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  1. M.C. Busman is offline

    Martial Arts Researcher

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    Posted On:
    8/20/2004 2:24pm

    supporting member
     Style: Research & Work

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Vandenberg's Iron Circle (Questionable New Book)

    The book is "The Iron Circle: The True Life Story of Dominiquie Vandenberg", transcribed & edited by Rick Rever. Like other martial arts storybooks billed as non-fiction (Dux's "The Secret Man", Bannon's "Race Against Evil"), this one is heavy in talk about secret training camps, "death matches", fights, mercenaries, illicit dealings, spywork and the like. Very light on full names and facts that can be checked, although Vandenberg claims to have been a member of the French Foreign Legion (french speaking volunteers? Anyone?). To have a look, see:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...=glance&s=books

    I have many other problems with this book and its author's claims, but I'm going to start small here. Vandenberg relates that he ran away to Okinawa as a 16 year old to live and study at a "secret" training camp for a "new" Japanese martial art called Kunto (this means "fist-way" according to Vandenberg) under the direction of a teacher called Nikoi Takimuro. Now, this ought to sound familiar to those of you who have been following the Dux threads over the years:

    "When I learned that Kunto was also a competitive martial art and that every four years the Nikoi Takimuro Kunto Federation sponsored an international competition, I decided then and there that no matter what it took I was going to enter that competition and win." (2004:28).[emphasis mine]

    Remember Frank Dux's claims that his secret "kumite" was held every 5 yrs? Sheesh.

    According to Vandenberg, Nikoi Takimuro "only accepts the best", and is a "legend", and has this "Kunto" training camp based in...Okinawa. So, you've all heard of him? Has anyone heard of Nikoi Takamura, a Japanese m.a. called "Kunto", or any kind of full contact training camp on Okinawa? Since "Kuntao" is supposedly an MMA type of art w/ grappling, anyone know of any MMA fighters who have studied it?

    On the cover of the book, Vandenberg shows a tattoo which includes the kanji for "Kyokushinkai", the date 1986 at the base, and above it, "Okinawa". The kanji aren't particularly well done, with the "Shin" in kyoku-shin-kai being overly long, and the first kanji, "Kyoku" being rather small and spindly. Asthetic criticisms, yes...but why have "Kyokushinkai" and "Okinawa" in the same tattoo?! Kyokushinkai is not Okinawan! Why not a tattoo saying "Kun-to".

    I thought Kunto (kun-tao) was an art from the Philippines. In Japanese, I don't think it makes sense in the m.a. context. This book really has my B.S.-detector sounding off. Comments, help, criticism?


    Good Training,

    M.C. Busman
    Last edited by M.C. Busman; 8/20/2004 2:30pm at .
  2. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/20/2004 9:01pm

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Uh, oh, I sense another book purchase coming up, does dim wit say anything that can be factually confirmed?
  3. DuckofDeath is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2004 12:45am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    So many frauds, so little time...

    Opening line of Amazon.com Editorial Review:

    "Vandenberg coordinates fight scenes for major movies..."

    Just like Frank Dux!
  4. M.C. Busman is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2004 12:36pm

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     Style: Research & Work

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Samuel & all, naturally nothing that can be traced or confirmed. Well, on page 76 he does claim to have been drafted into the Belgian army. But someone told me that the French Foreign Legion won't confirm or deny names of the men who served. I don't know if this is true for men who have left the FFL, I will have to write a letter & wait.

    Chris & all, I don't understand the Hollywood set myself. Due Dilligence seems to be nothing but a joke out there.

    Francisco & all, Yeah, this all seemed to start w/ Frank Dux's garbage. It's a shame that people are still dignifying this stuff by giving coverage. I have no doubt that the M.A. section of "Iron Circle" is a pile of dung.

    But unlike the bogus story of going to the Japanese "Kunto" school in Okinawa w/ master Nikoi Takimuro (Dom's own nickname amongst family is "Nicky", go figure) at age 16 1/2 and graduating after 6 months first out of 17 other men with a 4th dan, I can't rely on sources I already have. I need to do a little more research on the military claims.

    There is an excellent book out on joining the FFL & what to expect.

    http://www.foreignlegionlife.com/

    Just reading the previews offers enough information to fake one's resumee. I will say that Dom's a contradiction, talking honor one minute, then telling his dad he's already joined the FFL when he's informed his mother is @ home dying of leukemia (after lying to papa, he then joins the FFL--see pg.125-126). One minute he whines about the Military being sh-tty, the next he shares his romantic visions. According to him, the most popular form of discipline in the FFL is punching men in the face by higher ranks. Broken noses are popular, according to Vandeberg.

    He's nice enough to add tidbits about his adventures w/...prostitutes (although he doesn't call them prostitutes, and admits hating paying for sex, which he says degrades him AND THE WORKING GAL!), which aren't overly long, but briefly graphic. Why he adds his sex tales in eludes me, then again both Dux and Bannon needed to validate their sexuality in print too. According to Dom Vandenberg, after training for a litte over 2 weeks, he engaged in a gruelling bout against a professional Burmese boxer in Thailand (no amateur training fights to prepare?). He K.O'd the feller ('course!) in round 4 of a 15-round fight (pg180). Although he took a terrific beating, had plenty of energy to take 2 Thai prostitutes to bed that night and to paraphrase him, satisfy himself several times (181).

    Military buffs, take a look at the picture here:

    http://figaropictures.com/public_htm...vandenberg.htm

    and see if you can recognize the tattoo on his Left bicep. Anyone, anyone....

    Francisco, if you want a real funny one, at one point Vandenberg attends a demo @ Bercy sports palace in Paris(remember Dux's in the '90's, when he broke the plexiglass & candy-glass?) and meets none other tha Jean-Claude Van Damme who gives him the number to his hotel room (no guys, not for that!). He called him the next morning when the star was still sleepy, but doesn't let on then what the conversation was about... (182-183)


    All the Best,

    M.C. Busman
  5. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2004 1:40pm

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    M.C. here is the name and number of a press officer at the French Embassy in Washington D.C.

    Amaury Laporte, (202-944-6061)

    He was quite helpful with the Bannon project, he speaks excellent English.
  6. DuckofDeath is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/27/2004 7:34pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Originally posted by M.C. Busman

    Francisco, if you want a real funny one, at one point Vandenberg attends a demo @ Bercy sports palace in Paris(remember Dux's in the '90's, when he broke the plexiglass & candy-glass?) and meets none other tha Jean-Claude Van Damme who gives him the number to his hotel room (no guys, not for that!). He called him the next morning when the star was still sleepy, but doesn't let on then what the conversation was about... (182-183)
    Nothing like paying homage to the Lord of the Fakes. Apparently Vandenberg and Bannon have both read The Secret Man.
  7. Don Gwinn is offline
    Don Gwinn's Avatar

    BJJ wins again!

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    Posted On:
    9/21/2004 10:07pm

    supporting member
     Style: Guns

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I could be crazy, but there was a puff piece on him in Black Belt a long time before Gangs of New York came out. You might remember that issue, the cover blared "Leonardo DiCaprio Learns to Fight!" or something like that. Nothing about DiCaprio in it, really, but Vandenberg was featured. He apparently did work on the film, but how much he "coordinated" or choreographed the fighting is questionable. He supposedly trained DiCaprio for his fights.

    Anyway, the part where I might be crazy is that I don't recall that story saying anything about going to Okinawa in his teens or fighting in secret "Kunto" tournaments--nor any mention of Kunto at all. He talked about learning karate/kickboxing in Belgium, getting into a car accident that was supposed to end his martial-arts career, joining the Legion, fighting in Africa, leaving the Legion and finding himself in Burma and Thailand. He did talk about "underground" matches in SE Asia but I got the impression of the kind of stuff that seems to go on at a lot of bars in the U.S., only with better-trained fighters. More danger from the shady people betting on the match than from any gladiatorial finishing moves.
    *********************************************
  8. Brooklyn Monk is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/14/2005 2:26am


     Style: Boxing and Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Seraching for Kunto

    I am reading Circle of Iron now, and have been able to find kunto (at least not as a japanese martial art) i am also looking for this intensive training program in okinawa, but can't find it.

    I trained at shaolin temple, but i am a professional fighter (i mean, i fight pro, but i make my living by writing. I am Antonio Graceffo, the author of the book, The Monk from Brooklyn)

    I am looking for a full time deadly difficult fighting program in asia. if you know of one, please tell me.

    I have trained at shaolin, but didnt like it, becuase of teh lack of fighting. i have been training and fighting in Phnom Penh for about a year and a half. but this isnt what i wnat either. for lack of a better idea, i am heading back to china in two weeks. but kung fu isnt going to make me happy.

    any suggestions of where i could get REAL fighting training like in the book?
    Last edited by Brooklyn Monk; 10/14/2005 8:55am at .
  9. meng_mao is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/14/2005 4:31am

    supporting member
     Style: kickboxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Monk
    I am reading Circle of Iron now, and have been able to find kunto (at least not as a japanese martial art) i am also looking for this intensive training program in okinawa, but can't find it.

    I trained at shaolin temple, but i am a professional fighter (i mean, i fight pro, but i make my living by writing. I am the author of the book, The Monk from Brooklyn)

    I am looking for a full time deadly difficult fighting program in asia. if you know of one, please tell me.

    I have trained at shaolin, but didnt like it, becuase of teh lack of fighting. i have been training and fighting in Phnom Penh for about a year and a half. but this isnt what i wnat either. for lack of a better idea, i am heading back to china in two weeks. but kung fu isnt going to make me happy.

    any suggestions of where i could get REAL fighting training like in the book?
    :5help:
    http://www.martialartsplanet.com/mag...ombrookpt1.htm
    Last edited by meng_mao; 10/14/2005 4:32am at . Reason: sweet link
  10. dunlap is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/14/2005 10:19am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    People like this pop up in hollywood all the time. The more outlandish the resume the more it gets eaten up.

    First 15 round fights are a western thing not SE asian.
    Second why underground fights in Thailand and Burma sorry these things are very popular and are NOT underground.

    I noticed a large change in his fighting/training resume after information about the Burmese arts and practitioners surfaced
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