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  1. DerAuslander is offline
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    Valiant Monk of Booze & War

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    Posted On:
    8/30/2010 7:57pm

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: BJJ/C-JKD/KAAALIII!!!!!!!

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Andelas, your posts have been removed as they were heresay. I don't care about Master Lee's character, I care about substantiated actions. Not rumor.
  2. JAFMAS is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2010 8:04am


     Style: Taekwondo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As an ATA student, I wanted to reply to this thread, as it's apparent (and somewhat disappointing) regarding the lack of quality control and consistency across many of the schools.

    First a disclaimer: I have nothing to compare the ATA school that I am enrolled in to. I started Taekwondo one year ago, I'm 50 years old and in excellent physical condition, and am ranked a green belt. I have no delusions of competing in the Olympics or going pro, so in essence, so far MY experience has been positive. ATA has given me an opportunity to learn some basic martial arts, keep active, and it's been a fun experience so far.

    Undoubtably, and I know of one school in my area like this, there are some schools that give out belts like I give out candy on Halloween. This is seriously a huge disappointment, and I see it as an insult to those who REALLY work hard to EARN their advancements in rank and skill. Personally, I don't just show up for class, go home, and not work on my skills until the next class like some do. When I'm not in class, I'm either working out (advocate of Stronglifts 5x5) or hitting the heavy bag in my basement.

    Yes, ATA has a camo belt, along with orange, purple, and brown. To me, the belts mean little. Also, the founder of ATA added some belts "in between" the traditional belts (camo for example, is in between yellow and green) to essentially satisfy the "instant gratification" deal of alot of people. To me, camo, purple, etc., are pretty much a symbolic halfway point to the next belt. Nothing more.

    My school has an owner who has been practicing Martial Arts (Taekwondo) for over 40 years. He began outside of the ATA and later came in to the ATA eventually opening his own school. One of the other instructors is a 5th degree black belt who trained in Korea and tested in Korea. There are several more instructors, all who have at least 10 years of experience.

    Yes, we do have to sign a contract. My school might be different, but they first offered a 30-day "free trial" to see if I'd like the school or not. After the 30 days, it was time to join if I wanted. When it was time to sign the contract, I was able to set the length of the contract. My options were anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. It was up to me, no pressure. I signed on for a year and recently signed for another.

    Cost of classes each month is $85. Again, I don't know how this compares to other schools non-ATA, but I go 3-4 times a week, so if I break it down by class, this is pretty reasonable. Classes are an hour long. I don't get how some ATA schools offer 30 minute classes and charge MORE. Also, whether you are in the black belt program or the leadership program, you can attend any and all classes...you don't have to pay more for any "extras" at my school.

    My classes consist of conditioning, work on forms, and sparring. Yes forms. My thoughts about forms: they are a benefit essentially to work on technique (my opinion). In my school, there seems to be an emphasis more on forms at the white-orange-yellow belt levels and less so at the camo and above.

    I'm amazed that alot of schools have "no contact" sparring and only do the point sparring in class. Personally, I hate point sparring.

    At my school, we have full contact sparring, and we don't do the point sparring in classes. Yes we wear more protective gear than I did when I played hockey in high school and college. My school owner has a good philosophy regarding sparring...he basically states that "if you're going to just tap, don't even bother throwing a punch or kick....make it count".

    Good philosophy but unfortunately, some of the folks I've sparred seem like they've essentially learned nothing, and come out swinging like it's a street fight. In my opinion, some really take the "art" out of the martial arts aspect.

    ATA is a big organization, and apparently quality control and consistency are big issues. I agree that it seems that some schools are out there to make a buck and just advance people who don't deserve it. I've seen instances in my own school where people have passed belt testing who I thought didn't deserve it or put much effort into their training, and on the other hand, I've also seen students not recommended for testing because of mininal effort. I've also seen quite a few people drop out of the program during the 30 day free "trial". Many were grossly overweight and couldn't hack it (yes some can't hack it) or they came in because their kids were involved and tried to convince mommy or daddy that they should take Taekwondo also.

    Lastly, I'm not a martial arts expert...I'm a newbie. I just wanted to share my experience with ATA. For the most part, the experience has been very good thus far.
  3. helmutlvx is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2010 9:46am


     Style: In transition

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by JAFMAS View Post
    First a disclaimer: I have nothing to compare the ATA school that I am enrolled in to.
    I have a lot of respect for you still being so active at your age. Unfortunately, without anything to compare your ATA experience to, it makes many of your points moot.

    I think there's certainly the possibility that there is a quality ATA franchise location out there, I'm simply not convinced that you are enrolled in it.
  4. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2010 9:47am

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was following you right up until the full contact part. If you have no experience in MA outside of this realm then you don't have a realistic idea of what full contact is. Besides that glad you're enjoying your school.
  5. JAFMAS is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2010 9:56am


     Style: Taekwondo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega the Merciless View Post
    I was following you right up until the full contact part. If you have no experience in MA outside of this realm then you don't have a realistic idea of what full contact is. Besides that glad you're enjoying your school.
    Thank you....I agree...being a "noob" I don't have much to compare to. Our in class sparring is pretty much the same as this as I found in another thread:

    Went to a (mostly) taekwondo tournament, filmed some sparring - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

    The only exception is that with ATA there is no punching to the head.
  6. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2010 10:26am

    staff
     Style: Chinese Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    That's not really "full contact" but now we have a measuring stick.
  7. Lastofthebest55 is offline

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    Orlando FL
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    Posted On:
    10/29/2010 4:04pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: TKD Looking to train MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I started with the ATA back in 1995 when I was 9 years old, and trained with them until about Sophomore year in high school, and ended up going back there and teaching a few years after high school and training again. The organization is a disaster.... the person who posted is correct though, there are some good schools, but most of them are BAD. When I first started and got my "camo belt" (extra testing fee belt) and was able to spar, myself and a few of my classmates got fairly good. By the time we were purple belts, we basically had our private classes that trained before hours and after school hours. We went full go when we sparred, and weren't allowed to spar with kids, we had to spar with the adults. It was TOUGH. The workouts were hard, the sparring was tough, you could barely walk out of class. I'm almost 100% sure there are ZERO ATA schools that still train that way. Almost every kid is garbage, every instructor is garbage. Except the old schools ones. It really is a shame. It's all about the money.... there is no reason for the face cages, no reason for the chest protector. They are now mandatory at all schools for the most part I believe..... it's just another way to generate cash. In all of the years I competed at their tournaments, I'm pretty sure nobody left with broken ribs, or a kicked in teeth considering they encouraged no contact.... shake my head why am I ranting pointlessly?
  8. eaglebird is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/08/2010 12:14pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Eagle claw Kung fu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've heard of ATA and their McDojo approach. Alright, some some schools offer legitimate Tae Kwon Do, and a lot of them literally sell belts. Two obvious mcdojo traits: getting a black belt in less than 2 years, and little kid black belts.
  9. seekchat is offline

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    Dec 2010
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    Posted On:
    12/12/2010 12:32am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just my two cents: IMO, ATA is fine as a introduction to martial arts for young children. The bottom line is it all depends on the instructor of the specific school. My kids had an excellent instructor who loves what he does and is very patient with and encourages the kids. The instructor is a 6th degree (Master) in ATA's belt ranking and has achieved world championship standing in the past (ATA only tournaments). I wasn't trying to turn my kids into fighters. If I wanted that, I would have chosen a hard-core martial arts school. I wanted them to learn confidence, discipline and life skills such as perseverance. My kids didn't pass every testing, and I was fine with that. When they worked hard and practiced at home, it showed, and they passed. They also had to pass physical fitness tests as a part of the testing, so terribly unhealthy kids have no chance of passing at our school.

    In what I will call adult martial arts, it takes many years to achieve black belt. Those are for fighters, and I have great respect for the discipline required to achieve the rank. In ATA, children can achieve ATA black belt rank. I don't portray the black belts as "real" black belts to anyone I talk to. I know that the belts were achieved through a children's program designed to teach children how to work hard for and achieve a really great goal.

    I would say that depending on the child and the child's goals, a child who wants to learn real-world martial arts should discontinue ATA between the ages of 10 & 12 and move to a "real", or what I would call "adult" school and program.

    I do however, take great exception with the financial part of the ATA. A non-cancelleable contract-based program means that an instructor is completely unaccountable for providing quality instruction. Thankfully, we lucked out and received excellent quality in our ATA program. Then came the other surprises: an annual membership fee and testing fees. Those fees were not disclosed at the time that I signed the contract. So I do believe the financial aspect of the ATA is very unethical and unaccountable.
  10. tkd panda is offline

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    Feb 2007
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    Newcastle upon tyne
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    Posted On:
    12/12/2010 5:00pm


     Style: taekwon-do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by seekchat View Post
    Just my two cents: IMO, ATA is fine as a introduction to martial arts for young children. The bottom line is it all depends on the instructor of the specific school. My kids had an excellent instructor who loves what he does and is very patient with and encourages the kids. The instructor is a 6th degree (Master) in ATA's belt ranking and has achieved world championship standing in the past (ATA only tournaments). I wasn't trying to turn my kids into fighters. If I wanted that, I would have chosen a hard-core martial arts school. I wanted them to learn confidence, discipline and life skills such as perseverance. My kids didn't pass every testing, and I was fine with that. When they worked hard and practiced at home, it showed, and they passed. They also had to pass physical fitness tests as a part of the testing, so terribly unhealthy kids have no chance of passing at our school.

    In what I will call adult martial arts, it takes many years to achieve black belt. Those are for fighters, and I have great respect for the discipline required to achieve the rank. In ATA, children can achieve ATA black belt rank. I don't portray the black belts as "real" black belts to anyone I talk to. I know that the belts were achieved through a children's program designed to teach children how to work hard for and achieve a really great goal.

    I would say that depending on the child and the child's goals, a child who wants to learn real-world martial arts should discontinue ATA between the ages of 10 & 12 and move to a "real", or what I would call "adult" school and program.

    I do however, take great exception with the financial part of the ATA. A non-cancelleable contract-based program means that an instructor is completely unaccountable for providing quality instruction. Thankfully, we lucked out and received excellent quality in our ATA program. Then came the other surprises: an annual membership fee and testing fees. Those fees were not disclosed at the time that I signed the contract. So I do believe the financial aspect of the ATA is very unethical and unaccountable.
    Sorry if Im misunderstanding but what Im getting from your post is that you're not putting your kids through the ATA's system to learn self defence but to give them an activity with goals that can be accomplished.


    Also you dont like the fee's system I cant help but think you could have found another activity that meets with what you want your kids to get out of it without the unethical and unaccountable fee's experianced in the ATA.
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