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  1. Kistrael is offline
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    Noob: Reloaded

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 8:56pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT nub, Ex-Tang Soo Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Leaving Tang Soo Do

    I’d first better give some background before I get into why I’m in this predicament.

    I started martial arts when I was young, probably around 10 or so, I took my first style of martial arts- shotokan. It was convenient; it was literally 30 seconds away from my house in the Church/ YMCA the next door over. It was cheap, and fun. It also was a beginning lesson on pain: we sparred with no gear, we did knuckle pushups on the tile floor, and for warm up we’d run outside in the parkinglot, which was full of busted bottles from the bar on the same block. I trained in that for about a year or so if I remember correctly, until there was some problems between the YMCA and the teacher, which I was not privy to.

    Not that long after, another teacher started, who taught Tang Soo Do this time. I had very little trouble transitioning from Shotokan to Tang Soo Do. The only real difference was the chambering of the low-block and other minor details. If I remember correctly, the first forms might be similar, but it’s been so long since Shotokan that my memory is fuzzy. Anyway, I was taught by a father and son duo, and the only thing I can recall was disliking the son; he was a prick and pulled rank a lot. This particular branch of TSD was ran not by J.C. Shin of the WTSDA, but by C.S. Kim of the ITSDF. Kim trained with Shin in WTSDA before branching off, from what I understand.

    So aside from doing regular stand-up fighting, we also grappled. We weren’t instructed very often in grappling, but we did it fairly often. We were left to figure it out on our own while the teacher watched. For the most part, I did very well in grappling, so much so that in a one-on-one match with my teacher, I lasted longer than anyone else including the older and significantly higher-ranked students. After around a year and a half of that (I got to purple belt, for whatever it’s worth), the same problem happened to this teacher and he no longer taught there.

    Skip forwards a few years, and I’m 16. I had just got a job and planned on taking up some kind of martial art with my now hard-earned money. Like everywhere else, there were a ton of TKD schools around, and a few other schools that didn’t interest me too much. I decided to go with TSD, since I was already familiar with it, and TKD was too flashy for my appeal. I started learning under Mr. and Mrs. Powell who were some of the best teachers I’ve had. Since I had prior experience with TSD, I advanced quickly and skipped rank early on. We actually stretched, we sparred often and with nice intensity, and learned variations of moves.

    After about three years of TSD under the Powells, thing got switched around. Mrs. Francis replaced the Powells. At first, this was fine by me. But then, she moved at a slower pace and more emphasis was placed on drill and forms, while sparring was slowly taken away. Most of the drills just became going up and down the dojang, instead of previously, where they often used to be with targets. Where we would do a form or two She mentioned qi once in a blue moon, since she taught it on weekends. Now, one of the warm-up exercises involved us punching the arch of the foot to “wake the qi up.” This began my fall from TSD.

    There were often times I talked to Master Vaughn, who ran the dojang. I’d tell him about what I felt about how things were going and how I felt, and for the most part, I was dissatisfied. I’d always get the same speech in reply to my complaints: “Our style is traditional. I personally feel this is the best style. Philosophy and skill are like two wheels on a cart.” In class, there would often be things that I noticed that didn’t seem right. After a while, I began to question the applicability of moves- jumping, spinning and any combination thereof. I began to lose so much interest in my class that I began searching the net for martial arts again. I happened to come across Bullshido.net, and its slogan of fighting frauds in MA. I liked what they said about sparring, practical moves, and applicability. After comparing my class to the descriptions of others for a period of time, I realized that the way I was being taught wasn’t fully preparing me to defend myself, or even learning how to fight. None of it was alive, nor was it realistic.

    I began searching for a place that taught Muay Thai. I was able to find place in Philadelphia that not only taught Muay Thai, but BJJ and boxing. I was interested enough that I went and watched the Muay Thai class, and I was impressed. It was practical, and the sparring looked pretty intense. I had to leave before the BJJ class picked up, but considering it was the same teacher, I can be sure the quality was just as good. I decided from that point on, that place would be my next dojo once I got out of Tang Soo Do.

    Only a few days ago, I began to reach my tolerance for my classes. I saw Master Vaughn after class, and told him that I would like to speak with him when he next had the chance. He took me into the office and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I very plainly said, “How much is it to break a contract?” He replied that I couldn’t break it and asked me why I wanted to leave. I told him that I felt that TSD was no longer satisfying my need for self-defense, that it wasn’t being taught in a practical manner, that we barely sparred anymore. I said that compared to other styles, TSD no longer cut it. He asked what style I thought I was going to take then, and I replied Muay Thai. He told me that I shouldn’t “believe the hype” and that I shouldn’t “believe everything you see or read.” He began that "we are traditional and I feel that this style is the best" bullshit. I mentioned that we had no groundfighting, and he said that we'd 'learn it once we got up to blackbelt.'

    I now ruminate on this. Why shouldn’t I believe the hype? People in the army are learning Muay Thai and BJJ. If it’s good enough for them, then it’s damn well good enough for me. I definitely plan on taking MT/BJJ, but I can’t get out of the contract. I almost consider doing something drastic like canceling my debit card, but I have other payments attached to it. I’ll have to wait until I get out of this contract, I suppose, but by then it’ll be winter. I now realize why contracts are so railed against by the forums.

    In some ways I'm apprehensive about leaving, but I think I'll be happier once I can find a way to get to PhillyMMA. Oh well, that’s my story.
    DIDN'T YOU KNOW?! The Chinese know everything! And they knew it 4,000 years before YOU did!

    "Yes. Yes I am. I'm clearly illiterate and dictating this post to a squadron of several dozen trained jumping beans I've coearced into living on my keyboard, each named after a letter or character, which bounce up and down as I call their names." -JohnnyCache
  2. JKDChick is offline
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    Senior Administrator

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    Canada
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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:03pm

    staff
     Style: JKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oh, I have to leave, but the lawyers should chime in now. Because you CAN break that contract.
    Monkey Ninjas! Attack!
  3. Kistrael is offline
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    Noob: Reloaded

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:11pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT nub, Ex-Tang Soo Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Drat, I'd like to know how. I really hate pumping out cash for something I no longer want. If I have to get lawyers involved, it might not be worth the trouble.
    DIDN'T YOU KNOW?! The Chinese know everything! And they knew it 4,000 years before YOU did!

    "Yes. Yes I am. I'm clearly illiterate and dictating this post to a squadron of several dozen trained jumping beans I've coearced into living on my keyboard, each named after a letter or character, which bounce up and down as I call their names." -JohnnyCache
  4. xingyifa is offline

    Registered Member

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:25pm


     Style: none currently

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    hehe...sounds like a good decision bro. I dunno about whole army units training in muay thai but most infantry units at the very least do "grappling" seminar type things for PT every once in a while. The Gracie BJJ system is the official combatives training for the rangers. BDU's seem to make decent gi substitutes I think.
    On the other hand, I was also taught some L.I.N.E. type **** when I was in the Q course at Ft. Bragg and I know Guy Savelli and others of questionable integrity have trained 5th and 7th SF groups. Basically, for some reason, the ultra elite in the spec ops community seem to train with a wider variety of people and be more preyed on by the ashida kim's of the MA community.
  5. JohnnyCache is offline
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    All Out of Bubblegum

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:26pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Scan the contract and show it to us.
    There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you. I've gone to great lengths to expand my threshold of pain. I will use my mistakes against you. There's no other choice.
  6. Kistrael is offline
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    Noob: Reloaded

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:28pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT nub, Ex-Tang Soo Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by xingyifa
    hehe...sounds like a good decision bro. I dunno about whole army units training in muay thai but most infantry units at the very least do "grappling" seminar type things for PT every once in a while. The Gracie BJJ system is the official combatives training for the rangers. BDU's seem to make decent gi substitutes I think.
    Actually, I recently heard this from one of my childhood friends in the Navy right now. He can learn MT and BJJ. BJJ is also in the new military manuals, I think.
    DIDN'T YOU KNOW?! The Chinese know everything! And they knew it 4,000 years before YOU did!

    "Yes. Yes I am. I'm clearly illiterate and dictating this post to a squadron of several dozen trained jumping beans I've coearced into living on my keyboard, each named after a letter or character, which bounce up and down as I call their names." -JohnnyCache
  7. Kistrael is offline
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    Noob: Reloaded

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:29pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT nub, Ex-Tang Soo Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyCache
    Scan the contract and show it to us.
    I'm not actually sure if I have it on hand.
    DIDN'T YOU KNOW?! The Chinese know everything! And they knew it 4,000 years before YOU did!

    "Yes. Yes I am. I'm clearly illiterate and dictating this post to a squadron of several dozen trained jumping beans I've coearced into living on my keyboard, each named after a letter or character, which bounce up and down as I call their names." -JohnnyCache
  8. lawdog is offline

    Middleweight

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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Florida
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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:30pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo & Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You can always break any contract, then it's up to the other party to take you to court to enforce it.

    I'm not sure why you would have to cancel your debit/credit card. Are you using a direct withdrawl to pay? If so, just tell the bank to stop paying it. It shouldn't require actually cancelling the card.

    There may be a way out of the contract, but I couldn't tell you without reading it. I suspect that many of those martial arts contracts are poorly written and unenforceable, but having never been involved in one, I'm not sure. But assuming there is no way out, then the question is would they actually bother to sue you to enforce it? I don't know, but I doubt it.

    This is in no way legal advice, but if it were me I'd just stop going, stop paying, and deal with the consequences as they arise. I doubt there will be any consequences, but if so, then you can decide whether to fight the contract or continue to pay and train until it's up.
  9. FighterJones is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:35pm


     Style: LARPing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Then get it on hand.
  10. Kistrael is offline
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    Noob: Reloaded

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    Posted On:
    6/23/2005 9:42pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT nub, Ex-Tang Soo Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Pretty sure it uses direct withdrawl, yes. As for getting a copy of the paper, I might have to wait a few days until I can get hold of it.

    The main problem with this whole situation, I think, is myself and my aversion to burning bridges.
    DIDN'T YOU KNOW?! The Chinese know everything! And they knew it 4,000 years before YOU did!

    "Yes. Yes I am. I'm clearly illiterate and dictating this post to a squadron of several dozen trained jumping beans I've coearced into living on my keyboard, each named after a letter or character, which bounce up and down as I call their names." -JohnnyCache
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