View Full Version : Local McDojo driving me NUTZ!!!

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5/13/2005 2:36pm,
Call it obsessive. Call it unproductive. Call it just plain nuts, but there is a school local to my area that is driving me up a wall, simply by there existence and the horrible misinformation that they give to thier students.

Before any of you ask, they do not have a website to attach. I think that if they did, their url would be all over the internet, especially places like bullshido, being ridiculed and shown for the total con-artists that they are. I have seen these isntructors and thier students at a few local demos, and when I get potential new students at my school that are still shopping for a place to train they ultimately report back to me regarding this other school. I have a few other students that do a little recon at other schools in the area to see what else is out there. The reports they bring me regarding this school are usually more filled with anger at what they have seen. They are educated enough to know BS when they see it.

First, they claim to teach TKD. Now before I go off on a short rant here, I also teach TKD. I, unlike most of my contemporaries, teach TKD as a real fighting system. I have not watered down anything and our approach is more like kickboxing than Olympic TKD. Although we are primarily Hapkido oeinted at my school, I have a great love for real TKD and am saddened by the state that it has become. That being said, the school I am ranting about does not even teach Olympic style. They have watered it down even further than that. Thier strikes are less then substandard, thier strategies are unsound and unproven.

Second, they tell thier students that they are learning real SD. Thier students are often arrogent and clueless at the same time. They think that they are the baddest of the bad and the reality is that they are not even prepared for the sporting ring (more on that in a moment). The instructors feed this BS and then isolate the students by "discouraging" them from observing other schools and systems. Some of my students live in the same neighborhoods as their students. They have seen and heard these poor misguided fools extole the virtues of thier training and when asked to demonstrate or prove thier point, they have nearly no skill and often are filled with excuses as to why what they attempted did not work. The excuses sound rehearsed enough that they A- have said it before and, B- probably learned it from thier instructors. When one of my students tries to either correct or disprove thier technique, strategy, etc., the student from this other school either will not engage with mine or simply dismisses them as wrong. The closed mindedness and almost cult-like following of their instructors BS is frightening. We encourage our students to watch other fighters, read lots of books, watch videos, take seminars, absorb all that they can. I have done that in my 30 years in the MA, so to not let my students do it would be hypocritical.

I recently went to this other school to invite them to a tournament that we are throwing. It is just a small local tourney for students who either don't want to do Olympic stuff, NASKA, etc. We have 4 seperate sparring divisions that include take downs and grappling, weapons sparring, and we even have a point sparring division for newbies and those who don't want to do the more extreme fighting divisions. When I came into their school, the instructors/owners became very stand-offish and I swear I could almost hear their hearts stop. Without saying it, the attitude they were putting out was "what are you doing here?" I don't know what they thought I was going to do, though I do admit that after 30 seconds whith them I wanted to hit something. Anyway, I gave them the information for the tournament and went away. My wife called them a week later to do a follow-up and the student who answered was rude to her. The chief instructor was in the background telling him what to say, and told her that "we won't be attending your tournament, or any other event you put on." I come to find out that the only competition they go to is with a school from a neighboring city that is in their same governing body and, I think, is owned by the brother of the cheif instructor of the school in question. Again, they think they are real sport fighters and SD practitioners, yet these students are discouraged from competing in an open tournament where they could try their skills against anyone.

I know that the reason that they do not allow their students to mix with the rest of us lowly MA practitioners is that they will have thier collective asses handed to them. My students who have observed their sparring classes have returned to me and said with all seriousness that my white to yellow belts would wipe the floor with their black belts. Is it just me, or is that just wrong. How can this guy sleep at night? Does he just not know or even care what the hell he is doing to his students? I know that most of his students would not do well in my program. They are not aggressive or really willing to work hard. The kids are sent there by their PC moms to learn everything about the martial arts except the fighting part. I know that if these people even watched one of our classes, we would simply turn them off ( I know, because it has happened). But I know that there is a percentage of students there that really belong in a more intense, combat oriented, HONEST school like mine. I just have to figure out how to get them.

I have a student who got a black belt from a school like this one. She spent her time thinking that she was learning real SD and thought she was pretty good. Shortly after moving out of her area, she was assaulted and pretty seriously hurt. For the longest time she thought all professional schools were full of BS. She happend to meet one of my students who talked her into taking one class with me. At the end of the class I saw her sitting, exhausted and almost crying. I went to check on her, thinking she might have hurt herself. She looked up at me ans said, "In one class here I learned more about fighting than in all my years at my old school." We talked for a few minutes and I didn't see her again for about 6 months. She said that after my class she immersed herself into work and was trying not to feel ashamed of herself for being fooled by her old school and intstructors. She finally worked up the courage to come back to class and has become a pretty good student. I am so offended that she had to go through what she did just so that some instructor could make a buck.

I will refrain from naming names and pointing fingers- for now. I just wonder if anyone here has any ideas how to help those students who could excell in any other school that teaches real SD get out of the situation they are in, or do we just let them get hurt too to figure out what a load of BS they have been fed?

Just a rant... thanks for your patience. :spanky:

5/13/2005 3:41pm,
Go tell them, not us.

5/13/2005 3:56pm,
Actually, KM, this is exactly what this site is for.

THEY won't listen. We will. And when and if this guy decides to start naming names, homework will get done, both on him AND on this bullshido McDojo.

As for DngrRuss1, you are in the right place.

5/13/2005 4:04pm,
PM me the name and location of the school in question. It won't go into public circulation, and maybe we can figure out some action plan.

5/13/2005 4:21pm,
DngrRuss1, thanks for sharing. I can tell how aggrivated you must be, just as any of us are who have a serious passion for martial arts. I hope you and JKDChick can work something out. Actually, I hate to say it, but just about every school in my area (Tampa Bay area, FL) -- or at least every school listed in the phonebook -- is a McDojo. It seems like the more suburban the area, the higher concentration of "After-School Krotty" classes there are.

Here's to improving the world, one McDojo at a time...:qpepsi: (Yeah, it's the closest icon I could find to fit)

Andrew WA
5/14/2005 11:20am,
That sounds a lot like the area I am in. I was actually thinking of hiring myself out to some dojangs. I went around looking and every school was full of BS. But then I went to one and I thought it is probably a school that advances students who dont deserve rank but at least they will teach TKD and I can somehow train the kids as best I can and make money. But it turns out everything is full of crap and the Korean "grandmaster" is a jerk and full of himself. He rips everyone off with 3 year contracts for like 149.99 a month!! I watched the class and its like a movie martial art school where you do horrid self defense or one steps and the attacker acts like he is in pain and flies across the mat when you touch him. You dont actually throw anyone down, they fall for your. Also you dont actually grab the people you pretend to grab them!!
Its full of the "Im a winner!" blah blah noisey crap. There is SO MUCH memorization crap about really cheesy positive thinking.
This so called "grandmaster" is a 6th dan in hapkido, 6th dan in Taekwondo and 7th dan in Judo. He wont silver in the 1988 LA Open Judo olympic championship and he posts his picture all over his dojang and in HUGE printed posters next to the flags. He says he is the worlds FIRST 19th degree combined black belt! So he thinks he is a grandmaster. When I went in for an interview he just talked down to me like he is the boss and was very strict and rude. Just asked me question after question like he was SOOOO TOUGH and I was like uhh yes sir ok. Instead of giving me a proper interview and telling me what his school is about and how he teaches he just goes on to say "You dont know our curriculum! You need training!" and he pulls out like all this cash. Like TONS. Then he slowly counts in 1 dollar bills 10 bucks. It was all show. Then he hands me the cash and says put it in your pocket! Im like ok...so then he says its my lunch money and I need to go to his school in the other location and train from 10AM-3PM to learn his curriculum and I have to be tested at 3 and pass with 100%. I thought this would be so easy. he said an instrcutor will be there to train me. So I show up and some lady was there who wasnt even an instructor and freely cleaned his dojang for free and did all this work. She said "Oh we just have an understanding." I asked hger if she at least gets free classes and she said she does. But she mentioned she hasnt been able to go to class in forever. So she works her butt off for him for no pay! She was a black belt too and sucked! She was suppossed to train me??? She also didnt even know I was comming and I took off my warm ups and was in a uniform and just walked into her gym and she was all alone and like "What are you gunna do??" Im like uhhh im here for a privat lesson and told her the situation. She was all weirded out it was funny like I was going to go crazy. Anyway when she told me how the school works and the curriculum I found out how much it was a joke and this school ALSO had the cult like following for the owner.
Their tournmants are for their school only and they enver compete in anything else. They dont even kick to the head.

Their school is full of so much verbal BS sayings you have to memorize its like a bible, and when you do forms you have to count and say stuff and it throws off rythm so the whole purpose of anything in TKD at this school is ruined.
The owner guy is Korean and he has a hard accent and talks like he is a total baddass and is strict and rude and forces you to bow correctly and all that. He was criticizing all my technique which was funny because he doesnt seem to notice his students horrible technique. He was basically trying to m,anipulate me into joining his school and being loyal to him and starting another one of his schools in another area and claims he was to have schools from here to barbedos like 100 schools. He told me I could start one in china one day. I told him im going to college and he said "Then you come back here!" Im like "No.."

Anyway I told him later after his "training" that I dont want to work for him again and he was like "Then give me back my handbook!" haha I told him I left it at his school.

He has a lot of certificates on his office walls and some even say "CHosen as one of the top 10 martial arts schools in the world" by some organization. He kept stressing it. Saying I need more training and have to come to his testing to watch and see their motivation because my school is different and his is ONE OF THE TOP 10 SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD basically putting me down.
He knew I went to a rival school as well and was probably super happy that I was going to work for him. BUt I refused.

My old school broke up and closed down. My instructor was a real TKD grandmaster from Korea but died of cancer.

Anyway this crap sucks. I even saw this schools demo at my college and people were hecklinmg the 10 guys who did it and they didnt seem to understand it was all sarcasm. They thought they were sooo cool. They completely took over time from this other Karate guy who was doing a demo and made it so his 2nd demo of the day got cancelled.

They have a website too but I dont want to put it up and have anything directed back towards me in this city. Maybe ill do it later some time. Just search up TOP 10 MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD and see what comes up haha.

5/18/2005 3:13am,
I am making it my mission to somehow go after a couple of the schools in my area. These instructors are quite simply going to get someone killed. Either they are blazingly inept and uneducated, or they are intentionally robbing their students blind. Either way, it is inexcusable.

I am not sure exactly what my approach will be. I am also not so delusional that I believe that I am going to ride in there and save the day for their students. I am fully aware that a rather large percentage of the students in question actually belong there- they would never take a class like mine or any other legitimate instructor's, however, I also am quite aware that there is a small percentage of students that belong in a more appropriate school. I am also trying to get the public- which is lazy at best- to do some research before they join the srong school.

We'll see what happens... I think it is going to get a little ugly here in my little corner of the world. My first step is to confer with my lawyer to see what I can do and cannot do in my ads and public statements. :viking:

The Mad Hatter
5/18/2005 10:44am,
McDojos are frustrating aren't they? Just about everyplace here in Charleston SC is one, the majority of them being TKD. Sometimes it seems like there is one on every block. Luckily there is a great community here who understands your frustration and can empathize with you. Unfortunately I don't think there really is a whole lot you CAN do about them accept hope that the students they are fleecing will eventually explore other arts or dojos on their own. I wish you luck in whatever action you take, but caution you against action they might bring legal retaliation on the part of the dojo you are talking about. Unfortunately skill in martial arts does you little good in a court room.

Good luck and keep us all informed!!!

Andrew WA
5/18/2005 11:46am,
The mcodojang I was talking about has a rule that as a student of their place you are not allowed to go to other martial arts schools or attend any of their classes or any unauthorized seminar.

5/18/2005 12:09pm,
That sucks. Sounds like one jujutsu-club I used to train. Not mcdojo, but very strict about training in other dojos. My friend asked about it, and answer was, quote "Yes, you can go. But you donīt need to come back."

5/18/2005 12:30pm,
The mcodojang I was talking about has a rule that as a student of their place you are not allowed to go to other martial arts schools or attend any of their classes or any unauthorized seminar.

Yeah there are a couple of MA schools in my area (N. Florida) that have this rule. That is a major red flag when looking at MA schools. I wish there was some way to bring this BS schools down but I think the only thing we really can do is educate people. Ya know, it seems like the schools that do the most demos are the McDojos. The good MA schools, I never see doing demos.

5/18/2005 1:15pm,
I am thinking that instead of going after them by name, I will take a page from a former employer of mine and their method of advertising.

I used to work full time for Cold Steel Knives. I am sure that many of you are framiliar with them. I still do some shows and video work for them from time to time. In fact, I am going to the Black belt show at the end of July as a rep for them. Anyway, if you think that MA is loaded with controversy and bs- take a look at the knife industry. Many "knife knuts" post regularly regarding Cold Steel and their ad practices. One thing is obvious, you either love them or hate them, but what cannot be denied is that they stir the pot.

That being said, CS has for years put out vidoes and ads touting how tough their products are and challenge the rest in the industry to do the same. So far, most have not taken them up on the challenge. Some call their "Proof" videos just a lot of hype, but I know for a fact that outside of the public eye, they constantly test their products against other manufacturers. They do this so that the claims they make ring true. What they do not do is name names and point fingers because they would open themselves up to legal scrutiny. they simply play king of the hil and dare anyone to knock them off. I am working on a new ad campaign that may ring similiar tones. CS rides on the idea of truth in their ads, and they back-up everything that they say. This is why, even though many of the knife knuts don't like or even hate them, the working man, law enforcement officer, military personell, and general user that carries a CS product has nothing to report but satisfaction and the company keeps growing and growing.

The comparison I draw between CS and my MA community is pretty clear. If the local "MA Nuts" that think they know more than me, my staff, or my students regarding MA or SD think I am full of BS and that I am all hype, I say PROVE IT. I am willing to stand up and shake my fist at the con men and thieves out there. They can say all they want, but when push comes to shove- I push and shove a lot harder than they do. I don't think that I will ever get the student that these McDojos have already indoctrinated and brainwashed, it is probably too late for most of them. I also realize that, as I said in a previous post, many if not most of them wouldn't last in my program. They want the watered-down training so they don't have to work hard to feel good about themselves. It is the newbie that does not know better that I am going to try to reach.

There are a coulple schools in my area that teach either Olympic TKD or a more "family friendly" form of TKD. I have nothing but respect for these guys. They do not lie to and con their students. They have even sent potential new students to me because they determined that they would be happier in my school then in theirs. I have sent them students for the same reason. The dollar sign was less important than the students well bieng. For the one studio (although there now appears to be another one newly opened in my area) that my rant is about, they do everything to get the student on their floor first and once there, they lock him in and throw away the key.

So my plan is beginning to brew... having been hit in the head a lot it may take awhile... but I will come up with something.
:qright6: They can run, but they will only die tired...

Gringo Grande
5/18/2005 1:28pm,

Just FYI, ignore 99% of everything Knightmare says...then ignore 99% of the remaining 1% and you will be fine.

Gringo Grande

5/18/2005 1:34pm,
I have read KM's posts on this and other threads...
When he has something useful to say, I'll pay attention.
I didn't post this thread to get into a pissing contest with bullshido members... i get enough of that here.

WingChun Lawyer
5/18/2005 1:40pm,
DngRuss, how about some FRIENDLY advertising? Pushing and shoving is all well and good when the student has entered your dojo (since this means he is interested), but since you are fishing for newbies...how about an advertising campaign simply offering free classes and some sparring, no contracts needed? Maybe you already do that, but that kind of thing may work to your benefit if you donīt.

5/18/2005 1:47pm,
Thanks for the thought WC- though I already do that. I am going to try as much as possible to not let my anger infect the ads. Using CS as a template does not mean that I will be as over-the-top as they are in my ads. I already offer free classes, my trial offer and monthly rates are at least competitive and often lots better than other schools in the area. I am simply going to try to expose the missleading statements and outright lies that these schools offer up as gospel. I know it will be tricky, but that is why i am taking my time and consulting both Bullshido members, other respected MA schools, and my lawyer prior to putting anything into print.

But, as they say, the squeeky wheel gets the grease. While I do not see myself grabbing the banner and leading the vanguard against all mcdojos, something has to be done. someone is going to get themselves hurt or killed due to their deceptive practices and I cannot stand idly by while it happens.