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sender
4/20/2015 2:42pm,
I'm thinking of taking up hapkido but I'm pretty new to martial arts and I'm worried about ending up in a McDojo as I'm not really sure what to look for in a martial arts school. Does anyone know any good Hapkido dojangs in Glasgow or Edinburgh?

Lanner Hunt
4/20/2015 3:25pm,
First and foremost, Welcome to Bullshido! You should hop over to Newbietown and introduce yourself.

Well, I'm not in Scotland, and I don't do Hapkido BUT, the wonderful thing about McDojo's is that you they follow some common habits regardless of style or country.

I'm gonna digress here for a moment, to clarify something that should help: what you seem to mean by 'McDojo', Bullshido will consider two different things: A Bullshido school and a McDojo.

A Bullshido school is a school that claims to teach something that it doesn't actually teach. It could be a self defense class that doesn't teach any practical self defense skills, or a Shotokan Karate dojo that is taught by someone who didn't actually hold a legitimate rank in Shotokan.

A McDojo is a school that is primarily concerned with profit, sometimes to an insane degree.

The tricky part is that its actually possible to have one without the other; for example, numerous Brazilian Jujitsu schools are McDojo's because of how they operate, but are still legitimate schools taught by experienced and qualified coaches.


Now! Back to your question: its good to be concerned, and it'd good to scrutinize. And while people here might know a good school in the area, the best thing you can do is go yourself.

Attend a free class, and inquire about the following:
-What rank does the lead instructor hold? Who have him that rank? As far as I'm aware, Hapkido does have a (loose) governing body, so it won't be hard to corroborate that.

-About how long does it take to reach the equivalent of a black belt? Its not hard and fast, but generally speaking, longer is better and if they give an answer of three or fewer years, that's a red flag.

-At what rank do students begin sparring? How hard is the sparring? If they start early, do it often, and spar hard, good. If the teacher says they don't spar because the techniques are to deadly, that's a bad sign.

Once again, welcome to Bullshido, and keep us updated on how the search goes!

sender
4/21/2015 9:00am,
Thanks for the advice, I've found a place in I'm gonna try out, it's accredited by hapkido Scotland, although they could be anyone for all I know, so I'll go and check it out. I also found a promising looking jiu jitsu place a little closer to me which I might have look at as well

laserleftfoot
9/07/2015 11:07pm,
Anyplace can be a McDojo. Instructors have bills to pay. One korean hapkido master offered me the $2000 deluxe executive package. For $2000 in one year he guarantees me a black belt. I wouldn't even have to come to class!! I told him, I don't give a damn about a belt. I want/need is to learn street self defense. So he kept me at white belt for over a year. That belt was becoming dark gray. He showed me all kinds of good stuff.

Turns out I was "the greeter". Some hotshot comes in, freespars me, then Korean instructors says to the hotshot, "you got a black belt? You can't even take one of my white belts!" It wasn't always like that. Sometimes one of his sons had to put the hotshot in his place.

In short, depends what you want to put into it.