You get What You Pay For…

So, one of the more interesting things this weekend was a little “spat” I engaged in over on a certain forum with an indie author touting his new ebook, a guide for women to prevent rape.

Regular readers of this blog know that one of the things I care most about is making sure people have the tools to keep themselves safe. When I read the post trumpeting this particular book, I wanted to investigate a little further. The author’s bio reads as follows:

“I began my martial arts studies by entering private classes in Wing Chun Kung Fu in 1980. I passed my fifth level black belt test on November 25, 1987, and became a master in Wing Chun Kung Fu and Chinese Ninja. For years, I have studied martial arts. During those years, I’ve had the privilege to teach many girls and women. Most of these females ranged in age from eight to thirty. I have taught rape prevention seminars, and demonstrated the techniques that you will learn in this book. I know that these techniques are effective in women’s self-defense. I have taken in and instructed females who frankly seemed hopeless, yet after teaching them the basic concepts contained within this book, they left my private instruction with the confidence that they need never fear rape again. I didn’t always have the desire to teach women these rape prevention techniques. On the contrary, the first three years that I taught martial arts I concentrated almost exclusively on teaching men. ”

So, in other words, this guy started training in Wing Chun and seven years later was already a 5th degree black belt? Huh? Given that most martial arts schools take anywhere from 3-5 years to promote to a 1st degree black belt, the idea that this guy was a 5th degree in just seven years seemed a little…rushed. Of course, this was quickly overshadowed by the fact that he also claims to be a Chinese Ninja.


Allow me to put this as succinctly as possible, just so there’s no confusion: there is no such thing as Chinese ninja.

When I pointed this out, he quickly pointed to a book (the book in question has been around a long time is a source of unstoppable laughter in the martial arts community, having been acknowledged to be the work of a white guy who took a Chinese name to give the BS he wrote more credibility) as evidence of the fact that Chinese Ninja existed. More dramatics ensued. And I then took a few key points out of the excerpt from this “ultimate” book he’d written on rape prevention to task for their sheer stupidity. namely, when the author suggested that women trapped in a bathroom while their attacker pounds on the door outside might be well-served by using a lighter attached to an aerosol of some type (presumably hair spray) to concoct their own flamethrower.

One of his other suggestions was to use a towel “like a whip to the eyes of the attacker.”

This was a one-page excerpt from his groundbreaking treatise on rape prevention. Judging from his bio and the tactics he advocates, it’s pretty safe to assume that the only thing he might possibly offer is BAD ADVICE.

Therein lies the problem with a lot of what passes as sound information in the realm of self-protection. It’s just bad. This guy (maybe) studied Wing Chun for 7 years and claimed to be a 5th degree black belt. That’s ridiculous. Wing Chun is a good style and the practitioners I know would probably shake their heads at a guy like this pretending to be a master when he’s anything but. Add to that the claim that he’s also a Chinese Ninja, followed by the horrible techniques and you’ve got the makings of someone reading this piece of crap, trying this bad advice, and finding themselves in an even worse situation.

Be careful out there. As practitioners of authentic Ninjutsu for over 20+ years, the men I train with and I have all seen the thousands of scam artists out there purporting to be this master or that Ninja/CIA super spy/Rambo/Batman/whatever. They’re always out for a quick buck and know they can fleece a lot of people because not everyone does their research before they plunk down their money for lessons. Tragically, some of them even write books.

This guy was charging a dollar for his book on wicked neat-o rape prevention techniques.

That’s far more than it’s worth.

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  • Ari April 26, 2010  

    The best advice I ever got about being safe was to be aware of where you are and who is around you. Could go on forever about this but needless to say not going to buy his book…

  • admin April 26, 2010  

    Well said, Ari. Thanks for chiming in!

  • Ken Savage April 26, 2010  


    Good for you taking this snake oil salesman to task…


  • admin April 26, 2010  

    Thanks Ken – much appreciated!

  • Jonathan Ross April 26, 2010  

    Great article. People like this, exploiting the fear and possible pain of others and possibly endagering them. This guy totally needed an ethical wakeup call. Just thinking about it makes my teeth grind.

  • admin April 26, 2010  

    Thanks Jonathan – that was pretty much my view on it as well. There’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with teaching others how to protect themselves and this guy was being horribly reckless.

  • Cassandra April 26, 2010  

    pay for belt schools and teachers are the most dangerous thing out there. better to know not a single technique and at least have the protection of caution then to know bad technique and be walking around thinking you no longer have to worry. people have enough bad ideas all on their own.

    unfortunately with martial arts there is so much crap out there. there is actually a quite well known school the “master” of which awarded himself his 10th degree. i went to a few NWMAF special trainings and so you meet girls and women from all over the country studying a gazillion different types of martial arts and i saw 6 and 7 year old black belts. AFAIC, there is no such thing – if you started in the womb you still aren’t ready. but in all the workshops available – i don’t recall a single “rape prevention” class because from a physical defense standpoint there is no difference in how you protect yourself.

    the guy would make more money and do these women a better service by opening a gun shop.

    i’ll cut myself off there 😉

  • John Hamilton May 7, 2010  

    Hi Jon, I wandered onto your website after seeing your activity on the Kindle Boards (I’m an author as well), then saw this thread and just had to comment. I’ve been practicing martial arts for 20+ years and have encountered a lot of idiots like the guy you described. With three daughters myself, it really burns my biscuits that guys like this give out dangerous advice that get women killed. Good for you for calling him out.

  • admin May 7, 2010  

    Thanks John – yeah, he’s over on the Kindle Boards forum, too. It’s a shame more people over there didn’t listen when he got called out…anyway thanks for stopping by!

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