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  1. mackensie is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/07/2007 5:53am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hello Gentlemen, And especially to Red Sauce!!! I apposogies imediately for all the spellig mistakes you will find in my comments but I will explain, spelling is not my strongest point, however history is!! I was looking through the net to see what happened to some of the guys I used to train with many years ago and I was absolutely stunned when I can to this site and read some of the comments I have read, especially from "Red Sauce" , reference Waregachi and Mike Johnson. The trouble with the internet is it can provide a record of so judgement which can be mistaken for facts. I was so shocked with this tread that I have registered on you site to provide some information to hopefully explain a w things that a people with far more dignity than my self has not lowered themselves to. First I appreciate that It is always fun to seach out fraud Martial Arts, So I appreciate your goals. Unfortuanatly you conclusions and methods have complete got the answers VERY wrong. I gentleman such as Mike how has dedicated most of his life to the Martial arts , (I think he must be 70's now)doesn't need a group of gung ho kids (I assume) berating him.. Here are some facts, a few bits of history As I rememeber it.
    MIke is the real deal. He was in the army for a bit and in his travels leant Jujitsu and Judo. I first met him about 20 years ago when he was at least a 2nd Dan BJA judo in his 50's. He ran a BJA club in Farnborough. He WAS awarded a high Dan grade by Dominic Maccathy , when it was Just the Zen Judo Family at Love Lane , Petersfield , "Gordon Lawson" Speak to Val Churchill your ex 7th Dan, Phil Woods, Brian Bagot. I Believd before his death Sensei Mccathy was hoping that he would take organistion forward, along with Brian Bagot or Ted Underwood.. Mike was one of the most respected Club Judo instructers in teh south of England, catering for club judo rather than the International Level Judo at Frimley and Camberley from the Earle Brothers( UK Team Coach's ) and Pinewood.
    Mike decided to carry forward Judo after one his sons took up lau Gar? ( Hopefully spelt right). MIke was invited down to the club at Waverley to show what he could do). The instructer was so impressed , be fore he knew it the club wanted him to teach , Thats where the Waregachi club started from. I believe Mke then found what he really wanted to do. He decided to pass on what he had been taugh so it would not be lost. The club initaill started with most of his old Judi club joining . Mike has been teaching his style for over twenty years. From your comments i must assume that Mike is currently in poor health. I am most sorry to hear this. I also assume he has taken down his site so he will not be pestered by illintentioned people such as mr red sauce.
    Mike Johnson is one of the msot respected Martial artists in the south of England. A catayst for people taking up the more serious arts. He teaches with great humour a subject that is essential deadly.. The defences and gun and some knife attaches may be at the far reaches of the defence arts in this country. As for passing the arts on, If you wish to find out does his training work, I recommend you get your butt over to the UK and try out some of his senior students such as " the two kevin". When I saw them last, about ten years ago, they were pretty tasty then.. Now !! MIkes Judo was good, But his JuJitsu is F-in stunning
    In conclusion, I would recommend that you get more facts before you start a witchhunt. In this case you have got it very, very wrong..
    p.s I am not going to indulge in further conversation. about this subject, but I though treads on the net that are potentially here for prosperity, need to get some fact right!!
  2. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/07/2007 7:07am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for your post.
    I did a lot of the "backstage" stuff in the investigation.
    You mentioned Mr Brian Bagot?
    In an email dated Feb 2nd he told me
    Hi, Yes I recall Mike Johnson, but apart from the fact he was a Dan grade I cannot recall which level he reached.
    I have the feeling this was a character we didn't really appreciate and was 'sidelined' at some stage. But that is 15 years ago or more!!
    Hope this is of help
    Brian N Bagot
    6th Dan Zen Judo
    I'm sorry, but that doesn't appear to be the glowing reference you were hoping for.

    I communicated with Mr Lawson several times, and he was unable to confirm the legitimacy of Mr Johnson's dan grade on Feb 1st:
    Not a member of the British Zen Judo Association
    I have not any information on him or ever heard of him
    Mr Lawson was willing to help Mr Johnson verify his grade (because he couldn't categorically 100% say it wasn't legitimate due to Mr Johnson claiming from a deceased person) and put him in contact with Mr McCarthy's widow. We have heard nothing, so we must assume he was unable to verify his grade.

    I also contacted Mr Jim Dart who was kind enough to give me the following information on Feb 2nd:
    I have taken a quick look at the thread and, in the interest of fairness, feel I should point out that the Zen Judo Family is the association founded by Shihan McCarthy in 1974 and presumably this is the association in which Mr Johnson claims his grade. The ZJF website dan grade register was only set up a few years ago and does not show any historical data (in fact, it does not show my own original instructor - also 5th Dan, but who retired before the website was established). The British Zen Judo Family Association (BZJFA) was not founded by Shihan McCarthy, but by Shihan Andrew Millard BEM, who had taken on leadership of Zen Judo following Shihan McCarthy's death.

    Irrespective of the above, I am afraid I have no further information on Mr Johnson as it seems likely that he had left before 1981, when I started training at the Petersfield Honbu Dojo.
    So, we did research, quite comprehensive research. I'm not a gung ho kid. I'm well-mannered and professional. I live in the UK, as does Red Sauce.
    Red's a judoka, so the issue of a potentially fraudulent grade in the art he trains in is important to him, as it should be to all martial artists who train hard and compete hard to advance their grades legitimately.

    I'm sorry you feel that Mr Johnson hasn't been fairly treated. That's your perception, and I hope my post shows that it's more than just a few kids with time on their hands haranguing an elder statesman of the UK martial arts scene.

    I understand if you don't want to reply. The tone on this board can be abrasive. If you wanted to discuss this further, my email is sochin101 @hotmail.co.uk (but without the spaces).

    Yours in the spirit of honest endeavour
    sochin101
  3. Red Sauce is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 6:16am

    supporting member
     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    EDIT - No need for me to say anything really. Still No evidence to defend mike against any of our accusations, which at this point in time seem pretty much spot on.
    Last edited by Red Sauce; 4/08/2007 6:20am at .
  4. 1964celt is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 12:01pm

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     Style: penjak silat

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    definitely not a green belt in 1995

    I can't add very much to this other than to confirm that Sensei Johnson was a BJA Black Belt in 1983 when I trained with him in Farnborough at the recreation centre. When he wasn't available other BJA sensei stood in for him and my memory is that they were quite complimentary to him. I have a vague recollection that he was a second dan at the time but that I can't be absolutely sure of. I am sure, however, that it wasn't a first dan since I remember clearly that he was the most senior of my instructors of the time (the other 2 being both 1st dans. (I left Farnborough in 1984.)

    He was also teaching a womens self defense class at the time and I was under the impression it was essentially a ju jitsu class.

    I can't add any insight into the connection with the Zen judo guys, I just wouldn't know.

    I returned to Farnborough last year for a 2 month stay or so and trained with the waregachi club (not least because I recognised the instructor) and in my opinion they are at least as capable as almost any other ju jitsu club I have trained at in the last 20 years or so, they were very welcoming and friendly and seemed to be an honest hard training club. They were always clear that the style taught was founded by Sensei Johnson

    Sensei Johnson has significant breathing difficulties (all the time), it was only reading this thread that I have learned it was Emphesyma (spelling?). Given that, my impression was that the techniques demonstrated were of a decent standard, and his top guys showed some real talent. Unlike a lot of "plastic sensei's" I have come across Sensei Johnson is prepared to get on the map and practise his art.........

    Whether or not the 5th Dan in Judo is legit or not I can't comment on other than what I have included above (re.1983) but I went along to a ju Jitsu club (i.e. waregachi) and felt it was worthwhile (quite unlike a lot of clubs I have trained at).

    I am NOT associated with Waregachi as I write this or with FAOGB or any other organisation associated with them and I have not had any contact with any of them for at least a year, but I have trained with them and feel that for their Ju Jitsu I can offer something of a personal recommendation. I wouldn't have trained more than once if I had thought it complete garbage.

    I have added this reply because some of the responses have implied (to me at least) that the green belt in 1995 was real and the illness made up .......... those allegations at least are not true! (and likely to be quite hurtful to the farnborough club!)

    As I said at the beginning I can't add a lot to this but you've got what I can add..........
  5. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 2:35pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for your input.
    First hand experience of someone that's being discussed is always welcome.

    I have added this reply because some of the responses have implied (to me at least) that the green belt in 1995 was real and the illness made up .......... those allegations at least are not true!
    No, I think the green belt in '95 was of particular interest because it seemed at odds with information on his web-site.
    To my knowledge, he hasn't denied the green belt.
    Plus, he's not claiming a dan grade with the BJA or any other organisation... he's claiming it with Zen judo, who, as you can see from the thread, either haven't heard of him or only vaguely remember him from a very long time ago. No-one has verified a grade at all.
    I'm sure his jujitsu is serviceable enough, but that was never part of the discussion.

    With regard to his illness, no-one doubted it's existence, and we even offered him our best wishes for a speedy recovery. The impression was that it seemed like a convenient excuse. That might seem less than charitable, but he had not done anything to make us think he was a paragon of virtuous honesty.

    All Mr Johnson has to do is produce a godan certificate with Shihan Mcarthy's signature on it, and I for one will be happy to apologise to him for doubting him.
    Last edited by sochin101; 4/08/2007 2:43pm at .
  6. 1964celt is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 3:59pm

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     Style: penjak silat

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "No, I think the green belt in '95 was of particular interest because it seemed at odds with information on his web-site.
    To my knowledge, he hasn't denied the green belt."

    Mr Johnson may not have denied it but that doesn't mean it is true either.......... in 1983 when I was a member of the Farnborough Judo club (I think the name was Ronin Judo club) the club was a member of the BJA and the dan grade instructor was Mike Johnson ........ therefore the green belt thing is simply not true

    "The impression was that it seemed like a convenient excuse......."

    in this instance I believe that it is plausible and that's all I was trying to say........ he is ill and significantly and continually so

    "All Mr Johnson has to do is produce a godan certificate with Shihan Mcarthy's signature on it............."

    no arguments from me.



    ordinarily when I come across martial artists who inflate their rank (... and I have no idea whether Mr Johnson has or hasn't........) they turn out to be evil human(ish) money grabbing, belt factory running leaches teaching some pointless amalgam of calistenics while claiming to turn their students into self defence gods/goddesses/gurus (or whatever) who practise the most lethal martial art developed since the year dot (even though theirs has only existed since 09:10 that morning). My personal experience of Mr Johnson is that he is not of that ilk and that is what inspired me to reply.... the green belt thing isn't true and he is very genuinely ill.

    "Still No evidence to defend mike against any of our accusations, which at this point in time seem pretty much spot on."

    ...and this was the specific comment that got me replying. (given the impression I was left with re.green belt / illness about which I think I have commented enough). I don't know whether or not Dominic McCathy awarded any particular rank in Judo to Mr Johnson and I would not attempt to defend that which I don't know, but the previous 2 points I do so I did.........
  7. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 5:37pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by 1964celt
    when I was a member of the Farnborough Judo club (I think the name was Ronin Judo club) the club was a member of the BJA and the dan grade instructor was Mike Johnson ........ therefore the green belt thing is simply not true
    Again, he's not claiming a dan grade from BJA... he's claiming it from Zen Judo.
    BJA dan grades are easily checked apparently, whereas the grade he claims from Zen Judo was allegedly awarded by a gentleman who is now unfortunately deceased. No way of checking that, other than ask Zen Judo members/administrators.
    We did that and drew a blank... no-one was able or willing to vouch for him.


    therefore the green belt thing is simply not true
    Would you consider the possibility he was teaching at a BJA club after receiving his dan grade from another organisation, eg Zen judo?
    If you can consider that possibility, then you have to agree that it is entirely possible that he could be ranked as green belt BJA, but could have worn a black belt (legitimately earned or otherwise) from another organisation.
    The green belt thing could be true.

    he is very genuinely ill.
    I don't doubt he's ill. Red doesn't doubt he's ill.
  8. 1964celt is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2007 6:19pm

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     Style: penjak silat

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Would you consider the possibility he was teaching at a BJA club after receiving his dan grade from another organisation, eg Zen judo?
    If you can consider that possibility, then you have to agree that it is entirely possible that he could be ranked as green belt BJA, but could have worn a black belt (legitimately earned or otherwise) from another organisation.
    The green belt thing could be true."

    if it is true I would be very surprised since it would mean that all those of us who did theory exams prior to competitive grading in farnborough were being graded by a green belt whose signature was sanctioned by the BJA. If the BJA only recognised him as a green belt would this have been happening? actually this is a genuine question since it is LONG time since I was a member of the BJA and I have no idea what they currently do...........Other stand in instructors and BJA Dan grade visitors certainly treated Mr Johnson as a genuine Dan grade

    It remains my belief that Mr Johnson was recognised as a Dan grade (in the early eighties at least) by the BJA (regardless of original origin) and that is based on my own personal experiences. If it can be demonstrated that he was never a Dan Grade in the BJA (and that therefore I have been duped which would be irritating to say the least!) I'll happily adjust my belief.

    I have no axe to grind here one way or another, I don't do Judo and I don't know anything about any legitimate 5th dan Mr Johnson may or may not have and I certainly do NOT approve of rank inflation and I'm not associated with him in any way, I have tried to give some (hopefully impartial) insight based on my own experiences but I'm left feeling as though nothing I write here will be given any credence (about the green belt thing anyway...). When I first added my tuppenny worth I said I didn't have much to add and what I have introduced I think has been flogged to death so I don't think there is any value in me continuing with this..........
  9. sam ho is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/21/2007 6:26pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi folks, 1st of all, i'm sorry for the lateness of this post, I have only just stumbled across this site.

    There are a few things mentioned in this thread that I felt needed some response.

    I have trained a great deal in Mike's club, and achieved a Dan grade so feel I am able to comment here.

    I cannot shed any light on the Judo grade I'm afraid, and I agree if that is fraudulent it is completely unacceptable...The only info I can offer here is that many well aged Judo Dan grades(if that's the polite way of putting it) Come to the club frequently who all treat Mike with respect, and talk of occasions from long ago.... but that's it I'm afraid.

    As for the Ju Jitsu however...I've trained with many clubs and Mike is up at the top for his Jujitsu knowledge and skill.

    I know the website looked like crap, and pre set drills can never capture the spirit of the club, but what's behind the syllibus is a great deal of knowledge that is passed openly to students.

    Mike has no ego, as was mentioned as a possibility, and doesn't claim to have a perfect system as other instuctors do, Mike states that he can give you the tools, what you do with them is up to you, and the tools he gives you are traditional techniques for the most part.

    Sessions in the club are very welcoming and friendly, you can train as hard or soft as you want, there are some extremely tasty high grades, as well as lower grades who will never get it as you would find in any other club.

    As for the weapons techniques that were mentioned... I see no one else has given any response so I'll do my best, Mike has served in the army, as well as this a number of his senior students have also served in the army, both UK and abroad, and there are a few cops dotted here and there too... In saying that though, Mike doesn't instill a false sense of security as was implied, he will be the first to tell you, if you can - RUN, but other than that he shows a few different ways to get out of the way, take control of a weapon, etc, some of it looks a bit pants admittedly, but all he has in the sylubus is a few core techniques that open your mind up to possibilities and give you a basic idea incase you can't run away...

    Another thing mentioned was the fact that Mike's instructers had passed away being suspicious, when you are talking aout a guy in his 70's, you'd expect his instructors to be dead, when I'm 70 years old I'll be shocked to see any of my instructors on the mat, including Kevin Brewerton - Yes, hello fellow lau gar'ist, I too once learned from the Jedi...

    Don't think I am blindly standing up for Mike Johnson, I think you raise some valid points, and agree that fraudulent grades are a serious thing, however I think some of the things posted weren't fair...

    Oh, and this might help you out with varifying the JJ grades if you're still up for some digging, within many of the JJ styles listed, I believe 3rd Dan is the last actual grading you have to attend, after that it becomes awarded, not later as in Judo, you have up to 3rd Dan then a gap until 7th Dan, it may be that these were all awarded by the FAOGB??

    Hope that helps...not defending anything on the Judo front...as I honestly don't know, but on the JJ he is definitely the real deal... anyone who's not sure about that, come and train for a couple of sessions... say you want a hard session and you'll get put with a high grade... maybe even me

    Hope this helps in some way...
    Last edited by sam ho; 12/21/2007 6:29pm at .
  10. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/21/2007 7:04pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by sam ho
    Hi folks, 1st of all, i'm sorry for the lateness of this post, I have only just stumbled across this site.

    There are a few things mentioned in this thread that I felt needed some response.

    I have trained a great deal in Mike's club, and achieved a Dan grade so feel I am able to comment here.

    I cannot shed any light on the Judo grade I'm afraid, and I agree if that is fraudulent it is completely unacceptable...The only info I can offer here is that many well aged Judo Dan grades(if that's the polite way of putting it) Come to the club frequently who all treat Mike with respect, and talk of occasions from long ago.... but that's it I'm afraid.

    As for the Ju Jitsu however...I've trained with many clubs and Mike is up at the top for his Jujitsu knowledge and skill.

    I know the website looked like crap, and pre set drills can never capture the spirit of the club, but what's behind the syllibus is a great deal of knowledge that is passed openly to students.

    Mike has no ego, as was mentioned as a possibility, and doesn't claim to have a perfect system as other instuctors do, Mike states that he can give you the tools, what you do with them is up to you, and the tools he gives you are traditional techniques for the most part.

    Sessions in the club are very welcoming and friendly, you can train as hard or soft as you want, there are some extremely tasty high grades, as well as lower grades who will never get it as you would find in any other club.

    As for the weapons techniques that were mentioned... I see no one else has given any response so I'll do my best, Mike has served in the army, as well as this a number of his senior students have also served in the army, both UK and abroad, and there are a few cops dotted here and there too... In saying that though, Mike doesn't instill a false sense of security as was implied, he will be the first to tell you, if you can - RUN, but other than that he shows a few different ways to get out of the way, take control of a weapon, etc, some of it looks a bit pants admittedly, but all he has in the sylubus is a few core techniques that open your mind up to possibilities and give you a basic idea incase you can't run away...

    Another thing mentioned was the fact that Mike's instructers had passed away being suspicious, when you are talking aout a guy in his 70's, you'd expect his instructors to be dead, when I'm 70 years old I'll be shocked to see any of my instructors on the mat, including Kevin Brewerton - Yes, hello fellow lau gar'ist, I too once learned from the Jedi...

    Don't think I am blindly standing up for Mike Johnson, I think you raise some valid points, and agree that fraudulent grades are a serious thing, however I think some of the things posted weren't fair...

    Oh, and this might help you out with varifying the JJ grades if you're still up for some digging, within many of the JJ styles listed, I believe 3rd Dan is the last actual grading you have to attend, after that it becomes awarded, not later as in Judo, you have up to 3rd Dan then a gap until 7th Dan, it may be that these were all awarded by the FAOGB??

    Hope that helps...not defending anything on the Judo front...as I honestly don't know, but on the JJ he is definitely the real deal... anyone who's not sure about that, come and train for a couple of sessions... say you want a hard session and you'll get put with a high grade... maybe even me

    Hope this helps in some way...
    Hi,

    Thanks for posting.

    The JJ grades were never of much interest - the guy who started the "investigation" is a Judoka, and therefore very interested in the possibility of someone claiming a potentially fraudulent grade.

    The JJ isn't a Koryu (as far as I'm aware) and isn't being claimed as such, so it joins the myriad of other JJ styles that have evolved (I'm being diplomatic - I really mean made up) and been founded by someone quite late on in the piece.
    Sort of the way people put "combat" or "aiki" in front of arts and claim a whole new system of their own and are graded to high heaven by a multi-art parent organisation. FAOGB, for instance.

    The functionality of his JJ wasn't ever seriously questioned, but thanks for providing some information regarding the source of his gun defences.

    I think the claim of his judo grade was investigated as closely as possible. The Zen Judo grade couldn't be verified. His contemporaries within Zen judo didn't remember him as a high-ranking dan grade, and they're a small, close-knit group.

    Has Mike's health improved any?
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