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  1. MastaFighta is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 5:01pm


     Style: None

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Central FL: Sun State Martial Arts - My old school needs an evaluation

    Basic Rundown of my School:

    Classes are seperated by age. We had the "Little Dragons" which were students under 13 years old, "Junior Class" which were pretty much teenagers, and "Adult Class" which were mixed between adults and black belts from the "Junior Class"

    There were two clubs one could join, the Black Belt Club and SWAT.

    The Black Belt Club supposedly gave members access to more specialized training, however the special training days were rare. The only ones I had, not to mention the only ones our instructor hosted the whole time I was there, was Staff and Nunchuck training. Also, you get to wear a red gi. It also costed around $500 for membership.

    SWAT (I forget what it stood for) was a program that focused on training you to become an instructor (I forgot if it was free or not). Only high ranked students were allowed to join this program. Basically, you're given a Kung Fu uniform (looks like this) and you're required to attend "Little Dragon" and "Junior" classes to help out with the instructor. However, you need a lot of experience in this program plus the approval of the instructors to be given a regular white gi with a red lapel (indicating that you're a junior instructor). Eventually you'll be given a regular white gi with a black lapel which indicates that you have the experience required to be a full-fledge instructor. Also, while in this program you'll be given cleaning tasks by the instructor.

    When you come into the school, you're required to place your shoes and belongings in a shoe cubbard against the wall. After you've done this, you are required to "bow in" once you step out on the training floor and sit against the wall seperating the "parent area" and the training floor while waiting for the class before yours (if in session) to be done. If there's no class in session, then you're allowed to practice a little before your class is called.

    All students are given a card which keeps track of their attendance. Their attendance does dictate whether or not you're able to test. If you miss any classes, then you're allowed to make them up.

    Testings are pretty straight forward. You go and either test for forms, sparring or for your next belt. However, before you test for your next belt, one of the instructors must evaluate you to see if you're ready. Your are tested by a handful of instructors, both from our school and others. Testing for Black Belt is done outside of our school.

    Sparring was pretty straight forward. Hand, head, foot gear, cup and mouth piece are required. Light contact only, anywhere above the waist is a valid target (except the back, back of the head and neck).

    Despite one of the goals of my school being on self defense, self defense wasn't part of the curriculum.

    And here is the website: http://www.sunstatemartialarts.com/index.html

    Keep in mind, a lot of stuff has changed since I last attended 5-6 years ago, so what I typed up might no longer apply.
  2. SuperCollider is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 5:31pm


     Style: Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!


    "Everybody was kungfu fighting!"

    Hmm... seems odd that this is a kind of TKD that involves CMA LARPING. Similarly, their comment about never ending self-improvement, and self-inspiration gives them an out that if you get nothing from it its your fault, and there's no pressure on them to provide anyone with any real skills in a short to medium period of time.

    How did you find the training there?
  3. MastaFighta is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 5:48pm


     Style: None

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCollider


    "Everybody was kungfu fighting!"

    Hmm... seems odd that this is a kind of TKD that involves CMA LARPING. Similarly, their comment about never ending self-improvement, and self-inspiration gives them an out that if you get nothing from it its your fault, and there's no pressure on them to provide anyone with any real skills in a short to medium period of time.

    How did you find the training there?
    I don't have anything to compare it to, it's the only training I ever received in Martial Arts. Not to mention I started when I was about 10 years old and left when I was about 13 years old.
  4. cyril is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 6:17pm


     Style: No-Gi BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Things to keep in mind when looking at a TKD school. Most of them (probably including this one) are owned by a mother company. That being the case, they probably had a nice dojang, and good floors, and nice people, etc. Now, that has nothing to do with quality of instruction. That normally has to do with cash inflow. For the adult classes, did the instructor work on cardio a lot, or did he have you doing drills? Was it only at or near the end of class where you would spar, and probably for about 10 minutes? If this is the case, you're at a McDojang, but not necessarily a bad one.

    Read up on "aliveness" and see if you see any partner drills that sound alive. When the adults sparred, did they go all out on each other, or did it look like light contact?

    Those are some tips to look for. Mainly, quality of instruction should be judged by quality of student. If there are some real bruisers coming out of that school, such that their tournament entries are feared, then they're not that bad, but this probably isn't the case. Probably just another McDojo.

    A word of confidence. DON'T GIVE IN! Just because you went to a McDojo doesn't mean that you didn't learn anything useful. Work the stuff you know up into a practical pace, and you can get more from the experience than just a bad taste in your mouth.

    Good luck.
  5. MastaFighta is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 6:54pm


     Style: None

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    For the adult classes, did the instructor work on cardio a lot, or did he have you doing drills?
    There was no special emphasis on cardiovascular work outs. We mostly did drills up and down the floor, though it wasn't anything special. Step foward, punch or kick, step forward, etcetera.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Was it only at or near the end of class where you would spar, and probably for about 10 minutes?
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Read up on "aliveness" and see if you see any partner drills that sound alive.
    We rarely did partner drills, though the only ones we did (that I can remember) were "take down drills". Take down drills were exactly like they sound, drills that focused on techniques designed to take down opponents. However, the drills weren't alive, though our partner had to resist.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    When the adults sparred, did they go all out on each other, or did it look like light contact?
    Light contact.
  6. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 7:10pm

    staff
     Style: xingyi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bullshido:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshido

    McDojo:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mcdojo


    Read both of these I think you'll see what your old school falls under.


    McDojo IMO.
  7. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 7:19pm

    staff
     Style: xingyi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sorry,

    That was a little short. Looking at their website, which is key, they don't say their focus is self defense or the deadly.

    Looking at the class structure and tenets it seems the school is geared towards kids and Teens.

    Yes, they have the obligatory any situation Self defense comment found on many websites. Thing is, if you take in the totality of the information, they push fun, fitness, health, confidence, flexibility, more than they do self defense.

    Now, again, this assumption is based solely on their website.
  8. Sum Gai is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 8:36pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: CMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There are much better places in that area. Are you looking for a new school or planning to go back there?

    What is it you're looking for in a school?
  9. MastaFighta is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 8:47pm


     Style: None

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the replies everyone. The reason why I asked is because I could never decide whether my school was a McDojo, Bullshido, neither or both. While I know what a McDojo and Bullshido is, I just had a tough time figuring it out for my school, plus I had to be sure that I'm not just naming them out of thin air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sum Gai
    There are much better places in that area. Are you looking for a new school or planning to go back there?

    What is it you're looking for in a school?
    I don't plan on going back there. As for going to other schools, I don't have the money, I don't have medical insurance and I really don't have a way of getting there if it's far from where I live (don't have a car).
  10. Sum Gai is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/27/2007 9:09pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: CMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well, I'm in the area so holler if you do decide to look around. Whatever you're looking for I can probably point you in the right direction.
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