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  1. GoldenJonas is offline

    Light Heavyweight

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    3,379

    Posted On:
    5/02/2008 9:03am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Ratings and You - Read This Before Posting Your Review

    Dear Aggrieved School Member/Owner:

    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 Coconut Creek, 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. Further, that school has grappling and BJJ instructors who are multi-time world champions, Muay Thai, MMA and Boxing instructors who hold titles in many different organizations or have been members of their respective US Olympic team at one time or another. That's what your school is rated against and should be compared to when you think your striking or grappling instruction is a 10.

    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, i.e., don't go to a exclusively BJJ school if you want to learn good striking skills) 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 your 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 10 offers in a school come to visit yours, will they find what they want, or will they waste their time and your own?

    If your school gets a review you don't agree with, you aren't going to counter it by 1) pointlessly arguing with the reviewer 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. If your view of the school and particular aspect of training within your school differs explain why you view differs and ensure your rating is consistent with these guidelines. Remember, a low number rating is simply a classification of the curriculum taught, NOT a derogatory statement about your school.

    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 which may not actually reflect your facility or curriculum and may actually misinform a consumer who is considering going to your school.

    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.


    Aliveness:

    1: No sparring/contact, performance demonstration/forms only.
    2-3: Compliant partner drills, board breaking, point sparring
    4-5: Light contact continuous sparring (negligible pain/risk).
    6-7: Medium contact with excessive safety gear.
    8-9: Hard contact with reasonable safety gear and/or limited to one range of fighting (standup/grappling).
    10: Regular (monthly or less) skill testing via full contact, full range fighting, minimum safety equipment.

    Equipment:

    1: What equipment?
    2-4: Bring your own.
    5: Basic relevant essentials, may be heavily used.
    6-7: Respectable equipment, somewhat worn.
    8-9: Excellent, new condition, latest gear.
    10: Superior equipment (full ring/cage, etc)

    Gym Size:

    1: Bedroom in your parents' house.
    2: We train in the garage.
    3: We train in the basement.
    4: But it's a freakin' big basement.
    5: We train at the park
    6: Actual dedicated commercial space, somewhat small but functional.
    7: +2
    8: Plenty of room to roll/spar without tripping over people
    9: 5,000-10,000 sq ft.
    10: 10,000 sq ft.

    Instructor/Student Ratio:


    1: I am my own instructor.
    2: I've met the lead instructor, once.
    3: I see my lead instructor every class, through the window to his office.
    4-5: Instructor opens class, senior students complete it.
    6-7: large class but instructor is accessible and oversees most classes.
    8-9: Smaller classes, instructor or highly qualified (master level) assistant instructors in small groups.
    10: Highly personal attention from top instructors.

    Atmosphere/Attitude:


    1-5: Everyone's a douchebag/tough guy/pansy to corresponding degrees and/or drama.
    6-7: Fairly impersonal, various cliques or noticeable drama.
    8-10: Open, supportive but challenging, bizarro hippy ass-beating love fest.

    Striking Instruction:

    1-3: No striking.
    4-5: Striking for punching/kicking only and/or limited purposes (demonstration, highly restrictive sport).
    6-7: Comprehensive striking (all ranges) or superior single range striking with success in local/regional competition or practical application.
    8-9: Pressure-tested, full range striking and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
    10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors

    Grappling Instruction:


    1-3: No grappling. Anti-grappling.
    4-5: Limited single sub-range (standing, clinch, ground only).
    6-7: Comprehensive grappling with success in local/regional competition or practical application (LEO, military).
    8-9: Pressure-tested, full range grappling and proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
    10: Superior excellence including A-level competitors/instructors

    Weapons:

    1: No contact, performance demonstration/forms only.
    2-3: Compliant partner drills and preset encounters
    4-5: Light continuous alive sparring (negligible pain/risk).
    6-7: Medium contact with excessive safety gear. (some pain and/or wide variety of realistic weapons)
    8: Hard contact with reasonable safety gear (pain and/or some blood)
    9: 8 but with various weapons. Tournament winners, proven success in limited restriction, top level competitions or high level self defense situations.
    10: Superior excellence. Regular (quarterly or less) skill testing via full contact, full range fighting, minimum safety equipment. (Pain, Blood, bone breaking and/or death)
  2. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 9:39pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A gym that does not produce competitors has no evidence that it is able to produce good fighters, so how could you justify giving it a good rating, with no evidence to back you up?
  3. tigerjoe is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    98

    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 11:07pm


     Style: ancient arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter
    A gym that does not produce competitors has no evidence that it is able to produce good fighters, so how could you justify giving it a good rating, with no evidence to back you up?
    I would justify it by seeing the instruction. Example, Jet Li could probably teach you a whole lot about martial arts but he has never been in a street fight before. He has never had to really defend himself. You "compete" in the classroom. You don't have to earn a title and get medals to prove yourself. I have been in many street fights and have done very well even against golden glove boxers but I have never competed in a grappling tournament. And I have grappled with people that have a lot of experience in grappling and I did very well. My point is, just because people don't compete doesn't make them less of a martial artist and schools that don't promote competition are not any less of a school.
  4. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 11:17pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You cannot accurately gauge it just by watching it -- unless you already know what to look for, and you know what to look for either because you have watched people compete, or not at all -- we humans are very good at deluding ourselves, especially into seeing what we want to see. Don't take things on faith.

    "Competing" in the classroom has much less pressure than competing against others, and perhaps even more importantly, is done against people studying the same thing under the same teacher -- sharing your strengths, your weaknesses, and your blind spots. You might dominate the mats at your gym and still have bad posture because nobody knows a proper sweep. Go to a tournament and you will be punished. A school that trains competitors will have had such flaws painfully revealed to them.

    We're not saying, by the way, that you cannot learn good stuff without competing. We ask that the school train some competitors -- I've never yet competed, but I know I receive the same training that successful competitors get. (You claim to do well against Golden Glove boxers; this is only meaningful -- even if true -- because they competed, and their accomplishments empirically mean something).
  5. tigerjoe is offline

    Registered Member

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    98

    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 11:34pm


     Style: ancient arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter
    You cannot accurately gauge it just by watching it -- unless you already know what to look for, and you know what to look for either because you have watched people compete, or not at all -- we humans are very good at deluding ourselves, especially into seeing what we want to see. Don't take things on faith.

    "Competing" in the classroom has much less pressure than competing against others, and perhaps even more importantly, is done against people studying the same thing under the same teacher -- sharing your strengths, your weaknesses, and your blind spots. You might dominate the mats at your gym and still have bad posture because nobody knows a proper sweep. Go to a tournament and you will be punished. A school that trains competitors will have had such flaws painfully revealed to them.

    We're not saying, by the way, that you cannot learn good stuff without competing. We ask that the school train some competitors -- I've never yet competed, but I know I receive the same training that successful competitors get. (You claim to do well against Golden Glove boxers; this is only meaningful -- even if true -- because they competed, and their accomplishments empirically mean something).
    I totally understand where you are coming from, I just don't want someone to think they are in a bad school just becuase they don't encourage or have competitions. Martial Arts is not just about fighting, it is about complete self-development. A teacher that lives a lifestyle and teaches a lifestyle of good moral character gives a much better service than one that just teaches to brawl.
  6. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,964

    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 11:41pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Nobody's said that a school is unilaterally bad just because it doesn't have a full contact fight team. I'm explaining to you why it doesn't deserve (e.g.) a striking rating above 5. You can always try to petition for "Lifestyle" and "Philosophy" categories in the rankings, if you like, though I suggest you start a new thread (in Trollshido, to save the mods the effort).
  7. tigerjoe is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
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    Posted On:
    6/18/2008 11:49pm


     Style: ancient arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter
    Nobody's said that a school is unilaterally bad just because it doesn't have a full contact fight team. I'm explaining to you why it doesn't deserve (e.g.) a striking rating above 5. You can always try to petition for "Lifestyle" and "Philosophy" categories in the rankings, if you like, though I suggest you start a new thread (in Trollshido, to save the mods the effort).
    Thanks, I am glad we cleared that up. But I still think a school can have a great rating without a fight team. I guess that is my opinion. I have been in many schools, trained at many schools and seen the good and the bad first hand.
  8. GoldenJonas is offline

    Light Heavyweight

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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    3,379

    Posted On:
    6/19/2008 8:01am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter
    A gym that does not produce competitors has no evidence that it is able to produce good fighters, so how could you justify giving it a good rating, with no evidence to back you up?
    Wait...what? what the hell prompted this post? Is there a back story here?

    The ratings do not indicate "quality" so much as they indicate "training focus".

    The ratings ONLY indicate "quality" where, say, you decide you want to be a great wushu stylist and compete in the World Wushu Championships. In this instance the "quality" of training you would get at say an American Top Team gym would not be good for your purpose. So, you would look for a school, preferably a Wushu school, which would have an Aliveness rating of 1-3.

    Point being, in these reviews and the rating which accompany them, "quality" is subjective and dependent upon the individual and what that individual is looking for.
  9. Petter is offline

    12th level logic wielder

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Vancouver, BC
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    Posted On:
    6/19/2008 9:44am


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenJonas
    Wait...what? what the hell prompted this post? Is there a back story here?
    Yes, but it was moved to Trollshido. I should have quoted that post of tigerjoe's, too...
  10. omoplatypus is offline
    omoplatypus's Avatar

    Merry Christmas! shitter's full...

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    Nov 2008
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    Posted On:
    11/14/2008 11:03am

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ/Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    as far as competition being a basis for judging goes, i belive i am a good example of my former instructor's ability and a great representative of his old school. (master cunningham passed away about 5 years ago). however, you would never know that by going to competitions, because i only compete with breaking and forms. i have a very strong moral objection to competing in sparring or full contact for titles and trophies. i was not the only one who felt that way in my dojang either.

    so, how would you judge my former dojang, if 5 of the top 10 students don't fight in competition?
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