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Women raise concerns over Vancouver pick-up artist

Online videos promoting a “dating boot camp” are raising a lot of eyebrows. What some see as objectionable behaviour from a man who bills himself as an expert at picking up women. Reporter Jeremy Hunka explains who’s behind the so-called dating boot camp for men – and how he explains his approach.

A Vancouver man who runs dating boot camps for men is coming under fire as women come forward claiming he has victimized them.

Jan Huang is a self-styled pick-up artist who makes his living chatting up women and coaching others to do the same.

He charges nearly $1,000 for a three-day PUA (pick-up artist) boot camp where, he claims, “your ability to meet and attract women anytime, anywhere will be pushed to serious limits.”

Some of the women who have come across Huang say his actions are disrespectful.

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“He approached me in a parking lot and complimented me while he had his arm on me,” says Pia Von Westphalen. “Then I decided, hey, I’m single, what’s the harm in getting to know someone?

“When he came onto me and kissed me, that’s when I told him, ‘OK, I’m done. I don’t feel comfortable right now.'”

More serious allegations come to light

A Vancouver woman alleges she was threatened by Huang when she brushed him off last year. The woman, who asked not to be identified, told Global News that Huang “put his hand about a centimetre from my throat” and implied “that he wanted to choke me.”

Website clubZone published an allegedly threatening text message from Huang to one of the women he tried to pick up.

“Hundreds of women reached out to us,” says Mike Schwarz of myZone Media, which runs clubZone. “We have some pretty interesting stories, all very similar where no doesn’t necessarily mean no, where it’s a lot of…pursuing, pursuing, pursuing.”

WATCH: More women come forward after Jeremy Hunka’s first report

When reached for comment, Huang defended his business, saying he has never threatened anyone and the text message was a poor attempt at humour.

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Huang says he has hit on countless women, but insists he never coaches men to harass or threaten them.

“I think people misunderstand what I teach,” says Huang. “Basically what my business is is I teach guys how to be more confident, how to be more social, how to basically express themselves in the most attractive way possible to get dates with girls.”

Huang stands by his work, but did offer this apology:

“For the girls who are watching this, if I’ve ever approached you in the past and have offended you, I apologize sincerely. That was really my trial-and-error period.

So-called “pick-up artists” have stirred up controversy in the past. Swiss pick-up artist Julien Blanc cancelled several scheduled seminars in Canada last year after a social media campaign was launched to keep him out of the country. Similar campaigns were launched to keep him out of the U.K., Japan, Korea and Brazil.

-with files from Jeremy Hunka and John R. Kennedy