Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    Style
    N/A at the moment.
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    I've Enrolled Myself Into A McDojo

    Hey guys, before I start, I feel I should probably introduce myself first. My name is Erik, and it's great to meet you all. After lurking Bullshido for a little while, I felt it might be appropriate to register for an account and maybe be a little more active in the community itself. From what I see, there are some great discussions and what not going on here and I'd love to be a part of them some day. Now when it comes to martial arts, I've recently gotten into it, and I have no experience at all (aside from some TKD lessons at the local community center at age 7, but I quit the month I started, from that description maybe you can piece together how you think it went.) Being inexperienced, I came here to read up a little and to maybe receive some perspectives and advice that could help me along the way. In other words, I'm young, naive, and impressionable. Feel entitled to either f*** me over, or tear me apart. That all being said, now I feel I should move on to the main subject of this post: about how I enrolled myself into a mcdojo.

    Lately, I had been feeling tired, out of shape, and generally bored with my life. I was looking for something new to be passionate in. My friend suggested that I look in to martial arts. Having seen it glorified in movies, video games, and television, the thought got me pretty excited. I began to fantasize myself doing these amazing feats of finesse and physical strength in my head. Ridiculous and childish, I know, but I felt that I should confess that to you guys so you can get a good chuckle. So, I jumped to the Yellow Pages, turned the pages to the martial arts section, and began digging through the listings like a monk in his scriptures. Eventually, I found a place that looked okay, and was close enough to where I lived, Brunswick Martial Arts (http://www.brunswickmartialarts.com/). I looked at their website, called them up, and arranged an appointment. And this is where our story really begins.

    He scheduled me to sit on an advanced class, just to give an idea of what they did basically. It amazed me, the kicks, the flurries of air strikes (we'll get back to these later), they were all drilled to mechanical perfection. It got me pumped up, I was excited. The instructor (he calls himself Shihan) was a nice guy. Full of energy, great to talk to, really personable. He told me everything I needed to know. I was too giddy and preoccupied to even ask that many questions. When I look back at it, I really wish that I had. So, after we talked, he signed me up. $90 dollars a month, even with a free gi! I was so excited, there wasn'I a way in hell that I could refuse the offer. So, I signed the liability forms, the contracts (put an emphasis on this, we'll come back to it as well), and I was set on my way. Now I had to play the waiting game, it was a week to my first lesson, and I waited with a smile.

    When I got home, I thought to myself, "what can I possibly do to prepare myself for what I'm going to learn?" So I began to read articles online about the basics of combat, self-defense, etc. I came here to lurk quite often as well. However, there was one term that stuck out to me: mcdojo. I'm pretty sure you guys know what that means, so I won't explain it. I began to research into the term, the signs, and I slowly began to realize that the dojo I signed up for had some of those "mcdojo-ish" tendencies. More and more I began to re-analyze the situation. The contracts, the abundance of kata and lack of actual contact, and hell, even the fighting style. Shaolin Kempo Karate. I believe that having the words Shaolin, Kempo, and Karate in the same phrase speaks well of its legitimacy. In other words, I signed myself up for a mcdojo. I was over-excited, naive, foolish, plain and simple, and now I was going to pay for it. Literally. The contract I signed? Now I was locked in for three months. Even if I canceled, I'd still have to pay. Instead of anticipating, now I waited.

    Now we're on to the first lesson. I got there, they gave me my gi, I tied my belt, and we were off. My "sensei" was an older man, and morbidly obese at that. The fact that he was teaching us didn't speak well to me. The shihan that I had met up with earlier? The owner of the dojo? He was nowhere to be found. This also didn't really sit well with me. After doing some calisthenics and stretches to warm up, we began practicing our katas. Oh boy the katas. They were named cleverly and thoughtfully, and by that I mean they were numbered. Kata 1, kata 2, kata 3, and so on. And then they were put into combinations (which were also thoughtfully and carefully numbered.) So for about an entire half an hour, we just hit the air with palm strikes, punches, wrist strikes, and "tiger palms" (clawing at the air, which I believe won't really be useful or applicable in any real life situation.) When it came time to apply our techniques, we picked partners and pretended to hit each other, stopping our strikes inches from actual contact. Not even light contact was established. I know it's okay in novice levels not to have hard as hell, no rules sparring, but not even light contact. What disturbed me (once I thought about it) was that even in the advanced class, there wasn't even contact as well. I talked to a girl in the class (her name was Amanda, she was very kind), who had a yellow belt. She said she had been there for about a month. I don't know much about pacing standards in belt upgrades, but for some reason I felt as if a month to a yellow belt might have been a little too short. After an hour of katas and pretend sparring, it was over.

    I know that martial arts is a long time investment. There is a lot of work to be put into it, and I am completely eager, and ready to do that, but I don't think where I am right now is the best place for me. Sure it's a nice exercise program, but I want it to be more than that. I want it to be a sport, I want the skills I learn to possibly even defend me in a situation that requires it. But I don't think memorizing katas 1-10 and making them look pretty is going to accomplish that goal for me. I'm spending money, and putting effort into my training, so I want it to be something I can be proud of. I know the things that a mcdojo breeds: over-confidence and under-trained students. I don't want to go into the streets thinking I can fight, and then to risk my own wellbeing when the first punch is thrown and I can't react. So, this is my question to you guys: I'm locked in here for three months. As soon as they're up, I'm breaking the f***ing gate open and running for the goddamn hills. I've read the McDojo FAQ (a great piece of reading) and I've crawled forums everywhere looking for answers, but there's one thing that I've found hasn't been specifically answered very well. What do I do now, now that I'm locked in a mcdojo? How do I make it through the three months without picking up any of the bad habits that I might ingrain? What are some things you guys want to tell me that aren't written down? I don't want these three months to ruin anything else I might try to do.

    Again, I'd just like to introduce myself, and to say that I'm honored to be a part of this awesome community, and I thank any of you for taking the time to read this. I'm really looking forward one day to maybe not being such a huge f**kup.

    Peace,

    Erik

  2. #2
    Dark Overlord of the Bullshido Underworld supporting member
    Tom Kagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New York, NY USA
    Posts
    5,600
    Style
    Taai Si Ji Kung Fu
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Go or don't go, but three months isn't going to kill you. Don't worry about so much.
    Calm down, it's only ones and zeros.

    "Your calm and professional manner of response is really draining all the fun out of this. Can you reply more like Dr. Fagbot or something? Call me some names, mention some sand in my vagina or something of the sort. You can't expect me to come up with reasonable arguments man!" -- MaverickZ

    "Tom Kagan spins in his grave and the fucking guy isn't even dead yet." -- Snake Plissken

    My Bullshido fan club threads:
    Tom Kagan's a big hairy...
    Tom Kagan can lick my BALLS
    Tom Kagan teaches _ing __un and bigotry?
    Tom Kagan: Serious discussion here
    Lamokio asks the burning question is Tom Kagan a ***** or just cruising for some
    I'm Dave the gay Kickboxer from Manchester and I have the hots for Tom Kagan
    TOM KAGAN, OPEN ME, THE MKT ARE COMING FOR YOU ! ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH TO MEET ?
    ATTN TOM KAGAN
    World Dominator 'Kagan' in plot to lie about real Kung Fu and Martial Arts
    Tom Kagan just gave me my third negative rep in a day
    I am infatuated with Tom Kagan
    Tom Kagan is a fat balding white guy.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central Maine
    Posts
    356
    Style
    Getting less fat
    -1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi Erik, welcome to Bullshido. Good to see a fellow Mainer here.

    Sucks about the contract. If you can't get out of it, don't worry too much about the three months. You won't be there that long to have to "unlearn" that much. Just try to have some fun with it and move on.

    What are you looking for? Southern Maine does have some bjj and mma training available. Boxing too of course.

    bombom

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    Style
    N/A at the moment.
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for your guys' advice. Maybe I was overthinking it. Probably, I have nervous novice syndrome as you can see. Just gotta calm down, I guess. :P

    @Bombom
    Great to meet another Mainer too! Yeah, the contract sucks, but I made a mistake, and I'm gonna deal with it. I'll definitely just try to enjoy what I have now. After this, I'm probably gonna look into BJJ and MMA like you said, but there's also a Judo place in Portland that I want to see as well. Again, it's great to meet you, and thanks so much for the advice.

  5. #5
    Soldiermedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,163
    Style
    bjj/judo
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If anything use it as a way to get into a little bit better shape before trying something new.

    Are you talking about Jay Jack and Amanda Buckner's gym in Portland? There used to be a gym review on here done by user Scrapper, I'm not sure if it is still up after the site was updated, but if you are traveling to Portland they are definetely worth checking out.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    24,209
    Style
    Chinese Boxing
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I just went through their website. I don't see anything definitive that says they're a Mcdojo. I've seen some seriously good Shaolin Kempo Karate Practitioners so don't completely go there. My litmus test for you is to let them know you want to really train hard, you want to be realistic, and you want some contact. See what their reaction is then you'll know what school you've joined. Aside from that $90 for only 3 months is nothing, have fun and go learn something.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    Style
    N/A at the moment.
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah, thanks guys. I did overreact and over think a little. Just gotta take it easy and have fun. I bet all of you are infinitely more experienced than I am, so I'm gonna trust your advice (as I have none of my own experience to guide me.)

    @SoldierMedic25
    The Academy (AMMA) [http://www.bullshido.net/forums/arch.../t-55860.html] in Portland looks really cool. Maybe I'll check it out later. Right now I'm out of school, but I'm gonna wait until I'm back in to see if what they have is compatible with my schedule.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    Style
    N/A at the moment.
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Supreme View Post
    Aside from that $90 for only 3 months is nothing, have fun and go learn something.
    A little confusion there; it's $90 PER month. Maybe I wrote something down wrong or worded it awkwardly. Just wanted to clear that up.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    24,209
    Style
    Chinese Boxing
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No, I knew what you meant. I wrote my answer wrong.

  10. #10
    Soldiermedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,163
    Style
    bjj/judo
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The Academy (AMMA) [http://www.bullshido.net/forums/arch.../t-55860.html] in Portland looks really cool. Maybe I'll check it out later. Right now I'm out of school, but I'm gonna wait until I'm back in to see if what they have is compatible with my schedule.
    Thats the place. Its very much worth the drive.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in