232846 Bullies, 3950 online  
  • Register
Our Sponsors:

Results 1 to 10 of 75
Page 1 of 8 1 2345 ... LastLast
Sponsored Links Spacer Image
  1. Antagony is offline
    Antagony's Avatar

    Unemployed

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    1,919

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 4:25pm

    supporting member
     Style: Filthy Jailhouse Tactics

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    My Shaolin-Do Experience

    Lately there seems to have been a large interest in Shaolin-Do here on Bullshido. Especially in hedgehogey's fight with Shaolin-Do and in this thread regarding Shaolin-Do's lineage.

    Not long ago I spent about 7 months training in a Shaolin-Do school so I thought that it would be appropriate for me to post about my experiences there.

    Before reading this, you should note that Shaolin-Do practitioners frequently state that many things vary from school to school. From what I can tell, this is at least true in some regards, so please read this keeping in mind that I went to the San Marcos, Texas school.

    Also, as it should go without saying, I can't completely guarantee one hundred percent accuracy in this information, but if there's anything questionable about my memory regarding a topic, I will let you know.

    School Background
    The San Marcos school is headed by Sean O'brien, a 3rd degree black belt. From what I understand, this is the minimum requirement to run your own Shaolin-Do (SD) school.

    While he does run, operate, and head the school in San Marcos, Sean O'brien does not own the San Marcos school.

    The San Marcos school is essentially a branch of the Austin school which is run by 5th degree black belt, Master Joe Schafer. So Schafer also owns the San Marcos school because he was able to put down the capital for the place.

    Signing Up
    For my free introductory class, I did the warm-ups with everyone and then received some one-on-one instruction from a black belt on some of the basics (some punches, kicks, and blocks) while the rest of the class did their normal thing. They also offered to let me spar with them (but I refused, being the scared newbie that I was).

    Afterwards, a black belt was rather pushy and straightforward about getting me to sign up. The only option given to me at this time was a one-year contract.

    Later my roommate noticed there was a note posted on bulletin board in the kwoon that detailed instructions for students who were paying on monthly basis (meaning no contract). We asked a black belt about this and he told us that they used to offer six-month contracts and month-by-month deals, but they no longer do that.

    I am not sure if that is limited to the San Marcos school or if all SD schools do that.

    A couple more notes: Sean O'brien was not involved at all in the signing up process. I think he has a distaste for dealing with the capitalistic side of Shaolin-Do. Also I thought I'd tell you guys the price. With my "student discount" I was paying about $45 per month. Pretty cheap, really. If I wanted to also do their tai chi program it would've costed me more.

    Material
    I trained there from approximately late May 2003 to late December 2003. I left the school shortly after receiving my green belt.

    Their belt ranking system is: white, yellow, blue, green, 1st & 2nd brown, 1st - 10th degrees of black.

    The material students are tested on in the earlier belts include "short kata", "self defense techniques", "street techniques", and "long forms".

    Short Kata: These are what they sound like. Basically they are a couple of moves that can flow continuously into the next short kata. (for example, the first one is a reverse punch and a block. Then you step forward into the second one which is a punch, a block, and a punch with a kick, etc).

    Self defense techniques: Choreographed dancing against specific attacks. (opinion)Most of these were terrible, but a couple were . . . alright I guess(/opinion). *Later when I get home I will get my old list of these and post some examples.*

    Street techniques: Basically just another set of self defense techniques.

    Long forms: This is the wealth of Shaolin-Do. In my opinion, a lot of these are worthless. You'd think they could at least be "cool looking", but a lot of them didn't even have that going for them. This is actually one of my greater reasons for leaving SD. I saw some of the upper belts doing forms that I would be learning and thought, "Okay that's just goofy looking."

    Application? I had difficulty finding much application in most of the forms, although Sean O'brien did try to explain some of the stuff to me. They also seem to do a bit of the old school figure-it-out-for-yourself type thing that most Bullshidoka seem to dislike.

    Also note, that once you get to your first brown belt, there is nothing you are ever tested over except long forms.

    Training
    At my belt level at the San Marcos school, we could train twice a week, plus "open practice" on Fridays, plus a conditioning class on another day of the week. Really some decent options as far as that goes.

    Once you reach brown belt, you can do an optional "iron training" class (but I think the brochure calls it the "Warrior Training Program") once a week. This included a typical "iron shirt beater" which is a big wooden block thing that you hit your chest with. I also heard that they roll big iron pipes along their body. But the big attraction of this class was the iron palm training.

    I can't give any direct account of those brown belt activities because I hadn't reached that rank, that is just what I heard from others. None of their claims were outrageous or anything so I have no reason to doubt what they said.

    In each class we would do a warm-up routine (the same one every time), then move on to have everyone do forms together, or the self defense techniques, or whatever. Then after that we would have time to work on things by ourselves, or have a black belt teach us new material, or whatever.

    At the end of each class we would spar. We did one-on-one continuous sparring while wearing thick foam padded gear. Gloves and footgear were required, but just about everything else was optional. A lot of people wore shin protection, mouthguards, and cups. We allowed contact to any part of the body, but head contact was to be light. No elbows or knees. And no sweeps at our school because all we had was industrial carpeting on top of concrete.

    At the end of the intermediate classes (blue belt and higher) we would sometimes do "circle sparring". This entails starting seated in a circle, and then everyone gets up and spars in a free-for-all style.

    Seminars
    During my time at SD, I did two seminars.

    The first was at the San Marcos school. It was a double dagger form being taught by Sean O'brien. I was told that the point of this seminar was to raise money so that we could buy some mats for the school. I think the cost for this one was $25.

    The seminar went a little over time, but he kept going so that we could get the form down well enough to practice on our own. After the seminar, we did regularly practice and maintain the form on Friday practices. (This is an important point for later).

    However, we never did get any goddamn mats. I never got a straight answer as to why, either. I'm sure they had a legitimate reason (*suspicious eyes*), but we didn't get the mats we were told we would get and he never explained to the class why.

    The second seminar I attended was at the big SD school in Austin. It was being taught by the Grandmaster himself, Sin The'. The price for this was around $75. (ouch)

    This was my first time to see Sin The' in person. The first thing that struck me about seeing him was his age. I had no idea he was that old. All the photos I had seen of him were apparently taken long long ago (probably not long after he swam in the ocean using his pecs).

    This seminar was quite large. A lot of attendees. If I remember correctly, the form was called "White Monkey Steals the Peach". If that's not it, then I know I'm at least close. This was supposed to be a mantis-style form.

    This was easily the weirdest form I have ever seen in my life. It was slow and completely linear. It was based on pressure point attacks. Sin The' kept referring to a doll that had the acupressure points marked on it and was giving us names like "Liver 2" and such, but everyone (with maybe 2 or 3 exceptions) was pretty clueless as to what was going on.

    This was a terrible environment to learn in. It was hard to see Sin The' because there were too many people. We pretty much had to wait for people to move so we could work through the form. There simply wasn't nearly enough room in the place to learn anything.

    No one from our school learned and retained this form. Not even Sean O'brien. It was too complicated (read: "retarded") and it was too difficult to learn in that environment. A complete waste of that money.

    But here's the fun part, guys . . .

    After "teaching us the form", Sin The' sat us all down in front of him and some cameras were set up. For the next TWO HOURS Sin The' basically gave us his entire martial arts past.

    I will be kind and say that this is one of the biggest loads of crap to pass through my ears. Sin The' has clearly seen way too many old kung fu movies.

    Let's go over some highlights.

    1.) The Baby Melter

    He said that when he was a child he tried this "burning sands" training. Basically he and his teacher would plunge their hands into a pot of fire-heated sand on a daily basis. The idea was to make your hands so hard that you can punch/rip through a person's body.

    He said that one day his master had been training when he heard his baby crying inside the house. First he went to his wife to tell her about it, but sees that she is laying ill on the bed. So he goes to tend to the child himself. Upon picking up the child to comfort it, HE FUCKING MELTS IT! What??!/ He even used the words "a gruesome death".

    [continued in next post]
    MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

    "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
    "Fag."
    "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"
  2. Antagony is offline
    Antagony's Avatar

    Unemployed

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    1,919

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 4:42pm

    supporting member
     Style: Filthy Jailhouse Tactics

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Part 2

    2.) Crazy Internal Stylist

    Sin The' told us about how he was traveling around Indonesia (his home country) with an older and less-skilled companion to challenge the greatest fighters in various towns.

    In one town everyone told them where to find the greatest fighter, so they went to his house. They were shocked to find that this guy was flabby and fat. So naturally, Sin The's companion suggests fighting him first.

    They fight, and The's lackey is completely unable to make any contact with this guy.

    Then The' tries with the same results. So of course, The' starts training with this guy.

    He said it was all meditation. He was doing this while he was allegedly learning with the Shaolin-Do masters. One day he became very ill with jaundice and was hospitalized. His Shaolin-Do masters saw him and somehow knew that this case of jaundice was caused by unorthodox meditation techniques.

    Hmmmmm, and here I was thinking that jaundice was usually caused by excessive drinking. (I'm sure there's no link there.)

    3.) Business Practices
    He openly told us about some things he did early in his school's history that were a little . . . shady.

    Honestly I don't remember a whole lot about what he said. If you could get a hold of the DVD made from that night titled "At the Feet of the Grandmaster", it may have what I'm talking about in it.

    I do remember him talking about the gym he opened in Kentucky. To get capital for it, he took a trip back to Indonesia to get all the gold he could get from pawn shops and such. He mentioned something about doing it that way because of laws regarding the transportation of gold to and from the USA.

    He also talked about how he sold expensive insurance to his students to make enough money so that he could start some more schools or something like that.

    Attitudes
    There were several attitudes (especially among the black belts) at Shaolin-Do that I didn't much care for. They generally had the whole "We are awesome and macho. This is the best fighting style EVAR!!1!" tone going on.

    An exception to this was of course Sean O'brien. If you haven't noticed, I actually do still have a lot of respect for that man. He had a good attitude and really cared about his students and what he was teaching.

    Shaolin-Do Association (SDA)
    There is an organization within Shaolin-Do -- the Shaolin-Do Association. Basically, you pay more money and you get a patch to go on your uniform and you get discounts on tournaments and seminars.

    It's kind of weird because your basic Shaolin-Do membership gets you access to any Shaolin-Do school since Shaolin-Do is a national corporation. SDA is just a money maker.

    But, in Shaolin-Do's defense, I was never really pressured into joining SDA (and never did join).

    Conclusion
    I personally don't think Shaolin-Do is really *that* bad. It's business practices are too strongly capitalistic and the head of the organization is full of himself (and crap), but otherwise this isn't the worst Burger Kwoon that Bullshido has come across.

    Shaolin-Do got me in shape, taught me some basic traditional-style striking, and got me familiarized with sparring but otherwise I didn't get much out of it. Very little of what I was taught has worthwhile fighting application.

    Hopefully the Shaolin-Do trolls won't invade this thread and make themselves look even more retarded the way most of them did in hedgehogey's thread.

    If you guys have any further questions about my experiences (or opinions) with Shaolin-Do, do ask.
    MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

    "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
    "Fag."
    "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"
  3. toothpaste100 is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    218

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 4:46pm


     Style: GJJ, Fencing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Doesn't really sound that bad at all, hell I'd take it over my current school.
  4. Antagony is offline
    Antagony's Avatar

    Unemployed

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    1,919

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 4:57pm

    supporting member
     Style: Filthy Jailhouse Tactics

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    toothpaste100, you really have to get out of your school. This isn't the first time I've seen you posting your disdain about it.

    I don't remember who it was on here, but one of the veterans once said something along the lines of, "The moment you start doubting your school, it's time to leave."
    MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

    "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
    "Fag."
    "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"
  5. Antagony is offline
    Antagony's Avatar

    Unemployed

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    1,919

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 5:29pm

    supporting member
     Style: Filthy Jailhouse Tactics

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oops, I forgot a section entirely!

    Belt Tests
    At SD belt tests, you simply perform the material for whichever belt level you are at. That's fine I guess, but I must point a few things out:

    1.) You pay more money at every belt test.
    And each level you go up, it costs more.

    2.) Some people shouldn't have passed.
    At a belt test one time, there was a girl who didn't remember a large portion of her material. Was she given more tries? Yes. Did she ever successfully get through her material? No. Did she get her belt ANYWAY? Yes.

    3.) 12-year old with a black belt.
    She was 12-years old (approximately) and was easily the biggest wuss in the school. Any minor tap and she'd cry. A BLACK BELT.
    MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

    "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
    "Fag."
    "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"
  6. toothpaste100 is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    218

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 5:53pm


     Style: GJJ, Fencing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I can't drive yet, so I feel that this school is the best I can do until I can head over to Carlos Newton's school or until I can find someone who is willing to drive me.

    I'm getting a thai bag soon so I'll be able to train whatever I want at home and just pick and choose what I want from TKD.

    3.) 12-year old with a black belt.
    She was 12-years old (approximately) and was easily the biggest wuss in the school. Any minor tap and she'd cry. A BLACK BELT.
    My master's son is a 9 or 10 year old blackbelt. He demonstrated the techniques I had to do for my YELLOW STRIPE BELT and he couldn't even keep his balance on a roundhouse. Ce la vie.
    Last edited by toothpaste100; 6/03/2004 5:58pm at .
  7. Antagony is offline
    Antagony's Avatar

    Unemployed

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    1,919

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 5:58pm

    supporting member
     Style: Filthy Jailhouse Tactics

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Alrighty, in that case I can't blame you too much. And it sounds like you have a reasonable plan.
    MY NAME IS ANTAGONY I SUCK AT COMBAT SPORTS KTHX

    "blahblahblah, but I don't think I'm going to train tonight."
    "Fag."
    "Well if that were true, then I'd really REALLY want to come train!"
  8. TaeBo_Master is offline
    TaeBo_Master's Avatar

    Certified Fitness Trainer

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    4,002

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 6:05pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Judo, Jujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sounds like Shaolin-Do was clearly too good for you.
    Click To Get My Free Training Newsletter... Do It NOW!


    "You all just got fucking owned.";
    "TaeBo_Master and GajusCaesar just scored 10,000,000 points on all you pawns."

    - The Wastrel
  9. Sam Browning is online now

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    9,886

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 11:24pm

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thank you Antagony for the write up. It indicates some interesting areas of inquiry. Anyone know how to get a copy of that DVD, I bet a transcript would be hilarious.
  10. BirdmanJ is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    19

    Posted On:
    6/03/2004 11:47pm


     Style: Shorin-Ryu Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What kind of uniforms did they have. At a shaolin school, I'd expect orange or grey robes...;)
Page 1 of 8 1 2345 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Powered by vBulletin™© contact@vbulletin.com vBulletin Solutions, Inc. 2011 All rights reserved.