Reddmann’s Karate is an AMAI school. The AMAI website (www.theamai.com) is careful not to mention the dreaded “taekwondo” word, but all of the founding members and current school owners are former ATA people (most of them Master-level); I think one of them used to be the ATA world demo team instructor, for whatever that is worth.
Reddmann’s recently underwent an expansion, roughly doubling the available training space. The mat area is about 30 x60 feet with a couple of Wavemasters and some shields and hand targets hanging on the walls. The mats appear to be the thicker 1 inch variety. Not a bad place to train for traditional karate.
The place has a “30 day free trial” deal, but you have to buy a uniform (dobok?) for 50 bucks. Did that, figured that 50 bucks wasn’t bad to try the place out. If you want to be able to train 4 days a week (that is 4 hours a week), the cost is about 120 bucks per month. Contracts are required and the price per month goes down as the contract period gets longer.
Now for the class structure:
Robb Reddmann is the owner/senior instructor. I think he is a 2nd Degree BB. He leads almost all of the classes. Adult classes are one hour per nite. Class starts with some light stretching/light warmup. Then some kicking drills. Then some form/kata work. Then some more kicking drills. Sometimes there will be a little self-defense practice against compliant “attackers”. Then some more kicking drills (getting the picture?). Twice I went through a complete class without throwing a punch.
Little or no alive training. Make that “no alive training”.
In the four weeks that I was either in class or observing class, there was not a single sparring match. The self-defense is always practiced against compliant partners. No takedowns/grappling that I saw. There are a couple of guys that supposedly work together at home on sub-grappling but I never saw it in class. Supposedly when they do spar, it is punches to the body, kicks to the body and head. No leg kicks, takedowns, throws, sweeps, ect. I really can’t understand the “no punches to the head” thing, but I have heard that it is common with TKD-type schools.
A couple of the adult students appear to be serious about what they are doing. Kind of feel sorry for them, they aren’t going to learn anything real at this place.
Testing was a complete joke. The adults seemed to know what they were doing for the most part, although they sometimes looked a little lost in the middle of the forms. Most of the kids (Juniors) were hopeless. They couldn’t get through the forms, couldn’t break their boards, looked lost in the self-defense excersizes. Again, there were a couple of adults and one or two kids that looked pretty good, but most were pretty pathetic. I don’t think is the students that are at fault; they are just meeting the requirements they are given.
Everybody passed, regardless of how well or how poorly they performed.
Total bullshido; absolute McDojo. When giving out belts (this was immediately after testing was complete), the instructor should ask “want fries with that?”