I could do with your assistance trying to confirm the claims of a gentleman claiming to be, among other things, something of a martial arts guru, one James/Jim Shortt, Baron of Castleshort.
The story so far regarding this character can be found here: http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/The_Baron_of_Castleshortt
and in a mammoth 38 page thread here:
The claims relevant to the martial arts world are these:
Ju Jutsu - 7th Dan
Karate-jutsu - 6th Dan
Nin-Jutsu - 3rd Dan
Judo - 3rd Dan
Aikido - 1 st Dan (all Japan confirmed)
Gant d Argent (Silver Gloves) Boxe Francaise-Savate
(taken from http://www.finjutsu.com/Henkilogalle...tt/shortt.html)
Is there a way of confirming if these are 'real'?
He's also strutting his stuff on Youtube: YouTube - Tradicional Jujutsu - Ryoishinto ryu James G. Shortt 9th dan
[edited for formatting]
Are you in dialogue with him?
Japanese arts are very formal, he should certainly be able to produce written certificates to prove his ranks in those (whether that proves the validity of his training is another matter however...).
Judo is even easier, just ask him which organization he's ranked in, as they all keep pretty good records of their dan grades, some of which are even searchable online.
This thread on e-budo may help...does anyone have more info here about James "Jim" Shortt aka "Baron Castleshort" ?
You really could not make this up. Even the most imaginative Hollywood writer would be hard-pressed to dream up a character like James Shortt: monk, soldier of fortune, author and colonel of his own private army - amongst (many) other things.
Wow, sounds like the second coming of Count Dante.
If Floyd Webb is still entertaining the notion of a follow up to his John Keehan movie, I think this guy would be right up his alley.
e-budo link I posted had comments about those certificates:
Originally Posted by ToB
Just a series of menjo, mainly from British, American and European budo associations, including the Juko-kai with Rod Sacharnowski's signature. (That surely raises a red-flag.) A lot of menjo from Roy Jerry Hobbs Dentokan organisation. Interesting to see one for Tenjin Shinyo-ryu with Vernon Bell's name there.
Lots of dodgy kanji used there too.
The only certification that comes from Japan there is the Bujinkan 3rd dan menjo with Hatsumi Masaaki's name on it (I'm sure some members of the Bujinkan can authenticate that by simply looking at it.)
Ryoi Shinto-ryu is a dead ryuha. It died out sometime after the Meiji-Jidai.
Mr.Shortt Originally trained with one of the U.K. Pioneers of Karatedo, Vernon Bell.
I was asked to look into Ryoi Shinto-ryu one of my regular training and research trips to Japan ( I go to Japan twice a year.) After three trips, numerous e-mails and telephone calls, I could find absolutely nothing to indicate that Ryoi Shinto-ryu is around any more. One of my budo sempai specializes in researching Kuroda-han bujutsu and their histories. With his assistance and added findings, the conclusion appeared rather obvious - The ryuha has expired.
The last remnants of the ryuha are preserved in a handful of techniques at a koryu kenjutsu dojo in Fukuoka. They practice a line of a rather famous koryu kenjutsu ryuha.
Other than that, you have the koryu jujutsu system, Ise Jitoku Tenshin-ryu (伊勢自得天真流 ) based in Hakata-shi, Fukuoka-Ken under Mifune Toichiro Soke. Ise Jitoku Tenshin-ryu is an amalgamation of Yoshin-ryu, Kasahara-ryu and Ryoi Shinto-ryu.
There is a rather lengthy thread on Ryoi Shinto-ryu and Mr.Shortt archived over on e-budo.com.
Hope this helps.
As for his credentials, some of the menjo have some rather dodgy kanji used on there. Also there is a menjo there that shows Mr. Shortt has some dan ranking in "Tenshin Shinyo-ryu" under Vernon Bell. The thing is, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu doesn't use gendai dan-i grades.
Last edited by kumiuchi; 9/25/2008 10:41am at .
Reason: Edited for minor addition on certification
Jim Shortt is quite a big name in many European countries, and many experts say he is great fighter and knows what he is doing. For example in Finland and Baltic states he might be considered numer one instructor.
But recently more frauds than just his belt ranks has been revealed. You can read more from here: http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Jim_Shortt
But like I wrote, even if his CV is almost complete bullshit, the top Finnish people who have been in his courses say he is good MA instructor. Are those titles, qualifications, awards etc. so important in Britain that you can't get success without them, or can somebody tell what makes people lying all his achievements?
I've had some contact with him, just a few emails re. a shared hobby interest.
My impression is that he's chronically prone to exaggerate his credentials and experience in all sorts of areas, which basically makes it very difficult to sort out what those (undoubtedly real) credentials actually are. Basically, although from what I've seen he does have some serious MA and military background, I've found that I can't trust what he says.