Thread: Quitting and moving on
4/15/2011 11:31am, #1
Quitting and moving on
I've noticed a trend in threads where people mention quitting a gym/dojo etc, where the crappier schools tend to make the biggest deal about people leaving. An example from a recent Christian krotty Mcdojo thread:
It was incredibly painful leaving... rather like getting a divorce and alienating half of your family.
That year, Stewey's dad came up and thanked me, as did Stewey,( I didnt see them as often anymore).Steweys dad told me his coach was particularly impressed with his technique,and he went through the season undefeated. A friend of mine who is the coach at a rival middle school said the same. Sensei,instead of congratulating him,said some **** about him missing Aikido and scoffed.
On the other hand, better schools don't seem to have so much of this. They're the types that want you to move on to bigger and better things when you're ready, not stay at the school forever and become a 15th degree black belt (although finantially, that would be nice). I think it comes down to a few things:
1. Mcdojos often cater to children, so there can be this weird atmosphere that's acknowledged as respect but really they treat the adults like children. From there, it's easy to think that the teacher knows best and quitting a wholesome activity is going to lead to smoking, hanging out under the bleachers, and wearing leather jackets.
2. As a moneymaking endeavor, people leaving means dollars leaving, and if you can make your people feel bad about leaving you do better financially.
3. If the school teaches bullshit, I think the teacher has insecurities about what they teach and think that the student is kinda calling them out on it when they quit, and may go on to spread ill words about the training there. A legit school knows that what they teach is good stuff, so there must be other reasons involved.
It seems weird to me when people post those "How do I tell my sensei I'm leaving?" threads, because if you're moving on to other things, I think a good teacher should be happy for you. When I quit kung fu after like 9 years, it was to move on and try other martial arts, and I told him that. My sifu said something like this:
"The martial arts can be like religion. In the beginning, someone shows you a path and you may assume it to be true. As time goes on, you question things and look at other paths, and you need to know what's true by experience, not just because someone told you."
So I had his blessing to move on, and he said I'm welcome to come back if I want to. That was cool. I don't think I'll ever go back though. It's weird to me to read about teachers getting all gloomy and pissy when students leave. When I taught, one of my students left to study medicine at a good school across the country. Others had their reasons. I always wished them the best, and can't imagine being a dick about it. On the other hand, I wasn't involved in the financial side of the school.
To me, the scenario's kinda like one you see in romantic relationships. If one person is insecure about themselves, they may try to lower their partner's self esteem or expectations so that they won't leave them for someone better (because who could love a slow-witted fatass like you anyway?). It's a cognitive dissonance thing that makes all other scenarios seem worse. It's usually disturbing to see in a relationship, but it's apparent here when you see students of the worst training, who have been convinced that anywhere else in town teaches sportfighting that will get them killed, or that they really should stick around until their black belt, because right now they can't really defend themselves outside the dojo.
What are your thoughts about this? Do you have any stories of leaving a school?
4/15/2011 11:39am, #2
I have a good story in regards to that but its too fresh for a public forum. Suffice to say it really isn't just a "TMA" thing, leaving gyms can get messy."Boxing is the art of hitting an opponent from the furthest distance away, exposing the least amount of your body while getting into position to punch with maximum leverage and not getting hit."
4/15/2011 11:49am, #3
You do realize you have traces of that respect, you don't understand, in your posts. It is all about the atmosphere of the school and your own personal upbringing. I would say it isn't about a good or bad school. I've seen similar posts in what would be considered "good" schools. You know loyalty, respect, hard to leave, etc in MMA threads and the like.
4/15/2011 12:12pm, #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Vancouver, Canada
It's not limited just to "bad schools." I've heard of competent teachers in valid arts creating the same atmosphere. However, it's probably more prevalent at bad schools for a fairly obvious reason. If you don't have good product then you need other methods to attract and keep your student base. If you have good product you'll be less dependent on such things. However, there are plenty of good martial artists who are greedy and egotistical and still do that crap.
4/15/2011 12:12pm, #5
4/15/2011 12:29pm, #6
I agree on the guilt trip tip. Retaining talent/money/efforts is a tricky thing, and lot's of people lean on others to get what they want. Talent or quality of product doesn't determine tact. I've been in bands with musicians that were great, I mean really world-class, who were still pricks, or were unbearably overbearing, or OC, or just a bore in spite of their skills.
In my little gym experiences, I've seen worse attitudes from some students, than the staff, but it's there, sometimes. People reveal their true character when they know they're not going to profit or benefit directly from you any longer.
That said, I'd imagine that McDojo's would be more inclined to use this pressure due to their product being less of a draw, to stand alone on.
4/15/2011 12:36pm, #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
- NorCal, CA
This isn't unique to TMA cults by any means. People can have to deal with the same situation when leaving a job, a relationship, a sports club, political party, whatever. Quite simply I think what it comes down is if the person who you tell that you are leaving is a self-centered person or not. If they are a self-centered person they will only think about how you leaving inconveniences them, and thus they will crap all over you and guilt-trip you because all they care about is how the situation negatively affects them.
But if you are dealing with a wiser and more honorable person they will tell you straight up that they are sad to see you go because they like you, you do good work, or whatever, but they will wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and honestly want to keep in touch with you as one quality person to another.
4/15/2011 12:44pm, #8
In college, my sculpture teacher pulled me aside, and asked if 'this' was really right for me. He might have noticed that though I had some skillz, I was doing it all last minute (thanks guitar) It was part of why I left, and moved to the Pacific Northwest, having given all my paintings away.
4/15/2011 12:46pm, #9
A "fight club" is just socialization in an aggressive form, fraternization combined with fun, physical sport. My work schedule is so busy going to train is some of the only regular socialization I get, outside of work. That, and Bullshido.
In boxing clubs, people get in the ring and throw fists, in judo they throw each other, in football, they throw the pigskin around while trying to knock people senseless. Fun way to meet people, beat each other up, then bullshit after (sometimes, delicious cake is served!)
Social fraternization over time leads to bonding, without a doubt, so I agree it's not limited to things like "bad schools". You can make friends at a bad school, even befriend someone you consider a bad instructor....making the decision to leave more than just opting for Burger King over McDonalds.
The butthurt that goes on when anyone leaves "the group" is a complex mix of emotions that can include sadness, envy, anger, ego...quite a clusterfuck.
A bad instructor can probably turn the whole thing into an uberclusterfuck for everyone involved, especially those who'd like to stay.
On the other hand, a good instructor WANTS you to cross train, to branch out, explore. A good teacher wants to instill in someone the right skills and critical eye, then let them fly and be free.
My sifu sold me when he told me early on "You don't become the Hung Ga style, if you train right it should become you". Then we did kettle bells and pushups.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 4/15/2011 12:50pm at .
4/15/2011 5:29pm, #10