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jfingaz123
9/22/2010 10:59am,
So I'm back in my small hometown for a few months and looking for a place to train while I'm here. I want to begin working more on my standup so im pretty open. The choices are VERY slim as there are almost only karate schools around. Yesterday i checked out a gym that i know was all traditional karate for many years, but now apparently trains jiu-jitsu, muay thai, and MMA. This is because the only MMA gym in the area closed so many of their fighters came over to this place. I don't think the owner has experience in these other martial arts himself. He actually never mentioned what arts he knows. The website is all karate with one sentence at the bottom that states that they train MMA etc.
While speaking with the head instructor/owner at the gym yesterday, he said a few things that raised red flags in my mind. The first was "We train viciously, we lose somebody every week." While i fully seek alive training, losing someone every week (to injury i assume) sounds ridiculous to me. And he seemed proud to say that.
Next he was talking about a student of his. He said that he had given this student a black belt in "martial arts." When i asked what styles exactly he taught, he basically said everything.
Then he went on to tell me about the glaring flaws in muay thai verses other striking arts. His main emphasis was the shuffling of the feet before a lead roundhouse kick, and about how muay thai guys don't use combinations which leaves them at a disadvantage against other strikers.
Lastly he spouted on about how their workouts are just grueling with everything from pulling sleds to running the mountains before and after training. That sounds good but i personally work out on my 3 days a week that i don't train MA. I pay a school for instruction and lots of sparring, not to be pushed into doing these excessive workouts. Don't get me wrong i love PT on my own time and am doing the strong lifts 5x5 program, but when i go to school I want lots of training time, not hours of PT that may conflict with my program.
Should i be concerned or just go train because no gym is perfect and I'm sure to learn something useful?
And what are some other red flag statements you guys have heard instructors make?

BKR
9/22/2010 11:03am,
I'd go and observe a few classes and then decide, rather than rely on "red flag" statements.

I would be pretty dubious and skeptical,though, because of the statements you quote.

Ben

helmutlvx
9/22/2010 11:04am,
Don't walk.

RUN.

BKR
9/22/2010 11:11am,
LOL, now THAT is skeptical and dubious!

Ben

Permalost
9/22/2010 11:21am,
Next he was talking about a student of his. He said that he had given this student a black belt in "martial arts." When i asked what styles exactly he taught, he basically said everything.
Then he went on to tell me about the glaring flaws in muay thai verses other striking arts. His main emphasis was the shuffling of the feet before a lead roundhouse kick, and about how muay thai guys don't use combinations which leaves them at a disadvantage against other strikers.

So does this guy teach muay thai? Because clearly he shouldn't be. The shuffle before a switch kick is not a bad thing and it hits harder than if you were to pick up your front foot and slap with the instep TKD style. The combo thing is pretty ignorant too.

Nicko1
9/22/2010 11:27am,
Then he went on to tell me about the glaring flaws in muay thai verses other striking arts. His main emphasis was the shuffling of the feet before a lead roundhouse kick, and about how muay thai guys don't use combinations which leaves them at a disadvantage against other strikers.

I see. This would explain the terrible track record that MT has against other arts...

Oh, sorry. I just spoke to Reality, and it says this guy's full of ****.

Rabu
9/22/2010 11:40am,
His school sounds full of win.

"we lose one student a week.."?

I think you should join and see if you can increase the effectiveness of reality impacting people out of that school.

I think you can increase that rate by hundreds of percent. I have faith in you.

W. Rabbit
9/22/2010 11:46am,
While speaking with the head instructor/owner at the gym yesterday, he said a few things that raised red flags in my mind. The first was "We train viciously, we lose somebody every week." While i fully seek alive training, losing someone every week (to injury i assume) sounds ridiculous to me. And he seemed proud to say that.

He may have not been referring to losing students by injuries, but by the physical demand of his MA/PT program. While I feel it's OKfor a sensei/sifu to be proud of having a small hardcore group of students vs. having a lot of "part timers" that show up for occasional cardio, never improving their techniques, you painted the picture of a relatively egotistical instructor and that is just bad news, imho.

W. Rabbit
9/22/2010 11:46am,
And what are some other red flag statements you guys have heard instructors make?

"Kung Fu doesn't work".

Dsimon3387
9/22/2010 12:02pm,
He may have not been referring to losing students by injuries, but by the physical demand of his MA/PT program. While I feel it's OKfor a sensei/sifu to be proud of having a small hardcore group of students vs. having a lot of "part timers" that show up for occasional cardio, never improving their techniques, you painted the picture of a relatively egotistical instructor and that is just bad news, imho.

well said.

Here are some other things to be aware of:

a) students/teachers that dis another style to introduce a student are behind on the learning curve of life... I know that sounds like a platitude but most mature teachers who have the responsability of other students have learned not to speak like that. What if you had been a Muy Thai teacher? what purpose would it have done to insult you?

People like BEN and JOSH love Judo and somehow communicate that love yet.... I can never remember hearing either guy telling me how shitty another art is.... think about that for a moment. I mention these guys because most people here would jump to train with them, or OMEGA, another one who manages not to insult people who practice another style.

I made that mistake this teacher did.... I will never forget that day. I had talked myself into a dream job just out of college, I had a great rep, the skills, you name it. Then I made the following statement to the interviewer "what I do is not a tournament style its for reality and we don't do karate, karate is not suitable for weapons."

This guy who I interviewed with bless his heart told me that statement had screwed me, it was more important that i learn that lesson then get that job by the way.

b) finally, it has been my experience that guys who talk that way are wussies. I came from a club that hurt people and everyone walked around smiling and polite... you supported your own and would not allow that person to leave because the training was rough because they were your brother.... I had about 8 Black brothers! that adapted me haha! Point is that nobody ever spoke like that...

I woud stay away from this guy you sound like a responsible guy.

Permalost
9/22/2010 1:19pm,
a) students/teachers that dis another style to introduce a student are behind on the learning curve of life... I know that sounds like a platitude but most mature teachers who have the responsability of other students have learned not to speak like that. What if you had been a Muy Thai teacher? what purpose would it have done to insult you?
Thereís also this thing Iíve noticed that in low quality martial arts schools, the students tend to be people with no real martial arts experience, but in good schools thereís people from different backgrounds that come to crosstrain. It sounds like the guy was assuming that he was a total newbie and he wanted to shape his impressionable prospective student. This kinda suggests that most of the people that walk through the door are new and that he caters to that, and that he runs one of those insular schools that doesn't interact with other local schools (or at least with muay thai ones)

Apollo1982
9/22/2010 2:16pm,
From what little MT fights i've watched, it seems like the fighters train for a back and forth fight; I hit u, u hit me and we see who can take the most punishment. As a sport, it makes for great entertainment and against other martial artists they can usually take whatever is thrown at them and keep on coming, but i guess i see his point about combos. If anything i'd say that it reflects on the quality of the MT practitioner and not the art itself though.

Dsimon3387
9/22/2010 2:18pm,
Thereís also this thing Iíve noticed that in low quality martial arts schools, the students tend to be people with no real martial arts experience, but in good schools thereís people from different backgrounds that come to crosstrain. It sounds like the guy was assuming that he was a total newbie and he wanted to shape his impressionable prospective student. This kinda suggests that most of the people that walk through the door are new and that he caters to that, and that he runs one of those insular schools that doesn't interact with other local schools (or at least with muay thai ones)

Indeed.

Frankly it amazes me how fucking fast in America martial arts have progressed. You can go to backwaters and find BJJ, etc. It is so fast that inevitably some will be left behind. And yes it is true that teachers have grown up from the provincial attitudes. I knowof places where there were no martial arts and where they are now fledging MMA programs.

helmutlvx
9/22/2010 2:21pm,
From what little MT fights i've watched, it seems like the fighters train for a back and forth fight; I hit u, u hit me and we see who can take the most punishment.
Wrong.

As a sport, it makes for great entertainment and against other martial artists they can usually take whatever is thrown at them and keep on coming,
Yes. It IS entertaining. You should watch a Muay Thai match sometime.

but i guess i see his point about combos. If anything i'd say that it reflects on the quality of the MT practitioner and not the art itself though.

...Did you just say Muay Thai doesn't have combos?

Who told you that?

Permalost
9/22/2010 3:05pm,
From what little MT fights i've watched, it seems like the fighters train for a back and forth fight; I hit u, u hit me and we see who can take the most punishment. As a sport, it makes for great entertainment and against other martial artists they can usually take whatever is thrown at them and keep on coming, but i guess i see his point about combos. If anything i'd say that it reflects on the quality of the MT practitioner and not the art itself though.
Muay thai emphasizes combinations more than a lot of traditional martial arts (point sparring?) and the ability to deal with a flurry of strikes is something that only a handful of arts address (muay thai being one of them). Of course they're going to take some punishment- there's two guys in a ring with an audience to watch them fight. At real contact levels, nobody wants to exchange back and forth if they can help it, but if your option is being beaten or being beaten while beating them, you do the latter.

crappler
9/22/2010 9:37pm,
1. Only an absolutely gigantic dojo could lose a student a week and survive.

2. Muay Thai is fucking awesome. Shut the **** up.

3. If you can just do the PT and avoid the training you will probably be ten times better off than the other way around. I do martial arts because I need exercise and get bored. I don't do it for self-defense. My self-defense is knowing when to shut the **** up.