I'm in between dojangs looking for a place where higher dans could help me become a great martial artist. My old school went from a great place where you could learn properly to a mcdojo when ownership changed hands. They changed everything, including their curriculum (from a mix of wtf and hapkido to hyperforms and demos techniques) but I stuck it out since all the old masters and instructors were staying. One by one they left, as did other students and suddenly I'm the best practitioner there.
I'm very aware I have a very long way to go, but I felt that I hit a major ceiling at this dojang. I found a different place that touted its legacy, run by a grandmaster and his son who both have amazing accomplishments in both the US scene and internationally. Really excited by this I signed up for a free class, and while taking it, I could see I was being tested. This is natural, but I wanted to impress and just gave it my all. After the class both were very impressed and said that they would be very happy to teach me and help me reach the next level. The grandmaster kept saying I was very strong and I was overtaken with pride. However, the problem is this:
I’ve been to a few different places, this last one being the best one so far, and I feel head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of technique and skill. Another reason I left my old dojang was because the quality of student dropped so much that I lost all motivation – how could so and so be the same dan I am or higher when they can barely execute a sidekick. Well, I got the same feeling at this place. Is this normal? Are people who take this seriously doomed to be surrounded by those who “put in the time”? I want to train with a grandmaster (8th kkw, 7th hap) but I could be hamstrung by the students.