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  1. Mudansha is offline

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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kern County California
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 6:40am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Shotokan Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Possibly the worst Bullshido Dojo?

    Order of the Dragon in Bakersfield, California.

    http://www.orderofthedragon.com/

    The "Master" is a supposed "Eighth degree black belt" in TKD and teaches a combination of TKD and karate.

    He offers classes to all people 4 years old or older (first clue... 4 years old?)

    The only Kata their students do are several variations of a basic kata. (Similar to taekyoku shodan in Shotokan). All of the kata are in the "I" embusen and it does not have any of the curriculum of traditional TKD or karate. They are a combination of TKD and Karate, and they list several black belt instructors ranging from shodan to hachidan, yet none of them know any black belt level kata? (second clue)

    Citing "liability" concerns, students are only allowed to wear gi's and gear purchased from them, without exception. Their gear is severely over-priced. (third clue- Mcdojo)

    My nephew trained with them. They have 21 different Kyu levels, testing is automatic every 2 months at $50 a pop. They have funky paying rules. You can pay $10 per lesson, or $60 per month for a pass, but if the kid does not bring the pass to class, he pays the $10, and if he loses the pass, he has to wait until the next month to buy the $60 pass, and he's required to pay the $10 per class until the next month. (more mcdojo crap).

    They don't have a central location. They train at 4 different locations throughout the week at community centers and parks.

    Their students are so horrible, that they have stopped going to local tournaments. Parents were seeing how substandard the kids were, and were leaving for other area dojos. To combat this problem, they only go to their own "invitational tournaments" 4 times per year where they invite other mcdojos to compete. All of the good schools have been asked not to come citing "recruiting tactics" or other BS as the reason. This is to insure that their students have a chance of winning.

    When the Karate Kid movie came out, they had an expo at the local movie theater where they were trying to recruit students. My sensei was approached and asked if he wanted to learn martial arts. He asked the woman, who was wearing a Gi with the words "instructor" embroidered on it, what style she was. She said "We are a combination of TKD and karate." Then he asked "What style of karate" and she replied, "I'm not exactly sure, I'd have to check with the owner." (Busted... how can a Black Belt instructor not know the origins of their training?)

    Mr. Absher is doing his students a disservice charging them $60 per lesson claiming to be an 8th degree grand master. I consider it highway robbery and it's by far the worst McDojo scenario I've ever heard of.

    What say you?
    Last edited by Mudansha; 9/12/2011 6:47am at .
  2. Grey Owl is offline

    Registered Member

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    Dec 2006
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    559

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 6:50am


     Style: Karate, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Why does the head instructor have a photo of himself with his wife on the main page? Am I the only one that finds this strange and a little creepy?
  3. Rock Ape is offline
    Rock Ape's Avatar

    Watch and Shoot !

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    10,136

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 6:57am

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is this MABS worthy ?

    Mudansha, what's your relationship with the school or master other than the connection with your nephew ?

    Do you have any physical proof of what you're telling us ?

    Frankly what you've described in your post is typical of many strip-mall Krotty dojo and nothing new.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  4. Mudansha is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kern County California
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 7:11am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Shotokan Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Ape View Post
    Is this MABS worthy ?

    Mudansha, what's your relationship with the school or master other than the connection with your nephew ?
    I have no personal connection to the school or the "master". I have been practicing martial arts in the area for 6 years and when my nephew showed me the "karate" he had been learning for several months, I became agitated that they had been taken advantage of, and decided to research this guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Ape View Post
    Do you have any physical proof of what you're telling us ?
    Most of what I've said is on his website. The other 15% that he does not claim on the website is from personal conversations I've had with my sister-in-law about what they were charged.

    Regarding his McTournaments... we inquired about attending his tournament, but because of our dojo's reputation (we are the oldest one in Kern County) we were asked not to attend. I asked around to other senseis of good local dojos, and they too were barred from attending...
    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Ape View Post
    Frankly what you've described in your post is typical of many strip-mall Krotty dojo and nothing new.
    I've seen many McDojos over the years. This guy takes the cake.
  5. kitkatninja is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    219

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 7:37am


     Style: TSD, Karate & Kickboxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    These are my opinions...

    1. I don't see an issue with some programs for 4 year olds, there are programs like karate tots, punching panda, etc which are specifically aimed at the younger aged kids. And while, they aren't "proper" TMA, it does introduce them to the MA's.

    2. If this is a traditional TKD or karate program then they should know the patterns/kata's. However the "modern" karate (eg sport, freestyle, etc) programs don't have that many or any at all. It doesn't actually say what type it is.

    So those two points don't mean that the club/association is worthly of a bullshido trophey.

    However... The 21 different kyu levels, invitational only competitions, etc does sound odd.

    Do you have any more info? As I've taken a look at their website and there's not alot of info.
  6. Mudansha is offline

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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kern County California
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 7:59am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Shotokan Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatninja View Post
    These are my opinions...

    1. I don't see an issue with some programs for 4 year olds, there are programs like karate tots, punching panda, etc which are specifically aimed at the younger aged kids. And while, they aren't "proper" TMA, it does introduce them to the MA's.
    In my experience... 4 year olds don't have the physical dexterity to do TMA. You say its not "proper" tma, and I say it's babysitting at 4. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatninja View Post
    2. If this is a traditional TKD or karate program then they should know the patterns/kata's. However the "modern" karate (eg sport, freestyle, etc) programs don't have that many or any at all. It doesn't actually say what type it is.
    The black belt instructor did not know what style it was... ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatninja View Post
    However... The 21 different kyu levels, invitational only competitions, etc does sound odd.

    Do you have any more info? As I've taken a look at their website and there's not alot of info.
    Sure, most is on the website:

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/tournaments.htm
    Order of The Dragon holds four Invitational Tournaments per year. Our tournaments are Invitational. This means you and/or your school may only attend and participate if your school is on our Approved List. If your school isn't on our Approved List and you'd like to attend, please contact me. Getting an Invitation in the mail doesn't automatically mean your school is approved. Unfortunately, with the behavior of a few visiting schools, we find that we now have to be strict on who we let in. Cheating, poor sportsmanship, using our 'home' to solicit our students, visiting schools marketing themselves at our tournaments, etc. is just some of the reasons for this new requirement. Fortunately, all out of town Martial Arts Schools (with the exception of one based in Delano) have been exemplary in their behavior.


    Our dojo was excluded having never been to the event. When I talked to other dojos with good students, they too were excluded. I have no way to substantiate this, but you can read the quote above and make a decision if you believe me.


    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/training.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/training.htm
    Due to a variety of reasons, including safety concerns and liability issues, only Branded Order of the Dragon Safety/Protective/Sparring Gear is allowed to be used in class! In other words, if it doesn't have our LOGO on it, that gear isn't allowed in the class room. Absolutely no exceptions!
    You can tell they charge too much on this page:
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/cssfinfo.htm
    Includes 3 months and a $45 Uniform.
    The "uniform" they sell for $45 is sold at our dojo for $25.00. It's a cheap KI polycotton gi.

    On the same page regarding the $60 per month pass:

    If you fail to bring your pass to class, you will need to pay $10 for that class.
    There will not be any refunds given if you forget your pass!
    As far as the lack of kata and the 21 kyu levels, you can see their belt requirements here:
    http://www.orderofthedragon.com/Moves.htm

    You will see no kata on the list, and there are 21 kyu levels...

    What else do you want proof of and I will look for it.
  7. Chili Pepper is online now
    Chili Pepper's Avatar

    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,191

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 8:04am


     Style: Siling Labuyo Arnis

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oh - he's also an International Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee.
  8. Mudansha is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kern County California
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 8:37am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Shotokan Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatninja View Post
    These are my opinions...

    1. I don't see an issue with some programs for 4 year olds, there are programs like karate tots, punching panda, etc which are specifically aimed at the younger aged kids. And while, they aren't "proper" TMA, it does introduce them to the MA's.

    2. If this is a traditional TKD or karate program then they should know the patterns/kata's. However the "modern" karate (eg sport, freestyle, etc) programs don't have that many or any at all. It doesn't actually say what type it is.

    So those two points don't mean that the club/association is worthly of a bullshido trophey.

    However... The 21 different kyu levels, invitational only competitions, etc does sound odd.

    Do you have any more info? As I've taken a look at their website and there's not alot of info.
    Sure...

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/tournaments.htm
    Order of The Dragon holds four Invitational Tournaments per year. Our tournaments are Invitational. This means you and or your school may only attend and participate if your school is on our Approved List. If your school isn't on our Approved List and you'd like to attend, please contact me. Getting an Invitation in the mail doesn't automatically mean your school is approved. Unfortunately, with the behavior of a few visiting schools, we find that we now have to be strict on who we let in. Cheating, poor sportsmanship, using our 'home' to solicit our students, visiting schools marketing themselves at our tournaments, etc. is just some of the reasons for this new requirement. Fortunately, all out of town Martial Arts Schools (with the exception of one based in Delano) have been exemplary in their behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/training.htm"
    Due to a variety of reasons, including safety concerns and liability issues, only Branded Order of the Dragon Safety/Protective/Sparring Gear is allowed to be used in class! In other words, if it doesn't have our LOGO on it, that gear isn't allowed in the class room. Absolutely no exceptions!
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.orderofthedragon.com/cssfinfo.htm
    Includes 3 months and a $45 Uniform.
    This $45 uniform is the same cheap polycotton gi our dojo sells for $25.

    3. Buy a Monthly Pass for $60.
    Currently on sale for $45. This pass is good at all locations for up to 4 (four) times week.

    There are absolutely no refunds on any pass.

    Passes are not transferable.

    There is no credit for being absent.

    If you fail to bring your pass to class, you will need to pay $10 for that class.
    There will not be any refunds given if you forget your pass!
    As far as no kata, and 21 kyu levels, check out their belt requirements:
    http://www.orderofthedragon.com/Moves.htm


    If you need proof on something else, let me know...
  9. Rock Ape is offline
    Rock Ape's Avatar

    Watch and Shoot !

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    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 8:47am

    staff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm moving this thread to YMAS unless the dojo or the instructor in question undergoes more formal investigation.

    Mudansha.. What do you want from this thread ?

    Are you prepared to carryout a short investigation into the school and instructor, or, is it that you're just a bit pissed off at the standards and conduct of said school and you just wanted to sound off about it ?

    If you're prepared to provide a write-up which is accurate, factually informative and have that presented in the investigative section of this site's encyclopedia, then I'll have the thread moved back and assist you, if not, it stays in YMAS.

    Dave
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler
  10. Mudansha is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kern County California
    Posts
    7

    Posted On:
    9/12/2011 8:52am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Shotokan Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I apologize as I am new here and I do not know how things work.

    My goal in posting it is to let it be known that this dojo is a joke in the hopes that prospective students, or current students, might find it in a google search and be dissuaded from throwing their money away.

    I am willing to do a write-up in the appropriate format; I just need a template, or some direction.
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