5/15/2009 1:13am, #41
- Join Date
- May 2009
You know, there is always talk about who is a true martial artists and who isn't. This forum is a clear example. You have the believers, the nay-sayers, and even those in between who have a mixed view on the matter and only want the truth.
But that's all this is. This forum is just on his skill, what he knows and doesn't know. How fake or real he seems. Some people have made vallid points for both sides. Unfortunately there is not enough information on Ray Rice the martial artists, but there is plenty on Ray Rice the football player. A little hint to people who haven't thought of it: 'Ray' could be a nick name which wouldn't register as well.
But if anyone looks into martial arts, there is more then just physical training invovled. Martial arts is also supposed to teach people about themselves, help them mentally grow as well. Bruce Lee, considered the greatest martial artists of our time, took classes at Washington University in Philosophy, which was his major. This is the biggest issue I see in martial arts. Not enough people take the philosical side of martial arts into consideration, even if they are teaching.
That's the thing I found at Ray's. He teaches more then just a physical attribute of Karate. Before I went to Ray's I never had a friend. I've lived in several states and even another country, and people are all just the same. I had no confidence in myself. Since I've lived in Spindale (right next to Forest City and Rutherfordton which is in Rutherford county, one of the biggest counties in Western North Carolina. Yes, it exists) I was first shunned, even seen and sociably unnaceptable to talk to in high school! But then I found Ray Rice Martial Arts School. I made friends there willing to talk to me. I was able to do something I liked! I had confidence for once in my life. And Ray Rice is the person who helped instill that confidence in me.
Martial arts is more then physical training. It is a way for people to find out who they are and to understand more about themselves. It is a way to train people to think rationaly if it is truly studied. Is Ray the best sensei in the world? No. Is his belief the the correct one? No. Does he help people become better people? Yes. Does he have a great following of loyal, truly studious students? No, just a few.
You can go to demonstrations of other dojos, even tournaments, and watch Katas from other schools. You can look at how they teach their students. The students are trained to dress and act like they are trying out for the next big N-Sync music video, even their katas look like this. And some students show no emotion, no focus, no discipline, but they still get in the top three. And then you can go to the demos of Ray or see some of the tournaments he attends, and you can see that some of his students do actually try, do show the emotion, the focus, the DISCIPLINE, that is required for training in a thing so simple as a Kata.
Is he the man he says he is? Maybe, maybe not. Has he gone all over the world and won 4 world championships? Maybe, maybe not. Does he actually teach something worth while? Yes. I don't agree with everthing I've heard Ray say, but he has trully proven something, even if the chance that all he has done is a lie is true.
That is all I have to say.
5/15/2009 4:02pm, #42
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Thing is that we don't care.
Yay, he made you into a better person, whoop-dee-doo. He may be a good person. However, being all nice doesn't prove a thing concerning his :
1) tournament record
Which are the only things we're interested in, really.
5/16/2009 9:29pm, #43
- Join Date
- May 2009
Yeah, I figured as much. I was just trying to prove some form of point. If I did, I did. If I didn't, I didn't.
5/27/2009 6:37pm, #44
- Join Date
- May 2008
Hes an 8th degree blackbelt in Freestyle martial arts, the school isnt technically any particular style..and daniel is young..give him a break guys..hes like a brother..
and as for the other post..which im taking to be nick..I dont really know..but yeah most martial arts schools will help you become a better person..Ive been right there at the tournaments with you and lol you're right about most of them being nsync wannabes..it was really pathetic..BUT that was your common American showboat "karate" and wasnt authentic martial arts..Kata itself is quite useless AND..something most of the showboat superkick nsync wannabes HATE to admit, their idol, Bruce Lee.. HATED kata and explained it as a useless waste of time..
Bruce Lee was NOT the greatest martial artist of all time..although he may have been the greatest example of martial arts..
Still You can have excellent fighting skill and STILL be a better person..why sacrifice one for the other? Hypocrisy is the main reason why I left along with dishonestly..NO im not doing drugs or messing in pornography orstabbing anyone in the back to open my own school ar any of the other lies that I KNOW were told about me..and I know because #1 thats the same thing that has been said about EVERYONE that has left there..and #2 im still close friends with so many people..and I have been TOLD personally what was said..along with things that were said before I ever left..along with the harassment..
BUT you know what? Im not going to hold it against anyone because..I feel like I Should be the better person..and if he ever wants to work things out and be on good terms that would make my day..
Until then Ill continue training and remembnering the good memories, the close friends..and all of the hard work, blood, sweat, and good times..I mean that place could be booming of people would just open their eyes and loosen their ignorance and arrogance..and let pride and bitterness die..THEN i think people would stay longer..because ray doesnt deserve alot of things he goes through but when you bring it on yourself..you cant really complain..to be hobnest it breaks my heart..
5/28/2009 2:28pm, #45
7/29/2009 6:26pm, #46
- Join Date
- May 2008
1/20/2010 8:49am, #47
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
I realize this is late in coming, and I am sorry for the bump to a very old thread, but I feel the need to put my 2 cents in.
Let me start by saying that I am a former student of Ray's.
I came to his school is 95 with a fair amount of knowledge and skill. I spent 2 years faithfully devoted to Ray and his school. I was at the Dojo nearly every day after school let out.
Ray has solid cred. Period.
In no way would I ever doubt that, or let anyone say otherwise. Many of you watch these videos and flame him, but how many have actually fought him?
Ray impresses me on so many different levels as a martial artist.
That is as far as my respect for the man goes.
Ray has a serious issue with paronoia. In my last few months there, I also began to question his sobriety. Ray is a man possessed of great strength, but then there were those times when his eyes would be glassy and darting, his paronoia was at a much heightened level, and his strength was more than it should be.
During these times he was a very irrational person.
I left Ray's because of an incident where he snatched me up during the class water break with way too much force, and threatened me because he thought I was spying on him for another school. A school of his former students who broke away for this very reason.
This incident killed me. I had devoted myself fully to Ray and his school. I had no time for other schools.
The only thing that qualified me as a "spy": I went to high school with 2 of the assistant instructors of the school he thought I was spying for.
Over the next two weeks, until I finally left, I became an outcast among my friends in the Dojo because of the things Ray was saying about me. Even my training partner, who started there the same day I did, began to shun me and make me look bad to the rest of the school.
Unfortunately, I was not the only student of Ray's to go through this.
Ten years later,Ray opened up a satellite school near where I lived. He put one of my favorite and most respected instructors (who's name I will not mention to keep him protected.) in charge of running it.
I rejoined and spent 2 weeks there. That was enough for me.
I was sickened by the experience. I watched teens with brown and black belts perform some of the sloppiest kata ever. Many of these people displayed a skill level more suited to a yellow belt. Hell, the most impressive person I found there WAS a yellow belt.
I realized that Ray had sold out. He was selling belts. There is a whole generation of people out there flaunting black belts without the ability to back them up.
Ray teaches good principles, but does not uphold them.
If you want belts just to show off, go to Ray's school. As long as you pay the belt test fee, you will receive the belt promotion no matter how bad you do.
You are a very skilled young man. You were amazing when you were 12. I assume you are even more so now.
I do not in any way discredit your father's skill, and I admire the way you stand behind him. But you must realize after all these years the way he treats people. Think about the standards of your training as well, and compare it to what you see from the students around you.
DO you think they all deserve what they have around their waist? Honestly?
Giving a rank to someone who is not ready for it is a detriment. Ray puts his students at risk by doing so...just to fill his pockets.
It is disgraceful.
2/28/2011 8:50pm, #48
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
LOL...well, I was going to stay out of this and not say anything, but I had to laugh out loud when I read Arcadius2423's post. Ray was a paranoid when I knew him back in the 80's, and I see he still is. I didn't take karate from Ray, but from one of Ray's former BB's. Without going into a LONG, LONG story, Ray had it in his head that my instructor had set fire and burned down his karate studio. In addition, Ray thought that if any of the students in the school that I attended even drove by his school, we were 'spying' on him. Like, what would we be 'spying' on him for?? To see what techniques he used in his self promotion tests?
I've even been in a restaurant before him, have him walk in, and then have him accuse me of spying on him?? As I told him then, I must have really mastered my skills if I can see into the future, and know where he is going to eat out, so I can 'spy' on him.
I had truly hoped Ray had gotten over his paranoid problems, but I see they persist. In fairness, he is a talented individual. He just has some issues that prevents him from being the true 'master' that he could be.
As for the legitimacy of his 8 degrees....while I can't 'prove' that they are not legit, I do know he was self promoting in the 80s'
2/28/2011 11:28pm, #49
3/16/2011 1:50pm, #50
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
Eh, I almost didn't jump in on this thread but decided to anyway. First, I'll address the specific concern which the original poster of this thread presented.
Ray Rices Rank. At the time I was a student, I would have said absolutely, yes, he's legitimate. Since then I've learned a lot about martial arts and organizations and such and this is what I've found concerning gaining rank.
If he gained true rank in Shotokan karate, it would be registered with the ISKF (International Shotokan Karate Federation: www.iskf.com). I don't think this is the case as I never saw any evidence that we were an ISKF school, and I'm pretty sure only traditional Shotokan schools are registered with them. Ray's school is definitely not traditional. I did train at a traditional Shotokan school for a while, which was registered with the ISKF and it was a completely different ballpark.
He could be registered with the WKF (World Karate Federation: www.wkf.net) but I have no idea if this is so. Again, I dont' remember any evidence of being registered with them. I'm sure Ray has his belt certificates mounted somewhere in the dojo, and if he was registered with them for even some of his dan ranking, the certification would say so.
Another way I've seen high-ranking senseis test for dan ranking is through their own sensei/master. I'm sure for Ray's first dan rankings this was probably thee case.
Since Ray does have his own blend of freestyle martial arts, he may well be self promoting, which does leave a lot for folks to scrutinize. However, I can say that if this is the case, he's not just having a fancy new belt embroidered and slapping it around his waist. Every time I remember him testing for a new rank, he would spend months/years preparing for the test, learning new material. He would take years and years between each dan, as it should be. I'm positive he was following a dan ranking schedule, such as the one shown on ISKF's website.
Say what you want about his credentials. Whether he's self promoting or not, I can testify first hand that he did work very hard for his ranks, putting in the necessary and required training and effort between dan testing. Not to mention the experience he has. Thirty five (+) years is nothing to sneeze at.
I cannot attest to his fighting skill as I never had a real physical fight with him. Whether as his student or as just another martial artist, I don't think I'd care to tangle with him, though.
The Quality of His School
If you are looking for a good freestyle American karate type school, Ray Rice's school is a good choice. You've got the demo team, you've got the tournaments, the katas (which I still love, even though my current school does not practice kata in the adult classes). The self-defense is all choreographed, and leaves a lot to be desired, although there are some gems that you can really learn from occassionally. If you are looking for the traditional martial arts values of discipline, respect, etc, it's a good school for you. I leared the basics as far as BJJ style training goes, and to this day, I still have very good kicks because of the blend of TKD and other martial arts there.
If you want hardcore traditional martial arts or combat martial arts you will not be happy there.
Having said that, I think it's a bit counterproductive to claim that Ray's style is useless. Especially when you're comparing it to styles which you think are superior, based on your own opinion. Almost every martial artist thinks their style is superior. The problem with these comparisons is that it depends on what you want from martial arts. It's like saying all vehicles are useless except SUV's, or all vehicles are lame except sports cars. See what I'm saying? Different vehicles for different needs. The style is not useless to someone who is getting what they want/need from it.
When I was there, many MANY of the students were very lazy. I'd say there were maybe 3 of us out of everyone who weren't. Why? Because the average American has become lazy. Where I teach now, there are many lazy students, although I'm nipping that in the bud with the ultimate motivators: lunges, pushups, horse stance drills! But no matter how hard you try, there's always going to be students who are very lazy. And they shouldn't be promoted, yes I agree. But put yourself in Ray's position, in a county with a very poor economy. He can either pass students who don't deserve rank, keep the student and have the income to pay his bills, or he can fail the student, possibly lose them and the income. It's difficult to choose between the two. Everyone knows the best way to run a business until they actually own one...then they see just how difficult these situations really are.
My Experience at Ray Rice's
I have very fond memories of Ray Rices. He'll always be my Sensei and his dojo I will always consider my home. Martial arts was my life when I was there. I was there every day, for every class, every demo, almost every tournament, and even for spring cleaning, painting, dojo upkeep. I was a very loyal follower of Ray's and he was and still is a father figure to me. To this day, I have a strong love of classic rock because that's what he played day in and day out at the dojo.
I know that Ray is a very good person, he has a good heart and he is a very giving and caring person. His problem is he cares too much. And someone mentioned earlier that he is very paranoid. This is 100% true. And it's also one of the reasons I finally left. Ray and I got along GREAT until I received my black belt. Things changed. And they got worse when I turned 18 and decided to go to college. Ray's problem is he gets very attached to his students, especially the ones who come in and help him everyday. When he feels like he's losing one, he goes nuts and gets paranoid and thinks they're going to turn against him. He honestly expects and wants his students to stay there with him forever. He absolutely HATES losing people. He seems to be incapable of understanding that children and teens grow up and they have to move on, or they become interested in other things. Life happens. It's unstoppable. It's the circle of life. It's also a really odd situation. On the one hand, you realize that he can't help it. On the other hand, the constant accusations, harrassment and sometimes outright aggression are too much to handle, and this is how he loses most of his students. It really is heart breaking. Ray Rice's dojo is the BEST part of my childhood memories. And I would love to go back and visit and train there the rare times I'm in town but I'm sure I wouldnt' be welcome.
Even sadder, his son Brandon, who understandably wants to please and defend his father, ends up with these misguided views of the people in Ray's dojo who are unfortunate enough to get on Ray's bad side. Which in turn motivates him to get in on some of the harrassment.
It's very very sad. I just wish everyone could get along. I miss my dojo.
On a more positive note, I love the dojo where I train now. We are a very non-traditional school and have a nice variety of martial arts to choose from, and our Kenpojitsu class is a hybrid of kenpo, jujitsu, kickboxing, kali and even a little BJJ. http://www.triangledojo.com/ I love blending together the best of the best martial arts. Seems to be very effective.