Ninjas: Can't live with them, can't live without them! In mid-2006, Bullshido met Paul Williams, a 21-year-old alleged Ninja from Washington state, after a visitor innocently asked about Mr. William's qualifications to teach. What followed was one of our more interesting threads during which Mr. Williams and his stories came apart under pressure testing. Oldman34, one of our supporting members, provides this thread writeup and followup investigation, demonstrating why its better to avoid those pesky ninjers. Needless to say, Oldman34 found that William's claims were even more baseless then they originally appeared to be.
The original thread can be found here.
Just another installment in "To Catch a Ninjer" :)
On June 12, 2006, the Bullshido community was introduced to G-Way Ninjitsu and Martial Arts Academy on this thread. Radeera, a Bullshido member who posted about the school, stated that G-Way had opened close to him and appeared to be making some questionable claims. Radeera then met with the school owner and Head Instructor, Mr. Paul Williams. Mr. Williams claimed that he has a rice scroll sent to him by Grand Master Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, the founder of the Bujinkan Dojo martial arts Organization. Williams later denied saying this, and Radeera admitted that he may have been mistaken about this claim. Mr. Williams also told Radeera that he was able to trace his Jeet Kune Do instructor’s lineage all the way back to Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kune Do.
Bullshido members found Mr. William's Myspace page to be a source of even more dubious martial arts claims. Mr. Williams later removed this page from Myspace. Posters on Bullshido.net then extended an invitation for Mr. Williams to come to Bullshido.net and explain the questionable aspects of his claimed. Mr. Williams came to Bullshido.net and began trying to defend himself in badly written English. After being thoroughly questioned and refusing to provide any verification, Mr. Williams threatened to sue both Bullshido and the members participating in the thread. He claimed that he had contacted a lawyer about such a suit and even had a Private Investigator recording all of the members’ IP addresses. Later, Mr. Williams indicated that he would not be pursuing legal action.
Throughout William's posts, he contradicted himself multiple times and ultimately invoked the welfare of his unborn daughter and another 10 children, saying that he was only trying to take care of his family by doing what he knew how to do. Keep in mind that Mr. Williams is now only 21 years old (see below). Despite his age, Mr. Williams claimed not only to have a vast experience in multiple martial arts, including creating a style of his own, but also appears to be claiming he found the time to father a family of 11.
Radeera went to the school a second time, this time at the request of Mr. Williams, who wanted to provide proof of his certifications. The only certification available was his Tae Kwon Do certification. The Original Poster admitted that he didn’t have the martial arts experience to determine if this certification was legit. Radeera reiterated that his lack of martial arts experience is why he initially came to Bullshido.net about G-Way Martial Arts Academy.
Mr. Williams has made some grandiose claims about himself to his students and on his myspace.com page. Those claims include:
In 15 years of martial arts study, he has earned Black Belts in Ninpo, Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo. He also claimed to have reached the Fifth Phase of Jeet Kune Do. Mr. Williams initially refused to provide the last names of his instructors to protect them against "false accusations".
Mr. Williams then claimed to have gotten his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in September 2004 from “Jung C. Kim.” Mr. Williams wrote: “Jung C. Kim I have no idea who he is or where he is that was a seminar test. So he could be someone or noone. bet he was good at the seminar [sic]”.
Mr Williams claimed his Jeet Kune Do training came from one “sophorn” in December 2005. Mr. Williams did not identify “sophorn”, except to say that “alex” was his nickname. According to Mr. Williams, “sophorn” was taught by a certified Jeet Kun Do Instructor whom Mr. Williams refers to as “Adrian something.” Mr. Williams also claimed that “Adrian” learned Jeet Kun Do either from Dan (presumably Dan Inosanto) or from an instructor one step removed from “Dan”.
Mr. Williams stated that he began training in Kenpo in 1993, when he was in the third grade. Mr. Williams said he doesn’t remember the name of the school. He claimed to have tested at a seminar for his Black Belt in July. Mr. Williams did not know the name of the person teaching the seminar.
Mr. Williams claimed to have earned his Ninpo Black Belt in January 2006. He said he studied many books and DVDs and attended seminars before attaining his Black Belt, which he tested for at a seminar. He does not know exactly who tested him for his Black Belt, but claims it was one of ‘Glenn Morris’ people.’ He said that he has a rice paper certificate to verify this claim and “its stamped so you know its real [sic].” Mr. Williams was unable or unwilling to provide the name of the instructor teaching him higher rank material.
Mr. Williams stated that his Ninpo lineage comes directly from Masaaki Hatsumi, founder of the Bujinkan Dojo. He later recanted this claim by saying that he does not have a Kyu Rank in the Bujinkan because his “people” branched away [from the Bujinkan Dojo] a long time ago.
Mr. Williams provided an inconsistent timeline of his martial arts training. He stated that he started taking Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo when he was 5 year olds, which conflicts with his earlier statement of having begun in Kenpo in 1993, while he was in the 3rd grade. Mr. Williams later said he started Kenpo when he was 9 years old.
Mr. Williams stated he trained in Jeet Kune Do from age 16 to 17. Mr. Williams claimed to have reached Fifth Phase in Jet Kune Do Concepts in one year.
Mr. Williams said he studied Ninpo between the ages of 18 and 19. He also said that he is a Certified Black Belt in this art.
Mr. Williams claimed to have created his own martial arts style, called Shugenja, which he identifies as his version of Jeet Kun Do. Mr. Williams said he created this style after 2 years of research using books, videos, and his martial arts training, and further claimed that Bruce Lee would stand by him in his endeavor.
Mr. Williams explained Shugenja by writing: “The SHUGENJA were the people who practiced Shugendo, also known as Yamabushi....I chose that name as there is a Yamabushi dojo in Spokane....I changed it to Shugenja as they were a huge influence at that time in medieval Japan...do your research; a phony would not know this stuff [edited for spelling and grammatical errors]”.
Mr. Williams wears a 4th Degree Black Belt when he teaches.
Mr. Williams claimed that he is certified to teach XMA Classes.
The School has changed its number from the one listed on the flyer. The number on the flyer is his mother's home telephone number, while the new number is (509)545-0990. In a phone conversation on 2/10/2007, Mr. Williams stated that his school is no longer open, but he is currently in the process of moving the school to a new location. He did offer to provide private instruction to the author of this article at the author’s residence.
Analysis of Claims
Many members of Bullshido have provided evidence that contradicts Mr. Williams’ claims. It is notable that Mr. Williams has revised some of his martial arts claims in the face of such contradictory information.
Mr. Williams said that he wears a 4th Degree Black belt to represent the total of four Black Belts he has earned. He later said that he will no longer do this, since it is a misrepresentation of his skills.
Shugenja, the name of the martial art created by Mr. Williams, is a Dungeons and Dragons character class. According to several source books, the Shugenja is a character class that uses magic and is not bound by the Bushido code (Oriental Adventures, 1st Edition, TSR, 1985 and page 10 of The Complete Divine, Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
Historically, the Religion practiced by the Yamabushi was called Shugendo, which contradicts what Mr. Williams asserted.
Mr. Williams is unwilling or unable to prove any proof that he currently teaches or has ever taught County Correctional Officers. A February 13, 2007 phone call to his contact, Cory Curtis (Post 256), of the Franklin County, Washington, Sheriff’s Department (509.545.3549) revealed that Mr. Williams was not a martial arts instructor for County Corrections Officers. Mr. Curtis stated that he had never heard of Mr. Williams or the G-Way Ninjitsu and Martial Arts Academy, and that he wasn’t aware of any of Corrections Officers training in martial arts.
Mr. Williams has refused to back up the claims of his style’s superiority by sparring with anyone. He has made numerous statements indicating he does not want to fight anyone. He later recanted the claim of his style's invincibility.
Although Mr. Williams’ claim to have 10 or 11 children is not relevant to his martial arts claims, they are indicative of Mr. Williams’ propensity to exaggerate or lie about his personal experiences and accomplishments. Mr. Williams is unable or unwilling to provide proof of the size of his family. It is notable that he did not clarify if he was referring to his students as “children,” despite being asked for such clarification.
Bullshido contacted the martial arts Industry Association (MAIA) to verify Mr. Williams’ claim of being certified to teach XMA. On February 13, 2007, Mrs. Joanna Claude (firstname.lastname@example.org), of MAIA, sent the following response:
From the information you gave me I cannot confirm nor deny that Mr. Williams is a certified XMA School . There is a possibility that the license is under a different name, or that he did not purchase the program from MAIA. If you could provide me with a phone number or address I could possibly give you better results. In the meantime if you don’t mind me asking are you a XMA school instructor yourself or are you a martial art student looking for a certified XMA school in your area?
martial arts Industry Association
Mr. Williams is unable or unwilling to provide proof that he is adequately trained to teach a Women’s Self Defense Course. He stated that he teaches “Disarms and stuff from Ninpo”.
In conclusion, it easy to see that Mr. Williams appears to be guilty of gross misrepresentation of his martial arts background at the very least, and of out and out lying or fraud at the worst.
If you are thinking about training at G-Way Ninjitsu and Martial Arts Academy, bear in mind that Mr. Williams has not provided any proof of his claimed and has even backed down from some of his earlier contentions under scrutiny.