
Title: Re: Teching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Chief Instructor on January 17, 2007, 10:30:51 PM
Great question! This will take some research. However, just off the top of my head, I do not believe many jurisdictions have a legal duty to interview or ask potential students about their criminal histories.

Ethically, that is a different story. If good instructors believe the potential student is using the art for dishonorable purposes, they should not accept the student. Of course, some of us have interesting ways of scaring students off...
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: KajuJKDFighter on January 18, 2007, 10:20:29 AM
I ask everyones back ground, but if they have been in trouble and seemed reformed we let them trained.  I just can't imagine there could be a law against that...
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Vala Au on January 18, 2007, 01:12:26 PM
I refused to teach a small group of kids that were known gang bangers.  I'm sure I would refuse sex offenders.
But I'd like to think I treat people for who they are now, not what they've chosen to do in the past.

One of the kindest gentlest men I've met, Walter Godin, who always greeted people with a warm smile and heart, didn't exactly have a squeeky clean record.  But he goes down in my book as one of the best Kaju people there was.  Love the sinner, hate the sin.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: KajuJKDFighter on January 18, 2007, 01:17:05 PM
Good point Sigung Jason..
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Serene on January 18, 2007, 03:09:02 PM
I have taught teens that were in a rehab/group home. These persons were one step away from juvenile.

There was a concern for teaching persons that have already had some disorders. Therefore, I created a gang intervention program. This program consisted of discussions of learning to respect themselves, respect for others and accountability for their actions. Also, there training was more of boot camp style exercises as they are done in our Kajukenbo schools.

My perspective is not so much that people are bad. I believe people make bad choices and have lots of energy and no where to release it. The drills and exercises tired them out physically and the talks calmed them mentally. Now, the extra energy which was negative most of the time was now being released in a positive manner.

The counselors complimented that the days the boys were training were the best days in there homes. I did not teach them Kajukenbo physcial self defense techniques but I did teach them Kajukenbo mentally and spirtually.

Of the 60 young men that I taught for 18 months only 2 went back to juvenile.  The rest have gone back home and thus far are doing well.  Plus some have even joined local martial arts schools.

The legal aspcet the owner of the program did a backround check on me. Then, I had him sign the waiver that I have from my school for the group because he was there guardian. I taught at there facility.  They did not come to my school because there training was of a different need.

Soifua,

p.s. Sure there were a few that tested me and those few saw and felt Kajukenbo  - if you know what I mean.  ;)

Afterwards, the respect was not just given to me but to our art Kajukenbo.
It was a good experience.
 
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Rob Poelking on January 18, 2007, 03:35:48 PM
I definitely believe there is an "intervention" aspect to any MA training. BKF founder Steve (Sanders) Muhammad did the same thing back in the early 70's with gangs in LA. The effect turned youths from a violent path to that of career professionals. It was very effective.

Personally I have different feelings towards dealing with youths who have gotten off to a wrong start or individuals who made bad choices at the wrong time and place vs. sex predators, spouse beaters and repeat violent offenders.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Vala Au on January 18, 2007, 06:09:46 PM
I have taught teens that were in a rehab/group home. These persons were one step away from juvenile.

There was a concern for teaching persons that have already had some disorders. Therefore, I created a gang intervention program. This program consisted of discussions of learning to respect themselves, respect for others and accountability for their actions. Also, there training was more of boot camp style exercises as they are done in our Kajukenbo schools.

My perspective is not so much that people are bad. I believe people make bad choices and have lots of energy and no where to release it. The drills and exercises tired them out physically and the talks calmed them mentally. Now, the extra energy which was negative most of the time was now being released in a positive manner.

The counselors complimented that the days the boys were training were the best days in there homes. I did not teach them Kajukenbo physcial self defense techniques but I did teach them Kajukenbo mentally and spirtually.

Of the 60 young men that I taught for 18 months only 2 went back to juvenile.  The rest have gone back home and thus far are doing well.  Plus some have even joined local martial arts schools.

The legal aspcet the owner of the program did a backround check on me. Then, I had him sign the waiver that I have from my school for the group because he was there guardian. I taught at there facility.  They did not come to my school because there training was of a different need.

Soifua,

p.s. Sure there were a few that tested me and those few saw and felt Kajukenbo  - if you know what I mean.  ;)

Afterwards, the respect was not just given to me but to our art Kajukenbo.
It was a good experience.
 

Sifu Serene,

You are a Godsend.  Bless you and keep up the good work.  The gang I refused only wanted to learn knife techniques.  Coincedentally, shortly thereafter one of em was charged with aggravated assault for stabbing somebody.  I'm glad that didn't come back to haunt me.  There probably could be some tort or civil liability to the one who trains these people.

Fa Fatasi,
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Serene on January 19, 2007, 11:39:02 AM
Sigung Jason:

Thank you - no doubt the experience changed me.   I truly had to be a believer of Kajukenbo to even consider such a task.

Sifu Rob:

Thanks for that info. Right - its like the bar we have that right too, we can choose who to and not to serve/teach. ;)

Soifua,


Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Stan Kristovich on January 20, 2007, 01:43:39 AM
I would bet that a situation similar to a job application might help protect dojo owner-operators.

You will often see on a job application a question about any convictions, etc.  To answer this question is really voluntary, but a condition of employment that you may see on a job app is that failure to answer any questions truthfully during the hiring process can result in firing.

Similarly, if you make it clear up front, or even part of some formal application, that a person with convictions reveals that information before they start training, and that failure to be honest can result in dismissal from the school, then I'd bet you are covered.

I'm not a lawyer, but there are an awful lot of similar situations and usually it means the burden gets shifted to the applicant somehow.  That seems to give the organization some protection from any legal ramifications, because the applicant is making a willful misrepresentation if they lie.

Just a thought . . .

Regards,
Stan K
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Chief Instructor on January 20, 2007, 05:10:39 PM
Lots of great points!

A school's application to train form can always ask potential students if they have any convictions. This should release the school owners and instructors from liability as they are taking reasonable precautions. It would also be an excellent marketing tool for parents to see that their children are training in a "criminal-free zone."

Myself, I would not ask those kind of questions. I believe people with convictions face a lot of ostracization as it is. I also believe this ostracization is a major cause for recidivism. In my opinion, having a question like this will scare away any person with a conviction. Perhaps that is the goal of some school owners and I respect that. However, I want everybody to feel welcomed in my school.

As for ethics, I am inspired by what Sifu Serene and Sigung Groff wrote. I also agree with them. People make mistakes and sometimes deserve the benefit of the doubt. Martial arts is beneficial. Every instructor worth his or her salt has a story to tell about a student who was heading down the wrong path and had the martial arts become a strong positive guiding force in their life.

Call me provincial, but I tend to take people at their word. I observe students and listen closely to them. Ocassionally, I get signals that bother me (like someone who wants to use Kajukenbo for dishonorable purposes) and react accordingly. 

Respectfully,




Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Serene on January 24, 2007, 01:12:06 PM
Howzit Chief: ;D

Good post.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Soifua,
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: patk on January 26, 2007, 02:04:04 AM

I'm sure I would refuse sex offenders.


Since "baby rapers" tend to use social arenas such as after school programs, sports affiliations, and the like to gain access and later develop a "relationship" with children in order to develop trust and then to do harm, I would agree with Sigung on this one.  Criminal convictions for sex crimes [or arrests for that matter] have no place where children go to feel safe and have fun.  Predators like these have no business being in a dojo.  That is just my opinion. 
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Ron Baker on February 19, 2007, 09:59:30 AM
Are there legal ramifications for giving martial arts instruction to individuals with a criminally violent past? Does the appalling nature of the crime have anything to do with it? If so, how do you go about protecting yourself and "investigating?"
Yes, there certainly could be.  The standard, though, is possibly whether or not you had actual knowledge that a prospective student had a propensity for criminal violence.   That knowledge could come from an application or questionnaire that you give to each or your prospective students, or it could come from the student directly. 

The reason that it could--could--expose a school to liability is because the owner/instructor is someone in a position to reasonably know that teaching a violent person martial art techniques could be very similar to teaching a convicted drunk driver how to drive safer while drunk.  In either case, there's a high likelyhood that each student will hurt or kill someone.

The violent criminal is a little different because, as someone pointed out, people can and do change.  Today, though, more and more criminals are using legitmate means to further their criminality.   

I'd err on the side of my current students and decline to teach the violent offender.       
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Chief Instructor on April 03, 2007, 05:28:16 PM
Quote
Since "baby rapers" tend to use social arenas such as after school programs, sports affiliations, and the like to gain access and later develop a "relationship" with children in order to develop trust and then to do harm, I would agree with Sigung on this one.  Criminal convictions for sex crimes [or arrests for that matter] have no place where children go to feel safe and have fun.  Predators like these have no business being in a dojo.  That is just my opinion. 

I agree with the need to protect children from sex offender. Keep in mind that registered sex offenders have certain rules they have to abide by. This usually includes avoiding contact with children and providing detailed updates regarding their life activities with parole officers.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Chief Instructor on April 03, 2007, 05:30:18 PM
Quote
The standard, though, is possibly whether or not you had actual knowledge that a prospective student had a propensity for criminal violence.   That knowledge could come from an application or questionnaire that you give to each or your prospective students, or it could come from the student directly.       

I respect your opinion; however, I am curious as to what questions you would ask on the application.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Ron Baker on April 04, 2007, 03:36:15 PM
Quote
The standard, though, is possibly whether or not you had actual knowledge that a prospective student had a propensity for criminal violence.   That knowledge could come from an application or questionnaire that you give to each or your prospective students, or it could come from the student directly.       

I respect your opinion; however, I am curious as to what questions you would ask on the application.
Fair question.  Since the questionnaire isn't for a job, mortgage loan, etc., I'd ask the prospective student questions like:

*In the last 7 years, were you ever invovled in a physical altercation?  Please explain.

*Have you ever been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime?  Please explain

*Have you ever been convicted of assault, battery or other violent crime?  Please explain

For my purposes, I'm going to ask these questions without indicating why I'm asking.  My hope will be to get an honest response.  If he or she comes off as taking pride in their streetfights or nightclub brawls; or if they slip and mention that time they smacked their spouse; it's gonna raise red flags with me.  However, if they explain that they had been in a few scrapes, and that they've matured; or that they no longer put themselves in fight-or-flight situations (law enforcement officers excepted) then I weigh that in their favor.

I then explain that, as a student, they're expected to represent themselves and the school in the best light possible. 
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: jadm on November 25, 2008, 04:55:17 AM
sex offenders not withstanding

I just don't see the local hoods signing up for martial arts class, it just doesn't fit with the personality profile.
if they want to hurt some one they don't spend five years in a martial arts class, they would use a baseball bat, hammer , screw driver, knife, gun or any number of things.

if some one like that where to join a dojo one might make the argument that they may have profound personality changes during this time and in a sense not be the same person as a result of the training.
there are many cases of children and young adults being pulled back from the brink of serious criminal behavior because of their martial arts involvement.

as for sex offenders, all classes should be monitored by instructors. and any such behaviors delt with in the "appropriate manner" ;)
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: KajuJKDFighter on November 25, 2008, 11:19:23 AM
There is a rehab place where people live, a large place but sort of like a half way house that is walking distance from us and we have had many great students come from there.  They are trying to change their lives and do so by training.  I give them a graduated payment schedule since they get paid very little at first for work and nit slowly gets to be a regular paying job....so far it has worked great and we have some great people from there...
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: punisher73 on November 25, 2008, 12:18:16 PM
sex offenders not withstanding

I just don't see the local hoods signing up for martial arts class, it just doesn't fit with the personality profile.
if they want to hurt some one they don't spend five years in a martial arts class, they would use a baseball bat, hammer , screw driver, knife, gun or any number of things.

if some one like that where to join a dojo one might make the argument that they may have profound personality changes during this time and in a sense not be the same person as a result of the training.
there are many cases of children and young adults being pulled back from the brink of serious criminal behavior because of their martial arts involvement.

as for sex offenders, all classes should be monitored by instructors. and any such behaviors delt with in the "appropriate manner" ;)

I have an acquaintence who used to teach BJJ (he is also an LEO).  He stopped teaching publically because he found that there were guys signing up for the classes for criminal behavior, mainly going to bars to start fights etc.

When I became a cert. knife instructor for our department, I was talking with the instructor and he talked about being approached by a large biker gang who offered him $10k to teach them knife fighting.  Let me just add as an aside, the context of the story wasn't to brag, and he was a very nice and down to earth guy so I believe that this happened in the Detroit area where he worked.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: KajuJKDFighter on November 25, 2008, 12:23:05 PM
I don't think that happens all to much though.....usually you build that teacher students relationship of respect and then instill when and where to use the arts......sometimes a good teacher can change that persons life and outlook on life itself....
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: jadm on February 26, 2009, 03:13:38 AM
I've come to realize that the art polices itself
The DESIGN of the system solves most of these types of problems. A person who feels beating people up is the only purpose of martial arts usually feel bored at all the practice the art. People who are confrontational either change or leave It's very hard on the EGO.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: KajuJKDFighter on February 26, 2009, 08:58:15 AM
I think you are absolutely right Don.....
Don make sure you put your affiliation down with your signature for the forum, thanks much.....
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: V. F. Mateo on August 02, 2009, 04:00:20 PM
I know this topic is an old one, but I've trained and have trained people that are reformed x-convicts. The good news is they are reformed and paid their dues to society and actually some have become counselors. The prison has an education system for those that are serious about it. And of course once labeled a x-convict the stigma is such. But one can tell after communicating and training them, you should be observant of their behavior. 

Frank Mateo
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Ron Baker on August 03, 2009, 07:55:34 AM
Good point, Prof. Mateo.  Ex-felons' "re-entry" into society is crucial.  And other than the military or law enforcement, it's organized martial arts that offers them the kind of discipline, order, self-respect and confidence needed to be responsible citizens.

darn good point.
Title: Re: Teaching individuals with a crimnal history
Post by: Kenpo_85 on August 03, 2009, 01:18:04 PM
I agree, and also not to forget that there were dozens and dozens of ex-convicts that were taught in the early days of Kenpo and Kajukenbo. Those who stuck around completely turned their lives around. This is no secret, and any old timer of our art knows this.