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Thread: Therien McDojo

  1. #1

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    Therien McDojo

    I saw people praising Therien Jiu-Jitsu on this forum. I don't know if anyone has had any experience with them, but here is mine:


    Last summer my family moved up to Ottawa, and I was looking for a place to train in martial arts. I was looking for a BJJ place, but thought I'd check out Therien cause they seemed to have quite the status around here with their huge phone book ads and schools all over the Ottawa area (stupid, I know, but I was anxious to join something right away). I got 2 private lessons (where they just taught me basic kickboxing and some basic breakfalls), 1 group class, and a free low quality gi for $20, which I considered a good deal. At the private lessons, the instructor asked me why I wanted to get in jiu-jitsu. I told him I was an MMA fan, and saw the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I asked if this was BJJ they were teaching. He said "No, our style is Can-Ryu, which means Canadian stlye". I asked him if there were many differences, and he said "they are very similar, except we also add in a lot of striking". Keep in mind at this time I was relatively new to martial arts with the exception of my 2 years of judo when I was a kid. After my second private lesson, the instructor who was with me sent me in a room to discuss payment plans with a dude. I told him I'd think about it. They have flexible payment plans, all of which are extremely expensive. The easiest is to buy the "Green Belt Program". It's about $900, and your membership doesn't expire until you get your green belt. Sounds cool, huh?

    I started going to classes 3 times a week, and quickly noticed how repetitive they were. We got tested for stripes once a month (after getting 3 black stripes and one red stripe, you can go for your belt test). By the way, everyone who got tested would get their stripe. I know this because my partner for the test didn't even do the techniques, and didn't care, and the instructors noticed. He was a yellow belt, and got his 3rd black stripe doing nothing.

    Every class we did hip throws, ridiculous ground attacks with weak kicks, a basic arm bar, and we hit the pads a little bit. I asked the intructors when we would be able to spar so I could actually be able to defend myself and feel confident. He said "we don't start sparring until we learn the basics". I asked him when we will be ready. He said orange or green belt. (they have a seminar about once a month, and maybe once a year they'll have a sparring seminar).

    I decided to try a class on Friday nights cause they had a different sensei. I thought he might be more hardcore.... The guy was about 40, and looked absolutely ridiculous and horrendously out of shape. The entire class, we worked on punching from the horse stance. When I tried putting my hips into my punches rather than just the arm, the sensei told me not to use my body, just my arm. Then, we worked on the wiper block. Which, incase you don't know what it is, it is when someone punches you and you wipe their punch away with your forearm. Would this EVER save my teeth from going down my throat? Nope. This would be my final class at this McDojo.

    I tried another dojo in another part of Ottawa. This one was even worse. It was mostly little kids, and they never even did stripe/belt testing. Once again, we worked on ridiculously unrealistic bullshit techniques.

    I called Therien and asked for my money back because I needed money to pay for school, and I wouldn't be able to attend University in September because I just got laid off my job and didn't have enough money. They said no, because they are a business, and they have to have money to stay in business. I had only been going there for 2 months, and they kept the $900 I paid because they are "a business".

    Therien Jiu-Jitsu is NOT martial arts. They sell donuts in their dojos. They charge outrageous prices for poor instruction of unrealistic techniques. Usually no one even broke a sweat, so it isn't even a good aerobics class.

    Even for people not interested in self-defence, there is nothing good about this place. Please, save yourself some time and a lot of money, and stay away from this McDojo.
    This is my experience. And after talking to other people from Ottawa on other MMA forums, everyone seems to have a horror story about them or someone they know getting the money sucked out of them by this half-assed McDojo.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamboo
    Therien Jiu-Jitsu is NOT martial arts. They sell donuts in their dojos.
    Sign me up.

  3. #3
    JohnnyCache's Avatar
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    Did you sign a contract?


  4. #4

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    This is a kinda sad as it appears the school names the 'Iceman' Jean-Yves Theriault as an instructor/founder.

    http://www.jiu-jitsu.com/english/about/index.html

    He was the real deal in the 80's and early 90's in full (above belt) contact fighting.

    Just sad.

  5. #5
    JohnnyCache's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Thereian won 1982 - "PKA Promoter of the Year"

    Isn't being an especially good promoter at least a venal sin? :)


  6. #6

    Join Date
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    that sucks

    Quote Originally Posted by jamboo
    I saw people praising Therien Jiu-Jitsu on this forum. I don't know if anyone has had any experience with them, but here is mine:


    Last summer my family moved up to Ottawa, and I was looking for a place to train in martial arts. I was looking for a BJJ place, but thought I'd check out Therien cause they seemed to have quite the status around here with their huge phone book ads and schools all over the Ottawa area (stupid, I know, but I was anxious to join something right away). I got 2 private lessons (where they just taught me basic kickboxing and some basic breakfalls), 1 group class, and a free low quality gi for $20, which I considered a good deal. At the private lessons, the instructor asked me why I wanted to get in jiu-jitsu. I told him I was an MMA fan, and saw the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I asked if this was BJJ they were teaching. He said "No, our style is Can-Ryu, which means Canadian stlye". I asked him if there were many differences, and he said "they are very similar, except we also add in a lot of striking". Keep in mind at this time I was relatively new to martial arts with the exception of my 2 years of judo when I was a kid. After my second private lesson, the instructor who was with me sent me in a room to discuss payment plans with a dude. I told him I'd think about it. They have flexible payment plans, all of which are extremely expensive. The easiest is to buy the "Green Belt Program". It's about $900, and your membership doesn't expire until you get your green belt. Sounds cool, huh?

    I started going to classes 3 times a week, and quickly noticed how repetitive they were. We got tested for stripes once a month (after getting 3 black stripes and one red stripe, you can go for your belt test). By the way, everyone who got tested would get their stripe. I know this because my partner for the test didn't even do the techniques, and didn't care, and the instructors noticed. He was a yellow belt, and got his 3rd black stripe doing nothing.

    Every class we did hip throws, ridiculous ground attacks with weak kicks, a basic arm bar, and we hit the pads a little bit. I asked the intructors when we would be able to spar so I could actually be able to defend myself and feel confident. He said "we don't start sparring until we learn the basics". I asked him when we will be ready. He said orange or green belt. (they have a seminar about once a month, and maybe once a year they'll have a sparring seminar).

    I decided to try a class on Friday nights cause they had a different sensei. I thought he might be more hardcore.... The guy was about 40, and looked absolutely ridiculous and horrendously out of shape. The entire class, we worked on punching from the horse stance. When I tried putting my hips into my punches rather than just the arm, the sensei told me not to use my body, just my arm. Then, we worked on the wiper block. Which, incase you don't know what it is, it is when someone punches you and you wipe their punch away with your forearm. Would this EVER save my teeth from going down my throat? Nope. This would be my final class at this McDojo.

    I tried another dojo in another part of Ottawa. This one was even worse. It was mostly little kids, and they never even did stripe/belt testing. Once again, we worked on ridiculously unrealistic bullshit techniques.

    I called Therien and asked for my money back because I needed money to pay for school, and I wouldn't be able to attend University in September because I just got laid off my job and didn't have enough money. They said no, because they are a business, and they have to have money to stay in business. I had only been going there for 2 months, and they kept the $900 I paid because they are "a business".

    Therien Jiu-Jitsu is NOT martial arts. They sell donuts in their dojos. They charge outrageous prices for poor instruction of unrealistic techniques. Usually no one even broke a sweat, so it isn't even a good aerobics class.

    Even for people not interested in self-defence, there is nothing good about this place. Please, save yourself some time and a lot of money, and stay away from this McDojo.
    This is my experience. And after talking to other people from Ottawa on other MMA forums, everyone seems to have a horror story about them or someone they know getting the money sucked out of them by this half-assed McDojo.


    Sorry to hear about this, in the meantime I hope you have found a job and are attending school.

  7. #7

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    Mar 2005
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    This is a reply to Jamboo. Dude I feel bad for how you feel about the school, but just keep in mind that there is only two good therien schools in Ottawa. It doesn't sound like you were at those schools. Therien is a good school for self defence martial arts, and there is alot of BS involved in some of their teachings. Their market is not males in the age 18-30 who want to learn how to fight. There is alot of people there that do it as a sport to keep fit Mainly 30-50 and out of shape that complain alot in general. Their other market is kids, and they appeal mainly to parents because it teaches their kids some discipline.

    In Martial arts repetition makes you good.

    If you want to try a real good MMA/BJJ school in Ottawa, try www.OAMA.ca you will not regret it. If you come back after a week I will be surprised. Lots of guys who get their egos bruised don't come back... It's hard work, instructors are good and you get out of it what you put in. Hard work = good results... And on top of that they have the best of the best come and do seminars. One of them was Renzo Gracie. Need I say more...
    Last edited by reality hurts; 3/09/2005 12:29pm at .

  8. #8

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    Jean-Yves was a hell of a champ in his time, too bad if things have gone this way for his gym.
    Too bad indeed.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by reality hurts
    Therien is a good school for general martial arts, and there is alot of BS involved in some of their teachings. But like in Martial arts repetition makes you good.
    What is general martial arts, and what does it have to do with horrible training methods?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by reality hurts
    This is a reply to Jamboo. Dude I feel bad for how you feel about the school, but just keep in mind that there is only two good therien schools in Ottawa. It doesn't sound like you were at those schools. Therien is a good school for self defence martial arts, and there is alot of BS involved in some of their teachings. Their market is not males in the age 18-30 who want to learn how to fight. There is alot of people there that do it as a sport to keep fit Mainly 30-50 and out of shape that complain alot in general. Their other market is kids, and they appeal mainly to parents because it teaches their kids some discipline.

    In Martial arts repetition makes you good.

    If you want to try a real good MMA/BJJ school in Ottawa, try www.OAMA.ca you will not regret it. If you come back after a week I will be surprised. Lots of guys who get their egos bruised don't come back... It's hard work, instructors are good and you get out of it what you put in. Hard work = good results... And on top of that they have the best of the best come and do seminars. One of them was Renzo Gracie. Need I say more...

    Curiousity, which are the two clubs you think are good?

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