Hong Kong Dragons Taekwondo (Hong Kong)
My friend and I both do taekwondo but in different dojangs as we live in different districts. Recently, her dojang's head master along with the vice master (there is actually only two instructors in their entire gym- I don't know why they bother with such fancy titles) came to my high school to teach taekwondo as an afterschool acitivity.
I have already noticed some "mcdojang" signs when I watched one of the classes secretly.
1. There are seven year old junior black belts.
2. Some of the students' kicks are pathetic....for example, their jump back kick is aimed at the ankle instead of the waist or above. Worse, the instructor doesn't really correct them (this may be because of three though)
3. The teacher/student ratio is around 1:40.
Today afternoon (in fact in 12 minutes!), I am going there for a trial lesson. This is not just because I want to write this article (though I really want to!) but also because of the fact that my brother (aged 10) wants to learn taekwondo but finds my dojang way too strict for his liking.
Hope you enjoy and I'll post the first lesson as soon as possible :)
Please share your first lesson impressions ! One questions, though: why is the school called Hong Kong Dragons ? Don`t they have some lineage ?
Hong Kong Dragons Taekwondo is around one year and eight months old. It is located on the first floor, Hop Yee Building, 63 Gillies Avenue South, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.
Day 1 at HK Dragons Taekwondo
As soon as I stepped into our school gymnasium, in a baggy t-shirt and shorts, the teacher came hurrying to greet me.
"Hi! Hi!" he said smiling, "I am Master Lee. What your name? We at Hong Kong Dragons Taekwondo welcome you!"
"Jamie," I replied politely, "so....lets get started should we?"
"Yes, of course, of course!" He exclaimed. "Taekwondo is a very good to learn, very good to learn- gives people good body and good health...."
While he droned on and on about the various benefits of taekwondo, my concentration slipped and I found myself glancing across my gymnasium. Except for the fact that there was more people there than when I do my physical education classes, there was no difference at all- no sparring gear, no punching bags, no kicking paddles- nothing.
"and you will recieve your black belt in two years time!" Mr. L. concluded his lecture by pulling at the his own belt.
"What?!" I exclaimed. I can't believe my ears. I personally earned an international taekwondo federation first dan/degree black belt after four and a half years of hard work!
"Yes, yes!" Mr. L said under the impression I was impressed "but, tell you what, since you seem so smart....it might just take you one and a half!"
As he led from the corner of the gym, I found out that something was wrong. Mr. L had, evidently, was teaching a class before I came in. How do I know? The entire class was there, waiting for him. Some in a wresting match. Some drawing imaginery pictures on the floor and two of them were playing tag.
Instantly, a "he-ditched-his-class-in-order-to-try-to-get-more-customers" message flitted through my brain as I lined up at the back with the kids.
After the class had settled down a bit, Mr. L taught us how to punch. His way to curl up the hand was okay, but then he tucked his fist into his...armpit and thrust his chest forward?! Seeing my "what-is-happening" stare, he explained in a knowledable voice: "the fist is placed here because then, the distance from the armpit to the head is the same as to the groin, that way you could protect both (was he high or something? my HEAD to my chest has a much shorter distance than my chest to my GROIN!). However, can anyone guess the disadvantage of this punch?"
I raised my hand slowly.
"Yes, Jimes?" (<------wrong name, one great memory you've got, sir)
"Errr....is it because it puts strain on my back muscles when I fold my arms and put it this high?" (and because it makes us look like we're poor imitations of a chicken? I almost added.)
"Incorrect," he stated in a bossy voice.
After a few more pretty logical explanations (seeing they are coming from kids aged 6-12 afterall), he boomed "it is because your fist can get stuck up there!"
------moment of silence in the gym, everyone is too stunned to talk-----
"Lots of amateur fighters like to move their arm upwards when they are punching and when they do it before the fist has entirely left the space in bewteen your arms, then it will get jammed! However, with practise, this will no longer be a problem!"
My expression: :sleepy3:(WHAT?!)
"That and because your armpit stinks!" He said lamely, winked at us and then laughed loudly at his very unfunny joke.
My expression: :5blindfol (it is too painful to watch anymore...)
After he demonstrated a few more punches which were very off centre, he started teaching me a basic front kick which was pretty decent, I must admit.
Soon after, fifteen minutes too early (the lesson was meant to be a hour long), the teacher dismissed the class but told me to stay behind.
"James," he said (dude, wrong name again), his voice all low and grave, "I have watched you through the entire session and you show potential as a great kung fu master. (Kung Fu master? Isn't this TAEKWONDO?)"
"Right." I said a bit taken aback.
"Yes, so I hope you will continue nuturing your talent. Our gymnasium, to be put modestly, is the best place to learn the fine art of taekwondo in Hong Kong."
"Righhhhhhhhhhhhhhht" I said, struggling to keep my voice free of sarcasm.
"However, we are a business, my dear Jamie (finally!) and it is unforunate to have to pay. Fear not though, it is only $44 for one month- one hour per week. This covers the basic class which teaches you the poomsae and kicks."
"Yes, I'll think about it," I said meekly, resisting the urge to add "when you are the only dojang left on earth"
"Good! Now, one more thing. Didn't I say you have great potential at sparring?" he enquired (even though he had never ever seen me spar)
"Well, then I'll recommend that you take our sparring classes. For $50 extra per month, we can arrange a second one hour long session for you each month! The sparring gear is sold at the price of $160! The Gi (I thought it was meant to be called a dobok?) at $40. If you buy two of them together, you can buy the special package- it only costs $200 (thats not even cheaper :5masked:!)"
"Errr....yeah. I'll think about it." I said, edging to the door as fast as possible without looking like I'm planning on run away.
"Yes, pleae do! I am sure you not regret your decision!" he said after me, "afterall, how can you resist someone that looks like me!" *does a typical muscle competition stance- except the only thing that bulged out was his stomach*
My expression: :jihad1: (please just kill me now!)
Lesson no. 2 in 7 days time. Hope you enjoyed what I wrote today :)
So, after only 8 words from your mouth, he decided you`re smart enough to get 1 dan in 18 months ?! Take the sparring classes/extra gear and in one year we`ll see a shiny, new black belt on you !!!
I hope you dont mind but exactly how old are you? I ask because you've attended a childs class but state you hold a 1st dan BB ITF.
on another note the class sounds ****.
If he presented everything the way you're telling it, it does sound pretty shitty, BUT you can only do so much in a school program. Chances are they won't let the kids spar due to liability issues and the 1:40 isn't his choice. It's gym class, not real martial arts. You could have a professional Muay Thai fighter teaching the class, chances are the most you'll do is hit some pads while he corrects one of the 10,000 mistakes happening at the same time. Instructors do it for extra cash and hopefully to snag a couple of students for their real classes.
Oh, and with 40 kids (and you're possibly not even the only class) and meeting you on his first day you're really going to bitch about him calling you James instead of "Jamie"? Get over yourself, you only had to remember one name.
There's a Chinese kid in high school who writes better then most of the posters of this web site. God damn some of you suck.
Yes, we all suck you and I included.
Originally Posted by Squerlli
Don't they have Sanda schools in Hong Kong? But, if you MUST take up TKD, this may or may not be the place for you. I assume that since you're already a TKD blackbelt you've made up your mind as to what is and isn't a good dojang. If you don't think that the place you mention above is worth it, then move along.
If there's nothing else in your area and you really want to take TKD, go and do Sanda; it's just more awesome and you will never worry about how long it takes to get your black belt.
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