Firstly, I went to a Tae Kwon Do club and then to a MMA club and on both occasions there wasn't a handshake or "my name is...welcome to our club". I had taken the time to go along and show willingness but this wasn't recipricol, almost we don't really want you here, and no I am definitely not shy and as for social problems, i don't think so although I do get smelly armpits from time to time LOL.
I do want to get the most from my Karate and would love to try a different style so that's what I asked in my original post.
As for the Instructors having a limited amount of experience, I can't explain that. I am not here defending GKR or there practices. The person I train with is 1st Dan and seems to be proficient. What can I gauge that against? Hence I would like to try something different.
When you say "train with" do you mean the 1st dan is the club instructor ?
There's no such thing as a "dojo sensei"
Put out of your mind the notion that "sensei" means teacher in Japanese because it doesn't - literally the term sensei means born before and is used to pay respects to some one who, in terms of life experience or professional skill has more than the individual paying the respects.
Sensei is an honorific title which has nothing directly to do with martial arts, Japanese doctors, lawyers or any number of other professional types might be referred to by others as sensei.
You will NEVER hear a Japanese national refer to themselves as a sensei.
In Nihongo, the word which translates to teacher (or professor) is "kyoshi" however, in martial arts this is often a title or position of seniority bestowed upon a particular person by a larger authority or organisation.
[/pedantic mode off]
Ok to answer your question:
It's not specifically the actual grade of the individual that I'd be concerned with, more, I'd be interested to know how long and to what intensity has the instructor been training?
In general terms, shodan is merely the entry level into the learning phase of a much more wider and complex learning, becoming a black belt does not equate to expertise in a given discipline, it is merely the first step of what should be a long and continuing apprenticeship of study. becoming a black belt also does not automatically entitle that individual to start teaching, in traditional terms martial arts instructors should (ideally) undergo "kenshusei" which is a specific course set out to teach potential instructors how to teach, often these courses conclude with a physical grading which can be either shodan, nidan or sandan (depending upon when the candidate started the kenshusei course)
I'd have to ask why is a shodan running a dojo without being subordinate to a more senior instructor ? Who is that individual's teacher ?
As an individual, if I attended a dojo where I was possibly considering joining, if the main teacher was a shodan, I find another club.
Consider this; as a student, you can only physically learn what the instructor knows, at shodan the teacher is only realistically able to teach his students up to that level. Which, in the greater scheme of things is pretty basic stuff.
I recently attended a new Judo club, with a view to training there regularly (I need extra training days). It was great and everyone was very friendly.
I've occasioned a local BJJ club in the past, it was great and everyone was very friendly.
Of course, I shut the **** up and train, so maybe that factors in...
1. Retention rates in full contact martial arts are generally quite low, some students tend to ignore you until you've been a few times and actually really showed willingness. Don't take it personally.
2. You're a mat spaz.
3. They're dicks... but really, two separate clubs and styles? The only common denominator in your story is actually you.
Many thanks for the comments you have posted Simio and Hijiri, they are very much appreciated. Lu Tze, whilst I take your comments on board, why the bad language, is this the way you would treat some one who came to your club? A sensible exchange of ideas is why I originally put a post on this site, not to be word slapped by some one I don't know. And I do show willingness to train, I've been going for the last 6 years. It was only after going to a Robert Sullivan seminar that I started questioning the Karate I was doing because his technique(if you could call it that) was so indescribably bad that it was a joke. It looked nothing like the Karate I have been doing.
I'm trying to find a club in Southampton now, any recommendations?
But then I'm a martial arts snob and traditionalist hence why I no longer study gendai budo because it is rife with self opinionated bullshit..
I was also half joking, I'm not telling you which half though.
I may however roll my eyes at you, and laugh when you leave the mats wheezing after a minute of randori. And I wouldn't lament overmuch if you didn't come back, sorry (see point 1).