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  1. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 7:19am

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    GKR - GO KAN RYU - Instructor qualifications.

    After some digging, I've managed to acquire the real grades of most of the GKR instructors in Region 31 (N/NE Lincolnshire, East Riding Yorkshire).

    For those that don't know, GKR has a reputation for promoting low-grade, inexperienced students very rapidly to become instructors.

    These instructors (I can't in all conscience use the word 'sensei' to describe them, although that's how they are addressed) are trained at special closed sessions with the regional manager on a weekly basis.
    When they pass the sensei training, they are usually removed from their parent club and given a club to teach.

    They do not wear their coloured belts while teaching. They wear a black and white belt, which many students assume means thay are higher ranking than they really are.

    It is a major thing, a GKR instructor revealing their real grade to their students. It just isn't done.

    ***


    This image shows the classes, schedule etc of all the clubs in Region 31.
    Added in pen is the real grade of those instructors.
    Please Note: This scan has been altered slightly to remove an identifying mark, as my sources wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.



    • As we cast our eyes over the image, we can see one black belt, Neil. He's been teaching for a number of years, and wasn't always a black belt.
    • James (red belt) teaching in Gainsborough & Cleethorpes has been teaching for well over a year, and had no previous martial arts experience.
    • Tony teaching in Scunthorpe is only an orange belt in GKR. You can achieve orange in a very short space of time.
    • Andy teaching in Cleethorpes is a green belt. He has one member of his club who is two grades above him.


    There are a good number of brown belts. Most of these have been teaching for some time (2+ years), so would have been a much lower grade when they began.

    You'll see that written on the image are the belt colours and the corresponding kyu grade.
    Kyu grades are typically given every three months to red belt, then every six months afterwards.
    For instance, an orange belt could be 6-9 months experience.
    Granted, some GKR instructors come from other styles of karate, but still have to learn the very specific way a GKR class is run.

    ***

    So, consumers - your 49 membership fee and 6 per lesson with the teacher you thought was highly qualified and experienced might only be buying you the experience of someone who is a couple of grades above a newbie themselves.
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.

    Gandhi

  2. 1point2 is online now
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 7:38am

    Join us... or die
     Style: 剛 and 柔

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So not just classes, but whole clubs are being run by green, orange, brown and red belts? People with less than a year of training?

    Excellent find.
    What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
  3. Yoj is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 8:04am


     Style: Aikijujutsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If someone came to them from another karate dojo, then it's likely that dojo was awful too, anyone who has any decent training would see it for as bad as it is.
  4. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 9:39am

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by 1point2 View Post
    So not just classes, but whole clubs are being run by green, orange, brown and red belts? People with less than a year of training?
    Yes, I'm afraid so. Some classes will also have an assistant instructor, but generally they'll be of lower grade than the instructor.
    I sent a friend to try a GKR class (he's an inactive shotokan purple belt/3rd kyu) and he was appalled with the standard. Assistant instructors were teaching kata they hadn't graded on themselves.
    The whole class was summed up in his words as "the blind leading the blind".
    Excellent find.
    Thanks, the real work was done by my contacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoj View Post
    If someone came to them from another karate dojo, then it's likely that dojo was awful too, anyone who has any decent training would see it for as bad as it is.
    Well, GKR seems to recruit instructors who want a fast track to some perceived awesomeness, so sometimes the prospective instructor is blinded by promises of teaching karate for a living, or having a wonderful social life through the cult club and being respected.

    As for the noobs, they just see suits, belts, linework and mistake Go Kan Ryu for a martial art.
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.

    Gandhi

  5. Yoj is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 9:43am


     Style: Aikijujutsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah I often forget that some folks are involved in this stuff simply for their ego's, and that someone else will stroke said ego.
  6. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 2:06pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoj View Post
    Yeah I often forget that some folks are involved in this stuff simply for their ego's, and that someone else will stroke said ego.
    The ego thing seems to be a big draw for some of the GKR instructors.
    It usually starts with the existing instructor stroking the newbs ego by saying something like "Oh, you're good at this... have you trained before?" and then planting the seed that they could become an instructor if they work hard.

    I've also spoken to those who think they can improve the standard of GKR karate, but they either become indoctrinated or they leave frustrated.

    There's also the money angle. making it to Regional manager, further up the pyramid...
    Some of the instructors are also door-knockers (although this generally falls to the ironically-named Self Defence Consultants, or SDCs), and that's a good source of revenue. I know one SDC who makes good money door knocking. In fact, in January, I spoke to her on MSN and she told me the following (she's in pink):
    we have had better days says: ok u bmth fan? martial arts?
    sochin says:ahhh..
    sochin says:MA
    sochin says:martial Arts
    sochin says:yesyesyes
    we have had better days says:cool gkr?
    sochin says:Well, I do have something to do with GKR.
    sochin says:Through friends
    sochin says:you GKR?
    we have had better days says:yer
    ***
    sochin says:Do you go on many martial Arts websites?
    we have had better days says:yer loads
    sochin says:Which ones? MAP, martialtalk, Ebudo, Bullshido?
    we have had better days says:ebudo and gkr websites
    sochin says:e-budo's a little stiff for me. i've read some good stuff on there, but... I like my web-sites to be a little funnier, you know?
    we have had better days says:cool u train with gkr?
    sochin says:No. like I said, my friends do.
    we have had better days says:cool
    sochin says:I'm coming off a bad year through illness and injury
    we have had better days says:what u do
    we have had better days says:oh ok cool

    sochin says:What do i do? you mean martial arts-wise?
    we have had better days says:yer
    sochin says:ok, at the moment, I'm boxing.
    we have had better days says:cool
    ***
    sochin says:So, how long you beed doing GKR?
    we have had better days says:just over a year I am a full time sdc
    sochin says:really? That's someone who door-knocks, right?
    we have had better days says:yer
    sochin says:Full-time? That's pretty cool.
    sochin says:does it pay well?
    we have had better days says:yer full time just moved regions month ago yer is good get about 320 or 400 a week which aint bad wanna be regional manager
    sochin says:holy ****!
    sochin says:LOL
    sochin says:that's very decent
    sochin says:do you get paid by the hour, or by how many people you sign up?
    we have had better days says:yer came 3rd in country last 6 months and then moved regions month ago
    we have had better days says:sign up

    sochin says:you must sign up a hell of a lot of people to make 320-400 a week
    we have had better days says:18 is 400 and 15 is 320
    sochin says:That's pretty good.
    sochin says:I suppose january is busy... new year resolutions etc
    we have had better days says:yer have had few 20's which is 440 no january is crap did best october november when I was top in the country for 2 months 3rd overall last 6 months but that based how many people u sign up that go to clas
    sochin says:wow.
    sochin says:LOL
    sochin says:that's very impressive
    sochin says:I'll be honest, i'm surprised that people sign up to karate when they are door-knocked
    we have had better days says:moved from region 45 to region 36 month ago
    sochin says:you must be very persuasive
    we have had better days says:we find best way get people involved is to go and find them and I will do anything to get to rm
    sochin says:so, are you from a sales background, or is it natural charm?
    we have had better days says:not doing great last couple weeks did sales at currys pc world and comet but I have loads enthuasium geniune desire to get people involved in karate and love speaking people
    sochin says:hey, I have no clue who I'm speaking to, LOL.
    sochin says:I forgot to ask your name.
    we have had better days says:lol claire I am 20 who u
    sochin says:Hi Claire.
    sochin says:I'm ***** .
    we have had better days says:awesome
    sochin says:Yes. yes i am.
    ***
    we have had better days says:moved 100 miles away from all I knew and family to work under my current rm
    sochin says:wow.
    sochin says:that's commitment
    sochin says:GKR for life? LOL.
    we have had better days says:yer is gkr is my life and lifestyle everything I live breath sleep is gkr and believe I have best rm in country if I didn't believe that would not of moved here
    sochin says:So, what happens when you become an RM. Will you have to move again?
    we have had better days says:yer
    sochin says:got your eye on any glamorous locations?
    sochin says:LOL
    we have had better days says:exeter/plymouth devon as a whole or cardiff/ wales
    Last edited by sochin101; 7/10/2009 2:26pm at .
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.

    Gandhi

  7. Yoj is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 2:21pm


     Style: Aikijujutsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    1. You missed one pinking.
    B. I assume thats not her real name? Could be incriminating for her?
    iii. Thats a lot of money and one hell of a pyramid.

    My sister briefly dated a guy who I believe was doing GKR, he was a red belt, and taught a class, and really was indoctrinated. It was creepy. Ironically I also once read a friends PHD before it was submitted, it was about cults, and there was a section on martial arts cults she wanted my opinion on, ie, is 'this' typical behaviour or not, bowing for example is normal, scraping isn't etc. The way the guy spoke it was evident he thought he'd discovered something very special, and it was pretty much what I'd read in the PHD interviews.

    He was a pathetic character really, and I think it was the only thing in his life that gave him any self esteem.

    She didnt date him for long....
  8. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 2:34pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoj View Post
    1. You missed one pinking.
    Got it, thanks.
    B. I assume thats not her real name? Could be incriminating for her?
    it is her real name. Anyone in GKR will know her from the region, the 3rd best in country etc. I toyed with the idea of keeping her id a secret, but she's not a major source and she hasn't told me anything that's harmful; quite the opposite. I imagine 400 a week sounds great to all the GKR.
    iii. Thats a lot of money and one hell of a pyramid.
    I know. That's why some of the SDCs are willing to move, travel to other towns etc.

    He was a pathetic character really, and I think it was the only thing in his life that gave him any self esteem.
    This seems to be a theme.
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.

    Gandhi

  9. Sam Browning is offline

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    New England
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 3:24pm

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by sochin101 View Post
    After some digging, I've managed to acquire the real grades of most of the GKR instructors in Region 31 (N/NE Lincolnshire, East Riding Yorkshire).

    For those that don't know, GKR has a reputation for promoting low-grade, inexperienced students very rapidly to become instructors.

    These instructors (I can't in all conscience use the word 'sensei' to describe them, although that's how they are addressed) are trained at special closed sessions with the regional manager on a weekly basis.
    When they pass the sensei training, they are usually removed from their parent club and given a club to teach.

    They do not wear their coloured belts while teaching. They wear a black and white belt, which many students assume means thay are higher ranking than they really are.

    It is a major thing, a GKR instructor revealing their real grade to their students. It just isn't done.

    ***


    This image shows the classes, schedule etc of all the clubs in Region 31.
    Added in pen is the real grade of those instructors.
    Please Note: This scan has been altered slightly to remove an identifying mark, as my sources wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.



    • As we cast our eyes over the image, we can see one black belt, Neil. He's been teaching for a number of years, and wasn't always a black belt.
    • James (red belt) teaching in Gainsborough & Cleethorpes has been teaching for well over a year, and had no previous martial arts experience.
    • Tony teaching in Scunthorpe is only an orange belt in GKR. You can achieve orange in a very short space of time.
    • Andy teaching in Cleethorpes is a green belt. He has one member of his club who is two grades above him.


    There are a good number of brown belts. Most of these have been teaching for some time (2+ years), so would have been a much lower grade when they began.

    You'll see that written on the image are the belt colours and the corresponding kyu grade.
    Kyu grades are typically given every three months to red belt, then every six months afterwards.
    For instance, an orange belt could be 6-9 months experience.
    Granted, some GKR instructors come from other styles of karate, but still have to learn the very specific way a GKR class is run.

    ***

    So, consumers - your 49 membership fee and 6 per lesson with the teacher you thought was highly qualified and experienced might only be buying you the experience of someone who is a couple of grades above a newbie themselves.
    Who wrote in the incriminating text on the form?
  10. sochin101 is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2009 3:32pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: No gym currently.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Browning View Post
    Who wrote in the incriminating text on the form?
    My source has very distinctive hand-writing that would be very easy for their RM/colleagues to identify.
    They also wrote "me" in one of the training locations, which was an even bigger giveaway.

    I scanned the form, removed all the text, printed it out, re-wrote it, re-scanned it and then uploaded it.
    I didn't want someone to be able to lift my alterations off digitally and expose my source.

    The removal of the word "me" and replacing it with my source's name is the only difference to the original.

    I have the original, of course, and I'll be only too happy to upload it in the BBC if you need to see it.
    Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.

    Gandhi

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