. . . if someone who has been a student there for six years doesn't even quite know the answers, then something is not right.
The answers aren't important to me. When I started as a student, I didn't know enough to ask those questions, and by the time I knew how to pick a good teacher, I was already convinced I was practicing under one. I'm very aware that I was extremely lucky in "happening" upon Sifu Bron. And now, I'm not inclined to go to my teacher and ask him for a rundown of his lineage just because some guys on the internet want to know.
Dagon or anyone else is welcome to come to the school and take an introductory class. Decide for yourself whether we work hard (we do), practice effective technique (we do) or spout any of the mystical magical nonsense so many of you seem to equate with Kung Fu (we don't).
. . . I think it is also a crime to have people who have been practicing for 10 years plus operating under the illusion that rank does not matter. Rank does matter. Period.
No it doesn't.
Ignore him Genghis Bob he is an idiot for not lurking more.
I didn't make a big deal about the "no black sashes given out" thing. I don't find "rank" important, as the individual is much more important than his/her belt (see boxing). I did think it was funny though.
The answers aren't important to me.
And this is why we don't have to take you or your sifu seriously. For all you know he learned kung-fu from a Cracker Jack box (I guess there is something better than the tattoos in those).
From what I could tell after a few months at his place was he is 50% BS and 50% valid. His karate is really good but his kung fu and tai chi are mostly taken from Chinese MA movies. He even does the Bruce Lee screech on occasion and will bust out a Chinese accent. Very sad.
I mean, he learned kung-fu from a Bruce Lee movie.
May I suggest that this thread die though until one of two things happens? Either someone else should visit and post more first-hand information, OR someone should actually answer the very basic questions that his students keep avoiding.
No ones taking this thread seriously because it is a Dagon thread. Just let it die....
Have you finally pulled your 'broken finger' out of your ass and visited this place, yet?
Your opinions would carry more weight if you like, say, knew what you were talking about.
I realize that this is an old thread, one that I have read and re-read simply because I was debating as to whether or not I should reply. So, it is either a good decision or a bad one, but it has been made.
I practiced with Robert Brown for almost 7 years and know a great many people who have practiced with him.
Let me start by saying that what he teaches is physically good...very good at that. The classes are intense, high energy, difficult, cardio, martial arts.
The question seems to be about his lineage. Well, most of what he claims his lineage to be is either not quite the truth, or a lie...
According to him:
He started practicing Isshin-ryu as a child and stayed with it for over 10 years (it seems like 13 or so). Earned a 2nd degree black belt and fought in many tournaments.
He met someone who introduced him to movement, redirection of energy and kung-fu.
He left Isshin-ryu to do this.
He practiced kung-fu with Dr. Wu Chin Lee
Somewhere, he earned a black sash in Fu Ja Pai
He went to Florida to practice with a Tae Kwon-Do guy to kick better.
He found a teacher in Michigan that taught Koi Kan Kendo Gaku and YUECHIA kung-fu and earned a black sash.
He learned the first part of the 108 Yang TŠi Chi form from this teacher.
He had to learn the rest of the form from some guy in Ohio or New York or something like that.
He earned a brown belt in Aikido.
He was invited to go to China for a world TŠi Chi conference and insisted that he stay and got o Shaolin where he practiced during the day with master Yu (or Ue)...who sent his disciple over to Brown because he was practicing so good and hard.
At night, they studied real martial arts (the deep stuff since the interpretor was not there and one of the disciples could speak some English).
Master Yu (Ue) promoted him to Master (Sijo) but Brown does not use that rank.
Here is what I know:
His "Yuchia" is a purposeful change in spelling to make it look like the real "Yuechia". If anyone knows anything about Onishi Sensei, they know tha he learned Yuechia in China and upon returning to Japan, changed his Koi Kan to Kendogaku (the Japanese version of Yuechia, which is still a sticking point among his students).
His "Yuchia Federation" is him...so the rank is meaningless.
Hs Yuechia/Kendogaku teacher is real. I know him. He is great, wonderful, etc. he also taught Brown the entire TŠi Chi form, but Brown was not interested, so what Brown teaches is part TŠi Chi form and much filling in the blanks. Most who practice his Yang form will tell you that it hurts the body to do it.
He bought "Yuchia" and his rank.
There is no such person as Dr. Wu Chin Lee...made up for the "mystery" of it all.
He was at Shaolin...but the secret teachings and the advanced forms were not taught to him in a "traditional shaolin way". Brown says that the monks would show him part of a weapon form, then make ehim practice it fr hours before teaching more...hmmm...I have the video he shot of the demonstration...and the monks were not that great.
He has 1 black sash that was promoted before he opened his current school...and that guy says that Brown is a litle nutty.
He sas that there is 1 more ready for black this very year.
Brown is abusive...he spars hard with certain students that he knows he can hit really hard...and has often broken many parts of their bodies.
Brown is verbally abusive to most.
Brown made up the forms he teaches in kung-fu.
Brown acts like he cares about each individual student...that is true, but it seems to be more the wallet he cares about.
Brown says that rank is not important but will tell all the people who want to hear it that he has 4 black belts.
His tests are unhealthy...people puking their guts out, failing entire groups because they did not kiai loud enough, lasting for hours on end...if rank is not important...why not make the tests easier and promote people?
His only kung-fu teacher that kicked him out for being too abusive says that what he teaches is not Yuechia...more a mix of isshin-ryu and his memory.
There is more, but this is what is coming to my mind right now.
Oh...for anyone who does go there and who has heard the story of one staff member who moved to Florida...an outright lie!!!!!
I notice that in S Browns website that Ford and Chrysler hired him to teach for his employees. God, are their cars such pieces of **** that employees need to learn martial arts to protect themselves from irate consumers!
clear the air
THERE'S A FOOL BORN EVERY...
clear the air
Why did you have to edit your posts if you believe he's such a great martial artist?
Also, please check your Caps Lock button.
Just a thought, but many of Robert Brown's former students are in a little bit of a situation. The commnunity is usually rather tight, and we all know people who are still there.
This said, it could also be because Robert Brown has threatened with physical violence many people who have left, and come out with the truth. Probably avoiding this situation.
As for this person believing that Robert Brown is such a great martial artist, I did not get that from the posts. It is true that Robert Brown is technically very good...but that does not make him a great martial artist.
I guess I have to speak up. I am a student of Sifu Brown, and have practiced there for 4 years. I have also ďlurkedĒ on this website for the duration of this topic. First, to the original poster. I have met Tony and have practiced with him. While heís in the Dojo, he practices hard. Heís a good partner. He tries to express himself as well as he is able with his language difficulties. I do not know what statements you heard him boast about, but you should have addressed that with him. From what I have seen of him, he's polite and enthusiastic
As to Sifu Brown, I have enjoyed the dojo and the people that practice there. The Poster mi_man_us posted many things about Sifu Brown which I can not confirm nor deny. I suspect many are true, and possibly there is some that are not completely true. In the past four years, I have seen many students come and go. I know many that have left. I miss many of them. Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Schoenherr are missed most of all. Bob Freeze, Mike and Sue P., all practiced there for many years and their absence has hurt the dojoís dynamic. But they practiced there for many years and were deeply involved in the Dojo for many of those years. Just like any gathering of people, feelings get hurt and things happen. The institution stays and changes, but people move on, sometimes with valid complaints. To my knowledge, Sifu Brown has been teaching martial arts for approximately 13 years at the same site (because I first entered the dojo about 13 years ago). Many people that have practiced have come with belts from other martial arts schools. I have talked with some of them who have stated that he is an excellent teacher especially compared to their old teachers. I have only practiced under Sifu Brown, but that is what I hear. I also hear Sensei Walker and Hurtzeller talking very well of Sifu Brown. My experience has been itís a great school. The students of the dojo practice hard and also the atmosphere is ADULT and respectful. I feel that the martial arts practiced there are ďrealĒ and would be effective. I personally donít expect to ever get attacked physically.
Which brings me to the point of this long post, Sifu Brown is a teacher. His words have effected my life greatly. I believe what he says about martial arts improving the self is what itís all about. Does he live it? I donít care. Has everything he said always been completely honest? I would like to think so, but I doubt it. But the message that the dojo carries is good. Teachers donít always live 100% to the message they give (Iím Catholic, do I need to say any more?). It is an adult dojo. People who come in, after the first week will notice that we donít have black sashes. That seems to bother a lot of people on this site. I donít care personally, but I knew it coming in. Whatís the difference between a person practicing for 4 years in Karate (speaking of a friend of mine) who gets a black belt and a person that practices 4 years and gets a green sash. From the type of language that is used on this site and the apparent attitude of many of the posters, I assume that the average age is probably 15 Ė 25. Sifu Brownís dojo has mostly people outside of the normal college age (I'm a decade and a half after that even). Professionals in various careers practice there. An adult can look around and say, gee I really wanted to have a black belt in a few years, maybe this isnít the place for me. I appreciate the need for a site that protects kids from people that for all intents and purposes steal money, but Sifu Brown isnít that. Heís a good teacher with a good message
Finally, I felt the need to post because I think a lot of students and ex-students are reading this and need to know that the dojo is a big deal to some of us. I enjoy my time at the dojo, not because of Sifu Brownís background in the martial arts, but because of the message that the dojo stands for. If he has not been upfront with the students about where the forms came from, that doesnít make the forms purpose any different. Still, if any of our senior students are reading this, thank you for the time you spent working with me in and out of class. I appreciated the respect you gave me. I miss practicing with you. The dojo hasnít been the same. But thatís not necessarily a bad thing. Change is important and I hope that your practice is continuing and helping you to grow. I know my practice is still challenging me, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Right now I am learning a great deal from Sifu and the other students, the message is being taught.
I enjoy my time at the dojo, not because of Sifu Brownís background in the martial arts, but because of the message that the dojo stands for. If he has not been upfront with the students about where the forms came from, that doesnít make the forms purpose any different.
Hi there, what is your solution for evaluating the quality of his martial arts instruction if -as you say- his credentials may be inaccurate or misrepresented?
I have only practiced under Sifu Brown
As a casual observer, I'd think if I were spending money for expert instruction which I myself am not qualified to evaluate, I'd have considerable anxiety if the instructor's credentials were questionable.
Could you give us any more details of his "message", since it is such an important part of your training?
JustJoe, how do you feel about the charges by the poster above who says your sifu threatened departing students?
JustJoe, how do you feel about the charges by the poster above who says your sifu threatened departing students?
I'd say it's incumbent on Mi_Man_US to substantiate his claim. Otherwise it's just internet rumour-mongering. Trying to prove that something has never happened is kind of, um, impossible, but verification of an accusation should be easy.
I'll observe that, having practiced under Sifu Brown for over eight years now, I find threats of physical violence on his part to be incompatible with the man I know. I'll also go out on a limb and say that some of Mi_Man_US's other claims don't square with my experience - but I'm mindful that this is, after all, just the internet, and even seemingly irresponsible posts can gain just as much weight as those that are supportable by facts.
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