For years, "The Monkey" has used the internet to write a blog about those he considers to be martial arts "frauds and fakes." Going through the list of everyone featured, some definitely are dubious and some definitely aren't. I won't go into detail on each individual featured on his site, but instead will focus on my own personal experience with him.
Not wanting to wait until an "exposé" appeared without attempting to clear up some of the misinformation I know is floating around, I contacted him myself. He asked about the ranks I hold, and unlike what I have done in the past I actually provided copies of my certifications to hopefully put this matter to rest (I will include a list of such at the end of this article so there is no misunderstanding of what I actually claim). Then of course, that wasn't good enough because while they exist, the people who issued them to me must be dubious since he couldn't fathom how it's possible they are truly earned. Regardless, I felt my obligation to prove that I am neither lying about my credentials or fraudulent in my claims had been met and so made the following invitation:
There is nothing I can do to stop this monkey business. If he wants to write an article declaring me or my instructor a fraud with all of his "evidence," he's going to. I am sure the article will go something like "you're too young to have achieved everything you have" or "it's impossible to learn so much in such a short period of time." He may even reference some old forums that are over a decade old as if that lends legitimacy to his stance. I will freely admit that when I first was starting out on my own, I made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of claims that weren't really called for, got hooked up with some people I should've have and was not the most legitimate in how I portrayed myself. Not that it's an excuse, as I take full responsibility for my actions, but I was also 16 at the time. If we can all be condemned to death based on our actions as a teenager, I'm really curious to see what skeletons people are hiding.
After all, we cannot forget the simple truth that martial arts are quite literally skills of war and while pieces of paper are cool, they pale in importance to physical ability and knowledge. Certifications are only as valuable as the respect you have for the person signing it, and are meant to serve solely as recognition of progress. Everyone has their own standards for such, and there are no universal regulations for how they are issued.
Now, if someone sincerely wanted to learn the truth about me, why wouldn't they take an all expense paid vacation to sunny Florida? Turning down that invitation proves such an "investigation" is nothing more than an internet bullying campaign designed to tear down others to satisfy one's lack of self esteem with no real interest in the truth. And in the real world, if you make an accusation you better be able to prove it with supporting documents and not just your opinion or ad absurdum arguments.
I will admit, all of this is irrelevant as anyone respectable in the martial arts community stays away from drama like that and I've seen firsthand how little impact Lordus Sapiens' articles actually have on those previously featured, who continue to run successful schools and organizations with some of the highest skilled martial artists of our generation. Even if he chooses to write a slanderous article about us, it will do nothing to change how we function. Those who respect us do so because we've earned it on the mat, and my doors are always open to respectful visitors who are genuinely interested in learning more about what we do. So Lordus, if this is how you need to get your kicks on a Wednesday night, go for it. I have class to teach...
What I Actually Claim:
Founder - San Budo Sogo Bugei
Inheritor - American Yoshinkan Aiki Jujutsu (from Steven Hatfield)
Inheritor - Satori Ryu Kokusai Goju Kai (from Steven Hatfield)
5th Dan - Jidokwan Taekwondo (from the HQ in Korea)
5th Dan - Kojido Jutsu (from Dell Sharpe)
4th Dan - Goju Ryu Kudokan (from William Valdes)
4th Dan - Ryukyu Te (from Leon Major)
2nd Dan - Kempo Jiu Jitsu (from Silvio Crino)
2nd Dan - Kontei Judo (from Steven Hatfield)
1st Dan - Nihon Tetsuken Ryu Karate (from Chad Love)