Clean up aisle MABS.
Okay a few things:
1) Funny haha belongs in the YMAS thread here:
No BS Martial Arts
2) If you make a statement we need corroboration. No more newbies posting "well, this is what I heard," in the MABS thread.
3) If you choose to visit this school, you do it on your own and act respectable. Please gather as much information as possible and write, record, and videotape if allowed.
So he invents multiple "arts" why? Did the last one not work out for him? Did it become known as Bullshido so he had to invent another to keep the cheques coming in?
Originally Posted by Askari
Entity Information: AUSTIN MARTIAL ARTS CENTER INCORPORATED
1717 S PLEASANT VALLEY RD STE 265
AUSTIN, TX 78741-3114
Status: NOT IN GOOD STANDING
Registered Agent: LARRY SANDERS
1717 PLEASANT VALLEY #265
AUSTIN, TX 78741
Registered Agent Resignation Date:
State of Formation: TX
File Number: 0125733400
SOS Registration Date: January 20, 1993
Taxpayer Number: 30116546570
Looks like basic tax information, should be FIA. No worries.
Originally Posted by AlphaFoxtrot51
I also thought this was a big question mark too:
Originally Posted by Askari
Fifty-three black belts in fifty-three different arts? And who promoted him to 'full master instructor' in JKD?
Since age 8 he has studied as many martial arts as possible, earning 53 Black Belts in as many arts.
I don't know how many students he currently has but if figures he has fooled them why not a few more?
Originally Posted by marcell
Sanders Black Belt Academy
This is the report in the order things occurred. Before I begin, I want to go on record saying that I know absolutely nothing about Chinese martial arts. If something sounds funny to a practioner of the style, it's because that is how it was relayed to me. Cliff notes are at the bottom in yellow for the non-readers.
I visited the school in the afternoon on Sunday. I went when noone was there so that I could observe the school grounds and the visible interior without having instructors, students, or parents interacting with me. Basically, I wanted to snoop
Sanders Black Belt Academy is located in the the Twin Oaks Shopping center at the corner of South Congress and Oltorf in Austin, Texas. It's a pretty high traffic area and is reasonably close to several public schools and a number of apartments.
The school is about average size for my experience. I couldn't begin to give a square foot breakdown, but I'd say that the entire place is slightly smaller than 3/4 the mat space at the place I currently train at.
The exterior of the school, mainly focusing on the storefront, is covered in ads for classes. It appears that the bulk of the home computer printed material is geared towards children ages four to seven. There was one poster for the (not kidding), "Deadly Art of Tai Chi" and another for some sort of self defense class that was among other things, "...not for felons."
The interior of the school is kind of poorly equipped. There are no mats on the floor. It's all tile like you'd find in a cheap department store. I counted five Century brand suitcase pads, some Wavemasters, a Bob, and some stuff stored in a barrel that resembled either wooden dowels or jo. I couldn't tell which.
He did have some certificates up on the wall at the front of the school that I was able to look at. There were a few others hung up that were far away and I couldn't see them. This is what I could get on camera...
There were several others that were out of range. I think only the one JKD one had any kind of certification, but I'm not a JKD person, so I can't speak to what it stands for. At this point, the security started driving around in his police package golf cart, so I decided to wrap it up and move on.
I went to the school at about 6PM. There were three children participating in class and two parents waiting. I entered the building and took a seat to watch part of the class. Unfortunately, I got the very end and the students were bowing out. Between Sunday evening and Monday evening, a set of cheap gymnastic mats have been laid out to cover a small space on the linoleum floor. It could effectively cover about enough space for three to four kids to stand on with enough space to throw kicks in varying directions assuming they were careful.
Following the conclusion of class, the kids started running around and behaving like kids do. I was greeted by the instructor, a gentleman named Martin, who was a brown belt in the style. I introduced myself and explained an interested in the style and asked for some basic information. He explained that they were a kung fu school that also taught JKD and tai chi. He pointed me to the wall showing the certificates that Dr. Sanders had been awarded and we briefly discussed some items.
About Martin...not to be harsh on the physical appearance of anyone, but Martin was not exactly physically fit. He looked typically South Austin and out of shape. I'll leave it at that.
The school has been in its current location for slightly less than a year. There are several other schools; those listed on the website as well as the one that the location that the current school moved from. The bulk of the adult class focuses on kung fu (wing tsun). He advised that they have very light contact sparring.
The self defense is based on the JKD classes. He did not go into detail. He did mention that they do some jiu jitsu and weapons.
I was offered (and I accepted) a freebee class to take this week. In the time that I stayed (about 20 min) Sanders was not in the school and the adult class was getting ready to start. I don't know if he actually teaches there or not.
I returned to the school at about 650P. When I arrived, there were two individuals "sparring" inside the school. While I do not practice wing tsun, the motion did appear to resemble some of the fast slappy hand movements I've seen in video clips. I watched for a few minutes. The sparring was controlled in that they weren't really trying to hit each other. Outside of that, the movement was incredibly sloppy and wild.
I bowed in and was greeted by Martin and another individual whose named I did not write down (Mike, maybe?). "Mike" was a black belt approximately six feet tall and perhaps 220+ pounds. I asked if I could observe them training for a period. They responded that I could but that they weren't really training and then kind of went back to the slappy hands things. From inside, the movement looked horrible and the black belt was performing some odd gestures and posturing. In all, it was representative of every bad cliche about Bruce Lee that has ever been made.
A few minutes later, Dr. Sanders arrived with his wife (who I later learned was a 5th degree black belt). I introduced myself to Dr. Sanders. Physically, he matches the image in the photos from his webpage. I explained that I was living in the area and that I was looking for a school to train at with my girlfriend.
At this point, the well rehearsed speech I had about my experience and reason for being there became unimportant. I was pretty much unable to get a word in edge-wise for the remainder of the discussion...so this is what happened:
I was directed to look at the wall containing the above mentioned certificates. Dr. Sanders has certificates from Dan Inosanto as well as photographs taken with Mr. Inosanto. I was not able to see any ranking certifications other than the one image, which does not appear to be signed by Inosanto.
I was told that Dr. Sanders has 52 years of martial arts experience. He stated that he was a military brat who began his training in Tokyo at the age of 8. His parents expected his training to be brief since he was apparently a problem child. Sanders advised that this did not happen and that he moved on to continue training in a number of different styles, all of which go into the background of the style he teaches at his school.
Dr. Sanders then told me about his martial arts training and his competition in China. He said that in China, he was allowed to do what he needed to do to win a fight. The matches took place on a raise platform above a crowd. Winners were decided by knocking an opponent out, breaking bones until the person couldn't continue, or knocking the opponent off of the platform and into the crowd. He said that in all his time, he fought 200 matches, with some in an unnamed professional karate league in the United States. Of those fights, he only had six losses, all of which occurred stateside, due to breaking bones of his opponents in the US.
He told me that he was formerly a member of the National Rifle Team. This coupled with his experience in martial arts and his ability to speak fluent Chinese made him a perfect fit for the Special Forces. He did not name a branch or unit. Apparently he operated in Cambodia, Laos, and Northern Vietnam...or in Dr. Sanders' words, "...everywhere we weren't." To me this implies that he was black ops and his missions weren't recorded or something.
Then I listed while he told me about his training. He advised that he tested for his 10th Dan in Taiwan in a week long test that had him standing in a low horse stance for hours and going through every technique he every learned. This was the old school way of doing things.
He mentioned some experience with aikijujutsu, but did not say anything about judo. I did not see any judo certificates in the facility. They also apparently do a wide variety of weapons and include sparring, with members of the Black Belt Club doing more intense sparring sessions. This contrasts with Martin who told me that sparring is light contact and not heavily emphasized.
He then said that all of his experience adds up to him being the highest ranked martial artist in Texas, the second high ranked artist in the country, and 5th highest in the world.
As a side note, he did say that his training includes once being corrected by Bruce Lee in front of a residence where Lee was training at. To my understanding, this was something to do with Lee and his relatives training in a garage. To Dr. Sanders' credit he says that he, "..never trained with Bruce Lee, but I was corrected by him." Take that for what it is worth.
Finally, his description of their training is that their classes run for about an hour and a half. The first part of the class starts off with heavy aerobic activity and the drills go from compliant practice to, "alive" as he phrased it. He hinted that the contact could get heavy.
In closing, Dr. Sanders was able to say some words in Chinese. I don't speak Chinese so he could have made them up, but while I was there he did rattle off the occassional words in Chinese to describe something that was going on.
Point of interest:
- Claims to have fought 200 full contact fights, losing only six in the United States. These were due to being disqualified for breaking bones. Bone breaking was allowed in China.
- Vietnam era Special Forces operating in Cambodia, Laos, and Northern Vietnam near the Chinese border.
- Member of the National Rifle Team
- Holds three 10th Dans.
- Highest ranking martial artist in Texas
- 2nd highest ranking martial artist in the United States.
- 5th highest ranking martial artist in the world.
- No visible judo rank. Claims aikijujutsu - no visible rank.
Last edited by 7thSamurai; 10/30/2008 8:57am at .
Reason: edited for spelling
Wow, that's some good work 7th Samurai.
Do you happen to have a write up on the actual class experience.
Working on it. I'd appreciate it if nobody contacted Sanders about it until my work is done. I'm currently having an issue with a herniated disc, so my typing endurance skills are lacking. More to come in a bit.
Originally Posted by CoffeeFan
Man, that was a good preliminary write-up! Can't wait until you can go roll with them now...
Last edited by 7thSamurai; 10/29/2008 10:18pm at .