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Aesopian
2/25/2005 3:46pm,
Every morning, I pass a sign that simply reads "TAEKWONDO". Looking in the window, the school is gone, but the sign remains. I always want to climb up with some electrical tape and make it read "TAEKWONDON'T".

As I near work, I pass a strip mall that calls out to me in bright yellow text. "J Park World Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido," it says. In the parking lot sit three white vans that advertise "After School Karate" with free pick-ups and feature a decal of a "karateka" doing jumping splits.

Walking into my office, I look down the breezeway and see the empty office that was being rented out by a Goju Ryu instructor. He shut down for some reason, but not before a girl in marketing got her green belt and learned her first katas.

At lunch in a pizzeria, I use the restroom and meet an 8-year-old in a yellow belt reverse punching at me from the above the toilet. "The Truth About Martial Arts" the poster exclaims. While urinating, I learn that martial arts are about really about "confidence, respect and discipline" and why this is important to me as a parent.

Swinging by Starbucks at lunch, I pass Tiger Schulman's Karate. A 12-year-old in a gi and black belt walks inside with his mom. Through the windows I see rows of kids throwing kicks.

In line for coffee, I notice the t-shirt of the man in front of me. It would seem I am in the presence of a Taekwondo competitor.

Walking through the mall, I pass a TSK stand where a man and kid in gis are trying to sell contracts. Behind them a TV plays an infomercial of kids learning to break boards and smile for the camera.

Walking into GNC, I am greeted by a trio of smiling faces, the TSK atomic family. On this poster, Junior is jumping around in his pajamas, and mom and dad are in gi pants, black belts and hand wraps. Is karate and cardio kickboxing a hybrid martial art?

Leaving the mall, I see a sign across the street. "Taekwondo, ATA, Black Belt Academy".

On my way to get Chinese food, I pass a middle school surrounded by little white signs advertising "After School Karate". I wonder if this is for the Tae Kwon Do school?

While picking up my sweet and sour chicken, I look over and see a little box with an Oriental man striking a pose in a black outfit. "Chinese Martial Arts" it offers me. "Self defense, fitness, disciple" are mine if I just fill out a card and drop it in the slot.

Driving to my friend's house, I pass a kempo school, a kung fu school and a Chinese martial arts school at regular intervals.

Stopping in to Subway one night, I once again meet the same fellow in black silk, still offering his Chinese martial arts from atop the card drop box. I look ahead in line to see how long until I can order my BLT, and I find I'm in the presence of a 12-year-old Hapkido artist.

Sorry if this is rambling and disjointed, these are all real encounters I have had, all within a single week. This is why I find this site so important. Martial arts, particularly McDojos and Bullshido are everywhere, and are not just the little pet peeves of a few nuts on a message board.

VikingPower
2/25/2005 3:48pm,
That's almost depressing. You've got a great school though, so I guess you just have to take the bad with the good.

JohnnyCache
2/25/2005 3:53pm,
On my way to get Chinese food, I pass a middle school surrounded by little white signs advertising "After School Karate". I wonder if this is for the Tae Kwon Do school?


HAH! You totally want to be Asian. Pathetic.

MY personal favorite is walking past the Guardian Angels joint in denver - it's right on a main drag so you get to pass it on your way to EVERYTHING.

Feryk
2/25/2005 4:04pm,
Wow. MA sounds like it is waaay more prevalent in your area than mine. Aside from the occassional ad in our local paper, I see maybe 1 poster a month for someone's dojo.

I look in the yellowpages, and there are dozens of schools. I guess most of them don't advertise.

Also, around here, it is rare for people to be wearing any kind of MA related garb. No hats, jackets or t-shirts. I worked with a guy for over a year before we both found out the other practiced Karate. He's a different style, so we have some interesting conversations, but that's about it.

I wonder why it's so different?

supercrap
2/25/2005 4:22pm,
You eat a lot of junk food.

punchingdummy
2/25/2005 4:24pm,
Walking through the mall, I pass a TSK stand where a man and kid in gis are trying to sell contracts. Behind them a TV plays an infomercial of kids learning to break boards and smile for the camera.

Walking into GNC, I am greeted by a trio of smiling faces, the TSK atomic family. On this poster, Junior is jumping around in his pajamas, and mom and dad are in gi pants, black belts and hand wraps. Is karate and cardio kickboxing a hybrid martial art?

What would be nice to know is how you, or anyone from your school, has done against TSK fighters in competition?

punchingdummy
2/25/2005 4:25pm,
Hey...good news is that there are two new TSK schools opening inyour area soon.

Aesopian
2/25/2005 4:25pm,
You eat a lot of junk food.I noticed that while writing this. How is it that I almost always see these things when I'm going for food?

Aesopian
2/25/2005 4:28pm,
What would be nice to know is how you, or anyone from your school, has done against TSK fighters in competition?I don't know how they have done against my school in particular, but they probably do well in competitions in general. They might be a McDojo, but at least they compete.

My sister goes to work with someone who trains at TSK. She is seeing if they can arrange for me to take a to a free class.

afronaut
2/25/2005 4:35pm,
Went to have lunch with new boss and new subordinates yesterday. On the 45 minute drive, on one state highway, I saw two Kempo schools, one TKD school and one I don't know what, all in strip malls. All with "confidence, discipline, baby-siting" trappings.

The lunch at a reataurant that shared space with a Fred "Chest Hair and Gold Chain Style First" Villari "Shaolin Kempo" Academy.

We may be message board cranks. But that doesn't make they Armies of Bullshido any less real. They are also the reason that semi-n00bs like me have such a hard time finding a teacher and school that aren't a total disaster.

Aesopian
2/25/2005 4:36pm,
I found the website for that J Park Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido International school.

http://www.geocities.com/barbeautaekwondo/index.html

It is a Pics of Disaster waiting to happen.

punchingdummy
2/25/2005 4:43pm,
I don't know how they have done against my school in particular, but they probably do in competitions in general. They might be a McDojo, but at least they compete.

My sister goes to work with someone who trains at TSK. She is seeing if they can arrange for me to take a to a free class.

They ARE a McDojo. They are NOT bullshido.

Your "at least they compete" is bullshido. Ask the last two Gracie fighters who got in the ring with TSK fighters if they are any good (Yes, both of Renzo's guys lost). TSK competes MMA, golden gloves, NAGA and MT with consistent success.

Now, I'm not saying TSK is the greatest thing since sliced bread, air conditioning or BJJ. They are not. However, don't pass judgment on the quality of what they teach based upon thier commercial model. Judge them on their effectiveness against fighters from other gyms/dojos/schools.

Aesopian
2/25/2005 4:44pm,
I'm basing my current judgement on the fact the girl my sister is friends with doesn't know what the guard is yet or the names of all major grappling positions.

Did you miss the part where I said I am going in to try a class?

bwerb
2/25/2005 4:44pm,
I found the website for that J Park Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido International school.

http://www.geocities.com/barbeautaekwondo/index.html

It is a Pics of Disaster waiting to happen.


Dude...you gotta warn us if the webpage can cause epileptic seisures and has a midi-soundtrack...some of us are at work :5shocking

(And it won a website award...yikes...if this was the gold medal winner...I'd hate to see the losing entries).

VikingPower
2/25/2005 4:45pm,
We have Korean arts out the ass around me. Young Brothers TKD is like a plague, all over the place. Oom Yung Doe and Hapkido can be found relatively close by too, as well as one cheesy karate dojo.

PizDoff
2/25/2005 4:45pm,
Aha! Asian man take stupid white man money!

Come to think of it, I should visit the TKD, karate, aikido school near me sometime...when I'm say...bored out of my skull. Gotta be healthy though. :D

Driving round downtown Vancouver, I saw a line of young children a few years past toddler age, white to orange belts being led back to the community centre by a tall black belt. Daycare!