Experiences with former instructors after leaving your gym.
I want to start by admitting this thread may already have been posted but I couldn't find it through the search (more on why/how one left) so feel free to call me on it and ignore my post.
I wanted to talk about the expereinces people had leaving their old dojo; in terms of your current relationship with them. I have really left two gyms so far and in considering the contrast of our current relationship, decided to post my experience hoping others would as well.
WT: this was the first MA (aside from my 4th grade year in TKD and a couple of months at Sambo) that I really got into. I think I was there for around half a year and was pretty friendly with everyone there. I had to leave because I made my school schedule around the set class times (after being assured they would stay as they were) only to find out a week in that they had changed. Because it was impossible for me to keep coming to class unless I went to the late night sessions and came home at 11-12 p.m, I informed my instructor I could no longer attend. My contract (4 month and then you pay by month if you like) had already expired so leaving wasn't much of an issue. In fact I tried to come in several times to talk to the head instructor but unfortunately he was not in, an assistant instructor who was an awesome guy assured me I should talk to the head guy and expressed a hope that we could work something out. I honestly liked the place but the email I got back was along the lines of "o.k" followed by a sales pitch for private classes.
Later I emailed a person with whom I enjoyed a great rapport during and after class to invite him to hang out with me. He promptly replied, happy to hear from me, and when I emailed him back what classes I was now attending I have yet to hear from him (it's been a month). Another person from said gym that I emailed never replied.
Both guys not responding can be a coincidence, I wouldn't rule it out. Or it could be a general "he couldn't stick with it" attitude which is also possible. Still I thought the dismissal of "ok" buy some privates was a bit strange since we are always very friendly with eachother during and after classes.
Judo: I left once again because of scheduling. BJJ offers a wider range of time slots and is closer to school. If my schedule permits Judo after graduation, when I start work but won't be burdened by college homework, I would be glad to do both. My instructor is great, he has produced and is producing Olympic-level atheletes and had no problem with my cross training in BJJ. He personally wasn't interested in BJJ since his classes focus on an equal amount of ne-waza as randori (and are twice as long as my BJJ classes) so his opinion was always - do it if you want, I like Judo but it can only help you. He has many students who also wrestle, do JJJ, BJJ, etc. and remains an inspiration to me b/c despite a severe shoulder injury he has made it to nearly every class to teach (he has several black belts including a 5th Dan former Olympian who can fill in) and in fact teaches for free (the only money I payed was to the school which rents out the space). His continued dedication and love of the sport; so much that he braves an injury to teach free of charge warrants immense respect on my part.
The owner of the gym, also a student going for his BB, is still in contact with me despite the fact that I had only gone for a year. He regularly inquires how my training is going, encourages me to come in whenever I have time to train (understanding about my schedule he didn't make me pay for the month before the end of my contract), and has expressed a desire to come to my BJJ comps.
I realize that despite the love instructors have for their art, it is a business for most and though the "customer" is owed a level of curtesy, there doesn't have to be much more. Still, the contrast between and "ok" and a continued interest in a former student has made an impression on my, I was hoping others would share the experience they had with their former instructors after leaving a school.
Don't speak to anyone from my old kwoon. Left after I blew out a knee, then took up bjj. Due to legal issues outside my control I have to maintain limited contact with the instructors, but my personal trainer called them a few weeks ago trying to drum up business for the gym and when he realized it was my old kwoon he dropped my name to not-so-good of a reception. Apparently someone on staff is a tad bitter. *shrug*
That just tells you who has a real interest in teaching and developing other people, and who's just in it for a buck.
Sight unseen I bet your WT instructor is a bit of a sleaze.
Would you be willing to elaborate on the legal issues?
Originally Posted by gangrelchilde
The WT instructor was always very nice in person...I can honestly say I heard him give a less than stellar description of maybe 2 students who had previously left though for reasons within their control. I don't consider this to be out of the ordinary, some students really do come to a gym with a sense of entitlement. Still the email threw me off like crazy.
I bet the nearest moose has hooves...
Originally Posted by SFGOON
Last edited by JohnnyCache; 10/26/2007 10:16pm at .
The best gym I ever went to I had to leave because of scheduling issues. I wasn't there for a really long time, so I doubt they remember me too strongly in any way, now. I just learned a lot per time that I put in. Moreso than anywhere else.
I do feel guilty for leaving because the coach did his job the best anyone could expect. I should probably try to track down someone I trained with there and just ask how things are.
I think a lot of folks percieve their relationship with their old instructor to be worse than it is. I mean, the example I gave is on the extreme end, but I do feel like someone who probably only remembers me in the way that he'd recognize me if I said hi somehow feels slighted by my actions.
my favorite kung fu teacher and I used to work on shootfighting and rolling during a lot of our sparring sessions while the other students were doing forms and pseudo-kickboxing each other... we both kind of got fed up with kung fu so he's giving up his BB to start BJJ classes with me as a white belt
I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
Originally Posted by FUNKtastic
I can understand when they get bitter, they put time and energy into you and then you leave, and that can often be seen as "You're not as good as these other people, so I'm gonna go learn from them." At the same time, you know what's best for you and what you want to do, what you can afford, and how much time you can devote to it - which leads to travel issues in your case.
It's not like you're jumping around learning different schools' techniques and then entering a major tournament (styles don't even overlap in that case). And if they pull that honor or loyalty bullshit, that shouldn't make you feel bad either, because it's not like you're going around talking **** about your former schools or keeping students from going there.
You did your best to keep up relations, if they don't reciprocate, just move on, not worth the worry and stress.
you could do worse, i studied under Rudy Abel.