Pathwalker Guild

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Saturnine138, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. Ex Pathwalker

    Ex Pathwalker Valued Member

    The Pathwalker Guild

    Interesting points raised everyone, but please be aware that unless you are a marbo member you will only reach a certain level of information being shared from the Marbo camp until a retort appears re: it being a private group - that's the buffer before you get told you have to join to find out more.

    I'm still waiting for an answer as to why so many people left the Pathwalker Guild, why so many people had bad experiences and left the training (see my post #28).

    I agree with you aikiwolfie, it looks like the forum will have to make do with damage limitation rather than an answer. I hope Marbo Member (or member A Pathwalker, see post #19) will reply to this at some point, because the question is being completely and utterly ignored.

    I'll share what i know at some point whether they do or don't, I am not obsessed, just an honest person. The forum would benefit from having a balanced account of experiences amidst all the dotted history, which over the years has morphed and changed it's shape, and also tripped itself up along the way.
  2. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I can't help but question the credibility of the org or anyone belonging to and admiring an org which has slung such historical hogwash as Celtic runes and druids in Transylvania.A system which at least at one time claimed to be Celtic,based on hashashin technique,or as worded now in this thread the generic term Arabic.

    My personal life experience is that those who talk jive in one area often spout jive in other areas,especially if those areas are connected somehow.

    Or an org. which purports to teach MA material but says very little about it. What's so necessary for secretism? Even a Pa Kua practitioner can speak/show quite a bit about the system and its history w/out revealing certain required training methods.

    Another of my own life experiences has been that those overly secretive about their general MA material usually have good reason to be so. Why is it that the military special programs for h2h and non-projectile weapons aren't shrouded in secrecy? I mean,they do this stuff for a living,and I don't mean just teaching it.

    I understand some people need/want to belong to something which seems special,but unless there's a practical reason for secretism such as political revolutionary cells or the Mafia secret societies are rather childish. So mostly what type of folks are drawn to such societies?

    Likely people w/these in their eyes.:star::star:
  3. MemberSec

    MemberSec Banned Banned

    The Pathwalker Guild and MSMAS

    I have recently been made aware of this site and the ongoing “conversation” between current and former Marbo members. Having read the content I wish to address our former member and the public witnessing this exchange.

    To our former Member - With regards to your experience, I again reiterate the apology offered previously, managerial mistakes were made in the North Wales area a few years back. There is nothing more I can say or do for you.
    Let us be clear, you have never complained about the training you received, the techniques taught to you or the quality of its application.

    To the Members of this site - A clarification. The name of our organisation, The Pathwalker Guild; Guild: An association of people for mutual aid, or the pursuit of a common goal. The Pathwalker Guild has always been and will continue to be, the administration and governing aspect of: the Instructor Cadre (PGIC), MSMAS and the Guilds’ training and retreat facilities. Marbo is the martial art and MSMAS the name we allocate to the branch network. Marbo is the modern name of the martial art taught to the scion of Al Musafir. Our decision to revert back to MSMAS was to make it plain for all to see - who we are and what we do.

    Thank you for your posts with regards to our websites. The webmaster has agreed to review the content and wording shortly and to make the suggested improvements.

    We take what we do, very seriously. Our craft is a non-sport martial art, we weaponise people. We give men and women from all walks of life various survival skills inc; Marbo, Bushcraft, Survival, Streetcraft. We use our basic course “the Red Path” to observe an individuals personality, as well as their technical assimilation. This is quite a lengthy interview and induction process before being invited to become a “Full“ member. If someone is not right for the Guild we will not train them further. You can not buy our training, it is earned by proving you’re a good soul that warrants it.
    Our member retention rates are excellent (4-6% per annum compared to the average 20-40% for high street martial arts clubs).

    It is the aim of the Pathwalker Guild that all beings, regardless of race, religion, politic or class stand equal, as one, with each person having a vote, a voice, a choice. We are a not for profit organisation, a “mutual” martial art if you will - run by the members for the members.
    I might add, we are not actually obliged to furnish any information and only do so out of courtesy and a desire to be (to a degree) open, we are after all a private organisation.

    Thank you for your time.
    On behalf of our Members I offer our kindest regards.

    Pathwalker Guild Members Secretary.
  4. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    The organization is a completely separate issue for me - the credibility of what you teach is the crux of the matter for me, and as it stands it looks and smells exceptionally dubious
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  5. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    As I understand it you're not training people for free. They pay an annual fee and I'm pretty sure I noticed other fees on your website as well. In any other walk of life including other martial arts clubs that would be considered a purchase.

    If you have noble intentions and all then fantastic. But don't treat me like an idiot.
  6. OwlMAtt

    OwlMAtt Armed and Scrupulous

    How many people have made MAP accounts solely for the purpose of participating in this thread, now? I'm counting at least three.
  7. Ex Pathwalker

    Ex Pathwalker Valued Member

    The Pathwalker Guild and MSMAS

    But still no answer from the organisation as to the negative reasons why people left the Marbo Pathwalker Guild consistently throughout the years. Off to get an old training pals story to balance things up, they interacted with at least 20 members who no longer train. As noted in post #28, I lost count at 40.

    It's only right to to summarise what i and others experienced for the benefit of the forum, the avoidance on this page by everyone currently in the organisation is not going to reverse any time soon. Gees i've held off too and I'm not gonna hold back like they are. The organisation and its reps have had sufficient chance to explain why, and haven't.

    Be back as soon as...
  8. MemberSec

    MemberSec Banned Banned

    The Pathwalker Guild & MSMAS

    Firstly a correction -
    Our member retention rates are excellent (4-6% per annum leave compared to the average 20-40% for high street martial arts clubs).

    Marbo Member - who has recently conversed on this site, has decided to withdraw from the forum.

    To our former Member -
    “..the avoidance on this page by everyone currently in the organisation is not going to reverse any time soon”.

    Excuse me!! I’m the Members Secretary!
    You seem to be under the impression that a ”mass exodus” occurred around the time of your departure from the Guild. I hate to break it to you, but no such event occurred. I have access to the archives and can assure you the past 17yrs accounts for 40 members leaving.!

    The most common cause for people “leaving” is that they simply move away from the area where their branch is based - this does not mean they have left the organisation, they simply can not attend regular training sessions any more. These Members are accommodated in other ways by the Guild through the provision of day trainers periodically throughout the year - as well you know, you are a former member! We had to run an additional three days last year.

    Re the north Wales area - many of our members during that time were university students, after graduation most moved back home or elsewhere to pursue their careers.

    Members have been known to leave because they did not have what it takes to adhere to our strict rules, especially confidentiality, and some cannot face suspension from training if they have broken our rules, choosing to walk away. Some characters are missed, others not.

    Also, most regrettably, some years ago we lost a few highly valued members and the Ricon openly admits he carries full responsibility for this. Lessons have been learned proven by the fact we have not had a single complaint in four years and membership has more than doubled.

    the credibility of what you teach is the crux of the matter for me, and as it stands it looks and smells exceptionally dubious

    Please don’t be rude - I do not speak of your chosen system that way! I thought one of the big marketing points of martial arts is that it teaches discipline and respect!
    Many of our training methods and techniques are unique to our system, this is a fact, as many of our members who have come to us from other martial arts will testify. It is part of our protocols that we do not reveal our techniques to none members because they are not competition or sport directed, they need to be taught under qualified, warranted instruction. We take the safety of our members very seriously. If you want to learn about our craft - you only have one way to do so - by joining the Guild and being taught by the PGIC.

    As I understand it you're not training people for free. They pay an annual fee and I'm pretty sure I noticed other fees on your website as well. In any other walk of life including other martial arts clubs that would be considered a purchase.
    If you have noble intentions and all then fantastic. But don't treat me like an idiot.

    I don’t think you’re an idiot, but I do think you have mis-understood the sentiment of the sentence.

    If someone is not right for the Guild we will not train them further. You can not buy our training, it is earned by proving you’re a good soul that warrants it“.

    We will not train people just because they can afford the training, we are more interested in the character of the applicant. Yes, we are selective in picking our members, we only want the good guys.
    We are a Guild not a charity, we rely on membership subs and session fees / course donations to run the organisation. Membership subs are dependent on each members circumstances - employed £10 pcm, unemployed / student £5.00 pcm. Our session fees are also flexible to meet our members circumstances - employed £7.50. unemployed / student £5.00. Most of our additional courses are set at £23.00.
    We are highly mindful of the current economic climate and want to support our members. Those members that are more affluent choose to over donate to support those members that struggle. Every member receives free tuition and free use of facilities at the Sanctuary.

    Pathwalker Guild Members Secretary.
  9. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    No I did not misunderstand the "sentiment" of the sentence at all. You tried to claim your training could not be "bought". Which is in fact what actually happens. People hand over money, they get trained.

    The fact there is a selection process to advance to the next level is neither here nor there. Every martial arts organisation that has a graduated training program has some sort of selection process to attain badges, sashes, belts, robes or whatever. And students must go through that process to get to the next level of training. Those who are not fit do not pass go in the more reputable organisations.

    However when martial arts organisations start dressing up their training program with a history that cannot be verified at all. People get suspicious. It's human nature.

    Now it's funny you should talk about members over donating. Which I'm not actually sure is possible if it's a genuine "donation". But I digress. Another organisation which has a graduated training and membership scheme goes by the name of Scientology. It's largely considered a cult and a scam. It's members often over donate as well. While those in positions of power within Scientology go out of their way to smooth over bad PR or preferably make it disappear.

    Now the fact of the matter is you charge set fees for training and membership. Your training is therefore not free. So it is bought.

    I am curious though. How many people have you turned down for the more advanced training programs? What happens to them after they have been turned down? Do they continue training? Do they leave? Are they told to leave?
  10. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Respect does not equal agreement.

    Respect does not mean we should not point out any potentially dubious practices and information.

    In fact being respectful would include a degree of openness and honesty about what you do when questioned about it, not shying away and hiding behind the good old "how dare you ask such a question of us show some respect" defence.

    That type of response just makes you look silly and sets off a huge number of alarm bells for anyone who's had even the slightest experience with martial arts frauds and "cults".

    Even members of koryu which have survived for hundreds of years intact will discuss history and some degree of technicality and they are known for being rather protective of their systems.

    Without corroborating evidence or at least you discussing these methods and techniques all we've got is your word which to be honest isn't worth much at the moment.

    So what makes them unique?

    Discussing your organisation on a forum and giving a little info about the system, its make up, principles etc will not lead to anyone developing super deadly skills or getting hurt.

    Also how will discussing it here affect the safety of your members? It won't will it?

    As for them being non-competition or sport directed hmm great. I don't compete or take part in a combat sport but I don't agree with your point, you know why? It's because you are working from a fallacy.

    I'll let you work out what it is.

    Sorry the above is just nonsense, IMO.

    There are other, more valid, reasons for not disclosing things but I won't go into that as I think it will give you another excuse to avoid the issues.

    So does someone have to join before they are shown anything? You said things aren't disclosed to non members.

    What happens when someone leaves? Do you mind wipe them?

    However without knowing anything about the system why would we want to join?

    You offer virtually nothing in the way of verifiable information about your system, no background, no techniqual aspects.

    So with that in mind how are prospective students expected to know you aren't all just a bunch of con people on a power trip?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  11. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Ex Pathwalker,

    I was wondering if you could tell us about what you studied during your time with this org?

    What are the system fundamentals?

    Do you feel the techniques are as exclusive as some are making out?

    I've seen mention of street defence. Could you please tell us what you covered there?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  12. MemberSec

    MemberSec Banned Banned

    Pathwalker Guild & MSMAS

    Apologies for the delayed reply, as I’m sure you can understand I have to put our Members first when prioritising my time. I think the fact that I’m replying shows my commitment to be open and honest.

    I don’t have an issue with people disagreeing at all - it‘s democracy in action, but I really see no reason to be impolite in expressing your views.

    What would you like to know of our history? I will not reveal everything - indeed I don’t know everything about our past, but I will give info within reason. Our Celtic past perhaps - this has been raised previously.

    Now it's funny you should talk about members over donating. Which I'm not actually sure is possible if it's a genuine "donation"….
    Now the fact of the matter is you charge set fees for training and membership. Your training is therefore not free. So it is bought..“.

    I’ll give you an example - a member purchased a key fob for £500.00. The key fob was priced £7.50. The outstanding balance was used to replace a roof at the Sanctuary. Why do you have such difficulty accepting the generosity of good hearted people who can afford to put extra cash in the pot?
    We have never claimed to provide free training, although we do! - we have always been clear on the membership subs and session fees.
    We have had people [none members] ask our instructors to “give” them a black grade in exchange for £ xxx - it is the honour code that I speak of.

    Re your comments on Scientology - We actively encourage a diverse religious / political culture within our organisation, we will not discriminate against a person for their chosen belief, our organisation is independent and respectful of individual choice.

    How many people have you turned down for the more advanced training programs? What happens to them after they have been turned down? Do they continue training? Do they leave? Are they told to leave?”

    Unfortunately, we have experienced people who have not handled their technical failure well. Some times they try again, succeed or fail, some times they choose to leave the Guild. Some times it becomes an opportunity to explore other aspects of what the Guild has to offer and what the Member can give back to the Guild. Many migrate to the PGIC at this time and begin to teach.
    Our Instructors will be honest and realistic in managing a Members expectations, at the same time they encourage and nurture Members aspirations, especially where lack of confidence undermines technical potential.
    Most Members do remain with us when they have reached their personal level of achievement - most often the Member themselves feel they have completed enough technical assimilation. As a rule we only enter people for a grading if the Instructor is confident of the Member passing.
    Many remain Members as they want to continue to be part of our organisation. Some continue to train regularly to keep active and to assist other Members within the branch with their progression. Others drop out of weekly training and instead prefer to attend Day Trainers. It all depends on the Individual and what they want from their membership.

    Members are expelled if there has been a serious breach of Protocol on their part. Disciplinary issues can be dealt with in branch, outside of branch by Green Circle, Protocols Chair or Black Circle.
    Also: if a member is unable to keep confidentiality, they will be denied further progression.

    So does someone have to join before they are shown anything? You said things aren't disclosed to non members. What happens when someone leaves? Do you mind wipe them?”

    The reasoning behind not sharing technique is simple - it’s an act of self preservation.
    People interested in joining the Guild are offered a free trial session, where they are introduced to a small selection of basic techniques. During this taster session we also explain why we differ so much from other martial arts. Prospective members then choose to join or walk away.

    So what makes them unique?”
    I have never studied any system save Marbo so I cannot draw comparison for you - I am not the person to give you an answer. The response from the PGIC is:

    With two arms and two legs there has to be an optimum response to certain actions. We train within the parameters of those responses on three levels, optimum, prime, then tertiary. Most martial arts, being sports based, cannot be optimum or prime as this would be counter to competition rules. it’s the way we combine technique and the qualities required in the application of those techniques that sets us apart. Many of our training methods are unique to our system, as any member, including ex-members, would testify. Bearing in mind that if an ex member were to describe in any way, or identify our training methods and techniques, s/he would be breaking a solemn word of honour.

    Pathwalker Guild Members Secretary.
  13. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    MemberSec, something about your posting style is constantly tripping the spam filter. I think in the last post it was the £xxx. You might also want to try leaving a blanc line between paragraphs.
  14. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    No need. MAP is a web forum. We don't expect you to live on the Internet.

    How is it possible to pay £500 for a £7.50 key fob? Did this person simply hand over a donation and get a key fob in return?

    In which case it would be more accurate to say progression through the ranking structure is not guaranteed purely because a student is fully paid up. The "training" is bought and paid for.

    Whatever. You've clearly missed the point. Scientology has a bad reputation because of it's secretive nature, the way it treats both active and former members, it's shady history/back story/mythology and the way it milks members for ever greater sums of money.

    In terms of your organisation it seems we're not too clear on the history. It seems to be quite secretive, there have been complaints about the treatment of members and the finances seem a little murky. There are clear paralleled with Scientology which your organisation would do well to avoid.

    Well none of that answered any of my questions very clearly. But it sounds like a secrete society. What is it you people do that can't be talked about? That seems like a very cult-ish approach to martial arts or indeed survival skills. Hence the comparison to Scientology.
  15. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    This is not a boast, so do not take it is such.

    - I am an active LEO and have been for over 13 years and I am a Subject Control Tactics Instructor.
    - I have fought full contact, and I train full contact fighters.

    - I am a PFS Full Instructor under Paul Vunak using a system that has been taught to SEALS, DEA, FBI and numerous Police agencies.

    - I have trained with Special Forces members, fellow officers, Sheriffs and Jailers.

    - I have trained extensively with World Muay Thai and BJJ champs, Escrima Champs, MMA champs, WKC Champs, Ranked boxers and Olympic level Judoka and Wrestlers

    - I hold Dan grades in several styles and have been involved in martial arts for around 25 years

    - I was a registered Self-Protection Instructor with the BCA under Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine

    I am willing to show examples of ANY of the styles I train in.

    I have no issue with the communal aspect of your org - it matters little to me and actually sounds very wholesome. I DO take issue with claims about being "effective", "real" et al ad nauseam when there is NO BASIS IN REALITY to stake such a claim

    This is honesty not rudeness

    I doubt you will show me anything I have not seen done hundreds of times before by better;' I also doubt you can even touch the level of reality I have and still do deal with on a daily basis.

    Hiding behind "Oh this is secret lethal stuff for trusted individuals" is an absolute crock of crap used by those with something to hide. There is NOTHING secret and hidden in any art, it is just smoke and mirrors used to deceive - as is ridiculous and ignorant claims like "other arts are sports"

    Most "sport" fighters would annihilate your lodge members in a square go

    Self-Deception is included in this.

    Enjoy LARP'ing, enjoy what you do - I hope it gives you satisfaction and benefit. But don't try and tell me Dog Food is Fillet Mignon because I DO have a frame of reference to judge your claims against and they are coming up short

    Teaching Self-Protection is a serious business and that is why I respond to your claims with such incredulity.
  16. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    1)The so called history re: things Celtic your org had on its site and as espoused by at least one of your members was fiction. Laughable fiction. Some people were studying the history/anthropology of the Celtic peoples long before things Celtic were considered "groovy" or fashionable and was inundated with even more fairy tales than it actually possessed.Please, no more.

    2) I think you'll find agreement with you among the members here that simply exchanging rank for cash is frowned on. That should be a given. As to honour, I have a problem reconciling that word with the espousing of the fictional Celtic "histories".

    3) Self preservation-That could have a myriad of meanings,from literal life and death to relating to the survival of your org or teachings. Clarify,please.

    4) I fail to understand why if you can explain to people in a free lesson how your system differs form others you can't explain the same here. As I stated previously,a Pa Kua practitioner can explain quite a bit about the system w/out revealing the specifics of certain training methods which are considered "inside" knowledge. Not everyone continues after the free lesson,correct? So why can't something along the lines of the same explanation they get be posted here? After all, when they leave they're taking that info with them,so it's no secret. If it is explained in non ambiguous terms to them-(including those who do not pursue the study)- how your system differs from others then the same or similar could be posted here without revealing whatever the org doesn't want revealed.

    5)The tired sport fighters being limited argument,while true in some respects, is itself limited. Most sport fighters I've observed in actual combat fared pretty well-they also weren't above and had no problem with going outside the rules of their sport while engaged in such activity.Also, have to disagree that the majority of systems are sport based,even if many practitioners now practice and train for such formats.
  17. Ex Pathwalker

    Ex Pathwalker Valued Member

    Marbo Pathwalker Guild MSMAS etc etc

    Apologies for my absence forum members, I appreciate that a thread can lose it's focus without combined input. I have been away for some time and only just returned.

    First of all, I'll say that the system fundamentals are no different to most other martials arts i have studied, and the more i have learned over the years this has been confirmed again and again and again.

    So, for anyone to claim that what marbo does is different, or to claim that the way techniques are put together in a training scenario are different, is a fundamentally flawed argument, founded on a closed membership that refuses to embrace the idea that it might just be like everything else out there. Claiming exclusivity is like saying that marbo invented body movement itself! The mind is the key to any physical movement, not the prowess and claims of a system. Many minds working collaboratively and openly (not hiding behind shrouds of secrecy, give us your money and don't tell anyone what you learn) can achieve great things. Closed systems will only die out.

    Whether the marbo pathwalker techniques are applied in practice, for real, on the street, in the bathroom, in the training environment, their system involve punches, kicks, locking techniques, tipping techniques (what they term as take down techniques), throws, pinning, holds, weapons training, the hammer fist the palm hand, pin point pressure, breathing differentiation, stamina work, all the usuals that can be found elsewhere, the list is long, but definitely not exclusive. I've found a lot of techniques which were claimed to be exclusive (like the 'zamora') which clearly aren't, just a different take on common forms of movement.

    Once I've got up to speed with the extra nonsense that I can see has been being put forward above (which in essence is no different to my experience years ago), I'll post more as to the weaknesses of the system as these are more important to note.

    First thoughts are on the techniques the system didn't teach at its most basic level - in relation to floor work, anything beyond basic ground defensive tactics wasn't covered when i took part. This of course will probably be counterclaimed and pulled to bits by any marbo rep as now being included, but when a few of my friends and i went to discover other systems after leaving the system, we came unstuck on the ground (and having recently got back in touch with a few other people who i used to train with, they expressed the same, it just fell short of what the main instructore claimed to be). We'd been training for years and didn't even see some of the techniques that were bring thown at us because we'd allowed ourselves to be drilled to believe that body movement was only 'optimum' if it happened in a certain direction - bam!, we all got it, from angles that the system just didn't address. 18 months ago, i asked a member about the beginner grades and key techniques were still not there, even in the advanced grades.

    I would therefore recommend anyone without martial arts experience wanting to go into the pathwalker system to go in, get what you want from it then go elsewhere and don't look back unless you are going to take from the system what you need. Learn grappling and groundwork (whatever the discipline/sport might be) for your own continued safety and ongoing confidence, which as any martial arts practitioner will know is essential.

    Trouble is, when i was involved, people weren't trained any more if they took part in other martial arts systems, to share techniques from the system was seen as a sin almost. It was a very inward looking system with a lot of top down orders being put on the members, not at all participative in the truest sense of the word, but dictatorial.

    Will be back. Thanks for reading.
  18. MARBO-man!!!

    MARBO-man!!! Valued Member

    Debunking the mystery

    Hi Guys

    I trained to a pretty high level with the pathwalkers ( or MARBO as it was known in those days) even got to an instructor level, so please feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

    I've been training in martial arts for about the last 25 years, And made a point of aiming to learn things that different systems lack, primarily for my own development - so I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea of what constitutes a martial art, a combat sport, a self defence system or whatever!

    As a complete aside it's great to see people shaking the pathwalker tree a bit - needs doing in my opinion....

    Look forward to hearing from you
  19. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    Okay. How about you answer some of the question that frankly haven't really been answered. Like what makes this system so unique? As that is the claim.
  20. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Well that'll depend on what you've spent those 25 years doing?

    25 years consecutive training under the same instructors?

    Or have you been Dojo hopping?

    What systems?
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