I also was a victim of these con artists for about 3 months. Started "training" there along with my younger brother back in 1978 at the Napa location. At the time it was the only Karate school in town and I didn't know any better. The school had 1 big main mat and about 3 or 4 smaller private rooms with sliding doors on them. We took mostly private lessons inside the smaller room with a group class on the main mat once or twice a week. The group classes were a total joke, they lasted about a half hour and were not very strenuous at all. I never ever broke a sweat training at this place.
The garbage they taught was very much like what nikyu explained. Emphasizing a ridiculous horse stance for just about every move they taught. After about 3 months of "training" we entered a tournament they held with only the 3 or 4 other West Wind schools involved. My brother and I both did pretty well in the beginner's kata competition and the next week we were both asked to become instructors at the Napa school. Another beginner student that took 3rd place at the tournament suddeny shows up wearing a red belt and is instructing our class !!!!!
My brother and I were both wondering what the hell was going on. Instructors with 3 months worth of experience ? WTF ! We trained there for another few weeks before we realized that we were being taken for a ride and quit . I can't remember exactly what their fees were, but I recall it being outrageous compared to the fees at other legit schools that we trained at. The owner of the franchise was a guy named Ron Lee and there were numerous WW schools in the SF bay area with Berkeley being the headquarters of this martial travesty. I don't know if Lee still runs these cesspools or not. The Napa school surprisingly stayed in business for over 20 years before closing their doors a few years ago.
I can now say after training for many years with legitimate martial artists that everything West Wind taught was complete trash that would never work in a real situation and their training methods were a complete joke. I don't see how you could ever get in good physical condition training at a place like WW. Ron Lee and West Wind have managed to steal money from peple and deceive them for around 30 years now. They are good at conning gullible people that know nothing about real martial arts training and don't know any better. How they've lasted this long is beyond me.
Your first hand experience is interesting, but that was nearly 20 years ago? Seriously, are they as bad now as then? How would you know? 20 years is a long time to stay around if they were only conning people as you say. I'm not questioning your point of view, but if you are saying they are "stealing money from people" you should turn them in to law enforcement.
Originally Posted by Barube
botunga - Actually my experience with these jokers was almost 30 years ago, in 1978. I have no idea what their training is like today, but I don't think they have changed much from what the others that have trained with them in recent years have posted here. As far as their fees and such, it sounds like they have raised their fees 10 fold from when I trained with them. And this CORE thing. WTF ! What a joke ! There was no CORE when I trained at WW. The fact that they even have something like that should tell you right there, that these guys are nothing but a big joke.
When I say they are "stealing" money from people, I mean that they are doing it legally. Their students are willingly dishing out their money to West Wind in exchange for their services that are "martial arts", but not legit martial arts. Having unqualified "Instructors" with only a few months training teaching the classes is stealing to me. The con comes from the fact that their students are very gullible and know nothing about martial arts at all and are taking West Wind's "word" that what they are learning are true martial arts. That's how they've managed to stay in business for over 30 years. These guys are smooth talkers and can be very convincing. If you don't believe me, try to check out one of their classes. They won't even let you watch a class without signing up. Every legit school I've ever been to has no problem letting a prospective student come in and watch what they are doing for free. Technically what they are doing is perfectly legal, but totally unethical in my books. I wonder if anyone has ever reported WW to the Better Business Bureau.
Originally Posted by kickcatcher
I study at West Wind and, I don't know when Nikyu studied there, but right now we do. Sadly, it's still non-contact Point Break BS. (i wanna beat people up right now and do boot to the head!!!)
As i said before, I go to West Wind now and would like to talk with other former students or various people interested (aka hatin on) in West Wind.
Hit me up:[email protected]
Hi all, been ages since I last visited this site, and noticed some others have trained at West Wind too...perhaps we knew each other, I left in aroung 2000...2001 i think, and was at the time in Black Belt training...contact me..I was the one with bad kicks and alot of heart..lol
go up the street and take a look at the JKD/MMA/BJJ school. Run from West Wind- it's a cult!
Originally Posted by Tef
X-WW Head Instructor here
Originally Posted by Maestro Nobones
I enjoyed Nikyu's story about West Wind and I would love to share my insider's story. I tried to post a new thread a week ago but for some reason it never posted. I was in the Inner Cirlce of instructors and ran one of the schools back 20 yrs ago when it was a good school. If someone can help me out here I'll share my story. You'll learn a lot of new things not previously mentioned on this site.