Bull-shido, The Way Of The Bank Balance

Where Bushido encompasses all the positive and admirable virtues, of loyalty, integrity and honesty, Bull-shido represents exactly the opposite.

It’s a phrase, along with ‘Mcdojo,’ which has gained much popularity over the last few years and has come to encompass all that is bad in the martial arts world. – there’s even a website dedicated to the subject of Bull-shido (spelt Bullshido in their case) and the fraudsters populating the martial arts world.

Bull-shido takes many forms, some are not so obvious and only reveal themselves when it is too late or the student has wasted time and money pursuing a false dream. These are just some of the more infamous and easily recognisable examples.

Fake Lineage

This is when a martial arts teacher claims to have been either, a select personal student of an eastern martial arts master, or has trained with him for a number of years, when all the evidence proves otherwise – their poor or non-existant knowledge of the language and no record of the so called training period.

They endorse the fabrication by posting faked photos on their website and create a fictitious history about their training and competition achievements, often making outrageous claims regarding ‘near death’ tournaments and fictitious trophies.

When challenged, students of the fraudster will leap vociferously to their ‘master’s’ defence without any heed paid to the questions raised about their teacher’s pedigree. No names mentioned but seek them out, they’re easy to find.

False & Dangerous Over Confidence

Styles, instructor’s and students who adamantly claim that what they practise is the perfect combat solution and nothing else comes close. Instructors usually instil an air of dangerous over confidence in their students by telling them that they are “a well oiled ass kicking machine.” Other phrases like ‘trained to kill’ and ‘fear is a country visited by the weak,’ also populate their vocabulary. Avoid at all costs – these people are dangerous, not to you necessarily, but definitely to themselves!

The Distance Learning Course

Do you know that you can now learn to drive a car from the comfort of your home, without ever leaving your front room, stepping in to a car or negotiating traffic? COURSE NOT it’s b*******! So why then are there idiots out there who reckon you can learn a martial art at home, without ever stepping into a dojo. Follow their rigorous training videos, film yourself performing the drills and send the tapes off for assessment. Do this over the set period of the programme and you’ll earn yourself a black belt. It would be funny if weren’t so true.

Of course, the primary objective of these schemes is to part you with your money. Save yourself a fortune, go down to your nearest sports shop and buy yourself a black belt it’ll be worth just as much as the one your paid several hundred pounds for.

You Will Grade When We Tell/Want You To.

Classic this one. Grade every three months whether you’re ready or not. Pay your grading fee, fail and pay it again in another three months. Of course it’s your money you’re entitled to waste (sorry spend) it on whatever you want to.

The Seminar Inducement

I have a seminar coming up next week, £20 to attend. I’d like as many students as possible to be there to support the event, if you can’t make it due to other commitments I’ll understand. Of course those that do attend will be on the priority list for the next grading, those that don’t will go to the back of the queue. Nuff said.

The Dragonball Z

This is where practitioners of a particular style are encouraged to ‘utililise’ and focus their ‘chi’ skills at the expense of actual physical combat techniques. Chi is so strong that once mastered you can conjure up and hurl invisible energy fireballs at your opponent and render them helpless. So, why bother learning any physical stuff when the ‘jedi way’ works just as well. To prove it stand back and prepared to be mesmerized while the instructor fires energy blasts at his students and sends them falling to the ground dazed, confused and sometimes unconscious.

Then watch the amazement on his face when he fires those same energy balls at you while you just stand there blinking, wondering what it’s all about. Although ‘chi’ as a body energy flow undoubtedly exists, harnessing its force and hurling it at somebody as a self defence method is about as useful as attacking someone with a cheese flan. Repeat after me: ‘I am not a Street Fighter Character.’

Fast Track Black Belt

Want to be a black belt? Can’t wait two years (wow, two years as long as that!) then why not take up our ‘fast track black belt’ programme only available to selected students who show great potential and ability – that’s basically any student walking into their school with ‘dumbass’ stamped on their forehead.

They say that money is the root of all evil, in the martial arts community it’s the root of most stupidity. We Can Promise You A Black Belt! Excuse me! How? How can you possibly know when a student walks through the door of your school that he/she is:
willing to put the work in, capable or even black belt material. An instructor may have the desire to train all his students up to worthy black belt candidates but how the hell are they supposed to make a decision based on a five minute introduction and enquiry?

Oh! Of course I forgot, they’ve just flashed their wallet under your nose, obvious really, sorry I asked. Add to this the obscenity the novel creation of the 11 year old 3rd dan and the list goes on and on.

Of course some people’s definition of Bull-shido also includes martial arts that they personally feel are ineffectual. This is an unfair and simplistic view. Most combat/fighting styles have some worth, what qualifies the style or school as bull-shido are the standards, strategies and ethics employed by the school to entice students, hang on to them, advertise their wares and most important of all make loads of money.

So beware, if alarm bells start ringing when you visit a school and listen to the spiel, a fire is sure to break out sooner or later.