Sifu Rice At A Glance
Sifu/Guro Larry Rice is a martial arts instructor in Asheville, NC. He holds certifications from notable figures such as Francis Fong and Tim Tackett. I came across his website http://www.mountainmartialartsacademy.com/ a while back when I was looking for instruction in Jeet Kune Do/ Wing Chun. I contacted Larry via email and attended a free trial class shortly thereafter.
The trial class was everything I would expect when showing a noob the breakdown of your teaching style and introducing them to a martial art they have no experience with. Larry introduced me to the class, explained a ritual salute they perform at the beginning of class, and then he proceeded to show me basics of Wing Chun. He went over chain punching, proper stance, and got me started learning the first form Siu Nim Tao. Everything seemed to run smoothly, everyone was friendly.
I had recently discovered this website about debunking fraud in the martial arts community, Bullshido.net. There was a plethora of information here about martial arts history, training, diet; everything a noob could hope to find before embarking on their martial arts voyage. The citizens of Bullshido warned me against the training methods of most Wing Chun and also that this particular instructor did not seem to have the ability to produce competent fighters. I decided to look elsewhere for my training.
Shortly after this, a dispute occurred between one of Larry’s students (username SonofRex) and some of us. Questions were raised, but answers were not often given. I wanted to know what the truth was but didn’t want to seem like I was attacking Larry, so I waited.
Here’s the thread I started, where you can see me as a day one noob to forums and the dispute as it went down::
The post before this one is where the student (SonofRex) comes in the conversation:
After a couple of months I started contacting the instructors Larry received his certifications from. They all said he was well qualified and in one instance that there was an agreement as to how much of that particular system he was allowed to teach. I had already gone to Larry’s house and apologised for the words shared between his student and I on here, so I was relieved to hear this. However, there were still other claims that stuck out to me.
Larry here are some questions for you, if you wouldn’t mind to take some of your time to answer them.
SonofRex claimed in his OP (original post) that you studied Jujitsu with Rickson Gracie. This was questioned and we never got a clear response. Do you teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Are you qualified to teach BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and/or JJJ (Japanese Jujitsu) from Rickson Gracie and if so what rank do you currently hold?
There were other claims that I saw that I found questionable as well. The second is that SonofRex also claimed you hold an impressive fight record, were a cornerman and a referee in sanctioned fights but never gave any details on any of this. He said you “asked him not to brag”. This can all be found in his OP. It also states on your website that you have had hundreds of fights over the course of your life, could you please tell us more about that? Please, use this thread as free ad space.
It also states on your website that during a seminar hosted by Vic Payne, you completed all the belt tests under Arjurn Chai. The only other thing about this seminar on your website was a picture of a flyer advertising this seminar. The flyer states this seminar lasted a week, could you please explain what these belt tests were and how you did them so quickly?
There was one last thing that stuck out to me on your website. A story about you being one of two “Americanos” to learn Kalintaw from Guro Galo Lalic. I googled Kalintaw and found an article stating Guro Lalic has traveled the world showing off Kalintaw. Among other places, he was stated to have traveled the West Coast to see his brother while sharing his knowledge. That article can be found here:
Can you please clarify this for everyone, Larry?
In short, I would just like to clear the air so there is no confusion for people stumbling across this website exactly what you are selling and practicing. I know the thread SonofRex and I shared words in paints a negative picture of you, so I would like to give you the chance here to set the record straight.
I have sent Larry an email with a copy of this thread and a direct link to it.
In the mean time, feel free to add any information or questions you may have pertaining to this as long as it is productive.
It’s always a good idea to fact-check an instructor’s claimed credentials. Though belts and ranks and certificates don’t unilaterally determine a teacher’s merit, (in fact, some of the best coaches I’ve personally encountered aren’t necessarily “vetted” by an established organization… boxers, wrestlers, etc.), when someone uses said vetting as a selling point for skills they’re charging money to impart, yeah, it’s pertinent to ask questions.
The Rickson Gracie claim is one I’d be especially skeptical of, since it’s one thing to have gone to a seminar or two. It’s an entirely different matter to attain verifiable rank under Rickson’s organization. Hey! I went to a Royce Gracie seminar once in Memphis in the mid-nineties, but I sure as **** wouldn’t claim that I’d been “trained” by Royce Gracie. See what I mean?
The good thing is, stuff like that is easy to verify. BJJ folks are pretty adamant about who has and hasn’t attained rank in their organizations. If this Larry Rice guy can indeed produce a rank certificate, (blue belt, brown belt, etc.), then he’s probably legit. If, on the other hand, he’s simply selling himself on having once spent a few hours in Rickson Gracie’s presence… or Arjun Chai’s presence… then this guy is probably full of ****. NOT because his skills aren’t formidable. Hell, they certainly could be. But because he’s “selling” his skills based on the accomplishments of other martial artists.
Originally Posted by MichaelDescado
Another thing I noticed were pictures on his website of the US Thai Boxing Assoc. logo and the Kalintaw logo.
The Thai logo links to the main US Thai site, but I don't see any mention of Larry even though his site claims he's received belts under Master Chai.
I already posted what I found about Kalintaw, but that logo just links to the same picture on a page by itself.
So now if a third party makes a claim about someone, that's call for a MABS investigation? Does Rice, anywhere on his site or elsewhere, make any claims about BJJ or Rickson Gracie?
Originally Posted by itwasntme
I bring this up because if we are now investigating third party claims, it seems like that would be a pretty easy way for a troll to aim Bullshido at someone that troll wanted to annoy.
Yeah, that’s a good point, Rivington. I just went to this guy’s website, http://www.mountainmartialartsacademy.com/?page_id=41, and I don’t see anything about Rickson Gracie. He says his jujitsu instructor is Hanshi Carl D. Wilcox, Ph.D.
You don't seem to be able to see the forest through the trees. That claim did come from a third party, a student who said they trained under Larry for over 2 years. Seems to me like they should be able to give an accurate description of what Larry offers at his school. That student was also defending Larry, so I don't see him having a reason to lie. I also was not trying to imply it states anywhere on his website or that it came directly from Larry that he teaches BJJ.
Originally Posted by Rivington
People too often associate an "investigation" with being a negative when it is in fact nothing more than questions being raised for the sake of knowing. Having said that, I stated very plainly that this is a chance for Larry to clear up some issues from a thread that could paint a negative picture of him. I also stated that I found every claim I felt Larry made about his certifications to be true.
These type of things can not progress properly when people do not look at them from a completely unbiased point of view.
SonofRex actually makes a distinction between the training he claims Larry received under Rickson Gracie and the training he received under Hanshi Wilcox in one of his later posts. This is one of the reasons I inquired about it.
Originally Posted by MichaelDescado
I would invite anyone that has questions for me to make a new thread where I would gladly answer any questions regarding my credibility, so as not to further derail this thread.
I've trained with Master Chai. I've never heard him discuss anything about belts. This made me wonder. Now this could just be an interpretation of this third party. I've had this done to me several times.
Originally Posted by itwasntme