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#355239 - 02/28/08 09:46 AM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: A.J. Bryant]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5847
Loc: USA

I don't know much about the art Dana Abbott trains in---but I have to say that the quote you showed really confuses me.

Maybe such things just don't translate well but a couple f things jump out.

1-The guy has a 3td degree ranking in "TEST CUTTING????" maybe its common practice with the group he is with---but to many people this reads like having a 3td dan in say Board Breaking......just sounds srange.

-"4th Dan in japanese knife"--again, sounds really weird, "japanese knife is a a tanto (or some other things) so using english for the proper term seems odd--the more so when he uses "Temashigiri" elsewhere.

Don't know of anyone that offers a stand alone dan ranking in "japanese knife"--chalk it up to ignorance on my part, but the only ones I'm aware of INCLUDE specfic training as part of the overall cirruculem......and they don't use the kyu/dan system either.

-"Japanese spear"--again only a handful of ryu that teach the spear---but it does not say which one he learned--again the only ones I know about do not seem to use the kyu/dan system--again, could just me being less than imformed.

Don't know anything about chanbara except the name.....but this just sounds odd to me.

In reading the article---I have to admit that NOBODY ever checked to see if I was wearing underwear under my hakama. Why someone would do such a thing and why it should be seen as a mark of how strict a class was makes little sense to me.

I know the article in question is a puff piece but from a marketing POV I sure would have left out:

-"I had respect and admeration from all around me"

-Japanese experts don't "reek" from anything---even when its strength and power--"reek" is word with unpleasent conitation, probably more so for a Japanese

-"I reeked havoc in their circles"--I'm sure he was very good, but that is a little over the top.

-Travelling all over the world to discover the answer to "what is the sound of one hand clapping."
Probably sounds all "zen" to people--but just weird to me.
And out of all the famous and infamous koan--why pick that one???
It would have read better if it didn't come across as such a blatent "im so cool and zen" kinda thing.

-Here is real dooze:

"Q Wasn't it difficult to enter the dojo's around the world?

"Yes, its very difficult. That is why I learned a game in San Franciso called shuttlecock. In the United States you might have played similer game called hackysack........most serious Asain martial artists play the game religiously."

A-"San Francisco is IN the "United States" so it make NO sense at all to say that you learned in in San Francisco and in the United States they have a similer game.

It would be like saying "I learned to to play Go in Tokyo, and and in Japan they play a game called Go."

B-So playing hackysack is not the sign of a "serious" martial artist???
I guess all those masters/experts born PRIOR ot the hackysack just were not really "serious" martial artists......sheesh.

"Sorry Jack I know you have bee a good deshi for more than 15 years, your powerful swordsmen, nealry unbeatable fighter--but your just not very good with the hackysack."


"the bamboo shinai ....can easily break bones"--depends--hand bones??? or arm bones""
And "easily???" not so sure---horrible brusiing and even cut the skin--sure, "easily break bones" might be a bit over the top.

-Claiming to "rub shoulders" with "Japanese Royals"---they might attend functions---but its highly doubtful that they were "rubbing shoulders" with Dana Abbott.
That termn imples a level of personl friendshio that the prior statement in the same paragrah does not.

-The claim that his method is able to do "in hours" what "traditional ploishing techniues took months to perfect"

In the first place nobody "perfects" ANYTHING in a few "months."

In the second--how does he know this?? Does he have studies? or is this merely another claim?

Just reads as odd to me.

Edited by cxt (02/28/08 10:19 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#355240 - 02/28/08 10:21 AM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: cxt]
fatguy Offline

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146

I only disagree with you on the term "reek". And thats just because I'm not 100% on how it can be used. He perhaps could have used a better word to describe his thoughts (in this case he might have wanted something like, "Their strength, power, and charisma pervaded the room") but I think thats neither here nor there because I got the gist of what he was saying anyway.

As for his zen buddhist thing, Im pretty sure thats not a big mystery to most... the entire concept is to accept the fact that one hand doest clap on its own, and to ponder such things is absurd... so I don't know what hes talking about.

Other than those two things, I am thinking the same way as cxt. To me those separate dan rankings is strange.
Saya no uchi de katsu

#355241 - 02/28/08 10:28 AM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: cxt]
A.J. Bryant Offline

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA

I don’t know, nor have I ever met Mr. Abbott, and don’t have nice things to say about his technique or marketing... “Executive Samurai” classes are really not traditional budo in my book...

Simply put, the question was asked about his Toyama-ryu rank, and, using Google, I found and included the link to the page that had his ranks listed. As to the validity of these ranks, I have no comment, nor do I particuarly care.

As to Chanbara and the separation of ranks, I know nothing about the art, so I couldn’t help you there either. Maybe someone else can answer.
Andrew Bryant Rishinkan Dojo Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu

#355242 - 02/28/08 10:32 AM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: fatguy]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5847
Loc: USA

I don't know either--I know what he was trying to do--I just would have used a different term--perhpas one less related to stinkyness.

Not just nit-picking either, if it were the only slip--ok fine.
But such hyperbole seems to be the norm rather than the exception.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#355243 - 02/28/08 10:35 AM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: A.J. Bryant]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5847
Loc: USA

Maybe someone that knows more about chambara could help?????

Without it, I'm stuck comparing what is in the article to what I know--and it reads weird to me.

Could be wrong--have been before---will be again---but some of this simply makes little sense....the whole "hackysack" thing for example.

Without better answers and information---I would not traing with a guy like that in the article and I would not send my kid to train with him either.

Which is probably fair--as I doubt he would view me worthy to train with either.

Edited by cxt (02/28/08 10:37 AM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#355244 - 02/28/08 01:13 PM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: cxt]
marmaduke Offline

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 177
Loc: Ohio
Mr. Abbott finished his Seminars last night. Mabe I should have printed out this thread and shown it to him and asked him to fill in the blanks. Somehow, that didn't matter to me. My sons Sensei and his Sensei(8thDan Kajukenbo)Andrew Torok, are aquanted with Mr. Abbott. Neither one of them has a problem with him.
I don't understand why someones lineage has to be questioned everytime a name is brought up. You want names,
Masayuki Shimbakuro, 2006 weapons Instructor of the year according to Black Belt Magazine.
John Hackleman, 10th Degree Black Belt in Hawaiian Kempo.

I don't go out of my way to question how these people made it to their status. Nor do I care. All I care about is that Mr. Abbott had 8 seminars in 5 days. My son was able to attend all of them. All of them overran the time by at least 2 hrs. My son is tired, bruised, aching and smells of Tiger Balm. But he had a great time and would sign up again in a second.
I was expecting some pompus a** at first to teach and always throw his rank in everyones face. Nope. Other than a brief intro as to who he is and a little history, the seminars started. The amount of people showing up for each seminar varied, anywhere from 3 to 12. He taught them all. Tuesdays morning seminar surprized me the most. 3 people including my son. Started at 10am. Supposed to last 'til 2pm. At 2:30 one person left, at 3 another person had to leave. Mr. Abbott trained my son for another hour. No problems. no comments about waisting his time on one kid.

One point. My son has been taking Iaido for a year and a half. My. Abbott covered the same things his Sensei discussed. My sons Sensei is more traditional and requires a small ceremony for bowing to the sword before class. Mr. Abbott discussed this but mentioned that its just a ceremony and not really practical.

I'm not going to question everything he says or does. 12 other black belts including instructors from various schools showed up for his seminars. Nobody had a problem with Mr. Abbott.

I'm just the father to a 16yr old black belt. I enjoyed being able to sit in on these seminars. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Abbott's enthusiasm and being able to keep 12 black belts enthralled, getting them tired and wanting more.

Some people don't like his credentials. Some people don't know what chambara is and blow it off. To each his own. My son has grown up on chambara from 2 different Dojos. Its very prominent at the yearly Northcoast Karate Championships in Ohio. Live in the present and enjoy what you have. I don't question everything. I'd like to live to a ripe old age. No harm was done. From my viewpoint. Mr. Abbott teaching was close to my sons Iaido instructors. I have no reason to doubt him. And my sons Iaido instructor, who is in his 70's, also attended the seminars.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

#355245 - 02/28/08 01:46 PM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: marmaduke]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5847
Loc: USA

And thus we come to the crux of the matter "your" concerns "did my kid enjoy himself?" and "my" concerns--"does this make sense in terms of what I know about the martial arts" are simply very different.

Its the difference between a "week ender" and serious practioners---NOTHING wrong with being a "week ender" BTW--its just the things which are "serious issues" to one are often "who cares about that?" to another.
You can't understand mine/our attitude and we can't for the life of us understand why stuff like this does not matter to you.

I care very little what "Black Belt" magazine has to say BTW---and being impressed with people of the caliber of Shimabakuro has nothing to do with the awards they give them either.

'I don't go out my way to question their status"

Of course you don't---that is not anything at all your concerend with--which is mainly that your son had a good time.

BTW I'm not questioning his "status" I'm questioning his CLAIMS and things he said during an interview---VASTLY different things.

"I don't question everything he does"

But do you question anything he does?
Or is it enough for you that he looked the part, was friendly and your kid enjoyed himself?
Nothing wrong with that BTW---its just other people have other issues.

(personally I'm a bit put out that he chose a seminar in which people PAID to attend--in the presence of a "70 year old instructer" you child primary teacher, he chose to dismiss a ritual which said insturcter seems to like as not being "practical."
He could have simply said "hey, just not something I do"--instead according to you--he offered a value judegement.
This was not a tech matter involoving safety--it was simply a difference in approach.
Presuming that the "70 year old instructer" had paid to attend the seminar--its not good business practice either)

As I said prior, I know nothing about chambara---but the fact that its "prominent" means little to me......I don't go for how popular something might be....popular is not my concern.
You have to view it the context of JSA where even the most "prominent" schools have a really small membership.

I don't know Dana Abbott--wouldn't know him if he walked into my office--my only "problems" as you put it are things HE put out in the public sphere--things HE said and things HE published.

Frankly I don't see the problem in critically examining material published for marketing purposes.
They chose to publish it--I chose to read and form an opinion--which was the SPECIFIC INTENT of the marketing BTW.
Not my fault that knowing a bit about the martial arts that I formed a different opinion than was hoped for.

Edited by cxt (02/28/08 02:01 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#355246 - 02/28/08 03:30 PM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: cxt]
pgsmith Offline

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
I thought that was very well put CXT, and represented the general thoughts of most serious JSA practitioners. I agree in that the most important thing is was it safe, and did the participant enjoy it. Judging by what marmaduke said, it fit both of those criteria and so was a good event.

However, that doesn't mean that the JSA practitioners on this board, or all the other boards for that matter, are going to simply forget all of the bogus BS that Mr. Abbott has displayed for public consumption. I can, however, clear up a couple of questions that people had. Mr. Abbott is listed as having dan ranking in various weapons because this is how the Sports Chanbara Association classifies players (their own words). You get ranks in each individual weapon, and the rankings are only used to determine where you compete at tournaments. I know someone that was awarded a first dan in kodachi in one week. Never had done sports chanbara before, and learned it while doing other things, including training and competing in his actual Japanese sword art while in Japan. Lots of information about chanbara can be had at their web site for anyone that's interested.

As for where he got his Toyama ryu ranking, I've no clue as what I've seen of him performing on-line, he doesn't seem to be anywhere near as advanced as the rank he claims. I've never before heard of Toho ryu iaido, or of anyone being able to get a dan ranking in "tameshigiri".

#355247 - 02/28/08 03:36 PM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: pgsmith]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5847
Loc: USA

Thank you for the inforamtion and the link--was really wondering about that--I'll spend some time with the link when I get a chance.

Work is getting in the way of my playtime so to speak.

Edited by cxt (02/28/08 03:42 PM)
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#355248 - 02/28/08 04:57 PM Re: Dana Abbott [Re: cxt]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
You know my only concern for a student of Mr. Abbot is what's might to happen the day that student decides he is serious about training after all and starts to put more value in genuine historically accurate training. If I had found out 2 or 3 years into the program I'm in that my instructor was mostly boasting obviously questionable, if not outright fraudulent, claims I would be so disgusted that it would probably ruin whatever interest I had in JSAs altogether. I'd quit and never look back, and probably be quite bitter about the whole thing.

The fact that other "black belts" in attendance had no problem with Mr Abbot, doesn't say much for their knowledge of the JSA world. Seriously Marmaduke, do some reading and asking around on other forums. Don't take our word for it by any means.

I'll end this post with one final observation. Some of the folks pushing the kookiest and most fradulent schemes imaginable, are also usually some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. I know I've met 3 or 4 different instructors peddling JSA inspired schemes that were questionable at the very best, and every one of them were just super nice guys. Very personable. I think they all actually believed in what they were doing and teaching. They weren't really evil or anything, just enthusiastic and maybe a little morally flexible when it came to self promotion. "Niceness" is not the best judge of someone's character or teaching competence. Just some food for thought.

And again if entertainment is the goal of training, it sounds like your son is getting what he's after. Probably best they he stays in the environment he is in. Traditional JSAs have a very high hard work and frustration to entertainment ratio.

Edited by Charles Mahan (02/28/08 04:59 PM)
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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