View Full Version : Richard Guerra's So Ryu Karate- Austin TX

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5/24/2009 10:12am,

It's depressing to realize these places exist and take money from unsuspecting people, who will then go around thinking they know how to defend themselves. Or they'll tell others they earned a whatever-belt in karate, and the others will think that means something about their discipline, hard work, skills and etc.

I sat in on a So Ryu Karate class taught by Richard Guerra in April 2009. The classes are held in a small stripmall facility. At the front is a nice office with a desk and several chairs, a window to look into the training area, and several certificates and photographs prominently displayed. The website used to have an adults' class scheduled separately from the childrens' class, but the two have been combined at this time.

I arrived about 10 minutes before class was scheduled to start and chatted with Mr. Guerra first. He did not ask me any questions such as my age, previous martial arts experience, current injuries, or goals for studying karate. The entire time was spent regaling me with tales of his illustrious military service, his lifelong career studying martial arts, and his miraculous (his word, not mine) escapes from multiple-attacker scenarios using the techniques he taught in this class.

As it turns out, there was only one student, a young man in his early 20s with below-shoulder length hair, glasses, a tissue paper-weight white cotton gi, and a black belt around his waist. He did not seem surprised to be the only one in the class.

The training area has full-length mirrors down one wall and a few small pads (for punching? but they're only 1" thick, about 2'x3') hanging on another wall. The floor is entirely linoleum tile. There is a changing room, which is clean and amply-sized, that has puzzle mats stacked along a wall. The facility was air-conditioned to the point of being chilly, but Mr. Guerra also turned on several oscillating fans during the class. I decided not to participate in the class myself as I was prepping for a jiu jitsu tournament in the near future and I didn't want to tempt fate.

Class began with some desultory stretching. It appeared that the student stretched his hamstrings, but nothing else. The stretching was not led by Mr. Guerra and as it took about 45 seconds, was neither thorough nor adequate to prevent injury. There were no warmups or calisthenics.

Mr. Guerra told his black belt student to begin with various kata, which were performed (mostly) crisply, though the space was not large enough to complete some of the longer patterns without resetting in the center of the room. It appeared there were only 5 kata, but the young man needed reminders on which kata was which, so my impression is that kata are not a regular part of the class.

Mr. Guerra frequently interrupted the kata to show me, sitting on a folding chair in the corner, how the movements were actually useful self-defense techniques. Using his student as uke, he applied a series of joint locks and near-throws, slowly and gently, while holding the student up so he wouldn't fall on the hard floor. I believe Mr. Guerra probably thought I was interested in the self-defense applications of this style, perhaps because I am female, because he focused the entire discussion on what I would learn about defeating purse snatchers and the like.

I noticed that his student's hair was occasionally a hindrance to performing a technique, since it hung in the way and had to be repositioned, yet neither person said anything about putting it in a ponytail or braiding it. Aliveness was completely absent in the training and demonstrations.

After about 40 minutes of kata and demonstrated self-defense moves, Mr. Guerra asked his student to demonstrate a series of punches (jab/cross and jab/cross/hook combinations) back and forth across the floor. The student was able to get about 3 sets before reaching the opposite wall; the room was only wide enough for perhaps 4 people to fit comfortably side by side while doing these exercises. After about 6 trips up and back, the student was visibly winded, dripping with sweat, and Mr. Guerra offered him a break to get some water and catch his breath. Some 3-4 minutes later, he instructed his student to do front kicks up and down the floor. He was winded much sooner this time.

Class had been running about 50 minutes (it is scheduled for an hour) when Mr. Guerra offered quitting early, which the student gratefully accepted. I chatted with the student for a while, when he was able to speak, and as I recall he had begun training with Mr. Guerra as a whitebelt some four years ago. He's very proud of his blackbelt. He also tried the Wing Chun/Tsun flavor available at another location of that school, under another instructor, but liked So Ryu Karate better, as he felt it was a better workout and more real-world applicable.

I excused myself and thanked them for the opportunity to observe. I don't plan on returning.

Sam Browning
5/24/2009 10:56am,
Thank you, jitschix thats a very specific, detailed review.

5/24/2009 11:18am,
That it scary, since karate is what he is best at...

6/30/2009 10:49am,
In regards to my teaching and skills in soryu karate , my experiance in all facets of karate or wing chun for that matter span 43 years, from full contact kumite, to chi sau and kata, i stand by my teachings as professional and certified by my late instructor and my former instructors in the martial arts, as for the spy you sent for this posting which is biased, she indicated to master webb, that she was interested in self defense and i obliged her, yes i did the techniques gently and slowly for her benefit, she was friendly and cordial, but she semeemed more interested in asking me personal questions, which i answered, i did share with her a incident that i know was a miricle from god, therefore i will tell you, mr zapruder that you are welcome to visit me anytime in austin tx, and find out for yourself how effective my skills are, if thats your way of getting your violent tendencys out of your system , and you feel the need to cut me down then i say yes by all means come, i will be prepared for you, and i mean it very seriously, to me the martial arts i practice and teach is serious , further more the spy you sent me georgette/jitchick, does not know a damn thing about my skill and mastery of karate, you are wanting to make a name for yourself, and you continue to harrass me, but now i invite you to find me and do what you think you have to do to csilence me, if it be battle, i will be reaedy as i am always prepared to defend myself from low life internet bullys like you. Words are one thing , action is another thing, and you are as annoying as a flea, and i have to respond in defense of my student one of many by the way, and perhaps we should give a review of you and your dojo, which i think i can arrange that very soon. Your friend ricthie

6/30/2009 10:53am,

6/30/2009 11:05am,

SHALOM! I thank you for your blessing, and I am looking forward to your secret alien martial arts.

Maybe you could share your stories about finding the aliens in the gulf of Tonkin and maybe that gem about you jumping out of a helicopter on the back of a dolphin. I am sure everyone here would just hang on your every word.

6/30/2009 11:06am,
As a senior instructor of soryu karate 7th dan certified by the founder nagayama soke, my groups are located at master webbs school, i also work out out doors at the pan am center on the east side of austin texas, my book will be published soon, and a series of dvds produced, if any one wants a copy you may contact me. Thanks sincerely richard guerra , soryu karate 7th degree black belt, ,,, i have children i volunteer my knowledge at no cost to them, i have taught for many years at no cost to members of the east side community as a volunteer, at metz rec, pan am rec, zaragoza rec, all in east austin, and have produced out standing fighters who have competed in kumite, and sand da, and won first place in full contact, look up tj hobbs one of my great fighters i have trained, and has one 1st place at the austin martial arts festival in full contact sand da division.

6/30/2009 11:13am,
When are the classes in alien stickfighting starting? I can't wait!

When I read about those, My ROFL, it COPTERED!

6/30/2009 11:19am,
THANK YOU MUCH LOVE, THE DOLPHN WAS IN THE BAY OF CORPUS CHRISTI, THE JUMP FROM THE HELO WAS FROM MY DREAM I HAD , WHEN THE Alien visited me and handed me an organic taco from whole foods, and said this taco is from deep space 45 million light years away , they are from an ancient civilization we learned the taco tech, from the natives in the amazon. from queen tikal guardian of the temple located at the entrance of the urubamba river, she has drunk the waters from the river, the so- called fountain of youth, the one that ponce,de leon and created the dance la macarena ,, and de leon looked for,,, but never found, so he wound up in florida, and found mi ami, where he opened up a coffee shop and found cafe ala cubana.

6/30/2009 11:21am,
you may come to my class and observe my alien martial art system my friend, take care yogi.

7/01/2009 9:01am,
a lawsuit is pending against some individuals on this forum regarding defamation of character, libel an slander against RICHARD GUERRA, a photo posted without the expressed written permission of MR GUERRA is also being used as evidence for this lawsuit.

7/01/2009 9:11am,
a lawsuit is pending against some individuals on this forum regarding defamation of character, libel an slander against RICHARD GUERRA, a photo posted without the expressed written permission of MR GUERRA is also being used as evidence for this lawsuit.

Highly doubtful that you are that stupid.

A lawsuit and the resultant findings will surely make the papers and hopefully the local TV newscast.

"Local military hero and martial arts instructor is found to be a fraud"

Regardless, you'll be known as a liar far beyond those within the martial arts community.

You may even lose your remaining student.

7/01/2009 9:12am,
A law suit is pending against some members of this forum who have contributed slander , lbel and defamation against the plaintiff richard guerra, i advise you get an attorney, you will be sued.

7/01/2009 9:13am,
No more comments without my attorney present

7/01/2009 9:15am,
I "slandered" your mom last night you stupid ****.

7/01/2009 9:22am,
Your attorney is going to sit next to you while you post on the Internet?