No offense to Ralph Macchio, but he ain't the Karate Kid. - Barney, How I Met Your Mother, the Bro Mitzvah, S8 E22
Now I try to avoid situations from the past that may threaten me. How do you do that? I go through life like a Karate Kid. - Britney Spears, MTV's Britney: for the record. 2008
It's all about the paper, you say it's not, but it probably is, I swear my soul turned black like the Karate Kid. - Muzzy Muzz, Cannon Gang and Green Light - The Movement

Jan 20, 2013

USSD vs ZUSDS legal battle


Celtic Ronin posted

Seems the Mcdonalds of martial arts United Studios of Self Defense have filed a lawsuit against former so called USSD masters who broke off from USSD in September to form their own chain, ZUltimate Self Defense Studios. Just being curious I called a ZUlitimate studio to ask a few questions regarding what system they teach, prices, etc ... & it's the exact same watered down package USSD offers even the over the top prices which range between $185.00 to $250.00 per month. With the legal battle between these two misguided groups looking to be caught up in court for a long time to come I'm pretty sure they both will lose alot of students. Makes me glad I've never been part of a Mcdojo/chain schools of martial arts.

Kenpoking posted  

I followed this case very closely, as I have been involved in Kenpo Karate for about 20 years. I know people on both sides of this, so it hasn't been easy to stay objective. Anyways, there has been a lot of negative talk about USSD, especially in the more recent years. I now understand in more detail why that was the case (and rightfully so). The main complaints have been that they are money hungry, greedy, insensitive liars. As the court case proved, the gentlemen that illegally stole trade secrets and backstabbed the their students AND their own masters, are the same people that left to form Z-ultimate. They basically took the USSD franchise and tried to rename it and create a new patch.

I think this lawsuit was overdue. Now that USSD won, and was awarded $7.7m in damages, the two companies can go about their business in their own ways. It won't be immediate, but the true differences will slowly come out over time. I think everyone will soon realize that USSD is not as bad as everyone thought. Now that the lying, manipulative, greedy individuals are gone, USSD can return to its roots.

This is just my two cents.

darksoul posted

I'm a USSD black belt. Yes, they charge too much. Yes, it's a definite for-profit organization. Yes, it does have SOME flags of a McDojo. HOWEVER... the instructors I've had there were all 4th+ Dan and they have taught me well. I am with another organization now, a non-profit Shaolin Kempo school run by a 7th Dan, and I am recognized as a knowledgeable Shodan and given the same respect as the Shodans bred directly from their school.

Would I recommend USSD? No. They really do charge WAY TOO MUCH and the testing fees are absurd. I would, however, say that they will teach you a solid and effective martial art. Their Shaolin Kempo is not watered down, it's just old. When I performed on the mat for my new Master (before being welcomed into his dojo as a shodan), he said "that's exactly how we taught it 20 years ago." USSD just didn't evolve the way the other Shaolin Kempo schools have.

So if I can come from USSD, "test" in front of a Saholin Kempo 7th Dan with no ties to USSD and be recognized as a Shodan, I think that says something about the training I received at USSD.

Jan 19, 2013

Z-Ultimate Self defense studios?


Panda asked,

So having recently moved I'm trying to find a new place to study. There's a Z-Ultimate location near by, and having glanced over their website I think that I'd like to try it. I'm familiar with the Ed Parker style of Kenpo and they claim to use Kenpo (though of a different style) so I'm interested in that aspect. However, I would like to know if anyone has actually been taught at one of their studios, and what their experiences were with both the style and the teachers.

Thank you!

1 year ago  


Rynok answered,  

Let me tell you a little bit about Z-Ultimate Self defense studios:

Their founders broke off of United Studios of Self-Defense, lying about the reasons for that; basically claiming USSD founder & head Professor Charles Mattera had "retired" and that they were the legitimate successor to him and USSD, when Professor Mattera had NOT retired at all - he's still very much active and in charge of USSD. Z-Ultimate also did a bunch of other things when they broke off, including stealing confidential information, sabotaged the USSD website for a while, and destroying USSD’s electronic files. They tried to claim that monks from the Shaolin Temple in China were coming to do a seminar in the U.S. for them (which wasn't true - when the Abbot of the temple - who was the person who promoted Professor Mattera to Grandmaster in Shaolin Kempo karate - was shown a picture of these alleged monks, he only recognized one of them, a person who'd been kicked out of the temple years before for wrong-doings).

They also tried to sue USSD and prevent Professor Mattera from contacting individual USSD schools to let them know of what Z-Ultimate was doing.

Most of Z-Ultimate's lawsuit has been tossed out, and USSD has filed a counter-suit against them, and several USSD investors have also filed a suit against Z-Ultimate (both of which are currently pending; interested individuals can follow along on USSD's website - linked below - by moving their cursor over the "News/Events" link at the top of the page, and then clicking on the "Legal News" link).

The Shaolin Temple in China has also blasted Z-Ultimate over the split, calling Z-Ultimate head Paul Taylor's actions "shameful behavior.”


1 year ago


Darth Scandalous answered,

EPAK has been trampled on by clowns who make up their own way.

This is an example.

It's a mcdojo.


USSD is a mcdojo too.

Shaolin Temple in China has nothing to do with USSD and would find it pathetic to be involved in this BS dispute between two frauds.

1 year ago

Jan 15, 2013

Jury Awards $7.7 Million to United Studios of Self Defense in Lawsuit Against Z-Ultimate

(borrowed from

Irvine, Calif.–After a four-week trial, an Orange County Superior Court jury returned a $7.7 million verdict in favor of United Studios of Self Defense (USSD) in a case against Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, LLC, Z-Ultimate Martial Arts Supplies, LLC and their individual owners.

USSD had argued that Z-Ultimate illegally rebranded USSD licensed dojos into Z- Ultimate studios without USSD’s consent or knowledge (United Studios of Self Defense, Inc., et al. vs. Kris Eszlinger, Hans Prosch, Frank Ley, William Clark, Russell Clegg, Paul Taylor, Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, et al., Case No. 30-2010 00404621, Cross Complaint, Orange County Superior Court, October 7, 2010).

The jury awarded $6.5 million in compensatory damages on Sept. 13 and an additional $1.2 million in punitive damages on Sept. 18.

The jury decided unanimously in favor of USSD in almost every cause of action against Z-Ultimate companies and its owners (former USSD executives) Paul Taylor, Kris Eszlinger, Hans Prosch, Frank Ley, William Clark and Russell Clegg.

The charges included breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, Penal Code 502 (destroying computer records), trademark infringement and civil conspiracy. In addition, it found against Mike Hatleberg, manager of Z-Ultimate Martial Arts Supplies, LLC, for misappropriation of trade secrets and found against the owners of Z-Ultimate companies for malice and fraud.

“Z-Ultimate started this long legal battle in 2010 when its owners sued USSD as they attempted to unlawfully take over USSD schools,” says A. Barry Cappello, managing partner of the Santa Barbara law firm Cappello & Noël, LLP and the lead attorney representing USSD.

Each of the defendants were trained and mentored by Charles Mattera, 10th degree black belt and USSD’s founder, and eventually each ran numerous USSD schools. “Because of their breach of fiduciary duties and a collective conspiracy against USSD, they were able to illegally seize control and convert over 80 USSD locations,” explains Cappello.

USSD proved at trial that the defendants, during and after the takeover attempt, misappropriated USSD’s trade secrets including the Shaolin Kempo-style training system exclusively owned by USSD. They also took confidential corporate financial records and other confidential business materials. Defendants were found to have infringed the USSD logos and trademark.

In September 2010, the defendants announced in letters to investors and students that “select USSD locations will be joining the professional ranks of Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios.” “Their tactics misled students and investors into believing that USSD was still involved,” says Lawrence J. Conlan, USSD co-counsel with Cappello. “The defendants arrogantly believed that it would be okay to change the names of the USSD studios overnight and use USSD trade secrets and trademarks without suffering the legal consequences.”

“We are very happy with the jury’s decision,” says Mattera. “We thank USSD investors, instructors and, most of all, our students who have remained loyal to United Studios of Self Defense over these past two years.”