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#133257 - 05/24/04 09:34 PM how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dear members,

I really need everyone's help on this one! I'm a new guy in your august website. The thing is, I need your knowledge on how to spot a MA teacher who is a fraud and a real MA teacher. I'm just a newbie in martial arts.

I've been to two karate clubs and one aikido club for a long time (minimum of six months) and I feel utterly uncomfortable with them. I'm a hard-training student, believe me. I practice so hard that I wet 3 T-shirts a day with sweat just to perfect a technique. Yet doubt remains in me: Is my master really teaching me the "real deal" or is he teaching me crap?

One of the clubs I went to was too pricey (500 pesos a month 'cause I'm a Filipino)!

The second club had good but disoriented teaching styles (Our master taught us kata for blackbelts and I was just a whitebelt) He didn't have a good lesson plan.

The third club had me practice aikido katas for a week( good lord. I've been doing the same katas again and again)!

So I would like to solicit any knowledge from you because I believe you're all professional martial artists.

Top
#133258 - 05/24/04 10:20 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
Aikido has katas?

Top
#133259 - 05/24/04 11:22 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Isshinryukid4life Offline
Professional Injury causer

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 2455
Loc: Knoxville.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by andyongpoy:
Dear members,

I really need everyone's help on this one! I'm a new guy in your august website. The thing is, I need your knowledge on how to spot a MA teacher who is a fraud and a real MA teacher. I'm just a newbie in martial arts.

I've been to two karate clubs and one aikido club for a long time (minimum of six months) and I feel utterly uncomfortable with them. I'm a hard-training student, believe me. I practice so hard that I wet 3 T-shirts a day with sweat just to perfect a technique. Yet doubt remains in me: Is my master really teaching me the "real deal" or is he teaching me crap?

One of the clubs I went to was too pricey (500 pesos a month 'cause I'm a Filipino)!

The second club had good but disoriented teaching styles (Our master taught us kata for blackbelts and I was just a whitebelt) He didn't have a good lesson plan.

The third club had me practice aikido katas for a week( good lord. I've been doing the same katas again and again)!

So I would like to solicit any knowledge from you because I believe you're all professional martial artists.
[/QUOTE] First of all, katas are essential to the martial arts.Also,I doubt the ppl you're learning from are frauds. However it could be that some of the schools that you're going to are not very organized,Or have a different way of teaching.

Top
#133260 - 05/25/04 03:15 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
otobeawanker Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 192
Loc: CANADA
.

[This message has been edited by otobeawanker (edited 05-26-2004).]

Top
#133261 - 05/25/04 04:05 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
ken harding Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 721
Loc: UK
**********************************
What a heap of rubbish. Lets do a point by point shall we?
Well what do you mean by martial arts master? Someone who knows a certain, rooted style in and out, someone that knows how to fight. Or someone that knows how to fight and can fight in real life.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Ok lousy grammar aside, if you don't learn something thoroughly you won't be able to use it. Whether that is so called traditional movement or realist/modern movement/principles does not really matter."Someone who knows how to fight" It's odd but I have been the one who walked away on the few occasions I have been called upon to fight. I've avoided far more fights simply by being aware. The problem today is that we seem to want instant expertise. It does not come like that. Couple that with the Japansese tendency to be implicit rather than explicit and people have a problem. I actually like the fact it takes work and a soul searching to progress.
************************************
If you are looking for practical, real life training. Avoid any school with belts or katta. Katta just lets the time roll by and the money roll in. Japanese instructers of karate use very little Katta compared to their watered down western counter part
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A silly generalization. I've trained with a number of Japanese and one Okinawan instructors as well as numerous Western ones. It varies from teacher to teacher. I'd agree on belts only insofar as one should avoid schools which teach only to allow students to pass a grading with no application of what is being learned. Kata does not simply let time role by. I'll not waste my time explaining about real kata application. All I'll say it is has worked for me and I am no super highly graded master type.
************************************
Pajama Arts are great for those who like to explore the various stlyes for their balet like motions and sprituality. I like exploring this side for those reasons. But Pratical Martial arts are something completely different.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Pyjama arts (angry, white,black etc etc) are not about ballet motions. They engender a spiritual angle yes but that is no bad thing in a world where anything remotely spirual is frowned upon. Actually the "spiritual" as you put it is intrinsically linked with the practical. You may spot this at some point in your life. I'm not advocating you turn into a monk...just think about things occasionally. If a martial art is not of a practical heritage by the way it does not survive!
*************************************
This is the realm I train within. So there are two types of Masters. So it all depends on which one you seek. Remember martial arts is a way of life, not a class you take once a week.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Wrong. A master is a master regardless. Those who can't "walk the walk" are frauds. The realm you train is simply one of many, one path out of many possible paths.

Here endeth the lesson [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#133262 - 05/25/04 08:21 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Ken

Unfortunately, when you read otobeawanker's posts you have to understand where he's coming from.

He's arrived on the forum claiming to have tens of thousands of hours of training having studied 8 or 9 different MA's (Not at the same time) and apparently most of his training appears to take place in his bedroom.

He has managed to make 67 posts in approximately one day giving his opinion on a vast range of subjects. Unfortunately almost all his posts have been unmitigated crap. I've been participating on the forum for over a year now and I find that people like this come and go every now and then. You just have to hope they go quickly.

The bad part about this is that when a newbie asks questions, they get advice from morons such as this before someone with some knowledge can actually give some sound advice.

His profile says he's a comedian from Canada. I assume his services are not in great demand as he appears to have far too much time on his hands. Let's just hope he stays in Canada.

JohnL

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#133263 - 05/25/04 10:22 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
mark Offline
sword of magnamity

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 1284
Loc: uk
Well said John!! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

Good post Ken, but i fear it will be in vain, looks like we have another fool in our midst. My highly developed instincts tell me that anyone that calls themselves
“ otobeawanker” has in fact already succeeded in obtaining that goal.

nekogami13, sure aikido has kata, the hirano( spelling?) kata is one that we practice, very good in fact.

Regards,

mark

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#133264 - 05/25/04 08:47 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
otobeawanker Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 192
Loc: CANADA
.

[This message has been edited by otobeawanker (edited 05-26-2004).]

Top
#133265 - 05/26/04 01:59 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
how about some meat to back up your claims instead?

There are a lot of people here who use their training in their jobs. Have you used your training in a real situation?

I am not sure that holding an orange belt in karate qualifies you to rubbish the "pyjama arts". Maybe your experience of karate was not a good one, but not all karate clubs are the same. I think it's you that needs to open your mind.

You might also try some manners. If you entered the dojo with the same attitude you have entered this forum then I am not suprised that you got little out of it.

Just my opinion
Sharon

Top
#133266 - 05/26/04 05:53 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Please don't mix other topics with MY specific topic.

To the first reply, their is kata in aikido.

Oh, and to the other replies, thanks for the reply (even though its hardly helping me out).

Maybe you got my message all wrong. To those who didn't understand my plead, let me reiterate: HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT A MA TEACHER IS TEACHING YOU THE REAL DEAL OR CRAP. Just because he got his blackbelts and whatever doesn't usually mean he's going to teach me proper MA. I'm no psychic.

Could you suggest any questions/tests that I can use to see if a MA teacher is honest in his duty.

Oh, and could some people who replied talk like civilized human beings. I need help not yapping.

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#133267 - 05/26/04 06:49 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
Hi Andy and welcome [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

You are right to be wary, there are a lot of charlatans in the MA world. There are also some very good, very honest teachers. It is hard for a beginner to judge.

Fraud is a strong word. What makes you think your instructor may be one? Does he answer your questions about what you are doing and why? Or does he seem to not know himself?

Does he have a website that we can look at?

BTW, off topic, your English is excellent, puts some of us to shame [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]
Sharon

Top
#133268 - 05/27/04 01:11 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Isshinryukid4life Offline
Professional Injury causer

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 2455
Loc: Knoxville.
http://www.seiwakai.co.za/Realorfake.html http://www.e-budokai.com/articles/titles.htm

[This message has been edited by Isshinryukid4life (edited 05-27-2004).]

Top
#133269 - 05/27/04 04:21 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by andyongpoy:
Dear members,

I really need everyone's help on this one! I'm a new guy in your august website. The thing is, I need your knowledge on how to spot a MA teacher who is a fraud and a real MA teacher. I'm just a newbie in martial arts.

I've been to two karate clubs and one aikido club for a long time (minimum of six months) and I feel utterly uncomfortable with them. I'm a hard-training student, believe me. I practice so hard that I wet 3 T-shirts a day with sweat just to perfect a technique. Yet doubt remains in me: Is my master really teaching me the "real deal" or is he teaching me crap?

One of the clubs I went to was too pricey (500 pesos a month 'cause I'm a Filipino)!

The second club had good but disoriented teaching styles (Our master taught us kata for blackbelts and I was just a whitebelt) He didn't have a good lesson plan.

The third club had me practice aikido katas for a week( good lord. I've been doing the same katas again and again)!

So I would like to solicit any knowledge from you because I believe you're all professional martial artists.
[/QUOTE]

Top
#133270 - 05/27/04 04:29 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


andyongpoy if you are a beginner have a thumb thru -the complete idiots guide to Martial Arts-I think its alpha books . it as a lot of questions that you might not think to ask

Top
#133271 - 06/09/04 07:53 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
I would imagine that any MA trainer needs to receive training himself/herself, before becoming a trainer. If the person is at all good, he/she must have wom some competition somewhere. Ask the person, and check him/her out with the judges of teh competition. Also, of corse, there are magazines that focus on the Martial Arts and someone either working for the magazine or someone the magazine editors trust would know about the person. Getting information about a person, in the age of the Internet is extremely easy.

Top
#133272 - 06/10/04 01:26 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Anpadh

It's good to see you try and give advice, despite that you have stated that you have no experience in the subject matter.

Your advice in this thread;

"I would imagine that any MA trainer needs to receive training himself/herself, before becoming a trainer."

No. Any guy can set himself up in a store as there are no national regulatory bodies. Once they set themselves up, they can teach to anyone who walks in. Unfortunately the people who walk in don't know whether the guy is good or bad and get ripped off.

"If the person is at all good, he/she must have wom some competition somewhere."

Wrong!
Competence in a competition arena does not necessarilly make a good Martial Artist or a good teacher.

"Ask the person, and check him/her out with the judges of teh competition."

The person asking the questions doesn't know the right questions to ask, and even if they did, it's far too easy to be misled. In addition, "check with the judges at of the competition?" They're not around. Even if they were, who are they to judge.

"Also, of corse, there are magazines that focus on the Martial Arts and someone either working for the magazine or someone the magazine editors trust would know about the person."

I wouldn't trust anyone who writes magazines to give me a recommendation nor in any club that advertises in one.

"Getting information about a person, in the age of the Internet is extremely easy."

Wrong again. I know any number of MA's who you will not find anything about them on the internet. And bear in mind, that if you find someones web page, they wrote it themselves. They're hardly going to advertise that they're crap, are they!

Stop giving advice about something you know nothing about.

JohnL

Top
#133273 - 06/10/04 08:43 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
OneDragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 16
On spotting a teaching fraud: ask yourself ….1. Does the school or teacher pass students to higher rankings extremely quick and easy? 2. Do other students feel like you do? 3. Do students come and go quickly and frequently? One thing is clear to me….you doubt your skills which if ever one could tell you WE ALL DO AT SOME POINT! You might just be in a slump, or plateau where everything seems the same and monotonous. The best advice to me, when this happens, work though it. You are at a stage of processing lots of information. Like a computer thinking about a complex equation, it appears useless while it’s thinking and after words…….the solution! Imaging shutting the computer off while it’s thinking. If you feel like this for more than 6 months from now consider checking out other schools to compare.

Top
#133274 - 06/16/04 09:41 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Ogoun Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Fort Myers, FL
Ask a lot of questions, and evaluate the answers. Talk to the current students to see how they feel about their dojo and sensei. Try to differentiate between the higher ranks and lower rank by the quality of their techniques.

Top
#133275 - 06/16/04 02:37 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


It's best to find out what you want out of the game.

Do you want to enjoy the glamour which is often associated with this type of study(ala bar-room brawl)?
Do you want to be able to intimidate people and hurt them with your wicked bare-handed techniques?
Do you want to learn weapons?
Do you wish to cultivate yourself, increase confidence, learn compassion, have fun?
Pay attention to your bretheren in training. What is their internal attitude/ motivation? What is yours?

Top
#133276 - 06/16/04 08:42 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
JohnL,

I appreciate the fact that you feel that you are the only one in the world who knows anything about the martial arts. You may be shocked to discover that you are wrong. You may also be shocked to discover that you can't read. I never gave advice to anyone claiming to be an expert martial artist, as you claim I did. Also, whether or not you believe that anyone who wins a competition is good, most people would agree that winning competitions does, in fact, indicate a fair degree of proficiency. Of course, you may not have won any competitions yourself or you may not place any importance on winning anything other than meaningless arguments with people whom you don't know.

While it is surely possible for anyone to set up shop as a martial arts teacher, the reality is that if he/she knows nothing about it, he/she won't be able to teach anything either. So, unless a person simply has an insane urge to lose money by pretending to be a Martial Arts teacher, without having any knowledge of the martial arts whatever, I doubt that such things would happen in real life. In your overheated imagination, of course, anything is possible. It is also possible that you have no respect for any martial arts exponent other than yourself. In fact, it seems that you simply have no respect for anyone, period.

Stop shooting off your mouth telling me what I can and cannot do. Your opinion is not the only right one. Get used to that fact. Just because you don't respect or trust anyone, does not mean that the whole world is only full of people who know nothing. Besides, who gave you the idea that the rest of the world is looking for your approval? If nobody has told you this before, let me make this quite clear, at least on my own behalf: I do not respect or trust your opinions. Hence, I do not respond to your comments. I only feel compelled to respond to personal comments you make against me. You spend most of your time making negative personal comments about me and about others. It seems you are frustrated and angry. And we all know what your solution is, for anger and frustration and anger, don't we? Or does it apply only to others and never to yourself?

Top
#133277 - 06/16/04 08:45 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
JohnL,

Stop giving me advice. I find your comments rude, but not meaningful in any other way. I do not need your permission so please, if you believe I do, stop smoking whatever it is that you are smoking.

Top
#133278 - 06/17/04 12:33 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Anpadh:

What a tirade, did I touch a nerve.

You can of course post anything you like, I apologise for suggesting otherwise.

I merely thought it prudent to post that the advice you gave was poor and based on a fundamental lack of knowledge.

I agree, that you have never said you have any MA experience.

However, that being the case, one must wonder why you come on a MA forum and try to give advice. Maybe you should give advice in an area that you have some expertise. (We don't know what that is, you've never said.)

JohnL

Top
#133279 - 06/17/04 01:22 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
JohnL

I saw (and still see) the question as one regarding the finding of information. One does not have to be an expert in the field to know how to find information about it. Simply because you do not trust or value any source of information outside of yourself does not mean that the information possessed by others is wrong, useless, or unimportant.

Top
#133280 - 06/17/04 04:53 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Anpadh:

I have many sources and trust many people.

Of course you do not have to be an expert to try and find information. I've never said otherwise.

Unfortunately, I believed that the information you gave was poor, but the person who was asking for advice was inexperienced and wouldn't have known that. As such your advice might have led him to poor dojo's which in turn could have ripped him off.

As such, I still maintain that the advice you gave was poor at best and at worst misleading, as I detailed in my response to your post. I'm sure you didn't intend it to be, but as you have no MA background, you wouldn't know any different.

JohnL

Top
#133281 - 06/17/04 05:36 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


ok, you guys, listen up.when someone asks for advice,people give it to them according to thier oppinions.if you think he/she is wrong,then say reasons why that person may be misled.you dont have to feel suprior in order to give advice.if it works for them,then they can suggest it to someone else.i came looking for oppinions/advice on things, not to watch you guys squabble.so please, quit arguing and stay on the subject.

Top
#133282 - 07/07/04 12:37 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anpadh, by merely posting comments on this forum you must expect others to agree or disagree with whatever it is that you are saying. Please stop making such rude comments, one of the major concepts taught in martial arts is respect. I do not believe that JohnL disrespected you, so lay off the rude remarks. The guy knows what he is talking about, if you listen you may even learn something.

A quote to live by:
"The emply vessel makes the loudest sound."

Now, back to andyongpoy's question: I would say that to avoid someone who is only trying to take your money for sure, you need to find a non-profit school. In this case, the teacher has no reason to not teach well or to have a school if he knows very little. He is merely teaching to teach. Good luck finding one though.

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#133283 - 07/13/04 09:15 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Slayr,

JohnL told me to "stop shooting off your mouth." I find that rude. Perhaps you don't. If that is the case, then I suggest that YOU stop shooting off your mouth. Besides, I have the right to respond to JohnL or anyone else, with or without your permission.

Top
#133284 - 07/13/04 12:07 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi Anpadh:

I don't recall telling you to "stop shooting off your mouth."

At least, not in this thread.

JohnL

Top
#133285 - 07/21/04 10:34 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Judge a martial arts school this way:
1: How much time do they spend sweating on their floor? Hard work is an essential in the martial arts, not an option. If they don't work hard, they'd do nothing for you.
2: Is it the art for you? Not every art is right for every students. Doesn't mean you can't be a martial artist...just not one 'like them'.
3. Can you make it (schedule & $$$, other requirements) fit in with your life? If not, move on. It must mesh well with YOU. The arts serve you, not you the arts.
4. Observe the most advanced students of the school over a period of time. Approach them and question them. THEN: ask yourself, "Do I want to be just like them? Do I want to move just like them?" If so.... DO IT!

Once you are in:
Pay attention
Work hard...
and
Enjoy!
Papa
John

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#133286 - 07/22/04 11:09 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning andyongpoy:

Telling an expert froma con can be very daunting task. How would you tell one from another in your job field? Anyplace? It will take time to determine...

What is important at this point is for you to find a skilled teacher who has a SERIOUS lesson plan, and will expalin the what's & why's of the information you are being taught. Once you have that message your brain will focus on what you are doing... and having it explained, you will be able to practice it at home, without supervision.

Unexplained and IME, the brain will not shut down, and focus. Explained, you know what you are attempting to do, even if you're not there yet!

Blind repetition is fine, provided SOMEBODY explains the why of it to you. Takes tens of thousands of repetitions to make something instinct. To be efficent and to be EFFECTIVE you must practice until your poor brain starts dreaming the repetitions [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

Bottom line, time is required to evolve a skill. Oh, and I am not a professional martial artist. It is not what I do for my living...

Jeff

[This message has been edited by Ronin1966 (edited 07-22-2004).]

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#133287 - 07/29/04 11:05 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well said Ronin1966. an instructor should have a genuine interest in seeing his or her students improve, but repetition is very important as well.

On another note, it is very disturbing to me today to see how so many people on this and other forums find the need to sling mud at each other and point fingers over this and that issue. Too many egos. It is okay to disagree and have "respectful" comments back and forth, that is what the forums are all about, but there is no need to say that others are just wrong and you are right. "There are many ways to skin a cat." We all don't have to agree, but be polite about it. There is always someone who knows more and is more skilled than you. The old dogs of martial arts understand this. I seem to remember a day when key concepts taught inthe dojo were modesty and respect. Perhaps those have been lost, that is a shame.

Sorry to go on a tangent, but if you read the mud slinging discussions from earlier you may understand. Sorry to take up space with this lengthly response to nonsense.

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#133288 - 07/30/04 08:14 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Andyongpoy,
It is impossible to find a teacher who is not a real teacher. Maybe it is better to ask, How do I become a real student? Andyongpoy, do you have a dog?

Top
#133289 - 07/30/04 09:56 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
3 things I'd do to evaluate a master and his school:

1. For the skill of the master, look at his feet when he's performing techniques. If his steps are sure and MINIMAL and his stances strong, he's a true martial artist.

2. For the TEACHING ability of the master, look at his students, particularly the ones that have been there a year or two. Find out how long they've been there. You would expect the senior students to look good. I'd actually be worried if students are getting rank too fast. McDojo anyone?

3. For the KNOWLEDGE of the master, ask questions about some techniques you're seeing. If he answers quickly, convincingly and in detail then he's a true master.

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#133290 - 08/03/04 12:56 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello Everyone.

I'm new to the post but I couldn't help but chime in on this one.

I've been a martial artist along time 28 years to be exact. And telling a fraud from a "master" is a hard thing for someone new.
One of the first things I'd ask are for creditentials and some kind of lineage.
Is the person teaching a 25 years old grandmaster?
Look for time in rank. Is some guy who study for a couple of years trying to pass himself off as a 3 or 4th dan.
Does the instructor have a lesson plan and a clear course of action? Does he pay attention to your strength and weaknesses and teach you accordingly.

As for competitions, they are not indicitive of skill level. I know quite a few martial artist who frown upon competitions. Myself included, though I've won more than my share. I can honestly say the heart of the martial arts or even good instructors are not found in the ring or tournament floor. Look at the early UFC competitions with Tank Abbot. Tank was a pure brawler in those days and he won quite a few matches but few would have called him a good martial artist... Tank has added some MA skills in recent years.
What about the tournament competitors doing musical kata? The moves look good but how much of it is actually effective or for that matter technically sound? Rapid fire roundhouses to one target and no rechamber. Come on who is going to be stupid enough to stand in the same spot and take 10 or 15 kicks?
Anyway I've gotten of the subject and onto my soapbox.

The best advise I can give is this... if your not comfortable or doubt the quality of instruction your receiving then that school is not for you. You need to have confidence and trust in your instructor if your going to be able to learn from him/her.

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#133291 - 08/10/04 11:38 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


This topic was a great read. I have been training in the Martial Arts since 1978 and instructing since 1988. I found all your replies interesting and thought provoking, but I do have to add my humble point of view on a few items if I may.

The Competition thing in relation to a good Martial Artist, or authentic can be misleading due to the amount of organizations out there that have world champions. I speak of this from experience since I hold five world titles from five different organizations, all of which are realitively small.

On teach the "real deal" I have to add this: As a school owner and instructor I realize the importance of teaching proper skills to our youths that will help them grow physically and mentally. I also realize the importance of teaching real life self-defense. On the flip side, in order to maintain a school I have had to develop different programs that install both aspects in all the students. What I once considered "watered down" Karate, is what helps pays the bills, but keep in mind I still offer the "real deal" training once a student reaches their green belt, they may choose to attend the traditional Karate classes as well.

On the topic of slinging mud, well it is always easier to do on the internet than in real life and yes I do agree that we as Martial Artist should be completely passed that point...and most of the "true" black belts, masters, etc. are beyond the mud aspect. Talk is just that, talk and the only thing that makes it worthwhile is when the individual has the accredidations to back up their postings.

As for beginners being able to spot a fraud, well that is a very tough one since there is no governmental regulatory body for the Martial Arts (even though some do claim to be). When I was a beginner it was easy, black belts in the late 70's and early 80's were all the real deal. It took dedication, perserverance and ALOT of time to earn a black belt. Today people just are not willing to work for it, or put in the time required to learn the applications to back the claim of black belt. All I can offer in advice is for you to seek out what you want, practice what you learn and in time it will all come together. Best wishes.

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#133292 - 08/13/04 09:23 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
It seems to me that the bottom line here is that you can only know a master if you are a master yourself. And that is kind of confusing, because how do you know if you are a master, yourself? The only way I know of determining if you are a master is to ask a person who was a master before you. But then that takes us in circles. To say that competitions are not indicative of skill level is like saying that good grades are not an indicator of knowledge and/or intelligence. True, but how else would a person judge? If neither competitions nor the opinions of respected leaders in the field are of any value in judging a person's skill-level, then it becomes purely subjective. You say someone is good and I say he is not, and that's it. For instance, Einstein failed the exam that would have given him a scholarship to study Physics, in college. Still, other respected scientists believe Einstein is a good physicist. Shakespeare never went to college but other great writers consider him to be a good writer. On the other hand, if someone wins the Nobel Prize in his/her field, why can't you say that the person is very good at what he/she does, even if you know nothing about the field? It is true that there may be someone else who is as good, perhaps even better than the person who won the competition for the Nobel Prize, but does that mean that the Nobel Prize is without any meaning or value? I know nothing about medicine but can I say that studying medicine from someone (ANYONE) who won the Nobel Prize in medicine is the same as studying under anyone else? Don't competitions and the judgement of one's peers have any value whatever, in the martial arts?

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#133293 - 08/19/04 12:54 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Anpadh:
It seems to me that the bottom line here is that you can only know a master if you are a master yourself. [/QUOTE] Do you actually believe this or just like to read what you type?

[QUOTE] To say that competitions are not indicative of skill level is like saying that good grades are not an indicator of knowledge and/or intelligence. True, but how else would a person judge? If neither competitions nor the opinions of respected leaders in the field are of any value in judging a person's skill-level[/QUOTE]

The skill level of the teacher was not in question. How do you know they are teaching you for real or is it crap is more or less what was asked. The best teachers are not always the ones who did well in competition. If that is how you judge it I'd look more at does his/her students do well in competition.

In regards to the original question: You can look to see if the school belongs to a national and/or international organization and contact them. In this day and age of graphic design and laser printers it's all too easy to fake certificates. A national/international organization will have records of the school and instructor. I would also agree with those that have said talk with others in you school. There are times that everybody goes through some of these things you mention. It might be as someone else mention "a slump." I had a period of about six months between my first and second belt in Yoseikan that I taught about quiting on a weekly basis. Ten years later I'm glad I stuck with it and can't believe I ever wanted to quit.

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#133294 - 08/20/04 10:28 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
From the answers I have read here it seems to me that there is, in fact, no truly reliable way to tell if your teacher is teaching you anything worth learning. If competitions and magazines are unreliable, so are international organizations. I could create an organization with any name I wanted. As to what other students say, well, that is very subjective. I may have gone there simply to get exercise and may be pleased with the class. Someone else may have gone there to get a belt and gotten it, despite receiving little real training and may also be happy with that.

So, basically, unless you are a master yourself, the only way to know if your teacher is any good is competition. If your teacher can kick the crap out of someeone else that you perceive to be at the same level of skill/training as your instructor, then, I guess you have a good instructor. Other than that, in the absence of any standards, there is no RELIABLE way of saying who is a good instructor. There is no organization that is universally believed in that has a set of criteria to judge whether an MA teacher is "good."

In the field of education, if you get a degree in Education and have high grades, then you are a "ggod" educator. As to what constitutes a good educator, that is well-defined by the universities that offer a degree in Education.

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#133295 - 08/20/04 11:02 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


There is a way to tell, its called your gut. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/redface.gif[/IMG])

I think we often neglect our inherent ability to determine an individual's sincerity. You run the same risks with a MA instructor that you do with a car mechanic, a home contactor, etc.. because they are all people.

If you use your inherent abilities (i.e. heart, gut, whatever its called) you can percieve how confident someone is in their trade, and also their true motivations.

That said, these percptions aren't as easy to make use of, if one is preoccupied. For example if a mcdojo teacher talks about power and magic techniques, and the student is really looking for power and magic techniques, this desire will interfere with their ability to percieve the situation properly. I believe anyone who is seeking sincere MA education would receive some subtle clues if they are in the right place or not. Just my humble opinion though.

~Ed

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#133296 - 08/20/04 11:15 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anpadh,
I ‘am fortunate. About 6 months ago I met a teacher. She came to live
with me and my family. The teacher was without a place to stay. I provide room and board for the teacher and in return I receive instruction. My teacher is not much to look at ,rather small, blind in one eye. The most inportant things I have learned from my teacher are not about technique. When I come home my teacher greets me so warmly.
Even though my teacher has faced many hardships my teacher begins each day with great enthusiasm. Maybe because of those hardships she does not trust people quickly. She take time to get to now them. She has taught me a lot about loyalty.
After dinner our lessons continue, usually we walk to a park near our house.
One night when we walked were approached by a group of young men that looked a little rough. I must admit I was a bit nervous and began to run through different scenarios
In my mind. Then much to my surprise my teacher greeted them with such enthusiasm that they couldn’t help but smile. Then she bent over and took a crap.
My teacher is named Pearl. She is a dog. I brought her home from the Humane Society.
Any teacher is a real teacher to a real student. We teach what we know. If a teacher is a fraud you may learn how one is swindled. If that lesson only takes 6 months and 500
Pesos, I ‘d consider that a pretty good deal. It took me much longer to learn. If you think you can only learn from a master, good luck finding one. If Lao tsu is to be trusted as a expert. We will never recognize one.
Van Gogh was not recognized for his skill or degree. He was considered by most an utter and complete failure. They said he could not draw or paint. He was considered insane. He is now in retrospect considered a master. His paintings are considered treasures. Most people would not recognize a master, even if my teacher bit them on the arse.


[This message has been edited by oldman (edited 08-21-2004).]

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#133297 - 08/30/04 03:34 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anpadh Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 162
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Oldman,

I don't agree with you about VanGogh. His talent was recognised by his peers, while he was alive. That he did not sell more than one painting has more to do with his being a bad salesman than his lack of recognition.

Anyway, I now understand that there is no real way to determine who is a master and who is not. In other fields, the opinions of other experts matters. For instance, regardless of what my gut says, I know that Peter Salk is a great scientist, Andy Warhol is a great painter, and that Ravi Shankar is a great musician, and so on. Apparently it is not so in the field of MA.

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#133298 - 08/30/04 04:45 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


You are correct Van gogh was not a salesman.
His brother Theo (1857-1891) was. He was an art dealer. He owned a gallery and made a fine living selling art. He just wasn't able to sell his brothers art.

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#133299 - 08/31/04 12:52 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
reaperblack Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 558
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
my two cents. If they are charging a lot of money they aren't teaching they are doing business. 1. Is this all they do or do they have another job.
2. How long have they been doing this.
3. Do they claim to be a member of any associations, if so what ones, look up the association via the internet and make sure that they are indeed a member, in good standing.
4. Do they try to sell you into it, if so walk away. They should tell you the facts, not sell you a product.
What style of aikido did you guys do that had forms, I did aikiki and we didn't have any?

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#133300 - 01/09/05 08:51 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oldman, I am humbled by your analogy about you and Pearl. Great.

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#133301 - 01/21/05 09:02 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


I've been doing martial arts now for 12years and my first club was a rip off. Luckily I found a different club and an excellent instructor who will deny it but is definately a master. I enjoyed reading the posts on this thread but would suggest otobeawanker gets himself off to www.sowhatsystem.com where he would find the threads there more to his liking.

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#133302 - 01/24/05 02:31 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have been a martial artist (Shotokan Karate) for 16 years now and I will say this about teaching and teaching methods.

Good martial arts teachers are very organized and knowledgable about the subject matter.

My Sensei is excellent not only because he teaches the traditional aspects of the art (kata, kumite, basics, etc), but he also teaches self-defense techniques that can (and have been) applied to street situations.

For those who believe that the traditional teaching is useless, I say that you do not understand training at all. Performing basics and kata teaches the body to move in certain patterns and repeated training sets these moves into the body as part of its innate reflexes. I am not advocating that you use kata and basics on the street (that would be stupid). However, the use of traditional training prepares the body by adding flexibility and conditioning. Performing kata also provides a means of focusing the mind and allowing outside distractions to melt away. The essence of training is discipline.

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#133303 - 01/24/05 10:50 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Original poster: Here's a good way to tell.

Ask the teacher to spar.

If he or she is too old, ask one of the senior students.

If sensei refuse, leave immediately.

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#133304 - 01/25/05 07:13 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hedgehogey:
Original poster: Here's a good way to tell.

Ask the teacher to spar.

If he or she is too old, ask one of the senior students.

If sensei refuse, leave immediately.


[/QUOTE]


Original poster: Here's a good way to tell.

Ask the teacher to spar.

If sensei agrees, leave immediately.

oldman

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#133305 - 01/25/05 10:46 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow.

SO many vague generalities being thrown around its a wonder the orginal poster hasnt jumped out a window yet.

To address a few issues...

Skill in a fight; success in competition; trophies won; accolades collected. None of these things add up to a good teacher. They might be indicators of skill, but skill is one thing; the ability to effectivey teach is something else.

Here are a few pointers, though, that might help you find what you are looking for.

1) try a class or two. Any school worth its salt will allow you a few free classes, to see if you are a good fit. Give it a go and trust your instincts. Does the instructor teach in a way that you feel would be condusive to your style of learning? Is the content of the classes interesting?

2) Avoid schools that ask you to sign a contact for any length of time. Yes, this is a generalization, but these schools are more interested in your money than in your progress. There are better attitudes out there.

3) watch how the other students interact with the instructor. Is there an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect? Or is there an atmosphere of fear? Are the students expected to bow and scape and 'osu' at every comment the isntructor makes? Or does he seem to be open to discussion, and respect the student as much as they respect him?

4) how many higher ranks are there at the club? If there are LOTS of lower level and beginners, and not many higher level, advanced students, this teacher likely has a high turnover of students with a low retnetion rate. There is probably a reason for that.

5) call the local business authority (the better business bureau or a like entity). Ask about the school and see if there are any complaints about the school on the books.

6) This is the most important, in my mind. Know what you are looking for. Going into a martial arts school and wanting to learn martial arts is like going into a library and wanting to read a book. There are SO many out there to choose from - make sure you have an idea of the kind of martial art you want to learn.

7) trust yourself. If you find a school that looks bad, or even just feels bad, it probably is. If you are uncomfortable, there is a reason for it. Look around, and be open minded. Try what is out there, and hopefully you will get lucky and find a good school.

Hope this helps a little...

Galen

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#133306 - 01/30/05 02:37 AM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


<<Original poster: Here's a good way to tell.

Ask the teacher to spar.

If sensei agrees, leave immediately. >>

Are you seriously trying to imply that a willingness to spar is an indication of bullshido?

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#133307 - 01/30/05 02:01 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm not trying to imply anything. I only stated the converse of what you said. You stated

'Are you seriously trying to imply that a willingness to spar is an indication of bullshido?'

I'm simply saying that is not an effective to determine if someone is a master or not.

oldman

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#133308 - 01/30/05 11:30 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


oldman, I'm sick and tired of you making me use my brain! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]
To walk in a dojo annd ask an instructor to spar is just plain RUDE! Most would refuse because of this, I know some who would immediately knock you down! Just sit in on a few classes,talk with the instructor and decide for yourself.
All American Goju Karate

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#133309 - 01/31/05 01:05 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by nekogami13 V2.0:
Aikido has katas?[/QUOTE]

In all honesty, as long as you are human, you can never be a grandmaster. That is a false statement. You can be realyl good, but again, human error will always be there. So in order to tell a fraud would be this: Disorganized, overcharge, teaching non-practical things ie: ask yourself, would i be able to do this in an actual engagement? Or, would this work in a fight? The only way to truly tell a fraud from the real deal is by trial and error. Nothing more nothing less. But my advice is to try and find a guy who can answer all of your questions, no matter how big and how small. And if you have a problem with something in the art, he won't have a problem with discussing it with you. If he does, that means his way of teaching his art is, "His way or the highway, and if you go question it, you are wrong." However this is not entirely true. the student can out think the teacher. If he/she doesn't, then what is the student learning from his teacher? Good luck in fighting the art thats right for you.

~Ruthless~

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#133310 - 02/01/05 11:30 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]I'm simply saying that is not an effective to determine if someone is a master or not.[/QUOTE]

Maybe because the term "master" is too damn vague.
Alright, let's start over: To determine if a person teaches good physical self defense and/or fighting, ask them to spar. If they refuse, leave immediately.

[QUOTE]To walk in a dojo annd ask an instructor to spar is just plain RUDE! Most would refuse because of this, I know some who would immediately knock you down! [/QUOTE]

Yet students at my BJJ gym start sparring their first day.
The straight blast gym says all their affiliate instructors must roll or strike with anyone who wants to.

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#133311 - 02/01/05 11:49 PM Re: how to know a MA fraud and a MA master
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hedgehogey.
"Alright, let's start over: To determine if a person teaches good physical self defense and/or fighting, ask them to spar. If they refuse, leave immediately."

That sounds like a very practical way to find a teacher who is experienced self defense and/or fighting.

oldman

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