Thread: Jing ying kung fu
4/29/2008 3:54pm, #11
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Pasadena, Maryland
- Kung Fu
Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi
This is Billy Greer, the owner of Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi. Anyone with personal experience at Jing Ying would find the review by 123ash to be laughable. It's as if the opposite of the truth was said about almost every aspect of the school.
123ash said "They held gradings EVERY MONTH"
Yes, that is true (except for the month of August). This does not mean every student tests every month. Students spend a minimum of 5 months as a beginner before they can test to our intermediate level. There is a minimum of 13 months at the intermediate level before they can test for advanced level. Then there is a minimum of 17 months at advanced level before they can test for black belt and the testing process takes an additional 6 to 12 months. Keep in mind that these are minimums. Our curriculum is at
123ash said "These guys give black belts to anyone"
In the last 4 years, 4 black belts have been awarded and the students earning them had trained an average of 7 years and ranged in age from 27 to 47.
emu_forefront said "They have an incredibly huge number of child black belts"
We don't have an incredible number of black belts period. See the paragraph above. Sean Marshall probably hasn't awarded 2 dozen black belts in the last 20 years. We don't have ANY "kid" black belts, the current youngest is 16. (Yes, she was 12 when she earned her black belt but was exceptional and at class almost daily during the 4 years preceding her advancement)
They also said our program is more geared towards "getting a workout and learning forms"
We do emphasize physical training. Any school that is teaching you to fight should be. It does no good to learn applications if you are going to gas after the first few techniques are thrown. We believe you have to have the strenth, endurance, flexibility and explosiveness to execute techniques. Physical drills, live training. bag and pad work - all incorporated in classes. Our classes are divided so that the first half of the week has an emphasis on training applications and forms, the second half emphasizes self-defense techniques and sparring. If you came to one class, it might look like all we did was forms or it might look like all we did was sparring depending on when you came, but neitehr would be true. We have a balance of both.
123ash said "they place more emphasis on push hands then anything else"
Even our tai chi program does't put an emphasis on push hands and it's not specifically practiced in our kung fu classes. Maybe it should be, it's actually a very useful skill and if you practice bjj, you'd be amazed at how beneficial it is to be able to redirect people shooting in for a takedown.
123ash said "u wont be taught how to fight"
Sean Marshall was a well respected full-contact fighter who has fought around the world and was nationally ranked in the old PKA. A couple of the instructors have worked as bouncers. So, there is lots of good experience to tap into. Our curriculum puts an emphasis on timing, distance control, footwork and combinations. We cover striking, throws and takedowns, grappling. We imcorporate Qinna (Chin Na) or joint locking and Chinese
Wrestling or Shuai Jiao. Our beginners don't do sparring. They start with cooperative drills to learn techniques. At the intermediate level, they get to spar with primarily striking techniques so they learn distance control and timing. At the advanced level, we add in takedowns, throws and grappling techniques. Our philosophy is to start with solo practice, go to cooperative partner practice, then move to training with fully resisting partners.
So, to dispell the McDojo claim, let's review. Usually a McDojo is a belt factory designed to churn out black belts and mint money for the owner. At Jing Ying, we operate like a club. There are no contracts or intiation fees. For your monthly dues, you get to train up to 6 days a week and can take as many classes as you like. The only restiction is that you can only participate in classes at your level or below. The class schedule is here:
http://www.jingying.org/schedule.html. The McDojo is going to lock you into a contract so that by the time you find out how bad the school is, you're already locked into paying them for the next year. I think we have one of the best programs around, but I know there is no one perfect program for everyone. I figure if we are doing a good job meeting your expectations, you will keep coming back each month without the obligation of a contract. If we are not what you are looking for, you will be free to go elsewhere without having to fight to break a contract. You just don't pay and don't come in when you want to quit. We do not "crank out" black belts unless you consider an average of 7 years training per black belt and an average of less than 1 blackbelt per year to be cranking them out.
A McDojo will often focus on classes for kids as that is where the money is. Our kid's program represents about 1/4 of our students. We have more programs for adults and more adult students. Several posts refer to our "large number of child black belts." This is a complete fabrication. You won't find even one blackbelt under 16 at the school and you won't find more than one under 25.
A McDojo will often have anyone instruct, including kids. We do NOT have child instructors despite some of the claims. We have some teen ASSISTANT instructors who help out with classes under the direction of the regular instructor. They primarily help with the kids classes. Other schools often just pick a more senior student in a class to teach other students in that same class. Then you end up having random students teaching other
students. Our instructors are listed at http://www.jingying.org/instructors.html
A McDojo will often have many upgrade programs to entice you to spend more and more money by making you feel special. We just have the flat monthly membership fee and you can participate in all of our programs. We like people who like to train! Do we charge for testing? Yes, $25 covers the cost of your new belt, the certificate and the ceremony itself. We have demonstrations and refreshments as part of the test. The fee is low and only
happens a few times a year at most. There is no charge to be evaluated at a pre-test which is required before you can be approved to test.
The best thing about our school is the attitude of the students, There aren't a lot of testosterone fueled egos here. Most of the time if someone nails you with a good technique during a sparring match, right after the match they will tell you what you did wrong that left you open and will recommend a defense. If your ego demands that you "win" sparring matches in class, you don't give away your secrets. If instead you understand that there are no winners in sparring matches in class and the purpose is to help you improve your skill, then by helping your classmates improve, you are forced to bring your skill up to the next level as well. You benefit in the long run by teaching your classmates how to defend against your techniques.
Bottom line, words are not likely to convince anyone. Come out a see some classes or better yet, participate in a free class and form your own opinion.
Last edited by JingYingDad; 4/30/2008 9:48pm at . Reason: change rating
4/29/2008 4:09pm, #12
Thank you Mr. Greer. I was going to simply delete the OP's initial post, but seeing as you replied to his specific statements I'll let the cards fall where they may.
Thank you for your post and update.
4/30/2008 3:03pm, #13
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Smart Assery
Dear Mr. Greer,
I sincerely apologize for anonymously posting that you have a huge number of child black sashes, I was under the impression that Shifu Sean Marshall's children were both black sashes. I believed this because of the black colored sashes they wore at one of your recent demos, I apologize if this is not the case.
I would still say you had a large number of child black belts compared to other self-defense schools due to the fact that you once had one who was twelve (though she now may be much older).
My review was meant to repudiate what a former poster had said about your school (it being a mcdojo and awful) and offer my opinion based on my limited and sometimes incorrect knowledge of your school. I will now edit my review to reflect what you have written.
I still have a few issues with your school but will not post them here anonymously. Instead I may visit your school in a few months after i recover from an injury. I hope i can get a free example lesson/ spar someone again (with grappling this time) then.
Last edited by emu_forefront; 4/30/2008 3:26pm at .
4/30/2008 8:20pm, #14
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Smart Assery
5/01/2008 12:05am, #15
Originally Posted by emu_forefront
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Pasadena, Maryland
- Kung Fu
Let's recap. You are a highschool student who attended a multischool sparring event at Jing Ying (I arranged an exchange program where students from various schools could come to Jing Ying to spar and exchange techniques and we would take our students to their schools to spar - no charge, just a fun opportunity to meet and spar with different people with different training). You were also present when we visited your school for one of the sparring sessions (we did several of these during the year). You apparently also saw a demo we did. Without ever having seen one of our classes, you find yourself qualified to give a detailed criticism of our program.
You see a belt system in kung fu as bad (it may not be strictly traditional, but it is arguable if it is bad), yet you don't seem to recognize that sashes worn in kung fu demonstrations do not necessarily indicate rank. Sash color is often chosen to coordinate with the uniform. The kid's you saw in the demo and "assumed" were black belts are only at an intermediate level.
You still say we have a large number of child black belts because we had 1 who earned it at 12. There are some very talented kids who actually deserve their black belt at 12. This opinion was supported by many judges at several tournaments where she won many gold medals. In the 4 years since that black belt was awarded, the youngest person to make black sash has been 27. We are fortunate to have some very dedicated and talented kids. You can see some of them in a group form here: YouTube - Gold Medal Group Form
You say we have a good facility "despite the graffiti" at our studio. I think the artwork enhances our studio. It was done by a top crew from New York (FlyID) who has even had art gallery shows. Take a look at our mantis, tiger, dragon, monkey and more at http://www.jingying.org/facilities.html
You say we have no good sparring or ground game until advanced levels. Here's a little about my grappling experience: http://www.jingying.org/special_events/grappling.htm I don't know what your expectations are, but remember that we are a kung fu school. Our philosophy is to use sweeps takedowns and throws to put the opponent on the ground, but not to get tied up with them down there. Harder contact, thigh kicks, sweeps, throws and takedowns are a required part of sparring for the advanced level students. It is available to all other students through optional classes (optional as in not required to attend, but no extra charge if you want to attend).
You complain that we charge for tests. We could raise tuition $10 per month for everyone and make testing "free" or we can continue to only charge people who test $25 for 1 to 3 tests per year which includes the new sash, certificate, ceremony and refreshments for the after party. Do the math and decide which is a better deal.
Also, I'm not sure what "issues" you can have with our school when you have never been our student or even attended a class. I am only glad you have decided not to post your complaints because your "helpful" attempt to repudiate the negative statements of someone else has been damaging enough.
5/01/2008 1:13am, #16
Please read the link he gave you regarding empirical standards for the ratings.
Re testing - you also have the third option, test them and charge them the actual cost of the belt
or the fourth - test them and let them buy a belt on their own
or the fifth - scrap wearing an expensive token of rank so your classes are just plain cheaper.
or the sixth - tell people its what you charge, don't try to justify the markup at all.
While I commend you for trying to integrate some grappling, the link you posted leads to a one-off seminar, and your talk of "not getting tied up with them" would seem to invoke silly 80s attitudes about grappling.
5/01/2008 9:19am, #17
I don't see a problem with the testing fees. Regardless of what "options" Mr. Reed has on the issue, he is trying to run a business and don't see the fees as excessive when compared to your typical Dojang.
Your ratings should be modified however and the link provided by emu should help. These particular areas should be more accurately reflected.
Aliveness - 8 SHOULD BE 5-6
Striking - 8 SHOULD BE 4-5
Grappling - 8 SHOULD BE 4-5
Here is why:
Aliveness - an 8 signifies that you regularly conduct hard sparring classes, in some ranges of combat, under full resistance (albeit controlled). You stated that only your advanced students spar and you fail to state at what contact level they spar or if they compete in local or national competitions (maybe Sanda or San Shou for example). The fact that you apparently have some contact sparring for SOME students puts your aliveness at a 5-6 tops.
Striking - The striking practiced in the forms is entirely impractical and virtually useless under a fully resistant setting. Thus, unless you have an instructor with some sort of competition record in MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, Sanda, Kyokushin, etc. and 8 is entirely unreasonable. Ask yourself this, could one of your advanced students hang in a stand-up match against an amateur boxer or thai fighter with an 0-2 amateur record?
Grappling - An 8 signifies that your students are competent enough to compete in local or national grappling tournaments, and sometimes place in them. This is not a reflection on your personal wrestling experience, it is a focus on how much of that experience you impart to your students and insert into your training. From your statements you basically teach them how to control themselves when they hit the ground and be able to separate and get back up. Which is fine, and is good training for the intended purpose, BUT it does not count as an 8 in grappling.
I understand it is tough to be objective as the head instructor, but none the less.
5/01/2008 10:49am, #18
I don't have a PROBLEM with the testing fees. I just find it disengenuous that he acts like he HAS NO CHOICE but to charge them or raise tuitioin and that seems to be implying a belt, a certificate, and some post-test munchies are worth 25/head and none of it's gravy for the school.
5/01/2008 11:01am, #19
Please understand that our reviewing system is a) meant to work off factual criteria and b) geared toward the needs of those looking for alive, full contact training. Understand as well that our review system is not Olympic scoring and a 5-9 is an average to above average rating, not an insult. Finally, please also consider that our rating system tries to do the difficult job of creating a range that can encompass every school.
So far the only other review to net several deserved "10s" is a member's review of the American Top Team training facility in Florida. This complex is a 10000+ square foot mecca for aspiring pro fighters with a full weight yard, a matted instruction surface, rings, cages, full lockers, parking, etc. fyi. That's what you are angry you were rated below. My school isn't as nice as theirs, and I don't think I could be blamed for saying so.
The only other tens I would anticipate handing out would be too say, an OTC facility or a large college's boxing or wrestling program - a 'ten' implies a facility that is top of the line in every, single way. Most people don't want to pay for a 10, and most people aren't dedicated to training in the way 10s require of their students. A rating less then 10 is not damning, it is normal.
Our system is meant to run from 1-2 (don't train here for this category) to 9-10 (train here for going pro in full contact) - your neighborhood karate center getting 4-7s shows the system to be functioning. People who are you chosen market - mothers with children, ordinary community members who need/want exercise and some self defense - are not going to consider your school if your own rating indicates it is geared toward professional fighters. Likewise if people looking for what a ten offers in a school come to visit yours, will they find what they want, or will they waste their time and your own?
As for the copy in the review text, you aren't going to counter it by 1) Pointlessly arguing with him about his motivation or 2) saying "ALL LIES COME SEE" - if you don't teach full contact, tell why. If you do something out of tradition or respect for your lineage, explain and contextualize it.
Use the criticism as an opportunity to explain the value you place on things like tradition, instead. If you feel a reviewer omitted or missed something, post that information along with your own, honest, review instead of giving yourself "high" scores you don't want and aren't in keeping with your facility.
I hope this explanation helps you understand why you received the rating you did and motivates you to revise your ratings honestly, in keeping with our guidelines.
5/01/2008 11:12am, #20You see a belt system in kung fu as bad (it may not be strictly traditional, but it is arguable if it is bad), yet you don't seem to recognize that sashes worn in kung fu demonstrations do not necessarily indicate rank. Sash color is often chosen to coordinate with the uniform. The kid's you saw in the demo and "assumed" were black belts are only at an intermediate level.
Highly colored belts are used during demonstrations. Two that aren't traditionally used are red and black. Those to tend to denote skill and or Head of a particular art.
Now, to take emu to task for this is disingenuous.
You still say we have a large number of child black belts because we had 1 who earned it at 12. There are some very talented kids who actually deserve their black belt at 12. This opinion was supported by many judges at several tournaments where she won many gold medals. In the 4 years since that black belt was awarded, the youngest person to make black sash has been 27. We are fortunate to have some very dedicated and talented kids. You can see some
Thing is I've done demos and seen Many of them set up. What you are saying above is very disingenous and is largely used as a marketing tool.