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Master Ryan Lawson - DMA, Derby, UK

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    Master Ryan Lawson - DMA, Derby, UK

    Hi,

    This guy has been claiming the following things:

    3rd degree black belt in karate, awarded from the GBKF(?)
    1st degree in Kickboxing from Jon Jepson BBA
    Black belt in BJJ (Would not say from who)
    Instructor in Muay Thai (Againg would not say where)
    To be a Master grade (He told me that any grade 2nd degree and up is a Master grade lol)

    He claims to teach all 4 of these arts in a kind of 'MMA' set up, where you have the option to grade in whicheveron 'suits you best'. I asked him which association he is with and he said the 'MAA', I think he ment the AMA (amature martial associations) as when I said do you mean the AMA he said yes. I phoned them up and they told me they have no instructor by the name of Ryan Lawson with them.

    I have also heard on the grapevine that he has been kicked out of some schools where he has managed to wangle an after school club due to the fact tha he could not provide certificates ie crb, insurance, instructor certificate, black belt certificates

    Also when I had phoned him before about the mma I asked if he had had any fights since he was claiming to be an mma instructor and he said he had had 'lots' but was unwilling to name his opponents or even the shows he had fought on?

    I also believe that he helps to instruct at the Derby University as they offer a Martial Arts degree.

    All very shocking but I'd like the members of this forum to get involved please.

    #2
    ps web address is http://www.derbymartialarts.co.uk/

    Comment


      #3
      http://www.derbymartialarts.co.uk/

      Comment


        #4
        website?

        Comment


          #5
          Here is the website: http://www.derbymartialarts.co.uk/ Very little information of any sort on the site. I see you called him, is there any e-mail between the two of you?


          May I ask what your relationship is to this guy? ie., former student, business associate, competitor,.....??

          Comment


            #6
            This is the guy, right?

            http://www.derbymartialarts.co.uk/

            First: do you have any background and / or conflict of interests with master Lawson? If there's any relationship between the two of you, please tell us now. Understand, this isn't personal animosity aimed at you. It's in the nature of this website to be skeptical. We have had business competitors and disgruntled students turn up on Bullshido to tarnish instructors reputations, often under false pretences.

            Second: could you point me to where master Lawson makes the claims you list above? I'll admit I haven't scoured the entire website, but I actually didn't see ANY bio for master Lawson AT ALL (which in itself is... well... strange.) If I'm wrong, and anyone can see these claims, a screenshot of them now would be a great idea (my google fu is too lame to do it myself). If the claims were made via private messages or e mails, please post them (use your discretion regarding this. Particularly, if the gentleman in question has included sensitive or personal info, redact it).

            Third: you mention that you've had some contact with the guy, so I assume you've brought up your doubts. Could you please fill us in on the specifics of that conversation? Have you invited him here? (It may be premature to do so, but in any case, it's the first hit when you google his name, so I imagine he'll be along before too long anyhow...)

            I can't find a reference to the GBKF. My guess would be Great British Karate Federation, but that doesn't seem to exist on the web. Do we have any British karateka who could enlighten us as to the association he may be talking about?

            Jon Jepson came up straight away. Have you contacted Mr Jepson to validate Lawson's rank or lack thereof?

            I'm no authority on the BJJ world. I did find what claims to be a comprehensive list of BJJ blackbelts in Britain here:

            http://www.efnsports.com/forum/index.php?topic=1191.0

            Lawson is not on it, though I'm sure one of our BJJers will be able to provide a more reliable answer as to that.

            I don't particularly like his website. It looks like a day care centre rather than a dojo. And I'm not a huge fan Jepson's site either, all the usual bad marketing. But unless we can see the claims he's making, we have nothing to disprove.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by searcher66071 View Post
              Here is the website: http://www.derbymartialarts.co.uk/ Very little information of any sort on the site. I see you called him, is there any e-mail between the two of you?


              May I ask what your relationship is to this guy? ie., former student, business associate, competitor,.....??
              Damn my verbosity! Beaten to it...

              Comment


                #8
                Ok thanks for the feedback,

                I am a martial arts instructor operating in the same area, although I would not say I was a competitor as I do not run my club as a business. I have no qualms about telling anyone who I am via pm and can back up all of the credentials listed on my website. I have never been a student of this guy.

                The first conversation I had with him was last year when I was trying to find out about the different MMA clubs in the Derby area. All of the instructors I spoke to were straight forward with their info apart from this guy who was very vague. He told me he had a lot of cage fights, however when I pressed him for more info ie who, when, where? He refused to tell me who he had fought and insisted that I come down to the club for further information. If a prospective student asked me about my cage fighting career I would bore them to death or at least offer something to back up my claims.


                The second conversation that I had with him I phoned up as a prospective student noob. I asked him what he taught and he told me he taught MMA, I asked what this was and he told me Karate, Kickboxing, BJJ and Thai Boxing. He told me that he has his own syllabus which you get a copy off and that half the grading is mma the other half traditional stuff. You get to choose which martial art you grade in depending on which one suits you best.

                I asked what organisation the club was registered with and he was very, errrrrrrrrrrrr-ish finally telling me it was the maa. I said do they have a website and he said they should have. I asked if he meant the AMA (Amature Martial Associations) and he said yeah that is the one. Well I phoned the AMA and they said they have never heard of the guy searching both their old and new database. There is an MAA-I based in Germany that I have found this morning and he could be a member of this but I doubt it.

                I asked him what his grades are in these martial arts as he is listed on his DMA Facebook page as Master Lawson, 'I take it you’re a 5th dan in Karate then?' ‘No I am a 3rd dan.’ I asked who had awarded it to him and he said the GBKF. He said his 1st dan in Kickboxing was from Jon Jepson and he used to be an instructor there. When I asked about the BJJ I said 'is it Gracie Barra?' He refused to answer this question and told me he had to go as his baby was crying, I said I would call back later but he said no, 'I’ll e-mail you the info!'

                I phoned the EKF (English Karate Federation) and spoke to a high ranker there. He told me he had never heard of Ryan Lawson and that there has never been a GBKF.

                I can understand your scepticism and thank you for your questions as from being a long time reader fist time poster I know that some people do come on here to bash their old instructors competitors etc However in this instance it is not the case.

                Don't get me wrong fair play to anyone that makes a profit from martial arts but it just gets me angry when ppl are full of bullshido and the uneducated general public buy into it.

                Thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by psmithson View Post
                  Ok thanks for the feedback,

                  I am a martial arts instructor operating in the same area, although I would not say I was a competitor as I do not run my club as a business. I have no qualms about telling anyone who I am via pm and can back up all of the credentials listed on my website. I have never been a student of this guy.

                  The first conversation I had with him was last year when I was trying to find out about the different MMA clubs in the Derby area. All of the instructors I spoke to were straight forward with their info apart from this guy who was very vague. He told me he had a lot of cage fights, however when I pressed him for more info ie who, when, where? He refused to tell me who he had fought and insisted that I come down to the club for further information. If a prospective student asked me about my cage fighting career I would bore them to death or at least offer something to back up my claims.


                  The second conversation that I had with him I phoned up as a prospective student noob. I asked him what he taught and he told me he taught MMA, I asked what this was and he told me Karate, Kickboxing, BJJ and Thai Boxing. He told me that he has his own syllabus which you get a copy off and that half the grading is mma the other half traditional stuff. You get to choose which martial art you grade in depending on which one suits you best.

                  I asked what organisation the club was registered with and he was very, errrrrrrrrrrrr-ish finally telling me it was the maa. I said do they have a website and he said they should have. I asked if he meant the AMA (Amature Martial Associations) and he said yeah that is the one. Well I phoned the AMA and they said they have never heard of the guy searching both their old and new database. There is an MAA-I based in Germany that I have found this morning and he could be a member of this but I doubt it.



                  I phoned the EKF (English Karate Federation) and spoke to a high ranker there. He told me he had never heard of Ryan Lawson and that there has never been a GBKF.

                  I can understand your scepticism and thank you for your questions as from being a long time reader fist time poster I know that some people do come on here to bash their old instructors competitors etc However in this instance it is not the case.

                  Don't get me wrong fair play to anyone that makes a profit from martial arts but it just gets me angry when ppl are full of bullshido and the uneducated general public buy into it.

                  Thanks
                  Thank you for your honest response.

                  You seem like a level headed guy, so I'll be blunt.

                  Right now, what we need is to see him claiming the things listed in your opening post. If he lists his claims anywhere on the website, please post a link. If he lists them on FB, please post a link. If he makes these claims via e mail, PM, or openly on FB chat with yourself, please post them up (again, while redacting anything potentially sensitive).

                  While I do not find his website very appealing, and I think you're coming off very well here, let me summarise the situation thusly:

                  An anonymous martial artist has come on to the internet and accused a man I have never met of inflating his rank in several arts. All Lawson needs to do is reply to the thread that he never claimed these things in the first place, and your investigation is, to all intents and purposes, over. His claims need to be pinned down publicly.

                  Again, I think you're coming off very well, and I'd add that giving your real name, at this point, would make no real difference. What we really need is his claims made public from his own mouth.

                  If he's just making these claims privately / verbally to entice new students, then we have a much harder situation on our hands, as it's very easy to devolve into a 'he said, they said' situation.

                  If you don't have any hard evidence at this point, let me know. In that instance, I'd be happy to shoot Mr Lawson an e mail asking for a clarification of his grades, and inviting him to Bullshido.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Don't only post the links, but take printscreens of the websites, FB-pages, etc...because those things have the uncanny habit to be changed or deleted once an investigation proceeds.

                    Hope that this helps

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ok,

                      I do not have any real evidence and I think this is partly due to how clever the guy is in the sense that he does not plaster information about himself and his club all over the internet.

                      Does the fact that he claims to be a Master grade not speak for itself though? I noticed on the website that it also says about kung-fu so that is 5 martial arts he claims to be an instructor off.



                      Thanks for the help anyway

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by psmithson View Post
                        Ok,

                        I do not have any real evidence and I think this is partly due to how clever the guy is in the sense that he does not plaster information about himself and his club all over the internet.



                        Does the fact that he claims to be a Master grade not speak for itself though? I noticed on the website that it also says about kung-fu so that is 5 martial arts he claims to be an instructor off.

                        I would love for him to come on here and prove me wrong and be able to show his certification or at least tell us about his lineage but I’m not going to hold my breathe.

                        Thanks for the help anyway
                        Ok,

                        Well, I'll look at his website more closely and send him an e mail this evening.

                        He has to claim some rank, whatever it might be, in order to teach. If we can pin him down on what, then it can be investigated. Refusing to be transparent about your credentials without reason is damning in and of itself IMO.

                        I'll post up my e mail once it's done, and any reply I receive.

                        FTR, while I don't particularly like the word 'master' as a martial arts honorific full stop, it's a bit of a dead end argument in my opinion. I think the traditional response from that camp is that it comes from the word 'maestro' which simply means teacher. Whether you agree with that or not, I think it's a case of semantics rather than hard facts (such as "I have a fifth dan from Mas Oyama" which can easily be proven or disproven).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Having taken a good look at both Lawson's website and Facebook, my first impressions were that they are both intentionally aimed at people who have little to no prior knowledge or experience of martial arts.

                          The main website reads like a business platform (I understand this is a business) however, it is devoid of any specific information about the teacher/lineage/qualifications/history - specifically the very information which someone with a bit of savvy would be looking for and the very same information which the unsuspecting wouldn't.

                          Given the emphasis on the kid's side of the business Lawson must at the very least hold a CRB check and some form of teaching qualification for him to gain insurance for both himself as a teacher and, if he owns a premises, insurance on that building. Again, nothing mentioned about him being an appropriately qualified and insured teacher - doesn't mean he doesn't hold those assets but why not further support the content of his website by stating so?

                          I find the whole "Master Lawson" persona difficult to swallow, for me it's an instant red flag.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by battheo View Post
                            FTR, while I don't particularly like the word 'master' as a martial arts honorific full stop, it's a bit of a dead end argument in my opinion. I think the traditional response from that camp is that it comes from the word 'maestro' which simply means teacher.
                            Typically within credible martial systems the term "Shihan" is awarded at the discretionary of the authority, governing the art and it's teachers from godan (but often rokkudan) and above. These people however rarely refer to themselves as a master and don't desire that all and sundry within their dojo/organisation call them "master" - Sensei is the adequate honorific term to use. IMHO, Lawson encourages having his ego stroked

                            Comment


                              #15
                              First things first. Master is basically a westernized version of Sifu. There is a pretend standard we all adhere to. but there is no "real" criteria. To put it simply if I get a Masters degree in English it doesn't in any way actually mean I am a "Master" of the English language. It basically means I put in the time and effort, or maybe not, to "earn that title. You add the connotation through your own and societal beliefs. At least with schools there is a regulation board in Most countries.

                              There is no such thing for Martial Arts. Even the ones that do have governing bodies have their own internal politicking that leads to problems.

                              As to the 5 arts...meh.... I could legitimately teach 6 arts and exaggerate a few others. Then again I wouldn't because, I would feel it is false. Still, with no governing boar or regulations, I wouldn't be lying.

                              Comment

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