Famous practicioners

Shotokan_Tiger_2020

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Has anyone here had the luxury of knowing famous martial artists? or studied under one?

I used to be a student at Southern Mantis Kung-fu in East St Paul and I had the luxury of knowing Gin Foon Mark.

What about the rest of you here?
 

drop bear

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I boxed with troy Dunn.

Who was one of the best bull riders in the world or something.

 

Dirty Dog

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Has anyone here had the luxury of knowing famous martial artists? or studied under one?

I used to be a student at Southern Mantis Kung-fu in East St Paul and I had the luxury of knowing Gin Foon Mark.

What about the rest of you here?
I'm pretty sure @Buka knows every martial artist that counts as famous. As a matter of fact, I think "is know to Buka" is one of the check boxes that must be checked if you want to achieve true celebrity status.
 

Bill Mattocks

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It depends upon the definition of 'celebrity' I guess. The Isshinryu world is fairly small and somewhat insular, but there are those within that world who are very well known to most Isshrinryu karateka. I have the privilege of training under a very well-known sensei who was himself a direct student of both Master Harrill and Master Mitchum, two well-regarded first-generation students of Master Shimabuku, Soke. Is that celebrity? To me, my sensei is just sensei. He also regards himself that way, despite his high rank and visibility. I am fortunate to train under him, celebrity or not.
 

frank raud

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I did kickboxing for years with Jean-Yves Theriault (PKA World Middleweight champion for 15 years) and was on the grading board when he tested for his black belt in jiu jitsu. I trained with Alain Moussi (and his mother) before he became an actor in the Kickboxer reboot trilogy. After that, as Bill says, it depends on the definition of celebrity. seminars with Olympic and Paralympics judokas, Don Wilson (kickboxer turned actor), Bill Wallace, Leo Gaje, Larry Hartsell, Dan Inosanto, Phil Gelinas, Remy Presas, Wally Jay, Elvis Stojko and more.
 
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Buka

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I did kickboxing for years with Jean-Yves Theriault (PKA World Middleweight champion for 15 years) and was on the grading board when he tested for his black belt in jiu jitsu. I trained with Alain Moussi (and his mother) before he became an actor in the Kickboxer reboot trilogy. After that, as Bill says, it depends on the definition of celebrity. seminars with Olympic and Paralympics judokas, Don Wilson (kickboxer turned actor), Bill Wallace, Leo Gaje, Larry Hartsell, Dan Inosanto, Phil Gelinas, Remy Presas, Wally Jay, Elvis Stojko and more.
Frank, I'll PM you later and tell you a cute story about Don Wilson. :)
 

Tony Dismukes

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I've never been a personal student or close personal friend of any super famous martial artists, but I've been to seminars with:

Stephen Hayes
Masaaki Hatsumi
Doron Navon
Renzo Gracie
Royce Gracie
Carlson Gracie Jr (who awarded me my BJJ black belt)
Carlos Machado
Dan Inosanto
Herman Suwanda
Chai Sirusute (who awarded me my Thai Boxing apprentice instructor license)
Sakesem Kanthawong
Jongsoonan Fairtex
Neil Adams
(also a host of other instructors who are relatively prominent within their fields, but aren't necessarily so well known to the wider martial arts community - I've lost count, but I've attended well over 100 martial arts seminars over the years.)

There are also a few former UFC fighters that I've trained with along the way:
Jorge Gurgel (friendly acquaintance, been to a bunch of his classes, did some sparring with him before he started seriously competing)
Mike Patt (my first full time BJJ instructor, awarded me my blue belt)
Rich Franklin (rolled with him once, nice guy, he dismantled me effortlessly but was polite about it)
Dustin Hazelett (rolled with him once, Jorge called out "hey Tony, see if you can keep him from triangling you". Dustin proceeded to triangle choke me over and over again without my being able to do a thing about it.)
Junie Browning (casual acquaintance, used to train at the same gym, did some drilling together, was complementary about my skills)

As DD notes above, @Buka is the guy who really knows all the famous martial artists.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I've never been a personal student or close personal friend of any super famous martial artists, but I've been to seminars with:

Stephen Hayes
Masaaki Hatsumi
Doron Navon
Renzo Gracie
Royce Gracie
Carlson Gracie Jr (who awarded me my BJJ black belt)
Carlos Machado
Dan Inosanto
Herman Suwanda
Chai Sirusute (who awarded me my Thai Boxing apprentice instructor license)
Sakesem Kanthawong
Jongsoonan Fairtex
Neil Adams
(also a host of other instructors who are relatively prominent within their fields, but aren't necessarily so well known to the wider martial arts community - I've lost count, but I've attended well over 100 martial arts seminars over the years.)

There are also a few former UFC fighters that I've trained with along the way:
Jorge Gurgel (friendly acquaintance, been to a bunch of his classes, did some sparring with him before he started seriously competing)
Mike Patt (my first full time BJJ instructor, awarded me my blue belt)
Rich Franklin (rolled with him once, nice guy, he dismantled me effortlessly but was polite about it)
Dustin Hazelett (rolled with him once, Jorge called out "hey Tony, see if you can keep him from triangling you". Dustin proceeded to triangle choke me over and over again without my being able to do a thing about it.)
Junie Browning (casual acquaintance, used to train at the same gym, did some drilling together, was complementary about my skills)

As DD notes above, @Buka is the guy who really knows all the famous martial artists.
I somehow forgot to mention Darrin Van Horn, 2x world champion boxer. He works out at my gym. I’ve helped him with his BJJ, he’s helped me with my boxing.
 

Buka

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I've never been a personal student or close personal friend of any super famous martial artists, but I've been to seminars with:

Stephen Hayes
Masaaki Hatsumi
Doron Navon
Renzo Gracie
Royce Gracie
Carlson Gracie Jr (who awarded me my BJJ black belt)
Carlos Machado
Dan Inosanto
Herman Suwanda
Chai Sirusute (who awarded me my Thai Boxing apprentice instructor license)
Sakesem Kanthawong
Jongsoonan Fairtex
Neil Adams
(also a host of other instructors who are relatively prominent within their fields, but aren't necessarily so well known to the wider martial arts community - I've lost count, but I've attended well over 100 martial arts seminars over the years.)

There are also a few former UFC fighters that I've trained with along the way:
Jorge Gurgel (friendly acquaintance, been to a bunch of his classes, did some sparring with him before he started seriously competing)
Mike Patt (my first full time BJJ instructor, awarded me my blue belt)
Rich Franklin (rolled with him once, nice guy, he dismantled me effortlessly but was polite about it)
Dustin Hazelett (rolled with him once, Jorge called out "hey Tony, see if you can keep him from triangling you". Dustin proceeded to triangle choke me over and over again without my being able to do a thing about it.)
Junie Browning (casual acquaintance, used to train at the same gym, did some drilling together, was complementary about my skills)

As DD notes above, @Buka is the guy who really knows all the famous martial artists.
You know, Tony, I liked seminars from Stephen Hayes. Not for any of the stuff we worked on, I liked the stories he told us about Japan and Japanese history. The hanging out after the seminars and listening to those stories was the best part.

I love seminars. Some of them might be disappointing, just like everything else in life, but some of them....oooh, Mama. Sometimes you pick something up, maybe just a little nuance you didn't know, or a teaching method that seems to work better than the one you have, even if it's just a little point.

I've been to a couple where somebody that was taking the seminar tried to take on the person giving it. What a seriously bad idea. Makes for great entertainment though.

What was the most enjoyable seminar you ever went to? Or the one where you picked something that you really liked?

Same questions for everybody else. :)
 

dunc

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Masaaki Hatsumi and his most senior students (famous only to Bujikanners I suspect)
Maurico Gomes and Roger Gracie
 

Tony Dismukes

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What was the most enjoyable seminar you ever went to? Or the one where you picked something that you really liked?
At the time I really loved Steve Hayes's seminars. From my current perspective I can look back and see all the technical flaws in what he taught and the subtle spin and self-promotion in his stories, but I did really like his teaching style. I still like the way he thought about concepts and used physical principles as a metaphor for life lessons. I still apply aspects of that to my current practice.

Roy Harris was one of the best I've encountered for going in depth on the subtle details of basic techniques. I wish more seminar instructors would do that - focus on depth rather than breadth of techniques shown.

Renzo Gracie is super friendly and encouraging to everybody at seminars. Definitely an inspirational coach.

Neil Adams gave the best Judo class I've ever had. I really wish I could have the opportunity to learn more from him.
 

gpseymour

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I'm sure @gpseymour knows one. I never met the man before, but I understand Hanshi Doug Perry lives in his town. One of the biggest names in Shorin-ryu.
Is he famous? I've had a couple of discussions with him. The dojo I taught at for a couple of years was run by one of his direct students, and held yudansha classes every weekend. A few times a year, Hanshi Perry would come in to lead a class. A genuinely nice guy - very respectful of the "outsider" teaching at the school, and showed real interest in understanding a little about what I taught there.

And all the folks there seemed to really like him. Lots of hugs, hi's, and smiles when he showed up at the dojo.
 

gpseymour

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What was the most enjoyable seminar you ever went to? Or the one where you picked something that you really liked?
I think my most eye-opening seminars were:

Don Angiers (Yanagi-ryu Aiki Bugei). The principles covered were related to principles in my primary art (though many were greatly exaggerated in their approach). Seeing them taught/used differently really got me understanding some things in my own art. He was the first person I ever saw directly and exclusively talk about principles (he had codified something like 70 separate principles) when teaching technique. It was never about where exactly a hand or foot went, but about the principles and why the next thing was being done.

Mike Casto's multi-art seminar (one of the last of those he did in Kentucky, maybe 20 years ago). The format was several different arts being presented by different instructors. I've forgotten names (I could easily find them again), but seeing some different approaches to things was a good way to challenge my thinking. This was also my first exposure to FMA.

The most fun one I went to was an NGA seminar held at the 40th anniversary of the art coming to the US. Every ranking instructor showed up, as well as a lot shodan and nidan. We spent a day on technique, then had a sort of banquet that evening. Much fun.
 

Martial D

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Which is probably still more than I could've done. :dead:
No. I mean I'm physically much larger than he is. It just didn't matter. And it wasn't even just that his technique was infinitely better than mine..which it was..he was also as strong as a horse. I could not budge him.
 
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