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Saturday, April 4, 2015
By Barron Shepherd
People who make exaggerated and unverifiable claims when it comes to their martial arts back ground are in deed dangerous. These individuals do real harm. Ultimately they turn the unsuspecting potential students into victims in various ways.
Just recently some young guy took it upon himself to discuss the martial arts at work and in my presence. I just stood there quietly and listened to this guy as he talked. Then one of the guys asked him what his black belt was in. He then explained that he was a master of his own style. He went on to to bash traditional and established styles of the martial arts. This young man was 20 or 21 years of age. So I was of the mind to just ignore this guy and go on about my business. Then he made the comment that those who have trained in established Martial arts are not only ineffective in a combat situation but went on to say that studying a martial art for any length of time was an utter waste of someone's time.
This young man's conversation reminded me of another encounter I had a few years ago while I was attending a friends Black belt test at a questionable martial arts dojo. I actually had the instructor approach me, now again this was a younger guy with vastly exaggerated image of himself. This guy was out of shape extremely over weight and even though he was wearing his gi he could no longer fit in it. My friend introduced us and he explained to his instructor that I was a 7th degree black belt in American Kenpo. His instructor basically puffed up and proudly informed me that he had studied American Kenpo in California for only eight months when he was eight years old AND that he had a complete understanding of the American Kenpo system.
I really only see this type of behavior from those who DO NOT have legitimate martial arts backgrounds in established styles of any kind. The first guy I mentioned had made it clear that he "made up" his stuff and the second guy well he had literally 30 plus very cheap looking certificates on his wall all from organizations that I had never heard of.
Needless to say the idiotic statements of these two individuals didn't illicit a very good response from me at all. I found them repulsive and it was down right insulting to me that they thought that they were somehow not only equal but according them superior to established martial artists.
Online and in social media the problem is just as bad if not worse. Liars, con men, diagnosed psychotics, pedophiles, convicted criminals seem to permeate the martial arts. The main problem is that the martial arts isn't really regulated in the United States anyone can buy a Black belt for a few bucks and set themselves up as an instructor. The ones who take advantage of this are indeed a danger in more ways than one. They only look to take any and all advantage they can of unsuspecting potential students.
They hide behind aliases, try to hide their criminal records, or explain their criminal pasts away by claiming elaborate set ups by police and police conspiracies against them. Using any ruse necessary to set themselves up as experts and instructors so they can take advantage of others or seek out potential future victims.
Make no mistake if they are not legitimate instructors and they are claiming to teach martial arts or self defense they are stealing your money. An instructor who is exaggerating or lying about their back ground and what they teach are in one word a THIEF. They are indeed stealing from you. I don't care if the person in question is teaching in a school or out of the garage or whatever. If the person is misrepresenting himself, his knowledge and his background. He is conning you out of your hard earned money, he is stealing it from you, cheating you.
If a guy sold you a bottle of wine and when you got home you opened it to have a drink and it was only water how would you feel? Would you feel cheated out of your money? Would you feel like the guy stole from you? Wouldn't you feel victimized, taken for granted, played for a fool?
What harm do these types of individual cause? Well for one they are teaching a subject that they honestly have no real understanding of, teaching techniques that probably wont work and could get you hurt or even killed and they are charging for it. If you went to a Home Depot and bought a tool of some sort and the tool you bought didn't work properly you would want your money back wouldn't you?
There is a person who claimss that he is a shito ryu Karate instructor and Karate champion. This person is not only grossly over weight but he also has a criminal record and is currently on probation for robbery and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. Even if this guy is a legitimate Shito Ryu Karate instructor there are his claims of learning Fujita Seiko's style of Ninjutsu in the shito ryu karate system which is a very spurious and exaggerated claim. In a word unverifiable. Barring criminal records for the moment, there are those who say that this is nothing more than just a form of advertising. But this is basically like dealing with a used car salesman who says he is selling you a great used car but in reality he is selling you a lemon.
As for this particular instructor's claim of learning and being able to teach Ninjutsu learned from with in the Shito ryu system this is in fact NOT true, Not accurate. In fact it is well documented in the Shito ryu system what Seiko taught to and passed on to the Shito ryu system thru Manzo Iwata was Jo-Jutsu, Kenpo and Shuriken-Jutsu, NOT ninjutsu.
Fujita Seiko made it very public that he did not pass on his ninjutsu. He made it very clear that he had never found anyone worthy of it. There is literally no mention of Seiko teaching his ninjutsu to ANYONE. All that was ever mentioned and again is widely documented was that Fujita taught his Nanban satto ryu kenpo, Daein ryu Jo-jutsu and Shingetsu ryu Shuriken jutsu.
What REAL danger do these people present? What REAL harm do they do? I am a firm believer in the fact that if you have a desire to teach the martial arts either commercially or privately that first and foremost potential instructors be able to pass a criminal background check. There is indeed a real need for this because there are some dangerous individuals out there trying to operate as instructors just to lure in potential victims.
One such person claimed to be a koga ryu ninjutsu instructor and claimed he was advocate against domestic violence toward women. This person offered what he claimed were women's self defense programs. This so called instructor and "anti domestic violence advocate" actually used and operated under an alias hiding the fact that he was a convicted habitual domestic violence offender. He had restraining orders against him and had been convicted of physically abusing his ex wife and his children. Last year he beat his girlfriend.
Under the guise of helping abused women this fraudulent instructor was obviously attempting to set himself up as an authority in domestic violence and abuse just to get closer to more potential victims much like the pedophile who sets himself up as a coach or teacher to get close to and take advantage of children. What is even worse he could continue to victimize unsuspecting already traumatized women.
Sadly there are some out there who cant pass a background check. Some even use aliases to hide the fact they have a criminal past. Hiding charges like child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of minors, child pornography, domestic violence, rape, armed robbery, threats of terrorism, the list just goes on. Some even attempt to claim a vast police conspiracy against them. In one particular instance a diagnosed psychotic claimed to be a persecuted christian the target of an elaborate state wide conspiracy against him.
Would anyone want a loved one to be exposed to such a person or be influenced by such a person? These people are not harmless. Yes, they do have victims, and yes they are at the very least stealing money from their unsuspecting students.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
I decided to remove myself from a lot of chat groups and face book groups and just deal with myself and what I want out of my life and my training. Quite frankly I am enjoying my life, my family and training hard. What others are doing or saying or claiming just doesn't effect me or my outlook.
They lack the will, drive, the integrity and the work ethic to train in an established martial arts style. These individuals simply couldn't hack it when it came to training in an established MA style so they just made up their own.
I once encountered a guy who claimed that by simply making a few gestures with his hand that he could disrupt my chi and render me so helpless that he would then be able to beat me in a fight or sparring match. This guy was overweight and extremely out of shape and claimed that with his knowledge he would never have to do any type of hard physical training or physical conditioning. I just shook my head at that point.
When I asked him to step in the ring the "chi master" folded like a lawn chair. He immediately started to backpedal on his previous statements and said that his techniques to disrupt my chi would not work on me because my chi was too strong.... The crap people spew out of their mouths is mind boggling sometimes. Some douche bag (whose name almost rhymes with douche by the way) stole some french martial artist competition footage from a website and then the douche bag tried to pass it off as his own online. Pathetic and even typical of this lying lowlife.
Defiance is ageless. Your never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Be a wolf, be a lion, set goals and smash them. Take advantage of no one. Don't lie. Be a better person. Live right. Eat right. Take no shit. Don't apologize for being awesome. Defy the odds and most importantly stay the mutha' fuckin' course.
At the age of 50 I am still not only training but setting new goals, and taking up new endeavors, yes, learning yet another MA. Setting new goals for myself and challenging myself both mentally and physically. I don't expect to walk into another style wearing my black belt rank or having it honored or even recognized. I go into my training as a student, a beginner. I want or expect no special treatment. I am a blue collar guy who believes that hard work keeps a man honest.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
So what’s wrong with the retro image of the ninja or ninjutsu? Answer: NOT ONE DAMN THING!!!!
Monday, January 12, 2015
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Remember God gave us only one body and we owe it to ourselves mentally physically and spiritually to treat our bodies like a temple. Take advantage of the body that God gave you and condition it to be as strong and healthy as you can possibly make it. For the best results possible it is important that you maintain a proper diet, drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest in addition to an exercise program. Consult your physician before starting any exercise program.
Friday, November 14, 2014
First off I want to say that out of the years I knew Prof. Duncan he relayed a lot of stories personally to me. I honestly believe that outside of the Duncan family I know more about O’ Sensei Duncan than quite possibly anyone else. Since Prof. Duncan’s passing there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t thought about him. So, it really bothers me personally when I see things repeated on the internet that quite frankly I know to be not true and are in stark contrast to what I personally know and was told.