1. #1
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Why are McDojos a bad thing?

    Hi. I'm new here. I see a lot of people talking about "McDojos", and I would like to know more about what a "McDojo" is. Is it a really successful school with a lot of students and a high profit margin? Is it a chain of schools? Both?

    If so, why is financial success bad? Isn't financial success in a profession related to how many people you help?

    I look forward to learning more about this, and I don't want to start a flame war. Information only, please.

  2. #2

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Others will give a fuller answer, but it is nothing to do with how much money a Dojo makes or how sucessful they are. Personally I would really favour a 'chain' approach to martial arts training with consistent quality of coaching and facilities.

    The problem is those who do sucessfully get the chain concept going almost always teach a bullshit version of martial arts that is focused on how much money they can get out of people and how to get that money out of them. So the use of restrictive practises such as lock in contracts (which let's face it are not unusual, lots of fitness gyms use them) and teaching something which is totally useless as a martial art but cloaking it in such a way as to convinve the student they are learning somehting usefull, which is in fact quite dangrous.

    All in all, it is about bad business practises. What they teach being crap is also part of that but lots of Traditional Martial Arts teach a load of crap with all seriousness also.

  3. #3
    E-Van's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its a school that teaches crap and gives belts to anyone. It has no respect.

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    Sophist's Avatar
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    Sometimes McDojo is used here to mean just that, in a non-pejorative way.

    Generally however it's used to refer to schools which put profit before quality control, particularly those which attempt to squeeze money out of students for things unrelated to the actual teaching - for instance, charging high fees for frequent gradings which are rarely or never failed. They're derided for many of the same reasons that a university would be if it passed its students for turning up to their exams without bothering to mark them (an excellent method of increasing student numbers and retention, but not so good for building a university reputation).

  5. #5
    G-Off's Avatar
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    ^^ For that reason, McDojos have a high correlation with teaching bullshido, but the two are not always the same.

  6. #6
    marcusdbrutus's Avatar
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    Look for bright, pretty gis, short spaces between gradings with high prices, and most importantly, claims to t3h r34l d34dly.

  7. #7

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    A few things I have noticed about McDojos:
    1) High rent. If you place your school in prime real estate you have to make that money up.
    2) Incentive to have it crowded or get income from nonparticipants (contracts!)
    3) Focus on kids. Teach little useful skills: character building is complete crap and is a parental job. Take ages too young to get any benefit. Nonsense spreads to adult classes.
    4) The business model is flawed because there is not enough talent to teach, so "advanced" students teach. (Kind of reminds me of universities.)

  8. #8

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    [QUOTE=mike321]A few things I have noticed about McDojos:
    3) Focus on kids. Teach little useful skills: character building is complete crap and is a parental job. Take ages too young to get any benefit. Nonsense spreads to adult classes.

    Thats a ridiculous statement regarding character building. If its only a parental job then no wonder UK society is seeming more troubled. Character building comes from everything in life and as a Martial Artist its crucial. Very few people start martial arts with the ability to never turn away from an opponent or the ability to control their temper when sparring, those that do probably don't need martial arts training.

    As for too young to get any benefit, look at Thai boxing in Thailand or gymnastics in Russia/Eastern europe, why are they so much better than the rest of the world? Because they are taught from a young age and given the coordination and ability early allowing them more time to refine their techniques later on.

    To me a Mcdojo is one that proclaims things which are blatantly unproven/false and then gives the student a dangerous sense of invincibility or confidence. The problem with a lot of more traditional styles like some types of Karate and Tae kwon do is the marketing which often high lights self defence. If I want to learn self defence I actually want to learn from someone with experience (eg Geoff Thomson) Rather than learning a "theory". Traditional arts like Judo that acknowledge their sporting side are fine as long as they don't proclaim how deadly they are.

  9. #9

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by madmonkey
    To me a Mcdojo is one that proclaims things which are blatantly unproven/false and then gives the student a dangerous sense of invincibility or confidence.
    That's what we call "bullshido"; the site is named after it. See e.g. here. (Man, the FAQs need to be easier to find...) The short version is that "McDojo" cleverly invokes images of McDonalds, a fast food chain you may have heard about, as a paragon of rampant commercialism. "Bullshido" is a clever play on words suggesting "bullshit" in "bushido".
    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who actually knows what they're talking about
    Here at Bullshido.net we use the term "McDojo" describe a school in which the quality of martial arts instruction and training is watered down by the instructor in order to make money. Similarly a McDojo may be occasionally run by someone who is sincere but is the product of bad training and a martial arts franchise approach. "Bullshido" is bad behavior, typically involving deception that a martial arts instructor does, frequently at a martial arts school, which is very often a McDojo.

    To provide obvious examples, if a school tests people for a black belt within a year after they start this art, they are obviously dropping their grading standards and are a McDojo. If your martial arts instructor is insisting he can trace his martial arts lineage back 4,000 years or that he teaches secret special forces hand to hand combat techniques you are probably witnessing Bullshido which is a substantial deception or untruth in a martial arts context. Either is a compelling reason to avoid training at this school.

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