7 Questions With Grandmaster Shen;The Grandmaster Breaks His Silence!

Recently Grandmaster Shen descended from his mountain dojo “The Shendokan” to share his wisdom and enlighten us on a number of topics related to the arte suave.

Jiu-jitsu Times: It is an honour to have you with Jiu-jitsu Times, Grandmaster Shen. There are a lot of frauds and fake black belts out there in the BJJ world. How can a student be sure that their school is legit?

GM Shen: Well, if you carefully study the history of the art, you’ll see a lot of people
with the same last name promoting one another. Is that nepotism? Coincidence? I
can’t rightfully say, but stuff like that does make you wonder. Personally, all I know is I
wasn’t given my Red Belt by some uncle; I earned it 100% by myself. So, when I promoted me, it was a huge honor and to get it from myself so young was a double honor.

I take self promotions very seriously and have ZERO tolerance for those who would abuse them. So, if your BJJ school has a lineage with the same last name recurring more than once, proceed with caution.

Jiu-jitsu Times: I have heard that the Shendokan adheres to a more traditional martial arts approach, where in addition to paying membership fees, the students must go through an apprenticeship program before they are allowed to learn the real techniques. What is involved in this early apprenticeship process?

GM Shen: Unfortunately, due to a pending legal situation, I can’t discuss details. But, over the years, I’ve learned that if a student balks at something minor like alleged, unauthorized online purchases I may have made in their name, it’s usually a red flag. It’s definitely a sign that they’re not ready for advanced training and they won’t be, until they learn to trust their own Master.

Jiu-jitsu Times: What do you think of adding belts in BJJ?

GM Shen: It must always be done according to science. All the new belts which I’ve discovered including melon, sage, amaranth, and carnelianwere are based on an in-depth study of both the color spectrum and human learning patterns. I’ve determined through science that a proper BJJ curriculum should have EXACTLY 27 different colored belts (not counting stripes). If your school has fewer, you may want to contact the Shen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association for an updated rank chart.

Jiu-jitsu Times: Lately, there has been much discussion of online training. What are your thoughts?

GM Shen: I think it best to combine online with being in class. After our students bow in, my assistant instructor Lonnie (3 stripe Cyan Belt) logs them onto that day’s lesson. I myself have a severe cotton allergy that’s always prevented me from rolling but that didn’t stop me from getting a Red Belt!

That’s why we don’t live roll at the Shendokan. There’s simply no need to.

Like I say in class, “when you have a gun in your pocket, you don’t need to shoot someone three times a week just to make sure it really works!”

Of course, not everything we teach is online. I still do keep the most secret techniques hidden in a stack of Black Belt Magazines locked in my ex-step mom’s garage, where I also happen to live, currently.

Jiu-jitsu Times: How do you run classes at the Shendokan? Do you teach sports techniques like the berimbolo or more of a street self defense style?

GM Shen: While I am very familiar with all the latest “sport” moves like the Barbarello,
I’m much more about street defense.

But we don’t just train for streets, we also train for alleys, footpaths, trails, esplanades each, of course, with a separate curriculum. But, as a school, we’re also very much about serving the larger community. We do this by offering public service classes, like “PetSAFE!” which is a program offering basic self-defense and assertiveness training for use against household animals.

Trust me, just to see a student’s confidence soar around a dominant Siamese or Yorkie who had previously bullied them, is amazing!!!

Jiu-jitsu Times: What advice do you have for students who wish to apply for tutelage
at the Shendokan?

GM Shen: There’s a saying, “When the student is ready, the master will appear” and appear I do, at foreclosures, cult survivor singles’ mixers, bus stations, court-mandated parenting classes – I never quite know where I’ll find new students.

While obviously not everyone is Shendokan material, if they have the means, the rewards are immeasurable and include things like free pizza Fridays, karaoke sleepovers, and an 11% discount on off-season merchandise at Raging Waters.

Jiujitsu Times: Any final words?

GM Shen: While there are many famous names in BJJ who’ve never discovered a new belt or helped stop an abusive pet, I’m content with where I am. I live my life 100% in the light, unlike some, who while they haven’t done much to deserve it, are inexplicably more famous.
Funny, I think I’ve been voted “Grandmaster of the Year” something like six years running by the Shen Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Association. But you know, it’s just not the kind of thing I feel any need to mention.

Unlike some others, who I can tell you for a fact WOULD bring something like that up. But some of us get to the point where humility isn’t an act. Where we are truly so suffused with inner peace, we’re beyond petty concerns. It’s an amazing feeling!

But, I can definitely give you some names of guys who aren’t. Big names, too.
It’s not even a problem… just let me know. OSS!


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