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  1. scipio is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 3:57am


     Style: Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOutWest View Post
    Hi guys - been reading through this thread and thought I'd try and redress the balance.

    I've been training with GKR for a year. I had the usual knock on the door by an "SDC". This came at a very fortuitous moment as I was starting to consider getting back into martial arts (i'd studied Kyokushinkai to 5th Kyu many years ago), and was looking for a dojo close to where I live.

    I have to admit, I was rather surprised about the "door-to-door" salesman angle to recruitment but in principle I see no problem with it. Now, reading through this thread I can see that a lot of empty promises have been made and possibly things vary from region to region. But I was never promised a black belt in 6 months or anything as stupid as that. The standard time to get black belt - just as it was in Kyokushin - is about 4 years of solid training.

    GKR promotes itself as "non-contact" but I can assure you that this isn't really the case. While the tournaments are based on "non-contact" kumite and katas only, we do plenty of hard-hitting sparring (for adults) in the dojo and from red-belt onwards this is actually part of the grading.

    Yes, I am an instructor, and no, I'm not a black belt. I know this system irks a lot of you in that there are cases where instructors are lower grades than their students. In my case, I have a couple of students who are a grade higher than me (and yes, they know my grade). However I have gained their trust and their respect in the way I conduct my classes, so that each week they go away having had a good workout and having learnt something. In order to become an instructor I was assessed in my techniques and my ability to teach and explain those techniques over a two month period. We spend a lot of time working on syllabus work but also the real-life self defence applications. We also use kick/strike pads to allow students to really let rip with their techniques. In addition to teaching two classes a week I train with the other instructors in classed with our regional manager (2nd dan) twice a week to further my own training.

    in conclusion, I can't really comment much on the business side of GKR. The SCDs working in my area are nice guys and actually follow up on their recruits, turning up to their first lessons to check in on them (they are after all the first face they meet in GKR). However, their job is to get people interested in coming to my dojo - its up to me to provide them with interesting, quality training to keep them coming back-just like any instructor.
    How does it work that your students are a higher grade than you? What exactly can you teach them? You also mention that you are aware of lower grades delivering classes - how can you (if you are serious about karate) have anything to do with such an organisation? There are lots of other good karate organisations out there - join one of them.
  2. budochic is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 4:02am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Kyokushin/Judo/MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    While the tournaments are based on "non-contact" kumite and katas only, we do plenty of hard-hitting sparring (for adults) in the dojo and from red-belt onwards this is actually part of the grading.
    Do you have any video's of this. If it is part of gradings then you should have some floating around.
  3. scipio is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 4:08am


     Style: Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by budochic View Post
    Do you have any video's of this. If it is part of gradings then you should have some floating around.
    I wasn't aware that contact sparring was part of GKR gradings? Is this something you do or is it an organisational thing. By the Mike - which country do you live in and where?
  4. MikeOutWest is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 4:32am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: GO KAN RYU

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Scipio - I guess the big difference between GKR and other styles is the limited syllabus. Up to black belt, there are only four kicks, 8 blocks and 10 strikes in the syllabus. It's not so much about learning new techniques as it is about honing them and understanding them better. I can assist them in that, that is what i'm trained to do. I'm in the UK, in Bristol. It is a misconception about GKR, the non-contact thing. Obviously lower grades aren't allowed to, but from red-belt onwards you're expected to give as much as you get. I don't have any vids of our sparring, sorry about that. I understand there's a lot of negativity towards GKR here but my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
  5. budochic is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 4:46am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Kyokushin/Judo/MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOutWest View Post
    Scipio - I guess the big difference between GKR and other styles is the limited syllabus. Up to black belt, there are only four kicks, 8 blocks and 10 strikes in the syllabus. It's not so much about learning new techniques as it is about honing them and understanding them better. I can assist them in that, that is what i'm trained to do. I'm in the UK, in Bristol. It is a misconception about GKR, the non-contact thing. Obviously lower grades aren't allowed to, but from red-belt onwards you're expected to give as much as you get. I don't have any vids of our sparring, sorry about that. I understand there's a lot of negativity towards GKR here but my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
    Too bad about the videos. Maybe next class you could take one of the hard/er sparring so we can get an idea of what you are talking about.

    I found this video of some sparring at a GKR black belt grading. Would this be the level of contact at your dojo?

  6. scipio is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 4:57am


     Style: Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOutWest View Post
    Scipio - I guess the big difference between GKR and other styles is the limited syllabus. Up to black belt, there are only four kicks, 8 blocks and 10 strikes in the syllabus. It's not so much about learning new techniques as it is about honing them and understanding them better. I can assist them in that, that is what i'm trained to do. I'm in the UK, in Bristol. It is a misconception about GKR, the non-contact thing. Obviously lower grades aren't allowed to, but from red-belt onwards you're expected to give as much as you get. I don't have any vids of our sparring, sorry about that. I understand there's a lot of negativity towards GKR here but my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
    Mike - in all seriousness have you thought about changing school? There are a lot of better karate places out there. If shotokan is your thing then there must be JKA/KUGB/other clubs around the Bristol area. I think that you really need to take a step back and really ask yourself are you in a good place?

    You have probably read a number of the threads on Bullshido about GKR and with your own experience of them I really think that you need to think about what your karate means to you? (I'm assuming that you don't do this GKR thing for a living).
  7. bassai is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 11:40am


     Style: shotokan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOutWest View Post
    Scipio - I guess the big difference between GKR and other styles is the limited syllabus. Up to black belt, there are only four kicks, 8 blocks and 10 strikes in the syllabus. It's not so much about learning new techniques as it is about honing them and understanding them better. I can assist them in that, that is what i'm trained to do. I'm in the UK, in Bristol. It is a misconception about GKR, the non-contact thing. Obviously lower grades aren't allowed to, but from red-belt onwards you're expected to give as much as you get. I don't have any vids of our sparring, sorry about that. I understand there's a lot of negativity towards GKR here but my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
    We could do with Sochin as he has copies of the relevant material , anyway , Mike , do you realise that your insurance (as it is ) is for non contact.
    To put it plainly if anyone gets injured in one of these "hard contact" sessions they are not insured ?
  8. scipio is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/21/2011 1:46pm


     Style: Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by bassai View Post
    We could do with Sochin as he has copies of the relevant material , anyway , Mike , do you realise that your insurance (as it is ) is for non contact.
    To put it plainly if anyone gets injured in one of these "hard contact" sessions they are not insured ?
    Hadn't thought of that - if it goes Pete Tong you might find you get sued and you have no insurance - not a good place to be...
  9. VitaminMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/22/2011 7:26pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: jujutsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its one thing to be caught up in these schemes but these guys have cash behind them when things go wrong - That`s one thing I hate - they can be unstoppable
  10. MrGalt is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2011 2:57am


     Style: Seidokaikan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeOutWest View Post
    Obviously lower grades aren't allowed to, but from red-belt onwards you're expected to give as much as you get.
    So before red belt you're just supposed to stand there and take it?

    Seriously though, why is it "obvious" that lower grades aren't allowed to spar? Every striking style I've ever studied, once you learn the basics you go out and do the same sparring as the advanced students, WITH the advanced students. The alternative is to let you spend months or years engraving bad habits into your brain before finally subjecting them to their first reality check.
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