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Old April 28, 2002, 11:08 AM   #1
Anthony
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Ralph Severe and Ninjitsu in Dallas - Please Help

Hello Everyone,

There is a gentleman named Ralph Severe here in the Dallas (specifically Farmers Branch) area that has taught Ninjitsu for the past several years at his Art of Combat school. He claims to have been taught by the guy that taught Stephen Hayes who is probably the most famous American Ninjitsu sensi I am aware of.

His website is: www.artofcombat.com

Has anyone ever trained with this guy?

Does he really teach Ninjitsu or is it just straight martial arts?

I'd really appreciate some serious opinions on this as I have always respected the art and the techniques I have read about. My fear is being taken for a ride with all of the scams out there.

- Anthony
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Old April 29, 2002, 10:10 AM   #2
Kalindras
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Hey, Anthony...

When I was looking for a new school when I moved up to Carrollton, I looked into his school. Have you been? It seems like an alright place.

The thing that caught my eye about the studio is that he seems to include a number of things that many martial arts studios either bypass, or deal with in far too esoteric terms. For instance, there was a training FN-FAL dummy that was used to teach defense against a person with a long arm. I was intrigued by this, and by his website. I was especially interested in the concept of the group that goes out and practices various survival skills on the weekends and such.

What I didn't especially care for was how far away it was from me, coupled with the contractual commitment. I've been burned way too many times (and am, in fact, in a fit with another school over a contract presently...*SIGH*) to want to go into that sort of a situation. That, and I'm honestly not sure what to think about that whole 'inner circle' affair...it could either be very cool, or frightening on a level far beyond what I'm personally prepared to consider.

If you're interested, though, by all means stop by. They seemed friendly enough, and I believe they'll let you sit in a class or two before they want you to sign up. That will go a lot further in terms of answering your questions than I can. Good Luck!

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Old May 1, 2002, 03:37 PM   #3
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Go to:

Go to http://www.e-budo.com/ -forums and run a search, or go straight to the Ninpo section (a few scrolls down) and ask them.There's a lot of discussion going on about so called 'McDojos', so they might now if the one you're talking about is one of those.
The type 'A black belt in authentic Ninjutsu (???) and in 6 other martial arts' gets me suspicious, as well as a few other details on the site --but that might just be me.
BTW,I practise Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu ( 'authentic' ninjutsu?).

Good luck!
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Old May 1, 2002, 10:55 PM   #4
Mike Kilo Niner
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Looks like a pretty interesting school. I'm hesitant about "cross-training" in several arts right away, but I'm no master martial artist, so what do I know? I train in Bujikan Ninjutsu also, and his credentials seem authentic. Soke Hatsumi is the Grandmaster of Togakure ryu ninjutsu (and several other traditional schools), Bud Halstrom is a well-known shihan, and both are mentioned/pictured on the web site.

If you're looking to study authentic ninjutsu, it seems like you could do that with this instructor. If you want to learn how to take care of yourself if you get jumped on the street, it looks like you could learn that there, too.
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Old May 2, 2002, 12:15 AM   #5
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INTERESTING school to say the least...I checked out the link Anthony provided. Lot's of pics, let's examine them.



Gecko .45 ?

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Old May 2, 2002, 12:17 AM   #6
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Ninja biker shorts ? Must be required for ninja marksmanship.

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Old May 2, 2002, 12:19 AM   #7
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I like the heavy bags, and the mat looks clean that's a plus.
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Old May 2, 2002, 12:22 AM   #8
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Slutty chick handling a snake...looks very promising, yes, I'm definitely intrigued. This could be the one.
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Old May 2, 2002, 12:31 AM   #9
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Is this a martial arts academy or the militia ? Or this just how it's done down in Texas ?
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Old May 2, 2002, 12:33 AM   #10
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Waco 101

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Old May 2, 2002, 12:36 AM   #11
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Must be a fan of Mapplethorpe
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Old May 2, 2002, 12:57 AM   #12
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Well, it's easy to rip on the guys going on pics alone, but that's not fair. I've never seen any martial arts school offer that variety of training. If that appeals to you, go for it. Asking $20 for a trial class is lame. See if they will let you sit in first (for free) and if there is anything specific that you want, get a guarantee. They list hours for the class but no schedule for the numerous outdoor activities they promise.
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Old May 2, 2002, 04:15 PM   #13
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I am sure that some will disagree, but I am leary of any black belt that can not run a mile in under 10 minutes. Maybe this guy can, but by the way he looks, I would bet he runs out of breath running to the fridge on the commercials.

Just my $.02 and YMMV.

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Old May 3, 2002, 03:53 AM   #14
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Considering that physical attributes is an important element in any "serious" martial art, I'd say the "instructor" needs a little training himself. Looks like I can just poke him in the eye and then run around for about 3 minutes and have him croak in a cardiac arrest (a la "Life of Brian" gladiator scene).

Plus, that technique being done on the ground is a classic Kodokan Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique, and not something that is often taught in "authentic" Ninjutsu schools, if only for the reason that, to apply it (correctly) with maximum leverage,the right leg should be over the head, thus exposing one's groin area to the opponent's bite (okay in NHB or sports grappling competitions, definitely NOT okay in any real fight). EDIT - there is a picture of the "professor" doing the same technique on his website - COMPLETELY INCORRECTLY - he actually does it so that he cannot perform the technique at all! He needs to take his $30 introductory Judo or BJJ seminar again. - END EDIT

Lastly, everytime I see lots of imitation Asian style letterings on the wall (in English!) and tacky dragon cartoons, my BS meter goes up right away. BTW, "variety" does not make up for lack of quality.

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Old May 3, 2002, 11:30 AM   #15
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Looks like he has everything but the special wall climbing boots.
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Old May 8, 2002, 03:23 AM   #16
Mike Weber
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Ninjutsu Instructer

On that pic with the bullwhip and machete? I would swear that one of the weapons on the wall was a frog gig ?
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Old May 8, 2002, 07:27 PM   #17
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I recall that back in my Wing Chun days, proper etiquette required one to challenge, square off against, and soundly defeat one's fellow martial arts practitioner prior to insulting his/her abilities and/or school.

Admittedly, this was back before the internet achieved its current widespread popularity.

-Dave
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Old May 8, 2002, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
I recall that back in my Wing Chun days, proper etiquette required one to challenge, square off against, and soundly defeat one's fellow martial arts practitioner prior to insulting his/her abilities and/or school.

Admittedly, this was back before the internet achieved its current widespread popularity.
What do you expect? For all of us to go around the country of 250 million people and challenging and defeating every fraud in the martial art industry? And who would prevent newbies from falling into the plumb hands of frauds while all of us are walking the earth like Caine?

Or do you expect not to comment at all about anything in the world until we physically challenged and defeated the subjects of such comments?

If a "martial artist" starts using words like "combat art," "street-effective" and other jargon, the onus is on him to prove it - otherwise he deserves the jeers he gets for "all talk, no action."

It took a chance happenstance to get that fraud, Frank Dux (of "Bloodsports" fame) to actually face a third-rate UFC fighter and get a royal beating out of it (of course, Dux sued the hotel that hosted the event and made out just fine).

I confronted a martial art fraud when I lived in another city once. I urged the university (which hosted him) to require certification for his claims as a martial arts "master" and a "self-defense and grappling instructor" to no avail (he took to wearing a black belt - even though I knew for a fact that he had only a few months of Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training). This is a guy I, but a mere student in a few systems, toyed with and submitted and knocked around at will during sparring at one of his "classes," leading him to have the security escort me out and bar me from coming near him during his classes (and screaming about what he "can really do to me in a real fight" AFTER security arrived and asked me to leave). He also taught "knife defense" by having his clueless students catch fake blades between palms (!) a la 1970s Ninja movies and taught a flying armbar (!) that he cannot do himself (he had a girl jump onto his arm while he fell on her and pretended get arm-locked, with plenty of padding on the floor of course) as a viable form of street self-defense.

I offered to fight him NHB-style at a local event (or to have him put up a knife defense demonstration while I "attack" him with a magic marker), but he declined, stating that he was "too busy with UFC appearances" (!), which was obviously a ridiculous lie. If my BJJ instructor (who is a Pan-Am medalist) or my Arnis instructor had a chance to figh this guy, it wouldn't even be funny (I'm thinking 10 seconds, max, that'd if he doesn't run like hell). In the end, I simply felt sorry for all the naive students he suckered into attending his classes (many of them impressionable sorority girls who simply did not know better and actually bought into his fake UFC victory stories).

To physically chase down and expose all these frauds would be daunting enough - word of mouth is much easier and cost-effective. Let's put it this way - if you saw an Internet ad of someone who claims to be a Navy SEAL, Delta Force operator and secret CIA-NSA officer who shows pictures of him wearing a Ninja outfit and wearing a dozen fake military decorations, pretending to teach "real military gun combat," would you first challenge him and beat him in a gunfight before you speak up?

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Old May 8, 2002, 10:55 PM   #19
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This is such a basic concept that I'm not sure if I can elaborate on it.

Interesting.
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Old May 9, 2002, 02:01 AM   #20
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Again I ask:
Quote:
Let's put it this way - if you saw an Internet ad of someone who claims to be a Navy SEAL, Delta Force operator and secret CIA-NSA officer who shows pictures of him wearing a Ninja outfit and wearing a dozen fake military decorations, pretending to teach "real military gun combat," would you first challenge him and beat him in a gunfight before you speak up?
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Old May 9, 2002, 06:43 AM   #21
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I think, in a lot of ways, the rise of the lawsuit has hurt martial arts in this country. In the 60's, from what I've been told, it wasn't that unusual for the guy who opened a new school to have to fight some of the local instructors/senior students. It wasn't so much a no-rules fight as a test - if you couldn't hold your own against your peers, what business did you have teaching? Now, you get sued for even thinking about challenging someone, much less showing up on their doorstep.

Trading a few blows sorts out the BS real quick.

And to defend Skorzeny's criticism, he criticized a technique he's familiar with - I think he's entitled to critique photographs posted on a public webpage, if he knows said techniques. They obviously thought it was good enough to attract new students, they should be open to criticism.

Oh yes - whenever I see "ninjitsu" or some obscure/rare martial art advertised, my personal BS-o-meter automatically goes into high alert. The impossible-to-check-up-on "credentials"
are the favorite hiding place of the fraud, in any endeavor. I'm not saying it's always a fraud, but, how can you know if there's no way to check?

And a couple of good, sound techniques will beat an arsenal of poorly taught/poorly executed ones.
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Old May 9, 2002, 07:46 PM   #22
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Skorzeny, while the issue of hypothetical anonymous individuals making internet claims of high-level federal employment is an interesting one, it is unfortunately not what we were discussing.

What we were in fact discussing was an actual flesh-and-blood individual, one Ralph Severe of Dallas, Texas, to be precise.

In any case, however, I do find that lately I seem to be accepting challenges on a slightly more regular basis than I issue them.

-Dave
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Old May 9, 2002, 11:59 PM   #23
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"What we were in fact discussing was an actual flesh-and-blood individual, one Ralph Severe of Dallas, Texas, to be precise."

You mean this guy ?



Master Kamayama is deep sensitive ninja.



Is it just me or do you also hum "Cat Scratch Fever" when you see this one ?



Must be a fan of Jame Lee Curtis' work in "Perfect".
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Old May 10, 2002, 12:43 AM   #24
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Yikes.
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Old May 10, 2002, 12:54 AM   #25
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A team, ROFLMAO!
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