Schools with "questionable" credentials....

chrissyp

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So how many out there found schools that made some outlandish claims?

I found one in particular, that i'm going to check out to see if it's legit, because it's the kyokushin/oyama karate school in my area, and I so hope its legit because I want to train kyokushin more than anything....

But this guy claims to have offically completed the "100 man kumite"...yet I can't find any other websites that can verify his legitimacy...along with lineage, no one can seem to trace back to his instructor.

Here's a link to his school...if anyone knows if guy is legit or not, please let me know... http://www.torakan.net/

Anyone else have similar experiences?
 

Gerry Seymour

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So how many out there found schools that made some outlandish claims?

I found one in particular, that i'm going to check out to see if it's legit, because it's the kyokushin/oyama karate school in my area, and I so hope its legit because I want to train kyokushin more than anything....

But this guy claims to have offically completed the "100 man kumite"...yet I can't find any other websites that can verify his legitimacy...along with lineage, no one can seem to trace back to his instructor.

Here's a link to his school...if anyone knows if guy is legit or not, please let me know... http://www.torakan.net/

Anyone else have similar experiences?
Legitimacy is such a slippery term in MA. Some lineages are impossible to track down, for a multitude of reasons - some of which are "red flags", and others of which are just logistical. I'd challenge you to track down my own lineage, for instance. ;)
 

Gerry Seymour

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So how many out there found schools that made some outlandish claims?

I found one in particular, that i'm going to check out to see if it's legit, because it's the kyokushin/oyama karate school in my area, and I so hope its legit because I want to train kyokushin more than anything....

But this guy claims to have offically completed the "100 man kumite"...yet I can't find any other websites that can verify his legitimacy...along with lineage, no one can seem to trace back to his instructor.

Here's a link to his school...if anyone knows if guy is legit or not, please let me know... http://www.torakan.net/

Anyone else have similar experiences?
I will say, I'm not particularly fond of the negative tone on the "Meet Shihan" page. That always turns me off.
 

Andrew Green

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I will say, I'm not particularly fond of the negative tone on the "Meet Shihan" page. That always turns me off.

That's the only real red flag I see... As soon as someones message is "everyone else is doing it wrong and we are the real deal" something seems wrong to me.
 

Tony Dismukes

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It would be easier to check his claims if he listed his full name rather than just "R. Young."

I don't know how to check his Kyokushin credentials, but I'm calling ******** on his claims of a BJJ background. He says he learned that in childhood as a family tradition. Unless he was born in Brazil, that's bogus. The earliest he could have started training in the U.S. is if he was living in California when Carley Gracie opened his school in 1979. That would put him at almost 20, and it wouldn't have been a family tradition. If he's a Kentucky native, then the claim is even more provable BS. My instructor was the first BJJ black belt in Kentucky, and he only earned his black belt about 10 years ago. (Also, frankly, if he was a legit BJJ instructor this close to my home turf, I would probably have heard of him.)

He seems to teach weapons and poses/demonstrates with a Japanes sword, but he doesn't list any training in any relevant weapon arts.

If you contact the dojo for more info, see if you can get Mr. Young's first name. That should make it easier to check his credentials.
 

Chris Parker

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So how many out there found schools that made some outlandish claims?

I found one in particular, that i'm going to check out to see if it's legit, because it's the kyokushin/oyama karate school in my area, and I so hope its legit because I want to train kyokushin more than anything....

But this guy claims to have offically completed the "100 man kumite"...yet I can't find any other websites that can verify his legitimacy...along with lineage, no one can seem to trace back to his instructor.

Here's a link to his school...if anyone knows if guy is legit or not, please let me know... http://www.torakan.net/

Hmm... yeah, I'm not overly fond of a number of things I see there... honestly, it looks like he's got a reasonable karate background, although probably not quite as he claims (I'll go through some of that in a bit), combined with some good, basic Judo, and a penchant for embellishing his own history...

Anyone else have similar experiences?

With outlandish claims? You're new to martial arts, aren't you...? Ha!

I will say, I'm not particularly fond of the negative tone on the "Meet Shihan" page. That always turns me off.

Yeah... there were some wonderful things in there... personal favourites include:
- a 150 year family lineage... because, of course, "Young" is such a Japanese name... or Brazilian, as he now claims that his 150 year plus lineage is "now known as (Brazilian) Jujitsu"... let's just say, no, that doesn't seem right...
- "He has also been awarded the rare honour, rank and title of Shihan by the Japanese Ministry of Education."... except, of course, that they are now known as the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, and they don't award ranking... the Shihan rank is part of the Shogo title list (along with Kyoshi, Renshi, and Hanshi... with Shihan being the lowest of those titles...), which were developed and awarded by the Dai Nippon Butokukai, not the Ministry for Education... and they're not ranks, they're teaching titles/licences, often associated with, but not necessarily related to the rank (dan).
- Takashi Furukawa... this isn't conclusive, but I've been unable to find any mention of any Takashi Furukawa associated with Kyokushinkai, or karate in general... I did, however, find a fictional character from "History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi"... and a football player who was born in 1980...
- no ind矇pendant reference at all of Mr Young even taking part in any 100 man kumite, let alone completing it, or any confirmation that there were only 25 people who had done it (there's not huge numbers, but I believe there's a fair few more than that...)
- his jujutsu... claiming that he was doing it before it was recognised and known, and that what he did then is now known as BJJ? Ha! Because, of course, he was learning a 150 year old family art that wasn't from Brazil when he was younger, that actually is Brazilian, because, you know, marketing changes reality like that... ha! Seriously, from watching the video linked on the page (we'll come back to that), it's just basic, fairly low level Judo. That's it.
- "One cannot teach combat unless one has lived combat" HA!!! Well, that rules out the vast majority of instructors... even those in the military.... ha!
- my absolute favourite here..."Shihan Young feels that it is every true martial artists duty to shine a spotlight on, call out the phony's and their disgraceful commercialisation of the arts. These charlatans bring disgrace and shame to true meaning of black belt and to the art itself." Look, poor grammar, syntax errors, and disjointed sentences aside, Mr Young, that's exactly what I'm doing here...

It would be easier to check his claims if he listed his full name rather than just "R. Young."

His first name is Roger... didn't help, though.

I don't know how to check his Kyokushin credentials, but I'm calling ******** on his claims of a BJJ background. He says he learned that in childhood as a family tradition. Unless he was born in Brazil, that's bogus. The earliest he could have started training in the U.S. is if he was living in California when Carley Gracie opened his school in 1979. That would put him at almost 20, and it wouldn't have been a family tradition. If he's a Kentucky native, then the claim is even more provable BS. My instructor was the first BJJ black belt in Kentucky, and he only earned his black belt about 10 years ago. (Also, frankly, if he was a legit BJJ instructor this close to my home turf, I would probably have heard of him.)

Absolutely true. The change from "I trained in a 150 year old family style (still looks just like basic judo, though) which is now called Brazilian Jujitsu, even though it's not from Brazil, nor do I actually have any form of family lineage connection to it by blood myself" is what I find the most intriguing...

He seems to teach weapons and poses/demonstrates with a Japanes sword, but he doesn't list any training in any relevant weapon arts.

Here is a short video of Mr Young... I'll go through it in a bit, but it contains the aforementioned sword work...


I'm going to leave off the initial part (in the dark)... there are a few issues I see, but it's too dark to be definite about it. From there we get Mr Young doing push ups and planks on his knuckles... okay... the large number of swords in the background, when there's no list of swordsmanship being taught, is a little odd... The makiwara conditioning isn't too bad, but it's a bit too much "arms only" for someone with Mr Young's apparent background to my mind.

Okay, the sword work makes it's first (clear) appearance at 56 seconds in... it's a variation of the first kata of Seitei Iai (or MJER, or MSR, as that's where Seitei got it from), called Mae... except the cut is far too fast, there is no sayabiki, the left hand is completely unengaged, the positioning of the sword when moving through for the kiri oroshi is way out of position, the wrong footwork is being used, the hasuji is off, and so on.

This is followed by some more makiwara training, this time with a fancy filter and a tyre... then a cut thought a wara with bamboo inside. The cut is overly muscled, the footwork is completely unstable (he's lucky not to cut his own foot, frankly), he over-cuts, and more (freeze-frame at 1:09 to see this clearly). I've often said that, really, swords cut. They're very sharp, they're designed to cut, and the targets aren't that hard... what you're looking for isn't just that the target is cut in two, it's in how it's done. If the cutter is overly muscling, with all the other issues, it doesn't matter if the target it cut, as it's still just bad.

Ooh, more hitting things... I do have to say, he looks very Kyokushin in these scenes, which is why I feel that he does have some legitimacy for that... but not in anything else, including his claims relating to his Kyokushin background.

After that, we get a basic throw (ippon seoi-nage)... a bit out of position, poor use of hips etc... then a juji gatame... eh, not as tight as I'd expect or hope from, but again, as mentioned, it's just basic judo. Then we have some kids being taught, yep, no issue there (other than what the kids are potentially being taught...), but that is followed by something rather... well... bizarre.

Mr Young is kneeling in seiza (well... sorta...), with a Western bow.... holding his arrows the way you do in Kyudo... but firing with a Western draw... so... huh?

Following some speed bag work, we're back to the Iai... this time with chiburi and noto... both of which are, simply, terrible. The whippy action for chiburi is downright dangerous, there's no usage of the left hand again, no sayabiki again... seriously, this just looks like he's watched some Iai demonstrations, and read too much into the idea of "fast draw swordsmanship" to invent what he thinks it should be like... er, no. There are also a few odd actions, such as cupping around the end of the kashira (not unusual), then bringing his hand back down the tsuka (uh... no, if you've taken your hand to the end, that's the last part before taking your hand from the tsuka itself).

The clip then finishes with some basic unarmed (karate and another juji gatame), then one more whippy, over muscled, over-cut tameshigiri... not good, not well done, and not overly safe. This man should not be instructing weaponry... in fact, he shouldn't be allowed to use a shinken unsupervised... bad things will happen.

If you contact the dojo for more info, see if you can get Mr. Young's first name. That should make it easier to check his credentials.

Check out the reviews, his first name is listed there... of course, the reviews themselves are wonderful to read... they're all 5 star (well done there), but many are seemingly all written by parents of kids who train there, rather than by people actually training...
 
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Dylan9d

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Why don't you just take a class and judge after that if it suits your needs?
 
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chrissyp

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Why don't you just take a class and judge after that if it suits your needs?
I am...and "Hopefully" it will suit my needs...ill keep everyone updated on what I find out when I actually train with the guy.
 

frank raud

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If I was claiming a 120 year family history in the martial arts, I might mention where my grandfather received his training, as there weren't many Americans studying any martial arts in the early 1900's, let alone a karate style that was founded in 1964
 

Tony Dismukes

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I am...and "Hopefully" it will suit my needs...ill keep everyone updated on what I find out when I actually train with the guy.
Let us know what you find. He looks like he might be a competent karate instructor with some bonus judo knowledge. I'm just concerned about what looks like dishonesty regarding his claim of BJJ qualifications. I'm going to send an e-mail seeing if I can get some clarification on that claim.
 

wingchun100

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Legitimacy is such a slippery term in MA. Some lineages are impossible to track down, for a multitude of reasons - some of which are "red flags", and others of which are just logistical. I'd challenge you to track down my own lineage, for instance. ;)

It depends on what the claim is, of course. For example, my first WC Sifu said he was accepted as a student under Ip Ching. Well, for those who care to put the time and effort into investigating such things, it would be easy enough to prove or disprove. He was well aware of that.

Last summer I met a guy who was interested in taking private lessons with me. He said he had visited my old WC school and said that Sifu's claims of being Ip Ching's student were a lie. I said, "Why would he lie about that when he knows it is easy enough to look into, and those who care to look would then be able to expose him as a fraud and liar?"

He did not have a comeback for that, and we never had another lesson together.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I'm going to send an e-mail seeing if I can get some clarification on that claim.
Actually, they don't seem to have an e-mail listed, so I sent a FaceBook message. I'll report what I learn.

Note - it occurs to me that we are running up to the line of what might considered "fraudbusting", which is against MartialTalk rules. Therefore I will endeavor to make any further comments on the subject as neutral and non-judgmental as possible.
 
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chrissyp

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Actually, they don't seem to have an e-mail listed, so I sent a FaceBook message. I'll report what I learn.

Note - it occurs to me that we are running up to the line of what might considered "fraudbusting", which is against MartialTalk rules. Therefore I will endeavor to make any further comments on the subject as neutral and non-judgmental as possible.
I didn't know that was against the rules. If any Mods are reading this, that wasn't my intention to "fraudbust" and i'm very sorry, didn't mean to break the rules, it wasn't my intention.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I didn't know that was against the rules. If any Mods are reading this, that wasn't my intention to "fraudbust" and i'm very sorry, didn't mean to break the rules, it wasn't my intention.
Nah, asking about a school or instructor is fine.

"Fraudbusting" would be if we start going on a crusade to announce to the world that instructor soandso is a big phony who faked his rank and should be publicly shamed for doing so.

There's a middle ground where someone asks about a school they are interested in attending and we calmly note that there seems to be some discrepancy in their claimed credentials. The mods can clarify exactly where they would like the line to be drawn, but usually they allow some leeway.
 

Dirty Dog

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Discussing the training/experience/qualifications of a person is not fraud busting.

Using this thread as an example, people are checking the instructor out and commenting on what they see. Concerns are being voiced about the possibility of some inflated or exaggerated experience, of the sort typically seen when people are trying to market themselves. But nobody is bashing the person, their school, or their system.
 

WaterGal

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If I was claiming a 120 year family history in the martial arts, I might mention where my grandfather received his training, as there weren't many Americans studying any martial arts in the early 1900's, let alone a karate style that was founded in 1964

Yeah, when people claim long family histories of a style, especially a relatively recent (or recently-arrived in the area) style that has a documented history, that's always a bit of a red flag for me.

For example, there's a Korean guy in my general area that claims his family has been teaching Hapkido in Korea for hundreds of years. That seems like it has the potential to really be legitimate........ except that Hapkido was founded in the 1950s by Grandmaster Choi Yong Sul.
 

Dirty Dog

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Yeah, when people claim long family histories of a style, especially a relatively recent (or recently-arrived in the area) style that has a documented history, that's always a bit of a red flag for me.

For example, there's a Korean guy in my general area that claims his family has been teaching Hapkido in Korea for hundreds of years. That seems like it has the potential to really be legitimate........ except that Hapkido was founded in the 1950s by Grandmaster Choi Yong Sul.

And, of course, Koreans were forbidden to do any such thing during the occupation. Those who trained did so in Japan.
 

Gerry Seymour

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It depends on what the claim is, of course. For example, my first WC Sifu said he was accepted as a student under Ip Ching. Well, for those who care to put the time and effort into investigating such things, it would be easy enough to prove or disprove. He was well aware of that.

Last summer I met a guy who was interested in taking private lessons with me. He said he had visited my old WC school and said that Sifu's claims of being Ip Ching's student were a lie. I said, "Why would he lie about that when he knows it is easy enough to look into, and those who care to look would then be able to expose him as a fraud and liar?"

He did not have a comeback for that, and we never had another lesson together.
That's why I said "some lineages". There are places (within styles/associations) where records are pretty solid. In many other places, there's little if any way for someone to check.
 

wingchun100

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That's why I said "some lineages". There are places (within styles/associations) where records are pretty solid. In many other places, there's little if any way for someone to check.

Yes, like in the case of my old school, you could contact the Ving Tsun Athletic Association and say, "So and so claims to be a student under Ip Ching. Is this true?"
 
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