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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Long island
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    Shaolin kung fu
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Can you help me determine if this is a "mcdojo"

    hi! I'm 19 and i was looking to start taking martial arts. I've decided i want to try kung fu, and was trying to find a good dojo to attend. I found a dojo near me that looks good, but a few things set off some red flags.
    1.) The teacher uses the term "Authentic shaoilin kung fu" on his website, and i don't believe shaoilin monks typically go around teaching kung fu to non-monks (i might be mistaken though)
    2.) The instructor puts a huge amount of videos of him fighting, training and etc but he seems to be very flashy (head kicks, backflips, one handed push ups etc). he doesn't appear to do this in the videos of him actually sparring against opponents though, only when he trains.
    3.) he seems to be into the performing arts. From what his website says, he has been in plays/movies etc where he used martial arts etc.
    I don't want to play it out like it's all bad though. he offers a complete week of classes completely free plus half off the first two months and like i said, he shows videos of exactly what he and his students do in a typical class along with full contact sparring.
    what do you guys think i should do?

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    San Diego
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    14,109
    Style
    street paddleboarding
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    -can you post the website URL?

    -What style of Kung fu? Even Shaolin is somewhat of an umbrella term.

    -a kung fu place is not a dojo

    -do they fight sanshou or san da?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Long island
    Posts
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    Style
    Shaolin kung fu
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    1.) it seems like i'm lacking sufficient points to do links on this site but the url is shaolinlohan .com and he goes under the youtube username zilb gregg. /user/AuthenticShaolin
    2. The style he uses is called lohan chuan
    3. Sorry, i thought it was the same name but it would make sense considering the word dojo is jappanese
    4. Sanshou i believe.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    65
    Style
    Xingyi
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thats on long island right? If i were you I would absolutely check out Li Tai Liang and Xinyidao

    http://litailiang.homestead.com/

    little piece on him: http://www.examiner.com/article/lear...r-li-tai-liang

    I reckon he can teach you how to fight pretty well.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    24,207
    Style
    Chinese Boxing
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    *snicker

    Um yeah.

    Bullshido or Mcdojo?

    And yes, Lohan is the basic system in which base Shaolin is supposedly based off.

  6. #6
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    10,822
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrein View Post
    trying to find a good dojo
    In CMA terms it is a "kwoon" (Cantonese) or "guan" (Mandarin).

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrein View Post
    1.) The teacher uses the term "Authentic shaoilin kung fu" on his website, and i don't believe shaoilin monks typically go around teaching kung fu to non-monks (i might be mistaken though)
    Shaolin is more of a cultural and historical "hub" of martial arts than a closed source of them, meaning various open hand and weapon styles of kung fu came in, left, came in again, and so on for hundreds of years. If Shaolin is the "source" of anything at all, it's more Chan(Zen) and possibly the application of Zen to everyday life, including combat.

    Today there are a small handful of styles that can trace their lineage back to a Shaolin monk with some degree of authenticity. Unfortunately there are also hundreds of schools that can't, but will claim the lineage anyway for a variety of reasons ranging from ignorance to outright fraud.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrein View Post
    2.) The instructor puts a huge amount of videos of him fighting, training and etc but he seems to be very flashy (head kicks, backflips, one handed push ups etc). he doesn't appear to do this in the videos of him actually sparring against opponents though, only when he trains.
    Videos of proper CMA sparring in most styles tend to look similar. In kung fu, sparring is called san da/san shou and typically is limited to punching, kicking, throwing, and locking techniques (bone breaking is right out!).

    Head kicks are not fancy, and they win UFC fights. Anybody who can do a real backflip or OHP is probably a good athlete at the least and might be worth training with as long as he doesn't claim he can anoint you with that skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrein View Post
    3.) he seems to be into the performing arts. From what his website says, he has been in plays/movies etc where he used martial arts etc.
    Man's got to earn a living. It's hard to make good money from an MA school unless you have a steady stream of fresh students, are a franchise, or break your back to market the hell out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrein View Post
    what do you guys think i should do?
    I think you should keep asking questions until you're comfortable making a decision on your own. The question you should start with is what do you want to get out of it, and can this instructor provide, based on your research.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 11/29/2012 4:18pm at .

  7. #7
    It is Fake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    35,236
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    xingyi
    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Go visit the school, but DO NOT SIGN OR JOIN until you process the information. Hard sell tactics are just that and most instructors do not care if you leave. Just don't be a dick or disrespectful when you visit and ask questions.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    SarfLondon UK
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    798
    Style
    Taiji/Hsingyi
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If I were you I would check both schools for contrast, the 'Shaolin' one and the Li Tai Liang one.The 'Authentic Shaolin' school looks like you could spend a lot on various fancy costumes whereas the one that's actually taught by a Chinese looks less concerned with looking like your in a kung fu film.

    If fighting Sanda is what you want judge on that basis.

  9. #9
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    10,822
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The instructor is Gregg Zilb whose teacher was Moses Arocho....I can't find who instructed him, which is typical. From other links I skimmed Moses Arocho may have trained a few professional kickboxers and may have had a full contact program in NY at one point...not sure.

    They have a few mcdojo flags (kiddie parties), I was impressed by Gregg's weapons work...most of their online videos are compliant drills, although Gregg appears to have at least a couple of full contact fight clips mixed into the demo reels...they have a "Spartan" class where he yells at you and a "Shaolin Tactical Combat" class where he...who knows.

    They are definitely pushing what some people consider "Shaolin Kool-Aid" ie. movie myths vs historically accurate material, such as calling Shaolin Lohan Chuan a "1500 year old war art" when in fact there is no record of open handed Shaolin style going back that far (the monastery is that old, but the evidence of open handed styles is much newer). That tends to come with the marketing...because that's what people tend to buy in to.

    Take off all the Shaolin garb, this guy is extremely athletic and you could do a lot worse. But again, make sure this is exactly what you want...

    http://www.shaolinlohan.com/#!media

    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 11/30/2012 10:27am at .

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Long island
    Posts
    4
    Style
    Shaolin kung fu
    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I ended up trying a few schools in my area and there were definitely some good ones, but i enjoyed the "Authentic shaolin kung fu" school run by sifu Gregg the best. All the students and staff at the school are very friendly and go out of their way to help you figure out the poses and techniques. From what i can tell, even in the beginner classes the group is broken up into two. Each of the groups is taught by their own "lao-shih" and the lao-shih goes around making individual adjustments to the students form. The newest group goes through the poses very slowly so that we get down the basic movements and the higher beginner group does the movements at a quicker pace.

    A few things that i was really impressed by is
    1. Sifu Gregg recommended that i try several schools before making any kind of commitment. he even recommended a few schools in the area.
    2. We don't need to sign a contract,
    3.There are definitely a lot of new students, but there are quite a few people who have been attending our school for 2-3 years + and they all still highly recommend it.
    4. You don't need to buy a uniform until your second sash (they aren't out to try and rip you off by making you buy expensive uniforms)
    5. full contact sparring.



    Okay i know i just went into a rant, but i just want to say that i highly recommend anyone looking for a martial arts school in the area to give Sifu Gregg a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

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