Exposing fraudulent styles...Worth it?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Hanzou, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Agree with you 100% there.

    Will you go to a

    - Taiji teacher who teaches "Taiji for health",
    - Wushu instructor who teaches "Wushu for performance",

    and tell him that his teaching is bad? The good and bad are relative term and not absolute term. I don't think we should judge others by our own standard.
     
  2. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    #1.... if they are claiming to teach a legit style using false informantion or credentials then it would be good for the governing body of that system to address it. i know many years ago of a aikido shihan than when he heard of a school in his area claiming to teach aikido he would ask for there certificates and who at hombu dojo authorized them to teach and open a school. (at this time aikido was very regulated) if they could not prove authenticity he would send them a cease and desist letter. then they would start calling their style aiki-jujitsu. didnt do much to stop them from teaching. but my point is if you are going to try and fraud bust then you better have the authority to do it.

    #2...i have heard lots of bullshido stories, false info and contrived history from what people would consider legit schools & styles so what is the difference? if you really take a deep look at martial arts i would say 90% of everything out there is made up crap.
     
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  3. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    I suppose that is part of the reason I avoid overly traditional styles like the plague. Its far too easy for charlatans to concoct a "Ryuha" or ancient Kung Fu style they learned from some mysterious Asian guy. There's no way to check them skill-wise either, since they don't compete, and oftentimes don't even permit sparring outside or even inside the dojo.
     
  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    This is why in CMA, the lineage is important. Your CMA teacher just couldn't crawl out of a hole from an unknown place.

    [​IMG]

    A CMA teacher with lineage may not be a good teacher. A CMA teacher without any lineage is always questionable. People with IQ above 20 won't learn CMA from any "mysterious Asian guy".
     
  5. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Well that's sort of my point; How would you know if the guy you're learning from really does have a lineage? A lot of those lineages out of East Asia are extremely murky.
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Old Chinese saying said, "A student would spend 3 years to investigate a teacher (make sure he is a teacher worthwhile to learn from). A teacher would also spend 3 years to investigate a student (make sure he is a good student worthwhile to teach)."

    In other words, one has to do his homework.

    Did this teacher ever

    - compete in tournaments? How many times? What place did he get?
    - taught any good fighters? Who are them?
    - ...

    As far as the CMA, there were national Chinese tournaments back in 1928, 1929, 1933, ... All winners had official Chinese record. It's very easy to verify if you do your homework.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In October 1928, the Central Guoshu Institute held another national examination in Nanjing. This event came to be regarded as one of the most significant historic gatherings of Chinese martial arts masters. The tournament was presided by generals Zhang Zhi Jiang, Li Lie Jun, and Li Jing Lin, who separated the 600 participants into two categories: Shaolin and Wudang.[SUP][3][/SUP] After the first several days of competition, the fighting competitions had to be halted because two masters were killed and many more seriously injured. The final 12 contestants were not permitted to continue for fear of losing traditional knowledge of martial arts by killing off the experts and the overall winner was voted on by a jury of his peers. Many of the "Top 15" finishers (some being Xingyi boxers) went on to teach at the institute.[SUP][4][/SUP]
    Yang Chengfu was named the Institute's head instructor of T'ai Chi Chuan; Sun Lu-t'ang was named head instructor of XingYi Chuan; and Fu Chen Sung was named head instructor of BaGua Zhang.[SUP][5][/SUP]

    In 1929, the governor of Guangdong Province invited some of the institutes's masters (including some of those that had competed in the 1928 lei tai) to come south to establish a "Southern Kuoshu Institute". General Li Jinglin chose five masters to represent northern China: BaguaZhang master, Fu Chen Sung; Shaolin Iron Palm master, Gu Ru Zhang; Six Harmony master Wan Lai Shen; Tam T'ui master, Li Shan Wu; and Cha Chuan master, Wang Shao Zhao. These men were known as the Wu hu xia jiangnan (五虎下江南 - "Five tigers heading south of Jiangnan").

    In 1933, the institute again hosted the national competition. The rules said, "...if death occurs as a result of boxing injuries and fights, the coffin with a body of the deceased will be sent home."[SUP][6][/SUP]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  7. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think counter balancing your kicks, while neat looking, is crazy. :)
     
  8. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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    Is ok. Found a good source of information compare against.
    http://www.realultimatepower.net/
     
  9. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    First let the buyer beware! If you are not a master then what should concern you is doing the very best you can on your own personal training,your personal conduct and frankly If you are blessed to be part of an original association that ties to a pioneer or 2nd generation you should have a moral loyalty base to serve the person that made you. Back in the Day? is related more to disputes over turf and income. I remember our GM losing sleep and being harassed at home by phone over a pending law suite related to injury and a rival ITF master was advising and appearing for the plaintiff. I remember our GM being upset that he would not listen to reason that brother martial artists should stick together in this case since bad for him could be bad for everyone but to no avail. If people feel they are getting what they need by another business that makes up names, styles, uniforms, swings chickens over their heads its not our cause to get vigilante on them because they offend our sense of purity. However if they pose a clear and present danger to the community or by illegal actions that will reflect on the MA business as a whole in a negative fashion then I would support the judgment of the senior GM thoughts on how to proceed in a legal manner. I have seen GM's with deep pockets set up business across the street at discount rates just to runt them out of business as well.

    Does anyone here remember Count Daunte and the Dragon Gkung Fu I Miami that was bragging of all his death moves such as ripping out the throat and heart while in some very snazzy silk Jamie's? If memory serves me the local KMA got tired of the bull and went in one night and people were severely injured I thought one killed but the Count survived by locking himself in a locker?
     
  10. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I'll play devil's advocate for a moment. None of my commentary is directed at you the OP or anyone, rather they should be taken as general questions/comments for consideration. So no one get offended.

    Who is the 'online MA community'? What are 'their' credentials. Do some of them have an agenda? What do they stand to REALLY gain from disparaging another school? What is their proof that claims are false or made up?

    From who's perspective? I teach pure self defense and see a LOT of stuff on the sport side of the house that I think is bogus, silly or downright dangerous to the student...from my perspective. Those on the sport side could look at what I teach and think that it has stuff they'd never use within their venue, just isn't needed or interesting or something they'd never use...from their perspective. We're both right...from our perspective.

    So we have people that find value in what the school offers. And I would assume that since they're students they are directly involved in the training whereas the critics probably aren't.

    And what is the alternative? By what authority would 'other' martial artists allow or disallow another school to exist?

    Perhaps people are more mature these days. By what legal authority would one 'dojo bust'? The only thing I could think of off the top of my head would be for illegal activity such as sexual misconduct and the like. And that would fall to L.E. not the MA community to take action.

    And who is making the determination of what a 'true' martial art is and what it isn't? In my personal and professional opinion, any and all sport martial arts are martial sports and not true martial arts. But that is my opinion. Those in sport martial arts (martial sports) will have a different opinion. And we are both entitled to our opinions. And neither of us has the authority to decree anything beyond our opinion.

    Again, is the art in question claiming sport, self defense, both or neither? I would contend, because I'm strictly self defense (and use such almost daily) that many/most/all sport martial arts teach things that will most definitely get their students injured or killed...in a real altercation against a determined, violent attacker. But then, sport martial arts aren't designed for this venue, rather they are designed for competition. So we have and apple and orange comparison. As such, what does this art claim to teach, what is the purpose, what is the venue and do they satisfy that claim? If not, what is the proof that they don't satisfy the claim?

    Now, I'm not defending this art (don't even know what it is) but simply providing a big picture to consider. Anybody can claim anyone else is a fraud. Hell, I've had a guy say I was despite him never meeting me, never training with me, never seeing me teach, never talking to a student about the training and despite the fact I use my training almost daily against real bad guys and have taught over a thousand other people to do the same thing successfully. It got to the point my senior student got pissed off enough to offer to fly the guy in and put him up in a hotel and provide for all of his expenses so he could step on the mat with me personally. He declined so fast I thought he hurt himself doing it.

    The point is that we need to define what is and what is not a fraud. If a guy prints a 20th Dan on his computer and hangs out a shingle and starts teaching...does that make him a fraud? If so, well there are a whole lot of highly respected masters from days gone by that would also be frauds if that is the measuring stick. Now if he's selling certificates from an organization that he has no affiliation with (or authorization to do so) then we have a fraud and that can be handled from a legal standpoint.

    Just some things to toss out for consumption.
     
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  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    1) None of us has any authority to "allow" or "disallow" a given school to exist.

    2) As you've doubtless noted in discussions here, there are serious disagreements among experienced martial artists about what techniques and methods of training are "effective" or "legitimate" or "realistic."

    3) 90% of the martial arts history that people are taught is bogus. In many cases that includes lineage. Despite that, it's certainly not unheard of for an instructor with exaggerated or fabricated credentials and history to actually be a reasonably good martial artist or teacher.

    Of course, there are plenty of schools out there run by crappy teachers with multiple self-awarded 10th dan certificates on the wall teaching really stupid material. If a prospective student wants to ask our opinion of a school, then we can give it. If you want to get actively involved in researching frauds, there's always Bullshido.
     
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  12. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    In general the non martial arts community are the ones taken in by frauds. Some of the established martial arts community are also taken in because they do not check the credentials of other school owners.
    Having had a instructor in my area that had all his certificates printed at a shop a friend of mine worked in and also having known that individual for most of my life I knew he was a fraud and a snake oil salesmen but his students loved him and thought he was the most knowledgeable martial artist they ever saw. Telling them to check his credentials did no good they did not want to. Telling them that he could not possibly have studied under the people he claimed for as many years as he claimed and explaining why did no good.
    People study under whom they want and believe what they want. What makes it worse in the martial arts world is the soke factories and the members who will give you a rank if you rank them in your"art".
     
  13. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    To be honest, I often wonder this myself.

    My heart sinks when I realize that, within my local area, unqualified instructors teaching questionable systems is not the exception, but the norm. It's the same feeling that I get when I see a "Japanese Steak House" or "Hibachi and Sushi Bar."

    To use Japanese Restaurants an example, the general public doesn't know what real Japanese food even looks like. And if they tried it, many would be disappointed when it didn't meet their expectations of what a "Japanese restaurant" is supposed to be. There's a whole image out there of "what Japanese food is," that is completely bogus, but unless you can capitalize on a very niche market, you have to cater to it, lest unmet expectations and unfamiliarity breed disappointment and your business go under.

    Of course, that's a general trend. You could replace Japanese Restaurants with "Starbucks" and discuss coffee to make the same point.

    The same, I feel, happens ever more with Martial Arts. Everyone is new to Martial Arts at some point, and how they are introduced to it tends to shape their perceptions and expectations. And, that can be hard to change, so it's quite sad to see people being deceived and accustomed to that false perception.
     
  14. Marnetmar

    Marnetmar Black Belt

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    Of course it's worth it.

    While we're at it:



     
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  15. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    Given all the comments pro or con about being judgmental as who or what has authority to judge Video and You Tube does seem to say it all. I loved the Kung Fu fighting music thanks for that. I always keep an open door policy to help those who need more beneficial training for their health, self-defense or rank advancement. It is a sad thing to see a self proclaimed instructor who does not possess a single good or proper kick, block or punch of any use at all and then passes that on to his students. Sadder even is when they are offered free help for both them and their students but are faces with adhering to certain minimum standards based on good common sense explanations and regulations required in testing nothing to do with any financial requirement they turn it down? In fact showing videos with much pride over their forms that are painful at best to watch. You can only assume that they have decided their personal ego can just not handle the blow they do not meet the standards and must admit that someone knows more. Further more their alternative is to invent and believe their own lies as being true because they have managed to dupe and make believers of vulnerable people. I can only say help who you can and say a prayer for those chose to jump off the cliff. Maybe on the way down one of you can carry one of them on your back to the top and they will change?
     
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  16. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    So in the context of 'fraudulent' what is wrong with either of these videos?
    :asian:
     
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  17. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Argus, I think you're touching on a couple of different things here. Why does it make you sad to think about a Japanese restaurant in America? Language is a shorthand. Sushi in America can be excellent. Sushi in America can be authentic. Those two statements are not the same. Why? Because the term "sushi" has a textbook meaning, but it really refers to a particular kind of experience in America. And that experience is typically different than in Japan.

    The same goes for Chinese food. There's that old joke, "In China, they just call it food." But the reality is that the typical Chinese family doesn't eat an eggroll or two, a bowl of Hot and Sour soup, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, BBQ pork, fried rice and some cheap, black tea. But, anywhere in America, that's what you get in a "Chinese" restaurant.

    It's not sad, at least not in my opinion. It just is.

    And to an extent, that's what martial arts are, too. When we talk about Martial Arts, I really have no problem with Tae Bo, Cardio Kickboxing or anything else. The only real danger, I think, is when the business purports to sell something which they do not. ie, they are "selling" self defense, but actually do not deliver it.

    I might be rambling a little, but I hope this makes sense.
     
  18. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    My question as well. Admittedly, the technique being demonstrated is painfully, embarrassingly crappy. That doesn't make the practitioners fraudulent - just not very good.
     
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  19. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    There is nothing new about "fake styles" or "made up styles". If you read through Gichin Funakoshi's book, he mentions coming across schools in Japan with styles of karate that he had never heard of back on Okinawa.

    My concern is with the "liars" that went to the MSU school of Martial Arts (Make stuff up). If someone wants to create their own art, fine. Either it will or won't stand the test of time after they are gone. All arts are "made up" at some point anyways. BUT, at least admit that what you are teaching is of your own creation and judge it on it's own merits. I don't even think that lineage is important at that point, because you are just name dropping other instructors/styles to make you seem more legitmate instead of letting your own creation stand on it's own merits.
     
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  20. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Agreed but I'm not sure what the context of the competition was. The guys demonstrating kihon were doing just that. I look at guys going for high gradings in karate and wonder why you would bother with kihon, but they do it to demonstrate an understanding, not necessarily a practical understanding. The guy with the sword was interesting. What he was demonstrating was actually quite good, apart from one deplorable disarm. Again, I'm not sure what the competition entailed.

    The second video was mainly kata. Whether it was good or bad doesn't really phase me. Do they understand what they are doing? Well, that worries me more but, as you said, doesn't make anything fraudulent.
    :asian:123
     

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