People Put out of the system: 1. George Dillman, Nicknamed: Mr. Smoke & Mirrors Put out because of lying about his true rank…Sho-dan 1965 2. Clarence Murray, Nicknamed: Mr. showman Put out because of misuse of dojo and changing kata 3. Walter Ellis, Nicknamed: Just stupid Put out for disrespecting Sensei Coffman George Dillman, Mr. smoke and mirrors: The first person to be put out of my school and or Association was George Dillman. I met George Dillman 1965 at the National Guard Armory in Washington DC. He was putting on a karate demonstration and I happen to be one of those in the audience. After his demonstration was completed I went up to him and gave him one of my hand cards, now at this time George was claiming to be a sho-dan or first degree black belt. George asked me what I thought of the demonstration. I told him I was not impressed and that I had just returned from Okinawa, he asked me if I would work out with him? I agreed, we set a date and I went to workout with George and his students. One of the things that we did of course was sparring, after I kicked George around the room he asked if I would become his teacher and take over his class. I agreed and I started teaching his classes weekly, this went on for a number of months. The next thing I know is George wants to join the USKA, under Robert Trais. George said that he would pay all the fees and would register me, his school and himself under my name and affiliation. I agreed, George did this, we received certificates of ranks from the USKA etc. I was put on the research and technique board for Shorin-ryu. At this time I was a Yon-Dan or fourth degree black belt, George received a shoDan rank certificate. Later that year or sometime the next year we were competing at one of Jhoon Rhee’s karate tournaments in Washington DC. While waiting our turn to compete a gentleman by the name of Harry Smith (Georges former teacher) came up to George and grabbed him by the belt, tugging on the end of George’s belt, he said where did you get this? I said you gave it to him. Harry Smith replied no! he only got up to a brown belt under me. I turned to George and said so you been lying to me all of this time? I said, I will no longer be your teacher and you are no longer under me because you lied about your rank and where you got it. You used me to get a black belt certificate from the USKA. That was the last time that I ever trained George Dillman. As I was to find out later George would do and say anything to make himself
look good, even today he continues to lie just to make himself look better than what he really is. Now he is running this smoke and mirrors scam on throwing Chi balls, knocking people out without ever touching them etc. he was a joke back in the 60’s when I first met him and he remains a joke today, that is my opinion of George Dillman. Clarence Murray, Mr. showman Clarence turned out to be the second person that I had to put out of the system and style. This would’ve been back in the early 70s, Clarence was a young teenager that came from outof-state, a Sho-dan, 17 years of age.. The reason that Clarence was put out of the system was twofold. First, he was lying to me. Secondly, he was changing some of the kata, plus all of the kicks that are within our kata’s, which are low and groin level, Clarence changed them to kicks above the face and head area. The first reason, the lying came about when Clarence asked permission to have a children’s class in my school on Saturdays before my regular adult class. I agreed to let him have his own class as long as it was children only, I also agreed to let them use all of the dojo and equipment needed to teach the children’s class. George Granofsky was a Sho-dan of mine at the time, came in early one Saturday and found Clarence having a sparring class with some of his friends, other adult black belts from different systems. George told me and I confronted Clarence. I told Clarence that my insurance would not cover him bringing in other black belts from other schools if there was injuries ensued unless I was there. I told Clarence that was not part of our agreement and that he was to stop doing this. Clarence agreed and said that it would not happen again. Well guess what? It happened a couple times more. I found out about it and I told Clarence that he was no longer welcome in the school, and he could not come back. Second reason: I asked Clarence why he was changing our Kata? He replied it was easier to win trophies at tournaments using high kicks and longer Kata. I told him not to change anything, that the kata were to remain the same without change in that if he was not good enough to win a trophy without adding to or changing our kata, than he did not deserve to win anyway. Walter Ellis, just stupid. Walter Ellis was the third person to be put out of my system by me. Walter Ellis, had an ego problem that he just couldn’t seem to get control of. Walter thought that he was much better than what he truly was and from time to time would have to be put in his place. Over the few years that Walter trained under me, he had taken 6 to 8 stitches in his face, had his ribs cracked and eventually had both bones in his right arm broken. The final straw was when Walter Ellis again placed his ego above his common sense. At this time I was teaching in several locations in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. The Chevy Chase community center was one of these locations of which I’ve been teaching for over 20 years at the time.The Washington Post newspaper came to the Chevy Chase community center and wanted to do a story on our karate club there. I was away on business at this time. The reporter approached my senior rank, Ed Marucci and Carl Hoffman, both were and still our long-time black belts of mine. Both of these respectful black belts declined to give the interview stating that James Coffman was the head instructor here, but was out of town at this time. Sometime later the reporter came by again, only this time Walter Ellis was there. Walter did the interview and the paper was published later that week. I return from my business trip only to find out that Walter Ellis had and did in fact do the interview claiming that he was the head instructor. I confronted Walter asking why would he do such a disrespectful thing? He said he did not think it was disrespectful. I told Walter that the classes at the Chevy Chase community center where such that I could not stop anybody from registering and taking the classes, that this was the community center policy. I further told Walter that I would not put him out of the class nor would I stop him from attending classes, however, I told him that I was going to personally work with him each and every class that he attended, and that I was going to physically hurt him every class. I gave Walter Ellis the option to continue coming to classes and getting hurt each and every class, or he could simply go away. Now Mr. Ellis might be what I consider a stupid man, but he is no fool, he changed his clothes and went home. That was the last that I saw of Walter Ellis.