Monday, June 4, 2007

Stephen C. Ray (S.C. Ray)

* Fraudulent Martial Artist / Con-Artist / Charity Organization *
Born: July 16, 1972
Other names: Master S.C. Ray, Master Stephen Ray, Master Stephen C. Ray, Master Ray
Martial art practiced: Sun Do Sul (Ray claims this is a branch of TKD), Dragon Kung fu, Tae Kwon Do
Teachers: Y.C. Rho (Missouri), Eric Hurst (Missouri), Y.S. Choi (Colorado)
Rank: Master? (Unverified/Self-promoted)
Stephen C. Ray is a martial arts instructor based out of the St Louis suburb of Florissant, MO. He has owned several schools in the past, but at this moment only runs the one school in the city of Florissant. Ray says that he offers a "Godly martial arts" experience.Although information is scarce, S.C. Ray's own site claims that he started practicing martial arts at the age of 7.S.C. Ray himself has provided two different documents pertaining to his martial skill. He has a 6th Dan ranking in Sun Do Sul, a hybrid martial art created by Y.S. Choi of Colorado (even though he never tested for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Dan in this modern art). Choi has certified this rank firsthand. Ray has self-promoted himself to a 6th Dan in Tae Kwon Do, as well, even though he is apparently Kukkiwon certified as a 2nd Dan.Ray's second certification comes from Sifu Eric Hurst of St Louis, Missouri. Ray claims that this Kung Fu certification is the equivalent of a 5th degree black belt, but Sifu Hurst has publicly contested this, saying that Ray's certification is more along the lines of a pre-black belt ranking. This would make Ray, in most traditional martial arts, a brown belt or possibly a 1st-degree black belt.
In addition to Ray's certified martial arts rankings, he claims to have invented his own grappling style, which he calls "Jiu Kido." Jiu Kido is a name already in use by at least one other group which appears to have been using it longer than Ray has been. Ray does not mention Jiu Kido on his website, but instead claims to teach "Jiu Jitsu (Very similar to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu)". When pressed to produce a rank in any style of jujitsu, whether Brazilian or Japanese, Ray replied that he has studied with Frank Shamrock and "Dan Severns." While both Shamrock and Severn are formidable fighters and teachers, neither man teaches jiu-jitsu--and both men have long-standing rivalries with the Gracie families. Both would be loath to describe what they do and teach as "very similar to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu." Both are known for teaching western wrestling adapted for submission fighting and mixed martial arts. Severn's background is in world-class folkstyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, while Shamrock practices a much more submission-oriented "shootfighting" style his brother Ken Shamrock learned in Japan. The style is based on Anglo-American Catch-as-Catch-Can submission wrestling, which differs from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in several important respects.
Ray's documentation of his martial arts experience and certification is the topic of some debate; his certificates have been judged by people with experience as instructors in Tae Kwon Do and kung fu who have stated that the certificates are suspect. In addition, Ray claims to have the power to heal the sick through the laying on of hands by channeling the healing power of God and Jesus Christ. Ray has stated that he does not heal through his own power, but that God's power travels through him. Specifically, he claims that on one trip to India, "the blind saw and the deaf heard" when Ray applied his faith-healing power.
Ray's claims:
6th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do/Sun Do Sul (Through Grandmaster Y.S. Choi of Colorado) 5th Degree Black Belt in Kung Fu (Through Sifu Eric "The Dragon" Hurst...Shaolin, 5-Animal Styles, WingChun)
Practitioner of: Hapkido / Aikido
Jiu-jitsu / Judo
Ninjitsu / Many Weapons
Kickboxing / Boxing
and others...

1990 - Ray claims to have opened Dragon Ray Martial Arts in Ellisville, MO.
1998 - Director of World Martial Arts Academy in South County St. Louis.
1999 - Owner of World Martial Arts Academy in Florissant, MO.
2000 - Owner of World Martial Arts Academy in Olivette, MO.
2003 - Started St. Louis Christian Martial Arts System.
2003 - Closed St. Louis Christian Martial Arts System.
2003 - Started working for Grandmaster Park at the Belleville Chung Ho Tae Kwon Do Academy location in IL.
2004 - Stopped working for Grandmaster Park based on a mutual agreement between the two.
2004 - Opened St. Louis Martial Arts Center in Florissant.
2006 - Opened another St. Louis Martial Arts Center in Belleville, IL.
2006 - Closed the St. Louis Martial Arts Center in Belleville, IL.
Y.S. Choi of Colorado
Sifu Eric Hurst of Missouri is a site currently investigating S.C. Ray's claims of expertise... (
Stephen C. Ray's own advertising & website...