View Full Version : Boulder Koryukan - Sensei Thomas Erik Angerhofer

8/14/2009 12:06pm,
I got in contact with the owner of the studio which this school operates out of. She posted a desperate plea on Craigslist saying how her Dance/MA studio was failing. There is a wide range of different martial arts that are offered at their studio, but this one peaked my interest:


YouTube - PDT - Boulder Koryukan Promo Video Whatcha Want Chaplinesque (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Fp6B3ln-c)

The bold claims presented:

Better than MMA -
Looking for something more than the standard, functionally ambiguous "traditional" martial arts? Want to avoid the "mixed-up" martial arts offered by schools that provide an assortment of systems with little or no cohesiveness? Hoping to get the workout and skills of an MMA class without the predatorial environment?

Here he singlehandedly shits on every possible art other then his own.
Some of the implications of his statements:

* That TMA are "functionially ambiguous" (big words!)
* That his school is "more" than a TMA school (how?)
* That MMA schools are confused, disconnected, and "predatorial"
* That his school will give all the skills you might find at a MMA school

Given the content of his "highlight" video, with a bunch of white belts doing kata, wrist grabs and dead patterns, I find these implications to be highly suspect. And WTF is up with doing one-steps with a baby strapped to your chest? I'm sure the "attacker" was really trying to hurt that baby.

Furthermore on his about page:


He also resumed a successful competitive career in the AAU and USANKF while continuing to expand his approach by cross-training in other disciplines; his efforts were primarily focused on Goju Ryu Karate, Yamanni Chinnen Ryu Kobudo, Aiki-jutsu, Wu taijiquan, and Brazilian Jiujitsu (sic).
Here he implies that Brazillian Jiujitsu is misspelled (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic), when he used the correct spelling of it. More disrespect.

This school is on the brink of failure, the owner of the studio had been convinced that this man was a "master", although apparently people do not stay training with him for very long.

Here was the post to craigslist (http://boulder.craigslist.org/rnr/1320190506.html) that kicked this off:

Anyone out there who could help me (I cannot pay) to keep a wonderful place going until it actually happens?
I’ve tried everything until I ran out of ideas and finances.
Here’s the story…
I saved for years, every penny, every dime and dreamed of having a little cooperative like studio where many wonderful things can happen…dance, martial arts, yoga, kids activities, massage, writing, painting and much more…
I recruited the best, most experienced instructors with years and years of teaching…masters!
I’ve opened the doors and gave each one a key and sponsored many kids and adults when they couldn’t pay the paltry sum for classes. Most stuck around for a few months and then went where the crowds are, never looking back, never a ‘thank you’; not even to their teachers or classmates. That’s all right…sad, but realistic...
We’ve put on shows and got accolades. I’ve given gift certificates worth thousands of dollars and didn’t get but one response.
I’ve paid hundreds of dollars for postcards to be sent all over Boulder and county, put up posters, invitations, given parties, gifts, free classes, free rental and…nothing…
The teachers are dedicated to their art, they are highly qualified and they are steady, committed, faithful to their students, yet not the other way around…why is that?
Even when I hand someone a gift certificate for free classes, they look at me funny and back off as if it will bite them…why is everyone so frightened of something free with no strings attached? You come, you take a class or ten and you leave…simple…what’s so awful about that? If you like it, you can sign up, if you don’t, try something else…What is so hard about that? There are classes for kids and adults, mom, dad, friends, grandma, grandpa, uncle, cousing, males, females...even puppies!
To make a long and arduous story short…although I wanted to give this community a wonderful and healthy venue for the entire family…I’ve run out of ideas and strength…
Is there anyone out there who has thoughts on how to keep this dream going?
No…unfortunately, I don’t have any money for advertising…I don’t even have the heart to watch the instructors wait for their students who promised to show up but don’t… I don’t have the heart to keep encouraging them to keep going when I can no longer do it…anyone have a solution?
Please help…please…can no longer pay the rental…I don’t want money…just ideas and students who wish to learn from the best…we have a workshop this Sat. and no one, I mean no one signed up, yet the masters are the best…please? Ideas?

P.S. Be kind please...do not say:Move on", " Forget about it", "Give it up", " Try something else" or something mean...I thought about it all...I just keep having hope...that's all that's left for most...hope...
Obviously this person does not know much about martial arts, her confidence in those who presented themselves as masters has brought her business to the brink of failure. Despite her Ignorance, I do feel for her plight, she has been victimized by the Bullshido espoused by Thomas Erik Angerhofer.

8/14/2009 12:37pm,
Well, after reading their page I would take out anything bashing any other art. It shows poor form to do that.
Take the baby out, for God sakes that looked very inappropiate on top of bashing other arts.
The class schedule actually looks good covering stand up, take downs (Nagewaza), and ground fighting (Newaza). With some good near to full contact sparring (Randori) and a $30.00 price it can't hardly be beat. The unfortunate answer is maybe actually RAISE the tuition and hope you can make it a few years to build a customer base, it is going to take them 2 or 3 years to build a good base.
I swear the Judo place I train at LOSES customers because their tuition is HALF the Mcdojo price and people think it means bad instruction!
To go against typical Bullshido postings, I would add 5 to 8 year old classes with a much toned down level of contact and violence to make money. I saw no children in the classes and I hate to say it; to make it you need kids classes. I have seen Grandma's and Mom's wince at NO CONTACT sparring, so believe me, Little Timmy doesn't come home bleeding or hell will break loose!

8/14/2009 2:24pm,
He's teaching Koryu Uchinandi, old school Okinawan karate mixed with modern training methodology. These guys do bang, so it is a decent system. However, his "better MMA" and "MMA without the predatorial environment" sales package is completely bullshit.

11/22/2009 8:39pm,
I am Thomas Erik Angerhofer, the instructor in question. Feel free to ask me anything you wish regarding my statements or claims. I am responsible for the content of my own website, but not for the Craigslist posting made by the owner of the facility where I rent space.

First, I am not a master and would never claim to be.
Second, I agree that many of my statements are abrasive and will be revised so as not to offend.
Third, the youtube video doesn't really represent the nature of our workouts and training and is supposed to be a little funny. My sense of humor is probably difficult to read unless you've met or know me.

I am a professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, both in the feild of music. In addition I am a professional vocalist, performing opera, musical theater, concert, and recital throughout the region and country. I was the head instructor at a large, commercial school for 6 years before continuing my musical education and career.

My purpose in stating this is that teaching defensive traditions is now little more than a hobby for me, and as such am only interested in training with a particular demographic. In fact the $30 tuition is a misnomer; I pay the rent out of pocket and haven't charged any of the people who train with me for years. My students range from computer programmers, post-doc researchers, long time practitioners of judo / karate / etc., to total newbies. The common thread between them is the enjoyment of well rounded curriculum, embracing classical and progressive methodologies, and a critical learning environment where questions are encouraged and welcomed.

Please feel free to ask me about anything I haven't covered here, and I'll do my best to reconcile any abrasive or overtly offensive language from my sites.

Sincere apologies and thank you for your time,

11/22/2009 8:41pm,
Thank you for your constructive critique. I am working to implement some of your suggestions.
Thank you,

11/22/2009 8:54pm,
Also, for clarification on our training methods and philosophy please visit www.koryu-uchinadi.com (http://www.koryu-uchinadi.com), http://www.youtube.com/user/mccarthysensei?blend=2&ob=1, and http://www.youtube.com/user/KoryuFit. The information on these sites / channels is far more sophisticated than I can articulate.


11/22/2009 9:24pm,
is there a link to the facility schedule and anything else taking place at the facility?

11/22/2009 10:51pm,
Here is the website for the studio: http://boulderdancestudio.com/

11/22/2009 11:55pm,
A singing instructor. wow.
Do you find breathing is important in martial art?

11/23/2009 12:59am,
There are similarities.

11/23/2009 1:18am,
Dear Eric

I can't find the mma claims that are shown above. Were they removed? (probably good idea).

But I do like your attitude about self-improvement - that's been a bone of contention for years for me. I think that good martial arts can help people, but I agree with your points below:

Q: Character Development - BEWARE!
A: Many people, especially those choosing a school for their children, often look for schools that teach "character development". This benefit of training is certainly valuable and noble; however, I would urge potential students to be extremely skeptical of any school claiming to "teach character development". I know this may seem to contradict some of my own claims, but let's think about this for a moment... How many martial arts teachers hold advanced degrees in education, psychology, social work, etc...? Even more important than the education, how many are licensed to practice?

At some point, someone in the marketing business noticed a loose correlation between those who practice the martial arts and exceptional judgement, moral standards, etc... It was then that a major campaign began to sell the martial arts as a tool for developing the character. To this day, it remains one of the most successful strategies for luring new students of all ages. Who wouldn't want to improve their character?


Kevin Croft
5/22/2013 10:35am,
I support Thomas Erik Angerhofer. He is a man of integrity and a true teacher. His Bushido is genuine.

Kevin Croft
5/22/2013 10:46am,
You're one of the best teachers I've encountered in more than 30 years of searching on five different continents. You are well versed in your own discipline and insightful enough to adapt to students with diverse backgrounds and special needs. I'm sorry to see you've drawn bad press.

vaquero de las nalgas
5/23/2013 3:41am,
You're one of the best teachers I've encountered in more than 30 years of searching on five different continents. You are well versed in your own discipline and insightful enough to adapt to students with diverse backgrounds and special needs. I'm sorry to see you've drawn bad press.

You necro'd this thread and none of the links work now. Shame on you!