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Matt Stone

Master of Arts
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Threads in other fora have seemingly exposed some folks (or at least the arts they either study or teach) to be questionable at very best.

This forum exists to serve a function. That function is to educate others on this board as to the experiences you have had regarding bad instructors, bad schools, questionable styles, etc.

We need to perform this service, within the guidelines of Martial Talk's policies, to better inform those with whom we interact of frauds and scam artists out there preying on the ignorant newcomers to martial arts in general.

Most of us got lucky and found good instructors. Many folks are not so lucky, and through no fault of their own get taken for a ride by unethical people selling their alleged martial arts for the best price they can get.

Let's all work together to make our individual and global martial arts communities better places.

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 
If that weren't enough, their salesmanship of home study courses to develop instructors to generate "$$$" (a quote actually taken from their sales pitch) seems to imply a questionable orientation toward their training...

Belt mill or meal ticket for the owner? Makes you wonder...

Also, since he touts Kanzen Kenpo's health benefits, this statement makes me think...

In 2002 Mr. Foster retired from active teaching for health reasons. Many of the Kanzen Kenpo black belt graduates are carrying on the fine traditions of KANZEN KENPO簧.

Thanks for sharing Gou!
 
Jukokai is another perennial favorite. If I hear about these guys and their bogus Discovery Channel demos, I think I would tear my hair out... If I had any to tear out, that is.
 
The only bad story I have thus far is when I first started in TKD,
having no idea about styles, effectiveness, etc.

Belt promos were an increasing rate, with each belt. The
instructor would get mad at those not testing, saying they
weren't dedicated. Black belt test was 500 bucks!!!

I started for the reason of losing weight, which I did. But a mere
2 weeks into it, I had shin splints like you wouldn't believe, from
jumping front snap kicks. I told the Master of my problem, and
his reply was, "then no do jumpy front snapa kicky". Not 15
minutes later, he came by with these pads ... not sure of the
name of them, but they clap when kicked. He held it up to me,
and said, "JUMPY FRONT SNAPA KICKY". I murmured "remember,
Master, you said not to -" "JUMPY FRONT SNAPA KICKY!!"
he'd interupt. I tried 2 more times .. same story. After class, I
told him the story yet again, and his reply was "then no do jumpy
front snapa kicky" and then the next day, he's there again with
the pads. It felt like my legs were gonna snap halfway between
the knee and foot! At first I felt that I was just being a wuss, till
it got to the point that standing hurt like hell.

I do owe him credit though .. this began the pursuit of learning
for me, even though I switched schools and styles. Kind of funny,
I joined up with 4 people from work. They continued on until
the Master flat out closed his school down, and reopened another
school about 50 minutes away. That school is now closed too.
The 4 of them quit altogether, and I was the only one to continue
on. I tried like hell for months to get them to try out my school,
but after some lip service, and them never showing up, I stopped
asking.

After leaving that school, I had noticed how many schools were
around where I lived, all offering "introductory months" at
discounted rates. My intent was to just go from school to school,
each month, just for the exercise.

My first stint was at a JKD school. I never had a lesson, we just
stretched for 2 hours each and everyday. Come to find out the
instructor was TDY, and the assistant only had a year experience.
Guess he was too scared to try to teach. I didn't even stick
around for the full month. But in reading about JKD on the net,
and seeing videos of JKD guys in action, I had considered violating
my school hopping plan ... until this school.

I then went to a kenpo school. Everytime I'd ask about rates,
I was pushed off ... told it'd be discussed after my month was
over, which wasn't really a month, like they advertised. They
claimed a 39.99 introductory month, with free uniform (which I
didn't even get). It was 3 lessons, which I took, and was amazed
at. You could really feel the effectiveness of what I was
being taught. The head instructor could move like lightenting,
and at the time, looked a LOT like JKD. Once again, I was thrown
from my plan to school skip, and wanted to join up. The price
was outrageous! 299 down, 89 per month, or 399 down, 79 per
month, each and every year. On your 1 year anniversary ...
another 3, 4 hundred bucks. I owe this teacher credit too .. I was
so hooked on what I was taught, and the way he moved, I
couldn't help but check out another kenpo school, much further
from my house, which is the school I'm at now.

Sorry for making it so long!

:asian:
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
Jukokai is another perennial favorite. If I hear about these guys and their bogus Discovery Channel demos, I think I would tear my hair out... If I had any to tear out, that is.

HEY!!... i've seen those guys on tv too...the ones that punch and kick each other in the throat and groin. man those guys are funny.

wasn't there someone on this forum that ran into one of the guys that does the groin kicking thing and caught him taping his testicles up so they wouldn't be in the spot you would normally kick them? i know i read that somewhere...

good stuff...
 
Originally posted by tarabos
HEY!!... i've seen those guys on tv too...the ones that punch and kick each other in the throat and groin. man those guys are funny.

wasn't there someone on this forum that ran into one of the guys that does the groin kicking thing and caught him taping his testicles up so they wouldn't be in the spot you would normally kick them? i know i read that somewhere...

good stuff...



Hmmm, the only guys I have heard of that tape their testicle up are the ones that wear womens clothes in public. :D Maybe this is where tey learned the technique? :eek: :rofl:
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
If that weren't enough, their salesmanship of home study courses to develop instructors to generate "$$$" (a quote actually taken from their sales pitch) seems to imply a questionable orientation toward their training...

Belt mill or meal ticket for the owner? Makes you wonder...

Also, since he touts Kanzen Kenpo's health benefits, this statement makes me think...



Thanks for sharing Gou!

So what are you saying about this guy and his art?
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=6683
 
Shao-lin Center for the Martial Arts
Sierra Vista, AZ
Sifu Scott Merk


"Sifu" Scott Merk began training in the IKCA Kenpo group via video tapes. He would mail in his belt testing to Chuck and Vic and would receive rank when the appropriate material was done sufficiantly.

However, Scott dawned a blackbelt for a year and a half before he ever passed the 1st Dan test....something his students were none-the-wiser of. In fact, we didn't know this at all until Vic let us in.

Years later (this was 93/94?), Scott is now claiming to teach Chuan Fa, a martial art that he has never had instruction in. I know this due to the fact that I have seen him training his "deciple" in the City Park in Sierra Vista recently doing the exact same Kenpo techniques, just with a bit more "flair" (meaning he falls down a lot).

His tales run long and deep. From "Needing to go back to China to make amends with his Master" to being a master himself. You can often see Scott in Sierra Vista wandering around in his Chinese waiter uniform with his black and red sash.

To my knowledge, Scott has never had consistant, formal training in *any* martial art, much less those he claims.
 
Originally posted by akja
So what are you saying about this guy and his art?

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=6683

Originally posted in the above linked thread
He holds seven 5th degree and two 6th degree black belts, five 7th degree black belts and and two 8th degree black belts.

from

http://www.kenpojujitsu.net/prof.html

I say that his claims are likely making reference to honorary rankings... The amount of time required in any normal style to attain such grades would simply be prohibitive in the 25 years he claims to have been studying.

Break it down:

25 years / 16 high belt ranks = 1.56 years in each style.

Unless he is claiming the subsequent ranks in the same style (which wouldn't be possible since he claims 7 5th dan, only 2 6th dan, then 5 7th dan certifications), this makes me question very seriously the validity of any of this training... Any school that will hand out senior grades with such a limited number of years in training causes me concern. My feelings on honorary rank or equivalency testing have already been publicized elsewhere...

Gambarimasu.
:asian:
 
Originally posted by akja
So what are you saying about this guy and his art?

Hold up there Tonto. Don't go reading into what I am saying.

I'm not saying anything about his art. It's based on Ed Parker's American Kenpo which has sound self defense principles and concepts.

I am saying that I doubt his claims that he and Ed Parker were working together to make Kanzen Kenpo the next evolution of EPAK.

I am saying he's a convicted pedophile.
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
I say that his claims are likely making reference to honorary rankings... The amount of time required in any normal style to attain such grades would simply be prohibitive in the 25 years he claims to have been studying.

Break it down:

25 years / 16 high belt ranks = 1.56 years in each style.

Unless he is claiming the subsequent ranks in the same style (which wouldn't be possible since he claims 7 5th dan, only 2 6th dan, then 5 7th dan certifications), this makes me question very seriously the validity of any of this training... Any school that will hand out senior grades with such a limited number of years in training causes me concern. My feelings on honorary rank or equivalency testing have already been publicized elsewhere...

Gambarimasu.
:asian:

Oops! Ignore my PM! :asian:
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
I say that his claims are likely making reference to honorary rankings... The amount of time required in any normal style to attain such grades would simply be prohibitive in the 25 years he claims to have been studying.

Break it down:

25 years / 16 high belt ranks = 1.56 years in each style.

Unless he is claiming the subsequent ranks in the same style (which wouldn't be possible since he claims 7 5th dan, only 2 6th dan, then 5 7th dan certifications), this makes me question very seriously the validity of any of this training... Any school that will hand out senior grades with such a limited number of years in training causes me concern. My feelings on honorary rank or equivalency testing have already been publicized elsewhere...

Gambarimasu.
:asian:

What I was quoting, you needed to click the link to see. On the link to that thread is a guy from that school you are kanzen kenpo school or at least the same art anyway.:D

Your view on the honory rank is about right except for the names he's dropping. it does not make sense to claim affiliation with high profile martial art figures and not be legit.

If he's at a certain level, he will learn at that level and I think that is the biggest differance that most people are not understanding.

Dan Inosanto has way more certifications than that guy, but that is the level that learns at.

I looked at his site. I did not see all those ranks you guys are talking about. I saw a lot of rank but not the numbers that you guys see.
 
Originally posted by akja
What I was quoting, you needed to click the link to see. On the link to that thread is a guy from that school you are kanzen kenpo school or at least the same art anyway.:D

Sorry, but I don't understand what you just said there... :(

As for dropping the names of MA big wigs, I think someone else said it just right - the big wigs don't get their feathers too ruffled, since they know who got what from whom and when. Since they are big wigs, anyone that wants the real skinny will go to them for answers... So, they just let sleeping dogs lie.

Gabmarimasu.
:asian:
 
Originally posted by akja
So what are you saying about this guy and his art?
http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=6683

You were talking about this guys school. I figured you could talk to him, since he is here and he represents them and his father is the head instructor of his school.

"Crazy Chihuahua
Member
Martial Talk
White Belt


Registered: Mar 2003
Last Visited : 03-13-2003

Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 19

B. Beamish-2nd Black-Kanzen Kenpo"
 
Sorry. My fault. You had me confused. Because we started off talking about the other guy and all his ranks in different arts I couldn't understand why you cross referenced the two guys.

I think we need to make it clear that we are chatting about two seperate people.

The post you cited had the URL of:
http://www.kenpojujitsu.net/prof.html

The person I was talking about can be found at:
http://www.kanzenkenpo.com

The two people are not the same and I got a bit confused as to what you are talking about.

Originally posted by akja
You were talking about this guys school. I figured you could talk to him, since he is here and he represents them and his father is the head instructor of his school.
"Crazy Chihuahua
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 19
B. Beamish-2nd Black-Kanzen Kenpo"

Well let me me rephrase what I said earlier.

Originally posted by Gou Ronin
In regards to the creator of Kanzen Kenpo:
I'm not saying anything about his art. It's based on Ed Parker's American Kenpo which has sound self defense principles and concepts.
I am saying that I doubt his claims that he and Ed Parker were working together to make Kanzen Kenpo the next evolution of EPAK.
I am saying he's a convicted pedophile.

I am saying nothing about Mr. Beamish. Whatever relationship he has with Joe Foster is his own choice. I know quite a few Kanzen Kenpo guys and they are damn good martial artists. I know a few suckky ones too. However that goes for most arts.

If Mr. Beamish wants to address the issue of the creator of his system being a convict who molests young boys then I am more than happy to engage him on that.

As for his art. It's a re-mix of Ed Parker's American Kenpo. As EPAK has sound concepts and principles you won't find me saying his art is better or worse.

Hope that clears things up.
:D
 
Before labeling any style as "bunk," it's really a good idea to go train in it firsthand.

Now, to say a specific person is, for instance, immoral/unethical can be assessed if, as in Ronin's example, the guy's been legally convicted of a crime related to such. It's not a guarantee, but it's a good indicator.

But that aside, before labeling a system or an instructor as "fake" you really should go check them out firsthand.

Case in point: Professor Joe Lansdale and Shen Chuan.

In '98, I had to travel to Nacogdoches, TX for work. I looked at Nac on a map and thought, "It's in the middle of flippin' nowhwere! I'm going to have to drive a couple of hours to Houston to find a place to train."

I finally asked around and a guy in Houston directed me to this website: http://www.joerlansdale.com/shenchuan - a school in Nac.

I went and looked at it. I looked at their instructor bios. I saw a lot of Dan ranks in a lot of different stuff. Alarm bells went off. I thought, "OK. These guys look like, at best, paper tigers and, at worst, complete phonies." But I shoved that to the "stuff to watch for" pile of my mind and gave them a call.

I talked to Prof. Lansdale on the phone. He said, "Sure! Love to have ya! We'll have a good ol' time!"

Huh. Most instructors that are paper tigers or worse aren't so willing to let an experienced martial artist come in and work out with them.

I flew down on Sunday. Sunday night, I drove by the school to make sure I could find it on Monday night. It's a very plain building set back off the road with a simple sign out front. If I hadn't been specifically looking for it, I'd have never noticed it. I thought, "Well, they don't seem to be all that commercial."

On Monday, I went and met Prof. Lansdale and trained. I pretty quickly surmised that the group of instructors and students there were genuinely good people and the instructors most definitely had legitimate skill.

In 2001, I moved down there and spent a year and a half training with them. It was an incredible experience and I'm proud to be a part of their martial family and proud to represent their system now that I live here in Louisville, KY.

If I had written them off based on my first impression from their website, I'd have missed out on an incredible opportunity to meet and train with a first class group of MAists in a high quality system.

"Don't judge a book by its cover" ... but don't be completely gullible either. When you see something that sets off alarms, mark it as suspect. But reserve judgment until you see it firsthand. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Mike
 
...and Mike is really UgLy so if they let him in the door to train they ain't worried about just looking good.

Right Mike?

Mike?

Whatcha doin' with that knife Mike?

Mike?

**backing up**
 
Originally posted by GouRonin
...and Mike is really UgLy so if they let him in the door to train they ain't worried about just looking good.

Right Mike?

Mike?

Whatcha doin' with that knife Mike?

Mike?

**backing up**

LOL. Man, chill. I'm just playin'. It's just a training knife. Honestly :D

As far as me being ugly, well, you'd have to judge for yourself: http://www.guild-hall.com/diet_pics

Mike
 
Originally posted by pesilat
Before labeling any style as "bunk," it's really a good idea to go train in it firsthand.

Now, to say a specific person is, for instance, immoral/unethical can be assessed if, as in Ronin's example, the guy's been legally convicted of a crime related to such. It's not a guarantee, but it's a good indicator.

But that aside, before labeling a system or an instructor as "fake" you really should go check them out firsthand.

Case in point: Professor Joe Lansdale and Shen Chuan.

In '98, I had to travel to Nacogdoches, TX for work. I looked at Nac on a map and thought, "It's in the middle of flippin' nowhwere! I'm going to have to drive a couple of hours to Houston to find a place to train."

I finally asked around and a guy in Houston directed me to this website: http://www.joerlansdale.com/shenchuan - a school in Nac.

I went and looked at it. I looked at their instructor bios. I saw a lot of Dan ranks in a lot of different stuff. Alarm bells went off. I thought, "OK. These guys look like, at best, paper tigers and, at worst, complete phonies." But I shoved that to the "stuff to watch for" pile of my mind and gave them a call.

I talked to Prof. Lansdale on the phone. He said, "Sure! Love to have ya! We'll have a good ol' time!"

Huh. Most instructors that are paper tigers or worse aren't so willing to let an experienced martial artist come in and work out with them.

I flew down on Sunday. Sunday night, I drove by the school to make sure I could find it on Monday night. It's a very plain building set back off the road with a simple sign out front. If I hadn't been specifically looking for it, I'd have never noticed it. I thought, "Well, they don't seem to be all that commercial."

On Monday, I went and met Prof. Lansdale and trained. I pretty quickly surmised that the group of instructors and students there were genuinely good people and the instructors most definitely had legitimate skill.

In 2001, I moved down there and spent a year and a half training with them. It was an incredible experience and I'm proud to be a part of their martial family and proud to represent their system now that I live here in Louisville, KY.

If I had written them off based on my first impression from their website, I'd have missed out on an incredible opportunity to meet and train with a first class group of MAists in a high quality system.

"Don't judge a book by its cover" ... but don't be completely gullible either. When you see something that sets off alarms, mark it as suspect. But reserve judgment until you see it firsthand. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Mike

Your right about the labeling. I thought they were talking about the marketing of the system and I also thought it funny that I had ran accross a student of the school in here.

This same person told me today that he's put 12 years in. That sounds serious enough to me!

I've been bad once again I bow down!.:asian:
 

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