A little Pheps history since he has been listed in here.
Phelps Sensei is not a fraud as far as NGA goes. He left the organization for the reasons someone else (correctly) pointed out. When one has "wider vision" for his or her training, than the NGA org likes, then they push you out. So he left right after being promoted to 3rd dan by R. MacEwen,... then having that rank not supported by the rest of the organization,... and R. MacEwen refrained from backing up the promotion. So officially he Got the promotion and did NOT get the promotion.
His BJJ is admittedly mostly self-taught... and is fairly decent considering that.
As for his organization and his rank, I will make little comment there, as it does not affect me nor is it any of my business. For those in his training circle and the Buffalo martial arts community it may be of concern, but I would not worry about it.
Mr Phelps' personality, dress code, and attitude seem to be more n trial here, from what I read, than his legitimacy. If you don't like someone then don't train with them. his Character is only PART of the competency equation.
To his credit, he does not SELL belts or rank. He does truly believe that he is giving his best training to his students, and is not trying to snow them, (although he should get legitimate accreditation from a BJJ training source if he is going to use BJJ as a selling point to "his" system since videos and books are certainly not a replacement for competant instruction,) but he is sincere, so I would not slam him too much. He holds pretty high standards for testing; Higher than most I have seen elsewhere,... even if the curriculum may be in question here, the students do train fairly hard, and not to chops and soft grips but hard punches and kicks mostly, and some grappling grips.
Just what I know of the man for what it is worth. This is not and endorsement or defense, nor a statement to get folks riled up, just a little actual detail on the man since I know him.
Peace out dudes.
I can confirm some of this. I travel a lot, and when I do I tend to drop into aikido dojos and pay a mat fee for a class or two just to get some training in (I train Iwama Aikido, among other things, when I'm not stuck haze grey and underway). My folks live in the southtowns and I was home one holiday or another several years ago and Phelps's place was literally the only Aikido I could find anywhere in Buffalo. I drove clear downtown to go to a class. There was a lot of conditioning and the students all talked about having to "fight for their belts." The class was a decent workout. His Aikido focus was different than I was used to -- I demonstrated a very basic morote kokyu-ho that's taught at our first classes and everybody's eyes got kind of wide -- but it wasn't crappy aikikai or woo ki society bullshit, and he admitted up front that he was teaching his own system. I remember he told me my Sensei was doing a good job :)
Originally Posted by HeiwaNoAikido
This is just observations from someone who went to one class years ago. He knew I wasn't coming back and didn't have to do anything for me, but he gave me a decent training session for my money. I haven't been back, but he was clear downtown and I haven't had the time to make the drive again on subsequent trips home.
On a different note, do any of you Buffalo guys have any comments on the dude in McKinley Mall (whose name escapes me) teaching Hung Gar kung fu? I've taken some Tai Chi classes from him and he seems to have a decent Yang family lineage, but I don't have a clue about his kung fu. Anyone know?
i met phelps three times, and he failed to recognize me after the first instance. the third time i went to his class to see what he was doing.
not very impressive.
otoh, TomMack has nice, club with a no nonsense crew.
*KTK plus reps TomMack*
Your always welcome at Vital Point
Yes, that's the place. They have a mall storefront that sells T-shirts and kitchy Chinese stuff, and behind the store there's a training area with mirrors. No mats (when I visited anyway).
Originally Posted by TomMack
I don't have time to dig through the website right now for the guy's name -- I wish I could remember it. Bob something. I also took a class on a Saturday with a woman who seemed to be Bob's Tai Chi teacher.
The reason I'm asking is that my sister lives in Orchard Park, and I've been trying to talk her out of sending her kids to the local TKD McDojang (contracts, black belt club, the works -- no, I don't know its name either but the whole setup smelled bad to me). I'm just not sure I can recommend this place. The Tai Chi was solid and well taught, but I don't know anything about kung fu, and I wonder about their reputation as a kid's school.
I trained at a school that taught Arnis and briefly trained with Tim Murray, who Hartman had a curious relationship with. I read through this thread and a couple others that dealt with Hartman and it seems that several people have a problem with him promoting and all that blah blah blah. How come no one has a problem with Arnis never being trained full speed or contact? The only times you get to hit each other is with bendy foam sticks, point sparring style. Not to mention several bullshido knife disarms. Not all of them are crap, but if you never train them full speed, they're useless anyways.
Modern Arnis isn't complete crap, but you'd have to train the techniques in a realistic way for them do be effective. Oh yeah, then we'd call it Kali.
In this thread Hartmans dealing with Murray is discussed (along with a lot of bitching fits). What happened is that Hartman took a weekend course that Murray taught then claimed that he could teach military hand to hand combat. If you want to call Hartman a fraud, you'd have better luck with examples like this.
the red dragon school teaches yang taichi and hunggar through Master Wong, i think. they do spar in the hunggar section. one of my old students was there about two years ago, at their 'fight club'/open sparring sessions.
what kills me is how he stays in the mall like that. cant imagine what the price/square is on the rental.
I used to sublet from Tim Hartman when I first got in buffalo , didn't workout well different training mindset , and JKD/Kali a lot less formality , titles etc
But after my parting with Tim Hartman taught in the park then moved into Lackawanna boxing gym and now in my new place . I meet a lot of great people along the way so no hard feelings
On that note does anyone think they might be interested in boxing seminar with Roy Brash the boxing coach from Lackawanna ?
He been really nice to me and my people including letting us his gym for a ThaiBoxing smoker and I'd like you do something to help him and his program ( it's a non-profit always needs money ) plus he is a excellent coach
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO