Posted On:8/08/2007 9:54am
Style: judo, bjj
For the most part I think the above website will largely speak for itself in letting members of this forum make their decision, a handful of videos of this group sparring can be found there, mainly under the austrailia section.
I met the "founder" of the "Way of the Void" Approximately 3 years ago at a class of a friend's, at the time I was training in tkd before this site turned me on to all the bullshit and ineffectiveness in MA and have sinced moved on to bjj and judo. However even only having been training in tkd for about two months I could see what this guy was slinging was complete bullshit. Now to find several years later that this person actually posts on bullshido under the screen name "scybermonk" Now my recollection of that day is semi hazy having been 3 years ago but as best I can remember this is how it went.
While warming up this person came into the area where we train with another gentleman and sat against the wall at the back of the room. After warmup I introduced myself and asked if he would like to participate figuring him for just a curious student wondering about martial arts. He declined and when I asked what he was doing there he said that he liked to observe other styles and compare them to a style he had created called "the way of the void". Always having been somewhat of a skeptic I found this odd seeing as he looked as though he couldnt possibly be more than a year or maybe two older than myself (I am 22 now). However i put it aside and went back to the class when it had ended our main instructor arrived at which point scybermonk introduced himself and asked if he could show a few of the students some of his style. Our instructor seemed just as skeptical as I was but said that the space was university owned and any students who chose to try the style were free to do so.
I had no intention of participating but stayed to see what kinda of things he was going to teach. Figuring it would be a few rehashing wrist locks from other styles I was fairly surprised to see that the first thing he was going to do with the students that stayed was to spar each one of them with bokken, students who before a few days earlier had only even possibly seen one in the hands of tom cruise. What followed was an incredibly un-intelligent parade of hesitation on the part of the students, and really bad movie sword techniques on the part of scybermonk, one of which included pretending to "sheath" the sword, do a little ninja run/shuffle, and draw it at his attackers lower ribs while the attacker came with an overhead strike. It was at this point that I walked out of the room and walked home having lost faith in the human race.
As little as six months ago I stumbled on a post on these forums with the poster "scybermonk" talking about teaching "The Way of the Void", and refusing to provide any sort of credentials to a reply requesting such. Reading his posts about the bullshido that other schools sling was comical to say the last. At the time I decided however not to get involved, until a google search revealed his "school's" website and things continued to get stranger, the below text can be found at toward the bottom of the first page of the website mushashisbarandgrill.com linked above.
At first, it started very simply. The young man, now referred to by the name his own Sensei had given him, Tatsu, began to teach the co-worker, now called Kuma, in the ways of the young mans original style, and also in the useage of weapons (with the exception of Arnis techniques, of which Kuma was versed in, and taught to Tatsu). Eventually, Tatsu decided to take Kuma as an Apprentice, first purely in swordsmanship, but when the position of Apprentice was solidifed in the Way of the Void, he remained in that state. They began to teach their friends, and steadily attracted more people, all the while refining the nature of the Void, and the reasons for the Grill's existence.
Looking around the site it appears that once students achieve a level of "proficiency" (and I use that word very losely) that they are given a japanese. From that point I watched the majority of the sparring and drill video's on the site which appeared to be not be executed with anymore technique or realism than a bunch of 3rd graders fighting on the playground. Only one video of scybermonk/tatsu sparring is available, and it basically consists of him stalking and mean mugging a considerably smaller opponent before shoving him down and hammerfisting him in the back a few times. Which can be found at the below link.
Curious as to why no one wore gloves, and only a few matches had any face contact (again, with about the precision of a 7 year old) I reviewed the sparring rules posted on their site. It appears that all matches are conducted without groin or face contact unless otherwise specified, it was then that I stumbled on this fun bit of info.
No striking to the face or groin (Except in special cases, see 'Equipment' for more details, also, incidental contact does not count.) Other than that, you'll have to work pretty hard to violate a rule. Striking is allowed. Grappling is allowed. Small-joint attacks are allowed. Chokes, locks, throws, knees, elbows, anything that isn't permanently disfiguring is allowed. Biting IS allowed, however, but only until blood is drawn, ending the match. Fish-hooking and eye-gouging are not allowed. There are limits, people. There is a difference between training to kill and actually killing. Removing flesh does not build character or skill. These allowences have a tendency to shock and apall most other practicioners of Martial Arts. These are not the kind of people you will find in the Grill. Most of us inside the Grill have had our noses bloodied more than once. If that sounds too scary for you, go cry to your mommy. A little blood isn't going to kill you, but the inability to deal with being bloodied just might.
In my experience this is the first school that outlaws face and groin contact but allows participants to bite each other, or perhaps the below links explain it.
In closing I will say that I have attempted on two occasions to attend their class to get a first person view of things but thus far I have not found anyone at the posted location and time. I also for a very long time believed this to be none of my business, but watching the videos of his students sparring leads me to believe that what he teaches is going to either get his students seriously injured either in training or in any real confrontation that they were ever involved in. If anyone else has any info please post.
Last edited by djrand; 4/02/2008 3:11pm at .
Posted On:8/12/2007 4:03am
Style: Judo/TKD noob/BJJ noob
I've met this guy to in auckland NZ. and i agree with everyword that you said. he was in auckland and that is why he probably ddnt show up to the classes. this guy is bs martial art at its prime. Martial art is about dicipline of mind and body and about a whole way of life but this guy (his name is monk btw, i know stupid) preaches everything that is not that.
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