South Jersey Martial Arts
As a budding Martial arts practitioner, my area has a good amount of McDojo's that I've seen. Many trying to capitalize on people such as myself, who would love to take up Martial arts in hope of competition, fitness, self defence...what have you. Here is as much detailed information about the facilities which I have checked out, The good and bad.
US Martial Arts Academy
Tae Kwon Do (WTF style)
Hapkido (don't know which style)
1.) Friendly atmosphere
2.) Large Facility
3.) Morning and Afternoon Classes Mon-Fri
1.) The highest level person who actually instructs is 3rd Dan. I believe the kid is like 20 years old. Yet its marketed that the person who instructs is 6th.
2.) Low level adult class teenagers teaching kids classes.
3.) Own and operate a shirt company out of the same facility.
4.) Against training anywhere accept there own facility.
5.) Kids summer camp, Tae Kwon Do birthday parties, and more.
While this is probably one of the nicest Dojangs (facility wise) I have ever been to.
Classes were monday - Friday, and a saturday morning sword class.
Monday: Tae Kwon Do Forms, Kickboxing
Tuesday: Sword,Tae Kwon Do Forms
Wednesday: Hapkido(dead Training only), Kickboxing Sparring
Friday: TKD sparring
upon talking to the instructors, they have a firm belief in Chi. When asked about what they thought of Grappling and other different arts
"If I don't want to goto the ground I won't let them take me there."
Belt Test: This has to be the sorriest excuse for gaining a belt I've ever seen.
The Master (who again, does not instruct) Sits at a table in full gi, watches forms, one step sparring, and hapkido techniques (aliveness is frowned upon). Then after all of this there is sparring (by my watch 5 minutes) then Board breaking.
*They have created there own form of Kickboxing which I believe was called "KoYoHan Kong Po" which means "Calm Fear Kick Boxing"
First Year Cost
Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido
395 $(includes gloves)
870-1065$ (not sure if 195.00 went for this as well) (includes uniform and bokken)
Vineland Judo Club
3.) No kids classes
4.) Cross Training and competition friendly
5.) Emphasised effective Techniques and less emphasis on bullshit.
1.) Small Facility
2.) Not many people
3.) Two Classes a week
Classes were Tues/Thurs 6:30-8:00 Half Techniques, half sparring.
This place wasn't too bad, Taught by a 6th Degree who introduced himself only as Ray, he told me his basic philosophy on things.
Basically what he told me was that he felt Judo was useful for the street, against untrained attackers, against other martial artists you may have a problem. His classes were made up of 1/2 technique 1/2 sparring. He really emphasised sparring as an important part of training.
He told me that he teaches no one under the age of 16, and he's not in it for the money. When asked about belt rank I was told "you fight for it."
You don't know if a technique works if you don't spar.
Although not too many people were in the class that day (maybe 4-5) there were enough people to get the job done. I noticed repition of technique was really stressed, during class, he had the people only doing two techniques that whole half of class. He allowed students to start from standing or ground during the sparring, then let them take it from there. Crosstraining was encouraged, Competition also.
All in all it was a cool experience...If I had been looking for a Judo class I surely would have signed up.
First Year cost
400 $ (includes Gi)
i'm still researching 8 more Martial Arts academies and such in the area, more to come as my week off of work goes on.
Modern Olympic Karate(Karate, Kickboxing, Modern Arnis)
Art in Motion karate
Stone Dragon Chinese Martial Arts
Cumberland County Martial Arts(Tae Kwon Do)
NJ Black Belt Association
Starbound Gymnastics Academy(Tae Kwon Do)
Okinawan Goju Ryu Karatedo(See name)
Last edited by Tshin; 6/04/2006 3:25pm at .
Starbound Gymnatics has been struck by lightning, this past thursday. The building has been destroyed, but they were a satellite dojang to CCMA so I'm still checking them out friday.
EVO MMA Club
1.) Amateur/Pro Fighters
3.) No kids classes
4.) Cross Training and competition friendly
5.) Atleast 3 Classes a week
1.) unfinished facility
2.) Kind of Expensive for my area, with 3 classes a week
3.) A little too much to cover in 90 Minutes.
Classes were Tues/Thurs/Sat at varying times. classes were 90 minutes
Upon entering the place I found it unfinished, they had just moved into the building, and were still putting mats up, can't really bash them for that. They were honest, gave me a choice of watching or participating, so I obviously participated.
There were two instructors, I believe there names were Alex and Alfie, they had me sign a waiver, and paired me up with another new person.
They started off with a light warmup; neck rotations, dive bombers, a couple of jumping jacks, then we started off with the class.
First we did Striking. They went over the jab, cross, hook, and overhand right. After a few minute of drills and working on the finer points of pivoting the feet they started us on breakfalls. I knew the breakfalls from my hapkido days and then they taught us sprawling after about 10 minutes of Breakfalls/Sprawling drills next came ground. We learned different ground positions, being a noob they taught me mount, guard, and side control. Then we did a slow armbar drill and something else I honestly don't remember the name of. After that we did tying up an opponents arm and getting in the ground and pound. At the end of class the new student and I watched them do an open mat. The instructors grappled with the students, as well as Student vs. Student. All in all if I had never done Martial Arts before I would have learned a ton! I was really surprised with how smooth the class went and how easy a transition they made from the standup work to the ground.
Last edited by Tshin; 6/05/2006 11:13am at .
Thank you for your writeups. They seem comprehensive and fair.
Looks good so far.
Thanks for taking such an active role in reviewing schools in your area.
Art in Motion Karate
Tang Soo Do
Sticky Hands Kung Fu
Practical Self Defense
3.) Approves of cross Training
4.) Makes you work
1.) Not many people to work with
2.) Small training area
Class Times were Mon-Fri
7:30-8:45, and Fridays 7:30-9:00
This has to be one of the coolest places I have been. Although the only people who where there for the class were a single student and I, also the instructor Eric King I found this place extremely enjoyable. Here's how the training went.
The instructor had me come in a little early to get to know about me a little bit, we had talked on the phone for a moment, and he asked me a few questions regarding my previous training. He basically asked me why I left my old Dojang, and what I want out of Martial Arts. He seemed very into whats right for me, I told him if I had decided to take his classes that I would be cross training Muay Thai. He told me, in so many words it might not be the best to take his art and Muay Thai as they differ a bit. It showed me he wasn't all about the money. But onto the training.
Class started out with some light stretching, and some light cardio. Then he decided to get us into some drills. We started out with a drill he called mirror image. Basically the student and I both mirrored each others movements with switching, ducking, moving side to side and what have you. Next we evolved the drill so to speak into a hit the target, then a stick and move, then into some pad work. Next we did a knife drill, where the opponent had a spear hand on your stomach, and you avoided it and blocked it as much as possible. After that we a bob and weave drill, ducking hooks, and then having the partner call out "1..2..3." significant to the number of times we would jab, cross, hook the focus mitt. After a few more similar drills we did some very light sparring. I have to say he really took an emphasis on timing, and using the correct techniques at the right times.
After class we had a chat about other schools in the area, what I was looking for in training, and basically what I plan to do with this art in my life. He said work ethic in this area is very different from where he comes from (california) and that out of his students he currently has one black belt, and that he assured me his place wasn't a black belt factory.
All in all I'm convinced this place is not Bullshido.
First Year Cost
Once a Week
975 $ (includes Patch, Belt, T-Shirt & Manual)
Twice a Week
Three Times a week
Last edited by Tshin; 6/05/2006 10:18pm at .
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO