“I got ripped off!!!….” – The Rest of the Story!

After many years with no contact I recently sent a few old photos to a martial arts friend, posting them on his social network page. They were of him in the ring, in a tournament organized by me, where he was in a match against one of my

Shihan Pascetta - Chief Referee, World GoJu Cup NYC 2010

Black Belt students. The photo was about 25 years old and to me it brought back memories of the ongoing sports rivalry that existed between those two excellent athletes when they were both much younger.

My friend responded graciously and we shared a brief chat online chat with some very positive interaction. It seemed like a breath of fresh air to interact with such an intelligent and accomplished individual.

I knew from other sources that he was quite accomplished in his professional life outside the martial arts. I also knew from observing him so many times in his youth that he was an extremely talented athlete with excellent skills and was a very spirited young man. It was even more encouraging to see that he had kept up with his regular and dedicated martial arts training and activities.

The following day I began receiving notifications from the social website of “comments” added to the photos I had sent. I was quite saddened and disappointed with what I read, by what had been written by him and some of his admirers. The comments were quite negative, quite involved, so I felt motivated to take the time here and address some very relevant issues that he had brought to light.



Law Enforcement and Martial Arts – the “Best” Connection? – Part 1

This is PART 1 of a 3 part series titled: “Law Enforcement and Martial Arts – the ‘Best Connection’?” A new section adding to this article will be posted each Monday.

Shihan Pascetta receiving Honors Award at New Jersey State Police Academy - Sea Girt, NJ 1975

Here are some relevant questions facing Law Enforcement officers, administrators, and trainers today concerning Defensive Tactics training:

Is there a “natural” fit between Law Enforcements (LE) and the Martial Arts (MA)?

What is the “best” Martial Arts system to learn for Law Enforcement?

Do our police agencies have the “Best of the Best” with regard for Defensive Tactics (DT) training for their personnel?

What are some realistic and practical expectations for improving the present LE/DT training?



Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 6

This is “Part 6” and the final section in the series of articles titled “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT of FANTASY?”.  I hope that this series has served to educate and stimulate. Please feel free to add your comments or your own personal conclusions either at the end of this post or on our “Comment” page.

Shihan Pascetta - Aiki-Jitsu Seminar - Israel



In further considering the differences between “Full time” Masters and “Part time” Masters it is only fair to acknowledge that there are other factors that can also weigh in favor the credibility of the “Part timer”.  Specifically, one pertinent and mitigating factor may well be the type of full time work that a particular Master does in addition to his “Part time” activity teaching Martial Arts.

There are examples of Part time Masters who’s “other” employment parallels and/or supplements their Martial Arts activity. Several examples where this may make a difference might include a full time career Law Enforcement Officer or a full time Career Soldier.



“Secrets of the Masters” – Seeking vs Finding

“….When someone is seeking it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything;

Shihan Pascetta - Okinawa 1987

unable to absorb anything because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal.

Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.”


In the above quote the famous philosopher, Siddartha, contrasts “seeking” with “finding” and seems to imply that in some manner the previous cancels the latter.

In my own life I have been inspired to make it a quest to “seek the truth”. Following the logic of Siddhartha, however, would (more…)


Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 5

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback, questions, and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta (White Gi, Anti-Club) Summer Training - Wildwood, NJ circa 1969



In the interest of fairness and realism we must also not assume that simply because an individual practitioner has opted to work full time as a Martial Arts instructor that this automatically legitimizes him/her as a legitimate “Master” teacher. If that were the case then any person who opted to open a full time business could erroneously call himself a “MA Master”. First we must look at how, when, where, and from whom he/she received his initial and original teaching credentials.



Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 4

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta & Osama Arkia - Israel



Unfortunately, today there are those individuals who would take a loose interpretation of aforementioned requirements and claim that since they were the “founder” or “patriarch” of their own “system” that they are “Grand Master” or 10th Degree. The pertinent question is: “Grand Master” of what?

In today’s modern age there are those who have used this 10th Degree status under the proposition that they are “founders” of their own system. This is a seriously questionable practice. If it were an instant way to credibility then any individual with little or no training and experience could create a fantasy that he/she had ‘created’ his/her own unique system. My opinion is that, although they may or may not actually be in the process of attempting to create their own system, such a system and their “real” status would certainly lack much substantiated credibility as compared with those individuals whose work and efforts had stood the test of time and scrutiny of their peers. Age  old wisdom dictates, “Let the buyer beware.” (more…)