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Fantasy Warrior
6/26/2007 8:18pm,
Steve Stewart, bullshidoka

http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/624/hungary7zoomha0.jpg
Stewart demonstrates the knockout power of the Kempo Mullet


Issues with Steve Stewart's credibility

A) Dubious qualifications and credentials

B) Pressure points and unrealistic self-defence including no-touch knockouts

C) McDojoism

D) Calling his teachings "MMA"




A) Dubious qualifications

Steve Stewart claims a long list of martial arts achievements, accreditations and related academic qualifications. (For a complete list see the appendix). However, we investigated several of his claims and found them not credible. These are the ones we found issues with:



- Graduate of Canadian College of Acupuncturists & Compliemntary[Sic] Medicine (2003)

- Graduate of the International College of Bio-Energetic Medicine (2005)

- Doctorate: Medical Acupuncture & Holistic Medicine (2005)


The above implies that he got his doctorate from "International College of Bio-Energetic Medicine".

Searching the Internet, I have been unable to find any website for either the “Canadian College of Acupuncturists & Complimentary Medicine” or the “International College of Bio-Energetic Medicine”. It appears that they may not exist. We were forced to ask ourselves "how many genuine universities don't have websites?"; ask yourself the same question.

Hoping to clarify the situation we contacted Mr Stewart asking for clarification and substantiation of his medical qualifications. His response:

From : Steve Stewart
Sent : 04 June 2006 21:18:21
To : KickCatcher
Subject : Re: Query

If you want verification come visit me and I will be glad to show you bothj[Sic] from
a Martial Arts point of view and a medical point of view

I am not the typical idiot martial artist and am insulted by these comments

Who are you to ask me..................

Get a life
Mr Stewart is not the only person to have ever reacted angrily to our enquires, Radford Davis* ("Ashida Kim") is another good example. Maybe it's a defence mechanism.

We cannot say for sure that his credentials, as posted on his websites and quoted elsewhere are fake, grossly misrepresented or otherwise intentionally deceptive. However, you may wish to consider the likelihood that if Mr Stewart had bonafide qualifications he would get the names of the institutions consistently wrong. Or, if the institutions as named do actually exist, the likelihood that Mr Stewart's biography is the ONLY place on the Internet where they are found by Google - no college website, no adverts, no directory listings, no other acupuncture practitioners listing these institutions.

The General feeling around here is that it is extremely unlikely that anyone, including Mr Stewart, would have bonafide qualifications for a doctorate from an academic institution which otherwise does not come up on an Internet search. With this in mind we regard Mr Stewart's academic credentials as extremely suspect.



B) Pressure points and unrealistic self-defence


- 8th Degree : Kyusho-Jitsu ("Highest Ranked in Canada")
- Canadian Representative : DKI

Dillman Karate International is an organisation headed by George Dillman in USA, that peddles pressure point martial arts usually labelled as "Kyusho-Jitsu and typically involving highly unrealistic "self-defence" scenarios and pretending to knock someone unconscious without even touching them.

Over than the unrealistic pressure points stuff, it's run of the mill Kempo complete with obligatory mullet, patches and quasi-Japanese uniforms. And based on the Internet images and videos, it sucks. Really sucks.

See for yourself,Steve Stewart has all the worst trappings of a small-time circus magician as shown in the following videos of disaster:

Exhibit A (http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/seminarpreviewvideoscombatpressurepointsprofessors tevestewart/CMATC%201a.htm)

Exhibit B (http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/seminarpreviewvideoscombatpressurepointsprofessors tevestewart/CMATC%202a.htm)

Exhibit C (http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/seminarpreviewvideoscombatpressurepointsprofessors tevestewart/supershow%201a.htm)

Exhibit D (http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/seminarpreviewvideoscombatpressurepointsprofessors tevestewart/1.html) - definitely the best, in a bad sort of way

(Note: Above links show PPKOs etc at time posting)

More video clips of people falling over because they paid too much: http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/seminarpreviewvideoscombatpressurepointsprofessors tevestewart/




C) McDojoism

McDojoism is exploitative commercial practices in the martial arts. There are several aspects to this, one being that Steve Stewart runs seminars and short courses that 'qualify' people to teach pressure points etc. One of his sites lists basic descriptions, prices etc (http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/kyushojitsuresearchallianceinternationalcertificat ionrequirements/)

2 day course and $999 (Canadian $?) = instructor.


http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/9597/stevebioxc4.jpg
Proud to be a martial businessman

He even lists it among his McDojoism accomplishments in his biography:


- Small Business Program Award : Enterpreuner[Sic] of the Year (1995)
- International World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame (June 2002)
- Appointed Board of Directors (Worldwide Martial Arts Hall of Fame) - 2002
- Regional Director (NAPMA) (National Association of Professional Martial Artists)

"Entrepreneur of the Year" emphasises that Steve Stewart runs his kenpo school with an eye to profit, moreso than value for money. The award was apparently given by London Small Business Centre, in London, Canada.

Part of this McDojoism is using contracts which are priced to incentivise yearly obligations, i.e. you pay less per month the longer you sign up for. Therefore students and/or their parents are duped into committing to longer periods of training, eing financially penalised if they leave before their contract is up. In 2003 his prices were as follows:

Gold Program $99.00 per month, 1 year contract = $1,188 per year

Silver Program $119.00 per month, 6 month contract = $1,428 per year

Bronze Program $149.00 per month, monthly renewed contract = $1,788 per year

Keep in mind that a student may only get a few hours classes per week - with the options fore a below black belt 'adult' totalling about 3.5hrs per week: (schedule: http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/151/stevestewartschedulezl0.jpg )

In addition to the above, students are charged for gradings as follows (2003 prices):

NINJAS (3 - 4 yrs.) $10.00
TIGERS (Novice 5-6 yrs.) $20.00
DRAGONS (Advanced 5-6 yrs.) $25.00
JUNIORS (Novice 7 to 12 yrs.) $35.00
JUNIORS (Advanced 7-12 yrs.) $45.00
JUNIOR BLACK BELT LEVELS $30.00 for each level
ADULT BLACK BELTS 3 Day Exam & Extravaganza, performance $450.00 for each Degree obtained.

Generally the students grade every three months, so for a 7 year old, that could add up to an additional $180 per year.

For Juniors there are 15 below black belt grades and Junior black belt grades go up to 10th Dan!!! So for a Junior to become a black belt they will have to fork out $675 on colour-belt gradings alone.


In Steve Stewart's clubs a "Junior Black Belt" is under 14, and an "Adult Black Belt" is over 14, so he's charging 14 year olds $450 for their first Dans, as if giving kids "black Belts" isn't bad enough. There's even a special scheme and lots of quasi-grades to transfer from Junior black belt to adult black belt.


We do not know what additional costs a student would be encouraged to incur, but it is likely to include sparring equipment (although sparring does not appear to be a large factor in the teachings) and numerous 'clubs' within the club, including the inevitable "Black Belt Club".

In 2003 Steve Stewart boasted having 542 full time students at his main club, so if each student opted for the cheapest contract (yearly), that equates to an income of $643,896.00 before income from gradings, seminars, tournaments and other gimmicks. At that time Steve Stewart had 4 full time employees and 8 part-time staff, plus 12 volunteer (i.e. free) staff. Even if we factor in expenses, it's plain to see that Steve Stewart must be getting a very healthy income from teaching Kenpo.

Oh, and then there's the satellite schools; 7 in 2003, now 12. Sticking with the 2003 calculations, 7 schools totalling an additional 600+ students makes for even more profit. We don't know how large a cut Steve Stewart takes from these schools, but at the Gold Program student (cheapest option) rate, that equates to at least an additional $712,800 in circulation, again before all those additional incomes from students.

So even at 2003 prices Steve Stewart's empire almost certainly brought in over $1mm and it seems likely that the largest chunk went to Steve himself.

With his conspicuous moneymindedness, it's no surprise that he is a proud member of NAPMA, a McDojoism organisation associated with Stephen Oliver. He joined NAPMA in 1997 and is now their head man in Canada. NAPMA encourages student contracts, cheesy advertising with lots of testimonials, large numbers of gradings etc; all designed to get maximum money out of the student.



D) Calling his teachings "MMA"

There is nothing technically wrong in this, his actual term is "Modern Martial Arts" which he naturally abbreviates to "MMA". It is however very misleading to the increasingly MMA aware general public.

Part of our philosophy at MMA is to encourage the concept or "respect for others". To encourage this concept, Adult Black Belts are referred to as "Sensei" or "Sir"

And "MMA" isn't the only misleading acronym he uses to market his style; "MBA Program", which has no relation to the highly regarded academic qualification Master of Business Administration, comes along with H.I.T, S.W.A.T, D.E.L.T.A. and many more. Re-hosted image, note the logo at the bottom: http://img483.imageshack.us/img483/6520/mbals1.jpg




http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/5571/hungary2zoomqp9.jpg
Gullible seminar students turn backs as Stewart exits with their money (???)





Quack? - just for reference

Quackery is “the promotion, for profit, of a medical remedy known to be false or unproven."

Although we normally associate it as a deliberate deception, it is often unwitting, like much martial bullshido. And the two areas are often inextricably linked because many bullshido beliefs are routed in traditional Chinese Medicine which has more than its fair share of quacks. In fact, according to many Western medicine doctors, nearly all “alternative” and traditional Eastern medicine (more commonly known as Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)) is quackery. But many people sincerely believe in TCM, and acupuncture and Tai Chi in particular have a degree of popular acceptance.

The similarities between common traits in quackery and bullshido martial arts are quite startling. For example:

1. Use of pseudo-scientific/medical terminology to lend credibility

2. Setting up of dubious organizations to provide certification

3. Use of authoritative titles such as doctor and professor without the extent of training required in comparable mainstream fields such as Western Medicine or academia.

4. Fear tactics, however subtle, to market the product

5. Claiming benefits which are so vague or general as to be very hard to both evidence or refute

6. Misrepresenting/misquoting of third party sources to support their arguments, and omitting (/denying) negative aspects

7. Targeting the weak minded

8. Use of dubious testimonials and endorsements

etc



How does this affect martial arts?

Many bullshido practitioners, particularly those involved in pressure points and chi, also practice or claim qualifications in Eastern Medicine. It is a sad truth that many of their students get caught up in the medical/health aspects as they do the martial aspects. Common myths are that to be able to kill someone first you must master traditional health methods, or that mastering TCM by implication makes you ultra-deadly; able to kill someone with the mildest of touches.

Given the proliferation of dubious organizations dedicated to “qualifying” quacks, the bullshidoist’s medical credentials should be viewed with the same degree of suspicion as their martial ones.






---------------Appendix-----------------

Steve Stewart's sites: http://www.ssmma.com/ , http://www.pureenergyforlife.com/ and http://www.combatpressurepoints.com/
Previous thread on Steve Stewart: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=34936
Martial Arts Online interview with Steve Stewart (a source for some of the above) http://www.martialinfo.com/owners/onlinemag/view.asp?mag_issue=7



List of currently claimed qualifications and accomplishments:

- 1st Dan : Shito Kai
- 2nd Degree : Modern Arnis
- 2nd Degree : Tae Kwon Do
- 7th Degree : American Kenpo ("highest Ranked in Canada")
- 8th Degree : Kyusho-Jitsu ("Highest Ranked in Canada")
- Canadian Representative : DKI
- WKKA Demonstration Team (1996-2001)
- Certified Instructor of Small Circle Ju-jitsu
- WKKA International Director / Reported directly to Mr Joe Polanzo (1995-2002)

Accademic Awards / Degrees
- BSc: Anatomy and Physiology
- Diploma : Histotechnology
- International World Wide Martial Arts Hall of Fame (June 2002)
- Appointed Board of Directors (Worldwide Martial Arts Hall of Fame)
- Regional Director (NAPMA) (National Association of Professional Martial Artists)
- Pathology Technologist (1981-1991)
- Alzheimer's Research Study Program (1986-1991)
- Small Business Program Award : Enterpreuner[Sic] of the Year (1995)
- Graduate of Canadian College of Acupuncturists & Compliemntary[Sic] Medicine (2003)
- Graduate of the International College of Bio-Energetic Medicine (2005)
- Doctorate: Medical Acupuncture & Holistic Medicine (2005)



----------------------- Footnotes---------------------------

* Radford Davis, aka Ashida Kim. Infamous ninja "grand master" of extremely dubious credibility. Bullshido article: http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php?name=Reviews&file=viewarticle&id=160

Fantasy Warrior
6/26/2007 8:22pm,
And what investigation would be complete without a Top Twerp card? Not this one, that's for sure.


http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/2338/stevestewartcardnk1.png




And some funny pictures of his somewhat unrealistic self defence teachings:

The man with the golden gun?
http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/5711/bodyimage5kw0.jpg

And the wonderful X-block knife defence made all the better as a transition to a twisty wristy move:
http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/2585/bodyimage6yv7.jpg

kwoww
6/26/2007 8:50pm,
Wow, nice job Kickcatcher. Imaginary + rep and a hug for you.

Captain Planet
6/26/2007 9:16pm,
It's more then enough info to convince me this guy is bullshido good job. By the way doesn't he kinda look like Charles Bronson?

TheMightyMcClaw
6/26/2007 10:24pm,
I noticed in Exhibit C he did the push under the nose headlock escape thing, followed by something my mind cannot grasp. I used to think this pretty cool, until someone sank their teeth into my palm while I tried it. Now I generally steer clear of it.

Ashe
6/27/2007 1:00am,
Not to play Devil's Advocate, but Western Medicine is increasingly recognizing the effectiveness of Eastern Medicine practices. Studies conducted at hospitals in MN have shown that patients receiving "alternative care" (such as massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc) tend to spend less time in the hospital and cost several thousands of dollars less to treat.

If a person has verifiable credentials from a nationally accredited institution in addition to appropriate professional licensing, they are probably competent in their particular specialty. Of course some idiots skate by and should definitely NOT be treating patients, but there's no reason to paint ALL practitioners with the same broad brush of condemnation.

That said, this guy seems about as legitimate as a whore's bastard.

1bad65
6/27/2007 1:34am,
I think the question of whether or not Eastern Medicine works is moot. It appears this guy made up his Eastern Medicine credentials.

"I am not the typical idiot martial artist and am insulted by these comments"

Yes, he is much bigger liar and an overall douche than most martial artists.

sochin101
6/27/2007 7:25am,
Kickcatcher,

Nice report.
Do you expect Steve (or his mullet) to respond to your article?
Have you contacted him prior to tell him he's about to become (in)famous, or will it be a nice surprise for him?

Fantasy Warrior
6/27/2007 5:44pm,
It's a surprise. This is about a year after the original work was done, it just never got wrritten up and I thought "hey, that Steve Stewart guy never got written up".

By all means someone email him - going by my previous contact with him I expect he'd love the opportunity to come here and help us verify his credentials, commercial practices and whatnot.

Red Sauce
6/28/2007 3:49am,
Great work you kickcatching man - I just don't believe people still have haircuts like that - that's what blows mai mind.

Adon4Ever
6/29/2007 8:26pm,
Great work you kickcatching man - I just don't believe people still have haircuts like that - that's what blows mai mind.

That's because you're not a Krotty Master. Everyone knows that the mullet is part of the traditional Krotty uniform. :icon_roll

Fantasy Warrior
6/29/2007 10:38pm,
Damning evidence that Steve Stewart continues to wear a mullet as recently as November 2006. See guy with excessive patches and red belt in background:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aycQtG2kMg

Fantasy Warrior
6/29/2007 11:08pm,
Stewart at 2003 seminar with Dillman, where he had over 150 customers (120 on second day)
http://www.cbma.ca/images/cbma_dillman_seminar.jpg


And I forgot to mention his ....
MMA Kenpo Home Study Course

Attention All Martial Artists
The MMA Kenpo Home Study Course is now available. Purchase White to Black Volumes for $349 (USD) and receive 2nd and 3rd Degrees FREE or 2 Complimentary Combat Pressure Points Volume DVD's.
When ready to test simply send us a Video of you performing and you will be graded. A certificate is provided for each level. The cost for testing White to Purple is $50 / Advanced Purple to Advanced Green is $75 / All Brown Belt Levels are $99.


Steve Stewart's latest black belts.
http://www.ssmma.com/images/June-JBB-Grading-zoom.jpg

E-Funk
10/20/2008 10:44pm,
I know this thread is quite old, but I was wondering what the current status of this douchebag was. I mean, he's clearly conning people, and on his website still to this day lists the fictional school of acupuncture training. Not to mention that I've heard several stories about how he didn't earn his kenpo ranking.

Does anyone know of how this con-artist could be busted? I mean, it's just bad practise, and it makes all of us as martial artists look bad. He's blatantly lying to get money, it actually makes me sick.

Marvelman
3/08/2009 7:57pm,
To be perfectly honest, Steve Stewart is not the only one with credibility issues here. I find most of your reasoning highly suspect.


Issues with Steve Stewart's credibility

A) Dubious qualifications and credentials

I grant you this. Some of his diplomas seem to come from degree mills. However, Frank Trejo awarded him his 7th dan. So, as far as Kenpo goes, his credentials are legit. You suggest that he may not have actually earned his ranking, but I see no hard evidence of this. You can say that Kenpo is B.S. but that is a matter of opinion. However, he does seem to be guilty of resume padding, and he shouldn't be doing that. Being a 7th dan is enough of a credential for anyone.


B) Pressure points and unrealistic self-defence including no-touch knockouts

There are a lot of martial arts schools that teach unrealistic self-defense. Do they knowingly do this? Perhaps. However, it is just as likely that the master is teaching what has been useful to him. It may or may not be useful to the average student. Pressure points are something cool that this guy teaches at seminars. Do you need to learn them for self-defense? Absolutely not. Are they for real? Who knows? His demos are hokey, but they are not intended to represent reality.

C) McDojoism

Here is where I have the biggest issue with your thinking. The fact that he won an award for entrepreneurship does not make him dishonest. He's running a business for pete's sake! Of course, he wants to make a profit! But this doesn't in itself make him dishonest. How do you know whether he cares more about profit than offering quality instruction? Why can't the two go hand-in hand? Have you ever actually trained with this guy?

D) Calling his teachings "MMA"

From my perspective this is largely a matter of semantics.

So, what do I think of Steve Stewart based upon his web-site? I think that the guy is probably at most guilty of resume padding, but if you want to learn American Kenpo then Steve Stewart's Modern Martial Arts is probably not a bad place to learn it.

There's a lot of talk on this forum about how Kenpo is B.S. as far self-defense is concerned. I don't know if Kenpo is any worse than most other systems. There may just be more Kenpo schools out there! And remember: Joe Lewis could make any system work.

I don't post a lot on this forum, but it really bugs me how quick people are to judge on so little evidence

danniboi07
3/08/2009 8:49pm,
A) Dubious qualifications and credentials

I grant you this. Some of his diplomas seem to come from degree mills. However, Frank Trejo awarded him his 7th dan. So, as far as Kenpo goes, his credentials are legit. You suggest that he may not have actually earned his ranking, but I see no hard evidence of this. You can say that Kenpo is B.S. but that is a matter of opinion. However, he does seem to be guilty of resume padding, and he shouldn't be doing that. Being a 7th dan is enough of a credential for anyone.

Where was it ever mentioned he didn't earn his Kenpo credential?
The issue was with this medical credentials, which were posted up and used as reference.





B) Pressure points and unrealistic self-defence including no-touch knockouts

There are a lot of martial arts schools that teach unrealistic self-defense. Do they knowingly do this? Perhaps. However, it is just as likely that the master is teaching what has been useful to him. It may or may not be useful to the average student. Pressure points are something cool that this guy teaches at seminars. Do you need to learn them for self-defense? Absolutely not. Are they for real? Who knows? His demos are hokey, but they are not intended to represent reality.

The term "Self Defense" implies that one would use these techniques in real life. These classes are meant to teach students to defend themselves in the real world. There is NO point in learning defense techniques for non-realistic situations. If one is going to teach "Self Defense" then it damn well better represent reality.



C) McDojoism

Here is where I have the biggest issue with your thinking. The fact that he won an award for entrepreneurship does not make him dishonest. He's running a business for pete's sake! Of course, he wants to make a profit! But this doesn't in itself make him dishonest. How do you know whether he cares more about profit than offering quality instruction? Why can't the two go hand-in hand? Have you ever actually trained with this guy?

We've already shown that what he teaches is not worth learning. It was then shown that Mr. Stewart charges exorbitant fees for grading. These fees are NOT representative of costs for the product. All you get with each grading is most likely a different color/pattern belt and maybe a certificate.

You're right, there's nothing wrong with making some money doing what you love. However, being entrepreneur of the year means he's successfully selling a worthless art (Pressure Point Knock Outs) and making a lot of money for it ($450 to be a 1st degree black belt).



D) Calling his teachings "MMA"

From my perspective this is largely a matter of semantics.


Actually, it's a continuation of his "entrepreneurship." He's using the term "MMA," coloquially known to mean UFC style fighting, as his own. He uses this term to sell his BS school to thoes who won't research how is he using the term (Modern Martial Arts). While he is free to use whatever term he wants for his own school, the term is misleading.