As an opener I would like to say that this is a revolving around the following:
Better is not Good.
I haven't been on in a while... not to say that I'm some sort of famous mainstay, but this has largely been due to the fact that I've started college at the tender age of 17, and all work and no play etc etc.
However while I have been busting my ass academically, I have stopped taking martial arts lessons here in Chattanooga currently.
I call it a recovery period, and largely that I don't have the free time any more. But let me regail you with the hard coming to terms I've had.
A little over a year and a half ago I began taking Jiu-Jitsu locally under Terry Pollard's (owner) Jiu-Jitsu instructor, who I shall refer to as Scott (as that is his name but I cannot remember his last name for the life of me).
It should be said as some back ground that I read the Ashida Kim books (and believed them) when I was about 10, and I practiced my Kuji-Kiri ninja meditations for about a year, before finding out it was all bullshit. I thought I had learned my lesson. That from there on out I would be able to recognize all BS when I saw it.
Terry's place was small and in the second floor of a building, place was a glorified attic really. He said it was largely due to the fact that he refused to take on massive kid classes for money like other people, he liked to teach the real and hard stuff. That as a result many people quit after a few weeks and it made it hard to maintain a big cash flow.
I figured this was a good sign. I signed up for the Jiu-Jitsu and immediately loved it. Hard as hell for me, I vomited the first week of class, and I busted my ass. Saw improvement, and thought I was going places. Whenever we got a new guy in, I could dominate him, even if he was much bigger than me( I'm pretty small as far as martial artists go). Which meant to me that I was really learning something.
There were only little signs here and there: such as there WAS a kids Karate class taught there, but there were only like four kids, so I dismissed it. There was a 16 year old black belt in Karate there, but she was mean as hell, so I dismissed it. The Kung-Fu instructor talked a lot of ****, but I wasn't taking Kung-Fu so I dismissed it.
You were promoted and tested about every three months... pretty regardless. But it just so happened that we gave it are all to learn to new techniques and moves, so it seemed like we were all prepared for it, and that it was a fair testing scheme.
... in hindsight anyone saying that you will get promoted about every 3 months, is kind of (read: very) bogus.
Then I found Bullshido. Spent a while lurking... then started posting... made a fool of myself, and sort of learned better.
Then however I did a lot of heavy reading on what some of the more reputable people here had to say about a lot of things. But I took comfort in knowing that I was under the "Jiu-Jitsu is superior" blanket, and felt good about myself.
Then things started cropping up into my vision that did not bode well, it began with the move.
Terry, having enough money finally was able to start renting out a much larger building a mile or two down the road. In which he was able to put a ring, in addition to a much more sizable training area where we could all comfortable grapple without running into each other.
Then he finally started offering Kali, (he's a certified master) which is why I checked him out in the first place, as he had told me originally that he did. But I didn't have access to it for the first many months because not enough people were interested, so he never decided to get a class together for it.
Then it turned out the Kung-Fu instructor would actually be teaching it, as he was also highly ranked in Kali.
This is Sayoc Kali for the record.
This was also about the time I began posting on Bullshido, and began to recognize some of the bigger elements within the training institute that were askew. There was a "black belt" club. IE pay extra money and we'll teach you random things after class. You had to be a member of said Black Belt club in order to take the Kali Classes. So I signed up.
Again, I didn't really recognize all of these things as a whole for what they were, because, well, it's warm under the wing of a dragon.
This was also the time it dawned on me: Terry didn't actually teach any clases. I mean, whatever, if the instructors are qualified, what does it matter? But that just didn't bode well for me.
Then I found out he used to be a member of an amateur professional wrestling league, and decided to get something started up here in Chattanooga. So on weekends he would use the Ring of his, and the facilities to hold an amateur pro wrestling league of sorts. I never attended one of the shows, as I have dignity.
Again, this just struck me as "The man is just trying to make a buck, I can't really blame him. I mean it's not like by doing pro wrestling that invalidates you as a martial artist."
Now we enter about September, where little things have been mounting, mainly the people in the Kali class were the ones from the Kung-Fu class, and I began to find out what exactly was taught in such. Mostly entirely Wing-Chun.
Whatever I thought again: I am not taking the Kung-Fu class. It does not effect me.
Jiu-Jitsu was still hard, and I was still loving it, and now with a ring, me and the fellows after class would get in the ring and work on our stand up game.
Then things started getting fuzzy, listening to Terry talk more and more, and Carl Yap (Kung-Fu/Kali instructor) talk more and more.
And you guys talk more and more.
And it began to dawn on me that while I was not in a McDojo in the strickest sense of the word: if things deteriorated, I very well could be.
Then the RMA demo team thing started:
RMA stands for Revelation Martial Arts. Terry started going on a heavy Christian binge, talking about god, and heathens and such. And he began to rename what he taught. All of a sudden I wasn't learning Jiu-Jitsu anymore, I was learning RMA ground fighting.
I wasn't learning Kali anymore, I was learning RMA weapon training.
Then he began to try and recruit the younger ones of us in Jiu-Jitsu, to try and join a Demo team, to go around, and spread gods word, through choreographed martial arts demos.
This is also when I found out that Terry was limiting what he would allow Scott to teach us, because he didn't want it to be too "hard" and wanted to attract new customers.
This is when College started up for me, and work began to pile, so I could attend less and less.
Then finally after all of this, and many many other little small things, I realized, I was not learning what I should be learning: I wasn't learning Bullshit, but I was learing watered down martial arts. The incomplete package so to speak.
So I quit. In December I quit.
To takes it's place I instituted a weight lifting regimen along with a lot of cardio (which I am still doing)
And I am going to wait until this summer, and go around to some of the other places here in town and see what they have to offer... But yeah.
I have a friend that still attend there and he tells me that Scott is about to quit. That mans is a great instructor and one hell of a grappler, and he too is about up to here with Terry's ****. And Carl's crazy ass stories about his brother and ninjitsu.
Now I don't claim that any of the instructors can't hold their own in a fight, and I'm sure they are all very competant. However, that is not what we were being taught.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.
I just though I would share.
I was duped, and I am now a better man for it.
Really I guess what I am trying to say here, is that take it from me, never stop questioning what you are being taught.
While it was better than a McDojo, that does not make it Good.