I'm really happy that we can discuss this an intelligent manner.
However there are serious matters that need to be discussed: why so much fees and so little sparring and grappling in the regular classes?
why do the student are almost forced to attend numerous seminars to obtaint ranks?
Why so much special club like the bbc, the master club and the leadership club, and why the students need to pay large amount of money for all of this?
I know I may be focused a lot on the money factor, but considering the fact that I got to pay half of what I was paying in FSD for twice the instruction time in my new MMA school is something very important.
Thanks for posting, Scott. I'm curious as to how you feel about the seminars offered at Fang Shen Do. While most martial arts schools do offer seminars, they usually consist of someone from outside the school, offering material that the student would not normally see. eg, a BJJ seminar at a karate club. Fang Shen Do's seminars, seem to be extended class time, (sparring, weapons, or grappling), or what some would consider bizzare and removed from martial arts, (fire walking, how to get rich, secrets to eternal youth, and walking on glass). Every seminar cost extra, at an already expensive school, and many are mandatory to advance in ranks. Your thoughts?
Have the instructors ever considered bringing someone else in, from outside of FSD, to give seminars?
I'd also like to know your thoughts, on the fact that many people, including FSD members, current, and former, consider the club a cult.
Thanks for your time, Scott.
Hi Scott, I have only heard positive things about your attitude towards training. It is the company the overall style which you represent that makes any description of you somewhat guarded.
I am interested in seeing documented evidence surrounding the history of your art, proof of your instructors claims of being an instructor etc. Though I dont think anyone on this board will agree with certification given after the fact as a super soke. I am interested in certifications he received prior to his self declared status.
I just want to add, that it is true what everyone is saying; Scott Hill was/is very well liked by students at Fang Shen Do. He is very easy going, and never pushed any extra spending on anyone. He also seems like a realist, and very open to external ideas about MA.
He also has a slew of funny fight stories, from his days bouncing.
The reasons I left FSD had nothing to do with Scott Hill.
Found the following image on a tattoo site:
With the caption: 'Feng Shen Do,' means; way of life. And that the tattoo was done at "Future Skin" in Ottawa.
Just wandering the net looking for FSD stuff.
Last edited by Askari; 2/17/2006 9:46am at .
I found an organization sometimes known as WECF or WEC the World Extreme Cage Fighting. And they had an event on March 27, 2003. Very close to the date which Scott sites above. Except the event was in Lemore California and the main event was Frank Shamrock.
Here's the link to Sherdog
I'll keep trying some creative googling, but I am really doubting this whole thing. A very recent event that is not recorded on Sherdog or FcFighter really sound shaddy. Next time you guys compete, you might want to go with a more reputable organization....
The owner/promoter of the WEC has been to a Throwdown, and he's good friends with Omega.
Originally Posted by Askari
I meant the alleged WECF that the Feng Shen Do guys participated in seemed like a shady organization. And not likely related to the real WECF that has hosted real MMA fights such as the one I provided as an example.
I should have been more clear. Besides the similiar name and close dates I do not believe that the two are the same.
Now here is what I found.
Marc Cambier, According to this student is who Scott Hill Fought. Under the UCC orginization.
Post 2 page 3.
"An other example, one of our Sifu(Scott Hill) went in a UCC tournament(professional) in Montreal for the first time. He got invited at the last minute(2 weeks before the match and he had to learn the rules, train for the match etc.) because the real challenger couldn't participate. His opponent (Marc Cambier) was the champion of the category and he has 5 years experience in UCC. Scott Won in 2 minutes at his first match. He is actually the champion of this division of UCC. My Sifu (Patrick Marcil) has participate to this event too but not against the champion and he won his match easily in the same circumstance than Scott Hill (with no preperation)."
Marc is listed on sherdog with a 0-1-0 record.
I went through UCC 1 through 12 to check and had to stop there to go to work.
No, Patrick Marcil No Scott Hill. No 5 year Championship for Marc Cambier under the UCC org.
Last edited by It is Fake; 2/17/2006 4:08pm at .
I've been an FSD student since 1999, am moving to BJJ for social reasons (friends are involved) and the fact that I just plain love grappling and really miss it from my high school days, and I don't get nearly enough of it at FSD to satisfy my bug.
Of the various points addressed, there's a few things I would comment on just because I have had a mostly good experience, and so I won't be coming from a place of anger or frustration.
High kicks: they are not encouraged in a fight situation. While you will see them in demos. We're told it's for flexibility and balance, not for fighting.
The 'kung fu' may be a bit of a misnomer, as we were taught hooks, crosses, uppercuts, knees and elbows, and low kicks both straight and roundline. Now, I have nothing to compare the teaching quality against, yet, but the boxing basics (except for a lack of emphasis on jabbing) seemed to be there. (again, from a superficial standpoint. I'm a boxing fan, but haven't boxed). I know there's a tendency to see the words 'kung fu' and away you go, talking dim mak, and fireballs, and we WERE taught the chainpunching. There doesn't seem to be an emphasis on getting really physical until brown belt and up. Again, this may just be me.
I haven't taken part in the out-there stuff. Arrow breaking and glass walking are fun tricks, I'm sure, but I understand the physics behind them and so I don't feel overly impressed by an arrow breaking (even though it's pretty cool as party tricks go, once you know the trick it loses some luster). I understand the temptation, though. There is a 'way of life' thing to the FSD training, and the more out-there seminars seem to be in the service of that, more than being considered fight training. You don't do arrow breaking as a way to improve your kicks, or at least, *I've* not been told that. I'm not REALLY in the inner circle, I'm sure.
When I began, we were also taught Sil Lum Tao (albeit a version that doesn't look exactly like the wc school's demos I've seen, but is recognizable as derived from there). A few years in, they removed this requirement, which to me (at the time) showed an ability to modify things, even if it takes a long time. I devoutly hope that this is one of those times.
One thing about the fighting, I do NOT hear in class 'this is too dangerous for the ring', but rather that one doesn't need to prove oneself in the ring. Now this is not my personal philosophy, but if that's how your Grandmaster feels, and you're part of the system, then the implications are obvious.
About cults: It's actually pretty funny, there was always a core group of us (coincidentally all the people who have also trained in other stuff and/or fight fans, or open minded people, most have become fast friends), who always talked about FSD but would provide the caveat: "But I'm not joining the cult". :)
There is definitely the flavour of that (cultish behaviour) going around, I suspect it's endemic to the whole 'living grandmaster' thing. (Again, I have nothing to go on but the school's stories and some research, so I can't say anything about Sijo Patenaude's legitimacy)
Why I joined? Quite simply, it was the closest martial arts school near me, and the physical training DID do wonders for me, there is definitely something to that part of it. Why I stayed? I made good friends who have outlasted our ties to the school, I stayed in shape, and I got to practise fun stuff. Since we weren't competing, I never had to think about that, and frankly, as far as striking was concerned I was starting at zero anyways.
Why I'm sure I'll leave? Sparring costs extra, the costs are spiralling out of control, and I have developed the skills I need to keep myself in shape, and my friends are leaving. )I paid a one-time cost many years ago and so the per-year cost is actually pretty low for me if I don't buy into seminars and such). Student costs are rising, and sifus are driving expensive cars and bankrolling expensive projects and I'm being asked (and expected, I think. I haven't felt pressured, but others say they do) to pay more and more. Simple economics is going to start affecting the place, I think.
Comments about the sifus: I have not had bad experiences with the sifus. They have seemed arrogant at times, but I have never felt threatened, verbally or physically. That said, I take seriously the comments of my friends to that effect. That is NOT cool. The two who've posted here I do believe are genuinely nice guys, and I believe they believe what they say. I also do believe they are genuinely tough guys, I've known a few over the years, these guys aren't afraid to get hit or doing high flippy kicks at you. I think all the original sifus are actually capable fighters, but I think somehow that I'm not being trained as they were, or that something is missing somewhere.
I am sure that a large part of it is the fact that if you compete, you will lose eventually, and there's the feeling that this would hurt the mystique. Again, nothing I've ever been told outright, but it's definitely an impression I get. Someone somewhere doesn't want that to happen. I like to win too, but I'll never get better if I don't get challenged.
The 'too tough for UFC' thing isn't something I'd heard, but since they don't talk about it too much, I understand how there's a white-belt-telephone thing going on, wherein the story would get retold and retold in hushed whispers. The sifus are extraordinarily strong, fast, and flexible to a man, and they seem like superheros to the newbies. I did hear that one of the sifus applied to the UFC but it didn't happen, so it would have been before 1999 when I started, that's all the detail I can supply. BUT, I do not hear the sifus bragging about it, or using it as a sales tool (Other's experiences may vary of course, I can only give my side).
The groundfighting I've seen (in grappling seminars where you pay extra to learn grappling. That never sat very well with me), was all centered around ground and pound, and staying on top of people (Single leg, double leg, standing throws). While that's all well and good, the world around us is changing. More and more people are going to be training BJJ and Sambo and MMA-style grappling, and if you want to say you're the best, you'd better have strategies in place to deal with them. This could be a great time for FSD to switch things up and adapt, or it could be a time to close in and ignore the world, and become irrelevant.
When I began there, it felt like a family, and the training was hard (people who've been there much longer than I remember when it was even MORE so in the 80s, early 90s), but rewarding, and fun. But in the last few years, there's DEFINITELY a feeling of money-grabbing going on. I say this knowing the sifus are reading, and so they will know that while some of us greatly enjoy our time there, and personally like them, they are alienating their students and this will hurt them in the long run.
Just my two cents, although I would also like to say, I LOVE the red dragon logo. :)
Askari: I have been through the web looking and also found the same things you found, way back when it happened. While I wasn't there, I have also seen the posters and the news clippings, and have no doubts concerning the validity of the claim to have fought.
Last edited by n00b; 2/17/2006 4:09pm at .
Reason: used 'again' twice in a sentence. bad copy editor! bad!