People using my name. Every once in a while I post something here in the business section when I get a little fed up or amused with people wrongly using my name to advance themselves and their agendas. For example, like right now, there's a wanna-be Italian knife person claiming that I have asked him to make knife training movies for me to sell. Total stranger.
Sometimes these people using my name are total strangers and sometimes they are not. Like Gary Dill….
In 1997, I retired from the police department and I did something else too. I retired from all the martial arts systems I was “hooked” up with, or paying dues to. There was quite a number of them, and in total, my annual dues and fees to this-or-that organization, yearly and/or monthly were quite high. I said my goodbyes to all of them in 1997 and frankly, some of the goodbyes were personal and critical advice given for those people and organizations to improve themselves and their businesses.
Only Remy Presas was the most helpful and supportive of my ideas for tactical/practical systems free of old regimentation. One night we sat together in my house inventing names for the new courses. Everyone else was irked that I dare "leave them" and I would stop sending them money.
These connections go way back. Bear with me because there is a reason why I will do this review. You'll quickly see. I started martial arts in 1972 in Ed Parker Kenpo. Then was off to the Army. I graduated Basic Training and then the Military Police Academy. Got out and became involved with Karate and Jujitsu. In 1986 I met people with JKD Concepts and was totally engrossed by it. By the time the 1990s rolled around, I was obsessively studying multiple systems and martial arts. Studied and hosted people for years like Paul Vunak and Terry Gibson and Larry Harstell and even seen “Dan the Man” Inosanto every chance I could. I had also attended various classes and seminars by Ben Mangels, police and military survival and tactical schools. There was the Thai Boxing. The Silat. Modern Arnis. Arnis de Mano. Muchado. Small Circle Jujitsu. Remy Presas and Ernesto Presas - and both brothers were really major, MAJOR influences in my training. I have been to the Philippines multiple times on extended training trips.
Ask anyone who knew me, I was a junkie for ALL this stuff. I attended all kinds of seminars with whoever I could get to. In summary, I collected a lot of striking, kicking, trapping, locking, kickboxing, takedowns, ground fighting, stick, knife and gun materials before 1991.
JKD. In 1986, I started the JKD world, via the Guro Dan Inosanto systems. Then in 1991 - this brings us over to the so-called “Original” Jeet Kune Do. I am still very close to Tim Tackett, and well…I love the guy like an uncle, but I just don’t officially teach Jeet Kune Do, you know? I leave that to the real JKD experts who really care about it all. (I do have several rankings in JKD, but decline in listing them for several reasons. I certainly don't mind mentioned the late, great Terry Gibson, but others? No.)
In this large mix of people and seminars I attended…in 1991 or 92 or so there is Gary Dill from the Oakland JKD connection. He was a James Lee student (for how long exactly is debatable for many folks). He was just up the road from me in Oklahoma. Also an ex-cop. So I also started up with Gary Dill inside the mix of all these other instructors and systems.
Very quickly, I began teaching Filipino Martial Arts for Dill, to his people. But In 1997, I shipped-off/retired from Dill also. I did not single him out. I resigned from everyone and system. I just needed OUT from all dogma! I haven’t seen Gary Dill since about October, 1996. What’s that…about 18, 19 years ago by now?
That is why I find it odd and funny when I occasionally hear from people that Gary Dill goes around and claims he has taught me…“everything that I know.” I have heard this once and awhile for about 18 years now and I would just shake my head, smile and ignore this silliness. Just recently while in Italy, I was told this quote again by an JKD instructor who smiled at me and then awaited my response, like he knew the truth anyway.
“I taught Hock Hochheim everything he knows,” says Gary Dill.
So, in that 6 or so years between 1991 and 1997, in these occasional Dill seminars - Dill taught me everything that I know? Given my overall "pre-Dill" history, during Dill history, and then post-Dill history, this is obviously preposterous. But, Dill is a very flippant and a very braggadocios person. If you know him, then you know his type of behavior and his remarks are utterly, totally…and sadly, ever so predictable.
I had a lot of fun hanging out with Dill off and on through those 6 or so years. He is a real..."unique"... character. And the people I met were all really good folks. Just really great to hang out with. I just will say no more about that.
But, I will park this little observation here on the forum, buried deep away in case anyone ever searches on the rare, oddball subject/statement of Gary Dill “teaching me everything that I know,” just for the cosmic record. (I know no one really cares about this. For years even I laughed it off, until I heard it as far away ITALY!)
I never think of Dill anymore, but if I did, I would like to think he is doing well for himself and a happy, friendly guy, like the Dill I remember from the early 90s. I saw a picture of him the other day and he looks healthier than ever. Good for him. And just leave it at that. Even though he has told people (one my good friend) in a bar in San Antonio, that I am one of the "...5 people he'd like to see dead."
"Hock Hochheim is one of the five people I'd like to see dead." is the actual quote. Yikes! Huh?
But I honestly don't feel that way about him at all. I wish him zero ill will, stability and success. I think he thinks, or thought at the time, I was too important to his operation. I wasn't and I'm not.
I will say the best Aiki-Jitsu demonstration I have ever seen in my life, I saw Gary do back in the 90s. And I participated in Gary Dill's "Grandmaster/10th Dan" test in a Grandmaster deal in Florida and I thought he did a terrific job. He had to present his entire martial system and demonstrate and answer whatever the board of Grandmasters asked. I thought he did great. If you want to see some material from the James Lee Oakland school, maybe you should check him out? If not? Then whatever. Let it go.
But...if you ever hear the line that Gary Dill has taught me everything that I know? Well...jeez...no.