Britain's Youngest Black Belt and P.U.M.A.
Here's a link to an article about Britain's youngest black belt: Archie Gray, a six year old who has obtained his black belt in Taekwondo after three years.
I thought this article might be of some interest. In particular the fact that http://www.puma-uk.com/ seems to be McDojo.
P.S. I am not the original Lu Tze and I hope to have my username changed as quickly as possible.
I don't get it. So you can get shodan at 6 by training for 30 minutes a week and then you start over in the kub ranks at 7? Do you start over again at 10, 15, and 18? How many times can you get the same black belt in TKD assuming you're willing to pay the same testing fees over and over again and you start training as a fetus?
Originally Posted by Lame Article
Seems standard. It looks like a lot of McDojos have embraced their ridiculousness and now have contests to see which one can be the most absurd.
EDIT: I'm going to England to try and test into Shodan by beating up a bunch of six year olds.
Last edited by muranternet; 10/03/2007 4:52pm at .
I saw a PUMA demo once, and at the time, was very impressed: the instructors (Mark Ogbourne is it) showed a great deal of charisma, and skill.
Having said that, they do do a number of things which I know which people here have 'issues' with: semi-contact sparring, team patterns, 'xtreme' style kicking, and yes, junior blackbelts.
but certainly, skill wise, they were substantially better than many of the other simillar places that exist.
At least he seems to have a Bullshido-friendly taste for irony...
know these guys a little (Mark Ogbourne, John Black, Ray Gayle?). They were instructors with the TAGB in the Westcountry who broke away in (I think) 2000 to start their own organisation. Before the split, they used to run the TAGB summer camp in Cornwall, and always seemed like very good instructors, friendly with a lot of time for students charismatic and genuinely skilled in their sport.
I trained TAGB because where I lived at the time there were not many other options and their price for lessons was really very reasonable. It was a very long way from being a full fledged McDojo organisation, but they did let junior people take black belts, charged a fairly hefty grading fee, rarely failed people and (at one point) changed competition rules so you had to use their branded kit.
Oh, and they were obviously teaching ITF Taekwondo with all the usual TMA problems: emphasis on patterns, lots of impractical untested technique which was peddled as gospel (though to varying degrees, depending on the instructor) and the sport side was largely a game of tag.
Its a big organisation (I think the biggest in the UK). It may simply be because they have so many members that they can afford not to go too far down the purely commercial route. Certainly the people at the top seemed to be making some money out of it.
At the time of the split, I was told that the people who had broken away wanted to expand the curriculum away from the traditional techniques and do ground fighting and so on as well. I certainly thought that, of the senior people in the organisation those who had split were the more athletic, talented ones so I would be surprised if the quality of the teaching in their new organisation was any worse than the TAGB and would expect it to be better. That said, they might well have gone a bit more McDojo to make money out of it, since they will have fewer students.
Actually scratch that, I've just had a look at their website and they're plainly fraudulent purveyors of pseudy twaddle.
You mean they haven't even bothered to use real "twaddle", now that's just lazy.
Originally Posted by tapoften
They've got a 'flowering youth' section, For ****'s Sake...
So why are the parents so happy, he will soon be a yellow belt.......and they will spend more money on promotion fees.
How is that not "full fledged McDojo"? Even if their prices per lesson were reasonable, obviously they made up for it in other ways.
Originally Posted by tapoften
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