McDojo Gray Area
I fucking love my gym. It's under a year old. It has an energetic instructor. It has a cadre of serious young fighters who want to go pro. It has a group of people who just want fitness or fun, but who work hard nonetheless. It shares space with a pro-wrestling group and occasionally ladies with huge fake boobs power-bomb eachother. Sometimes I go to class at 5pm after work, and stay until 8 or 9pm. And I've learned a lot.
I took my first "test" on Wednesday night, and I felt like the requirements for me to get my "white prajead" (an equivalent to white belt) were reasonably high, especially considering that I have to test for fucking white belt. But as I was working my ass off. Sweating, and gasping for breath, dodging head-checks and throwing combos, the 8 year-old kid testing beside me for the same rank got me thinking about the definition of McDojo, what it really means, and how a good gym has to toe a pretty careful line between money, family-friendly community center atmosphere, and serious martial arts.
If a little kid who is distractable and has trouble going through the basic curriculum can be awarded the next rank does that make my poor gym a McDojo? On the other hand, there are some serious fighters there doing Ammy fights, and there is an emphasis on conditioning that I never saw in my McDojo days (weight room, pull-ups and push-ups, tons of cardio).
Another thing I'm thinking about is how happy that kid and the other few kids like him were to be there testing and working hard. Richmond is an urban area and the gym is near the airport, not on the better side of town. So keeping those kids acheiving and coming in, having them around some positive role models is pretty important. And it's affordable!
As the gym grows, what does my Kru need to do to balance between family friends and "alive." ? My only thought so far is that he either 1) needs separate ranks for kids or 2) needs to make a separate competition team where things remain pretty intense. Maybe the ranking system should be used just for kids, us older folks can get out and spar and fight if we want to know how good we are.
Anyway, those are my musings. Fire away!
Well any gym that has big breasted females doing powerboms should, no has to spread the word around town! share the greatness my daddy always said.
To your question two different groups is the best solution i think.
I had a similar situation, my Kyokushin dojo having a national heavyweight Kyokushin champion, several competitors with south american and international experience
And some kids with black belts
The younger students at my dojang certainly have an easier time earning rank than the adults. However they are only allowed a first dan until they turn 16. At which time they have to retest for their first dan and go through the same mild maiming as the adults.
Is it possible for the serious folks to stay another hour or two after the kids go home to get some serious training in?
Did you pay extra for the test? If they're not milking it then it's not a McDojo
It sounds like you are at a solid gym. Personally I don't like training with kids and prefer a kids class and an adults class. Bear in mind if the gym is less than a year old it may be the owner/coach is putting everyone together until he/she has enough fee paying customers to run two classes. Why don't you sound them out to see what the long term plans are to split the groups?
By the sound of it - this doesn't sound like a McDojo to.
The test cost $25 which didn't seem to steep to me considering we get an armband, a medal, and he had professionally printed certificates.
Originally Posted by Lindz
For the record, here is a picture of me testing with my little 8 y/o buddy. White-Belts of the world unite!
I'm in the orange trunks and my little pal is to the left. We're doing quarter turns.
Was that kid's belt test beating you up? He looks like a monster.
The little kid (in the blue boxing gloves) is actually pretty damn good considering he can barely sit still and can't concentrate for more than a second at a time. He had a loose baby tooth the other day, and it got fucking knocked out by a punch from another little kid. He just calmly said "my tooth got knocked out," handed it to the Kru, and tried to go back to training.
Originally Posted by Rivington
Just as an aside, that other person laying on the ground whose legs are visible behind the "bob" dummy is one of our competition fighters. Dude is intense. But he was just chilling after his test, nobody knocked him down.