1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    1

    Just for Kicks Martial Arts

    Would hope for any insight on the following martial arts school owner and his legitimacy, and any advice on how to go about fact-checking his claims.

    Robert S. Blum - Just for Kicks Martial Arts in Dutchess County NY

    1. Claims to be a 5 Dan black belt, but I cannot find ANYTHING about him or his past anywhere. The only information I can find on him is things he's posted about himself through his numerous websites.
    2. His school has moved locations like 5 different times and has changed names a few times as well.
    3. He is not in any shape that would be conducive or someone who still practices and his instructors is all under 30 years of age with black belts and not in any type of athletic shape.
    4. There are 10 belts per class level (Classes start at 3-years-old)
    5. The only competitions his school participates in are ones he runs himself in the school.
    6. It appears that everyone is promoted to a belt regardless of their performances in class.
    7. You have to pay for testing/belt upgrades.
    8. Just like him, I cannot find any information about his instructors ANYWHERE. You would think to be at such a high-level black belt, there'd be something, SOMEWHERE.


    While I'm 100% convinced he is running a McDojo, what I'm more concerned about is the legitimacy of him and his instructors. Is he actually a black belt? Nothing about him or his school makes me believe that he's is a "Master" of Martial Arts, more than just a master of marketing himself and trying to get everyone man, woman, and child to join his school. Which he's doing a very good job at, you cannot find 1 bad review on the internet as he has a loyal following of Moms who do his marketing for him (unless they are just his fake profiles).

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    598
    Style
    Grappling/BJJ
    Seems to be just more fitness classes than anything..
    Name:  Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 2.15.36 PM.png
Views: 149
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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    598
    Style
    Grappling/BJJ
    I should have known better. This is old news here.
    https://www.bullshido.net/forums/sho...1022&p=2782804

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    8
    1
    I find this kind of stuff interesting, so I did some google-fu....

    First of all, this exact thing was brought up here in 2013:

    https://www.bullshido.net/forums/sho...1022&p=2782804

    Which I assume you already saw, but it wasn't really satisfactorily answered.

    So here are the claims Robert Blum has made:

    1. He co-authored a book, The Path to Leadership. You can see it here - https://issuu.com/wellssmithpartners...-to-leadership . On page 81, at the end of the chapter he wrote, he claims to hold a 5th degree Taekwondo black belt through Kukkiwan in Korea. It also says his school won the century gold award, which is given to the top 100 schools in the country. He is also a specialist in the fields of Nutrition and Weight Loss.

    2. The same book, on page 104, in the "About the Authors" section, it says Blum won 25 US National Titles. Also, it says "He was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame Five Times in career. The first time was in 2000 as Martial Arts Competitor Of The Year, and the second was in 2002 as Instructor Of The Year. In June of 2005 he was inducted as Tae Kwon Do Master Instructor Of The Year. Later that year he was inducted again for his dedication to helping develop today's youth into the leaders of tomorrow through our character development program. My most recent induction was in 2006 as he was given a Career Contribution To the Martial Arts Award." Even further, he "was invited to try out for the United States Pan-am Tae Kwon Do Team in 1998. He was asked to be a member of the US Karate Team in 2002."

    3. Now it looks like he wrote another book, https://www.amazon.ca/Raise-Winner-S...al-text&sr=1-1 . Now he's claiming to be a 6th dan, so apparently he's been promoted.

    4. In other advertisements from his school (like this one: https://www.facebook.com/pg/EastFishkillKarate/about/ ) it claims "Rated in the Top 100 Schools in the Country since 2008!"

    So it looking at these claims, you would think this five time hall of famer/25-time national champion would be all over the internet, but quite the opposite, you can find almost nothing about this guy. That doesn't make the claims false, but it certainly caused me to raise my eyebrows. Regarding the 5th dan claim, you can look up Kukkiwon black belts in their database here http://www.kukkiwon.or.kr/front/eng/main2.action , but you have to have the person's date of birth to search. I don't have Blum's date of birth, so I can't confirm either way.

    About the top 100 schools claim, apparently Just For Kicks has gotten one of the 100 gold awards from Century every year, such as in this press release, which incidentally was put out by Just For Kicks itself: https://www.pr.com/press-release/257630 . Now with Century being a seller of equipment, I don't know what you have to do to win a gold award from them. It could be impact on the community, it could be the schools that made them the most money. You could contact Century and ask.

    When he claims to be inducted 5 times into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, he conveniently doesn't specify which one. I checked all the major ones, and he's not in any of them, which is unsurprising, since info about him is sparse in general. So it could be some defunct Karate Warrior Magazine's Martial Arts Hall of Fame, or just about anything.

    I can't find him listed on any national tournament winners lists, which again doesn't mean it's not true, but I can't confirm that it is true.

    One more interesting thing is that all of these impressive credentials he's touted at some point are completely absent from his school's website. If I were a legit 5th dan or a 25-time national champion running a school, I would think I'd advertise that on my school's website like crazy. Why doesn't he? These claims were from years ago, which begs the question about whether now he's worried about people digging into it.

    So my conclusion from all this is that while he may not be telling untrue things, he's leaving out information to make things sound better for marketing purposes - like "rated in the top 100 schools in the country!" without mentioning that it's just a Century gold award that nobody cares about. Or by mentioning the hall of fame stuff without saying which hall of fame it is. If true, I doubt it's a hall of fame that would mean much.

    I do think one thing merits criticism though. He claims to be a nutrition and weight loss expert, and he's even written articles such as this one: "Lose 10 Pounds by Avoiding Certain Foods." http://www.vanwyckhoa.com/vanwyck/pi...dia_beacon.pdf However, if you look at his pictures, which you can find on Facebook or with a simple google search, he's way overweight, well past the point of obesity. I say he has no business claiming to be any kind of a "specialist" in weight loss.

    If you really want to explore further, I suggest you email Mr. Blum and ask him to verify his 5th or 6th dan, ask what hall of fame he was inducted into five times, and what national tournaments he has won. You can find his email pretty easily, and if he's legit, I see know reason why he wouldn't put any questions about it to rest by providing those specifics.

    Hope all that helps.

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