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Wellness / February 3, 2016

Beware of Impostor Martial Arts Instructors

Written by: Mike Powers

Passion is good. But if that passion is not based on trusted information, then it could get you into trouble and potentially make you look foolish at the same time. As the saying goes, zeal without wisdom is dangerous.

So it is with this preamble that we heed the following warning. There are a growing number of “fake” Black Belts and martial arts schools that we have noticed. These schools and instructors stoke people’s passions for martial arts but provide no tangible instruction that is useful in real-life situations. Not unlike magicians and their fancy costumes and slight of hand. They direct you to the pageantry but not the technical and practical application of the art.


“zeal without wisdom is dangerous ”

For example, the “No touch” martial arts scam artists who are disguising themselves as martial artist. They are teaching that you can throw someone or hit someone without even touching them. Although this maybe true on your Xbox or Playstation, this clearly is not reality. This is an extreme example but probably one of the most ridiculous spectacles that we have seen.

Check out this 2 min YouTube clip of a real fight with a no touch martial artist getting a beating in a challenge:

The Internet is full of these impostors that believe their own lies! The problem is that it may seem attractive to many adults that don’t know any better and then they bring their children into the fold just to be exposed to these belligerent lies. The real question is that do you want a Black Belt that was easy to get and just for bragging rights and storytelling, or do you want to work hard at something that will get you in shape and teach you real-world practical self-defense skills? We would recommend that latter.

So how do I pick an instructor?
The right instructor and mentor can completely change your life. However you need to shop around, try classes and get referrals from other people. A good way to know if you have picked a real black belt or an effective martial art is to research the lineage and history of the martial art and or instructor himself.

Consider the following questions as you go down the path of choosing the right school and the right instructor for you.

  1. Does this martial art and or instructor have any proven history of being in actual fighting situations? i.e. competitions, professional fight history, videos, medals, or magazine articles.
  2. Has that martial art and or instructor been tested and proven?
  3. Who is the instructor that gave him his black belt? Is he proven?
  4. Does the martial art or instructor have valid references?

The truth is that there is no such thing as a death blow or a secret touch to defend yourself. That only works in Star Wars. So stay away from these secret unproven martial arts. A little research can save you a lot of headache.

about the author

Mike Powers

Mike Powers is a 2nd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, under Rodrigo Medreiros in San Diego, CA. He now lives in Hong Kong teaching Jiu Jitsu and MMA with hundreds of students.

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