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  1. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/15/2008 12:36pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for answering questions.


    That's all I can say positive because, there are so many mixed up beliefs in that post it is ridiculous.
  2. world_b_free is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/15/2008 12:55pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Please elaborate. Ridiculous how? I'm just trying to help, but maybe I can learn something too or I can be more clear.
    Last edited by world_b_free; 4/15/2008 1:11pm at .
  3. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/15/2008 1:45pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Your post is to long.

    01) Search the history of all Martial Arts inculuding Japanese, Chinese and any other you like.
    02) Self defense vs fighting please tell me I don't have to explain this to you. Semantics.
    03) Sport vs Tradition. Until you practice at an MMA gym don't make assumptions.
    04) Lineage is important when you teach things wrong or bad.
    05) Yes, you can tell when someone isn't interested. You still don't teach crap.
    06) CMA submissions similar to BJJ, on the ground, do not exist. Reference post #4.
    07) You spar against people you are unfamiliar with. Reference post #1.
    08) This exists in many sports, schools, yoga etc. It does legitimatize the school.
    09) This would take to long. Sounds like a money issue.
    10) Lineage is easy if, it isn't made up. When there are holes, stories change.
    11) "Who, what, when, where, how long?" Yes, you just did ask some of those questions.
    12) People sign contracts. If every gym was attended fully, there would be no room.
    13) Thousands of schools don't make you wait six months.
    14) Martial Arts Purists and nobody here? More veiled insults. Reference post #1, #15.
    15) You are kidding right? You just dropped his Martial knowledge down another peg.
    16) Actually I know instructors that do. So, yes, I can expect him to teach every class.
    17) How does your bias solve the "cult" claim?
    18) Your school analogy fails. This is somone selling a product. Different rules apply.
    Last edited by It is Fake; 4/15/2008 1:47pm at .
  4. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/15/2008 1:47pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by world_b_free
    I discovered this thread only a couple of days ago. I canít believe how many years the topic of this school has been debated. Iíve read nearly all of the threads and refrained from posting anything because I didnít want to reignite flames that had died a year ago, but when I saw the posts hit March 2008, I felt it was appropriate that I could reply.

    I am a current student/teacher at the School of Chinese Martial Arts. I have practiced there for almost 9 years now. I have two children that attend classes there as well. Those of you who are current or long-time former students can probably guess my identity, but it would be nice if you didnít reveal it on the Internet in a public forum, as I would not reveal yours.

    There have been a number of questions regarding Sifu, the school, and the type of practice there. I will try to address as many as I can remember in no particular order.

    1. Where are the trophies?:This is not a fighting or tournament school. Itís not that we canít; itís just that it is not our goal. We donít view our practice as a sport, so we donít enter tournaments or look to win trophies.

    2. Fighting vs. Self-defense: These are two diametrically opposed ideologies, both applying the same learned techniques. In the former, Iím looking to engage in an assault against another human being. In the latter, Iím protecting myself against an attack. Weíre not interested in producing the next UFC or Pride champion, but someone who could defend themselves against a would-be assailant.
    Our philosophy is that you need to take control over your own mind before you can take control over any situation or attack. People limit themselves by thinking that attacks are only physical, but attacks are mental, verbal, emotional, psychological, etc. I donít know about the rest of you, but I donít get attacked physically on a regular basis. The last time I got into a fight, I was 15, and I probably could have avoided that one too. The techniques that we use, punching, kicking, etc. help us to focus our minds. When a punch is coming at my face, and could hit me if I donít move, puts me right in the moment. When Iím practicing, Iím very mindful of what Iím doing and my partners around me. When that kick is coming at my groin, Iím not thinking about the tough day at work I had, or my relationship, or money, or anything else. Iím focused right in that moment. How successful could I be in life if I could focus at that level at any given moment for everything that I do?

    3. Why people like myself stay there (or not)?: Everyone has a different reason for wanting to practice. This is not a one size fits all establishment. You can go to other places or perform other activities to get cardio, or learn mental awareness, or how to deal with mental/verbal attacks, or how to learn focus. But 9 years ago I wanted to get in the best physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional state of my life. I had practiced Martial Arts before (Tae Kwon Do), which also incorporated meditation as part of its practice. I knew of one thing that could do all of those things Ė Martial Arts. If you want to go there to learn how to get ready for your next MMA bout, or be able to handle yourself at Dooleyís the next time you hit on some guyís girlfriend, then you probably wonít get your moneyís worth and this probably isnít the place for you. But if you want to be able to handle yourself and take control of your actions around your boss, or co-workers, or significant other, or your children, then itís probably worth it, because I have to do this every day. Oh, and by the way, if you wanted to learn effective Martial Arts techniques, get great cardio, and yes, if it came down to it Ė kick someoneís ass then this might be for you.

    4. Sifuís Martial Arts lineage and why students donít know it (or care) Ėpart 1: I wonít regurgitate it as most of it has already been said by other supporters and even his detractors. You can do the homework and read them for yourself. To this date, no one disputes, what he said, just whether or not itís true. I will get to that in a minute.
    First, Sifu has never given a rundown of his biography, at least not at any one given time. You would have to have been there for a while (several years) to hear it all. It usually comes up in a question and answer period in one of the classes. The answer is generally specific to the question asked. So one time you may get information about his previous styles. Another time you may get information about his previous instructors. At another time you may get information about his trips to China, India, and Japan. Sometimes, he gives more details than others. Sometimes he gives dates and names and other times just the events. So the reason that most students donít know the answers to these questions is because we donít bother to stop him in mid-sentence while we go get a pen and paper to write it all down for one. Two, it would take a number of years to get the whole story, and by that time, you donít really care about the minute details of his lineage. Youíre happy with your practice and the changes itís made in your life. His style is an eclectic blend of all of the Martial Arts that he has practiced over the years, much in the way Bruce Lee took from different styles to develop Jeet Kune Do.
    The crux of the matter: whether or not itís all true? I cannot verify it with hard evidence any more than others can denounce it. In both regards, it would be second or third hand hearsay. I havenít done a background check and investigated and personally spoke with all of his instructors and I doubt his detractors have either. If post members are asking his students to prove that itís true, then shouldnít his detractors have to prove that itís not?
    There may be embellishments or inconsistencies in details. Does that make him a liar or someone who misremembers certain facts. I learned long division in grade school, but I canít tell you for sure if it was in 4th grade or not. I skipped 3rd grade, so I know it wasnít then. So I might say 2nd grade one time and 4th the next. Doesnít really change whether or not I can do it or teach it. For years I recalled how I pitched a no-hitter once. That was before I learned official score-keeping awards a base hit if the runner gets thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double. Too late now. All I know is that I didnít allow a base-runner for an entire game. Thatís the way I remember it so itís too late to hit me with the facts. So did he learn his weapons forms directly from Shaolin Monks or did he learn it from videotaping it? I donít know. I enjoyed learning the broadsword form too much last summer to worry about it.

    5. Dagonís Intro Class: I wasnít there that particular night, but I have done intros for the 1st timers. What I can share with you is that we follow the same script. We have a standard list of techniques along with demonstrations and explanations. But there is a twist. We cater the intro to the person that weíre teaching. Sifu has a brief chat with each intro prior to class. Based on that conversation, he pulls us aside and tells us how he wants us to teach the intro class. Itís a private instruction designed to give the genuine student the best experience. But we also get jerks too and we weed them out. Iím not saying that Dagon is one. I donít know him and I would not attempt to assassinate someoneís character anonymously on the Internet. Iím just saying that after 13+ years, Iím sure Sifu can spot a student who is serious about wanting to practice there, versus someone who is just a ringer. And Iím sure that the answers to Dagonís questions were vague for that very same reason. Again, after 13+ years, Iím sure they can tell if someone is asking because they want to know or if theyíre just asking Ė you know what I mean?

    6. The Grappling thing: Iím not sure if people arenít reading the whole thing or they just want to hear what they want to hear. Iíll repeat it for those who need help. Sifu knew and taught grappling techniques prior to practicing with Shihan Dunn. He practices with him to get better at his ground-fighting skills and teaches those things to us. A teacher that continues to develop and grow and passes that knowledge on to his students Ė not sure why the disdain there. Our art encompasses long range, short range techniques, punches, kicks, throws, grappling, chin na, and the principles of movement. We practice with weapons. We practice defense against weapons. Thatís a lot to do. As you can imagine, it takes years and years to get good at it. More so, than an art that specializes in only one of those aspects of our art such as Aikido or Jujitsu. I would naturally expect that an Aikido school or a school for Jujitsu, would be better at their specialty given the same period of time. Sifu is enhancing his skills and knowledge by practicing with Shihan Dunn Ė not learning it new!

    7. How do we know if what weíve learned is any good?: Again, it goes back to your reason for being there. If your goal was to learn how to smack motherfuckers around, then you probably didnít get much out of it and youíve totally missed what Martial Arts is supposed to be about. We can debate ad nauseum what Martial Artsí original purpose was or where it came from. For every reference one can find, Iím sure someone else can find 10 more to argue the other way. The measure of whether or not itís any good is how it changed or affected your life. Everyone who walks through those doors and spends any amount of time is affected positively in some way. Those who have left have done so for their own reasons. Just as I respect those reasons and our differences, former students should respect ours for staying. Respect and agreement are not synonymous.

    8. The tests are hard: Yeah, they are. The higher the rank, the harder the tests. But I guess if it was easy, it wouldnít be a test. Two things I can say about the tests. One, Sifu doesnít ask you to test if he doesnít think youíre ready. He doesnít set anyone up to fail. Second, once you make it through the other side, you can use it as motivation. When things happen in my life, I think back on my test and say to myself ďIf I can pass my ____ sash test, I can do anythingĒ. So many times during the test you want to quit. You donít think that you can do any more or make it to the next part and you remind yourself that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So you focus on that moment. I canít tell you how many times Iíve faced daunting tasks and referenced that test for strength.

    9. Why there are no black sashes after so many years?: Actually, we have one now. Why arenít there more? See item #8. Iím being facetious. Actually rank probably means more in the beginning as your own sense of validation that you are progressing in your practice. After a while you begin to realize that rank is more for the other students than it is for yourself. Itís more of an indicator for junior students to seek out help and see examples of technique and etiquette. It becomes less important in terms of validating your own ability.

    10. Sifuís Martial Arts lineage and why students donít know it (or care) Ėpart 2: The reason I said that I wonít regurgitate whatís already been said regarding his lineage and that people can review the various threads over the years wasnít to be cute, but to illustrate how his students learned the information and how difficult it could be to have the complete story as it has been told over a number of years in different forums, and with different bits of information. That would be analogous to you searching the threads and posts over the years to get your answers. No one that Iím aware of has publicly asked Sifu the question and also forced him to frame his response in the manner of ďwhat styles did you practice?, what years were they?, how long did you practice that style?, who was your instructor?, what rank did you achieve in each style?, and do you have testimonials to back up this information?Ē Thatís really the question posters of this forum are trying to ask. The average student is not going to be able to answer those questions in that manner. Iíve seen websites from other schools and I donít see all of the instructors reference their experience in that manner either. Some provide more information than others, but I donít see it listed like that. And to my knowledge, weíve never asked him to frame it like that. The information youíre getting is based on our recollection of facts over a number years, through the course of different conversations. Is it possible that the inconsistencies are on our part in trying to recall what weíve heard, and not Sifu misrepresenting himself? Just a thought.

    11. Evasive questions regarding the practice & Dagonís questions: When I first came to the Dojo, I asked questions about the style of Kung Fu that was taught there. I got a straight answer. I asked how long Sifu practiced Martial Arts. I got a straight answer there too. I asked what the schoolís philosophy was and what types of techniques were taught in the kidís and adult program. No problem there either. What I didnít ask was ďwho, what, when, where, how long, what color belt?, etc.Ē Iím not sure what relevance that would have had at that point in time. I wasnít going to learn anymore about that school or that teacher until I got on the mats and practiced. Questions regarding his lineage were more anecdotal later on. We seem to be pretty obsessed with Martial Arts lineage, but I donít think we investigate our doctors this aggressively and we trust them with our internal organs. The question for me was about do I like what Iím doing and do I see value in what Iím learning. What color belts he had seemed irrelevant (also answering again why students say they donít care). If someone like Dagon, or anyone else for that matter walked in the door asking those types of questions, itís a good bet that they have an ulterior motive and arenít really interested in practicing Kung Fu at that school. And as I said before, your intro class is shaped based on your motive for being there.

    12. Why the 6 month contract: I was a personal trainer and I can tell you from experience that it takes time for the miracle to happen. No one is going to get in shape in two weeks. I donít care what the commercial says. Youíre not going to be good at Kung Fu in six months either. But at least if you put the time in, youíre on your way. Most people in our society put their time where their money is. If my clients were allowed to buy one session at a time they would never get in shape and claim that it doesnít work and itís not doing them any good. Likewise, if you do monthly pay as you go Martial Arts, youíre going to go this month cause you have some money. Take next month off cause there are a couple of Xbox 360 games you want. Go back a couple of months laterÖand wonder why you arenít getting anything out of it. If youíre already on the hook and youíre paying for it, youíre going to go as much as possibleÖallow the miracle to happen.

    13. No you canít free grapple and spar 6 months in: Who in their right mind is going to let someone walk in off the street and start throwing punches and kicks and doing arm bars with other students? First, for your protection and second for the other studentís. We donít know if you know what youíre doing and you could get hurt. We donít know if you have the right mind set and could hurt other people. We have free grappling and sparring in the advanced classes. Dagon saw intermediate class, which focuses on pre-arranged drills with a partner. Itís a precursor to some of the drills in advanced class. In advanced class we go at each other pretty hard and simulate attack situations as much as possible. Weíre still partners, but we make each other earn that ďtapĒ or that punch or kick, or that throw, or that chin na. Be serious everyone. Are you really expecting to see or do that on the first night or after a few months? Anywhere?

    14. Mixture of Japanese and Chinese terms: We speak mostly in English for our basic techniques, which is good, because when I took Tae Kwon Do, everything was in Korean and to this day, I can only remember a handful of the Korean terms for our kicks. As previously stated, his roots are in Japanese Martial Arts and some of the terms are more easily recognizable in the Japanese form. For example, almost everyone is familiar with the term dojo as opposed to kwoon, even people who know nothing about Martial Arts. I guess it could be a sticking point for Martial Arts purists, but that canít be anybody here in this forum, because I read the scoffing at the bowing that we do.

    15. Authenticity of his Tíai Chi: I canít comment on as I only practice Kung Fu.

    16. Sifu doesnít teach classes: There are almost 30 classes a week offered between adult Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and kids classes. He teaches most of them. Thereís no way anyone would expect for him to teach them all. When I practiced Tae Kwon Do many years ago, the master/owner taught one class a week on Sundays. The Masterís class. Other than occasional cameo appearances, he never left the office. The other classes were taught by other black belts and senior students. Iím amazed that he teaches as many classes as he does considering how many he offers.

    17. Former students and staff: I canít speak to why staff members have left. I assume for the reasons that most people leave any other job Ė more money, donít like the type of work, better opportunities, donít like their boss, their boss doesnít like them, etc. Most people donít quit a job that theyíre happy with for no reason. Iíve never asked Sifu why they really left and I would probably be told that it was none of my business. Which it isnít. The nosy side of me would love to know all of the details, but if I did, I wouldnít share them with anyone, especially on the Internet. So I guess Iím going to have to punt on this one. As far as the former students, the same thing applies. If they didnít like their experience there, they were free to leave, and they did. I think that also takes care of the ďitís a cultĒ thing. What do you know? Two for one.

    18. Why Sifu doesnít post himself and defend himself?: First, I would hope that he has better things to do. Second, he probably doesnít feel the need to defend or validate himself to Bullshido bloggers, and I for one would never bring this site to his attention. Itís fun for us to banter about, but he probably doesnít see the value in it. I think we, as his students feel more offended by not having the respect and right to agree to disagree on what we feel is important with respect to lineage of practice, what constitutes Martial Arts, which philosophy to follow, or even the origins of the Art itself. For Sifu, itís probably like saying ďyour mommaĒ in grade school. I told my son that we as parents donít really care what a 4th grader said about us. I never went up to his school to show his classmates that I had all of my teeth, didnít walk with a limp, and could prove who my father was and that my parents were married when they had me.

    I addressed as much stuff as I could think of and I probably didnít get to all of it. This is kind of long, so most people probably stopped reading three items in or half read my comments, but thatís ok. My answers may not be sufficient for some of you and thatís ok too. We can disagree. Hope this helps.
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  5. former student is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/16/2008 12:09pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    nice post would be free.


    I was thinking about this whole discussion and I think for the vast majority of SCMA students this analogy applies:

    If you are in a resturant and have a great meal, do you care where the chef learned how to make it?

    Not likely. Most would problably just enjoy the momment and decide to come back again.
    Last edited by former student; 4/16/2008 12:12pm at . Reason: deleted non-meaningful content
  6. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/16/2008 2:22pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by former student
    nice post would be free.


    I was thinking about this whole discussion and I think for the vast majority of SCMA students this analogy applies:

    If you are in a resturant and have a great meal, do you care where the chef learned how to make it?

    Not likely. Most would problably just enjoy the momment and decide to come back again.
    i can think of a number of situations where i would want to know where the chef learned to cook.

    1) the sign on the door advertises that they serve parisian cuisine. i eat a fantastic meal there and hope to be able to find similar food in paris, or even elsewhere. i would ask where the chef learned his skills and ask where else i might be able to get food like this. lineage would be IMPORTANT.

    2) let's say i have never had sushi before. i want to know if real authentic sushi is delicious. my local chinese restaurant has set up a sushi bar. there is also a japanese run sushi restaurant in town that has a sushi chef trained in japan.

    do you think that it doesn't matter which place i go to? the chinese place might serve edible sushi, but they are probably going to screw up the finer details. if i want the real deal, i need to go to a place with a sushi chef who was trained in japan.

    i don't think that the owner of the japanese place or the chef would have a problem if i was to ask where he learned to make sushi.

    does that make sense?
    "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
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    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
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  7. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/16/2008 4:48pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by former student
    nice post would be free.


    I was thinking about this whole discussion and I think for the vast majority of SCMA students this analogy applies:

    If you are in a resturant and have a great meal, do you care where the chef learned how to make it?

    Not likely. Most would problably just enjoy the momment and decide to come back again.
    Apparently it matters to people:

    http://www.oo.com/st-pete-times-food...t-credentials/
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1811
  8. former student is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/17/2008 8:23am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    IiF, I think the situations are a bit different. This person falsely advertised himself to a potential employer and (probably) attained the position due to his embelleshments. Sifu Brown already has is own school and doesn't mention his resume on his website or in any of his advertisments (which attracts most students). Only after they've been impressed enough with the school to sigh up would they eventually hear about history. Using this logic the instructor's history/liniage would not be the driving factor in their opinion of the school.

    Like I posted earlier, if liniage is important to a student (which is fine) then maybe finding a school that puts more emphasis in this area would suit them better.


    Thank you for the intelligent discussion.
  9. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/17/2008 8:42am

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    Quote Originally Posted by former student
    IiF, I think the situations are a bit different. This person falsely advertised himself to a potential employer and (probably) attained the position due to his embelleshments. Sifu Brown already has is own school and doesn't mention his resume on his website or in any of his advertisments (which attracts most students). Only after they've been impressed enough with the school to sigh up would they eventually hear about history. Using this logic the instructor's history/liniage would not be the driving factor in their opinion of the school.

    Like I posted earlier, if liniage is important to a student (which is fine) then maybe finding a school that puts more emphasis in this area would suit them better.


    Thank you for the intelligent discussion.
    He wasn't advertising his Resume'. He was on a show that started to check out his claims (just like Brown's claims) and got caught.

    So, it is actually eerily similar.
  10. former student is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/17/2008 9:41am

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    Quote Originally Posted by It is Fake
    He wasn't advertising his Resume'. He was on a show that started to check out his claims (just like Brown's claims) and got caught.

    So, it is actually eerily similar.
    If the chef had opened his own resturant or was his own entertainment corporation and gained popularity or acclaim without the help of resume embelleshments, then it would be (is) similar. It doesn't appear this is the case.


    It is unethical to embellish or create work history no matter what field you make a living in and nobody can argue that. I know that within this discussion no proof has been given that Brown has done so. There is only anonymous personal testimony on both sides, so those on the outside looking in will have to suppose one way or the other if they desire.

    I will say many don't care if Brown is unethical becasue he is very skilled technically, teaches a practical system of kung fu, and the instruction and environment at the school is top notch. We as a society look past unethical actions everyday fulfilling personal needs. It shouldn't be a suprise that few care about possible embellishments regarding the sorce of a kung fu system.
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