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  1. division42 is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 9:22am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Northern Shaolin kung fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    School of Shaolin, Minneapolis, MN

    Sifu Michael Voss is a great instructor who trys to keep things at the heart of the matter. He wants nothing more than to pass the art from himself to others. He also tries to train as students of kung fu would train in the past. Students train with their own bodies.
    Sifu Voss trusts his students with the care of his studio and makes it available at any time. Requesting only that you train with a buddy during non-daylight hours, he freely duplicates the keys for those who wish to practice during non class hours.

    The training includes controlled sparring (no pads, light hits) and full contact sparring (helmet and gloves).

    Tumbling, falling, and wrestling are taught as well. Students are shown a large variety of throws, grapples, limb barring, and defenses.

    Students begin learning weapon forms after they acquire their second sash. The weapons the school focuses upon are staff, saber, long sword (tai chi sword), spear, kwon do, double saber, and eventually three-section staff. Students use practice wooden practice weapons, but as their skill increases they are encouraged to use real weapons. Using a variety of weapons teaches a student's body to understand how everything a kung fu practitioner can hold is an extension of their arm, both a weapon and a shield. Students are encouraged to practice outside of class periods with weapons combat. But the studio is always available.

    But most important are the forms. Forms are practiced for at least half an hour in every class. They are the focus of the art. Beautiful and powerful, they teach control and technique. A student who knows his or her forms very well rarely needs an aid when it comes to utilizing the forms as they have become part of the student. That's the philosophy, anyway. And it becomes true for many students. The training can become too intense for some people and they do quit, but it takes a lot more dedication than learning a few simple kicks and punch defenses. If you want to be dedicated to your art, you will have no problems feeling at home here.

    We have many students who choose to compete locally and nationally. Some of these students often take the top spot in sparring, forms, and weapons.

    The school's training area is fairly small (about 2500 sq feet), but the upside is that students to learn control within a confined space. The school uses a sash system (only six) to show 'rank'. Sashes are earned after months (and months) of hard work, and Sifu Voss does not invite students to test until he sees they are ready.
    Last edited by division42; 11/19/2007 12:07am at .
  2. Airman Kai is offline
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    AK: Giving new meaning to the word "Unfair."

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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 9:44am


     Style: Out-Of-Shape MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Although I can't truly contest this review, as I have never been there, I have some reservations about your scores. You have left out HGUE sections of the ratings. You rrated weapons a '10', but you haven't described it at all, so please go back and elaborate. I understand that you want to rate this school well, but you need to follow the rating guidelines more closely.

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=48577

    Going by what you wrote, and in addition to what I see on the site, the ratings should have looked more like this:

    Aliveness - 7
    Equipment - 6
    Gym Size - 4
    Inst/Student Ratio - 9
    Atmosphere/Attitude - 9
    Striking Instruction - 5
    Grappling Instruction - 3
    Weapons Training - 2

    So, please review the rating guidelines and make the needed changes.



  3. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 10:19am

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i have a few questions about this review...

    1) did you read the ranking guidelines before assigning such high ranks for aliveness, striking instruction and weapons instruction?

    2) please describe the sorts of alive training that you practice. what sorts of drills? how do you work to make these drills alive?

    3) you mention a full contact fight team, yet we see no video of competition on the website. where do they compete and under what rules? does your school fight at the usckf lei tai tournament every year in baltimore? do you fight in any san shou/sanda leagues? what is the fight record like?

    4) you assign a score of 7 for grappling instruction, and i see a shuai jiao video on the website. what is your shuai jiao lineage? the lineage for the other styles is clearly listed on the website, yet this is absent. is this the extent of your grappling training? do you do any ground grappling? have your students competed in shuai jiao, or in submission grappling tournaments? if so how did they do?

    thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my questions.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  4. division42 is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 11:27am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Northern Shaolin kung fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey, thanks for the direction. I can barely read the site so I didn't see any link to any guidelines. I hope the new ratings are much more up-to snuff.
  5. Airman Kai is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 11:29am


     Style: Out-Of-Shape MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by division42
    Hey, thanks for the direction. I can barely read the site so I didn't see any link to any guidelines. I hope the new ratings are much more up-to snuff.
    I haven't seen any changed ratings. Are you sure you ticked the box to save your settings in the edit post window?



  6. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 11:37am

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by division42
    Hey, thanks for the direction. I can barely read the site so I didn't see any link to any guidelines. I hope the new ratings are much more up-to snuff.
    any chance you could answer the questions i raised?

    what exactly do you mean you can barely read the site? is there a problem with the way the website displays in your browser? are you viewing it on a 386 running windows 3.1 and netscape 1.0?
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  7. division42 is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 12:02pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Northern Shaolin kung fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm at work right now, and the site is new to me. When I say I can barely read the site it doesn't mean that my browser cannot render it. The site is, well, ugly. The colors clash and there is far too much going on. Almost looks like it belongs back in the late 90's. Just very difficult to read and find context.

    1) Answered this to the best of my ability.
    2) We spar daily. We use a few forms of sparring.
    -Open hand controlled sparring with contact. Depending on how far you want to take this is how hard you spar. The class 'motto' is "No one gets hurt... permanently" So we don't do anything in class that would brake an arm or take some one out of their training for a couple months. Though bruising and the occasional fat lip happen, we try to keep our cool. Students who are out of control get to sit on the side for a while. Throws and take downs are usually not permitted during an actual class, but after class it's fine (injury).
    -Hard contact sparring with pads. Basically a helmet, mouth guard, gloves and a cup, if you want. Throws, bars, holds, grapples, chokes (hey, I got you chokes, not held) are all permitted. This is saved only for students who wish to participate and have gear.
    -Wrestling. Contact, throws, take downs, striking, all on a 6' x 6' pad. Pin your opponent or get rid of your opponent. (on a side note, a monkey throw often works well, or a pile driver)
    -Sticky hand. Very light, flowing sparring where two people try to maintain contact and learn the flow and movement of another. Basically helps to build balance and instinct. You try to remain somewhat stationary. Just an exercise, really.
    -Random stuff. The instructor (either Sifu Voss, or whoever is running class) comes up with an idea that would apply to real life. And tries to help students develop a new skill.
    3) As far as a full contact fight team, I had not read the guidelines. Our studio is trying to form such a team, but many of the students have too much normal life to be off every few weekends. Sifu Voss would like to see this happen, and is always open to the idea.
    4) Grappling is taught during our shuai-chiao classes. But really does not receive as much focus as it does in a jujitsu school. I gave it a five because of the success that students have had in the military. There are a few who are now grappling/combat instructors in the military. Students seem to have a good grasp of grappling. But I'm not sure that any of them could last against an MMA fighter.
  8. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 12:40pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by division42
    I'm at work right now, and the site is new to me. When I say I can barely read the site it doesn't mean that my browser cannot render it. The site is, well, ugly. The colors clash and there is far too much going on. Almost looks like it belongs back in the late 90's. Just very difficult to read and find context.
    the site is designed for firefox, maybe that would help. you're one of the first people to say that they can't read the site cause it's "ugly." your post was actually hard to read, because although you did use paragraphs, they weren't separated by spaces. adding an extra "CR" or return at the end of a paragraph will add that extra space to your post, and helps make it easy to read. i'm not normally one to complain about that stuff, but since you went there first, i thought i would point it out.

    1) Answered this to the best of my ability.
    thanks, so now that you have seen the guidelines, please go back and adjust your scores. as airman kai pointed out you may have to check a box to make sure they "stick"

    2) We spar daily. We use a few forms of sparring.
    -Open hand controlled sparring with contact. Depending on how far you want to take this is how hard you spar. The class 'motto' is "No one gets hurt... permanently" So we don't do anything in class that would brake an arm or take some one out of their training for a couple months. Though bruising and the occasional fat lip happen, we try to keep our cool. Students who are out of control get to sit on the side for a while. Throws and take downs are usually not permitted during an actual class, but after class it's fine (injury).
    -Hard contact sparring with pads. Basically a helmet, mouth guard, gloves and a cup, if you want. Throws, bars, holds, grapples, chokes (hey, I got you chokes, not held) are all permitted. This is saved only for students who wish to participate and have gear.
    -Wrestling. Contact, throws, take downs, striking, all on a 6' x 6' pad. Pin your opponent or get rid of your opponent. (on a side note, a monkey throw often works well, or a pile driver)
    -Sticky hand. Very light, flowing sparring where two people try to maintain contact and learn the flow and movement of another. Basically helps to build balance and instinct. You try to remain somewhat stationary. Just an exercise, really.
    -Random stuff. The instructor (either Sifu Voss, or whoever is running class) comes up with an idea that would apply to real life. And tries to help students develop a new skill.
    ok, i see the problem here, you don't understand the term "aliveness" as we use it here. we aren't talking about sparring (although thanks for the info on how you spar, it is appreciated.) a further question on sparring, is there any reason we don't get to see any of the hard contact stuff on your sparring video? we would be much more interested in seeing that level of sparring, as your existing video doesn't give a very good impression of the schoo's level of contact.

    anyway, when we talk about aliveness, we are talking about drilling methods actually. you can read a good explanation here: http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php...article&id=254

    3) As far as a full contact fight team, I had not read the guidelines. Our studio is trying to form such a team, but many of the students have too much normal life to be off every few weekends. Sifu Voss would like to see this happen, and is always open to the idea.
    that's understandable, but then you need to change the review to state that you don't have a full contact fight team until you do. do sifu voss or any of the seniors have any experience in full contact competition? (i mean lei tai, san shou/sanda or even full contact kickboxing.)

    4) Grappling is taught during our shuai-chiao classes. But really does not receive as much focus as it does in a jujitsu school. I gave it a five because of the success that students have had in the military. There are a few who are now grappling/combat instructors in the military. Students seem to have a good grasp of grappling. But I'm not sure that any of them could last against an MMA fighter.
    ok, but i still am curious where your shuai chiao/shuai jiao curriculum comes from. also i am curious if any of the students or instructors have a competition record for shuai chiao or submission grappling (or even judo, actually.)

    thanks for making the time to answer my questions, forgive me if i seem like i am giving you the 3rd degree, but we tend to be quite thorough in our evaluations around here.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
  9. division42 is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/16/2007 1:35pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Northern Shaolin kung fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The changes must not have taken place. But it appears that now they have. For right now I'm not sure what even your explanation of "Aliveness" means. For all I can tell is it is a question of how 'real' our training is? It sounds like you have a completely different philosophy than what is compatible with the system. Maybe I'm wrong, but the article makes reference to a lot of things that I'm not seeing. Nor do I have that much time right now.

    Also, I mean the formatting of the website is too busy. I run the latest version of Firefox, and I agree that my formatting isn't all that great in my description, and have entered the CR's.

    I'll have to ask about any lineage for our grapples. If it's anything aside from what is contained within the forms. All the technique is in the forms. Adapted and translated through the owner of the form (students).

    The hard sparring we do is lei tai. I don't have equipment for that and don't have the money to get it. Not fond of other peoples mouth gaurds either. So, in that manner we do have some people that do compete in lei tai and often place 1st-3rd. But no actual team (that was updated as well)

    I'll direct you to the world's ugliest site. This is where Sifu Voss and the other instructors are this weekend:
    http://www.shaolinlomita.com/anniv16.htm

    If you have any more questions or scrutiny, let me know. I'll do the best I can. (as far as the videos go on the site, I haven't a clue what they are, I"m blocked at work)
    Last edited by division42; 11/16/2007 1:51pm at .
  10. Airman Kai is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2007 8:22am


     Style: Out-Of-Shape MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Look, man, the guidelines, which I've already posted, are here.

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=48577

    I will try to break it down for you score by score so you have the oppurtunity to correctly rate your school. These ratings are not a score based on how you FEEL about your school, but are defined by specific parameters. Please look at the highlighted areas.


    Aliveness:

    1: No sparring/contact, performance demonstration/forms only.
    2-3: Compliant partner drills, board breaking, point sparring
    4-5: Light contact continuous sparring (negligible pain/risk). <-- YOUR SCORE
    6-7: Medium contact with excessive safety gear.
    8-9: Hard contact with reasonable safety gear and/or limited to one range of fighting (standup/grappling).
    10: Regular (monthly or less) skill testing via full contact, full range fighting, minimum safety equipment.

    Equipment:

    1: What equipment?
    2-4: Bring your own. <-- YOUR SCORE
    5: Basic relevant essentials, may be heavily used.
    6-7: Respectable equipment, somewhat worn.
    8-9: Excellent, new condition, latest gear.
    10: Superior equipment (full ring/cage, etc)

    Gym Size:

    1: Bedroom in your parents' house.
    2: We train in the garage.
    3: We train in the basement.
    4: But it's a freakin' big basement. <-- YOUR SCORE
    5: We train at the park
    6: Actual dedicated commercial space, somewhat small but functional.
    7: +2
    8: Plenty of room to roll/spar without tripping over people
    9: 5,000-10,000 sq ft.
    10: 10,000 sq ft.

    Instructor/Student Ratio

    1: I am my own instructor.
    2: I've met the lead instructor, once.
    3: I see my lead instructor every class, through the window to his office.
    4-5: Instructor opens class, senior students complete it.
    6-7: large class but instructor is accessible and oversees most classes.
    8-9: Smaller classes, instructor or highly qualified (master level) assistant instructors in small groups. <-- YOUR SCORE
    10: Highly personal attention from top instructors.

    Atmosphere/Attitude

    1-5: Everyone's a douchebag/tough guy/pansy to corresponding degrees and/or drama.
    6-7: Fairly impersonal, various cliques or noticable drama.
    8-10: Open, supportive but challenging, bizarro hippy ass-beating love fest. <-- YOUR SCORE

    Striking Instruction

    1-3: No striking.
    4-5: Striking for punching/kicking only and/or limited purposes (demonstration, highly restrictive sport). <-- YOUR SCORE
    6-7: Comprehensive striking (all ranges) or superior single range striking with success in local/regional competition or practial application.
    8-9: Pressure-tested, full range striking and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
    10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors

    Grappling Instruction

    1-3: No grappling. Anti-grapling.
    4-5: Limited single sub-range (standing, clinch, ground only). <-- YOUR SCORE
    6-7: Compehensive grappling with success in local/regional competition or practical application (LEO, military).
    8-9: Pressure-tested, full range grappling and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
    10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors

    As for the weapons, you'll have a 1-3 score if it's only for demonstration, 4-6 score if it's sparring with padded weaponry, 7-9 if it's sparring with hard weapons and light padding, ad a 10 only if you somehow find yourself sparring full contact with real weapons.
    Last edited by Airman Kai; 11/17/2007 8:30am at .



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