Thread: Christopher Allen TMA
9/03/2010 8:52pm, #71
OK, had a look at the video. Let's start with what he's wearing: hakama that are too short over top of a judo uwagi that is also too short, and exposing his thighs on the side. Additionally he has used a tasuki (the cord around his shoulders) that would normally be used to bind the wide sleeves of a kimono but is unnecessary in this case. The hachimaki just adds to the ridiculousness of the outfit. No senior person in any JSA would be caught dead in that outfit for daily practice, never mind embu.
Technically it looks like he attended a iaido seminar one time, and then added a bunch of his own nonsense. He has the general idea right - start seated, draw and cut, return the sword. But the specifics are all wrong. All the movement is in his arms and shoulders, he is not using his body at all. He makes most of his movement with the right hand only, when he grasps the sword with both hands he just exposes further how bad his technique is. The sheer idiocy of spinning the sword around his back with his right hand to thrust forward at someone from the left side of his body should pretty much tell you all you need to know - you don't need to practice any sort of fencing to figure out that's a bad idea. There is a wealth of unnecessary flash and spinning of the swords. He rarely shows any need to advance past his opponents guard to be able to cut him, instead he just cuts directly in front or behind. And by directly, I mean really close - we're talking nose to nose distance here.
This really looks like an early version of the current XMA sword demos. If he were doing it today, it would be set to rap music and he'd likely be throwing and catching the sword. He's still got a little too much of the iaido rhythm to the affair to win a current open weapons class contest - he needs to speed it up and junk it up even further for that.
In short, this video is pants as my UK friends would say.
ETA: Hugo posted a video of Katori Shinto Ryu which is not all that common. Here's some good examples of the sort of iaido most people are practicing. Ignore the music - all these demos would have been performed in silence. Note also that all of these 8 dan demonstrators are older Japanese men. That's because all 8 dan iaidoka are old Japanese men.
Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido
Last edited by NeilG; 9/03/2010 9:09pm at .
9/03/2010 8:56pm, #72
9/03/2010 9:15pm, #73
Similar to the XMA guys and the Ninja movie stuntmen, it is easy for lay people to confuse athleticism and flash with real martial skill.
9/03/2010 10:46pm, #74
Something else semi-interesting I found. I looked up that Bob McCormack fellow from the videos with Alexander and discovered the website of his nunchaku school.
Which contains this statement.
WE ARE THE ORIGNAL ZEN SHIN BUDO KAI. Sensei Bob McCormack started his first ZSBK club back in 1977 where he taught Nunchaku-Do
This ZEN SHIN BUDO KAI website is completly independent from all or any other ZSBK site in the UK.
These sites know who they are, extorting money from people for what he/they can get. What they are doing is shameful and a complete disgrace to the whole of the UK's martial arts.
9/05/2010 3:09am, #75
Also - dunno if this has just gone up in the past couple of days (maybe I just missed it) but here's his current site:
NEW ZEN SHIN BUDO ALLIANCE SITEWelcome to Martial Arts Trainer, our site is headed by 9th Dan Jon Alexander who runs the Zen Shin Budo Alliance.(previously known as Zen Shin Budo Kai for over 30 years)
We are dedicated to providing you with the tools you will need to start and run your own Martial Arts School.
We hold fast-track courses in a variety of different Arts, allowing you to choose the one most suited to your previous Martial skills or knowledge.
Our Certificates are the same Certificates issued to our Students at our regular classes, so you will have no problem in registering your grade to allow you to receive Instructor and Club Insurance.
Please feel free to browse our site and contact us should you have any more questions reguarding you training requirements.
Anyone ever heard of this Chris Pearson (7th Dan in Budo) fellow who's listed as the instructor for some of the courses above?
Current prices for these 'fast-track courses':
9/05/2010 3:23am, #76
That Tai Chi was terrible. I mean it is terrible even if he claimed it was health only Tai Chi.
9/05/2010 4:50am, #77
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
I see Mr Pearson has studied "JKD, Kali/Silat, BJJ, Self Defence, Jiu Jitsu, Budo, Judo, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Lau Gar Kung Fu, Kickboxing, San Shou,Wu Shu, Shootfighting, Hapkido, Ninjutsu, Tai Chi, Kenjutsu and Kyudo with various different Instructors & Masters." I wonder who these "various instructors and masters are" and how long Mr Pearson studied with each of them to acquire this impressive range of skills? Most of them seem to have come from Mr Alexander during the past ten years. It's a big relief to read that Mr Pearson "carries no ego."
The patron or sponsor of this carnival is called Okimitsu Fujii. Surely this can't be THE Okimitsu Fujii (of Kendo), can it - sponsoring two day Kenjutsu instructor courses????
Last edited by HenryT; 9/05/2010 4:56am at .
9/05/2010 5:54am, #78Jon Alexander developed the Zen Shin Do Kenjutsu style of swordsmanship over a period of more than 40 years after his disappointment with conventional styles of IAIDO. This is a kata based system with the emphisis on correct bokken and sword control.
Sorry, I realise this is in MABS but Alexander's statement is off the scale on my bullshit 'o meter.
We've got schools of both iai and kenjutsu which are hundreds of years old, these have survived arguably the most rigorous natural selection process known - actual combat where, the development process within those schools was driven from the success of the techniques themselves. IE they were proven to work for real.
Then we have this guy Alexander, a self professed 9th dan in his own style of Japanese Swordsmanship, created because he said he was "disappointed" with conventional styles of Iai. Laughable.
In my experience over the last 22 years, the only people who invent their own style of martial art (especially westerners) are those personalities who have an attraction to fighting arts but don't want or physically can't put the years of effort into mastery of an established and formalised system where grades are earned off the back of hard work and dedication. Alexander strikes me as exactly one of those personalities."To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".
9/05/2010 6:11am, #79
Though of course, speaking in general, a photo is only proof that someone stood beside someone else for a period of time sufficient to allow a photo to be taken one time.
9/05/2010 7:03am, #80
Neil.. Thanks for the MSR Ryuto video, it's very interesting to see each of those interpretations of the same kata from hachidan.
The reason why I posted the Katori Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu clip was that although entirely different from what Alexander was attempting to demonstrate, there is within their technique aspects of sword use not seen in other ryu-ha specifically chiburi, you will note in one of Alexander's videos he blatantly attempts to copy the Tenshin-shoden Katori Shinto Ryu chiburi and noto-ha."To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".