Cool . . . . Oleg Volk t-shirts. He's popping up all over the place!
If you like those, you might want to look at www.volkstudio.com for Oleg's own gallery of stuff for sale. He's got some neat prints there, too. For a HUGE archive of his work along with his thoughts on self-defense and radical politics, check out www.a-human-right.com
WWW.A-Human-Right.com is basically Oleg's polemic against gun control and collectivism. Oleg was born and raised in the Soviet Union before coming here, so his thoughts on individualism vs. statism are more developed--and much more radical--than most Americans you'll meet. Fascinating guy.
No, but I agree that I would be very skeptical. Not saying it couldn't be a legitimate way of producing someone with a good grounding in fighting--what would Vince teach me if he owned me night and day for six weeks straight?--but I would be VERY cautious. Sounds like they appeal to the paramilitary fantasy stuff a lot of people have.
Not much experience. I can tell you what I've learned from talking to a couple of students, plus some of the work done at Bullshido:
1. Krav Maga. Ranges from pretty good to awful. Theoretically a brutal, simple, no-nonsense art, and theoretically they spar with some aliveness and are attempting to integrate BJJ and Judo for grappling. However, there are competing "styles" and Krav Maga World Wide has been pushing very hard to expand over the last few years. They haven't been very careful about who can run a Krav Maga school, so you have a lot of TKD instructors who've trained for a week (literally, a seven eight-hour days of training at a central location) and now have added Krav Maga to their signs. It seems many of these people are teaching TKD with a few "dirty Krav Maga tricks" added on. Bullshido busted a guy who called himself "Tiger Klay" in Texas (in the same town as Klay Pittman of BJJ fame--no coincidence.) He was and is a total mess with all sorts of fraud going on, but here's how he taught Krav Maga: He got certified up to the orange belt level in either Haganah or F.I.G.H.T., I forget which. That qualified him to promote people up to yellow belt. Then he quietly "founded his own style" called Israeli Attack Self Defense System and promoted himself to 5th Degree Black Belt. He told potential students that Mike Lee Kanarek of Krav Maga would recognize any belt he certified, including black belts. In the meantime, when he tested students, he would print out certificates on his inkjet with the logos of both Krav Maga organizations, but actually stating that the student was certified in IASDS. Most students never noticed. The Krav Maga World Wide people not only didn't stop him, there's evidence that some of them tried to help him cover this up. If you're brave enough, you can go to www.bullshido.net/forums and search for "Tiger Klay." Be warned, the thread is several thousand posts and runs the gamut from fake BJJ and Krav Maga to fake MMA credentials to fake Australian citizenship to fake Russian mob ties to hot checks and identity theft. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll run a credit check on yourself.
2. Systema . . . . again, runs the gamut. The bad is very bad--psychic no-touch knockouts by Vladimir Ryabko, for instance. The good is apparently OK, but not as revolutionary as they claim it is. Then again, what is?
Still working on it, big guy. So far they don't seem as bad as some I've talked to. What I want is to talk to some of the fighters they claim to have trained. Parham says he trained Big John Dixson, who's been fighting MMA since the first IFC tournament, and Mike Sciortino, who won in that first IFC, and he seems to be implying that he trained Melvin Guillard.
I can't quite read these guys. They claim to be mixing boxing with Judo with maybe some African throwing/wrestling in there somewhere--well, that sounds pretty good, right? But the students talk more like disciples and they claim a 6,000 year lineage back through the royal line of Ethiopia and the Knights of St. Anthony.
Hi guys, I'm looking into an art called "Comba-Tai." It has some weird history claims that throw up some red flags, but it's starting to look like they train fighters who do OK in mid-to-high-level MMA, and maybe a couple of guys who did very well in the pioneering days.
I'm interested in hearing from anyone who knows Soke Mylemu Alonzo Jones or Master Robert Parham in particular. Don't really know why I'm asking here except that these guys have a strong judo influence, they make very serious Christian theology a big part of what they do and I thought maybe Vince or someone here might have encountered them along the way.
The short version seems to be that the Texas DPS training program has had a death occur during their "live" sparring module. They refer to this as "boxing." The trainee had an existing concussion and was struck hard enough to cause trauma resulting in death. As a result, the DPS is abandoning that part of the training altogether. I'm on dial-up at the moment, so I'm not reading the 68-page PDF report online, but here it is for what it's worth.