Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Controversial James Lacy
"God save us from the Vikings"
Who then, my friends is this noble Viking Warrior?
Who is this Monster Barbarian we see poised to strike us down?
Ah, fellow Dojo Rats, This man may be the ultimate Dojo Rat. This is James Patrick Lacy, allegedly Grandmaster of the "18 Daoist Palms".
Lacy is most famous as being the guy that smashes coconuts with palm, elbow and heel strikes. The coconut is often refered to as the closest thing to the human skull as far as necessary smashing power, and Lacy can smash the crap out of coconuts.
You can view his website, Mew Hing's Eighteen Daoist Palms, at THIS LINK.
Lacy's website is a damned good archive of his long progress in martial arts. From what he documents, he began studying Kenpo from a direct student of Ed Parker, driving his old VW bus out of the Redwoods and traveling thirty miles for training. He did well in the Kenpo system, and credits it with an important part of his early training. As his experiance expanded, he met an instructor named Parker Linekin, who became his early mentor.
On Lacy's website, he has several video's that include Parker Linekin demonstrating Yang style Tai Chi Chuan in solo form, partner form and application. This guy is good, and may be the best of all of Lacy's instructors. His Yang form and applications are spot on and the partner form is the same one I learned, with variations.
Lacy went on to work with other master-level instructors, but in my opinion from the videos shown, Parker Linekin was the best.
Some ten or more years ago, I got a hold of a "Panther Productions" publication, which featured martial arts videos. I actually bought a copy of James Lacy's Dim Mak video. So I pulled it out of my video library and gave it another viewing, after many, many years.
Let's get one thing: Lacy is a very powerful, big guy. he breaks coconuts with his palm. We would not want to get hit by this guy.
With this said, the Dim Mak video was a little static, without much movement. He made a point of saying that his original lineage Dim Mak needs no set-up points, as does those of Ryukyu Kenpo, for example. Granted, he gets right to the kill zones or those that would seriously rupture organs. Think Coconut.
But the system he displays on the website (like many systems) is way too heavy on forms and not enough on drills and applications. How many forms do we need? My opinion is we all need more interactive LIVE drills with partners, repeated in loops over and over. But enough of me, this about Lacy. I'm guessing some of his video's display what I am refering to.
Here's where things get a little wierd; Lacy has this disclaimer:
To Those Involved In The Smear Campaign Against Me
"As a two-strike felon who Ed Parker once said "had experienced both sides of the law...and has much to offer in these times that confront us," I will share the method I must as an individual use in any self defense situation. It goes like this:
I am all about the legal implications. As a two-strike felon, my philosophy is simple; 'real life.' Any punk can come spend a felony to give me a reason to defend myself legally. Then bring a camera while I make the citizen's arrest. Folks can talk smack...I don't observe. But in real life, I flip on the recorder, tell them its on and proceed to adhere and remind them of verbal, retreat, excusable homicide, justifiable homicide laws and case law if they are still listening. I tell them the penal code they are breaking and whether a felony or misdemeanor is being committed.. If the person is larger and stronger, younger and stronger, has a weapon, or there are two or more, I can use equal force, especially as a disabled person legally...thus my skills after warning them of the skills for the recorder, could be legally used. I also explain the first will be treated according to my self defense rights under the situation, and in the case of two or more, remind them that the others will be charged too for the damage (legally), that I cause. This is my street smart gift to you."
Signed: Grandmaster (Jung Shee) James Patrick Lacy
7th generation Five Elder Monk Mew Hing's 18 Daoist Palms
42499 Old Hwy. 80
P.O. Box 427
Jacumba, CA 91934
*Authorized Neighborhood Watch Captain December 2003
(D.R.) Now, I am no stranger to getting in trouble with authorities, been there, done that. But Lacy appears to have to protect his liberty as well as his reputation and life if threatened. Let's face it, we live in a hugely litigigous society and we could all face legal issues under certain self-defense situations. I don't blame Lacy for setting preconditions for a throwdown.
But it gets stranger: Here is one of Lacy's Masters disowning him as a student and inheritor-
Now, I chock this up to the fact that James Lacy has a better bussiness model than one of his past masters, who resents him for his success.
But here's where everyone begins to have issues.
Nobody likes a diploma mill, and it simply does not advance any art. Mail order martial arts are frowned on for good reasons.
This does not mean that James Lacy doesn't carry water, I believe him to be an accomplished martial artist. In fact, I kind of like Lacy from his website information and video stuff. He expresses a true spiritual belief, and there is open adoration for his mother. His wife has a link to spiritual and healing arts that the couple found to be an important theme in their life and teaching. And despite his aggressive appearance he seems like a guy I would really like to have a Beer with and discuss martial arts.
I would reccomend taking a look at Lacy's website, linked above. There is a very detailed video archive of his Martial experiances which is worth the viewing.
Especially look at the Parker Linekin Tai Chi Chuan stuff, that is the gold.
I would say drop some of the forms, they are not what one needs to learn the system.
All-in-all, I kind of like Lacy and invite his response to my commentary...