Dojo Reviews and You - in-house bullshido.
I was just reading through some reviews as kind of a warm-up before writing my own, and I'd like to re-iterate - this is a an absolute scale encompassing the whole martial arts world.
I'm not going to queen the forum up by posting examples, but I'm taking it on myself here to remind everyone that we do have non-arbitrary guidelines for the numerical ratings, and eventually, another person IS going to walk into your school and this website. This isn't me laying down the "moderator law" or anything, I'm just parroting the guidelines that are already up and adding a dash of my own opinion.
There are a lot of people handing themselves 9s and 10s in things, and I think that's a bit much in most cases. Let's talk a little about what is and isn't a ten.
A ten for equipment, for example, or gym size, is the sort of thing I would say is reserved for the OTC, or at least the sort of shiny new complex they had on TUF.
If your fighters have the sort of pampering that say a college football team gets - one facility for games and events, one for practice, a full weight room and several sets of different sorts of bags and dummies, both with duplicates of many stations so that there's never a wait, lockers and showers, maybe a whirpool, at least one full ring or cage as appropriate to your sport, brand new, shiny, squeaky clean **** just barely used enough to be broken in nicely, plenty of parking, a video room where you can watch tape, many water fountains and a shelf for your shoes, with a nameplate on YOUR shelf, you're a ten in equipment. If the place is big enough to hold all this stuff, you're a ten for size. If your instructor has a winning national competition record in your sport, and he is a good teacher to boot, you're a nine for an instructor. If you've got a specialist who is the BEST in what he does AND a connected person who can take you places in the sport - that's a TEN. A ten is someone who, if not a household name, should be known at least to martial artists outside of your area.
The best guy in town is not a ten. (If you're from LA, NY, whatever, read town as 'neighborhood.')
Adequate but careworn gear is not a ten.
A roof and a mat is not a ten.
A guy who has been in a cage a few times is not a ten.
Sorry, again, directed a no one in particular, I'm just wondering if we're all clear on the guidelines. I like my school a whole lot. It's the best school I've found for miles. My instructors can kick my ass six ways from Sunday, and will be able to for the forseeable future, They can also get me fights when I'm ready for them. We have all the gear we need, and our room holds everyone and has a ring and mats - but I wouldn't say we're a ten in ANY category on this review, barring atmosphere, and the people I train with and under would eat the average TKD school for lunch, but they do concede that there are fighters and facilities and instruction out there above and beyond our level.
Please be very honest with your reviews if you believe in what we're doing here. If your school lacks in an area, instead of being tempted to fudge a little hear and there, take the hit and talk about why. My school, we're focused on competing - we don't train with weapons AT ALL. That's a big fat 0 in an entire category. I'm not going to go "oh well we do have some rubber knives in the corner and we screw around with them twice a year...I'll just give myself a 5 so the averages aren't thrown off..."
The reviews are supposed to help people decided if the school is right for their experience level, finances, and expectations. If you are less then accurate and honest in the review, you're wasting the time of the people that read it, and you're doubly wasting the time of anyone who visits your school based on the review, not to mention lowering the credibility of bullshido.
Sorry. I have to do one long rant a year. Got it out in Jan. this year, that's good.
tl,dr; Don't pretty up your reviews. Read the guidelines on the number scales before you post them.