Thread: Fang Shen Do
2/28/2006 7:40pm, #231
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
2/28/2006 9:51pm, #232
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Sadly the FSD book was in the martial art section at Chapters. Last time I was at the east end one in Gloucester it was there. Sigh....thats depressing....
3/03/2006 11:25am, #233
I was recently forwarded this e-mail from a Fang Shen Do student. This person (name and e-mail has been redacted to protect his/her identity) actually e-mailed James DeMile asking about Jacques Patenaude. I doesn't provide much in the way of details, but does provide a different perspective than what has been previously presented.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: sijo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mar 1, 2006 4:39 PM
Subject: Re: a question about a former student
To: [name and e-mail redacted]
Yes, Jaques did train with me many years ago. He only learned the basics, yet made claims as to knowing more.He made a terrible video on closing and I told him to withdraw all claims to being an instructor from my school. He started his own school of which I know little. He only had an introduction to Chi Sao and trapping, yet made claims to being qualified to teach them. He does not claim a linage because he has no real linage, just a lot of bits and pieces from many styles.
---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: [name and e-mail redacted]
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 14:09:20 -0500
>Dear Mr Demile,
>I'm sure that you are a busy man, and thank you in advance if you are
>able to take the time to answer my questions.
>I am a martial arts student in Ottawa, Canada and am currently studying
>a style called "Fangshendo" in a school run by Jaques Patenaude. I do
>enjoy the training, but we are not given much information as to the
>history/lineage of the school.
>A little bit of poking around the internet led me to reading about
>yourself and Wing Chun Do. I have actually purchased a copy of your
>book: The Tao of Whing Chun Do.
>After seeing many similarities in what I have been taught, and your
>system curiosity has gotten the better of me and I thought I would send
>you an email, in the hopes you could answer some of my questions.
>Is it true that Mr Patenaude was a former student of yours? If so, for
>how long and to what level? What was he like as a student? Finally and
>would you know the reasons for his departure from your system?
>Once again thankyou for your time.
3/03/2006 12:30pm, #234
While it's been pretty quiet here, I have been getting some information from current and former students of FSD through various channels. Of that, there are two particularly interesting bits of information. Unfortunately, while these sources have been accurate in the past and I have no reason to doubt them, be aware that this is second-hand information. If you can corroborate it, please do.
The first concerns the Alymer and Gatineau schools. Apparently, Patrick Marcil's wife, Christine Patenaude (she's on the far right of this picture, in which you're not allowed to smile apparently, with Pat immediately above her). I remember her getting her black sash (about a year ago). To Jacques it was a big deal, as she was the last of his children to get it. It's now a year later and she's a sifu, and apparently teaches at the two schools I mentioned. These schools are run (owned?) by Pat. What I've heard from students that are there is that Pat has had to walk her through what she's about to teach just before she goes out and teaches it. The students are aware of this, but pretend not to be, as they fear retribution from Pat, who is apparently very protective of his wife. From what I've heard, Christine's teaching skills are a bit lacking as well. Is there anyone out there who attends either of these schools who can back up these claims? If so, it makes me wonder whether her title of sifu is due to nepotism, as I would imagine that a sifu should be able to capably run a class without assistance.
The second piece of information concerns the business end of things, and may be harder for anyone to corroborate. From what I've heard, Jacques is trying to expand his Fang Shen Do empire via the "multi-level marketing" model (e.g. like Amway). Apparently, school ownership is no longer a simple franchisee/franchisor arrangement, but involves some sort of sponsorship by an existing owner. From what I've heard, a certain number of these sponsorships are required before one can attain the rank of sifu. This could be interesting because, depending on how it is set up, it could be illegal. There's a fine line between MLM systems like Amway, which are legal, and money-pyramids, which aren't. I hope that Jacques had his lawyer go over the contracts for that type of arrangement very carefully. I don't know how long this MLM system has been in place, but I understand that it is somewhat new, so I don't know which schools would be under such a scheme. By the way, I've heard that Jacques has been talking about the "50 schools" goal that was mentioned in the article's comments for at least a decade. Perhaps this MLM approach is an attempt to speed that up, since progress appears to be slow so far. Now, this one is going to be dificult to confirm unless there's a current or former school owner out there who feels like talking (I'm not holding my breath). What would be really nice would be if someone had scans of contracts or other documentation that detailed the relationship that a FSD school has with the mother-ship.
I have been getting a lot of feedback since the article appeared, and with it a lot of new stories and tidbits of information. As I get more, I'll post the more meaningful ones here. In the meantime, if you can add anything, please do - and if you know someone who can add to this, please encourage them to post. The more credible information we can gather here, the better.
:lurk: Don't just lurk!
3/03/2006 12:44pm, #235Yes, Jaques did train with me many years ago. He only learned the basics, yet made claims as to knowing more.He made a terrible video on closing and I told him to withdraw all claims to being an instructor from my school. He started his own school of which I know little. He only had an introduction to Chi Sao and trapping, yet made claims to being qualified to teach them. He does not claim a linage because he has no real linage, just a lot of bits and pieces from many styles.
His wife's a hottie. That may explain membership with her lack of skill.
Many schools are going to the program you are talking about, not just FSD.
What I used to teach did the same thing.
3/03/2006 12:58pm, #236
Too bad FSD doesn't work like a BJJ school. A bad instructor only really has one crack at it. Once they roll with the class it becomes pretty clear that they either have the skills and can't teach, or lack both skills and teaching ability. Sadly this does not seem to be the case.
PS - Doesn't it strike you as funny that someone would be promoted by their own family? I remember even in TKD having to excuse myself from the table when one of my students or close friends tested (and we all know how highly valued a TKD rank is). ;)
3/03/2006 1:02pm, #237
TKDBB: Given the structure of FSD, there IS nobody else to give belts out... :)
3/03/2006 1:18pm, #238
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Capital City
So JP only learned the basics, of Wing Chun Do.
Come on Sifu's! Let's hear the defence to this one!
3/03/2006 1:45pm, #239
Do any FSD sifus claim to be certified in Wing Chun Do? (Not to my knowledge). It's interesting, of course, but really, I doubt they're going to feel the need to 'defend' that. Bit of a strawman, wot wot! Plenty of real issues to hassle 'em over...
3/03/2006 2:00pm, #240
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
The different descriptions of Jacques Patenaude's time with Demile are interesting His son-in-law says he trained with him from 1975-1979 and was a member of Demile's organization for 15 years. Marc Scott says from a personal conversation with Demile that Patenaude only had a few hours in an instructors course, and Demile himself says he was a student, but does dodge around time lines and associations, but says he only learned the basics.
I think we probably have a mix of truths in there somewhere.