Thread: My McDojo's "Point of No Return"
4/01/2006 1:14pm, #111
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Parts Unknown
I forgot to note that full-contact or even hard contact sparring was actually discouraged and that I was scorned for engaging in such 'unsafe' activities. Unsafe? What about that technique where you rip the guy's throat out and dance all over his spine and balls? It's good to be moving on :icon_thum :icon_thum
Last edited by Hammer Fist; 4/01/2006 1:17pm at .
5/14/2006 2:15am, #112
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
- Vaughan, ON (New Brunswick native)
I'm still in the process of leaving a kwoon that I've trained at for six years. It's difficult, I must say. It's a good school because of its lack of politics and friendly instructors but I just don't believe in it anymore. Also, my instructor calls me "brother" and his teacher, the founder of the school, seems to like having me there as well.
However I really don't agree with what they teach anymore. I quit once without telling my instructor. This was mostly due to a lack of sparring, and too much form work (and only form work, we didn't even learn any of the applications). About four months later I had a change of heart and e-mailed my instructor. He seemed glad to hear from me.
So, I returned the next week. I was pleasantly surprised by many new people who were in decent shape (or at least better shape then me but truthfully that's not saying much). Also, the sparring sessions had become more frequent (almost every week!) and involved harder contact. There was even a former kickboxer (I don't think he ever competed though) who was a challenge during sparring. The weaknesses in my game were quickly revealed during my first few rounds with him, and I improved more in a few weeks then I did in the previous three years.
However I have left again. A few things happened that devastated me.
First, I told my Instructor that I was moving to Toronto this September. He wanted me to start up a school there. I'm all for propogating your martial art but I have a certain standard I want to reach before I ever even consider teaching. I really just don't understand why he would want ME, at my level, to instruct. Besides, I want to dive into the MMA world when I move to Toronto!
Secondly I was being pushed to learn another form. This is part of the curriculum so it's not really my instructors fault but I know eight forms as of now (and a few more that I'd need a refresher on) and quite frankly I am sick of learning them when I am getting nothing from them.
Also I was having a conversation with a student there who was learning a Wing Chun form and he commented that a friend of his heard on some tv show on some channel that Wing Chun was rated the #1 martial art in the world. Perhaps I'm too friendly, but all I could do was nod my head a smile. I appease too many of these people.
Lastly during my final class I watched with my mouth agape as my instructor asked a female student, an old friend of mine, to remove her rings because it effects her chi flow during forms. I always believed that my teacher didn't believe in chi because of the his reactions I noted during Tai Chi classes elsewhere and his previous venture in kickboxing (I don't know his record or where he fought but I have seen some old newspaper clippings and a few trophies). When he left I walked over to my friend and said, "Wow, I didn't know he believed in all that nonsense." She replied, "Well, I'm sure it has some grounds..." and didn't argue her case further.
5/14/2006 10:35am, #113
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- somewhere you aren't
No disrespect. But I think this misguided loyalty some folks have to their sifus, senseis, instructors, or whatever title is sort of misguided and a bit cultish. This is America or Canada in most cases and you have a right to leave and study with anyone regardless of what your current teacher says or any of us on this board. Just watchout who you study with. If they demand loyalty or make wierd claims they are probably bullshido masters.
If you liked that dojo and what the option to comeback explain you want a little time off and if the instructors worth a sh*t he or she will be cool with it. I have instructors tell me "you leave to study with someone else don't comeback!" And guess what I've discovered later they were bullshido artist and nutriders. Take your training serious but this stuff is not your life.:eusa_thin
5/14/2006 11:05pm, #114
Originally Posted by kipdynamite
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
- Vaughan, ON (New Brunswick native)
This kwoon isn't a cult per se but after training with people for six years you do form some kind of bond with them. My instructor lived next door to me for a few years and I've known him since I was fourteen, so I believe it's natural for me to feel bad about turning my back on him and the students I trained with.
They work very hard in keeping the traditional martial arts alive and are always experimenting with new chinese styles. However, it's just not for me anymore.
9/11/2006 9:58pm, #115
I ran into a old multi-standup systems bb buddy who was hired by a Korean style school last year. I asked how it was going and he kinda winced. OK he said, and then explained. He said that the sparring consists of tag matches, "... where they tap each other on the top of the head and run away, and they call that a point! Or they do flippy back hands!" And since this guy is a moderately hard contact point type himself, that's saying a lot. And he illustrated their forms with, "... it's all out there," while robotically blocking rhythmically with his forearms. "And there's none of this, and it doesn't come from in here" he said, tapping his stomach, and he exploded into a very fast hard style block/stike combo (and made me remember that this is why karate works: the usual violent clown would be destroyed in a half a second by that one combo that this guy nailed down twenty years ago, and now the "muscle memory" is very well ingrained).
He said he is doing what he can, working with the kids and trying to make sparring a tad more realistic and trying to teach body dynamics in striking. His illustration of weak forms was real funny - flipping his wrists around with a fake looking intense look on his face. Sadly it's just what we've seen in forms competition all too often where some third degree with political connections wimps out a form and takes the championship.
Since he needs the money, he's going to be stuck there for awhile. But I feel that inside his heart, he's allready reached the point of no return.
Last edited by patfromlogan; 9/11/2006 10:00pm at ."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
9/12/2006 9:57am, #116
Originally Posted by Adrian5
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Seattle, WA area
I think TKD and Wing Chun probably take that place... :)
I mean, at least Karate has Kyuokishin which does a reasonable job of representing -- whereas TKD has... um, what? And Wing Chun? Where is T3e R34l Wing Chun?
On a serious note -- as a long time karate guy who is now lovin' the BJJ, I still think Karate has alot to offer if you find a good school that uses modern sports/science-based training methods, lots of drills/sparring, and minimizes the stomping up and down the floor punching the air....
Not easy to find though... but in most cases, even the kata-focused traditional karate -- in my experience -- is still better than TKD!!
9/12/2006 6:29pm, #117
I've been at my dojo fer about 8 years, maybe a little more. My Shihan and I are very close friends now as well as all the others. It's not a cultish loyalty to me, it's just loyalty to friends and a teacher who isn't bad at what he does, I mean yes we have a kids McDojo side but the adults learn applications and the majority of the class is taken up with partnered drill and taking actually good tech's out of katas but I feel a little stuck and while I love karate (especially Goju) I feel the training is a bit watered down from his own days (He trained Kyokushin-esque sparring when he was a student) but he feels his training was overly unsafe and the like. And I can sorta see some of it, we've had three broken ribs in "point tag" sparring (yes, that's all the sparring we do) What really saved me was our Judo program that was made a few years back and I got really into and now I'm in college far enough from my hometown I can't train there anymore and found this AMAZING new Judo Dojo I still get calls from him asking how I was and hoping to see me again soon in the summer.
I just don't think I'm ready to leave yet, not at the "point of no return" because recently some other of us older teen BB's have been putting the pressure on for more intense sessions and sparring and the like and we're given practically free-reign (when I return once a month) to smack each other around in the manner we choose I guess. I just respect and like my teacher, the art, and the students, just not the way the teacher trains the students in the art. What really got me thinking of going all Judo or even to a local MT place was this place but I'm not going to push things too quickly. I'll let changes come as they do and hopefully get my college gym to get a heavybag so I can still work on karate here on my own at least....
9/12/2006 6:44pm, #118Originally Posted by daGorilla
*Can't get any more specific without fear of fucking up his job status.
Last edited by patfromlogan; 9/12/2006 6:47pm at ."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
9/12/2006 6:56pm, #119
And I always remove my numerous rings in enhance chi flow."Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
11/11/2010 4:26pm, #120
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
- Nagoya, Japan
Fantastic thread! Here's my McDojo point of no return story.
I have quit a number of dojos over the years, most of them due to schedule conflicts or other non-McDojo reasons. However, I've had a few McDojo kind of places I have quit from:
The teacher was totally unreliable. We used to meet twice a week and then he decided without telling the owner of the school that he wanted to drop one of the classes (but we still had to pay the same amount). Then he brought in two other guys to help teach (without telling the owner) since he was missing every other class. One guy was really awesome, he had a background in Aikijujutsu and it was a lot of fun working with him. The other guy... he had lived in Japan for a number of years and was gonna teach us "the real Aikido" which ended up being an hour of stretching and meditation and bullshit Ki exercises, then 15 minutes of techniques. I'm not saying that bullshit Ki exercises don't have some use in Aikido, but it was over the top. That guy pushed me over the edge and I just never went back.
-Judo: huge class and simply not enough teachers to go around. One day someone made the mistake of asking a higher ranked belt for advice (who wasn't a blackbelt) and the teachers all stopped the class, and lectured us for 15 minutes about how it's disrespectful to ask a non blackbelt a question and if you have some trouble just wait patiently for a blackbelt to get to you. Then the next day happened to fall on Veteran's Day and after class the senior teacher basically attempted to force us to thank him for his service. Went home and never came back.
After that I had some great experiences with another Aikido place and a place that taught MMA sort of stuff (though it was probably a McDojo, I doubt they had any proper lineage at all). Had to drop those two when I moved to Japan a few years ago.
In Japan, however, I found the most Bullshidoest dojo ever.
Based on my experience training with the Aikijujutsu guy back in the US, I wanted to see if I could find a place to train at. I found one, with a legitimate lineage and everything:
-Roppokai Daitoryu Aikijujutsu:
The teacher was a direct student of Okamoto, the founder of the branch.
I don't want to condemn all of Roppokai, since I didn't get the chance to train with Okamoto, and maybe this class just sucked. But it was absolute nonsense. I never was under the delusion that Aikido will make you a badass, but if forced to choose I would fall back on Aikido over Roppokai if I were in a fight- it was that bad. Outside of Yellow Bamboo It was the worst of all the Ki nonsense you hear about, with people throwing themselves for the blackbelts, transmitting Ki waves through touch, etc. I thought "there must be more to it than this, this is a legit art that traces lineage back to the founding of Daitoryu" but then I searched for videos of Okamoto online and didn't like what I saw at all. After about a month I decided not to go back.