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View Full Version : Can you help me determine if this is a "mcdojo"



Darkrein
11/29/2012 1:50pm,
hi! I'm 19 and i was looking to start taking martial arts. I've decided i want to try kung fu, and was trying to find a good dojo to attend. I found a dojo near me that looks good, but a few things set off some red flags.
1.) The teacher uses the term "Authentic shaoilin kung fu" on his website, and i don't believe shaoilin monks typically go around teaching kung fu to non-monks (i might be mistaken though)
2.) The instructor puts a huge amount of videos of him fighting, training and etc but he seems to be very flashy (head kicks, backflips, one handed push ups etc). he doesn't appear to do this in the videos of him actually sparring against opponents though, only when he trains.
3.) he seems to be into the performing arts. From what his website says, he has been in plays/movies etc where he used martial arts etc.
I don't want to play it out like it's all bad though. he offers a complete week of classes completely free plus half off the first two months and like i said, he shows videos of exactly what he and his students do in a typical class along with full contact sparring.
what do you guys think i should do?

Permalost
11/29/2012 1:59pm,
-can you post the website URL?

-What style of Kung fu? Even Shaolin is somewhat of an umbrella term.

-a kung fu place is not a dojo

-do they fight sanshou or san da?

Darkrein
11/29/2012 2:14pm,
1.) it seems like i'm lacking sufficient points to do links on this site but the url is shaolinlohan .com and he goes under the youtube username zilb gregg. /user/AuthenticShaolin
2. The style he uses is called lohan chuan
3. Sorry, i thought it was the same name but it would make sense considering the word dojo is jappanese
4. Sanshou i believe.

Anjin
11/29/2012 3:51pm,
Thats on long island right? If i were you I would absolutely check out Li Tai Liang and Xinyidao

http://litailiang.homestead.com/

little piece on him: http://www.examiner.com/article/learning-san-shou-from-grandmaster-li-tai-liang

I reckon he can teach you how to fight pretty well.

Omega Supreme
11/29/2012 4:03pm,
*snicker

Um yeah.

Bullshido or Mcdojo?

And yes, Lohan is the basic system in which base Shaolin is supposedly based off.

W. Rabbit
11/29/2012 4:12pm,
trying to find a good dojo


In CMA terms it is a "kwoon" (Cantonese) or "guan" (Mandarin).



1.) The teacher uses the term "Authentic shaoilin kung fu" on his website, and i don't believe shaoilin monks typically go around teaching kung fu to non-monks (i might be mistaken though)


Shaolin is more of a cultural and historical "hub" of martial arts than a closed source of them, meaning various open hand and weapon styles of kung fu came in, left, came in again, and so on for hundreds of years. If Shaolin is the "source" of anything at all, it's more Chan(Zen) and possibly the application of Zen to everyday life, including combat.

Today there are a small handful of styles that can trace their lineage back to a Shaolin monk with some degree of authenticity. Unfortunately there are also hundreds of schools that can't, but will claim the lineage anyway for a variety of reasons ranging from ignorance to outright fraud.



2.) The instructor puts a huge amount of videos of him fighting, training and etc but he seems to be very flashy (head kicks, backflips, one handed push ups etc). he doesn't appear to do this in the videos of him actually sparring against opponents though, only when he trains.


Videos of proper CMA sparring in most styles tend to look similar. In kung fu, sparring is called san da/san shou and typically is limited to punching, kicking, throwing, and locking techniques (bone breaking is right out!).

Head kicks are not fancy, and they win UFC fights. Anybody who can do a real backflip or OHP is probably a good athlete at the least and might be worth training with as long as he doesn't claim he can anoint you with that skill.



3.) he seems to be into the performing arts. From what his website says, he has been in plays/movies etc where he used martial arts etc.


Man's got to earn a living. It's hard to make good money from an MA school unless you have a steady stream of fresh students, are a franchise, or break your back to market the hell out of it.



what do you guys think i should do?

I think you should keep asking questions until you're comfortable making a decision on your own. The question you should start with is what do you want to get out of it, and can this instructor provide, based on your research.

It is Fake
11/29/2012 4:23pm,
Go visit the school, but DO NOT SIGN OR JOIN until you process the information. Hard sell tactics are just that and most instructors do not care if you leave. Just don't be a dick or disrespectful when you visit and ask questions.

Resonance10
11/30/2012 8:56am,
If I were you I would check both schools for contrast, the 'Shaolin' one and the Li Tai Liang one.The 'Authentic Shaolin' school looks like you could spend a lot on various fancy costumes whereas the one that's actually taught by a Chinese looks less concerned with looking like your in a kung fu film.

If fighting Sanda is what you want judge on that basis.

W. Rabbit
11/30/2012 10:08am,
The instructor is Gregg Zilb whose teacher was Moses Arocho....I can't find who instructed him, which is typical. From other links I skimmed Moses Arocho may have trained a few professional kickboxers and may have had a full contact program in NY at one point...not sure.

They have a few mcdojo flags (kiddie parties), I was impressed by Gregg's weapons work...most of their online videos are compliant drills, although Gregg appears to have at least a couple of full contact fight clips mixed into the demo reels...they have a "Spartan" class where he yells at you and a "Shaolin Tactical Combat" class where he...who knows.

They are definitely pushing what some people consider "Shaolin Kool-Aid" ie. movie myths vs historically accurate material, such as calling Shaolin Lohan Chuan a "1500 year old war art" when in fact there is no record of open handed Shaolin style going back that far (the monastery is that old, but the evidence of open handed styles is much newer). That tends to come with the marketing...because that's what people tend to buy in to.

Take off all the Shaolin garb, this guy is extremely athletic and you could do a lot worse. But again, make sure this is exactly what you want...

http://www.shaolinlohan.com/#!media


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJeQ74894BI

Darkrein
12/10/2012 8:47pm,
I ended up trying a few schools in my area and there were definitely some good ones, but i enjoyed the "Authentic shaolin kung fu" school run by sifu Gregg the best. All the students and staff at the school are very friendly and go out of their way to help you figure out the poses and techniques. From what i can tell, even in the beginner classes the group is broken up into two. Each of the groups is taught by their own "lao-shih" and the lao-shih goes around making individual adjustments to the students form. The newest group goes through the poses very slowly so that we get down the basic movements and the higher beginner group does the movements at a quicker pace.

A few things that i was really impressed by is
1. Sifu Gregg recommended that i try several schools before making any kind of commitment. he even recommended a few schools in the area.
2. We don't need to sign a contract,
3.There are definitely a lot of new students, but there are quite a few people who have been attending our school for 2-3 years + and they all still highly recommend it.
4. You don't need to buy a uniform until your second sash (they aren't out to try and rip you off by making you buy expensive uniforms)
5. full contact sparring.



Okay i know i just went into a rant, but i just want to say that i highly recommend anyone looking for a martial arts school in the area to give Sifu Gregg a try. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Resonance10
12/12/2012 8:05am,
4. You don't need to buy a uniform until your second sash (they aren't out to try and rip you off by making you buy expensive uniforms)



Cool how long til your second sash on average? Do you need a new uniform each sash?
If your getting what you want and you get to spar all power to you. Nowt particularly wrong with uniforms if you don't need half a dozen.

judokarl
12/12/2012 1:02pm,
Looks like an alright school. The only thing that sent off flags for me was the hall of fames in his bio but its not a sing of a mcdojo just a warning sing. A fun little side note did anyone else notice Shenron (that dragon thingy from DBZ) and Zuko from avatar on the kids classes page. Pretty smart marketing,.

Omega Supreme
12/12/2012 1:42pm,
I'll have to say I like this school from what I've read and seen.

Darkrein
12/17/2012 9:13am,
You only need one uniform until it wears out, and you get your second sash in (depending how much you put into it) around 5-7 months. (I believe)