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Larus marinus
9/05/2010 12:52pm,
This thread is intended as a spin-off from the thread concerning Christopher Allen, of UKMA/Tring Martial Arts, which can be found here:
Christopher Allen TMA - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=99311)

During the course of the investigation into Mr. Allen, information was discovered online about Mr. Jon Alexander (http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/2.html) of Zen Shin Budo Kai (now Zen Shin Budo Alliance (http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/index.html)) of Cornwall, England which suggested to me that a separate thread was warranted to look into several of Mr. Alexander's claims and instructional practices.

Firstly, an archived version of a site belonging to Alexander (no longer online) was discovered, where it appears that he was offering intensive, 'fast-track' courses in various arts, such as KATANA, GOJU KARATE, BOJU, SAI, KYUDO, TAI-CHI-CHUAN, WING-CHUN, KICKBOXING, FREE STYLE KARATE, FILIPINO ARTS and TAI-CHI SWORD, which would allow a prospective student to obtain gradings and certifications following a two-day course, along with a statement that a prospective student may become a 'Professional, Fully Qualified Martial Arts Instructor', 'providing a valuable public service by this time next month' and be 'could be the 'Founder and Chief Instructor of the next World-wide Martial Arts style.'

From an archived (2008) version of a belt registry, which listed Alexander as 'Shihan' and 'Founder', it was noticed that Mr. Alexander was also claiming a rank of 9th Degree in Karate, Kenjutsu, Tai Chi Chuan, Kobudo, Kyudo, Kung Fu, Kendo and Aikido.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2426941&postcount=9)


Scepticism of the general skill level and teaching ability of Christopher Allen, a martial artist graded to the level of 5th Degree Master in Tai Chi by Alexander was then expressed by Sri Hanuman, an experienced practitioner of Tai Chi/Taiji.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2427221&postcount=11)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2429119&postcount=23)


HenryT then asked the pertinent question - 'Who is Jon Alexander 9th dan?' and expressed scepticism as to his training history and qualifications, which then led on to a further examination of his claims:
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2434746&postcount=28)


Mr. Alexander's MySpace page was discovered, on which he stated:


Jon Alexander is now 66 and has been training for 50 years in all aspects of martial arts. He has also advised and instructed on numerous films, which include martial arts. Jon is the highest graded Japanese Swordsman within the Zen-Shin-Do-Kenjutsu system and he has mastered many other Oriental arts including Kyudo (Japanese Archery), Sai (Prong Fork), Kendo, Rokushaku-Bo (Long stick). Jon is also a Master and teacher of Tai-Chi-Chuan, Jade Mountain Style Shaolin Kung-Fu and Zen-Shin-Goju-Karate.


Jon Alexander, 9th Dan has trained in and developed many styles of martial arts and is a 5th Dan in Sai, Bo, Kendo. 4th Dan in Tomiki-Aikido and holds ranks in various other martial arts. Jon formally trained with Sensei ITO-KUNIMITSU, 9th Dan., KENSHIRO-ABBE 10th Dan. and MASAFUMI-SUZUKI, 10th Dan., as well as many other prominent martial art teachers, most are unfortunately now deceased. A great many famous martial artists and instructors owe their first ever Dan grade to Jon. Many instructors have gone on to formulate their own styles and methods based on Jon's original tuition methods and Kata.

In addition, a thread from e-budo.com from 2006 was discovered, in which a complaint was made by a user on that site that Mr. Alexander was selling 'black belt' courses on eBay:
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2434758&postcount=32)


At was at this point that Hugo Stiglitz, an experienced practitioner of Aikido and Japanese sword, expressed scepticism that Alexander ever trained under Kenshiro Abbe, based on his previous knowledge.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435043&postcount=39)


Several more web pages were found from Alexander's old websites using the Internet Archive:

Statements located there which on face value appeared concerning and worthy of further investigation included:

"So, to say that one could achieve 1st Dan Black Belt level is quite realistic on a weekend or weekday course with your chosen instructor, as there is a very, very long way to go after that. "

"In all cases, please do remember, that you will need to do a minimum of 2 days per subject to get a grading at black belt level."

"When the student in question asked his Sifu
if he could do a teacher training course, was told, “You will have to train for many years yet to consider that position". That student is now a professional coach making a good living, enjoying life after training and qualifying after a Fast Track course."

"I can tell you that there are several self-appointed “ governing bodies” but there is no official governing body or set rules about Tai Chi training. To set rules and to enforce extended training periods is totally unreasonable. No one has the right to say how long it takes to become an Instructor. Who has the right to set these extended training periods? Extended training periods are in my humble opinion a get rich, money-making system with extensive on-going costs. To set rules, conditions and extended training periods is against the whole principal of Tai Chi."

"Zen–Shin-Kyudo-Kai offers a 1day short, intensive course on Japanese Archery with certification."

"We can offer an intensive 1 or 2 day course in a variety of weapons and providing that you have some experience and practice of other weapons we can usually add a second or third weapon to your armory of weapon skills. "

...and the statement that Alexander had graded a student to 5th Degree in Muay Thai and 3rd Degree in Kali - arts which typically do not use such belt systems and arts which Alexander has not (as far as I am aware at this point) previously stated instructor-level ranking in himself.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435106&postcount=41)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435117&postcount=42)


Another black belt registry, online as time of posting repeated Alexander's claims of 9th Degree/Dan in Karate, Kenjutsu, Tai Chi Chuan, Kobudo, Kyudo, Kung Fu, Kendo and Aikido.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435123&postcount=43)


Hugo Stiglitz stated, in reference to Alexander's advertised 4th Dan in Tomki Aikido that


If the claim of a Godan in Tomiki style is associated with Abbe as the issuer or teacher, then it's instant bollocks. The grades Abbe ultimately issued for Aikido were ratified from Hombu Dojo, Tokyo through Ueshiba Morihei himself. Not Tomiki Kenji.

It is unclear at this point if Alexander is claiming that his advertised rank in Tomki Aikido is actually related to his claimed 'formal training' with Kenshiro Abbe.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435249&postcount=51)


Sri Hanuman and It is Fake, an experienced practitioner of Chinese Martial Arts stated their opinions on the Tai Chi form in which Mr. Alexander claims rank:


To say that he received any rank in the 24 movement Beijing form of Taijiquan should right away raise an eyebrow.

The 24 movement form was put together by the Chinese Sports Commission in the late 50s as part of their wushu movement, and was intended strictly for health and fitness with pretty much all other aspects ignored. That answers that question for me. A martial art it is not.


I hope that isn't what he is using to claim rank in Tai Chi. The 24 is standard fare you can learn online, video tape and books before the internet became popular. That is not something to claim any type of rank for in the first place.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435271&postcount=52)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435277&postcount=53)


Hugo Stiglitz pointed out errors in the Japanese terminology used by Alexander when discussing Japanese sword on the archived versions of his website:



..Also with regard to the Sword system Alexander seems to have invented.

I'd need to see some video footage to be in with a chance of establishing what it's based on because Alexander fails to mention what orthodox koryu-ha or gendai sword systems he studied to gain sufficient knowledge to formulate his own bullshit.

However, What stands out is his incorrect use of Nihongo.

Modosu 戻 in Japanese means to restore, to put back, to return - here he's trying to use this word to mean NOTO, the correct sword term for returning the toshin (blade) back into the saya (scabbard)

Similarly, he's using Shutsu 出 which means to leave, pull out - as the word for NUKETSUKE, the correct term for drawing and initical cut of the sword.

Both modosu and shutsu are incorrect terms contextually when describing sword techniques.

No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435280&postcount=54)


YouTube videos were discovered, featuring footage of Mr. Alexander demonstrating various martial arts techniques, including Japanese sword and Tai Chi.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435289&postcount=56)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435480&postcount=67)


It is Fake, Hugo Stiglitz and Neil G, another experienced Japanese sword practitioner stated their opinions on the sword skills displayed by Mr. Alexander in the YouTube videos. They were extremely unfavourable.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435384&postcount=61)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435394&postcount=62)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435505&postcount=69)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435527&postcount=71)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435530&postcount=72)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435886&postcount=80)


It is Fake and Sri Hanuman stated their opinions on the Tai Chi techniques displayed by Mr. Alexander in the YouTube videos. They were extremely unfavourable. Sri also found issues with the language used in relation to the Tai Chi training offered on Alexander's current website.
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435866&postcount=76)
No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - Christopher Allen TMA (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2435903&postcount=81)


As stated previously, I believe that this is now worthy of its own thread. I've attempted to summarise the 'story so far' but I do recommend that you read the Allen thread in its entirety, in case I've missed a few relevant things out.

Apologies if I've misrepresented the views or MA backgrounds of any of the named users above - it wasn't intentional. Feel free to correct me/expand on my statements.

Larus marinus
9/05/2010 1:01pm,
Just to bring this up to date, this is what Mr. Alexander and his associate Chris Pearson are currently offering and claiming on the Zen Shin Budo Alliance website (from my post over on the other thread).




http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/index.html

List of styles they offer:
http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/3.html

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/3898/styleszenshinbudo128367.png

Anyone ever heard of this Chris Pearson (7th Dan in Budo) fellow who's listed as the instructor for some of the courses above?
http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/2.html

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/2585/aboutzenshinbudo1283671.png

Current prices for these 'fast-track courses':
http://martialartstrainer.org.uk/7.html

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/4064/trainingcostzenshinbudo.png

Larus marinus
9/05/2010 1:33pm,
Hmmmm. It seems that Jon Alexander was discussed (briefly) on this site in 2005.

Become an instructor within a month - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=29420)


Also a couple of threads about him on other sites:
http://www.planetjitsu.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=13784
Information on Kenjutsu - Sword Forum International (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59787)

According to posters on those threads (from 2005), Alexander stated that he was 'principle sword coach', or 'one of the sword advisors' (depending on whether you listen to 'Lee Byrne' or 'pressurepoint') on the film, The Last Samurai.

I am unable to find any current online claim of such nature from Alexander, however it's probably worth noting here in case someone who's trained with him can provide any more info. He is not listed in the credits for the film on IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325710/fullcredits

and Google returns nothing relevant to connect Alexander with the movie, outside of the two threads linked here...

Rock Ape
9/05/2010 1:41pm,
Good show.. this topic was on my list of to-do's for the wiki, let me know if you wish to do the formal write-up yourself or, if you want me to write it with credit to you, your choice mate.

Rock Ape
9/05/2010 1:57pm,
With reference to the film claim...

http://www.nichigetsukai.org/geino.html




Nichigetsukai Geino


Services and fees are considered on a case-by-case basis to the entertainment industry in regards to Japanese martial history/ fight consultation, fight choreography, acting, and performances for various special events. The principal members of the Nichigetsukai have extensive experience in the entertainment industry, having worked for companies such as Warner Brothers and DreamWorks in the areas of feature film (live action and animated) and television (live action and animated), in a variety of capacities.



2002 - "The Last Samurai (http://lastsamurai.warnerbros.com/)".
Hired to choreograph and perform a paired Japanese style sword fight scenario (approximately 20 seconds long) to be used in a Flash animation intro to the official "The Last Samurai" feature film webpage. Scenario was performed both with and without full Japanese reproduction armor. Contractor had specifically requested authentic and dynamic techniques.

Raw footage available upon request. Finished footage no longer available on the "The Last Samurai" (http://lastsamurai.warnerbros.com/home.php) web site.

Client - Varas Photo Media; 2830 South Robertson, Los Angeles, CA 90034. L. Varas (contractor) - 323/ 937-3793 office.



2003 - "The Last Samurai (http://lastsamurai.warnerbros.com/)".
Hired for services as a Japanese Historical and Martial Arts Consultant (Meiji Period) for early Japanese sword fight sequences shot between star Tom Cruise and various adversaries (choreographed by Nick Gillard). Advice was offered based on daily footage provided.

Consultation feedback partially available on The Last Samurai (http://lastsamurai.warnerbros.com/home.php) web site - "East/West"; "Learn More" and "Principles"; "Learn More".

Client - Mojo; 9000 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 600, West Hollywood, CA 90069. J. Lamont - 310/ 777-6700 office.

Larus marinus
9/05/2010 2:12pm,
Good show.. this topic was on my list of to-do's for the wiki, let me know if you wish to do the formal write-up yourself or, if you want me to write it with credit to you, your choice mate.

It would probably be best if you did the write-up, TBH. I've seen your writing style (and liked it), and I know how short my attention span can be if I'm put in a situation where I need to sit down and write more than about four paragraphs... :toothy10: Born procrastinator, me. Besides, all I've really done is spend a few hours Googling, searching the Internet Archive, cutting/pasting and taking screencaps...

Just found this - it's an account of training karate with JA in the 70s from one of his then students. I've only skim-read it so far - but there is indeed a mention of him knowing/associating with Okimitsu Fujii back in the day.
http://www.rogersheldon.com/Shinseido/Resource_pages/Pages%20on%20website/story1.html

Rock Ape
9/05/2010 2:30pm,
Ok mate no worries, keep feeding the thread with information you find and we'll take it from there.

Time to write to the 70 year old Alexander or, to one of his seniors to get a reaction.

HenryT
9/05/2010 4:44pm,
Mr Alexander claims to teach Ogasawara Ryu Kyudo specifically, and hints at personal knowledge of "the late HIDAHARA OHNUMA of MINOTO KU in Tokyo." Presumably specific claims like this are so easy to check you'd have to be a damfool to make them if they were false. The following is the address of the All Nihon Kyudo Federation:

KISHI MEMORIAL HALL
1-1-1, JINNAN, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO
150-8050 JAPAN
TEL: 81-3-3481-2387
FAX: 81-3-3481-2398
E-mail:[email protected]

Anybody want to be bothered?

HenryT
9/05/2010 4:52pm,
Fujii Okimitsu, who is the 'patron' of Mr Alexander's Zenshin Alliance, has a dojo in London. Presumably he can verify a lot of what Mr Alexander claims, and, as patron, approves of what he's doing. I haven't found an address for Mr Fujii, but this is the address given for the Kendo department of the London dojo: [email protected]

Sri Hanuman
9/05/2010 10:08pm,
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.

It is Fake
9/05/2010 10:59pm,
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.

Larus marinus
9/06/2010 12:21am,
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.


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.

Larus marinus
9/06/2010 1:01am,
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:



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. http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/614/homezenshinbudo12836714.png

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



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.


http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/1978/homezenshinbudo12837510.png

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.

HenryT
9/06/2010 2:59am,
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.

SnickersUK
9/06/2010 3:59am,
Some verification on exactly what criteria one has to fit before they can take a black belt course would be good as well.

Jay1
9/06/2010 4:11am,
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