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    Oh yes, there's hard contact sparring with headgear and thin gloves (most students use the Bruce Lee Kempo finger gloves like those shown here: The problem is that they don't really seem to understand what sparring is about, and as a result it's not nearly as useful as it could be. Rather than coaching students and easing them into a sparring situation they just have them put on the gloves and have at it. There's very little control or guidance. I discuss this a bit in the article, as it's one of the areas I feel that they really miss the boat.

    One of the funniest things (in a sad sort of way) is watching students early on in their sparring as they try to apply all of the neato deflections they've been taught in class. Of course they don't work, so after awhile they get tired of being hit in the face and they abandon all of that and fall back to plain ol' dodging, blocking, and slugging.


      I see the article is now up.


        I just read the article. Very well written, and accurate. As a former FSD student, I agree with everything you wrote. Aside from your entire article, another thing that always bothered me was, while they have no ground game, they claim to have the superior ground game, of any art. I'll never forget the day a student who had trained in wrestling, and other grappling arts, owned everyone in seconds flat.

        Sweet day indeed.


          Stringfellow, do you write for a living? Excellent article, really well done.


            I was the former FSD guy on this site and I wrote a article too about it (not good as yours I might say...)
            yeah its a rip off but after 2 article on the subject I dont know what I could add...
            its a mcdojo and bullshido.
            the fact is that most of their students dont know shit about MA in general so I dont think they will ever come here to defend themselve here... unfortunaly or fortunaly which may be your point of view.


              ? It doesn't look like a WC derivative. It looks like a couple of chain punches mixed with high flippy kicks, nunchucks, escrima sticks, ninja gear, and belt rankings.

              They do have a "chi sau" seminar at the Patenaud summer camp thing... but it includes baseball, basketball, obstacle courses, movies, and fire-walking demonstration. Oooo kids. Cool.



                Originally posted by Cdnronin
                Stringfellow, do you write for a living? Excellent article, really well done.
                Thanks for the praise. I don't write for a living, but I've been writing this article in my head for some time. I have a number of goals that I'm looking to achieve with it:
                • Inform people that might be considering joining Fang Shen Do
                • Let students that are early in their Fang Shen Do training what they can expect if they stay
                • Let students who have been in for some time know that they aren't the only ones who are questioning things
                A lot of that, especially the first point, dovetail nicely with the goals of Bullshido in general, which is why I'm so glad to have found the site. There are so many credible people here who have seen it all that already I find it a great sounding board for ideas or questions.

                There were plenty of things that didn't make it into the article, mainly because they didn't fit in with those goals and I wanted to keep it focused. There are two things in particular that I'd like to explore (and it will require others coming forward with information, because I have only bits and pieces).

                One is the "birth" of Fang Shen Do. As I stated in the article, Patenaude studied under James DeMile. I've always heard stories about how there was some sort of falling out between them, but they've always just been whispers. I've love to hear a more detailed account from someone who knows more about what really happened.

                The other is more an examination of Jacques Patenaude himself, and maybe the family. If you've ever heard Jacques pontificate, it can be quite the experience. Not infrequently I had little or no idea what he was talking about and where he was going with things (but of course I sat attentively and nodded my head). I've actually noticed that over the years he speaks less and less often, and I'm guessing that's because other family members recognize that he wanders verbally and have convinced him not to speak so often. Now, I'm not looking to attack the man or his family, but I am very curious to hear what other's experiences have been and what the family's history is. Because they are quite protective about it, and that always make me wonder...

                I'm not sure whether these topics should be explored right here or if they would better fit in another thread. Can someone with more experience here make that call?


                  Here's some links within Bullshido for more info:
                  GreenHornets Thread/Article: Total Feng Shen Do review
                  Stringfellows Article: Feng Shen Do: A former Students perspective

                  Stringfellow, I'd say post more in this thread so it can be kept together. Well written article btb.


                    Tuitions (each supersedes the previous):
                    Membership: $800 for 6 months ($133/month)
                    BBC: $175/month
                    Masters Club: $200/month

                    Other costs:
                    Leadership Team (to become an instructor): $300 + $200/month for 2 years
                    Inner Circle: $97/month
                    Annual BBC Renewal: $97

                    Add to this a number of mandatory seminars and such that you are required to attend in order to attain certain ranks.
                    IMO, that's criminal.


                      On the other hand, training with Renzo Gracie is about 130USD a month. But that's for unlimited classes under somebody who has actually fought in Pride and there's no Black Belt Club.


                        Originally posted by GreenHornet
                        I was the former FSD guy on this site and I wrote a article too about it (not good as yours I might say...)
                        yeah its a rip off but after 2 article on the subject I dont know what I could add...
                        its a mcdojo and bullshido.
                        the fact is that most of their students dont know shit about MA in general so I dont think they will ever come here to defend themselve here... unfortunaly or fortunaly which may be your point of view.
                        I read your article (it was good) and it's one of the reasons that I decided to write one myself. I agree that most of the people that join don't know much about MA. What has changed, though, is that people are much more used to checking stuff out on the Internet. That's why I'm hoping that, through sites like this one, we might be able to reach more people. Plus, if word starts to get around within the school's membership, then maybe we can finally get some objectivity on the matter, as they do their own research. I'd love to see both past and present students of FSD comment here.

                        In the Internet age, it's damn hard to keep things quiet.


                          I must admit, I am rather curious about the "birth" of Fang Shen Do as well. I've heard many rumours. Everyone in Ottawa, involved in martial arts, seems to have a story to tell about Jacques Patenaude.

                          I'm not sure if I still recieve the Fang Shen Do, group e-mails, but it would be interesting to reply to the entire group, with a link to Stringfellow's review.


                            I spoke earlier about Jacques and his ability to pontificate. I have to share this story, which is something I witnessed firsthand. It was probably the event that first made me question what I was involved in.

                            I was at one of those BBC meetings, out in Casselman on the Patenaude's property. Back then the "pagoda" hadn't been expanded and was still referred to simply as the dojo. There were a fair number of us there, probably 50 or so people, and at this point we were all sitting down on the wooden floor as Jacques stood at the front talking.

                            Now, what he was talking about I don't remember, but it was of those talks where he starts going off somewhere "out there". He has this disturbing habit of chuckling to himself as he speaks, as if he's just thought of some really funny inside joke that he's decided not to share. He's doing this while pacing back and forth at the front and stroking his chin. I'm near the back, and he speaks quietly, so I'm straining not just to understand but even to hear.

                            Suddenly, in mid-sentence his demeanor completely changes, he thrusts a finger straight out at some poor soul in the middle of the crowd and shouts, "You!". I don't know what this poor guy in the audience was doing, but whatever it was Jacques didn't like it. He steps forward one pace and practically spits venom as he asks, "What is your problem?"

                            In other circumstances this might be funny, because the guy that he's addressing hasn't quite clued in that it's him that raised the ire of the almighty sijo. In fact, he's looking around the room trying to figure just who could be causing the master to interrupt his talk. Only when he sees that evryone is looking at him does he realize he is the transgressor, and his eyes go back to Jacques. In a move that I'm sure was more instinct than thought (and certainly didn't help his situation) he shrugs in a "who me?" kind of sense.

                            Jacques spent the next few minutes pacing with a rapid but quiet rage as he shot the same question at the guy over and over again. The rest of the room was dead silent, the students scared shitless and the instructors all burning holes in this guy with their eyes. His wits had somewhat returned, and he meekly protested that he had no problem at all, and that he didn't know why sijo was offended. In between the questions, Jacques spit out phrases like, "That really pisses me off!" and other remarks in a similar vein to some of the instructors near him and just out loud to himself.

                            Quite honestly, I half expected Jacques to leap into the crowd and start beating on the guy, and I was trying to figure out what I'd do if that happened (that mostly involved locating the nearest exit). Eventually, Jacques seemed to calm himself down and moved on with his talk, but let me tell you, the mood for the rest of that BBC was pretty somber.



                              wow thats pretty fucked up...
                              the worst moment I had there was in the training camp when there was sparring between 2 girls and they freaked out. One of them, after being hitted, screamed "bitch!" and the fight went to the ground (oh the Irony!) and it became a nice catfight. eventually sifu M. intervented and stopped the fight... He really looked pissed off and he was tauting something like "were here to learn !!!"

                              Oh and a girl started crying after being hitted once...

                              There was also this akward moment when an old military guy came by and told us about how our training reminded him of his own army training. It was really weird because it seemed he wanted to enroll us in the canadian air forces...

                              Memories :)


                                Jesus. Jacques Patenaude is out there, man! But, the fact that he made himself a "GrandMaster", and calls himself Sijo, should have given us some indication.

                                I remember one time, (cue dream sequence), during class, one of the Sifu's wanted to do a little grappling. I should mention that I am not talking about one of the original Sifu's, but one of the many instructors that just "became" Sifu's one day. Anyway, the Sifu wants to demonstrate how grappling is done, so he grabs an assistant instructor, and they go at it. Within seconds, they each had the other in a sort of headlock, and just layed there for about ninety seconds. Then they let go of each other, and the Sifu, looks at us and asks, "Any questions?"

                                I should mention, that I was nearing the end of my membership, and had decided long before, that I was leaving Fang Shen Do. I was just putting in my time. There was another student, who was in the same boat as me, and the whole time this grappling demonstration was happening, we were trying our best not to laugh, and failing. I could see, that some of the other students thought we were being disrespectful, but I could not give a rat's ass. It was the funniest damn thing in the world.

                                In other news, do any of you know anything about the two Sifus entering an MMA tournament? The instructors and students bragged about it, but I cannot find any record of it. Not to mention, the story went from, "Two Sifu's competing in an amateur MMA match", to "Sifu's fighting in the UCC", and inevitably, "Two Sifu's fighting in the UFC". I know the last two did not happen. Any information ?

                                "Grandmaster of Funk"



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