To Whom It May Concern:
I’m stating my background to add credibility to my Letter of Recommendation for Eric Thompson. My name is John Bates, retired from a career in Special Operations and multiple combat tours. One tour of duty earned me a Bronze Star w/ Valor for heroism in 2004. Over the past 30 years of training in martial arts I have earned black belts in: Kyokushin-Kai Karate (3rd dan), American Karate (5th dan), Judo (1st dan) and trained extensively in Muay Thai. In 1994-95 I won the World Knockout Kumite (Ryu-Sai Kan world championships) heavyweight and grand-championship. Later, in 1997, winning the Karate International Council of Kickboxing (K.I.C.K.) Thai Boxing Cruiserweight World Title. In addition, I competed twice in the USA vs. The World Commando Knockout Challenge and was the only fighter to win both times.
For the last 15 years it has been my distinct pleasure to know, work and train with Eric Thompson. During this period Eric has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and skill in a multitude of fighting arts. He has the unique ability to leverage his natural talents and combine it with his fighting ability. That is a rare combination in today’s era of martial arts.
Eric and myself worked for several years in the bar industry as security in one of the toughest places to be security, Camp LeJuene, NC. The atmosphere demanded the ability to talk, reason, if necessary use multiple levels of force to control violent customers and protect the others. His transition from one to other was seamless and was sought highly in the bar community. This is such the case I wouldn’t work one night that Eric wasn’t beside me.
His talent was so deep I asked him to be my training partner. I was so impressed that I asked Eric to train me for several of my professional fights. The key to winning both of my knockdown karate world titles was Eric Thompson. His approach, drive and training camp ensured my success without exception.
There is not a single situation I would not be comfortable in, if Mr. Thompson was “watching my six”. Eric has my highest possible recommendation for any endeavor he may pursue.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
John E. Bates / CEO
I’m a martial arts instructor with 24 years experience, specializing in Monkey Boxing, Baguazhang, Savate and Tai Chi Chuan. By good grace and persistence I have had the opportunity to cross hands, and feet, with some of the best in the business. Proudly, I am also a survivor of nearly 500 hand to hand training encounter’s with Mr. Thompson, spanning our unique association of nearly a decade. I can safely say this man has got the goods…and they hurt…real BAD!
Thompson’s principle orientated approach to self defense is cutting edge and tremendously valuable to both experts and novices interested in bettering their chances of surviving any number of dangerous scenarios.
Furthermore, he possesses an agile mind and quick wit which he tempers by being shamelessly addicted to a variety of deliriums and antiquated philosophical ideals. Pour his tea slowly with an open mind and ask him about his quest to choke out Big Foot, or his theories on quantum fields and cuban cigars.
For once in your life, step over the threshold of your reasonable assumptions about martial arts and self defense and begin learning from the deep well of knowledge and experience available to you in this man.
–Sifu John C. Adams, Instructor Monkey Boxing, Baguazhang
I have been a student of Martial Arts for the last 41 years and teaching for 30 of them. I’ve been a law enforcement officer for 10 years as well as a defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor, taser instructor and a Glock armorer. I’ve trained civilians, regular military and special operation groups as well as law enforcement officers and cadets in firearms, martial arts and defensive tactics. Eric and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We have trained together in traditional Martial Arts and we have shared some of the same blood and mud working together during fugitive recovery and personal protection assignments. He is an extremely knowledgeable teacher and has developed a very sound and practical approach to the science of hand to hand combat and self defense. He has a great understanding of the synergy of the hand, knife, stick and gun. If you’re looking for a well rounded approach to survival and combat, he is the man to see.
– D. V. Richard- Police Officer, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Firearms Instructor
As a friend and contemporary of Eric Thompson, I absolutely cannot say enough about why he is among the very best at what he does–realistic, direct application of martial arts for people that have a functional need to apply them in daily life. I have trained with Eric since the mid 90’s and have seen his dedication and study in the arts help him grow into the expert that he is. I have studied the arts my whole life, and I spent the best part of 12 years living in and traveling in Asia (my home was in Okinawa, Japan). I’ve trained with—not posed for a quick photo opp…—but actually touched hands with many masters and have had my ass handed to me in half a dozen countries, so it’s fair to say that I have a comprehensive understanding of the different fighting styles of that part of the world. As well, I’ve trained military special forces, law enforcement, and even professional fighters, so my endorsement comes from a directly relative perspective: Eric is a friend of my teacher as well and has trained with me in my particular system, Meibukan Goju-Ryu. I turn to Eric for his knowledge and skills in many instances and highly suggest that anyone wanting to learn more about the immediate and practical use of the arts in a professional capacity do so from this man.
–Wade Chroninger, 5th Dan Meibukan Goju-ryu Karate, Head of International Student Branch
My name is Matt Henderson and I have almost 30 years of intense martial art experience(i.e., study, practice, and application.) I met E. Thompson while he was working as a body guard for high profile celebrity clients. Mr. Thompson shared the floor with another well-known and very advanced martial arts teacher, who introduced us for the first time. E. demonstrated some concepts and technical aspects of Client Protection. I had the distinct pleasure of being the “bad guy” in the scenarios which were demonstrated and at the time, I had 20+ years in Karate and Jujutsu and was very much accustomed to hitting the mat with enthusiasm and vigor. I still do not know how I managed to be completely up-ended, head over feet…landing in a heap of puzzlement and confusion…completely unharmed. When I got to my feet, E. had cleverly taken the stand-in “celeb” and had hidden himself and his client behind a set of bleachers in what must have been a matter of a few seconds. When I got my bearings, I look around quite confused, and to the eruption of laughter by all of our guests.
E. Thompson is an amazing talent and is good at everything he puts his heart into, and he has definitely put his heart, mind, spirit, and body to the tests that martial arts require of people who reach his level of prowess. Not only is he highly capable of the most brutal aspects of learning, teaching, and application of martial arts in its visceral denotations, but he has been able to apply his arts so skillfully as to protect his clients and to use only the measure of force to insure compliance from his disruptive interlopers. Thompson’s raison de etre when it comes to the application of martial arts is the intelligent use of force toward compliance, and that is the highest order and mark of a true martial artist. He can read a situation, affect an appropriate strategy and employ a correct tactic in a most evolved and intelligent manner. In all my years of knowing E. Thompson, this, among his many laudable qualities, remains most ingrained in my memories. He can deliver just the amount of quality technique that a situation calls for and he knows the parameters. As well, he can teach the “hows, whens, whys and why nots?” in a straightfoward, intelligent way. I highly recommend training with Eric any time you can. I cannot wait until I can train with him again, myself!
Nippon Jujutsu (Aikibudo)
Okinawan Karatedo, Kempo & Kobudo
Taoist Qi Gong
“I worked in foreclosures and wanted some training to help protect me from transients and angry home owners. I put myself at risk everyday so I was looking for a trainer that from day one I could do some damage. I did not have a time to make martial arts a hobby or career. I met Eric though our wives. I learned quickly Eric has studied martial arts for some 30 years. He has trained all over the world. He has trained Navy Seals, trained body guards and even fought professionally in ultimate fighting type competitions. He has body guarded for high level celebrities. Eric has also taught me some gun handling and tactical operations. If you are trying to be the karate kid this is not for you. If you are trying to submit, break bones and walk away safely then Eric’s your man. Don’t let his calm manner deceive you he is a lethal machine.”
-Rick Biery, U.S. Army