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Marcus_1
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ITV - Martial Arts : The Real Story

Found this on Youtube today (from around 2000).  Some great, insightful stuff from Geoff Thomspon from around 11 minutes onwards.  Can't believe I missed this first time around!

Black Tiger
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Watched both parts last night really enjoyed them, nice insite into martial arts etc

Good find thanks

Marcus_1
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Like I said, can't believe I missed it first time around.  I would love the chance to train with some of these peopel (especially Geoff - his theory on dojo etiquette it quite impressive and forward thinking).

Black Tiger
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The only issue that got me was the guy with the long hair in the Hakuma with "40" blackbelts. Sorry but how would you get the time to study all these styles.

Marcus_1
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Black Tiger wrote:

The only issue that got me was the guy with the long hair in the Hakuma with "40" blackbelts. Sorry but how would you get the time to study all these styles.

Yeah I found that a bit unbelievable too.  Apparently the majority of his blackbelts are in various weapons systems.  And hey, if the Guiness Book of Records says it is true, who are we to argue?  LOL

Iain Abernethy
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Black Tiger wrote:
The only issue that got me was the guy with the long hair in the Hakuma with "40" blackbelts. Sorry but how would you get the time to study all these styles.

Marcus_1 wrote:
Yeah I found that a bit unbelievable too.  Apparently the majority of his blackbelts are in various weapons systems.  And hey, if the Guinness Book of Records says it is true, who are we to argue?  LOL

The gent is question is Michael Finn and he’s a skilled guy with a sound reputation. If I recall correctly he has “40 black belts in 10 martial arts”. So an average of 4th dan in each – he started training in the 1950s – which is impressive and certainly not beyond the realms of legitimacy. He also was a serving police officer, a police trainer, and he’s been used many times as an expert witness in UK criminal and civil cases involving self-defence, weapons, martial arts, etc. He used to write a lot in the martial arts magazines, but you don’t hear that much from him these days. He’s written a few good books as well. Never met him personally, but I know a few good guys who were students of his.

Sadly, I can understand the scepticism, but Michael Finn is not a self-promoted “multi-master” :-)

All the best,

Iain

Iain Abernethy
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Found this online, which shows Mike Finn would be listed as having 50+ black belts now. As you see, it's impressive, but not outlandish.

All the best,

Iain

Black Belt qualifications undertaken in Japan include:

  • 1st Dan: Shindo Muso Ryu Jojutsu (Traditional Stick)
  • 1st Dan: Kodokan Judo (Judo)    
  • 2nd Dan: All Japan Jodo Federation (Traditional Stick)
  • 3rd Dan: All Japan Aikido Federation (Aikido)
  • 3rd Dan: All Japan Kendo Federation (Japanese Fencing)
  • 3rd Dan: Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido (Traditional Sword)
  • 3rd Dan: Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo (Traditional Stick)    
  • 4th Dan: All Japan Iaido Federation (Traditional Sword)
  • 4th Dan: Japan Karatedo Seikokai - Nunchaku, Rokushakubo, Sai, Tonfa, Kamma 

 

Other Black Belt qualifications include:

  • 1st Dan: Karate (Kyokushinkai)
  • 7th Dan: Dokuritsu Jodo Renmei (Traditional Stick)
  • 6th Dan: Dokuritsu Iaido Renmei (Traditional Sword)
  • 7th Dan: Seiti Tanjo (Short, Medium and Long stick)
  • 7th Dan: Hoshinjutsu (Modern Self Defence)
  • 6th Dan: Ryukyu Kobudo

 

http://www.elite-int.com/expert_witness_qualifs.html

Paul_D
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I don't understand that.  If you're a fourth Dan you don't have four blackbelts, you have one.  If we are going to start adding everything up then I'm a 28th Kyu :-/

Gavin J Poffley
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I guess "40 black belts" sounds much more impressive to the layman and is easier to understand than "An agregate dan ranking of 40 across 15 or so martial syllabi" or something more accurate.

Looking over the actual ranks and disciplines/ organisations involved, this is not unreasonable for a man who would have trained for 50 odd years or so. A great many of those grades (especially the weapons ones) are in very similar and related disciplines which have a massive overlap in technical content. As far as I am aware, Mr Finn trained a lot in Japan and It must also be said that lower dan ranks (up to around 4th) are much more freely given there than is common in Europe and many other places. Not to devalue any of his grades of course, but while a list like this might look outlandish and a little suspect to European martial artists, many of the senior Japanese practitioners have similar legitimate credentials (Plenty of charlatans there too though!).

If he were claiming a 10th dan from the Kyokushinkai honbu, a 10th Dan in Brazillian jujutsu from the Gracie family, a 10th Dan in Aikikai aikido from their honbu and a 10th dan in judo from the Kodokan then something would clearly be amiss, but I don't see a problem here.

Black Tiger
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I suppose it was the Film Makers "enhancing" his credentials to make the film better. Supprised they didn't do a similar thing with the other Masters.

Good programme anyway

sarflondonboydo...
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I trained with Mike Finn in the early 1980s I really enjoyed it he was an excellent instructor and a 110% kosher, I did Judo and the GoshinJutsu kata from Judo with him. I endorse what Gavin said re Dan grades in Japan when I went their to train in the late 1980s the average Japanese grade on the mat were 5th dans and they were considered beginners!!  Me pondlife; in Japan a 1st /2nd is a beginner  grade  much like depending on your method is a yellow belt here. He was a training partner for Donn Drager and also Quetin Chambers who co authored the stick fighting book with Dr Hatsumi.

He is a very interesting person to talk to he was very big on the basics; I am not certain now the new generation of Martial artists would necessary have that patience. I glad I trained with hm even though I went a seperate way. I have got  copy of his police self defence book somewhere.

I do remember seeing this documentry but it was great to see it again; as i picked up on other minor details I didt see the first time around so  many thanks for posting it.