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  1. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/05/2010 10:59pm

    staff
     Style: xingyi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are a couple of things that need correcting as they aren't huge we will get to them later. I am not in the same realm as Hugo or Neil in sword arts. It is a small error we can correct later.
  2. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 12:21am

    Join us... or die
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sri Hanuman View Post
    I must make a disclaimer here.
    I am not an experienced CMA practitioner (I have been practicing Taijiquan only since ~2006,) I am marginal at best. I am however, very familiar with the history and the theories/principles of the art.

    I consider myself well read on the subjects, and have the resources and references to back my opinions on the matter. My apologies if there have been misconceptions on this issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by It is Fake View Post
    There are a couple of things that need correcting as they aren't huge we will get to them later. I am not in the same realm as Hugo or Neil in sword arts. It is a small error we can correct later.
    My bad, sorry guys. If you feel the need to edit my post, go right ahead.
  3. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 1:01am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Nothing - yet

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    WRT to contacting Mr. Alexander, it would seem that he's (or whoever does his site is) aware of this thread. I looked on his site this morning and noticed the following changes:

    Yesterday, http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/index.html read:

    Quote Originally Posted by the site
    NEW ZEN SHIN BUDO ALLIANCE SITE
    Welcome 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.


    Today, this has been amended to read (bolding mine):

    Quote Originally Posted by the site
    NEW ZEN SHIN BUDO ALLIANCE SITE
    Welcome to Martial Arts Trainer, this 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 mission is to help people that for whatever reason have spent years training in Martial Arts, but have not graded to Instructor status.( this is normally due to moving because of employment changes or worldwide travel, some people have also trained for years but fallen out with their Instructor just prior to black belt)
    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.


    I'd just like to make it clear to Mr. Alexander at this point that it is not the purpose of this site to do a 'hatchet job' on him or his school. We're just trying to clarify as to what he's actually doing on these 'fast track' courses, in terms of training and issuing of rank based on them.

    From reading the site (and the previous ones), it could be interpreted that a student with no particular experience with the art in question (though perhaps a background in something else) could attend one of those fast track courses, earn a 1st degree blackbelt then begin instructing - after only two days of instruction himself. To anyone remotely familiar with martial arts (or even those that are not), this would seem patently ludicrous - and it has now become a cause for concern for some of the members of this site. There is also the issue the ranks held by Mr. Alexander - different grades for the same arts are stated in different places on the web. As a consumer advocacy site, we're just trying to establish what the 'real deal' is here.

    Would it be possible for you to register on this site and address our queries directly on the forum? We just want to get this cleared up and go do something else. Thanks.
  4. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 2:59am


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Fair enough, yes: promote brown belts to black belts after a two day course –
    but in arts you haven’t studied yourself?

    Also: we still don’t know why Mr Alexander made up his own style out of ‘disappointment’ with traditional ryu-ha. Or whether he really did ‘formally train’ with senior Japanese teachers ("all now unfortunately deceased"), or when and to what level. Or what makes him a ‘master’ of tai chi (though he only seems to do the Peking form) and so many different arts. Or who gave him his ninth dan.

    My problem with him is that there seems to be a lot of lies and half-truths here. My impression is that he’s a self-appointed ‘master’ who allows people to believe that he has a more respectable lineage than he does, and I think we need some answers.

    The same is true of Chris Pearson, the forty year old master of every damn thing there is.

    The product they're selling may have been made to look a little more legitimate now, by a small tweak of the website; but what about their credentials? I smell a very pungent rat.
  5. SnickersUK is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 3:59am


     Style: Kickboxing, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Some verification on exactly what criteria one has to fit before they can take a black belt course would be good as well.
  6. Jay1 is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 4:11am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Picking on the elderly.

    Dear people of Bullshido,

    I was browsing the web and came across these posts.
    I just wanted to throw in my two cents for what they are worth.

    I have known Sensei Alexander for a number of years and found the threads circulating to be a somewhat cruel hatchet job on an old boy, who in his prime, was somewhat of a legend.

    Sensei Alexander legitimately possesses over fifty years of martial arts training.
    He was graded, many years ago, in traditional (Okinawan-routed) karate, in Japan. I know this because he entrusted me with his rather battered grading certificate. Desperately sadly (no lie), I lost it (along with a lot of my luggage) when I relocated from the United Kingdom to the Far East.
    I swear to Christ though, it existed! Moreover, he still has in his possession the hand signed scroll, signed by a load of old Japanese dudes, granting him his licence to instruct.

    At one point, Sensei Alexander oversaw 70-odd Zen Shin schools throughout the UK, as well as overseas. In 1984 he franchised the schools and moved to the middle of nowhere to live in peace.

    Many years later, he started teaching again, having come to the realisation that pieces of paper can say whatever they want, because in the end, belts mean sh*t.

    The art is what matters.

    He founded his own style, based on the core-values of traditional Okinawan martial arts. Arts he is, somewhat ironically, graded in.

    His skill, martial spirit, knowledge and physical power even at seventy is still highly impressive.

    He was recognised as a 5th dan in Goju-Ryu by the English Karate Governing Body.
    He has trained with a hoard of legends over the years. Those that still live will vouch for this.

    Sensei Alexander’s Sensei, O’Sensei Okimitsu Fuji, the man who founded the BKA and a widely accepted overlord of Muso Jikiden Ryu Iaido instructed Sensei Alexander in kenjutsu. O’Sensei Okimitsu Fuji was later asked to leave the BKA because his teaching methods were not fluffy and pain-free enough for those in the UK.

    Much the same way that Kendo itself came to exist.

    O’Sensei Okimitsu Fuji cut away to do his own thing, as did Sensei Alexander.

    Sensei Alexander will train you in a weekend and give you whatever belt colour you desire, he will then point out that you know next to nothing and it would be strongly advisable to study hard for the rest of your life before you walk around saying that you know sh*t and can teach people, but that the choice is ultimately yours, should you want to risk it.
    I think this is fair.

    The most important thing that I ever learnt from Jon Alexander (aside from “hit hard, hit fast, hit first”) was that a belt of any colour isn’t going to stop a lunatic with an ashtray, but the understanding of martial spirit, training every day and knowing your chosen style(s) to an obscenely high degree might.

    Sensei Alexander will teach you the many kata within Goju Ryu karate and kenjutsu and train with you until you fall over, until the kata become muscle memory.

    Whilst technique can be taught, once it is taught, the art needs to become that of the individual’s body. Moreover, there are no correct systems or limitations. There is only what works and what does not.

    This appears to be his fundamental message.

    I train daily, four hours a day, out here in SE Asia with a highly accomplished, widely accepted instructor; accomplished to the point that he trains soldiers in advanced-CQC, fighters in traditional arts and a hoard of other horrible skills to a hoard of other people.

    When I arrived here, this man told me that what I had and how I had been taught was frankly brilliant, given the usual standard of teaching outside of SE Asia.

    What I learnt, was from Sensei Alexander. Still and fundamentally, I vote to leave the old boy alone, he truly knows his sh*t and he has my full respect, then and now.

    For what it is worth, I hope this helps a little.

    JG
  7. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 4:55am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ah. Lost/stolen grading certificates. That's a new one.

    Swear on your cuddliest puppy's life that (a) you're not Jon Alexander in disguise and (b) that Jon Alexander didn't put you up to posting this.

    Oh - I see that you're into swearing to Christ. Go on then; swear by the baby Jesus: it's just coincidence that you found these posts when you did, and you haven't been in touch with Mr Alexander and Mr Pearson.
  8. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 5:49am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Nothing - yet

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi Jay. Thanks for joining up and posting.

    I'll leave the comments on JA's specific martial abilities to others, as I'm not qualified to comment in this area.

    However, would you be in the position of knowledge to answer a few polite questions about Mr. Alexander's training and rankings in the various arts in which he currently claims rank?

    You commented on these points in your post, so I will take the opportunity to ask you about them now, if that's okay.

    e.g. you say that 'He was recognised as a 5th dan in Goju-Ryu by the English Karate Governing Body'. Would you be able to tell us which governing body in particular you are referring to (there are a few)?

    It would then be a simple matter of contacting them, verifying that yes, he is recognised as a 5th Dan in Goju-ryu and then stating on the site 'Yes, we spoke to <whoever at the org> who confirmed that Mr. Jon Alexander is recognised as a 5th Dan in Goju-ryu by <org>'. We're not here to screw people over - if they're legit, we'll proclaim them as legit.

    Do you also happen to know who it was that awarded Mr. Alexander's 5th Dan Goju-ryu?

    So (from your post), Muso Jikiden Ryu Iaido is the school of Japanese sword in which JA trained (under Okimitsu Fujii), correct?



    I must admit that I find it interesting that you say

    Many years later, he started teaching again, having come to the realisation that pieces of paper can say whatever they want, because in the end, belts mean sh*t.
    ...when on his own web page, he refers to himself as 'Sensei Jon Alexander 9th Dan' and goes into detail about holding multiple Dan rankings in various arts - and is also listed as holding multiple 9th Dan rankings on two black belt registries, upon one of which he is listed as 'founder'. Don't you see the dissonance there?

    also

    Sensei Alexander will train you in a weekend and give you whatever belt colour you desire, he will then point out that you know next to nothing and it would be strongly advisable to study hard for the rest of your life before you walk around saying that you know sh*t and can teach people, but that the choice is ultimately yours, should you want to risk it.
    I think this is fair.
    ...and if people do 'risk it' (as they will - just look around the site for numerous examples of people who go power mad as soon as they strap on a blackbelt, or lust for a blackbelt and the authority teach to such an extent that they just award themselves rank and go for it), is he unconcerned about obtaining a poor reputation (for himself personally as a teacher and his organization) within the martial arts community due to the actions of his students teaching substandard material, based upon a weekend's training, to their students when under-qualified - whilst loudly proclaiming him as their master/sensei/sifu/etc.?
    Last edited by Larus marinus; 9/06/2010 5:55am at .
  9. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 5:55am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    To say “belts don’t mean a thing” is fair enough – they don’t. But why award them, then? Rank-selling scams are ridiculous when they involve this hopeless self-contradiction. On the one hand, you know that the punters will pay good money for a black belt. On the other, you have to find some justification for awarding one after only a few hours of training – so that’s when you start having to resort to the “belts don’t mean a thing” argument. But this is to belittle the very product that you’re selling! Silly, no?

    Here's very simple question for Mr Alexander or whichever of his buddies is speaking for him at the moment: Who gave you your ninth dan? Note: not, 'who is it recognised by?', but Who gave it to you, and when and what for? Now that's a straight question, isn't it?
    Last edited by HenryT; 9/06/2010 6:37am at .
  10. SnickersUK is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2010 7:13am


     Style: Kickboxing, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

    Sensei Alexander will train you in a weekend and give you whatever belt colour you desire, he will then point out that you know next to nothing and it would be strongly advisable to study hard for the rest of your life before you walk around saying that you know sh*t and can teach people, but that the choice is ultimately yours, should you want to risk it.
    I think this is fair.
    Why even offer such a service if he is then going to contradict himself? My first guess would be that there is a sum of money involved.


    "The art is what matters."

    Amen to that mate and what constantly pisses me and many other martial artists off is people diluting the arts by frivolously awarding black belt ranks to novices who then go on to teach and further miss lead others. It is totally irresponsible and inexcusable.

    The reason why we even got on to Jon Alexander was because we were looking into an ex-student called Chris Allen at Tring Martial Arts who appears to have taken some weekend courses and is now training people himself. Of course it's down to the integrity of the student to make this decision but why even give people the opportunity?

    I do agree with you on one thing, belts don't mean an awful lot. However, experience does and belts are meant to be a reliable indication of a persons experience.
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