View Full Version : East tennessee school of taekwondo/karate

11/16/2009 3:10pm,
Hello bullshido!

i have long been a lurker on this site, and just now felt the need to post something. I figured I'd give a little rundown of my school based on the rating scale thingy. So lets go!

Aliveness: 8-9

We spar regularly, only light headgear and gloves, full contact, takedowns, groundfighting, all in all its good stuff.

equipment: 7

We have plenty of striking targets, heavy bags, wavemaster bags, muay thai sheilds etc. its not amazing but decent

Gym size: 4-5

We have a fairly small school, which will probably need an upgrade soon as we are becoming more and more popular.

instructor/student ratio: 6-7

We have a good amount of assistant instructors, and my master (Member of the world martial arts hall of fame, world karate union grandmaster of the year, 9th degree kempo black belt, 5th degree taekwondo) will walk around and assist the small groups in turn.

Atmosphere/attitude: 10

I love my school. you can walk in your first day and feel right at home, everyone is nice, my instructor is great...I couldn't ask for more.

Stiking instruction: 6

We obviously learn kicks and punches, but we also do many drills with stiking targets quite often.

Grappling instruction: 5- 6

As far as required instructions goes...the grappling is very limited. Escapes from mount, passing the guard, armbars etc... the reason I feel my school deserves a 6 is that we also have a royce gracie brazilian jiu jistu school paired with ours, and we get twice a year seminars from Royce Gracie and his cousin Rodrigo, which is awesome.

Weapons instruction: 1

We fail at this. We have a wide variety of weapons but all you learn is a kata. ONE kata. singular. So yeah thats pretty lame... but oh well.

Overall average: 6-7

I personally LOVE my school, but there are obviously areas that need improvement. We have classes four times a week and I'm an assistant instructor at the little kids classes. We don't do board breaking much, just after every test. We spar regularly, sometimes up to 2 times a week, usually about 2-4 times a month. We can start learning weapons kata at green belt but they aren't required until black... We learn traditional korean taekwondo forms, but my insturctor doesn't put as much emphasis on technique in forms as I would like. Speaking of, my instructor is awesome, hes been in the martial arts for over 40 years. He has very bad arthritis in his joints so he cannot kick very high any more, but his reflexes are ridiculously fast, his kicks and punches have more power than you would believe, and hes still amazingly strong. As I stated above, he has a 9th degree black belt in kempo karate, a 5th degree in taekwondo, and has trained in many other martial arts. I have the utmost respect for this man, as he has stuck with martial arts after many health complications that almost caused him to lose his legs. he has amazing dedication to martial arts, his students, and the community.
I personally just recieved my brown belt, and have about a year and a half to go till black. my school, bullshido? I dont think so.

11/26/2011 3:52pm,
Well, I am now a first degree black belt through this school, and I sure as hell earned it. I can't say the same for all the other black belts in our school. The more I took, the more I saw problems that I wanted to ignore earlier on. So let me break this down from a slightly more mature, informed perspective than when I wrote my earlier review (although on reading back, I would probably hold to my former ratings).

Since writing my review, I have trained at several different MMA schools, and with several other competent martial artists from different styles. I have learned that there is a great place in every martial artist's life for traditional disciplines, as I think it teaches things that are often left out by MMA enthusiasts. That said, I have also seen the impracticality of some of it and how much I need to branch out in my fighting style.

Our school is not a belt factory. I will hold by that. I feel that the style of instruction is such that the students learn the techniques to the point of competency and can pass the test without dispute. I do, however, disagree with my instructor's decision to promote small children past probationary black to first degree. I see them testing and realize that they know all the techniques, but simply do not have the discipline, responsibility, or physical ability to perform those techniques proficiently should the need arise. If I was running the school, I would not be letting them test for black belt. Some may disagree with me, but I do not feel that they deserve that rank.

The groundfighting we learn is useless. Abso-friggin-lutely ridiculous. If you are rolling with someone who knows anything about BJJ, you will lose handily if your only instruction is the "street fighting" basics we learn. Luckily for me one of my fellow students has been training for a VERY long time, is VERY good and helps me out with techniques.

I can no longer afford my martial arts school and I will miss it terribly. 4 years of your life at my age is a big deal. I love my school, and I'm glad I got the foundation to my martial arts training from a wonderful man who has learned more in his near 5 decades of training than I could ever imagine. It's a quality school, if that's what you're looking for. For me? I need something more, and I'm going to seek out local MMA schools to expand my training in boxing technique and groundfighting.

I may edit in more details later.

12/21/2011 10:15pm,
little late so sorry if this is considered a necro, but nice addition philpot1994, i'm not a student there but your points are pretty valid for most schools in general.

After actually training BJJ at a competent school for the past year and some odd months, i've completely slapped myself for ever believing that the programs i've taken with "street fighting" ground skills as you put it would have actually helped me should i have had to actually go to the ground and defend myself there, whether in a guard or having a mount.

I used to think my shotokan could carry me through any situation, and FORTUNATELY for me up till this point is has, i have had to use it and i've had to use it under pressure, and it's saved my ass more than once, but i came to realize that at some point you have to branch out a bit, and at the VERY LEAST learn to adapt some other styles of fighting into your game, at the very least to help understand them.