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  1. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 12:15pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Jon Alexander's Japanese

    The kanji on the badge with Mr Alexander’s face in the middle of it say: “Zen Shin Do Ken Jutsu Kai”. (I do hope none of the students wear this badge!)

    I can’t see the hachimaki clearly enough to read it, apart from the kanji ‘do’ in the middle of his forehead.

    The part of the scroll on the wall that is visible says (though it’s a bit blurred): “... Do Ken Jutsu Kai”.

    Things like this don’t really prove anything, though. These are the sort of stock Japanese phrases that anyone with a smattering, and every martial artist, can pick up and use. There must be thousand of clubs called “Zen Shin” this and “Mu Shin” that ... It was Mr Alexander’s apparent inability to see the difference between 心 and 新 that gave the game away.

    Perhaps it’s not important. Many – most? – gaijin martial arts teachers don’t understand more than a few words and phrases of Japanese, after all. Then again, though, Mr Alexander seems, by hints and semi-statements, to want to tell us he has a solid Japanese background. The whiff of falsehood and half-truth grows stronger and stronger.

    Might I suggest that the time has now come to write to Mr Alexander and ask for his response to all this? It seems only fair.

    It isn't my intention to hassle anybody about it, or to make unreasonable demands for answers. But it does strike me that we're giving this guy a hiding and it's possible that he doesn't even know it yet! Fair play, then, huh?
  2. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 1:35pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larus marinus View Post
    Aside from the whole '9 year old blackbelt thing', it must be quite strenuous to swing around a sword that's more than half your own body-length (average height of a 9y.o. girl is 47 inches, according to the internet) at that age, huh?
    A nine year old black belt in Alexander's own made-up art is obviously quite feasible but entirely lacking any sort of credibility in the much wider and somewhat more authentic Japanese sword art community.

    In terms of the sword that 9 year old used, most likely an iaito - an alloy composite blade specifically made for the study of iaido, these blades come in a range of sizes and weights, including those for small women.

    However, the article states the sword the child used was 26 inches long but this doesn't explain if that was just the toshin (unlikely) My best guess is the description given was of the entire sword length including the tsuka (handle) - which puts it in the region of wakazashi (shoto) length blades.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  3. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 1:36pm

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    Henry,

    Are you a conversational speaker/writer of Nihongo ?
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  4. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:19pm


     

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    I have reasonable spoken and written Japanese; I wouldn't put it any higher than that. I will also volunteer to write a polite letter of enquiry to Mr Alexander if other contributors to the thread are agreeable; or I'll make some suggestions if anyone else is proposing to do it. I don't know what the procedure is in such cases, and I don't want to drop any bricks; but I expect other people here will know what to do. Anyone?
  5. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:28pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Stiglitz View Post
    A nine year old black belt in Alexander's own made-up art is obviously quite feasible but entirely lacking any sort of credibility in the much wider and somewhat more authentic Japanese sword art community.

    In terms of the sword that 9 year old used, most likely an iaito - an alloy composite blade specifically made for the study of iaido, these blades come in a range of sizes and weights, including those for small women.

    However, the article states the sword the child used was 26 inches long but this doesn't explain if that was just the toshin (unlikely) My best guess is the description given was of the entire sword length including the tsuka (handle) - which puts it in the region of wakazashi (shoto) length blades.
    Sounds like a reasonable assessment. Must admit that I was thinking 'blade length' when I read '26 inches' - and got a mental image of that knight guy from Soul Blade... :laughing5


    Now, looking back to JA's MySpace, he states that one person he has 'formally trained' with Ito Kunimitsu, 9th Dan. Has anyone ever heard of this man?

    I searched for the name (as well in the form of 'Kunimitsu Ito') and found absolutely no references to an Ito Kunimitsu in the context of martial arts, outside of pages belonging to Jon Alexander/people connected with JA and forum threads discussing JA.

    A poster on swordforum.com drew a similar blank in 2005, it would seem.
    Sword Forum International - View Single Post - Information on Kenjutsu

    There is however a retired Japanese long-distance runner of that name.


    I can't read/speak/write Japanese, so I suppose that it's within the realms of possibility that there are some non-English references to him out there somewhere...

    His only other recent act, other than training JA, would appear to be the co-presenting of a 9th Dan in 'Eclectic Karate' (alongside JA himself) to a Master Ed Byrne.

    http://www.edbyrne.co.uk/masteredbyrne.html

    Quote Originally Posted by the link above
    Achievements:-9th Dan Eclectic Karate presented by Jon Alexander & Ito Kunimitsu & recognised as such by the World Sport Karate Alliance,World United Martial Arts Federation,National Association of Chinese Martial Arts,Eclectic Martial Arts Federation,Zen-Shin-Goju-Karate-Kai,Grand Master Soke col Siegfried Bodeker from Bushido-Brotherhood Martial Arts Society and Head of world Head of Family-sokeship council for Europe....

    • World Sport Karate Alliance - no meaningful online presence, mentioned on a couple of sites
    • World United Martial Arts Federation (WUMA) - mentioned in several threads on here, both good and bad things claimed, dunno.
    • National Association of Chinese Martial Arts - http://www.myspace.com/nacma
    • Eclectic Martial Arts Federation - doesn't appear to exist outside of the page on which it's mentioned
    • Zen-Shin-Goju-Karate-Kai - John Alexander
    • Siegfried Boedeker - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
    • Bushido-Brotherhood Martial Arts - no meaningful online presence, mentioned on a couple of sites
    • World Head of Family Sokeship Council... again
  6. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:31pm

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    Henry,

    Feel free to write to Mr. Alexander, just confirm that you are actually doing it here that way no one else duplicates the work.

    I'd suggest, that if the communication is in hard copy rather than email, you inform Mr. Alexander that you retain the right to publish all or part of your letter in this thread as part of your contribution.

    Ask him if he has an objection to you publishing all or part of his reply.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  7. Rock Ape is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:37pm

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    Why am I not surprised to see the name Siegfried Bodeker associated with this thread.

    Given Mr. Alexander's supposed status, he sure does associate with some well known martial arts douchebags.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  8. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:37pm


     

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    World United Martial Arts Federation (WUMA) is, I believe, the organisation founded and run by a man called Richard Hopkins, also called 'Deadly Dicker'. He has been discussed somewhere on Bullshido.
  9. HenryT is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:41pm


     

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    Hugo: I will send Mr Alexander an email, asking the questions that have been raised on this thread - as politely as possible. With his permission, I will post his replies.
  10. Larus marinus is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/07/2010 2:44pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryT View Post
    World United Martial Arts Federation (WUMA) is, I believe, the organisation founded and run by a man called Richard Hopkins, also called 'Deadly Dicker'. He has been discussed somewhere on Bullshido.
    Yep. As far as I could see, nothing demonstrably terrible was uncovered about them. A few people spoke out in support of them.
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