Straight Blast Gym Instructor
Posted On:11/17/2003 11:49am
Djimbe and Tigerfly left after about an hour of being there inside the gym.
If they would have stayed she would have witnessed and Djimbe would have experienced clinch drills and sparring, then clinch with strikes, and finally putting it all together from standing to wherever it went to close the seminar. Instead, they left with but one hour of at least ten of instruction, training, and sparring.
What can of fragmented view and observation could have been made or gathered? That Djimbe needs to work on his conditioning and delivery systems? That perhaps calling someone an idiot is not the best way to make your point? That perhaps he should have stayed the entire seminar to see what else he needed work on? Stand up, clinch, more ground? That perhaps making excuses long after posturing outside the gym and your shot fails against someone less than half your weight might not fair well as any sign of courage under fire?
I will tell you this, regardless of how they may feel about Matt, what they saw was but a fragmented glimpse of the SBGi and what Djimbe experienced on the mat was nothing but kindness and concern all the way through training and as we all walked out to say goodbye. It could have and would have gone the other way had he done this at ANY other organization’s functions.
To close I will just reiterate what I think is most important here.
Matt came to this forum because someone informed him about a person calling him an idiot and making fraudulent claims about his business practices. I know he will post when he gets home to Portland from his seminar tour but….I will tell you this, he is a family man and works very hard. His business is the gym and when you make fraudulent claims as to his work and business and show up at his job posturing tough after calling him an idiot, you are directly affecting his livelihood.
I sincerely hope I was clear and receptive to your perspective but made mine loud and clear through my kindness and ability to nullify yours. I whole heartedly believe that this is all a big miscommunication between one party having issues with a personality and approach and the other simply stating what he believes and has experienced. But…as stated at the beginning of this post, where you can not prove subjective opinion and hearsay, you can through performance prove training methods.
I hope Djimbe and Tigerfly understand that I wish them well but can not agree that calling someone out does not have and hold certain repercussions and carry certain responsibilities.
At 37 years of age and with a family and business, I could care less about whose kung fu is better and all this MA macho bullshit! Quite frankly, my take is that if you enjoy what you do and harm no other, then rock on and share the good feelings with those you care for. But…don’t call someone and idiot, imply or posture aggression and especially make excuses after the fact. That’s detrimental to all people training in the MA.
Training and sharing is all in good fun. Challenges are kid stuff. A threat to my being or anyone else’s and you cross the line and must be prepared to take responsibility for that. Showing up at this seminar or any other under the circumstances generated on this forum is grounds enough for legal action.
Martial arts and artist are a goofy bunch. The best street fighters are in prison. Instead, I hope your experiences with me inside and outside that gym were real and human. I hope it was not tied into the MA or fighting. I dislike both. I hope you both learned something in the process.
And Djimbe…thanks. You now know in your heart what is up. I hope you follow that and not all the noise around you.
This is all outright silliness and bullshido is the perfect forum to host it ;)
As I said. I will not go back and forth on all this. I hope this thread is closed now that both sides have spoken.
Thanks and regards to you all,
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:06pm
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:07pm
400 pounds???? my got
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:10pm
Style: Wrestling, WC
These quotes are from TF's original post on this thread.
Originally posted by TigerFly
Djimbe and I arrived at around 1pm. The seminar started at 11am, however we had my moms surgery yesterday and class last night so it was impossible for us to get there any earlier considering we had to dirve two hours to get there.
You showed up in the middle of his seminar and caused him to have to take time from his work to talk with you. If you couldn't have made it early, you should have waited for another time. Your mother's surgery is your problem, not his.
Originally posted by TigerFly
He immediately had everyone start drilling when he saw us and walked directly over to us and said "you're the people from the internet". Djimbe and I said yes. He said "let's go outside". We followed him outside and he stood between us and the door to the gym. He (somehow with a straight face) said "why are you here"...
...He actually said that he challenges people to show up at seminars all the time and "no one else has ever shown up". I had to cut him a break on that - I am sure he didn't expect us to show....
This was reasonable. If he thought you were going to challenge him, he wanted to make sure it was clear that that was going to happen. If not, asking right away will clear up any misunderstandings.
Also, the statement "come to one of my seminars" does not mean "show up in the middle and interrupt my seminar." Again, if you were giving a seminar to paying customers and two people showed up unexpectedly in the middle, you'd probably have questions, too. You admitted yourself that he wasn't expecting you. Did you make any attempt to tell him what time you would arrive or exactly what you were coming there to do?
Originally posted by TigerFly
Djimbe responded with something like "you said for us to come, we are here". Matt Thornton said something like "you challenged me on the internet". I then said "NO, that is not what happened. I said that your marketing practices/business was unscrupulous and idiotic on the internet. You DARED me to say that to your face - I came to do so and I just did."...
...It didn't work - I stood in his face and told him EXACTLY what I said in the original thread. He honestly didn't know what to do or even say.
Of course not! You may not have challenged him to a fight, but you challenged his livelihood without even seeing his seminar or what he offered. Then you crashed his seminar and started making accusations about something that you didn't know about first hand. At this point, he is fully justified in being rude at HIS seminar.
Originally posted by TigerFly
Djimbe walked over to Matt, shook his hand and told him that he was going to participate (against my wishes, honestly Djimbe has had the flu (diarrhea, fever, 4-6 hours sleep in the last three days etc) for days and isn't himself), but he also told Matt that I wasn't going to participate, that I didn't feel prepared and if he wasn't comfortable with me sitting it out that I would LEAVE and comeback later to pick him up. Matt said that it was fine that I stayed - the first unpricklike thing we had witnessed him do all day. He wasn't exactly in a position to say NO, tho. We had been hanging out with the participants of the seminar, joking about with them etc and were doing that when Matt came back from lunch - Djimbe walked over to him infront of those same people - What was Matt going to do? He couldn't possibly be the prick to us in front of all those people that he was out of their site - afterall they had all "paid good money" (his words not mine) to see him.
In her own words, TF has reinforced the point that I made above: you put him on the spot in front of paying students. That challenges his livelihood, and it is wrong.
Neutral, or nearly so
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:31pm
In the first thread it was mentioned that only a small amount of material was reviewed prior to the judgment of fraud and idiot, in fact the referenced information was simply a infomercial.
I just watched his "sales pitch" on "Aliveness" and well... he is just stupid.
Nothing in Matt's infomercial advocates this. I swear to god, I took away from the infomercial that he was going to throw everyone who walks in to the gym on the floor with another more experienced person. THAT is what he said in his infomercial.
You're lack of grasping his entire methodology seemed encapsulated by your not seeing that he is reportedly a strong proponent of drilling, verifying that you hadn't done much research.
didn't watch "a" video and come the the conclusion I did, I watched SEVERAL videos and read the website over a FULL year and came to the conclusions I did.
This seems a little contradictory. While you may have originally misstated your point this incongruity bothers me and seems like more backpedaling
While the reported conduct of Matt Thornton certainly is quite unfortunate and sad (if true) I really don't think you are at all qualified to report on the seminar quality. You mention only being there for around 1 hour of a two day seminar, seems like you really don't have a basis for drawing conclusions on either how it was run or on what sort of instructor he may be. (EDIT: SINCE I THOUGHT I POSTED THIS REPLY THIS POINT HAS BEEN BETTER AND AT MORE LENGTH MADE.)
Matt Thornton may be a tool for acting the way he did towards you both but I'd say the behavior of all three individuals involved is hardly without blame.
The discussion still comes down to this:
Matt Thornton presents the obvious as novel.
However, that is something of which he is very aware. He has repeatedly stated that there are two kinds of reactions to his position that he anticipates from the MA community, and these are:
2. He is CRAZY! CHI BOLT!
What he failed to anticipate is the hostility which with many in the "Duh!" crowd would greet "Aliveness" a la Matt Thornton.
Much of that hostility is due to the fact that they perceive his demonstrations and lectures as attacks on THEMSELVES. And this is reasonable, at least, because he does at times fail to emphasise to my satisfaction that he is not the only person who trains people in this fashion. He DOES say so however, just not enough to deflect hostility.
You emphasize contact; all of our martial arts brethren do not. Your own kung fu (and yes I am aware of how many different things that may encompass) is represented more by the Jim Lacys of the world than it is by full contact sparring.
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:42pm
Style: japanese jujutsu
Originally posted by Djimbe
Just so that im VERRRY Clear on you meaning here WHAT "Sort of Thing" are you Referring to ? Too many Refferrential Statements in your Previous Paragraph to be sure .
Your girlfriend starting trouble knowing that you'll be there to intimidate the opposition.
What Behaviour is it that you are Refferring to ?
Both of y'all are obviously upset that Chinese systems get no respect (FWIW, I train xingyi as well). I don't particularly have a dog in this fight, but it seems like y'all both have a chip on your shoulder and bring that to pretty much every discussion ya participate in.
I'm not a fan or detractor of Thornton's but from what I can tell of aliveness, he's essentially correct. I know of few Chinese systems/schools that train in that manner (excepting places focused on san shou and shuai chiao; hell, AFAICT, alot of the gung fu people don't consider san shou anything but Thai boxing with throws anyway). Being angry at him for pointing this out is unreasonable and says more about you than it does him.
I like Chinese systems, particularly internal ones. That being said, there's a sh*tload of training methodology baggage that needs to removed/replaced/updated. In my experience, other systems embrace this while people training Chinese systems too often want to do things "like the old masters" did. Uh huh, why should I train like an illiterate peasant? Sheesh, how many of the old men were "all that" anyhow? Since legends tend to grow over time, I'd wager they are more-overblown than the guys today.
Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:45pm
Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu
Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:52pm
Originally posted by The Wastrel
I'm pretty sure we've all lost.
Founder, Straight Blast Gym
Posted On:11/17/2003 12:53pm
Style: BJJ, MMA
Just returned home and wanted to drop a quick note on this thread and let everyone know about the events at the past seminar. I am sure Luis will post as well. And hopefully this thread and nonsense will be relegated to trollshido where it probably belongs.
First off DJ and TF did show up at the seminar. They walked in and set there bags down as I was teaching the end of the morning session, with the exact expressions and mannerisms Luis describes. I asked them both to step outside as to not disturb the seminar, and so I could chat with them.
Let me make this perfectly clear, at NO TIME did I ever get near TF or make any attempt to "physically intimidate her", the very allegation is outrages and silly.
However, it was pretty clear right off the bat that TF is a very bitter, angry women, and for what its worth, perhaps not mentally well balanced. She is just as vulgar and nasty in person, as she is on the web. So I simply ignored her for the rest of the conversation. Although I did make it clear to DJ that his wife is a negative influence on his life.
I did spend 15 minutes or so attempting outside to talk with DJ and ask him what his issues where. I have never met either in person, but honestly they simply struck me as a rather harmless, kind of nerdy couple. If you have seen the documentary called Trekkies, you have seen these two.
During that time I placed my hands upon his shoulder while talking, not in any sort of threatening way. It's simply my mannerism when speaking with people, and there was no shoving, or moving, or any of that silliness. I was also on the other side of a large window with several spectators the entire time. So no need for anyone to try and make false allegations here.
Truth be told, when I put my hands on DJ shoulders and looked in his eyes what I really saw was just a very big, kind of dorky, Martial Arts nerd, who was scared to death and being pushed into the situation, and egged on by his horrible wife who was always ranting behind me. In all honesty I felt pretty bad for the guy.
I explained as clearly as I could that ALIVENESS translates as TRAINING METHOD, and NOT "style". Anyone taking the time to read our website will see the clear distinction we make there. I do not say that this art, or this art will not work. What I clearly say is that ANY Art must be trained in an Alive fashion TO work. So again, let me make this very clear. I have NEVER claimed to have invented something NEW, quite the opposite in fact. Nor have I, or anyone from SBGi claimed we are the ONLY Gym which trains Alive. Aliveness is as old as athletics folks.
I hope that is clear enough.
During this time DJ kept trying to get me to name specific styles, and my opinions. But that is not the point, and I again attempted to explain that it's all about the TRAINING METHODS folks. This point was, and seems to continue to be lost on them. So I would highly encourage anyone sincerely interested to check out our information directly at www.straightblastgym.com and draw your own conclusions.
DJ also kept attempting to ask me my opinions on specific Martial Arts personalities, gossip, etc. All of which I have absolutely zero interest in. I explained that what we talk about are training methods. And we all drew a distinct line Years ago at the SBGi where we made it clear we would not be dragged into online gossip about other Instructors or specific people. And that is something we have stuck with. Both Dan Inosanto, and Paul Vunak are friends, and although I may not agree with all their TRAINING METHODS, it doesn't stop us from having a friendly relationship. Vunak often speaks highly of the SBG. And Dan Inosanto was kind enough to attend the opening of our new Portland location a few Years ago. I get along well with both men, and suffice it to say most grown adults are clearly able to discern between training methods, and personal insults, or disagreements about teaching methods.
After wasting about 15 minutes of my own time trying to patiently make this point I began to see I was making no headway. And I was hearing a lot of comic book silliness. When DJ mentioned some sort of competition where he claimed Renzo Gracie's "top" fighters, where all beaten by some sort of "gung fu" school one after the other in grappling, and how his Gung Fu maste had shown him how to stop wrestlers takedowns, I knew for SURE it was time to step out of the twilight zone and back into the seminar filled with athletes that where waiting for me. Fortunately Luis came out and mentioned that we where headed to lunch.
At this point DJ asked what we would do now, and I told him he could come in and train for free after lunch, as I stated, but he would have to work out like everyone else. If he wanted to just "observe" he would need to pay. I also let him know that I don't like his wife, and she would need to be quiet during the seminar. He stated that he would participate, and only offered to observe because usually that was more respectful. I told him I preferred to have people participate and would see him after lunch. There where many people around during this conversation, and we all fully expected to see them there when we returned.
After lunch we came back and DJ came up to me and Luis and shook my hand and said I was a "man of my word" for allowing him to attend without charging them. And that he would work in with the rest of the seminar, and his wife, being a novice on the mat, would simply observe, but he promised she would cause no disturbances. Fair enough.
Since all my seminars are athletic by nature and we were coming off an hour lunch, the session began with a 5 minute set of simple warm ups. Within a minute or two DJ stepped off the mat and went into bathroom. He did not exit until the warm ups where over.
When he came out he was sweating profusely, breathing very heavily, and looked like he was about to die. I asked him if he was okay, and he joked something to the effect of never eat food from a heat lamp before you work out, etc. I gave him a pat and told him to just pace himself. He may or may not have been sick. But from his breathing pattern he was obviously gassed, and both Luis and I where very concerned for his welfare at that point.
The next part of the warm up consisted of three two minute rounds. Holding guard, and then wrestling to submission from the knees. Luis worked with DJ for these for these rounds and the end of the warm up period.
Last edited by Matt Thornton; 11/17/2003 1:15pm at .
DJ started the roll by telling Luis he deadlifts over a thousand pounds. Luis smiled, swept him several times, took crossides, and mounted him a few times. Each time Luis got on top DJ tapped out, and was obviously gassed, and completely out of his element on the ground, with absolutely zero knowledge of where to put his hands, feet, base, or sense of balance.
Keep in mind Luis is 180lbs, and DJ claimed to be 386. So the man had 206 lbs on Luis.
Although Luis is a solid BJJ Brown Belt, the fact is just about anybody in that room, even most of the beginners, would have done the same thing to DJ. I wish he had stayed longer and discovered that.
After the last round, (no more then 6 or so minutes elapsed total) DJ tapped with Luis on mount, and was breathing very heavily, and spread eagle on the ground. I asked him if he was okay, and offered him a hand up, but he said he could not stand at the moment. If he did he said he would go to the bathroom all over the mat. I told him in that case just rest, (don't want that!), and Luis kneeled next to him, gently trying to help him breath properly, and regain his breath. All of this is clearly shown on tape.
From the start I did my best to try and make the situation comfortable for everyone at the seminar, and provide an environment where DJ could work in with the group, and perhaps truly learn something about what we do at the SBGi.
All this after being called an "idiot" and "fraud" by his wife, and listening to rants which where based completely in ignorance.
As Luis told me after they left, we tried kindness, we will see how they respond. Obviously the kind approach didn't work. Next time I will not be as freindly, and handle the siutuation in a far more direct manner.
So that was it. About a 10 minute warm up, and DJ scooted over to the wall. From there he and TF watch for about another 5-10 minutes, and then grabbed there things and walked out.
We have the entire event, from the beginning of warm ups, all the rolls, to the time they walked out, on tape and the tape has a clock. TF's claim of watching the seminar for an hour is simply a lie. They saw warm ups, and stayed for a few minutes beyond the roll and walked out. If Luis posts the video that will be clearly visible.
After they left I continued to teach and Luis followed them out to chat. Again, trying to point out to them what exactly Alive training, and the SBGi is about.
I can tell you from my own experience that neither TF or DJ have the slightest idea what we mean by Alive training, and neither will listen, or stay long enough to find out.
I will let Luis tell the rest, as he had this conversation with them. But apparently TF kept asking DJ,
"why did you let him on top of you?!"
"Why did you tap out?!"
This in front of Luis, and several other people heard all this as well. All of us who heard about that immediately couldn't help but feel bad for DJ. How could you not?!
When DJ told Luis that the reason Luis is so good is because he has "ying" energy, Luis also realized it was also time to leave the dungeons and dragons convention, and step back into the Gym with the athletes.
Here is some simple, and heartfelt advice for you DJ. Any women who would say something like that to you does NOT care about you. And is not emotionally, or mentally ready for any sort of caring relationship. It's really time to move on my friend.
DJ is welcome back at my own Gym, or any SBGi anytime. All our classes are similar and had he stayed he would have seen all of us rolling together, myself included.
But after watching him step out of the bathroom after four laps on the mat, it was quite clear DJ is not in the athletic condition needed to do any sort of Alive training at the moment. And is also completely harmless. I'd be happy to step in the ring with him at my Gym, or work with him on the mat, in a competitive, or friendly basis. No worries. And I am sure any SBGi Gym around the USA would do the same. I am also very sure it would be a really positive thing for DJ.
However. in either case, he will need to leave his wife at home. She is such a negative person to be around, and unhealthy not just for herself, but also those around her and especially DJ.
The sad thing is I think he may have really enjoyed himself had he not had a shrew of a women asking him why he let a little guy mount him, why did he tap?! etc. A truly horrible situation.
I really do hope the best for both of them.
I think that will mean DJ will eventually need to discover that this women has no real regard for him. And TF will need to lose some weight, get some self esteem, and come to grips with all of her obvious anger. I hope they both eventually find some happiness. It certainly CAN be done.
On a positive note the Penn seminar was a blast. As have been all the East Coast seminars over the last few weeks. Like I tried to tell TF and DJ at the class, the proof of what we do at the SBGi is manifested not just in the performance of our athletes, but in the quality of their character, and the type of people they are. It really is a pleasure to be around everyone drawn to this sort of training. A great group of friendly, happy people. And I really do love all the crew of the SBG's. It's just a great job I have.
Enjoy the day
"Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind.'
Last edited by Matt Thornton; 11/17/2003 1:10pm at .
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