USA: LA Boxing and their Franchises
First of all, funny fact: Although they have gyms in Southern California, none are actually in LA.
Ok, now that that's out of my system, I want you all to know, this isn't an accusation of Bullshido, this is an invitation to investigate possible Bullshido.
I'm looking for a Kickboxing place that's close to home (Elk Grove, CA). Tell me what you guys think of the place, I'll provide a list of things I view as questionable.
Link to their website:
1) Franchise/employment expansion: Their big claim to fame is that they have 90 schools, and are growing. In my experience with any kind of martial arts school that badly wants to grow, the instruction is poor because "instructors" are created too quickly. Also, there is a section for employment opportunities on the website, which leads me to believe that getting a job there is easier than it should be.
2) No instructor list: They name Sean Mcully as the guy who trains the instuctors. Don't get me wrong, he has good credentials, but they don't have a database or anything for the instructors at the individual gyms.
3) Membership Goal: From what I can tell, this place really doesn't aim to produce good fighers, just produce fit individuals. Don't get me wrong, boxing should be a good workout, but the phrases "self defense" and "sparring" cannot be found once on their website. Also, the descriptions of their boxing and kickboxing classes both include the word "cardio".
P.S. On the plus side, their are some pictures of hot chicks on the website.
Just read the site. Didn't really get the impression that LA Boxing is marketing itself as aimed at anything other than fitness, using boxing/kickboxing/BJJ as the basis for that.
1) Franchise/employment: Well, they are an interesting case. The franchise model has proven to be a highly successful business model. It's not necessarily that *they* are training the instructors from day one, then flinging them out into the world to run a gym after a couple of months. That's not how the franchise model works, at least not if you want to be successful at it. I imagine the idea is that someone buys a franchise, gets help to set it up, and employs competent boxing/kickboxing/BJJ trainers to work at the gym. Makes sense, and it's something I'd love to do. Who wouldn't like to own a gym where they know the training is going to be the best available, based on a successful model?
2)No instructor list: Well, they *are* a franchise-type business. Go to the main website of *any* franchise-type business (McDonalds? Walmart? Bodyshop?) and see if there's a list of every employee throughout the chain. They do advise you to contact your local and check them out.
3) Membership goal: Actually, "self defense" does appear on the site: "JIU JITSU ::
An introduction to self-defense utilizing the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu system of self-defense." - under the descriptions of classes. Here's the thing, though: they seem to be fairly intent on making sure the instructors working for them are the real deal (which makes sense in any business), and they aren't marketing LA Boxing as anything other than a fitness club franchise, albeit with a twist.
Makes sense, in a way. They've successfully applied a good business model to MA, and aren't doing the usual "We will make you an Undefeatable Badass Ninja Killa in three weeks!" bullshido advertising. Let's face it: a lot of people train for fun and fitness, with no intention of ever getting in the ring. Hell, more people train for these reasons than ever intend to get in the ring. LA Boxing is primarily targeting that demographic, which makes obvious business sense. If they are also ensuring that the instructors working under their banner are the real deal (and I can't see any reason why they wouldn't: it would be fairly important for purposes of business reputation), then that means they are doing teh 4nti-bullshido, surely? Not bullshitting clients/students, ensuring techniques trained are correct, and allowing the student/client to train to whatever level they want.
I'd be willing to bet that if they live up to the (well-conceived and -executed) marketing, they'd have facility to adjust your training to suit your goals, though you may have to look into the "private lessons" option, which also makes sense. If your bread and butter is teaching yuppy suits the correct way to take their frustration out on a heavy bag, then someone who really wants to get in and train for the ring isn't suited to being in the same class. And if their trainers are the real deal, then they'll be itching to have a fighter sign up and train with/under them.
My advice? Go and check the nearest franchise out, and take some buddies who have trained. Nothing like seeing for yourself.
From my understanding, the instructors are already boxing instructors before they get involved in the franchise. The LA Boxing gym in my town is run by a guy who used to run his own school.
Edit: Check it out: http://www.laboxing.com/locations/lo...ocationID=1037
Crank used to be the instructor in another local gym, Just About Boxing.
( Double Edit: Instructors can be found when you look up the locations of the gyms.)
Last edited by Holy Moment; 9/15/2007 9:50pm at .
Yeah, that was the impression I got.
From the site's FAQ:
"How many employees do I need?
You can start with as little as three people including yourself, a general manager/salesperson and an instructor. However, people who have the funds to hire additional people whose talents complement their own can grow faster."
So, basically they hire instructors who are already qualified. Like any other gym, really.
RE: Golden Name: Ok, I see what you're saying. As long as they don't claim to create teh leet ninjers, they shouldn't be criticized, even if the instruction is somewhat lacking.
RE: Holy Moment: Ah, so that's how you find the instructors, I looked at the guy who leads the Sacramento school. Seems legit enough. I'll probably swing by there later this week and let you guys know how they are.
Does anyone have any experience with LA Boxing that want to talk about it?
(apologies for the long post... rambled a bit.)
Not quite what I was saying, but close.
Originally Posted by falconhunter202
I don't think that anything/anyone shouldn't be criticised, just that such criticism needs to be appropriately targeted. By which I mean, if they aren't claiming to create teh leet ninjers, but are claiming to provide a boxing/kickboxing/BJJ-based fitness service, then there's not really much point to criticising them on leet ninjer terms. As to the quality of their instruction, that's something that cannot be established by looking at the website.
To establish the quality of the instruction provided, you'd have to investigate the individual instructors at each given franchise, being as how they are employed by each franchisee, rather than being produced and/or employed by the corporate body (or whatever the appropriate term is).
Of course, if you (generic you) are of the view that basing a fitness service on boxing/kickboxing/BJJ rather than aiming at producing fighters is a bad thing, then that's another area of criticism entirely, and largely a matter of opinion. I could see how it might be argued that it's a case of "watering down", and that at the extreme end of these things can be likened to Tae Bo (sp?) - but I don't think they're making any grand claims. Of course, I've never been there and wouldn't be qualified to provide a particularly informed opinion from a boxing/kickboxing/BJJ standpoint even if I did, so take my comments with however large a dash of salt as you might like. I can only comment on what is available on the website.
I, personally, don't have a problem with the idea of what LA Boxing appears to me to be: a franchise-based gym organisation that focuses on fitness using boxing/kickboxing/BJJ as a base and makes no claims to produce fighters par excellence. Provided, of course, that they take measures to ensure that the trainers are actually boxing/kickboxing/BJJ trainers who know the stuff they are teaching. A good trainer knows nutrition, technique, etc. and won't teach **** to the public. Hell, it would be just like any other gym that offers personal training services and aerobics classes and the like, with a different angle.
To qualify/clarify/re-emphasise: If a given LA Boxing gym employs someone who doesn't actually know how to train boxing and has them teaching a boxing-based fitness class, then they aren't providing the service as presented and need a good arse-kicking, because they'll probably go down that old, well-worn track of producing a bunch of fairly fit deluded yuppies who can't throw a punch properly but think they can. Most "boxercise" type classes I've seen held in your regular fitness club are of this type, and I don't hold them in very high esteem. In fact, I deride them as frauds, because they teach sloppy technique and the vast majority of idiots who take the classes end up thinking that they can fight. Witness what happened with Tae Bo: created by a guy who was a pro kickboxer (if memory serves), but basically blew up into a world-wide farce because the vast majority of people who became Tae Bo instructors had no actual kickboxing background and so ended up teaching ****.
Ideally, such a gym would have a staff that included a sports-fitness instructor, a boxing trainer, a kickboxing trainer, a qualified BJJ instructor, and so forth. They could work out a curriculum aimed at fitness and marketed as such, and anyone who wanted more than just bag/pad fitness drills, etc. (i.e. wanted to train for the ring) could also be accommodated... and I would imagine they'd be more than willing to oblige, because the fitness stuff is the main money spinner, but the real love the trainers would have would be for the ring.
Having looked at a few of the trainers listed, they actually look pretty good. There's BJJ black belts, Freestyle Wrestling champs, ex- and current pro fighters. I don't know what the class prices are, so they could fall into "McDojo", but they don't look much like bullshido thus far.
Hell, I wonder if I can get a franchise?
Last edited by Goldenmane; 9/16/2007 12:06am at .
Kit Cope, the seemingly main instructor in Las Vegas is on Sherdog
Gina Carano is either
1) an instructor in Las Vegas
2) was an instructor in Las Vegas
3) will be an instructor in Las Vegas
so this location seems pretty up-to-snuff
Kit Cope was the dude on MTV's True Life... I'm a Muay Thai fighter. Trained with Master Toddy and fought in Thailand on that show....
Originally Posted by aardvarks
Kit's messed up knee...
My Muay Thai instructor teaches a kickboxing class at the LA Boxing here in Central FL...
He gets pretty fed up with the place b/c of the management and the goals...he feels pretty limited. Bobby (my trainer) comes from training out of the Chaukiriki Dojo and Mejiro Gym...so he's a bit used to more "hardcore training"...however at LA Boxing, they just want him to give people a good workout...
Unfortunately...as somebody stated above, "nowhere on their website do they say they want to produce fighters"...which is fine, but it produces a slight problem...the couple of times I've been there, I've noticed two types of people who join:
1) People who actually read the website and want the "cardio" aspect of it joining up hoping for glorified Tae Bo
2) People who just see "boxing" and kickboxing and think "Oh ****, this place'll make me a champion!"
That's pretty much how it is...Bobby teaches two classes there a week and he wants to make it more serious and teach a couple more classes for the guys who actually want to fight, but the managers don't really care for that and disregard his suggestions to start more hardcore training...
It's the Bally's of "boxing gyms"...
Checked out an LA boxing here in California once. The facilities are nice, however the management is irritating dishing out high pressure sales pitches. They wouldn't give me a free trial and wanted me to put a small "deposit" before I even tried it out. I thought to myself "damn...these guys must be desperate". Anyways, this sales manager claimed to be a former fighter and started talking down on me when I told him I would think about joining before I put any money down. He probably found it a waste of time to meet with me and not close the sale. Oh well! I walked out of there giving the manager the middle finger for being a condescending piece of trash. Can't speak for all the LA boxinig chains here in Cali...just this one case.