You know someone has run out of legitimate accusations when they start with the personal attacks, and that's exactly the door Barron Shepherd has opened. Apparently, I am incompetent because I don't have washboard abs because somehow someone's physique correlates with expertise. But who is this Barron Shepherd? On the surface, he claims to be a 7th Dan in American/Tracy Kenpo, a 6th Dan in Ninjutsu (I should just stop there), 2nd Dan in Judo, and a certified USJA coach. However, when you call someone under the microscrope you should expect the lens to go both ways.
Several websites list him as either an 8th or a 7th Dan under Al Tracy, yet when we contacted Mark Tracy we were told he was never a student. Moving on, Samuel Lonewolf seems to have had a laundry list of credentials, including several 10th Dans, and his primary Kenpo background actually seems to be Kosho Ryu. Whatever system Lonewolf taught, his inheritor Gary Lee told us he has no record of Barron studying any of it. It's interesting that Samuel Lonewolf also held a 9th Dan from Saigo Ha Daito Ryu, a group largely proven to be frauds by the greater Daito Ryu community. To quote Kondo Katsuyuki, headmaster of mainline Daito Ryu, "Properly speaking, there is no connection between the Saigo-Ha and Daito-ryu schools. They should not call themselves Daito-ryu because there is no relationship at all between Daito-ryu and the version of history they are offering." But that's enough about Lonewolf. I have no interest in trampling on a man's grave, and my issue is with Barron.
Now, Barron is not currently listed on the IKKA website although he claims to be the Indiana State representative (from his home in Winter Haven, Florida) but that doesn't actually mean anything other than he didn't renew his membership. Having seen other IKKA certificates, I can say that this is legit. But I should point out that the IKKA is another organization where you send in your fee and receive a certificate. Their verification process isn't exactly stringent either. They do seem to have a large following and in the past have hosted some good-sized events but I'd hesitate using this as the only source of your credentials.
Either way, having shown this certificate to several people who knew Duncan well, this isn't a format he was ever known to use. We've contacted Greg Duncan for further verification, but we're still waiting for his response.
EDIT (July 22, 2020) - It would appear since writing this article, Barron has actually joined the USJA and was awarded his Sandan on July 14th of this year. Congratulations! I applaud his efforts at trying to actually obtain what it is he claimed to previously have, but even though he can be found on their directory now, our screenshot from two months ago proves that wasn't always the case.