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  1. #171

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Kung Fu

    My Final Bow Out, JustJoe has left the building.

    Well, I tapped out on this conversation, but I have to bow back in.

    There are basically two conversations going on, I would like to address both of them (it may be a little long). As stated before, I’m a student of Sifu Brown, and have been so for 4 years. I started martial arts late in life.

    The first conversation seems to be the “Martial arts is about fighting”. To that, I owe Dagoon a few comments. First of which, I’m glad you came to the dojo and reviewed. You and a lot of people on this website seem to think that Martial Arts is all about fighting. All about physical violence and being able to respond to it. If that’s all you want out of MA, that’s all you are going to get. My Dojo, the School of Chinese Martial Arts, has “free form” sparring only for Advanced class, which generally takes close to two years to get to (Beginner class has one or two step "fake" sparring, intermediate class has sparring drills). By that time, most of the students have either figured out that people can get hurt or left the dojo. You mocked the “is too dangerous” thing, but MA is dangerous. I’m pushing {ahem} 40 and prefer not to spend too much time on crutches (inside joke). I don’t want to be across from you as a white sash with the mindset of, “gee that’s a senior student let’s see if he can get out of the way of a kick to the knee.” Yes, sparring is important; it not only tests the physical skills of the art, but it also tests the mental discipline of staying calm while being attacked. You mock the central belief of our dojo, that Meditation is the foundation of all true martial arts. So you don’t belong in our dojo. Our students practice hard. The tests are punishing. Nothing is easy. Neither is meditation. A lot of the responses I’ve seen on this site (not just this one thread) have been about if it ain’t real it ain’t worth doing. Well our basics are pretty basic. They are the same in Kung Fu as most styles, punches and kicks, with joint locks and grappling included in. The basics are real. But truth be told, I believe MA is about other things. Not about hitting your partner. We do that, and we do it real, but if that’s all you see MA as, I feel sorry for you. The first time your 2-year-old throws a fit, or your wife yells at you be careful of your response because side kick, front punch, round house kick though appropriate in sparring, is not a good response. I've been injured before when I was a white sash by a student more senior then me, who thought he didn't need to listen to the instructor. That sucked royally; I almost quit. I take pride in many of the instructors partnering me with new students. They trust that I (at 190+ lbs A*Hem) will not intimidate, but encourage my partner.

    You also mocked Ms. H, which is why I responded. You know, the black coats do intros all the time; maybe 5 a week. Some of them have been at the dojo less time than myself, which is usually fine for an intro class. I’m sure they try to respond positively, but it’s got to wear on them. If your postings are any representation, you are probably belligerent and I imagine they got a little sick of you. Ms. H. (the young girl) has been practicing a long time (I believe like many students she started out in our kids classes). She’s put up with a lot, including injuries that would have made you quit or take a break. She showed up and did what she could all the time. Her best, all the time. I wish I could say that.

    The second conversation seems to be the former students of Sifu Brown accusing him of lying, and many other things that seem to get more preposterous as time goes on, especially after I attended our second yellow test this weekend. Some of you (I think two separate people) have said that he isn’t a Sifu. HOW DARE YOU! I don’t care what your belief about his claims of training in China. But at very least everyone has said he received a black sash through Sifu Smith and trained in Karate of 15 years. ‘Sifu’ literally means teacher. Even if you challenge him being a “master”, he is most definitely a teacher. A teacher who has impacted lives (yours included). My proof: Every single one of you has made some remark about how great Mr. S, Mr. A, and Mr. (now Sifu) Scofone are. Well all of them sat behind the desk and sat inside the office and learned and taught the same thing being taught now. There is a lot of bitterness right now, but those lessons that they LEARNED with Sifu Brown are still a part of them and there new teachings. Don’t practice for 4 years (or even 10) get mad and go off saying “well he isn’t really a Sifu”. You don’t have the right. If Master Walker, Sensei Dunn or Sensei Hurtseller want to challenge him about his credentials, at least they have the experience to back it up. So far, I’ve heard those teachers say only good things on the mats and in conversations. I asked Sifu about his teachers and he responded on record (literally on CD). I was satisfied with his response. I know his stories are probably exaggerated or pieced together, but after the 100th time, most stories change (especially mine since I'm of Irish descent).

    I’ve heard reference to it being a cult. 14 characteristics… I think in my day there were only 9, the recognition must be getting better. This is plain silly. For a multitude of reasons including, questions are encouraged; Strengthen of the will is encouraged (and required); etc. So let’s just put that aside. As I said, I attended a test this weekend. People worked hard and at the end they read papers (which is required). While sometimes I think the papers do stroke the ego of the Dojo staff, one thing stands out. These people have improved their lives with the help of the dojo, some remarkably so. I find former students trivializing their experience and lessons by calling it a cult, and how Sifu Brown is not a sifu more than insulting; I find it offensive and impertinent. You learned under Sifu Brown and improved your life too. You stated it in YOUR papers.

    Finally before I bow out for good, I am unfortunately aware of the altercation between Ms. D and Mr. S at Infinity. I am aware of the stuff that went down during that time period and the bad blood that is going on right now. And it’s a shame. That was not Mr. S’s fault (I too have a lot of respect for him), it shouldn’t have happened, and even if something needed to happen, the hot blooded emotions were not necessary. Although why people are so upset about how the Dojo lied about Mr. S’s job in Florida I’ll never understand. The only person I heard that from was Mr. S. One person brought up the “can’t teach in Michigan for 10 years”. While this sounds ridiculous, I have signed similar documents at every place I worked (which includes 2 of the biggest automotive suppliers and one of the biggest automotive manufactures). It’s called a non-compete clause. It’s a part of business, and I wish it wasn’t (it’s common when dealing with intellectual property). I miss Mr. S and Mr. Atkinson. Someday I might practice at Sifu Smith’s, I’ve heard great things. Right now, I’m happy with where I am.

    I leave this place and stop my “lurking”. I think a lot of the former students have given up on this site for similar reasons as my own. My e-mail is [email protected].


    Last edited by JustJoe; 8/13/2007 7:04am at .

  2. #172

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Kung Fu
    Quote Originally Posted by myeyesareheavy
    Bob Go***ny, please,

    I'm pretty sure I know who you are and always enjoyed learning from during the 4 years i was at SCMA.
    Thanks for the kind words. You really could have used my login name, and I still would have responded. Between you and mi_man_us, it’s like you’re playing Hangman, trying to see how close you can get to naming me on the internet without taking responsibility for it. It’s quite cute of the both of you – and not in the good sense of “cute”.

    I think it's time for you to wake up, pull your head out of the sand.

    Yes, Brown is well -known for his sexual harassment of female students, as well as his phychological and PHYSICAL abuse regularly doled out (especially on employees).
    If by “pull my head out of the sand” you mean “get involved in all the gossip, innuendo and junior-high clique behavior characteristic of certain former high-ranking students”, I’ll pass. I come in regularly, I practice hard, I help out when asked, and I go home. That’s it. I have not witnessed any of the abuses you so cavalierly allege, nor have my wife and daughter, both students of very long standing, experienced them.

    Do you really think I would expose my family to such an environment? Please give me a little credit. I’m no starry-eyed sycophant; I’m more suspicious and cynical than most people you’ll meet.

    You have been there for many, many years, Bob - "The truth shall set you free".
    Bible quote time? Here’s one I like – “by their fruits you shall know them.” The suspicious, cynical side of me has taken note of all the one-post critics of Sifu Brown lately – yourself, “cleartheair”, “blowthewhistle”. I sense a lot of anger, but not a whole lot of substance, in these remarkably similar posts. Just sayin’.

    There has been a statistically interesting exodus of senior students in the last few years. I’m not convinced that Sifu Brown’s student retention rate is any worse than most places, but that’s just from eye-balling class attendance, admittedly non-scientific on my part. What’s interesting about it to me is the improvement in the environment of the Dojo that seems to correspond to recent leave-takings. The place is a little more serious, a little more focused, and a little more hard-core in advanced classes. While we have lost a few truly remarkable people, there are also a handful of folks, recently departed, who seemed more concerned with the prerogatives of rank than with working hard. They were more of a distraction than some realized, until they were gone and the rest of the student body responded by stepping up their practice.

    I've got an an idea Bob, how about you talk to Sifu Brown and see if your son Ma***n can work at the dojo, since the arrangement works out "so well" for everone else who works there.
    I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you stop playing coy games with the names of my children and me?

    To your point – well actually, you don’t have one. I’ve worked for a few sole proprietors in my career, and almost invariably they were difficult - demanding, impatient, all those things that made them successful business owners. Sifu Brown may be one of those kinds of bosses. That may make him a bad boss; it doesn’t make him a bad teacher or a bad martial artist.

    (I’m not saying he’s a bad boss, necessarily. I’ve also noticed, as a boss myself, that kids these days just don’t seem to want to work as hard as they did when I was young. Maybe it’s an “expectations” thing. Maybe I’m just old and cranky.)

    You can help your son read the fine print on the non-compete clause that all employees must sign stating the "Yuchia" Kung Fu, all the principles, techniques, and training methods within it are the sole invention and property of Robert Brown.
    Meh. I’m not too worried about the suffering of people who knowingly sign contracts and then aren’t happy with the terms afterward. You don’t like the contract? Don’t work there.

    You need to read about cults, Bob. SCMA has all of the 14 traits recognized by experts in the field, as traits of the cult.
    I searched for “14 traits of a Cult” and found the following. It’s from Marcia Rudin, Director of the International Cult Education Program of AFF, whatever that is. Since you didn’t provide a cite for your 14 traits, I had to rely on my Google Fu.

    1. Members swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader who they believe to be the Messiah.
    Nope, not so much. He’s a great teacher and an inspiring speaker, but then so was Dale Carnegie and nobody’s worried about him.

    2. Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
    Actually, each class has time set aside specifically for questioning techniques and ideas. We’re encouraged to examine everything – “critically analyze” is the term most often used.

    3. The cult's recruitment techniques are often deceptive.
    Lessee . . . newspaper advertising; Yellow Pages listings; referalls. Just as devious as Bally’s.

    4. The cult weakens the follower psychologically by making him or her depend upon the group to solve his or her problems.
    Can’t count the number of times we’ve been told to take our practice into the “real world”; that is, to fix our own lives. 0 for 4 so far.

    5. The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage.
    Okay, you got me there. If you don’t meditate, don’t stretch, don’t practice your forms, Sifu will make you feel awful. That’s one.

    6. The cult leader makes all the career and life decision of the members.
    Ha! Not likely. People come, people go, people pretty much do whatever the hell they want.

    7. Cults exist only for their own material survival and make false promises to work to improve society.
    Businesses exist “only for their own material survival”– otherwise the owner doesn’t eat. False Promises about improving society? The Dojo promises to improve individuals, but as far as I can tell, it delivers.

    8. Cult members often work fulltime for the group for little or no pay.
    Nope. I volunteer an hour of my time, once a week in beginner class when I’m in town. But then, I get a lot out of my “wandering”, and when I can’t make it, it’s no big deal.

    9. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.
    Exactly the opposite. We’ve all heard Sifu Brown warn the more enthused among us to maintain a balance between practice and the rest of life.

    10. Cults are anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-family.
    I’ll have to ask my wife and daughter, both students at the Dojo, about this one. Oh, wait . . .

    11. Cults are apocalyptic and believe themselves to be the remnant who will survive the soon-approaching end of the world.
    No, that would be cockroaches. And Little Tykes toys. Those things are indestructible.

    12. Many cults follow an "ends justify the means" philosophy.
    In self defense, “ends justify the means” seems a good exercise in rational thought (see trait #2). Other than that aspect, this one’s a miss. Half a point.

    13. Cults, particularly in regard to their finances, are shrouded in secrecy.
    It’s a business. I pay for classes at a contracted rate, and for equipment when necessary. Unlike many Dojos, I don’t pay to test. It’s all pretty much above-board.

    14. There is frequently an aura of or potential for violence around cults.
    What happens inn Advanced Class looks violent to the untrained eye. Still, it’s pretty controlled violence. All the claptrap about Sifu abusing students physically? Haven’t seen it in my nine years. You get half a point for the intensity of Advanced Class sparring and grappling.

    Total Cult score: 2 of 14, and that’s being charitable.

    By the way, Sifu Scafone was the senior student under Brown for many years before breaking away.
    Yep, I learned a lot from Sifu Scafone when he was first on Sifu Brown’s staff, and I was a beginner. He disappeared for a year or two, and then he returned for another brief stint before leaving again and founding Infinite Path. I have a lot of respect for him, and it’s too bad his relationship with Sifu Brown has suffered (more on that, below).

    The proper spelling of the art is YUE CHIA. Brown learned it from Sifu Smith in Westland - not some old monk in China.
    Sifu Brown has never denied that Sifu Smith was one of his teachers. And he never claimed that he learned Kung Fu only in China – that’s an invention of this forum.

    The history of Martial Arts is rife with students splintering off from their teachers, for various reasons. Let’s face it, this kind of thing seems to attract very strong personalities; I’d be shocked if masters and students didn’t have conflicts, with the inevitable bad blood and all that goes with it. It’s too bad when it happens, but it doesn’t obligate me to decide who’s the “bad guy” and who’s the “good guy” in each case. They can’t get along? It’s sad, but it doesn’t really effect my practice.

    And I’ll worry about who has the “real” spelling of Yuchia/Yue Chia after they get this whole “wing chun/ving tzun/_in _un” thing worked out.

    i think it's helathy for people to talk about this. If you like it at Brown's, stay there forever. But i would never go back.
    I try to stay avoid “forevers” and “nevers” – life’s too uncertain for all that. I like my practice under Sifu Brown very much, and none of the sturm und drang on this board has given me any reason to believe that’ll change any time soon.

    Good luck to you.
    And to you.

  3. #173

    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    I call Bullshido on SCMA

    I just wanted to stir things up a bit.......I practiced Martial Arts for 13 years prior to coming to SCMA, and I know Bullshido when I see it. I practiced for ~2 years at SCMA.

    1. Many of the techniques (~50%, +-25%) taught at SCMA are quite applicable to self-defense.
    2. They work just as hard (sweating/intensity) as BJJ or MMA guys.
    3. Robert Brown has studied several styles and attained a black belt in AT LEAST 1 style if not 2 styles.
    4. There is no "litmus" test to identify who is and is not a "real" martial artist. Wish there was, but there isn't. Everyone has their own interpretation. Some people think that your martial arts is only valid if you prove it in full contact. Even the best BJJ or MMA fighter WILL eventually lose to someone else somewhere along the way. You can't always WIN....Especially if I decide to take my son's Tonka truck and beat you to death with it. I guess that would make me a Sifu in Tonka Fu.

    Now back to SCMA and Robert Brown....
    1. Brown has claimed that he was given the rank of Sifu from a master in China after a short stay in China (~1-2 weeks). VERY UNLIKELY What Chinese Kung Fu master would grant such a high rank to a foreigner that he has just met and maybe seen only some of his forms/techniques! BULLSHIDO!!!!! BULLSHIDO!!!! BULLSHIDO!!!! Besides, I've seen him demonstrate a PORTION of the these forms and his technique sucks. Not to say that he couldn't kick somebody's ass....

    2. Brown has claimed that he learned weapons forms from a Sifu at Shaolin, when in reality he just video taped some "young" monks demonstrating weapons for tourists like they typically do at Shaolin. I have the video and you can hear his voice in the background. (THIS IS CONTROVERSIAL) Which is the more likely scenario....that he learned the forms from a Sifu, which can never be corraborated... Or he just videotaped and learned the forms(and we have the video evidence for that) NOT TO SAY THAT YOU CAN'T LEARN FORMS FROM A VIDEO! It's just that he lied about it and lying about where or how you learned MA is BULLSHIDO....

    Well, I think that this post will ignite the flames of wrath again!
    Don't forget to brush your teeth!:brushteet
    You want them clean when you pick them up off the floor.....

  4. #174
    Guess which finger is the fickle one... supporting member
    FickleFingerOfFate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Up in your grill.
    Karate/ Arnis
    Quote Originally Posted by jkabob
    I just wanted to stir things up a bit.......I practiced Martial Arts for 13 years prior to coming to SCMA, and I know Bullshido when I see it. I practiced for ~2 years at SCMA.
    If you are claiming your experience as the scale by which you judge his and his arts competancy, would you please tell us more about your MA history?

    What arts did you practice, where, how long, what rank did you achieve?
    If you can't laugh at yourself,
    Others will be happy to do it for you. :evil6:

    The 2 most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

  5. #175

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    London, Ontario
    Currently searching
    Quote Originally Posted by GIJoe6186
    We are not a Praying Mantis or a snake or a pig or a monkey. We are humans and therefore fight like humans.

    Just had to post to say that I totally agree with this statement.
    Guess where I first heard it...anyone?

    From the mouth of Sifu Robert Brown.

    Not making any point, just thought I'd share. :)

  6. #176

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    tai chi, qi gong
    line up his students present and former and let's take a vote of Bullshido....let the results speak for themselves.

  7. #177
    Gengis Bob / Bob Goffeney - you should be ashamed of yourself. Stop lying for that man.
    Last edited by photofinish; 9/21/2007 12:18pm at .

  8. #178

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Kung Fu
    Quote Originally Posted by dasboot
    line up his students present and former and let's take a vote of Bullshido....let the results speak for themselves.
    Good idea . . . how many votes does photofinish / blowthewhistle / cleartheair / myeyesareheavy get?

  9. #179

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    tai chi, qi gong
    every student, past or present gets one vote G-B. One Vote. line 'em up dude and tally the votes. Photofinish has some clues for you, sorry that the message within was deleted. Robert Brown is a very skilled martial artist, but he is a liar. he's not even a Sifu. he made up Dr. Woo Chin Li, a "Yuchia Board" and the rulings story, he completely fabricated his Tai Chi form. that ought to be enough for anyone to say, (and i'll quote Brown here,) "I'm DONE!" if one wishes to truly study some cardiovascular "martial-art" inspired exercise at his lovely dojo......well then, do that. if you indeed wish to get to the heart of the matter, find a good teacher. one who is on "the path", one with credentials and one who is not afraid to have their students meet their teachers. practice every day and do the work. read books, ask questions to those who have studied with masters. find out all you can, both in deed and in the very philosophy of martial arts. that's how it's done.

    now, i'm done. Pull-eeze, lets all get back to our regularly schedulled training and put this one on the shelf, or, to bed. adios Casablanca..........

  10. #180
    "I feel naked I was so distracted by your penis"
    Dagon Akujin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    DETROIT WHAT! (and surrounding upper-class burbs)
    Ving Tsun
    Quote Originally Posted by Genghis Bob
    Good idea . . . how many votes does photofinish / blowthewhistle / cleartheair / myeyesareheavy get?
    Zero. If he can't be honest and stick to who he is, then he doesn't count as a person/vote.

    Seriously, he's pissed me off too.

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