Posted by: smirkdirk | August 30, 2009

Bobby Joe Blythe vs. The Internet

Two days ago I came across the following video that has been making its rounds on the internet. It is shocking and quite possibly captures a murder on video tape. I have posted the video below, however do recommend you skip it as it is upsetting.

You have been warned.

For those who decided to skip it what happens in the video is that Bobby Joe Blythe who ran a Karate school in 1984 essentially instructs his “black belt” student, Willie J. Dennis to continue beating a man who appears to be either slightly mentally retarded or mentally ill, or at the very least on drugs, long after the man has given up. At one point whilst the unidentified victim is clearly unconscious on the ground, Dennis stomps him multiple times on head with his foot, until in the final blow, the man, still unconscious, goes into spasmodic breathing fits and begins bleeding. It is then that Bobby Joe Blythe instructs them to take the victim out back, and a student proceeds to drag the limp body out the back door. The video cuts, and then comes back on with Bobby Joe blustering about how the victim learned his lesson whilst panning the blood stains on the floor.

Whether the man lived or died is not known and a matter of some controversy on the internet, but either way, the amount of force used is completely uncalled for. In fact, right now, the identity of the victim remains unknown. (For that matter, the authenticity of the video itself is still being debated – )

So how did this shocking video from 1984 end up all over the internet in August of 2009. Bobby Joe Blythe, now an oldster evidently oblivious to the sheer power of the internet uploaded it himself to his Youtube account in April. It took a few months, but in August the internet community discovered it and he quickly took it back down as it spread like wildfire and calls for a police investigation began. But it was too late. Netizens already had made copies of it and began collecting it as evidence.

Within a few days a local station Fresno Fox affiliate picked up the story, and their 3-minute report is below:

For some reason, as of this writing, the national media has for the most part failed to pick up this story. I’ve scoured the internet for bits and pieces of it and what follows are the various puzzle pieces that you can put together. As more and more videos and pictures surfaced, one of the things came into sharp focus for me besides the sheer atrocity and tragedy of the original video was the character of Billy Joe Blythe, a man-child. A bully who essentially never grew up and left the bullying behind. Letting his own words speak for themselves says a lot more about this man and his personality than I ever could. Let’s begin:

A good introduction to the personality and mentality of Bobby Joe Blythe might start with the text he uploaded in the “information” box of original video. Notice the justification.

Here is a transcript of the video. Notice Blythe’s patronizing manner with the victim.

Blythe : And huh, he’s a master (points at k.f.g)

KFG: (nods head) inaudible but it was a confirmation

Blythe: You’re a master correct?

KFG: (inaudible, sound did not pick up what was said)

Blythe: You’re a what?

KFG: Shintokan priest

Blythe: Shindukan priest?

KFG: Shinto

Blythe: Shintokan(please correct, edit please all Japanese mistakes) priest…he’s a priest, yeah he’s a priest

Blythe: and uh…he’s here to teach you spiritual movements…..ok

Blythe: Trying to get your body and your mind (audio skip) together, right John?

Blythe: You’re willing to know that right? (faces off camera nods and appears to smile)

Blythe: and huh, like I say this gentleman is a master, huh he has no master

KFG: My master is Jesus Christ

Blythe: His master is Jesus Christ

Blythe: uh, and he got promoted by Jesus Christ, right?

KFG: Well

Blythe: To tenth degree red belt

KFG: (inaudible) tiger sir, the tiger is the symbol for Jesus Christ

KFG: (points at forearm) Here is the tiger (continues pointing at forearm)

Blythe: We’re all in here for knowledge, aren’t we(looks to Dennis)

Blythe: We’re all in here for knowledge, aren’t we gentlemen

Blythe: (points off screen) Thank you very much.

Dennis: Listen up ya’ll, sensei is talking to y’all

Blythe: Yeah, huh, this guy huh like I say is a priest is a tenth degree red belt and who did you say promoted you to tenth degree red belt?

KFG: Jesus Christ

Blythe: Jesus did

Blythe: Uh, ok, I know everyone of us would like to be taught be someone that has been taught by Jesus

Blythe: Correct John

John: Absolutely

Blythe: Because I can guarantee you that’s got to be some movements to behold, right

KFG: Well, I won’t brag or anything like that (could not make out)

Blythe: Ok, demonstrate on him

KFG: Well, I won’t demonstrate on him, I will demonstrate around him

Blythe: Go ahead and demonstrate around him

Blythe moves off screen

KFG: You can just stand there, do not make any movement whatsoever I will not touch you

KFG: Well, actually I..I think it would best maybe if perhaps if I just perform which is known in karate as kata

Blythe (off screen): We’re all interested in that aren’t we gentlemen

Students: Yes sir, yes sensei (faint and multiple voices)

KFG: Do you feel threatened?

KFG: I..I just wish to teach you, I don’t wish to hurt you

Dennis: Teach me

KFG: Well, what you must do, is to, just basically focus on the hands, your two hands and your two feet, stand straight…this way
(Blythe starts walking towards the back of the dojo as he walks past Dennis)

Dennis: Like this? (Dennis proceeds to give KFG a front kick immediately)

Dennis and KFG exchange blows

KFG: Don’t do that anymore

Dennis and KFG begins another exchange

KFG: No, just don’t do that

Dennis: kihaps after front kick

KFG: Good

KFG: I’m not a fighter

Dennis and KFG begin another set of exchanges

KFG goes down

Dennis: (grunts) #####

KFG: You’re good

Dennis: Huh?

KFG: You’re good

KFG: Don’t grab my tie bitch thats…(inaudible) there

Off Camera (source unknown..woman): tv, tv

KFG: You got it ok, you got it, you got it

Off Camera (source unknown..woman): What you gonna do(audio breaks off)

BSD (blue shirt dude): Hold it, hold it, hold it…

Blythe: Ok, ok, Willis that’s good. Drag him out the back door

Blythe: Drag him out the back door

Blythe: Take that, get that uh, I want the sash

Dennis: Yeah, get my sash

Cut to next day

Blythe(off camera): What we have right here is the trail of the kung fu master…as he is departing my dojo

Blythe (off camera): This was taking on 13 December 1984, 7 p.m.

Blythe (off camera): And of course this is where he got drug out at

Blythe (off camera): Some of the blood on the backdoor.

What follows is the few original comments made to Blythe’s you tube account about the video with his responses -until he took it down and deleted his account. Notice how he truly sees nothing wrong with the video whilst the first few viewers are appalled.

ize1277 (5 days ago) Show Hide
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that dude snapped; looks to me like somebody lost control

bobbyjoeblythe007 (5 days ago) Show Hide
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If it would have took longer, I would have dropped both. This upset me it took so look. I was very disappointed with my guy and he paid for a week after that. That video will be coming up soon. That video will have the name….Fight for Life. That one will be good.

ua26695 (2 months ago) Show Hide
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He was told not to go to another ones DOJO. PERIOD!

bobbyjoeblythe007 (2 months ago) Show Hide
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He was advised not to do what he had said he was going to do…..PERIOD. And that was to not go into THAT DOJO. That DOJO isn’t like any other DOJO. This Dojo raised it’s own Bodyguards for a Company in Northern Virginia. This Sensei just so happens to be the Director of the Service.

ua26695 (2 months ago) Show Hide
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Bad decision, I would say.

ee1264 (3 months ago) Show Hide
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I can see accepting a challenge from someone who comes into your dojo, but you had prior knowledge that this person was mentally disturbed. Also letting your student stomp on the guy at the end was purely negligent. Finally you didn’t call the police or EMTs. Hope you have your insurance paid up.

Oluwadan (3 months ago) Show Hide
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This is a brutal and unnecessary act of ego. This man was obviously mentally ill and should come back and sue you ass. He has obviously now got enough video evidence. Stamping on a persons head is not reasonable force and this type of behaviour is not acceptable from a ‘martial artist’. Placing it on public view brings shme to the martial arts community.

bobbyjoeblythe007 (3 months ago) Show Hide
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Last I heard, he was in Salem, VA in the Mental Lockup there. Go figure!!! Earlier that day, the police ran him out of the Drug Store and later a Pizza Manager pulled a pistol on him. I was on a Bodyguard job that day and when I showed up, he came in later while I was teaching. The cops pulled him out of the Dumpster behind the dojo.

greenhorn311 (3 months ago) Show Hide
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Hum that was …… hum …..Im speachless

What happend afterward he lived?

Did he happend to come back with a lawer?

bobbyjoeblythe007 (3 months ago) Show Hide
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He was confused and YES, there is a GOD.

View all 7 comments
Would you like to comment?

Bobby Joe Circa 1984 lecturing his students about how they can do anything they want now that they’ve earned their black belt. Some highlights:

“Don’t beg. Don’t beg for a God damn thing. If you want something, demand it or take it.”

“If they come through that door, it’s open season.”

“I do what I want in my home. I do what I want in my place of business.”

“Now, if a person wises off to you … just hit him. No questions asked. Hit him. Don’t explain your actions. Hit him.”

“If any person touches you, in any way, he’s either a faggot or he’s stupid. Hit him.”

Bobby Joe Circa 1982 and his appearance on the Today show. He’s only in there for about 10 seconds, but it finally gives you a closeup of his face to match with his personality that is slowly coming into stark relief. Not to mention the self-important timbre of the report as a whole which 25 years later comes off as nothing less than cheese-a-rific.

The following message board links contain all of the material I’ve posted here and a ton more dug up by their members.

Military Photos Forum are former and current military who find it concerning that a former Marine would behave in this manner. In the words of one Marine: “A Marine by nature protects the weak, they don’t prey on them.”, a forum for martial arts enthusiasts who have taken it upon themselves to investigate the case since no other media organization will pick up the story.

Lastly, what follows is a video of him mock-shooting someone during one of his public presentations. Considering that it appears to be a family event with many young children present, the appropriateness of his decision to stage a shooting is up for debate. Link.

In closing, Willie J. Dennis is currently in jail on unrelated felony charges and since 1984 has evidently had quite a few run-ins with the law.

And Bobby Joe Blythe has yet to make any public statement on any of this, whilst the message boards are posting all of his contact information as far and wide as they can. (Not sure, ethically, if I agree with that as mob justice rarely does anybody any good and this situation really needs to be handled within the confines of the law.)

I would also recommend visiting the Youtube user accounts of the videos posted for links to various action groups that have formed in the wake of the original video’s upload to the internet.

Update: September 1, 2009. The Washington Post picked up the story and says the man lived. Not to sound too conspiratorial, but they don’t bother to identify the man and quote a police officer from the small town who also mentions the stealing of pizza hut slices off other people’s plates straight from Blythe’s Youtube description. I’m holding off judgment until Kung Fu Guy is actually identified – I would think a real reporter would too instead of taking the word of small town cop in a police department in which Blythe probably had a connections at face value. Link. Interestingly, the Post article is insistent that nothing of real consequence is happening in the video and yet, in their words, “The Post has chosen not to link to the video because it shows graphic violence”

Update: September 10, 2009. In their efforts to identify the victim in the video, police have found and spoken to another victim of a beating at Bobby Joe Blythe’s Dojo, meaning that this wasn’t an isolated occurrence. “That man recently told police that members of the karate school invited him to the dojo in the late 1980s to display his fighting style. The next thing the man remembered was waking up in the back of an ambulance on its way to the hospital, he told detectives.” Link.


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