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  1. pnwnorseman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 1:17pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    How do you verify a school is not BS?

    So after reading through the boards a bit I see that checking the lineage of a teachers style and the backround of the teacher seems to be standard practice when looking at a school. So far I have just been visiting schools and watching classes etc and from that I feel like I can generally get an idea of if the school is crap or not but I hear about checking fighting records and such and I am wondering if there are specific websites or resources that you all use to check style lineage or fight history of teachers or if its just about the intense google search. Sometimes the school will have a website and that might list the lineage of that school but I was hoping for something a bit less biased.
  2. fightin Penguin is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 3:39pm


     Style: ex-wrestler, Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah, when it comes to websites such as this one and others, they just mention what makes a school or style crappy (which is very helpful) but rarely mention what makes a school or style good. Well, the style yes, but not the school. I guess you just have to be more discerning when looking around for dojos and dojaengs and the like. See what the payment structure is like, the class structure, etc.

    Oh, and it is easy to look around for legitimacy and background of BJJ, MMA, modern -do forms of Japanese/Okinawan dojos and styles. But it's the pre 1876 Japanese styles and almost anything Chinese that is a bitch to look up, because it is so old and exotic I will say, that many teachers can dupe any poor sucker into joining their place, even though the katas and whatever patterns are probably ****, and the fact that the "sifu" is some white guy from Iowa with a ponytail that was probably some yoga instructor and Amway recruiter.
  3. migo is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 3:48pm


     Style: Baboo Baby

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Looking at lineage is a very TMA/Bullshido verification method. People who try to verify lineage for anything other than interest's sake are practicing bullshido.

    Going by watching the class is about the only way you can figure that out. You can take two judo schools, both with the same lineage, and one can be crap and the other great. It can depend on how they train. Judo schools that stop the moment they hit the ground are crap - even if they're good at throws. Judo schools that continue and ensure they keep dominant position for a couple seconds after a throw are good. Small differences there, and it really depends on the attitude of the instructors. Technique can be the same, randori intensity can be the same, but there's a small detail that can be a serious problem for fighting. The same can be said about BJJ schools. You can have the same lineage, one trains standup and vale tudo, the other starts from the knees 100% and doesn't do any striking. One's legit, the other is bullshido.t

    McDojoism can be figured out by looking at the school and not actually watching or participating in the class. You can also have a McDojo that still offers good training. It doesn't suddenly stop being a McDojo if you learn to be a good fighter.
  4. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 4:05pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Visiting the class is the right way to start.

    Turn up early, introduce yourself to the instructor, tell him that you might be interested in joining and would like to watch.

    No reasonable instructor should refuse this - unless you come off as a dick. Don't be a dick.

    Watch the class. Anything that looks weird, make a note of.
    A mental note arouses less suspicion. :-)

    After the class, see if you can informally chat to a couple of students. Same story... you're thinking of joining. Look out for hero-worship/cultish love of the instructor. This is a bad thing.

    Try and grab a word with the instructor before leaving - even if it's only to say thanks.

    Anything questionable, post up here somewhere (not necessarily this sub-forum), and get a wide range of opinions (whether you want them or not).

    Sounds like you're doing most of that, anyway.

    The lineage stuff is often inconsequential. I've trained with people who have been two steps from the head of the organisation in Japan.
    Did that make them any less bullshit-filled? Probably made them worse.
  5. el dangeroso is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 5:44pm


     Style: no gi grappling/sambo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It seems every time I go to check out a school they want me to participate in a free class. I prefer to just sit and watch a class first, then take them up on the offer for the free class later. While I am working with one partner (especially with grappling), it is difficult to see the skill level or bad habits of other students. This is why I like to watch the class first. You can get a better perspective of what goes on overall, rather than getting teamed up with the best student and thinking "wow, this guy is awesome".
  6. pnwnorseman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 6:41pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the replies. I have always been told that the bigest problem with MA in america is that there is no actual group/organization that is dedicated to verifying qualifications for teachers. I actually had one instructor at a prospective school tell me that there is nothing (legal or otherwise) stopping someone from simply buying a black belt on like ebay and starting their own school. Thanks again for the help. Since visiting this board I have become much more aware of warning signs of bad schools/teachers. Funny enough I am almost literally surrounded by McDojos. 3 USSD's literally within walking distance of my home. Though walking distance is a relative term since "everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." - Steven Wright
  7. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 7:28pm

    staff
     Style: xingyi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by pnwnorseman
    Thanks for the replies. I have always been told that the bigest problem with MA in america is that there is no actual group/organization that is dedicated to verifying qualifications for teachers. I actually had one instructor at a prospective school tell me that there is nothing (legal or otherwise) stopping someone from simply buying a black belt on like ebay and starting their own school. Thanks again for the help. Since visiting this board I have become much more aware of warning signs of bad schools/teachers. Funny enough I am almost literally surrounded by McDojos. 3 USSD's literally within walking distance of my home. Though walking distance is a relative term since "everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." - Steven Wright
    That's the truth all over the world. There is nothing preventing anyone from buying an ebay black belt.

    Everyone is giving you good general advice. What exactly are you looking for?
  8. pnwnorseman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/28/2007 11:23am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well I'm hoping to find a decent Kung Fu school in my area. I'm in the burbs just outside seattle and while you can find nearly any stlye you want out here there is as said by others a glut of mediocre/ BS schools in this area. So far my best finds are the Wing Lam school in redmond. I have read a lot of mixed stuff about the school but I have yet to visit a class so I am trying to withhold judegment. There is also the Seattle kung fu club. That is taught by Sifu John S.S. Leong. From what I can find it seems that this guy is closer to what I am looking for. I am mainly interested in kung fu because I find it more asthetically pleasing when done right than a lot of other styles and honestly the animal styles intrigue me. I'm not really concerned with self defense. I'm 6'6" and bouncin around 300 lbs. I'm actually in it more for the art as opposed to the martial.
  9. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/28/2007 11:37am

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    swear to God, dude, if this wasn't a serious forum, I'd be telling you to train wu-shu... it's the chosen art of 6'6"ers who weigh 300lb.

    But, you probably need to find someone from the Seattle area that may know a a good CMA school... maybe a thread in Newbietown with Seattle and Kung Fu in the title?

    Any CMAers from Seattle hang around here?
  10. pnwnorseman is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/28/2007 1:16pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well its going to be a couple months before I can afford to get back to a school so I have some time to look around. Oddly enough there is what looks like it could be a good Wu Shu school except that I believe their monthly dues are way too high and I you have to pay to observe a class. And its wu shu which doesn't interest me. I'm more looking for Hung Gar (Southern Shaolin?) or Northern Shaolin. If all else fails I know there are a couple capoeira clubs in the area. I know it seems like I am looking for the least effective fighting methods but again. Lookin more for the art and less for the martial, but either way looking to avoid the BS.
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