Thread: My McDojo's "Point of No Return"
2/19/2005 1:24am, #41
This thread makes me think about empty sadness that bullshido, poor teaching, bad methods, and narrow minded egomaniac type instructors cause happen to their students.
And this brings to mind another sad story. It digresses some from the thread, but I think it is worth telling. When my son was eight and my daughter ten they both tried out martial arts schools. They had had a year or two of the Kyokushin children's class and at the traditional Okinawan dojo Ana, my daughter was judged to be experienced and big enough to handle the adult class. She fit in well and at 15 earned the distinction of being the youngest black belt ever awarded in that school. My son went one night to the children's class and didn't like it. We soon found the well run (if short lived) class I mentioned above, run by Pat Smith, a wrestler and belted in karate and judo. It was the class that played games like Queen Bee. Henry, my son, is small and Pat S is very short (and built like a tank). Pat S is very friendly and affectionate, and a tough fighter. He's the kind of person you love to have your kids train under. Once when Henry was bummed out by being beaten by a larger younger kid, he saw what was up and knelt down, got nose to nose and said, "Look Henry, growing up I was always the smallest kid in my class at school. And then I learned martial arts and learned to handle myself and no one pushed me around." Then he made everyone laugh saying he always had a girlfriend too. I greatly appreciated the lesson, being a small kid or man is tough and he showed Henry that he could still be a man no matter what size he was.
Five years later Henry had got his brown and one night our class was called off. Ana asked if he'd like to go with her to the Okinawan school. They took off and then soon came back upset. Sensei had greeted them at the door by yelling at Henry, telling him that once you quit his school, you can never come back.
Jesus Fucking Christ. I went after him and lucky for us both he had already left. Later I confronted him and he said that Henry had been his student for two weeks (no, one lesson, one night) and that he wouldn't do what was asked and so forth. So the guy's ego couldn't take it that an eight year old didn't like his class. What is really sad is that he does have a good school. One of Henry's class mates was a brown belt there and a real tough fighter. Henry, if he had been welcomed in, probably would have joined and done just fine.
So egocentric sensei there, idiot sensei in the sparring scene, good sensei with idiot fucking around druggy wife kills the other school, and he was going to the yelling instructor for a while too! As Henry said, "I sure have had a string of bad luck with karate schools." I feel responsible also. At least Pat S is back teaching now, if only once a week, and that has been fun."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
2/19/2005 1:27am, #42
Blindgod, good post and to your second, sounds good, after all, as j416to wrote, why hurt feelings and it's not our job to hand out the red pill."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
2/19/2005 2:00am, #43
2/19/2005 2:49am, #44
My first MA school was Temple Kung Fu. I think you can figure it out from there.
First day: "OMG!! YOU EXCEL AT EVERYTHING YOU DO!"
One year later: "Yeah... we'll need 5 years payment up front. Guaranteed Black Belt in two years, though."
All I was shown were some stances, 2 or so punches, some blocks, and a low roundhouse. Over the course of a year.
2/19/2005 3:01am, #45
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
For me, it wasn't so much a "WTF this is ghey" moment as it was a long process. I guess I have to begin at the beginning...
When I was 8-ish we moved to the area, and having trained TKD for a year or two we looked for a school. We found a place run by a nice Korean family, a father and two sons. The dad was an ex-world chamion, and the younger son would later go on to compete in the Pan-Am games and take home either a silver or gold (I don't remember, truthfully). Needless to say, these guys knew their business.
I have trouble remembering these early classes, but they seemed OK. There were a few 20-ish guys who were in good shape, and we had medium-to-hard sparring. However, gradually they stopped sparring for some reason. It also went from me being one of the few little kids there to being one of many. Without the sparring, class got boring, so I quit. This might have been when I was 12.
Fast-forward to my Sophomore year of high school. I for some reason decided to get back into the martial arts, so I look up the school where I trained at before. They are now located in a strip mall, with many more students. Since I'm naturally pretty flexible I managed to pick it back up OK, and they let me start back up with my black belt that I had from before. I was kind of annoyed by the no-contact sparring (when there was sparring), and the kiai's the little kids did when they did hyung pissed me off to no end (they weren't even functional kiai's, just loud yelling), but no real alarm bells went off.
But then I pulled my head out of my ass (this coincided with my registration on Bullshido). During sparring, I used to do punches to the face; since it was no-contact, no one really cared. Then, I noticed that no one else did this. I thought, "that's dumb, they should know how to deal with punches to the face." I started teaching lower belts and younger black belts to hit to the face; they looked at me like I was from another planet. Then, when we were doing our cooperative "hapkido" drills, I started trying to do them at full force. I started asking the attacker to actually try to hit me, and then actually trying to throw them like it was a fight. Again, they thought I was a freaking alien.
Then I realized that I was dreading the classes before I went to them, not wanting to put up with that kind of horseshit for another hour. One day, I just stopped going.
A couple weeks later, I went to watch a class at a BJJ school. The asst. instructor told me, "I'm not gonna lie to you man, we teach you to **** people up." I was pretty much sold after that.sudo make me a sandwich!
2/19/2005 8:01am, #46
I suspect that in the end, you'll be happier with everything in general, if you can simply leave on good terms. Your old school may in fact be filled with problems, but it's probably also filled with a lot of good people, a lot of friends that have offered you plenty of support and help over the years. And as you said, it may very well be meeting their needs, just not yours.
You could go out with a bang, you could tell everyone that they're **** and that you've recognized that they suck, but what's the point in that. Leaving that way will not change things, leaving that way will only end things between you and them. I believe in education through example, other people will see that you've left and still managed to remained friends, thus the door will be open for them to also think about leaving, when their time comes.
And your explanation is a good one, its not a lie and its not a direct criticism. Telling people that you've simply decided to concentrate your focus elsewhere is true.
2/19/2005 8:31am, #47Originally Posted by Deadpan Scientist
I believe in educating people, not in simply tearing them down and destroying them with the truth of their failures. I have to believe in that, it's my job. So if I do offer a person the red pill, if I do struggle and fight with someone until they see the truth, until they see that they actually have nothing, then I also feel that I should offer them a solution, a strategy to rebuild themselves, and be there to help them succeed. But that takes a lot of effort, a lot of time and committment that I may or may not have to offer, at any given moment in time.
This might not make any sense to you now, but it might, one day, if you end up in Academia.
2/19/2005 9:10am, #48
I'm really sorry to hear about your Son's experience, that really makes me sad. I hope that I never become so confused about life that I suddenly find myself yelling at someone's 13 year old Son.
People come and go for many different reasons, that's just the way things works. And when someone leaves because they've found something else that works better for them, I'm happy for their success. And I'm really honored when they return, even if its only for a brief visit, because that means that even though they've found something else that works better for them, even though life has taken them elsewhere, they still see something of value in returning and keeping a connection alive.
That Sensei should have recognized that your Son was showing him great deal of respect by returning, that Sensei should treated your Son like a returning King, a Prodigal Son.
2/19/2005 11:39am, #49
I've often wondered how many memberships have been suddenly 'terminated' after someone logs on to this website for the first time. I have a feeling that ol' Phrost and Co. are opening a lot of eyes out there to the truth. I can just picture the conversation:
McDojo Instructor: "What, you're leaving to train kickboxing and BJJ? Why?"
Enlightened Student: "Well sir, I was reading this thread on Bullshido.com entitled 'Yer a FAG if yu liek Wang Chung!!!11' and it made me start thinking about things. . .""I had once talked to Billy Conn, the boxer, about professionals versus amateurs - specifically street fighters. One had always heard rumors of champions being taken out by back-alley fighters. Conn was scornful. "Aw, it's like hitting a girl," he said. "They're nothing."
- George Plimpton
2/19/2005 11:46am, #50
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
we should have a special counter just to keep track ...totoro-san ... world sushi munching champion ...