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#95151 - 09/08/03 11:30 AM Re: Teaching Self Defence
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Yet another BS con artist.


#95152 - 09/08/03 01:03 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Sorry JKogas i'm a little unclear at where the "free speech" post comes from. You spoke freely and I responded by speaking freely myself. Last time I checked I was as entitled as the rest of you to state my opinion, moderator or not. I fail to see how I have impinged upon your freedoms on this forum in any way, as (as has been noted) your posts are all there and utterly unedited. I disagree with your preponderance for using the word "karate" as a catch all term for shoddy MA practice and technique and I told you so. That is as far as i'm concerned what we are here for. The fact that I moderate the forum does not make me any more right in my opinion, but nor does it mean that I am being a little "Hitler" and abusing everyone elses rights every time I disagree with them. If you think differently please indicate how and where I have crushed your freedom to say what you want on this issue under my all pervasive jackboot........

Mr V

[This message has been edited by MrVigerous (edited 09-08-2003).]

#95153 - 09/08/03 04:24 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
rinpoche Offline

Registered: 03/13/03
Posts: 24

My name is John Moore and I am one of the founders of MTS, and one of the instructors of the seminar listed above.

I sincerely apologize to anyone who found the advertising for this seminar somehow offensive or wrong.

I can personally assure you that our intent is not to deceive or to give people a false sense of security. Our seminar is aimed at giving martial arts instructors another way to teach through seminars.

We are not teaching hard core ground and pound stuff here because that is vastly inappropriate for the general public. We are teaching people how to teach the general public.

Does our stuff work? There are absolutely no guarantees. And there are absolutely no guarantees with anything you will ever learn. What we teach are basic workable personal protection tools based on gross motor skills that work under stress.

I do not walk into a downtown lawfirm and teach the 60 year old receptionist as if she were a UFC contender. That would be extremely irresposible.

The level of compliance of the seminar attendees will vary, but that's not what we're working on - we are working on teaching skills and valid personal protection skills. I do pushups every day, and not because I am going to do pushups when attacked on the street - they build valuable skills that might save my life someday.

We have tried really hard to make sure our advertising is not misleading in any way.
We do not use fear in our advertising, and we stay away from the macho BS that is all the rage today.

I assure you we do not promise you to walk through walls or turn you into the toughest person in the world in 4 days. I'm not sure what claims you find unbelievable.

If you have any concerns with the way we advertise I encourage you to talk to me directly at />
And we are all for free speech, you can say what you will and we will conduct everything above board.

Contact me directly at the email address above and I promise I will give you no sales pitch, and I will not fight with you. If you think I'm full of crap, I may try to change your mind, but I won't take offense.

John Moore

#95154 - 09/08/03 04:51 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence

In case any of you nasty suspicious minded people [IMG][/IMG] doubt Mr Moore's credentials, here is the link to his website

#95155 - 09/08/03 05:55 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK

Thanks for taking the time to reply and doing so in such a considered manner. I think that you will agree with me that there are many adverts on the internet in the sphere of martial arts that go against what I and many others consider to be good martial practice. Many for example are based on videos and other distance learning techniques. Others are fronted by people with very suspect qualifications, often with titles such as Prof or Master and 8/9/10th degree rankings. Still more claim to have a Special Forces background and to have based their courses on "exclusive" military CQB programmes. I labeled your advertisement as a disgrace, but out of respect to your reply I am prepared to have another more in depth look at it, which is what I shall do now.

Ok, having looked at the majority of your website in close detail, I would make the following points that made me (and I imagine some others) respond negatively to the advert in question. I would just add in preface to these points that the majority of people who frequent this forum are experienced martial artists and instructors in traditional and modern arts, many with a considerable pedigree and practical experience of the realities of personal protection, often through work in law enforcement and the security industry. I only make this point to make it clear that this is a serious resource as opposed to many on the internet where the aim of the game is to shout loudly and denigrate other people.

To return to my critique of your advertisement. The initial impression I get and perhaps the most worrying is the concept that you are primarily running a business, not teaching self defense skills - that is simply the product to be sold, along with the added "bells and whistles" of sports psychology some NLP and some marketing concepts. Now in principal I have no problem with people running a business and making money, after all we all do it in one way or another. What bothers me is this:

"Even if you have little or no martial arts teaching experience we will go through the teaching skills necessary to give these seminars."

linked with this

"we have set up a special rate of just $1500 for this certification course."

Now as an experienced martial artist and self defense practitioner of many years myself and dare I say it a reasonable instructor of the above, it concerns me mightily that you intend to set inexperienced people loose with techniques that they cannot fully appreciate in the confines of a seminar and have them teach them to other people. The fact that you intend to charge them $1500 dollars to do this makes me feel all the more uncomfortable. Furthermore the advert is littered with devices of the "hard sell". For example, "elite event" "register now" "only 50 places" "special price" "global exposure" "star status" and the use of the word "only" in front of a large amount of money. There is also the use of the buzzword for concepts of dubious meaning, such as "Mission Centric Training
tm" and " The MTS Personal Protection Matrix tm". You stated clearly in your reply that you do not use fear or "macho BS" in your advertising. That is a fair and correct statement from what I can see. You do however use the skills of the salesman in your advertising that I (and clearly others) believe to be inappropriate to the passing on of self-protection skills to the 300 million Americans that you claim to be in need. Indeed, if you were actually offering to teach these people yourselves, then I could let the slick sales pitch wash over me. The fact that you intend to "teach the teachers" and begin a pyramidical growth in your product is the real sticking point for me.
You appear to give an honest and not over inflated biography of your background and that of your colleague. Can you honestly say though that you are qualified or experienced enough to teach teachers? I for one certainly couldn't claim that after my years of experience. My own instructor has around 25 years of experience, training and instructing in martial arts, self-defense and security concepts. I know for a fact that he would feel uncomfortable undertaking the responsibility that you have undertaken, to teach and validate those with little or no teaching experience (and therefore implicitly little martial arts /self defense experience) who will pass on a system to abject novices.
You also purport to offer "special" training to LEO's and military personnel. Unfortunately this device is often used by the people to whom I referred at the beginning of this post to add kudos to their system. The idea that the system to be studied and paid for is taught to elite units is attractive to the general punter on the street. So attractive in fact that many forget that they aren't entitled to learn these skills for one reason or another. Why not I ask myself? In my experience of military unarmed combat, the skills taught are no different to those that I would teach in any practical self-defense class. Obviously the social and psychological emphasis is different, but the physical techniques, body mechanics and emotional content are very much the same. I could go on and on with this topic but I shall draw this post to a close.
This is not the worst example of its type that I have seen. I do however question the heavy "sales" aspect and the legitimacy of having rank amateurs teach other rank amateurs skills that may get them killed through over confidence and a lack of understanding and charging them $1500 for the pleasure.

Once again thank you for standing up to be given feedback and to defend your product. I you wish to reply further I would be happy to reply in turn.

Elliott (Mr Vigerous)

#95156 - 09/08/03 06:56 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10813
Loc: North Carolina
Mr V-

Normally I'd tell you to kiss my ass, but I'm not losing any sleep over your opinion. Think what you want. I call it like I see it. Not much will change in that regard.


[This message has been edited by JKogas (edited 09-08-2003).]

#95157 - 09/08/03 07:36 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
rinpoche Offline

Registered: 03/13/03
Posts: 24

Thank you for your well thought out reply and for your honesty.

I understand that some of the language in the site is "salesy" and we are trying to tone it down a bit. However, we are trying to sell a product and in that respect will continue to use persuasive language.

As to the idea that we are not teaching just creating trainers - that is totally incorrect, and I am sorry for that impression. We teach as many as 3 seminars a week in different locations and I teach a regular jujutsu class. On top of that we have private students.

What we are teaching is a set curriculum like RAD or model mugging but with a bit more flexibility.

The idea of Mission Centric Training (one of our "buzzwords") is that we do teach military law enforcement and civillians differently because they have different jobs. There are similar skills and many overlaps, but civillians job is to survive and flee while LEOs is frequently to pursue and arrest. LEOs and military also have different rules of engagement - where we might teach military students to used impact weapons to break joints or damage internal organs - those uses are mostly inappropriate for law enforcement.

I can honestly and without a hiccup to my conscience say that I never teach anything that I feel unqualified to teach. While I have 20+ years in the Japanese martial arts I would never claim to be able to bring someone to instructor status. Can I teach people skills that I have personally used in violent encounters, and teach them fear management, and teach them things that I know have worked for people in violent confrontations - you bet. Can I teach others to teach a basic curriculum - yes I can, and I have.

What I will not do is certify anybody who we feel cannot teach. We would require additional instruction to do that.

Alot of the problems with training today comes from "fight fatasization" or imagining what a self defense situation is going to be like. We find that most people get their ideas from movies and tv - understandable in today's world. If you think that self defense is when two people face off and engage in mutual combat - then you and I disagree. To me, and to others i train with - personal protection is about avoiding violent confrontation and dealing with surprize or ambush attack when it happens.

An example. I have an elderly uncle and aunt who returned home one day to find two pistol wielding burglars in their home. They intelligently cooperated until one of them pushed my aunt. My uncle grabbed a glass ashtray and smashed in the attacker's face. The attackers pushed him to the ground and fled. Now, how many decades did my uncle spend practicing the glass ashtray kata?

Not to make too much light of it, but the skills that ordinary people use to defensd themselves in such situations are very very basic?

The idea that somebody is going to take what I teach them and go out and get themselves killed is ludicrous. How would they do that? Again you must be imagining some specific situation where we turn out rambo wannabes to go pick fights. In fact we teach avoidance and detection as the first part of EVERY training that we do. And, if people are attacked having some skills is probably much better than having no skills.

The very idea that we turn people out to go pick fights with the local skinheads is against everything we do. Again - that is NOT self defense, it is mutual combat and stupidity.

Do we instill confidence in our students - you bet we do. Does this fact alone make them less of a target for violent predator - I believe it does. In fact women who take a model mugging course are 90% less likely ever to get mugged. Why? Because of increased awareness and increased projection of confidence.

As you will discover from our site we do not ever claim that we are something we are not. And we do not inflate our credentials. As a matter of fact just two days ago we removed material from our site because we felt it might give people an inflated impression of what we do, even though it was not factually incorrect. As you saw we do not claim any kind of military of CQB background, we don't call ourselves professor master or anything like that. In fact, I don't even mention the violent encounters I've been in anywhere on the site, because I do not want to give anybody teh wrong impression

As to the pyramidial structure of training trainers, well - I would say that just about every martial arts organization that ever existed either did this or died out. It is a way for us to reach more people with a program that we have put a significant amount of time and research into - and that we believe in. That doesn't mean we stop teaching. I love teaching and there certainly is a very high demand for our services right now.

We are not going to turn rank amateurs out on the street to teach rank amateurs. We will not certify anybody who cannot teach our basic system.

I thank you again for being honest, and appreciate your waryness. There is a lot of junk out there, and we are really not trying to be part of it.

#95158 - 09/09/03 09:40 AM Re: Teaching Self Defence
the504mikey Offline

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
I think the "multi-level marketing" approach is always going to smell fishy to some people, regardless of the actual quality of the product being sold.

I think most people with formal training, particularly in a traditional martial art, are going to shy away from what you are offering. But I guess that's OK, because they aren't the people you are trying to reach anyway.

I find it hard to believe that you can impart functional self defense skills to a complete beginner in a seminar. Sure, maybe something will "stick" with a person, and maybe it will resurface at an appropriate time and save his or her life, but for the most part this looks like an expensive "feel good" exercise.

The awareness aspects are probably the most useful, if a person can train himself to keep them in mind.

#95159 - 09/09/03 01:58 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK

If you can't take critisism of your opinion then your are posting on the wrong forum. Such a childish response should be beneath you but clearly your ego is more important than frank and honest debate.....

If I have treated you badly in this thread then I invite anyone else to reply and tell me so and I will appologise accordingly. Perhaps the level of response will indicate who is at fault.

Mr V

#95160 - 09/09/03 02:31 PM Re: Teaching Self Defence
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Thanks for the reply. I do take some of what you have said on board and I would make the following responses. Yes, confidence is a great weapon and not being there is the best defence of all, but there are two implicit flaws to these theories. Firstly, over confidence is rife amongst those with a little self defence knowledge and secondly, sometimes, not being there is not an option, some limited training in situational awareness and evaluation not withstanding. I'm not suggesting that you are trying to turn out "rambos" but I still question the ability or the moral right of someone who has merely attended a seminar to teach others ANY aspects of self defence, either physical or psychological. From what you have said I would in principal have no concern about you teaching students directly, it is the issue of proxy that bothers me. In self defence classes for women that I have taught and co instructed in, I/we have espoused the same concepts of awareness and common sense. The students are also taught a few basic, but easy to recall and effective techniques. The hope is that they remember at least some of what they have learned throughout the course and indeed that their confidence is boosted for the reasons that you alluded to in your above post. If as you suggest it does "hit the fan" the hope is that they might spontaneously recall a technique and protect themselves or escape the situation. On these concepts I believe you and I agree.
Where we appear to have a difference of opinion is in the area of secondary instruction. I would be mortified if after an 8 to 10 week course, any of the above students were to set about teaching other people any of the concepts or techniques that I had taught them. I imagine others would be mortified if they discovered that I had condoned this and charged them $1500 dollars into the bargain. I see very little difference, teaching technique and marketing skills aside between my above analogy and what you are doing. You are teaching people the raw basics and validating them to teach others the raw basics. Presumably these "teachers" can then attend further seminars with you and be validated in further levels of your system. They in turn will teach these new skills to their students for a price of their choosing. In short it strikes me as shopping for self defence. I fail to see how it can match up to the students being taught your system directly by yourselves with a flexible approach to how much of the system they learn at a time relative to the student in question. Of course this way would be far less profitable, which returns us to the crux of the matter. You are running a business where self defence is ultimately the product. In the end, the bottom line must always win out. I would prefer to charge students a reasonable fee directly, let them tap my knowledge and experience first hand and guarantee that they are taught the best skills that I can provide, rather than do it by proxy and risk bad and unsafe instruction. However much you use the word "validation," you know and I know that when these would be instructors leave your seminar they can do virtually what they like. We also both know that they will want a return and more on there investment and to my mind and in my experience an overriding quest for profit out of the martial arts ALWAYS leads to ripped off students and poor instruction.
Thanks again for standing up and defending your product. Despite my reservations, I am ten times less opposed to it than when I first saw it, purely as a reflection of your character. It is clearly not for me as a concept, but as someone else has pointed out, I'm not part of the demographic that you are trying to capture.

[This message has been edited by MrVigerous (edited 09-09-2003).]

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