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madhorsebjj
1/09/2008 7:51am,
So I was looking for somewhere to do Sambo as I wanted to get good at leglocks. I found this place but look at their list of blackbelts

http://www.tanglungcombat.com/index.cfm?page=10

Almost all of them are children, and some of them are about 12 years old

Look at this little black belt
http://www.tanglungcombat.com/index.cfm?page=blackbelt&ContactID=37859



They also say that to advance you need lots of private lessons, costing up to £450 (900 dollars) for ten lessons
http://www.tanglungcombat.com/index.cfm?page=14

They also sell some obvious scam called 'success university'
http://fitzgerald.successuniversity.com/successu/slim/



Here's the main page
http://www.tanglungcombat.com/index.cfm?page=8

So the place seems to be a mcdojo. His talk of his famous bouncer dad brings up no search results, it is particularly suspicious as 'pavement arena' as he claims is made by his dad is the title of a series of DVDs by the famous Geoff Thompson, my hero
http://dvd.ciao.co.uk/Geoff_Thompson_Pavement_Arena_Vol_3_DVD__5897149

Geoff thompson is known as 'the bouncer' he has a film called 'bouncer'

I also can find no mention of him on the british kurash championships and his name when typed into google.

Also suspicious. For a club that teaches sombo, the only competitor from the club in a sombo championship was him
http://www.sittingbourne.org/BritishSomboFederation/british_open_2003_results.htm#

Sounds highly suspicious

sambosteve
1/09/2008 2:36pm,
I will contact my sambo contacts in the UK and get some info for you...

If you like, you can contact Martin Clarke of the BCSA about him. In Fitzgerald's bio he claims Clarke is his teacher. http://www.britishsombo.co.uk/

Here are the 1998 Brittish sambo championships results: He is listed as the 1998 gold medallist as he claims in his bio: http://www.sittingbourne.org/results%20sombo%2087%2099.htm

However, with only 2 one hour classes a week in sambo, you may want to look elsewhere.

You may want to contact Vadim Kolganov and see if he knows anyone in your area: http://www.dynamosambo.co.uk/

soundless
1/10/2008 12:57am,
regardless of the question of his skill, his price alone is McDojo-esque

900 in extra private lessons? i mean ouch!
cost at my school ranges from 90-125* for unlimited classes [including non sambo classes] with a max of 5 sambo classes a week available, and private lessons available for damn near pennies.

*those were the prices last i checked, i teach the kids classes so i don't really pay per say, it may have gone up but prolly not

madhorsebjj
1/10/2008 8:31am,
I will contact my sambo contacts in the UK and get some info for you...

If you like, you can contact Martin Clarke of the BCSA about him. In Fitzgerald's bio he claims Clarke is his teacher. http://www.britishsombo.co.uk/

Here are the 1998 Brittish sambo championships results: He is listed as the 1998 gold medallist as he claims in his bio: http://www.sittingbourne.org/results%20sombo%2087%2099.htm

However, with only 2 one hour classes a week in sambo, you may want to look elsewhere.

You may want to contact Vadim Kolganov and see if he knows anyone in your area: http://www.dynamosambo.co.uk/

Thanks Sambosteve. I need somewhere in London as I have not found somewhere anywhere else. I am not disputing he was a sambo champ, Im saying he is ripping people off with his Mcdojo and ten year old black belts and insistence on spending hundreds of pounds on privates

Askari
1/10/2008 9:02am,
Some of these look like they could be legit, Some look like they could be on the edge.

Edited to add, I have sent him an email enquiry.


SIFU Fitzgerald currently holds various degrees of Black Belt (or its equivalent) in TWELVE Martial Art systems:

* Tang Lung Combat System
* Wing Chun Kung Fu
* Young Dragons Kung Fu
* Russian Sombo Wrestling
* Combat Sombo
* Misu Ryu Jiu Jitsu
* Sai Shu Teki-Na Jiu Jitsu
* Arnis de Mano
* Warriors Eskrima
* Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do
* Force Necessary/Unarmed Combatives
* Kempo(Karate/Ju Jitsu)

SIFU Fitzgerald is also a certified Instructor of W. Hock Hochheim's Scientific Fighting Congress - in the arts of SDMS (Impact Weapons), Knife/Counter Knife and Pacific Archipelago Combatives - a Brown belt in Judo and has extensive experience of Muay Thai boxing, western boxing, Taekwondo, Kenpo Karate, Kyokushinkai Karate, and Tomiki Aikido. He has won several medals in grappling competitions, including a Bronze in the first British Kurash Championships, a Masters Gold in the 1998 British Sombo Championships, and a Masters Silver in 2003.

Beaton Yu
1/10/2008 1:16pm,
XMA - Xtreme Martial Arts is an additional benefit for Young Dragon students who upgrade to our Leadership Training Course.

The Martial Arts industry is undergoing a transformation and it's called XMA - Xtreme Martial Arts. It is the transition of the martial arts from the traditional to the contemporary. It is the fusion of virtually every martial arts style - Wu Shu (kung fu), sport Karate, TaeKwonDo, all blended together with high-flying acrobatics, gymnastics and the hottest Hong Kong 'Chop Socky' Kung Fu movie action.


Craptacular!!!!!!

madhorsebjj
1/10/2008 1:20pm,
I think the young black belts thing got me scared. How can all a place's black belts be under 12 years old. Do they take the classes?
Hey madhorse meet your instructor. She has to take milk breaks so be patient

soundless
1/10/2008 1:24pm,
We have two young blackbelts of age 12, but they are junior blackbelts and not eligible for real black belts until age 16 minimum and require some private extra lessons [free of course] to make sure they're really ready. People who hand out actual black belts to kids though.. its... sad lol

sambosteve
1/10/2008 6:28pm,
madhorsebjj,

I agree...the site looks very McDojo....no doubt.

I just shot an e-mail to Martin Clarke asking his recommendation for a place in London and his opinion of Fitzgerald's gym as a place to train...

madhorsebjj
1/10/2008 7:10pm,
Thanks

your next
1/11/2008 3:47am,
Regarding the Warriors Eskrima grade, he holds an apprentice instructor rank from Guro Krishna Godhania which he did on a fast track course and has not trained in since ( I corresponded with him as a possible training source until I found out he only had the same rank and training as me)

sambosteve
1/11/2008 4:12am,
Thanks for the info...fast track huh? Not a good sign.

your next
1/11/2008 9:05am,
Yeah fast track means what I would call basic ability though it is touted as "equivalent to black belt" and you are authorised to teach at this level. The ranking in Hocks CQB is through Hock and Joe Hubbard and I would certainly respect those grades. The Tang Lung stuff is based on Wing Chun, nuff said really

Asriel
1/11/2008 9:14am,
He also claims a Black Belt in Young Dragons Kung Fu. Isn't that usually just the name of the class for the kids?

sambosteve
1/11/2008 3:37pm,
I just recieved two e-mails from Sifu Fitzgerald which will help clarify things here:


Dear Mr. Koepfer,

It has only just been brought to my attention that some rather libelous statements have been made against me in a certain martial arts forum (Bullshido.net)

I am very pleased that you have stated that you will be contacting Martin Clarke as you will then discover that he is indeed my instructor and friend, and that I have made no false claims in regards to my credentials or anything else. You may even find out that I was the General Secretary of the British Combat Association for some time and have been an instructor at Martin Clarke’s annual summer camps. Just as with my Sombo credentials, every one of my other martial art grades can quite easily be verified with the relevant instructor or governing body.

Many inaccurate statements have been made against me.

Like most martial art schools I do also teach junior students, who can attain a JUNIOR Black Belt, in a specifically designed JUNIOR syllabus. They do not then become senior Black Belts when they reach a certain age, nor do they train with adult students and certainly in no shape or fashion have I ever let a Junior Black Belt teach an adult student.
I DO NOT say that private lessons are required of my students. Rather these are an option if they are requested, as I am often asked for 1-on-1 training, especially by those who cannot commit to regular attendance of our scheduled classes. The prices of these private lessons are completely in line with similar services offered by instructors throughout London.

It is highly insulting to be referred to as a ‘McDojo’ – especially by someone as highly qualified as yourself. My school has been in operation for the last 19 years, serving my community in many ways. When you contact Martin Clarke I suggest you ask him about how he presented me with an Award of Honour for Outstanding Service. It is a great shame that someone in a respected position such as yourself can fall into the trap of making erroneous statements on rather dubious internet chat-rooms.

As of yet I have been unable to respond to these inaccurate and insulting statements on Bullshido.net as I am awaiting the registration process that I apparently most go through before being able to do so.

Yours Sincerely,

SIFU George Fitzgerald
Master Instructor/Owner
Tang Lung Combat Academy
www.tanglungcombat.com



Dear Mr. Koepfer,

Further to my previous e-mail, I am stunned that you are now trying to incite some doubt on my Eskrima credentials!

Apart from receiving Kali training from my Jeet Kune Do instructor, the late Larry Hartsell, I also train with W. Hock Hochheim in his Pacific Archipelago Combatives, Filipino Combatives and SDMS systems. Please feel free to question him also about my validity.

The so-called ‘fast track’ was a one-year Intensive Instructors Program conducted by Guro Krishna Godhania, one of Europe’s leading instructors in the Filipino martial arts. If you believe that this Program is dubious, not only are you casting aspirations on my personal skill level, but you are also offending the integrity of Guro Krishna Godhania.

Incidentally, Martin Clarke has asked me if I would be interested in helping him run the Jiu Jitsu section of the International Budo Federation-UK. Not a bad recommendation for someone whom you seem to think operates a McDojo and advertises dubious rank credentials!!!

Instead of inciting matters, please refrain from making comments about me, at least until you properly check things that are said – this would be much appreciated. If, after checking any statements made by myself or those who are posting on the forum, you still think of me in a negative manner, well that is your prerogative. But, please – at least check first – thank you.

SIFU George Fitzgerald
Master Instructor/Owner
Tang Lung Combat Academy
www.tanglungcombat.com

My reply:


Again,

I do not think of you in a negative manner. My appologies if I appeared otherwise.
As I said in my prior e-mail, I did write to Martin to clarify your bio...which I am sure he would as I know he would not let his name be used negatively. I did, verify your sambo medals for the poster. I made no judegment about your rates, or junior programs, or multitude of ranks.

On Bullshido, the term McDojo is not synonomous with Bullshido...it does not represent skill, rather it points to the commercial nature of website/schools. By that definition, I run a McDojo as well. I charge the same as you for private lessons :) I run a professional club as well and am well aware that rent has to be paid.

Thank you for the clarification on the term "fast track". The term fast track does have a negative ring to it in my opinion, but my comment was about the sound of a "fast Track" program, not specifically about your skill.

I appreciate your writting and look forward to your comments on the BS thread. I think that would clear things up.

No slander was intended on my part. Only to help answer the poster's question.

Sincerely,

Steve

your next
1/11/2008 3:46pm,
Sifu George

I guess I may have caused the feeling that your Eskrima credentails were in doubt, I meant no inference on the integrity of Guro Krishna, the course is fine as is but I felt it left large gaps and should be treated as a part of your training, if Sifu Hartsell was training you as well I would certainly not doubt your level. Add to that PAC training and I would expect you to be very competent so I would put any doubts about that to rest, sincere apologies if offence was caused.