View Full Version : Bad Martial Arts (Teaching as Advertised)

June 19, 2002, 10:00 PM
I'm sure we have all walked into a Dojo where what art they said they were teaching, was anything but what was actually being taught.


We teach Muay Thai, but it's actually Full Contact Karate Kick Boxing, upon observation.

We teach BJJ, but it looks WWF Wrestleing, upon observation.

We teach Combatives, but all the class does is forms, upon observation.

I'm sure you all get the Gyst of my topic.

Now, it's the time to share your pain/ laughs with the rest of us.

June 20, 2002, 09:39 AM
Up by the Daycare we occasionally drop the kid in to, there's a place. I stopped by, because I'm always interested to watch other styles, in the hopes that I can pick up some little tricks or wisdom.

This place was a jewel.

First off, the teacher looked like his primary technique was the "Moo-shoo Pork" maneuver. I'd hate to grapple this guy...his gravity well could give the GRACIES problems!!!

So, anyway, I'm watching as he lines up his class, facing each other. Then he proceeds to show them what I can only hope was supposed to be a flow drill of some sort. To a man, every single pair engaged in what looked like a three-year-old slap fight!! I couldn't conceal a bit of a smirk...but then I got really scared, when he handed each person a (thankfully!) rubber knife. Now, I must interject at this point, the students of this class ranged from what looked like 8 or 10, up to 30 or 40. Maybe, like our Public Schools, he was teaching to the lowest common denominator. I thought that's what separate classes were for...? But, anyway...

Apparently, sissy-fighting is now a viable street technique. So I watched in horror for several more minutes, as these folks flailed away at one another (I got the impression, from watching, that several of these folks were just in for their first lesson, before signing up--and that they had never held a knife before in their lives...even to chop fruit.), slashing and cutting with all of the abandon of a Benihana chef on quaaludes.

Then, this warmup finished, Mt. Fuji proceeds to show his class how to disarm a knife-wielding attacker...by...wait for it...you got it! GRABBING THE KNIFE. You know, the old "Clap your hands on either side of the knife and twist it off-line" gag. When I picked my jaw up, off of the ground, next to my eyes, I watched him demonstrate (several times, as his assistant/assailant had a disturbing difficulty in attacking him precisely on the line that he could grab the knife from...) this move.

"This man is creating casualties," I said to myself, "Or corpses."

EEK. :eek:

I couldn't stand it. Yet, like a train wreck, I found myself unable to tear away. I must've stood there for ten or fifteen minutes, watching the last of that class. I considered approaching him afterwards, but thought better of it. After, in its own way, Martial Arts is like Politics or Religion. As far as the real zealots go, 98% of the time, you won't change their mind about their beliefs...the other 2% won't listen, either, because they're too busy trying to make you change your mind about YOUR beliefs...!!


June 20, 2002, 09:57 PM
That's what I'm talking about Kalindras. Now, come on people I know there are more stories out there. Please share them with us.


June 20, 2002, 11:27 PM
I went into a MT gym on a trip, it wasn't that their training was bad (which it was) but the place was plastered in biblical quotes. They forgot to mention in their advertisement that they were a church group. A hardcore born again church group. To each his own, I like my ass woopin and religion in separate servings.

June 21, 2002, 12:08 AM
Co-worker of mine waxes enthusiastic about this aikido school he's going to. Insists that some friends and I just have to come and learn at the feet of this sensei.

I'm curious and I'm always up to learning something new. So co-worker and I and one of my buddies load up one evening and drive 200 miles to this class.

I've seen at lot of unarmed combat instructors, but this guy was the first one I've ever met who wheezed when he talked. And I guarantee you that he's never missed a meal. And most of them were baked cheese or something.

And he's got this Martial Arts Death God thing going. Folks, I completely understand and agree with the requirement to show respect to the dojo and to the sensei, but I've this thing about grovelling. It's the stiff Scottish neck, or something. Can't do it.

Anyhoo, sensei waits until the class has grovelled to his liking, then makes his Pronouncement for the Day and class begins. I guess. I think.

He does a technique, and then gestures grandly to the class, and they try to imitate what he just did while he screams and wheezes at them.

Seriously. I'm talking purple-in-the-face, veins-popping, dude-you're-gonna-have-a-coronary, slobber-slinging abuse at the top of his lungs.

Well. Co-worker is flying around the dojo, banging his forehead off the mat every time sensei walks by and my buddy John and I are looking at each other with our eyebrows climbing into our hairlines and wondering if we've stumbled onto a secret Oriental S&M training camp, when sensei deigns to notice our presence.

He stops the class(?), waddles up to us and asks what we think we know. John respectfully (never insult an S&M practioner in his own home) answers that we've studied kickboxing, some stick-and-knife stuff and a little bit of grappling.

Sensei opines at the top of his lungs that he will teach us things [wheeze] about the knife that lesser arts [wheeze] will never know. Or things to that effect. Student is summoned, runs up, bangs his forehead on the mat, runs off, comes back, bangs his forehead on the mat (what is it with the forehead banging?) and sensei tells him to attack.

Student stabs, sensei grabs his wrist, pulls him left, pulls him right, pulls him left again (I think), grabs the students face, student goes flying, all other students bang their foreheads on the mats.

Very pretty.

Sensei tells John to attack his senior student. John aks how the student would like him to attack. Sensei replies that the ki [wheeze] of the senior student will allow him to sense and [wheeze] react to any attack John could come up with. Sensei furthers instructs John to [wheeze] go full speed and to try to [wheeze] do his best, so that John will learn [wheeze] how much he has yet to learn.

Or things to that effect.

John shrugs, lunges into the student, slashes him twice across the chest, student grabs John's wrist, John twists his wrist loose, fires a thrust kick into the students tummy, steps to the right and slashes him twice across the side of the neck as he bends forward, then leaps back into a low guard. Standard streetfighting smash-and-slash attack.

We're summarily ejected from the dojo.



June 21, 2002, 03:41 AM

That's got to be the funniest Aikido dojo description I ever heard! "Forehead banging" (chuckles)... You just kill me.

How about this?

Aikido Shihan: Then you invite the attacker to grab your wrist... and then...

Student: How do you invite the attacker to grab your wrist?

Aikido Shihan: You project your Ki and extend your arm, thus inviting him to grab it.

Student: (After trying his Ki on me) I can't do it. He (that's me) won't grab me.

Aikido Shihan: (To student) your Ki is weak. Train further. (To me) you have bad spirit (huh?). You are dismissed for the day.


Matt Wallis
June 21, 2002, 09:51 AM
Aikido Shihan: You project your Ki and extend your arm, thus inviting him to grab it.

Okay, true story...

Me: About 5th grade. At the local area community pool. Had a few weeks of Hapkido training at YMCA. Learned first 5 basic throws, all done in response to a straight across wrist grab, and also some basic punching and kicking at which I was... quite lame!

Him: My own personal Goliath. Probably only in the 8th or 9th grade in hindsight, but he had hit puberty and so seemed like he was about 10 times my size. He had decided, probably out of boredom, to entertain himself by splashing water at me. And this was not a friendly "hey let's play" splashing. It was a "I'm going to make your day at the pool miserable just to entertain myself" kind of splashing.

Me: Try splashing back. Bad idea. Small kid splashing back only serves to make Goliath angry, and redouble his splashing efforts.

Me again: Consider options... Can't kick in water. And if ineffectual splashing served to make him angry, ineffectual punching isn't going to help either. Ah, but I have those wrist throws! If only he will grab my wrist.

Still Me: Let's see how stupid Goliath is. Hold out left arm rather weakly toward giant angry agressor.

Him: Grabs my wrist! That's right, folks! He even snarled as he did it.

Me: Execute Hapkido wrist throw number 1.

Him: Surprised look. Pain. Under water.

Me: Yea!

Him: Explodes from under water like the Hulk looking to smash something.

Me: Run away! And he never did catch me.


June 21, 2002, 10:59 AM
I took Kempo the whole time I was in college. I'm no great martial artist by any means, but I enjoy sparring, wrestling, and just generally getting smacked around. (Hey I grew up in the sticks, what else are the kids supposed to do?)

Our instructor was laid back, and believed strongly in teaching only what he thought was practical. Nothing real flashy. But a really good basic class. Once a year we would compete in the local sparring tournament. It was Japanese point style, and I never really got into it, but I figured I would give it a try this year.

There was a local karate dojo run by this enormous fat guy. I mean he was tubby. Not one of those big tough guys with a belly, but an obese tub of lard. His guys wore these Black uniforms with about 100 patches. They had twenty different color belts, and then stripes to go on them. :) Lots of flash. Lots of high kicking. General silliness.

Well I win my first match. And in my second match I need to fight one of guys from the fat sensai's school. Well guess what, the fat guy is the judge. (keep in mind this is for points).

We start, I charge the guy, and hit him in the head a bunch of times. He retreats straight back, and falls on his but on the way out of the ring. Result. I get penalized a point for lack of "control".

We go again, he hits me with this little feeble backfist that could maybe have injured a toddler, I jabbed him in the nose and kicked him in the stomach, he falls down, holding his belly. Result. He gets a point for the back fist. I get nada. See he got me first. Ooookaaayy...

At this point I'm getting pretty ticked off at the fat judge and starting to get angry. And the guy I'm sparring with is getting all shaky and jumpy. We come back for the third and final time, I pretty much just ditch any form of technique and just punch the dude in the headgear. Knock him silly. I was then disqualified for using to much force in point sparring. :rolleyes:

At the end of the tournament the guys in the black uniforms did really good in every match judged by their fat teacher, and got their butts kicked everywhere else. That was my first, last, and only attempt at point sparring.

And here is the sad part. The university hired the fat dude to teach the official self defense class on campus. The one that all the girls would go to, to earn credit and hopefully learn how to defend themselves. Some of my friends took the class. Uggg. He taught the most ridiculous and complicated techniques I had ever seen. Things like wrist locks that had like six steps, and took ten seconds and a willing attacker to work. :mad: And the sad part is these people would come of the self defense class feeling like they were one of the Gracies or something.

June 21, 2002, 02:30 PM
What is it with fat black belts? :rolleyes:

Here is my story.

Part of my requirements as a brown belt was to go to six outside schools and turn in a written report on each to my instructor. As I sometimes have the habit of putting things off until the last moment, (I think they call it "procrastination"....I'll look it up in the dictionary....tomorrow.) I had to scramble to get them all done. I found out about a class at a church from a friend of a friend and called the instructor to see if I could come observe his class. He said it was fine, and I showed up at the next class. When the instructor showed up (5 minutes late) he was 5'9" tall and weighed about 275. He only had a kids class and most of the kids were from poorer families. He told me that he was trying to instill confidence, respect, and self esteam in the kids.He said that he charged $1.00 and a Bible verse from each kid each night. He said that the dollar was optional but the Bible verse wasn't. It all sounded pretty good.

Well he lined the kids up and didn't even stretch them out. They went right into techniques, and if one of them did something incorrectly, he didn't show them the proper way do do it. Instead he made them drop and do pushups. Anywhere from 25 to 200. There was a boy that kept dropping his back hand when he kicked, and after fat boy gave him pushups twice, he got a roll of duct tape and taped the kid's arms up. :eek:

After class, I spoke with the instructor about his style and it's origins. He told me that his style was a combination of Goju, Kung fu, and Tae kwon do. He knew nothing of the history of any of these arts. I suspect that he never earned a black belt from any one school or style. He probably took a little here and a little there and made his own style up and went to the MA supply store and bought his belt. He claimed to be 4th dan. Maybe the level is determined by how many whole pies you can eat in a minute! ;)

Seriously, I am very leary of any black belt that looks like they can't run a mile in under 10 minutes. I find that the martial arts is much like the gun culture in that it attracts some of the best people and some of the worst.


June 21, 2002, 03:57 PM
that is literally 300 feet from my front door. First, a little background. I've done Muay Thai off-and-on-and-off-and-on-again now for almost seven years. I'm twenty three now, and Muay Thai was my religion during my freshman and sophmore years of highschool. The class started to lose students, not because it was a bad class, but because it was a small community and many of the stdents had grown old enough to become "too cool" for "kickboxing." So, to bring you current, the knowledge is there, but the body ain't what it used to be.

So, I began working as a bouncer at a local dance club, and thought I'd get a little defense oriented training to compliment my Thai experience. And this Aikido "dojo" was right at the end of my street...'cool,' I thought.

First, I want to make something clear, this was a professional, well-structured class, taught by a few professional instructors, and I'm not knocking the class or the instructors. I took the class for a couple of months at a cost of $50 a month, which seemed reasonable. I found out that, not only do you have to be an "expert" (slightly exaggerated) in aikido to be able to apply it in a "street situation," but even then, it seems that 75% of it revolves around the stupidity of your opponent.

During the last class I attended, the teacher (who seemed bragg enough to be noted, but not enough to annoy me) was talking about a fight that had happened a couple of years ago down at the club I bounce at. She (yes the teacher was a female--if you could call her that)was saying that one of the guys in the fight was a self-acclaimed blackbelt in somthing or other, and was kicking the crap out of the Cops who had come to break up the fight. Basically the story leads to her stepping in like Steven Segal, who actually frequented the dojo for a number of years while living in the area, and wrapping the guy up like a pretzel.

Her story didn't seem 100% accurate, to say the least. So we started laying out scenarios, "what would you do if I did this" kinda thing. Over the course of the next ten minutes, I proceeded to demonstrate to the class, although probably not to the teacher, that a decent boxer or, in my case, Thai fighter, would run a decent aikido student through the cleaners.

I don't want to sound like I'm knocking the teacher, because she was AMAZING at aikido. She could really put the hurt on me...if I let her. I don't want to sound like I'm knocking the art, because I think aikido is a bad ass art (proly too many Steven Segal movies). It just seems like it's not for the street, at least not in and of itself, maybe mixed with boxing or something. Not quite on point with the rest of the posts, but I felt like sharing. Rant over.

June 22, 2002, 01:12 AM
I'm laughing my ass off. :D

It's like no matter what the style is: the size and wieght of the person teaching it is the same as well as possible mental disorders too. No matter where you go.

Let's see how long we can keep this thread running.

BTW this discussion is not just limited to Dojo's. If you have took any Defense Tactics or Officer Survival type training that seemed dubious, dangerous, or just out right stupid. Share your tale of woe here.;)

We'd love to hear it.

June 22, 2002, 09:25 AM
Hi, guys! First post.

Aikido has a lousy track record because most schools don't seem to teach that you need to HIT your opponent before you try to lock them up! An active, well-balanced attacker does not get grabbed and thrown easily. Digging a finger deep into an eyeball (theirs, hopefully) gives you the opportunity to bounce them off the concrete.

Matt, your experience with hapkido reminds me of my own. 10 new wrist throws per belt, very little emphasis on punching, elbowing, kneeing, responses to the football tackle, etc. "Grab my wrist, punk! I dare you!"

June 22, 2002, 10:01 AM
The first poster has observed that many martial arts schools don't seem to measure up to their claims. And that is quite true and, unfortunately, the rule. Especially in the US, the land of the quick-fix mentality, martial arts schools are simply an extension of the consumer mentality and fill a need for most people who will never devote more than a month or two to ANY discipline except maybe watching TV.
The rest of the comments demonstrate yet another unfortunate side of the fake martial arts mentality. Boasting and bragging with your friends I suppose is fun, but a pointless waste of time when it comes to improving your character.

And then we have AJ, who at 23 already knows far more than any school can teach him. He has, after all, seen the light as a bouncer. Well, AJ, Mark the Animal's books will be of some comfort to you, then since his life as a bouncer is cleanly documented in his books and taught in his seminars. No doubt his methods are scary and effective and work wonders on the street. But unless our ultimate goal is to be the admiration of any street punk out there, I do believe there is more to be learned than how to take out some beligerent ******* you may encounter. In any case, the consumer-oriented schools fill a need and that is good. As always the real teachers are rarely found in the yellow pages and it is up to YOU to seek them out and get down to the hard work of learning what they have to offer.

June 22, 2002, 11:49 AM
Shame on us for thinking that there should be some martial in the martial arts... :rolleyes:

Don Gwinn
June 22, 2002, 02:10 PM
Ian, Missy says she would buy a book of your stories. Just something to ponder.

June 23, 2002, 10:17 PM
Aikido has a lousy track record because most schools don't seem to teach that you need to HIT your opponent before you try to lock them up! An active, well-balanced attacker does not get grabbed and thrown easily.Right on the money! Atemia-Waza (striking techniques) are essential. They don't have to be super-powerful, just enough to distract or unbalance the opponent.

Same thing with Judo throws - real life applications of Judo throws require some sort of Atemi-Waza as well - something that Kano Jigoro understood, which sporterization of the art has largely erased.

There is another way in which Aikido (or Aiki-Jujutsu) style joint locks and throws can work - weapon retention. Here is a situation in which the attacker willingly puts this wrist within the grasp of your grip - no need to go chasing the attacker trying to grab his wrist!


June 24, 2002, 10:06 PM
The point of this forum is not "My Art is Better than your Art", or "My style is Better than yours"

The point of this forum is Humor. On each of our journeys to find a Martial Art to learn. We have each ran into the many fakes, frauds, charlatans, and mental patients abound in the field of Martial Arts, since it is very unregulated. I thought this would be a fun place to share our collective tales of Woe, Amazement, Stupidity, and Disbelief. We have all encountered at one time or another during our journey learning.

I just wish I could've rephrased the Topic of this forum better in the begining when I started it.

Now let's get back to laughing!!!

June 25, 2002, 05:13 PM
I am a 4th degree blackbelt and I have owned my own taekwondo School for five years, as well as being an assistant instructor for 3 years before that.
The problem with the martial arts industry is that it is unregulated. There is nothing in most communities to prevent "Jow Blow" with little or no martial arts training to open the "Joe Blow School of martial Arts."
Also many times students become a 1st degree blackbelt, get a big head and want a school of their own before they have beeen properly taught how to instruct. So many times the chief instructor and even the owner of such a school will be lacking.
I teach Taekwondo and "practical street self defense". Obviously, practical street self defense can cover almost anything. But taekwondo is taekwondo. I see some karate schools changed their names without changing their games when taekwondo became the most popular martial art in the world.
Thirty years ago, you had to be tough just to make it through one class in taekwondo. Nowadays the bar has been lowered for white belts. this has been done both to bring in needed capital for the business, but more importantly so that people (especially children) did not have to be tough to begin training. But the bar for being a blackbelt, (giving leeway to elderly or disabled students) has not been lowered.
However, there are many schools that just suck the money and sell the hype more than the tradition of martial arts. Sometimes I think those schools outnumber the legitimate schools. But there ARE good schools out there, you just have to know how to shop. For anyone who wishes me to list what to look for in good schools and bad) simply reply in kind and I will gladly list what to look for in detail.

June 25, 2002, 10:42 PM
Also many times students become a 1st degree blackbelt, get a big head and want a school of their own before they have beeen properly taught how to instruct.A "1st degree black belt" means different things in different systems. Some Tae Kwon Do schools almost habitually award black belts to people who study continuously for a year or so.

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, on the other side of the spectrum, a black belt takes ten years or so of intense training (there is only a handful of American black belts in BJJ, literally). In BJJ, too, belts wear different stripes depending on their focus (instructor stripe, competitive fighter stripe and student stripe).

Some systems (like Muay Thai) clearly delineate different forms of training (for example, for casual students, for competitive fighters and for instructors), and no one is fooled about what the differences mean.
I teach Taekwondo and "practical street self defense". Obviously, practical street self defense can cover almost anything.So where do you draw your curriculum for the "practical street self defense" training?


June 26, 2002, 12:42 PM
testing....testing.......(I'm a neophyte with problems signing on to this site....*g*

Don Gwinn
June 26, 2002, 04:42 PM
I should have warned you, KF, that Taekwondo is sometimes looked upon with suspicion around here. Too many McDojos handing out black belts as door prizes.

Though I might hasten to add that many arts have that problem, and if BJJ becomes as widespread and popular as TKD, it will probably have the same problems. Was reading the other day that Krav Maga dropped their belt system for this very reason. KM didn't have belts when it first hit these shores, and Lichtenfield (sp) grudgingly agreed to institute a system of belts to better "fit in" to existing systems here. After a couple of years, however, KM began to see schools popping up with students who didn't live up to their rankings. In addition, Lichtenfield decided there was too much pressure to move into competition, which he thought would dilute the combative aspects, so the belts were abandoned and there are no KM competitions to this day.

All this is from a book, so I don't pretend to know how accurate it is, but it was interesting.

June 26, 2002, 09:21 PM
I'm interested in reading it.

June 27, 2002, 04:30 AM
Don Gwinn:
Though I might hasten to add that many arts have that problem, and if BJJ becomes as widespread and popular as TKD, it will probably have the same problems.True enough. However that won't happen - because BJJ will NEVER become as popular as TKD. I can go into endless reasons why that is so, but I won't. :)


Don Gwinn
June 27, 2002, 08:27 AM
Madgrad, that's the good news. It's an ebook a guy hosts for free. Again, I can't vouch for the information contained therein, but if it's not good, you haven't paid for it. Can't beat that deal.


In addition to the book on KM, there's one on Aikido, which was the reason I checked it out, and couple of others.

June 28, 2002, 12:44 PM
Skorzeny.....................Sorry about not answering you sooner...I'm new to this forum stuff....

No 1 year blackbelts at my school......average time is 5 years....a couple have trained 5 days a week and made it in three.......But your point is a good one.....the reason for so many fake schools is that in the USA the martial arts industry is unregulated......there is nothing to stop "Joe Blow" form opening "Joe Blows school of martial arts' and teaching whatever joe blow wants to...
many schools have unqualified instructors or instructors (even grandmasters) who have gotten greedy and are selling rank to make big profits. I even know of one school who "awards" blackbelts for 1 years attendance. They even only teach the kicks on one leg!....(I hope a student at least gets to choose which leg!)
It is a big concern of mine. I have been working to change it as well as several other aspects i see as wrong in the idustry.

You're question is a good one........I base my self-defense class on a few factors.

First-hand experiences....I grew up in the slums ( a white boy in an all black city).....and learned the mentality of attackers as well as tried and true methods and the ability to dispel myths....(You may be surprised to know how mnay women still believe that a good kick to the groin will disable an attacker.)

Though I am not ranked in it, I have studied Hapkido quite a bit and tested techniques to adapt them to people of all levels of abilities.

I also address the emotional/psychological/legal implications. I also stresss basics over advanced techniques since a good command of the basics will get most people out of most confrontations and avoid injury.

I do not mislead anyone and make them think that what I show them gives them anymore advantage than they would have if they don't practice them. Nor do I let them believe they can go out and take some bar brawler out in a single move. I cover many aspects of the realities of attack and self defense.

I also take into account who I am teaching.....children......ladies......students....or civilians....different approaches must be used for the different classes.

I agree with you about belt rankings.....I use them But i would rather not. However, American's (especially children) are proned to want to see an outward display of their progress.....(I have tied a white belt on my waist a couple of times just to show my students that the belt by itself means little.

I also agree with you that BJJ will not fall to the same level of exploitism that TKD has. for the more reasons than any civilian would be aware of, (although I've seen Mcdogo's with ju-jitsu as well)....unfortunately it comes with the rise in popularity.

July 1, 2002, 02:22 AM
I was the sai instructor at a TKD school for a few years and kept hearing about an instructor from a local "ninjutsu" school who was purported to be "the" sai master. I finally got to see him in a tournament (weapon kata) and good god the guy was fast but his technique was sloppy. I wondered how someone could develop such speed but not the skill to back it up so I went and talked to him, he showed me the pair of sai he was using, aluminum......I had a really hard time not busting up right there.

another thing I've found as a rule of thumb is that hardcore anti-gun teachers generally aren't worth their salt, most of the instructors that really knew self defense were advocates of CCW, even my tai-chi teacher :)

btw, anyone know of a good chinese broadsword instructor in the seattle area?

Don Gwinn
July 1, 2002, 08:08 AM
I think it would be difficult to be a real-live master of a "martial art" who had put any thought into combat against modern armed adversaries and still conclude that guns are bad, unnecessary, or whatever. Why would you train so hard for a fight against someone in grappling range, but refect the ability to stop the same assailant from ten yards away?

July 1, 2002, 09:08 AM
10yard long chain whip? :D

July 2, 2002, 06:35 AM
I was then disqualified for using to much force in point sparring.

Hmmm. I thought that was kinda the point of point sparring - you ain't supposed to hurt anyone! In any sport, if you don't follow the rules, you don't win. It works like that.

Silliest 'martial arts' training I ever had to put up with was in Basic Training. Our CO was a First Looey with his first command. He pretty much let the NCOs run the place, which was a good thing. (And meant we got a lot tougher training than other training companies around us.) But he got it into his head that we needed to have some martial arts training. I don't know what silly dusty manual they got this out of, but oh, my! Two days of the most absurd caricatures of "HiYA!" this and "Ho!" that. It would have embarrassed a B movie.

Then the Colonel happened to drive by and see us flailing around, and that was the end of that! (I suspect one Company Commander got, uh, "spoken to" behind closed doors.)

But he still got his Captain's bars before we were done with AIT.

The funniest part was that a few clowns really thought they had become seriously bad dudes from all this intensive martial art training!

July 2, 2002, 05:31 PM
Hi, everybody.

I'd like to learn Aikido because I saw a demonstration of several martial arts and Aikido seemed to me the stealthest one; let me explain you: I live in Italy, where lawyers and judges give you the right to be wounded by the first punk you meet, not the right to defense yourself: I guess you'd have to report to the police after, if you can still speak.. so, if you want to walk away on your feet, you have to be smart: sweep up the punk, but don't make too obious that you use martial arts (martial arts, uh? So, maybe you are not such a good guy..).

I've seen some dojo to understand which one to choose, and I think (1)yes, a lot of people wear a black belt and teach aikido just because they keep practicing for some years (2)some others look at how many pupils they have rather than to the effectiveness of the moves they teaches, so they go very easy.. Aikido like a state of mind, fitness, rather then fight.



July 3, 2002, 02:59 AM
Well, glad to see this thread is growing. Let's try to keep away from my martial art is better than yours. I'll start a new one today. I want this one reserved for humor only.

Keep your contributions coming...

Don Gwinn
July 3, 2002, 09:39 AM
Aikido is really neat stuff that I'd like to learn one day, but I'm not sure it would be all that stealthy. If there was an investigation (say the punk sued you) then it would soon become public knowledge that you trained in Aikido unless you did what they do in the movies--meet a mysterious old man by accident in the park one day and get him to teach you the secret art his family has used for generations. ;)

Probably stealthier than a roundhouse kick with a loud kihap, but still. . . . what if you learn Aikido, but shout "Judo Chop!" or "Judo Trip!" every time you execute a technique in a fight? Just tell the cops you saw it in a movie once. :D

July 3, 2002, 12:40 PM
Captain. What can I say. I lost my temper. :) But I did obey the rules for the first part though. :p

July 3, 2002, 06:23 PM
I'd love to have seen you go a few rounds with the "sensei"!

Full contact, of course.

But aren't you more likely to get hurt fighting someone like that? I mean, you punch, and your hand kinda sinks in, then bounces back in an unexpected direction, like from an uneven trampoline. You could sprain something!


August 21, 2002, 08:18 PM
Point sparring, according to my last sensei, is just like throwing a fake.
If it doesn't LOOK like it's going to make contact, and hurt, he doesn't count it.
The secret is to not hurt each other in the two hours that you're there.
That's why I'm not afraid to spar a black belt.
Now, green belts are another story.
They have developed the power, but don't have the control.
The last match I attended saw 3 of my friends get injured.
*sigh* Ruptured kidney (I think), 2 teeth stuck in mouth guard, and broken eye socket.
That's about when I quit.
Reminds me of the movie fight club.

August 21, 2002, 09:56 PM
I studied at a great Kenpo dojo (Tom Connors Traco) in the early 80s for afew years, and about 3 years ago I thought I'd like to get back into it.

I signed up at the Kenpo studio nearest me, since the one I used to go to was on the other side of town now. The new one turned out to be pretty crappy. I have no doubt the senior guys knew their stuff, but they'd have extremely junior staff teaching lower levels. My second lesson I had to correct the guy teaching me, with something I remembered from 13 years earlier!

I started Krav Maga training about 6 weeks ago, and I'm very impressed so far. Everything is practiced with a partner, and they try to stess us as much as possible while we practice. There seem to be a lot of LEOs in the class, and we push pretty hard. I'm sore as hell right now from last night's class. We spend a lot of time smacking each other in the head with focus mitts.

I think one strength of Krav Maga (or Gracie BJJ) is that the name is trademarked, and nobody can use it without permission. The head of American KM is a prosecutor in LA, and I understand he's sued the pants off of any pretenders that have popped up. You can always just write their HQ and ask about a certain school or instructor.

Best part, no katas. They do encourage us to spar/fight full contact at some point, though, if only to get used to taking a punch.

August 27, 2002, 08:12 AM
I spent a year in Norway and got to a seminar there. The highly ranked instructor, a known expert in his field and definitely not a bad teacher, kept making jokes about gays all thru the weekend's instruction (now DON'T bend over like THIIIIS!). Brouhaha ha.

Statistically we must have had a few gays in a Norwegian class of about 60 people: the brouhahahahs started having question marks around them after the first five minutes. But the poor sensei wouldn't get it. Altogether, quite bad taste of him - and certainly a bit of a culture clash. This was an American teacher.

Well, to add to this teacher's communications skills, I asked him about the academics of his field (this was a specialty seminar) and he wound up directly slandering another proficient scholar of the same subject. That I happened to have met earlier and thought better of. Not that there was anything basically wrong with this teacher's instruction either.

After the seminar I was convinced that this instructor won't be getting any more of my hard earned seminar and MA material budget.

Your Mistress
October 7, 2002, 10:35 PM
Im new to reply but not new to reading this forum :) my kinda guys (and girls)

So please do ; wax poetic for me for a time about "martial" art classes proved by local police departments ( also known as PAL)

October 8, 2002, 02:50 PM
In college a friend of mine was taking some secret-style of kungfu that he really enjoyed. He convinced me to tag along and watch a class.

We went downtown and entered a large office bldgs service entrance and wandered thru these little tunnels for a few minutes. We must have been 60-70 ft underground by the time we got to the class- tiny little rooms with 7ft ceilings :(

The teacher was a very thin, soft spoken black guy only a few years older than us, dressed like a ninja. Instead of a mask he work a spandex do-rag like movie gangbangers do, but the rest of the outfit was 100% ninja with the split toed shoes and the gathered joints :rolleyes:

We chatted for a few moments and the man explained that his style (I can't remember what it was called, I'd never heard of it) was based on crane and tiger animal systems of kungfu and traced its lineage 4-500 years back. It had both internal and external elements and that he favored training his students more internally to help support their bodies and allow them to absorb or dissipate damage from their opponent's blows. He felt that this qigong was important to start right away because it took time to develop.

Class started and they did indeed begin with internal breathing exercises and then transistioned into thier physical drills- punches, kicks, some 1 step sparring and so on.

I watched for awhile and to his credit the guy was fast and his movements were very crisp. There were maybe 8 guys in the class and most seemed pretty new, so there was alot of fumbling and NO power being generated. The instructor had his guys doing kicking drills with a focus mitt- hi-low-med-low, etc. and this one little kid (maybe fifteen?) misses the pad and tags the teacher in the side and the dude just drops like he'd been headshot. :eek:

A few moments later he worked his way to his feet and limped off saying that his ribs were broken. :confused:

Neither of us ever went back. :)

October 8, 2002, 06:22 PM
Interesting thread...

Gentlemen, I must be the devil's advocate on something. Several posters have run down overweight martial arts instructors in this thread and it is a separate "running down" of them for that reason in addition to their poor teaching of "martial" arts. I have to disagree with this to some extent.

Although I agree that an expert martial artist SHOULD be fit, there is no absolute criteria saying that fitness and ability go hand-in-hand. Three cases from personal experience;

1. One of my earliest instructors was a 1st degree black belt in both judo and shorin-ryu karate. He was overweight and had a bad back and bad knees (from old injuries, not from his weight). He was also incredibly tough-minded and technically competent. I, at the time, was young and fit but relatively inexperienced. I thought, mistakenly, that an old fat guy would be a pushover in a fight. Of course, a teenager's muscle density put me at a tremendous disadvantage in comparison to an adult man, but I didn't know that at the time. Anyway, the guy is still teaching and is fairly active. He is a very tough customer and has proven himself in any number of fights, both in the dojo (striking and grappling) and in the "street". He is strong and tough, though not fast, but he makes up for his lack of speed with timing and experience. He is definitely NOT someone with whom you want to tangle unarmed.

2. A fellow student studying a bastardized Muay Thai/karate/grappling/escrima/whatever style was a guy in (at the time) his late forties. He was overweight (though not grossly obese or anything) and had had an alcohol problem throughout his life (he was "reformed" and was a substance-abuse counselor). He could not, despite his best efforts, gain much flexibility or speed. Bemoaning this to the instructor, the instructor told him not to worry about it but to concentrate his efforts on the things that he COULD do well. He also said (and rightly so) that attitude/mind-set was the biggest component of fighting, anyway. The old student was heartened by this and took it as something of a revelation. He concentrated on what he COULD do well and excelled. A very tough individual with strong will (curiously enough, given his history with alcohol), he was NEVER in good physical condition, at least to appearances, but he had almost unlimited endurance. He decided to run a marathon to prove to himself that he could and succeeded in finishing ahead of about 1/3 of the runners. He was intelligent and technically competent, proved himself in a lot of fights (he was a bouncer and skip tracer after my association with him), and was almost impossible to hurt.

3. A silat instructor of mine was crippled enough that he had to use a cane. He was not all that old (mid to late forties, I would guess...I never knew) and wasn't fat but wasn't in what could be described as "good" physical condition, either. I found out later that he was terminally ill when I knew him but I didn't know it at the time. He watched classes, mostly, and let his senior student run them with pointers when needed. When a point needed to be proven or shown (this was a rough class in terms of pain), the instructor would sometimes stir himself and perform the technique himself. He was American but had lived for years in Malaysia and the Phillipines and was used to a rougher environment than what most Americans see and saw no problem in actually doing unstaged things. Unlike most martial arts classes in which I've been involved, there was little or no "set" sparring or "one-step" sparring or anything like that. The instructor and his senior student were perfectly capable of performing pretty intricate techniques regardless of how you attacked (in other words, you didn't have to intentionally present a target for them to demonstrate). To this day, I haven't seen anyone better than this particular individual in performing locks, finding pressure points, doing throws or any other contact-range techniques (plenty of better punchers and kickers, but that wasn't his style) and he was definitely NOT physically fit.

Anyway, it's not that I disagree with instructors needing to be fit, it's just that physical fitness is no guarantee of knowledge or prowess just like not being fit is no guarantee that that knowledge and/or prowess is not present. Endurance is great and all but doesn't matter much in a fight that's over in a few seconds.

October 8, 2002, 08:41 PM
I need my belly. It's where I store all my ki! :D
Can I have my black belt now. :D :rolleyes:

October 8, 2002, 09:06 PM
I do believe there is more to be learned than how to take out some beligerent ******* you may encounter

Definitely true. One can learn enlightenment- but that's a byproduct. The first, and most important original goal of a good martial (by definition, used in war or warlike) art is learning how to take out aggressors you encounter- "beligerent" or not.

I find I'm close to your neck of the woods, White Fox. What style(s) do you study?

When I began training in '94, I started at the dojo of the most well-known teacher of the kobudo systems I was studying. After a few months, the artificiality of the man became apparent (perhaps I would have seen it sooner if I hadn't been in such awe). I also noticed that the belts a little above me weren't very good. I was happy when my initial contract was up, and I could leave the dojo of this nationally known teacher and author. I then went across town to another dojo taught by someone who spent his time training instead of making stuff up and blowing his own horn. Took me years to relearn a few things I had learned incorrectly...

Not that being nationally known automatically equates to bad. Bud Malstrom had his walls covered with Black Belt covers showing him in action. He would tell us pretty quickly that he didn't deserve to be a "10th dan". Dangerous, dangerous, frighteningly dangerous little man, and super guy. I think Rob and Rich met him in...99?

I know at least one morbidly obese black belt who can survive being whipped around by his wrist (guyaku-te waza at full combat speed) like he was a rag doll, without incurring any injury. The "Fat Bastard" look usually is a warning sign, though...

August 25, 2004, 03:26 PM
Well, there's no thread like an old thread....

Since this thread died I've taken my family to a school in Salt Lake (where we lived then) for a "free lesson" in kenpo. I'm not sure why, but the free lesson actually wound up being two sessions. Most of the second session was with a student instructor who was "ready to test for black belt".

During the first session with the head instructor (a really nice guy) he started to show us all some basic 'get away' moves, including breaking away from someone who had grabbed your wrist. He started by grabbing my wrist and telling me to try to get away. So I did. Get away that is. I've had very little formal training, but I broke away from this "black belt" effortlessly. Instantly. I wish I'd had a camera for the look on his face! :D

Then my wife did the same! :D :D

After the second class my wife asked me what I thought of the quality of instruction. Mind you, she's never had ANY training. She's never even watched a Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris movie. I mean she knows NOTHING about martial arts!

Instead of answering, I asked here what SHE thought.

"I wasn't impressed. They looked pretty sloppy to me."

They weren't.

They were PATHETIC.

<sigh> But there were the students, dutifully lined up, paying their money, thinking they were learning something useful.

The saddest part is, I think the instructors were completely sincere - they really thought they were good enough to be teaching.

Any .45
August 25, 2004, 04:13 PM
:) I am a practitoner of "Bushido", I am a Yondan (4th Dan) in Aki-jujutsu, I have studied and am Sempai (senior student of Hanshi Sichidan (7th dan) Louis Garcia, who studied under various masters in europe and japan. One important master he studied under for 2 yrs in New york under Hachidan ( 8th dan) Yoshimitsu Yamada. My Sensai has mastered over 8 diffrent Martial ways in his 30 yrs of training and has passed alot of his knowledge to me and his son. I'm not a live in student but do train 5 days a week or more sometimes, and at least 2 hours a day, not including meditation times. As a true Martialist who has studied Battodo, bodo, Iado, Kendo, koryu budo, Jujutsu, aikido, karate-do, and portions of other Bushido ways, beside the fact that all striking arts have become comercial there are still some really good schools that focus more on the way than the art, more on spirituality than fighting, unless needed to defend yourself. I'm 22 yrs young 5'10 300lbs and have no problem performing any of my techniques, I just don't believe that you have to jump in the air or spin to be a great warrior, "jumping body, is a jumping spirit, and jumoing spirits causes unclear mind, causing warrior to fall" Musashi. So what i have to say to those unenlightened individuals is that not all schools are the same. :eek: To those that like to insult the heavy weight Black Belts or don't think that we are as good as the light wieghts, never under estimate your opponent, for he can destroy you with one blow and be faster than you no matter how big or small. :mad: Qaulity over Quantity most schools have any wear between 30+ students we have 8. It's not who can pay more or who has more, it's more like who will make this there way of life. Also a good percentage of founders of arts were heavy weights and a good percentage of the Old World Bushi were Heavy set as well. Another thing the mile I run it in under ten minutes. I also agree with Don's theory of being able to defend yourself from ten yards away.

August 26, 2004, 06:34 PM
I had a co-worker once who was so proud that his little girl was a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. What really puzzled me was he and his wife voluntarily wasted their money on this endeavor and teh last I saw him back in1997, was still doing so. You see his daughter was all of 8 years old and had only been "training" just over a year!!

How anyone could award someone that young and inexperienced a blackbelt with a clear conscience is beyond me. I have a neice who did not earn her blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do (from a different instructor) until she was 16 - 9 full years after she started taking the training. And despite the fact her focus was forms (she won a slew of thropies for it), she was able to successfully use what she had learned in defending herself and her friends against multiple attackers a couple of times.

This is why I don't look down on any particular style. The quality of the Instructor(s) is probably the biggest determinant of how effective a particular style of martial art will be in most cases. I believe that even the most sport-oriented martial art can at least teach some basic skills to allow one to defend themselves against someone who has never had any training. JM2CW.

August 28, 2004, 09:18 PM
The quality of the Instructor(s) is probably the biggest determinant of how effective a particular style of martial art will be in most cases.


August 29, 2004, 12:03 AM
I've been in Judo - (pre-45 Kodokan, Traditional, "Combat")/Jujitsu (Traditional, "Combatives", "Sport"and Brazilian)/Sambo (Combat) for a bit and I always seek similar forms of study, but my Instructor/Coach Mark Tripp is very difficult to outdo.

Well, I went with a friend to a studio in Ann Arbor. Well, I was used to a fairly intensive form with a fair amount of randori or "free spar".

This place told me that they study and teach "Ninjitsu" and used pretty vague concepts of "fire", "water", "wind" and "earth" to transmit the philosophy of what it was they were trying to get across. Thinking they were into Aikido, I had no issues and got dressed in my Judo gi and wrestling shoes and began to warm up eventually putting in my mouthpiece and executing some break falls. I then asked my buddy to assist me on some judo drills and the class just stopped and watched slack-jawed. We were practicing approaches, setting the uke up to be thrown and stopping. We were joking and smiling in between the approaches, picking up the pace until we were working up a sweat and encouraging resistance before we executed the throw (uke allowing himself to be thrown).

The look on the "instructor's" faces pretty much said it all. They had no desire to attempt to teach us anything. They seemed to be afraid that what they taught was crap.

After some "tai chi" and zen-like moves during his class it was obvious that we were bored and my other buddy who invited me mentioned that both of us had done some competition and that I was more into "Combatives". Well, Mr. Sensei (who was only about 25 yrs old) asked how would we resist some of the front chokes and wrist grabs and whatnot so me and my fello Jujitsu/Sambo buddy began to simply tell him the theory of what we'd been taught - and enjoyed since we both trained together with Mark Tripp. One of the instructors frowned at much of what we were stating and asked if we could walk thru some of our methods so we obliged. I played uke and he was defending. Much of our defenses ended on the matt (but they didn't have to) and the Sensei asked to work himself in with what we were doing. The class had some difficulty because it was different, they weren't what I'd call serious about self-defense and they weren't particularly athletic, but some of the more aggressive personalities got into it.

Then comes Mr. Sensei II. He stated unequivocally that our techniques violate Martial Arts (emphasis on Arts). I told him that if one were to study the etymology of the word "Martial Arts" (i.e., Mars = God of War; Art = the creative, aesthetic application of science) he'd see that our interpretation of the concept was "somewhat playfully, practicing doing harm to another human body; after all it IS Self-Defense." He disagreed stating that his Zen Methodology "Ninjitsu" was more effective and more spiritual. I quickly obliged. He correctly perceived that we didn't agree. Now he missed the warm-up so he had no idea how we slow randori with the Brazilian ground work and what not so I imagine he saw two sweating newcomers wearing green and brown belts. So he asked us to be ukes. Okay. :rolleyes:

NONE of his techniques worked. Not 25%. Not 10%. He finally asked me to show what we'd do. Now he has a black belt on so I incorrectly assume that maybe he knows a little something, but out of respect I walk him thru it and he resists to make me look like a fool. He then asks me to resist as he grabs my shoulder. I stiffen his arm and proceed to footsweep him and he steps away and I uchi mata him (holding him to a soft fall which he blows) then proceed to use some ground work skills on him while he resists futilely. I never applied any pain to him, I just took my time and applied a choke (medium hard) for about three seconds and let him up.

He was so disgusted that he wanted to "see" more. Knowing where things were going I declined. After the class he wished to know more so I handed him one of my Sensei's cards.

It was pathetic. Utterly pathetic. They knew nothing and were pulling the wool over every student's eyes. They wished to know what it was Dave and I were doing (but they had NO desire to train). Good Judo is difficult to find.

August 30, 2004, 09:29 AM
This place told me that they study and teach "Ninjitsu" and used pretty vague concepts of "fire", "water", "wind" and "earth" to transmit the philosophy of what it was they were trying to get across

Exactly. The internationally known instructor I mentioned earlier created this idea, which is a gross simplification of the school. He has now gone on to "improve" the system, which should be easy for him to do, since he studied it for 20 years, and the ryu are only 500 to 1,000 years old. :rolleyes:

You were cheated- if you'd been in Bud Malstrom or John Orth's class, you'd have gotten some good training, though we don't prefer ground fighting.


Dave AA
September 6, 2004, 05:52 AM
My KM instructor is 100% lean muscle, a good teacher, scary fast, with all the control in the world. I would actually be frightened in a physical fight, because there's nothing I could do to stop the butt-stomping about to commence. He's thrown some full speed strikes at me, I'd manage to maybe get a feeble quick block in but the next dozen are going to really hurt.

He wants you to learn it all.
He'll nag you to go 4 times a week instead of 3. (He charges by the month, not class). You skip a couple, he'll single you out for extra work. He'll ask you why you aren't going to a higher level class.
He pushes you to improve.

He also does the unarmed vs armed stuff, of course.
And he's a nice guy. A little stand-offish, but always polite.

Anyone in Vegas, It's the KM place on W. Sahara.

Judas is my Homeboy
September 6, 2004, 01:24 PM
My favorite story was from a BJJ studio here in Las Vegas. I called ahead and described my interest in learning a new art. I had taken some TKD as a child, but lost interest quickly. I was invited to observe a class and was very interested in the art. The instructor was very knowledgable on the techniques and was coaching and sparring with a student. He explained what the student did wrong and worked slowly to correct and engrain the proper technique. I was impressed with his knowledge and thoroughness.

The problem came later, when I got to talk to him and ask some questions. He explained that most fights end up on the ground and how he aimed to get the fight there as soon as possible. When I asked about strikes and defending against them...all he said was "we don't worry about that here." :eek:
Defense against getting hit seems like an important factor in a fight. I don't see how you could not worry about it. Needless to say, I didn't begin training there.

DaveAA, I'm very interested in the KM school on Sahara. This sounds like the training I've been looking for. Thanks for the description. :D

The Antibubba
September 6, 2004, 11:43 PM
In college, I signed up for a Fencing class. On the first night, I met the instructor. He looked like Luigi from Super Mario Brothers-Short, pear-shaped, mustacioed, and balding, with an Italian accent. He did not appear very impressive.

Then we watched him demonstrate with one of his senior students, who was trying to playfully goad him into "giving it everything". He did.

Turns out that, although this guy worked at the mearby AFB as an engineer, he had been on the Italian Olympic Team in the '60s, and had won a Bronze medal at the '64 games, and a Gold at the International games in '62. I have never seen anyone. at any age, who moved faster, and with more apparent ease, than that man.

I took Fencing for many years with him, until I graduated. If someone had ever told me that I'd had one thousandth of his talent, I would have been honored.