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  1. vannestjc is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2009 12:35pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Tae kwon do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As a student of Master Ray's...I'm a little nervous about posting here. The feelings in this thread are VERY strong and seeing some of the supposed truths about St. Louis Martial Arts Center...I can certainly understand why.

    Here's what I know:

    First off, I'm not a religious person. I go to church for weddings and funerals and that's pretty much it. Students are not forced to join any kind of religion or attend church with Master Ray. The lack of doing so does not slow down advancement and students are not treated any differently than student/church members.

    The facility...the half of the building that is the dojo is very nice and was actually the entire school for a few years. At some point, the tenant in the next space ended their lease and Master Ray picked up the second side. The red carpet leaves a lot to be desired, that's for sure. But the room, I don't believe, is actually finished.

    But whoever said it is correct...the dojo is very nice, while the "church" side is a work in progress.

    I, and my 2 boys, attend classes twice a week and have seen many benefits to the training. I am getting my fat a** back in shape (which is going to be no easy task, let me tell you) and losing weight. My kids are showing more focus, more discipline, more respect and are gaining skills that could help them down the road.

    There is a fine line between the religious aspects and the martial arts aspects of St. Louis Martial Arts Center and I'll admit that there are times when that line, in my personal opinion, gets crossed. But they're rare and for the most part, if you're not interested in the religious aspect, it is easy enough to avoid.

    I won't pretend to know a whole bunch about martial arts and I'm not a troll. And given some of the reported "facts" in this thread, I can certainly see where all of the negavtivity comes from. I just wanted to take a minute to post that not EVERYthing you've heard is true.

    Take care.
    vannestjc
  2. omoplatypus is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/24/2009 1:57pm

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     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by vannestjc View Post
    As a student of Master Ray's...I'm a little nervous about posting here.
    no reason to be nervous as long as you are honest and open to the idea that the man you admire might not be who you think he is.

    Here's what I know:

    First off, I'm not a religious person. I go to church for weddings and funerals and that's pretty much it. Students are not forced to join any kind of religion or attend church with Master Ray. The lack of doing so does not slow down advancement and students are not treated any differently than student/church members.
    that's one good thing


    But whoever said it is correct...the dojo is very nice, while the "church" side is a work in progress.
    that was me that said that.

    I, and my 2 boys, attend classes twice a week and have seen many benefits to the training. I am getting my fat a** back in shape (which is going to be no easy task, let me tell you) and losing weight.
    good for you. be proud that you are doing something positive for your health.

    My kids are showing more focus, more discipline, more respect and are gaining skills that could help them down the road.
    there are better ways to teach your children these things than through a program like steven ray's. also, the types of techniques (and many of us are speaking from experience) that he teaches, actually can cause harm down the road.

    There is a fine line between the religious aspects and the martial arts aspects of St. Louis Martial Arts Center and I'll admit that there are times when that line, in my personal opinion, gets crossed. But they're rare and for the most part, if you're not interested in the religious aspect, it is easy enough to avoid.
    it shouldn't be crossed, period. the jewish community center teaches self defense, but doesn't do anything religious. also, there is a karate program at the catholic church that is the same way. you learn how to punch and kick, nothing about religion whatsoever.

    I won't pretend to know a whole bunch about martial arts
    good, but we do know a whole bunch about martial arts, and those of us that are not as experienced participate and learn from those that are. this is not our first investigation and it wont be our last.

    I just wanted to take a minute to post that not EVERYthing you've heard is true.
    we all understand that there are at least 2 sides to every story. however, there are enough people involved in this investigation that have been involved with ray who have come forward to tell their sides of the story. keep in mind, these people are unrelated as they all worked or trained with ray at different times, yet their stories are all uncannily similar.

    i would suggest re-reading the entire thread. look at all the issues that were left unresolved on ray's end, the independent accusations of multiple former associates, the questionable certifications, etc. then, try to think of how these things would look to someone who wasn't associated with ray and had no vested interest in his school whatsoever. had you read this thread before signing up with your children, would you have joined his school?
    Last edited by omoplatypus; 4/24/2009 2:01pm at .
    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.
  3. vannestjc is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2009 2:12pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Tae kwon do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    no reason to be nervous as long as you are honest and open to the idea that the man you admire might not be who you think he is.
    Here's one thing that I think people are off on in this thread. "Admire" is not the word I would use here. I do respect him, as any student should, IMO. I'm quite confident in the man I am and the men I'm raising my boys to be. I'm too old to be admiring anyone. I think this might be where the cult comments are coming from. Just because I train there and enjoy class there, doesn't mean I agree with all the views of the folks there.



    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    good for you. be proud that you are doing something positive for your health.
    Thanks...though I have to say that sometimes I hurt so damn bad I wonder if it's positive! :)



    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    there are better ways to teach your children these things than through a program like steven ray's. also, the types of techniques (and many of us are speaking from experience) that he teaches, actually can cause harm down the road.
    Without forcing me to go through 57 pages of this thread...I'm not sure what you mean by things that can cause harm down the road.



    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    it shouldn't be crossed, period. the jewish community center teaches self defense, but doesn't do anything religious. also, there is a karate program at the catholic church that is the same way. you learn how to punch and kick, nothing about religion whatsoever.
    And this is where I think it becomes a matter of personal preference. I do know folks who left the school for this because it really bothered them. It doesn't really bother me. Again, I know who I am and who I'm raising my boys to be. Since we all train together, I have no concerns about those instances. I can see where some folks do...but I don't.


    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    we all understand that there are at least 2 sides to every story. however, there are enough people involved in this investigation that have been involved with ray who have come forward to tell their sides of the story. keep in mind, these people are unrelated as they all worked or trained with ray at different times, yet their stories are all uncannily similar.

    i would suggest re-reading the entire thread. look at all the issues that were left unresolved on ray's end, the independent accusations of multiple former associates, the questionable certifications, etc. then, try to think of how these things would look to someone who wasn't associated with ray and had no vested interest in his school whatsoever. had you read this thread before signing up with your children, would you have joined his school?
    Again...this thread is WAYYYY long...so rereading the whole thing might be a bit much. I saw where you came up to the school on a Sunday which is really not a "school day" anyway...it's the whole church thing. I'd be curious to see what some folks who've seen some classes and seen either Master Ray or one of his instructors or assistants in action...to see what they think of the actual class and training that is being done there...leaving all the other stuff aside.

    I know you have to take the whole into consideration, but I'm curious to know what you guys think of the actual training being done there.

    I could search for days in a 57 page thread for those posts...so if anyone could help me out a bit, that would be fantastic.

    And thanks for your courteous and serious reply.
  4. omoplatypus is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/24/2009 2:20pm

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     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i'm being as courtious and serious as possible when i say this.

    read the whole thread. you will be very surprised at the thoroughness of it all. keep in mind, a lot of posts (and i do mean a lot) on this thread, got flushed into the junk post section. so, pretty much everything you read will be germane to the case.
    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.
  5. vannestjc is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2009 2:31pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Tae kwon do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    i'm being as courtious and serious as possible when i say this.

    read the whole thread. you will be very surprised at the thoroughness of it all. keep in mind, a lot of posts (and i do mean a lot) on this thread, got flushed into the junk post section. so, pretty much everything you read will be germane to the case.

    will do.

    thanks again.
  6. NoFear900 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/28/2009 1:38pm

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     Style: Taekwondo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [quote]I know you have to take the whole into consideration, but I'm curious to know what you guys think of the actual training being done there.[quote]


    So....I hear exactly what you are saying. I trained with the man for the better part of 5 years. if you have read any other parts of the thread would see my take on his way of training...

    But in your curiosity, i would gladly admit that ray does in fact have quite a bit of skill when it comes to teaching. He is a great speaker as well as a good martial artist in itself. Again I have no problem admitting that....no one here does.

    Problem that we have with him is that, he is claiming certain i High level certification and other forms BS that don't quite add up. It has been approximately 6 years since he left the world system. And in that time he was able to gain 3 more degrees of Black belt, and another Kung-fu certi. and is now qualified to teach judo, and many other things?

    So to sum everything up, yes he is a great instructor, and sends a great positive influence and feeling out to his students and in his dojang. But It is what he does when he is not in front of the students that is the primary cause of concern.: the possible shady church donations that are made payable to his dojang, the 10 no 11 no 14 no 13 and always changing help centers in india. and the even still calling of students from the world schools as their programs are up.( he downloaded the student database before he left with thousands of dollars for a tkd student trip to Korea)...possible tax crisis,

    And if anyting on this forum has been falsified or needs clearing up you can be conlmpetly sure that it is not from our end.....
  7. vannestjc is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/28/2009 2:12pm

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     Style: Tae kwon do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [quote=NoFear900;2113240][quote]I know you have to take the whole into consideration, but I'm curious to know what you guys think of the actual training being done there.


    So....I hear exactly what you are saying. I trained with the man for the better part of 5 years. if you have read any other parts of the thread would see my take on his way of training...

    But in your curiosity, i would gladly admit that ray does in fact have quite a bit of skill when it comes to teaching. He is a great speaker as well as a good martial artist in itself. Again I have no problem admitting that....no one here does.

    Problem that we have with him is that, he is claiming certain i High level certification and other forms BS that don't quite add up. It has been approximately 6 years since he left the world system. And in that time he was able to gain 3 more degrees of Black belt, and another Kung-fu certi. and is now qualified to teach judo, and many other things?

    So to sum everything up, yes he is a great instructor, and sends a great positive influence and feeling out to his students and in his dojang. But It is what he does when he is not in front of the students that is the primary cause of concern.: the possible shady church donations that are made payable to his dojang, the 10 no 11 no 14 no 13 and always changing help centers in india. and the even still calling of students from the world schools as their programs are up.( he downloaded the student database before he left with thousands of dollars for a tkd student trip to Korea)...possible tax crisis,

    And if anyting on this forum has been falsified or needs clearing up you can be conlmpetly sure that it is not from our end.....
    I very much appreciate this post. Like I said...the thread is so long and while I've read the whole thing...it's been in pieces over a several month period, so it's not all fresh in my mind. I do plan to re-read it...it's a matter of finding the time.

    Thanks again!
  8. omoplatypus is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/28/2009 2:34pm

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     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i do not have any first hand knowledge of his abilities, but i did see (and the screen caps are posted) him asking for charitable donations with checks made payable to his business and not his charity.

    this has the potential for HUGE amounts of fraud. i'm not saying that he is committing charity fraud, but it leaves the barn door pretty wide open.

    also, 3 degrees of black belt in 3 years? think about this. the kukkiwon states that black belt degrees are awareded, in part, by time spent in rank. to go from first to second is 1 year, 2nd to 3rd is 2 years, 3rd to 4th is 3 years and so on.

    so, if he was a 3rd or higher, then how could he expect to get more than one degree in less than 4 years? now i know that kukkiwon isn't the only TKD org to certify TKD black belts, but it does put things in perspective on what a "grand master's" time committment looks like.

    EDIT: i just remembered, ray does have kukkiwon certification as a black belt. i belive that it is 2nd degree, maybe it's 3rd. however, where did he get his other degrees from? and how did he get them as quickly as he claimed?
    Last edited by omoplatypus; 4/28/2009 2:38pm at .
    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.
  9. NoFear900 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/28/2009 10:28pm

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     Style: Taekwondo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by white_kimbo View Post
    i do not have any first hand knowledge of his abilities, but i did see (and the screen caps are posted) him asking for charitable donations with checks made payable to his business and not his charity.

    this has the potential for HUGE amounts of fraud. i'm not saying that he is committing charity fraud, but it leaves the barn door pretty wide open.

    also, 3 degrees of black belt in 3 years? think about this. the kukkiwon states that black belt degrees are awareded, in part, by time spent in rank. to go from first to second is 1 year, 2nd to 3rd is 2 years, 3rd to 4th is 3 years and so on.

    so, if he was a 3rd or higher, then how could he expect to get more than one degree in less than 4 years? now i know that kukkiwon isn't the only TKD org to certify TKD black belts, but it does put things in perspective on what a "grand master's" time committment looks like.

    EDIT: i just remembered, ray does have kukkiwon certification as a black belt. i belive that it is 2nd degree, maybe it's 3rd. however, where did he get his other degrees from? and how did he get them as quickly as he claimed?
    From what i understand, you can actually do what would be like a skip test. However, you have to have a substantial amount of money in order to do this. And must have some direct connections to the kukiwon. I know of this because my first Dan cert. is spelled wrong, and to get corrected would again cost but to skip myself ahead to the current degree to make up for the mistake would be around 500$ or so to double kukiwon. maybe choi has helped him with this? huh?
  10. omoplatypus is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/28/2009 10:41pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    yeah, but a kukkiwon search showed he was a second dan.

    the question is, who gave him his other ranks for TKD? and how did he get so advanced so quickly?
    --------

    Quote Originally Posted by it is fake View Post
    yeah, normally i'd get a quote, but couldn't be bothered.

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