The inverse question would be, why do the mentally and physically tough fighters need belts to show their accomplishment, which they know is already quite apparent in the effectiveness of their skills alone? I think it comes down to who really needs the ranking system and who probablyd deserves but should be able to do without.
If the lessons they learn at McDojos are so valuable, why do they need belts in order to believe in themselves? Why not save the belts for the martial arts fighters so that they can have an honest ranking system, and so everyone can find the right school for them, and their personal goals, without the facade of artificial ranks, artificial encouragement, and artificial teachers.
I agree with you that McDojos have adopted the trend of handing belts out due to time given and money paid. This is the sad reality of the business practice. My master has always become this kind of school. When I started as a child, we were not a commercial school, and the belts were not necessarily handed out this way, but now it's a practice seen all over the place.
At first, I scoffed at it. But, later, I found that despite the negative image and message it occasionally spreads, there are a number of instances where it was necessary to encourage a student that otherwise would have gone by the wayside. Some schools have a system where they keep the "color" belts for as long as they can. (Bread and butter, a necessary evil if you don't have a job on the side for all this stuff). But, they crank down on the students when it comes to earning the black belts.
I'll agree here to a certain extent. While it is true that kids (like myself) later discover in life that the skills they originally thought they possessed are non-existent, i would counter that you'd never be able to convince me or tell me otherwise about that kind of thing earlier in my life. When I was a kid, I really hated sparring. Even the light contact stuff made me flinch. I would try to avoid it for as long as possible. I have to admit, that when I was younger, I wouldn't have stuck around if it became a "harder" more physical style. Even when it finally did get physical, I'd always end up getting hurt a little bit (I was, and still am, a rather thin, lanky person. And as I was growing up, it was all skin and bones. It wasn't difficult to bust me up). There are a majority of us kids that probably wouldn't be in martial arts if it had gotten any harder. And we finally got older, stronger, and more mature, those of who stay in it usually become the ones that appreciate the true way of the art moreso than those that never got involved. Granted, this doesn't happen all the time, and you still got the nutheads that think they can finger-touch-kill you, that their potbelly has no ill effects on their fighting ability, and that ki will rocket them into the air whenever they need it.
This doesnt build true confidence in ones skills, it builds false confidence about your skill level and what you are capable of.
I think the basic truth here is that McDojos aren't perfect. There are some thing we hate, like the money-making. Suddenly, this modern age has heralded a new era of martial arts ACTUALLY making profit for more than just the meanest, toughest fighter there ever was. And that rightly pisses some of us off. But again, of all the hundreds of kids that got mediocre lessons, spent hundreds of dollars, and still ended up just quitting because they weren't interested anymore, there are those few dozen, both young and old, that are walking, everyday testaments to the positive effects. They know that they aren't the baddest fighters in town. They DO have some skills, as they start to train more seriously. But they would never have started if the system was more limiting than it was when they were just color belts. Especially some of the women. Finding a woman that is both atheletically able but ALSO ready to get in there and be rough and tough is rare. I'm sure there are many out there today that do it, but there are a lot who, whether for cultural, religious, sociological, or psychologic reasons, do not.
McDojos, oddly enough, pull them in.
Now if only we could convince everyone that Tae Bo isn't a martial art, we'd be golden!
Huzzah for the McDojo!
I, for one, am very grateful for the hundreds of McDojo's in my area.
I'm not kidding.
Look at it from this angle. Let's say that there are 10,000 martial artists in the greater Orlando area.
Divide these into MMA Gyms, Trad. Martial arts, Japanese, Korean and Chinese McDojos.
Divide the students evenly across those 5 categories, or 2000 students each.
Without the McDojos, 6000 students would flood the TMA and MMA gyms.
McDojo's are what they are. My school is on the verge of being Mc, but I fight to make sure that we train hard, so that we can spar hard. If 100 new students showed up to class and no one wanted to fight, well, the numbers would work against me, and we probably would not have sparring.
I'm out of shape. I chose a school that did full contact sparring and wrestling specifically because I knew I would be pushed harder.
Originally Posted by Doctor Shaft
The fact is they don't need a belt to show their accomplishment for their own sake, it isn't showing their "accomplishment" at all, that is just a McDojo idea. The belt shows the skills they know so that people at the school or even outside the school can honestly see their credentials, not so they can feel good about themselves. Not everyone can cage fight or get in real fights for their credentials, but if the belt ranking system was honest in general, and not erroneously viewed as the symbol of personal accomplishment then it is easier for less experienced students and outsiders to honestly know who is capable of what for the purpose of their own education.
Presently it is widespread that people with no credentials inflate their rank as a means to deceive beginners into believing they are learning something. By engaging in this action it also undermines the purpose of rank in many schools where it was just used honestly, to stay organized, and to provide credentials of technical proficiency. I admire that in BJJ and Judo the belt rankings tend to be honest, you have a question you know the person on top of you should know the answer, if not then the person on top of them.
There is a lot to learn, and honestly displaying who has already learned what specific things is efficient for the purposes of teaching the most students the most accurately. You know from certain schools that if an outsider has a certain rank they can teach you something, but once you get knee deep in McDojos its all confusing, you have to have websites like bullshido to tell who can actually teach you anything at all. When they use false credentials they totally undermine the purpose of ranking in good schools that aren't big enough to be well known on their reputations alone, and they trick beginners into thinking they are learning fighting skills, when they may be doing just the opposite, learning things that will put them in harms way if they derive any sense of confidence from their fake black belts. They don't do it to help people, they do it to steal their money at the expense of real martial arts schools that in general would love have those beginners at any level of participation, but unfortunately, have to stoop to the level of McDojos to keep them when the majority of students feel like belts define their personal worth and not their martial arts skills.
Last edited by Love; 8/11/2005 8:56am at .
Most people don't have the time or motivation to do something hard.
Those of us who train hard at difficult martial arts are a rare breed. Most people aren't willing to put in that much effort.
If they go to a McDojo and put in a half-assed effort, they'll get half-assed results and be happy enough with that, and if they're happy with that, then I don't have any problem with it, as long as they're realistic about what they're getting. They're not going to be t3h d34dly, and they shouldn't be told that they are.
It's like any other sport- playing softball with the people from the office, drinking three beers an inning isn't going to get you ready to play in MLB, but it can be fun. Playing horse with your buddies isn't going to get you ready for the NBA. Most people are realistic about that.
But in martial arts, someone takes 6 months of TKD and they think they're ready for the UFC. If people were realistic with their expectations, there wouldn't be a big problem with the McDojo.
I know I'm in a McDojo, and I know my instructor has to pay the rent. He has a class at 6 and a class at 7 everyday. Families, kids, and the ones not intrested in the hard work outs got to this class.
Adults, more serious adolecents go to the 7. People know this... and it works out well. **** the belts. You get out of martial arts what you put into them. There's people with higher ranks then me there that I can wipe the floor with... but I don't care. They're aren't stupid either and see that lower ranks could kick their asses... but that's all they want out of the training.
That fine for them. They have a wife, kids a job and don't want to go to work limping around.
Myself and others like to train hard, comparitivley... and have a class here we can do that.
I'm sure most any Mcdojo has this distinction...
So **** it... they train, I train, my instructor gets his rent payed and gives us a sweet gym and nice equipment to train with...
Me and the family suckers both have the same belt.... but we both see what the other can do.... no harm done....
Not all MMA type gyms are only for the jocks. i like what is on the SBG site
Originally Posted by Doctor Shaft
Again, that's utter nonsense. ANYONE can be a fighter. A good coach can show anyone of even moderate to low athletic ability and intelligence what it takes to become a good fighter. Now, not everyone may then want to make the sacrifices necessary to get to that level of performance. But, that doesn't mean they CAN'T be fighters. It means there not willing to put forth the effort necessary to be fighters. Anyone that says otherwise is either a bad coach, or purposely misleading people because they want to coddle them and make them feel good about being lazy. In which case its all about the jack $.[/quoite]
I really believe the cure for being an uncoordinated fat geek is athletic training.
My TKD school is borderline McDojang too. They use advertising and they have kiddie black belts and all of that. The kids classes have plenty of belt stripes and bonus prizes for working hard during class and it's not a very good training regimen. It won't produce any fighters. When the instructor feels that someone is ready (teenagers), they move to the adult classes. Adult classes are harder, good workouts, sparring, bag training, grappling (very little, but it's there), and all that good stuff.
My school has a reputation (and certificates and stuff) for character-building among children. It teaches them to be good people and all that happy stuff. However, when they want to get serious, they have that opportunity.
Now, of course, compared to most MT or MMA gyms, our school is kind of wimpy, but whatever. I'm leaving it as soon as I graduate and move out.
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