Yes Kintanton - you are much closer. Good of you to make the offer. My interest is in meeting Doug Moore himself.
Originally Posted by Kintanon
I usually fly out of the east coast or Houston. Otherwise, I fly out of LAX. We still don't know where Grandmaster Moore is located. The last I saw, I thought his seminars were being taught out of California. Perhaps I am wrong on this account.
Still, the following email has been sent:
There's a discussion about you on Bullshido.com
I'm wondering if we could, at some point talk about the thread.
There seems to be a fair bit of reluctance to believe the story of your background. Having lived in Japan, I must admit that I find it hard to believe myself. Still, I consider myself a person of open mind.
While I live in Oklahoma, I often find myself in California when departing for flights outside of the US.
Please let me know if you are receptive to meeting me and possibly demonstrating your reputed skills. It could only benefit you in added exposure given Bullshido's standing in a google search of your organization.
Otherwise, would a phone conversation be acceptable?
I highly doubt he'll be doing any sparring, I just refreshed my memory and he had his entire left side messed up pretty bad in a car accident. As I recall his left leg is barely functional, so anything faster than a quick walk is pretty much out for him.
At best you'll get a compliant demo or two from him, and possibly some lame magic tricks that would make Mtripp weep with horror to see them being used by ninja larpers.
The phone number posted up pulled up a place in East Cobb/Roswell called "Just For Kicks" but has no website available. I'm not sure the place is still up & running.
Originally Posted by Kintanon
This is my first post so bear with me!
Since I didnít get to the introductions part of the forum yet, Iím basically a middle aged guy who used to be fairly good in the days before MMA took over everything. I have background in Chong Nu, Shori-Ryu, Shaolin Kung-Fu (Crane and Tiger, didnít get around to the other three), Wado-Ryu, Iaido, and Kempo. Since Iím broken down these days Iím a pretty big fan of Colt 1911-Fu.
I found this forum because I was at DragonCon this year and went to Sabutaiís demo. I did a web search on him, found Bullshido and started reading.
I agree his back story raises a few red flags. It seemed improbable, as did some of his stories about being mugged. He is an excellent speaker and showman and worked the crowd like an experienced presenter. He moves quickly for a big guy and his footwork is good at getting him off the line (reminds me a lot of the brief exposure I had to Aikido). His timing was also good and was able to intercept the mock attacks of his students with no hesitation or awkwardness. He demonstrated a few techniques for me after the presentation and unless he was running at 100% and acting like he wasnít he does have some power and his hand speed is good. His form is crisp and precise when performing kata and using his bokken, so back story aside I believe he knows what he is doing.
Another interesting tidbit is that he has long arms for someone his size, meaning his reach is deceptive.
As for the blindfolded stuff, who knows? He seemed to go out of his way to prove his blindfolds worked and had members of the audience position his targets. Of course, Copperfield or somebody made the Statue of Liberty disappear, too. If it is a trick, itís a good one and it sure keeps folks talking about him for good or bad.
I got a card from one of his students after the demo. It doesnít list an address or phone number, only an e-mail. I also got on a mailing list in the event he comes to my area.
Hope this helps. Now Iíve got to go look up some of my past instructors and see if they are listed here!
As I posted early on in the thread, I am sure that he does have martial arts skills. I saw his demo at Dragon*Con a couple of years ago and it was clear that he had training of some sort. Maybe he is a good martial artist. Maybe he is a great martial artist. That isn't the point. Someone can be one of the best in the world, but if they have to gain students by making false claims about their training history they are defrauding their students.
Originally Posted by otlndr
The debate is about his extremely questionable history, and to a lesser degree the tricks he uses in his demos. It seems to you that it is okay if his claims are untrue (which is extremely likely due to the numerous red flags and outrageous claims) as long as he is a good martial artist. You are entitled to that view, but I am sure that the majority do not feel that way. Luring in and maintaining students is a dishonest business practice at the very least.
It seems he is trying to get students and make money not with his skills, but with lies. If skills were enough, then he should just be honest with the origins of his training. He is targeting people who want the story, not the skills. That is why he goes to Dragon*Con to do demos. He can find people who want to train under the living heir of a 14th century Japanese martial arts style, and that is the most important thing. They want to play samurai. If the student's main goal is an instructor with a solid and verifiable martial arts skills there are too many options around here. Unfortunately, they don't all wear hakama, swing swords, and an awesome sounding lineage (except the Shinkendo guys).
One last issue. In your first post you seemed to think that since his background cannot currently be disproved that it strengthens his credibility. That is poor argumentative logic. I can't disprove that lightning comes because Zeus is pissed off, but that doesn't make it more likely.
So, in summary, the reason his story is important is because if it is the lie that it likely is he is attracting and maintaining students under false pretenses, happily taking their money. I guarantee you that if his students found out that it was all lies but his skill remained the same, most if not all would leave.
I want to post just because I was at his demo this past sunday at dragoncon and I feel like I should recount the experience before it totally fades from my mind.
Firstly, it was well attended. I arrived at least 5 minutes early and the room was already packed, so I sat in the back. Who'd have thought comic geeks were also MA geeks?
Sabutai Musashi is a showman, his voice reminds me a lot of Tim Conway. He doesn't look as if he's aged much since the second picture on his wellness site. He carried himself in the average manner of a middle-aged martial artist. He had a cane with him that he said he has needed since, years ago, "his tiny car was pretty much torn in half by a truck the size of a cement truck." He told the "Doctor said I'd never walk again" story and then did a crisp high kick to a tallish volunteer's head. He showed off some pretty traditional chokes with his cane (one on a volunteer dressed as Naruto, which garnered some cheers), talked about how they shouldn't let him on a plane with one because he could own the plane in no time.
He introduced his assistants, from where I was I wouldn't be a fair judge of height, but let's say an average height young woman and a tall man. He played up how strong his male assistant was and did some very crisp traditional jiu jitsu demo joint locks. He then went into a long, long story about a medieval ninja who had to kill an enemy general and was dressed as an old man and, blah, blah, all as an introduction to a very nice jo kata from his female assistant. He then explained that the pauses between her moves were to simulate the young ninja in disguise letting his enemies bask in their confusion or something. Anyhow...
Sabutai discussed how he'd been mugged 12 times and was cool with that statistic. He mentioned how, even crippled, he was faster than 39 police officers he had trained, who could not shot him with a paintball gun when he ran at them with a knife. He then demoed a punch combination on a volunteer, he asked the volunteer to touch him and struck his arm 3 times, the usual wing chun rolling punch thing, wrist, elbow, throat. He was fast, no doubt.
After that he showed how long his arms were and blah, blah. Then he got to the meaty blindfolded stuff. He tied an inch thick black ribbon to a volunteer's eyes. "Can you see?" "Nope." "Well, you can see a little bit out of the bottom, so let me put another blindfold on top of that." So he quickly touched the kid's face with a black piece of fabric that covered his head. He then untied the blindfold and put it on himself, then covered it with a bigger piece of black fabric. I would specualte, if it was a trick, and I won't say it was, that he loosely tied the actual blindfold and pulled it down when he put on the bigger black face cover, which he might make out shapes through. Just wild speculation, though.
He mirrored his volunteer's motion while blindfolded and then got some new volunteers to position his assistants around the room where he would cut cucumbers out of their hands with a sword. Some volunteers lead the assistants through the demo space while the audience clapped "to mask any sound". He was very slow and controlled, which is nice, because trick or not I assume someone could be quite hurt.
After this demo a woman asked how he did it. He explained that it was his 6th sense and that he can see people's energy in his mind by developing the feeling that you have if someone is staring at you. He told the story of how, when he was a child his stepfather would sneak up on him in the middle of the night and choke him to develop his senses. It was very reminicent of the classic samurai tales of the master who would unexpectedly hit them with sticks, except somehow a child's stepfather sneaking in to choke a 7 year-old while he slept seems way more "child-abusey", but that's just my weird cultural lens on things.
That's essentially it, blow by blow. I wish I'd brought a video camera now. I hope I didn't forget anything too important, if I did, maybe Alphablaster will remind me. My opinion is that he's good enough to be judged on his merits as a martial artist without any of the gimmicks like the blindfold and his "legend," but I suppose dragoncon isn't a martial arts convention, it's a fantasy convention and he fits in just fine and draws a big crowd.
Whew, that's that. I whole heartly recommend dragoncon to anybody in the area with some money and a weekend to kill getting drunk and gawking at weirdos. If any of you are the guy who I played capoeira with at the drum circle, thanks for playing with the drunk guy, it was a hell of a culmination of 5 years and 3 classes of capoiera.
Sorry, I haven't read your full post yet, but there's one bit I just have to address:
Seriously? Have you never encountered martial arts or comic books before in your life? Geeks and martial arts - especially MAs of the deadly kind - go together like beer and crisps.
Originally Posted by Blix
Originally Posted by Gezere
Yoshiaki is also Hatsumi's forename before he changed it to Masaaki, just as an aside
I second that. I have been going to Dragon*Con for 12 years and doing martial arts almost as long. I've meet tons of geeks who were into martial arts and martial artists who were into some form of geek culture. A lot are into the martial arts that are directly or indirectly tied to samurai, ninja, or Shaolin monks, although there are some who are into the more purely fighting oriented arts. For example, I used to live in California and trained with Dave Camarillo (Judo and BJJ bad ass). He may be an even bigger Star Wars geek than I am, and that is saying something. Not really related to the current discussion, but I just wanted to say that geekdom and martial arts are far from mutually exclusive.
Originally Posted by CrackFox
Also, Dragon Con isn't just for the geek crowd. The attendees are becoming more and more "mainstream", be it for going to see celebrities, costumes, or having an excuse to drink heavily for three days. I am sure the crowd at his panel had a good number of people who were not there with the intent to become the next Naruto.
Relating it back to the thread, it is pretty clear that he targets those people in the crowd who want to be bad asses just like the characters they like to watch because a good number of them don't know martial arts beyond samurai and ninja. That's probably why he doesn't go to JapanFest, only a couple of weeks from DC. Plenty of martial arts demos there, but I doubt the crowd would be quite as receptive, and I am sure he would be overshadowed by the number of very talented groups who attend. He might also run the risk of pissing off some of the Japanese instructors with his less than credible claims.
Last edited by Chimaira; 9/11/2009 4:51pm at .
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