I met Al Martin the Shorin ryu instructor here on the other coast of Florida about six years ago. He is a good teacher and has a crap load of students all across the states. He was in the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa, Japan mainland (Sasaebo) and California As a M.P. I met his father Al Martin Sr. in the late seventies, ;while visiting my Grandparents up in Georgia he had a plain; but nice Dojo. I was like sixteen then and Al Martin Sr. got me involved in Shito Ryu because we didn't have a school near me where I lived in Florida that taught Shorin Ryu. Al Martin Jr. has taught me four of Shorin Ryu's Kata's and he is always nice and very willing to share his knowledge with me and others. He has lots of folks from different systems that train with him everyone seems to love him. The guys who posted here must not know him or the are Jealous, although I can not imagine anyone who knows him saying these things about him. I have even read in the news papers where he and his Black Belts help the public! I agree with the other good post here from Monk and Suarve Al Martin is a very good person and a Great teacher.
Where did my other post vanish to? Why was it erased?
What TKD organization issues 8th degrees to someone 36 years old? Don't most have minimum time between dan ranks?
I met Al Martin for a day a couple of years back in Florida, he was one hell of a creepy guy - ok basic karate but essentially full of crap, we worked out for about 4 hours and had some lunch after.
Real shame as he is obviously obsessed with martial arts in so many ways, mostly fantasy............
He turned real nasty when I returned to UK and told him thanks but no thanks for future meets/communication - false e-mails, very offensive wording all that kind fo stuff, using different names.
Paul Hart (I know his real name but he recently deceased so out of respect lets stick with Paul Hart) was equaly mixed up, they made a good pair really.
I spoke on skype with Paul for hours, and in fairness he seemed like a genuine guy in some ways, but he wasn't hard to see through, Paul did all the stuff Al did and someone posted his Naihanchi and another kata on youtube, which was dreadful - I also have somewhere him working out with his top student, kumite pairs work and kihon and it to is very, very bad.
both these guys are terrible representatives of martial arts, and whilst I do wish Paul to rest in peace, theres no hiding these facts.
Well here is an example, of a thread that fufilled its promise.... the title of this thread was "did anyone hear of Al Martin?" and it appears that a few people have indeed heard of Al Martin.... the Okinawan Bushi with the German mustache.
As an Okinawah guy from way back this is my observation: Firstly it is a bit strange to see a commercial dojo on the scale of this guy's teaching Okinawan stuff which is after all in the older ways practically a folk art. I certainlyh can't imagine teaching more that 5 people or so at a time and i did just that for many years.
I am skeptical about secrets in Okinawan stuff for a number of reasons. firstly the guys were strong and able they fought that way and did not have the technology the military bearing of the Samurai or Chinese Generals... Frankly when Riley Hawkins revolutionized the art to my thinking that was a true innovation in the art. But the pressure point and grappling stuff? debatable it gets quickly into Dillmanesque territory.
Also, the fluidity.... well yeah it is in the circular movements and the art can be taught with very little kata, no debate there... but the most I ever saw in the art after about 15 years of study was the ability to do some quick hand movements with circualr dynamics... It still was about hitting things hard, real hard. Frankly show me a club that fights without bouncing up and down and or and can fight other ways in addition to out of the cat stance and I will be impressed.
Bottom line is that Okinawan karate can be a great art. Riley's modifications were pure genius and make the are one of the best... but a the end of the day no line no group and no particulaf Bushi has any line on secret information that I have seen.
Is there a video of Sensei Martin doing his thing to look at?
Oy vee. oy yee of such proclomations! lets see a vid ... that is another secret dialect.. it is a mixture of bad english and my grandmother't Yiddish from the secret nation of the Ukraine.
no video im afraid, that was strictly no go from Big Al Martin............secrets you see.
I do have a picture of me and him we took on the day, ah the memories.
The guy is a nut for sure, my only reason for posting about this is to warn others - steer well clear of him for all sorts of reasons.
He proberly has half a dozen or less 'direct' students, certainly not a big org with lots of schools - he just makes these things up!
Originally Posted by shoshinkanuk
hahaha ohh man oh man!! I love it. Honestly one thing I will never understand is why WHY on God's earth a teacher would think it is a mark of distinction to have tons of students.... I mean being a slave to marketing trends? to your students ideas about what martial arts are? hardly marks of distinction imo.
Most good teachers I know including me (thank you thank you) have at most about 20 students... and that is pushing it regarding quality control.
Shoshi its interesting to hear from a sho ran Ryu person in England. What line are you guys from? I ask because most guys here learned it from the service overseas. Therefore it intrigues me how you guys got it.
Do you guys fight out of the cat stance primarily? Do you practice a back or Mule kick? I ask to see if Riley Hawkins innovations made it over the pond.
no cat stance in the shorin ryu I practice which is Seito Matsumura (from the late Nishihira Sensei to my Sensei), previously I did train Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu, which used cat stance alot for different things but never fighting out of from memory.
Im not aware of any back kick or mule kick in the kata system traditionally, however we do practice and use one if necesary, ie just kick backwards (no turning).
Its interesting how many variations there are. When I was the president of the martial arts club in St. Mary's we had a lot of military guys train with us. One guy was an Okinawan fighter and his repetraire' was made up of a lot of leg sweeps and front hand strikes. He used to be able to grab a guys arm and sweep him... very fast, didn't do much I mean the guy would land on his ass and get up.
Originally Posted by shoshinkanuk
When I was coming up we did a lot off our front hand... so much so that one teacher, a Moo Duk Kwan guy, insisted that I did not know how to use a proper reverse punch during a tournament.
front hand work is big in authentic okinawan karate, same time deflect/strike kind of work, to set up the reverse hand to finish is a core tactic, particulary in shorin ryu.