"Professor" Alan Thornton "10th Dan" awarded an MBE

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Dean Winchester, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    So he's not a "true pioneer of Martial Arts. That doesn't mean he can't created his own style.syllabus/ranks. The point was made that he had no right to do it, my point is he has every right. It's a free country, there are no laws against it. We could all do it, and we would all know it was a farce, but we are all within our rights to do so.
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I think the issue is that, while many of us HERE would know it was a farce, there would be a lot of people out THERE who wouldn't. Until they'd already been fleeced.
  3. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    True enough, but I feel you might be focusing on the wrong point. The issue is less (though still somewhat outrageous) about making up his own style and getting some belt factory guys to give him a bunch of dan grades and more about him using that as part of his claim to get an MBE over something it seems like he didn't do.

    Also, what Ap said.
  4. Hannibal

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

    This type of attitude is exactly why martial arts grades are considered a joke
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    It's not an attitude, so much as the reality of the situation. Your grade means nothing outside of the gym.
  6. Hannibal

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

    You hold a grade with me you can fight - it's a prerequisite

    You hold a grade in "X" system i expect to see proficiency in the techniques and forms of "X" system

    You make up a system "Y" based on your experience in years of "X" I expect to see decent mechanics
  7. m1k3jobs

    m1k3jobs Dudeist Priest

    Except to those who have never been in the gym.
  8. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    But this is exactly what happens in MMA, and MMA isn't considered a joke. It would be fairly safe to assume that most of us, if not all, have MMA gyms near us, and yet how many of the instructors that run these gyms are qualified? Not one of them, becasue (as far as I am aware) there is no such thing as an MMA instructor qualification. So they are essentially inventing their own training syllabus/schedule.

    Ok, so they don't award themselves ridiculous titles like Professor, but they call themselves MMA instructors, when they are not qualified as such.

    Are they qualified in MMA?
    Are they qualified strength and fitness instructors?
    If they are teaching mixed arts in how many of the arts they are teaching do they hold Dan grades?
  9. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    To be fair, on the subject of having grades and teaching, I don't hold any instructional grades but I teach. Over the past three years I've always focused more on the competitive side rather than the grading side of combat sports (though I did gain a Green Belt in Kickboxing, and intend to do my Black Belt at my current gym as it makes joining an organization and getting insurance much easier). While you should be able to demonstrate proficiency and good knowledge of what you are teaching I certainly do not believe a certificate is a requirement.
  10. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    You absolutely correct, yet that is exactly what is going on in most Karate Dojo's around the world right now. We have entire generations of very high ranking karate instructors who teach blocks, when karate has no blocks. Hence demonstrating not only a complete lack of understanding of the art they claim to teach, but a complete lack of knowledge of the realities of civilian violence (which is what karate was created to deal with).

    They teach the reason you are turning in 8 different directions in Kata is becasue you are fighting 8 people (again demonstrating a total lack of understanding for the very art they claim to teach). They teach students to block kicks with Gedan Barai and other such ludicrous nonsense. They teach their students not to hit first if they are in an confrontation, going against not only the advise of most modern Self protection experts, but of past karate masters such as Funakoshi, Motobu etc.

    They teach not only nonsense but dangerous nonsense that would get their students killed, but they hold legitimate high Dan grades in established arts. Not realising that what they are actually teaching is the children's version of karate that Itosu turned into little more than a physical fitness training regime(disguising techniques as blocks as they were too dangerous to give to children) to be introduced into the Japanese school syllabus. They are, as you say, fleecing their students, but no one here is telling them they have "no right" to do so as they all hold legitimate high ranks.

    I would warrant a guess that most of the websites of most of the high ranks on this forum has the words "self defence" on it somewhere, yet pragmatic self protection has very very little to do with physical techniques, it is 99% awareness/evaluation/de-escalation and only 1% physical techniques. Do these people also teach the 99%? My experience is no, they don't; they only teach physical responses, or of they do cover the other 99% they only give it lip service. Do these people who have the words "self defence" on their website hold ranks in self defence? I doubt it becasue as far as I am aware there is no such thing as a self defence certification. They are therefore fleecing their students, but no one is telling them they have "no right" to do what they are doing, becasue they gave x,y, or z rank in a,b or c style of karate.

    The point is yes you endanger your students when make up your own syllabus that has never been pressure tested, but it is equally unsafe and unscrupulous to teach the children version of karate as proper combat Karate carted for civilian self protection, and yet no one is coming on here saying these people have "no right" to do what they do.
  11. Hannibal

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

    But there is an inherent quality control mechanism herein - do they hold a record in MMA or do their students successfully compete?

    End of
  12. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    The vast majority of this sounds like overly sensationalized agenda writing, I'm afraid. If you can't recognize the difference between what you're describing and using falsified credentials to "earn" and accept one of the highest honours afforded by a country, I'm not really sure what Step 2 ought to be.

    Also, if the techniques taught to children are so likely to get them killed, I'm wondering why we haven't heard of a slew of accounts of such tragedies. Children are taught to block and not strike preemptively, in part, because they're children. Little Timmy doesn't need to resolve playground scuffles with a preemptive ridge hand to Tommy's throat. Hell, even adults struggle with the appropriate use of force, as demonstrated in numerous recent shootings, etc.
  13. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    I'm not high ranking instructor, but I use the word "block"!

    Granted, the word implies to stop something dead - which rarely happens - however it's more of a "generic" term. An umbrella term for receiving and managing techniques.

    Most of the Japanese instructors I have trained with use the word quite happily.

    Again a bit of a generalisation on your part I think.

    Folk have to learn the "Omote" (the external shape) of the form first. Frankly, the best way to do this, is to put in their minds eye the scenario you have described.

    Ime this gets them moving more correctly as a starting point anyway.

    Again - a representation rather than an application.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  14. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    GKR Karate students compete successfully and win trophies/medals.
  15. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    Thank you for proving my point.

    Shuto Uke is for grabbing an opponents arm/hand/sleeve with one hand and pulling them onto your shuto which is a strike to the neck. Similar with Age Uke, similar with any uke.

    uke/blocks are not for receiving techniques, they are for receiving the part of the body you are hitting.

    Karate is pre-emotive, not reactive/defensive, that's why kata begin with moves which seize/grab with one hand and strike with the other.
  16. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    Find the right organisation and you can win medals for anything. Hell I have a silver medal for kickboxing in my weight category for one competition because there were only two of us in my weight category with similar experience.

    Medals rarely mean as much as people say they do.
  17. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    I think you have a very singular viewpoint here. I actually see shuto-uke as very little to do with hands and arms and more to do with what you are doing with your whole body.

    I would argue that it should be both.

    Again, a rather narrow minded generalisation.
  18. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

  19. rne02

    rne02 Valued Member

    becasue children aren't taught the true nature of the techniques, they are taught they they are "blocks". The idea was when they became adults the would be taught the real nature of the techniques, but unfortunately it was this children version of Karate that became popular and spread.

    Itosu knew this, which is why he taught children that these techniques were blocks".

    These are accepted facts about the history and transition of karate from a civilian self defence system, to it's introduction into the Okinawan and then Japanese school syllabus and it's subsequent spread around the globe.

    You can't disagree with it just becasue you don't like the sound of it anymore than you can say the world is flat becasue you don't like the idea of it being round.
  20. Hannibal

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

    In GKR competitions

    MMA is a universal ruleset free of style bias so carries weight beyond being just "medals"

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