View Full Version : A McDojo is born

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5/20/2003 1:40am,
This is my first post, so be nice.
Sorry it's a bit long.
I've just had the extreme misfortune of witnessing the birth of a new mcdojo.
For the last three years, I've been training in Japanese Ju Jitsu and before that I spent twelve years in TKD.
I know that most people's opinion here of TKD is pretty poor, I understand the reasons and for the most part I agree with them, that is why I consider myself lucky that the TKD school I trained in was so different. The training was hard with a lot of emphasis on strength and conditioning, we learned to fight in all ranges and while our grappling skills would never match that of most Judoka or BJJ players we at least knew the basics and more importantly, learned how to quickly and safely get back to our feet after being taken down.
We used to spar with contact, including elbows and knee's and the emphasis in training was effectiveness.
It took me seven years to get my black belt in the style and that was training 3 times a week. We did have a few kids in the class, and obviously the training was toned down for them, but the highest grade someone in the kid's class could reach was 6th Kyu/Kup (white belt being 10th), as my instructor believed that kids didn't have the physical abilities to reach higher and that grading them any higher would be an insult to the adults that had sweated and bled for their ranks.

So now I'm doing JJ, and the situation couldn't be more different. For awhile now things have been starting to worry me. I'm seeing more and more kids under the age of 9 who out rank me (I'm 3rd Kyu), techniques are being toned down, we no longer spar with contact (can't hurt the precious little kiddies, mummy and daddy won't pay then), and the instructors don't train with us (how can't you teach when you don't train?)

The last straw for me was the last grading, the level of skill shown was pathetic, there was no committment, no focus and the techniques themselves were barely recognizable as such. But they all paid, so they all passed. When they awarded a 7 year old his black belt though, that was it for me, I stood up, took off my belt, dropped it on the floor and left.

I've since joined a Muay Thai club and a BJJ club, the training is hard, the fighters are tough, there are no fees to grade (you grade when you're good enough) and there is not a seven year old or their parents in sight.

5/20/2003 4:59am,
haha nice

Hard work, Patience, Dedication.

5/20/2003 8:26am,
It's good to see you took a stand Creo! Good for you. KIDS SUCK!!! There, I said it. I think if kids want to learn MA that's cool but keep them in a separate class. Do not mix them with the grown-ups!

5/20/2003 8:50am,
I understand WHY pple don't want to fail pple doing a belt exam but I don't like it and don't let anyone pass unless they can do whats asked. Most of the places I've been at don't require a seperate payment for a belt exam. (I really don't see why an extra payment is required especially if allyou are going to do is give them a $5 belt and $3 certificate.http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/2657/hyaku.gif

5/20/2003 9:05am,
Did anyone see the Seinfeld episode where Kramer started Karate? He beat up the kids in his class and justified it with "we're all at the same skill level" (i.e. white or yellow belts)

We have one 14 year old in our adults class. He's 1st kyu and they won't give him a black belt yet. He'll have to test as an adult, for which he's not ready yet.
We don't have many kids anyways. Only from the parents that train in adults classes. About 4 or so...

In my dojo we don't 'sign up' for tests. We get pulled by the main instructors if they think we're ready. One guy makes 1st kyu after 10 years, another one Nidan after 6 years.

I also commend you for getting up and leaving. Was there a response from the instructor? Does he realize why you left? Did he try to get you back?

I've gone to find myself. If I'm not back before I return, leave me there.

5/20/2003 11:18am,
Creo, the important question that was asked was whether your reasons were known or not, were they?

Asia, my instructor makes us pay the $5 for the belt, does that make you cry to? We don't get any fancyshmancy certificates except for dans though. Hmm...I do have a nice printer...

**Sloppy explanations lead to sloppy thinking.**

5/20/2003 1:48pm,
You dropped your belt, Nice!!! I love it!

What was the response? Have they contacted you since?

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"

5/20/2003 1:50pm,
did you pants fall off too?

Hard work, Patience, Dedication.

5/20/2003 2:07pm,
>Asia, my instructor makes us pay the $5 for the belt, does that make you cry to? We don't get any fancyshmancy certificates except for dans though. Hmm...I do have a nice printer...

Amatuer we lock an old asian guy in the basement with nothing but ink and a brush and make him handwrite all certificates!!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Seriously I don't mind something that is reasonable but when I see schools that ask for a $200 testing fee I am like, WHAT THE **** FOR! when all they do is give out a $5 belt and a certificate that was ran off at Kinkos.

During my DOJO search when I first go back to the states after leaving Korea (understand that I grew up mostly outside the US and this was the first time I was going to be in the states on my own.) I when to a Shotokan school which was nice. Polished hard wood floors Japanese Shoji but only had 3 makiwara and 2 heavy bags. Mirros on one wall. Basicly that was it to the school. They had a secretary and I had to fill out an application. She started rattling off package deals (something like $150 a mont a 6 month deal was only $600) The teacher came to the desk, he was japanese, I started speaking to him in Japanese. I mentioned some of the pple I knew and he knew them as well I told him I was a shodan and he said he would do me a favor and would only charge $250 for my nidan test!!!!(regular was $300) I never joined the school.

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!!

5/20/2003 6:15pm,
300 dollars?! That's fucking absorbant. Imagine if you fail it! Dude if your ever in South Florida again you should train in my Goju Karate dojo. 25 dollars a month! You can't beat that. Though the facilities are shitty, community rec centers for the most part. Though it's cool to hip throw someone onto a kiddie slide.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!

5/20/2003 6:47pm,
In answer to some comments, no, my pants didn't fall off and yes, they knew why I left. The issue of grading people just because they paid or grading kids to high levels has been a gripe of mine for some time and I've been quite vocal about it, since they chose not to address my concerns (they told me it was a "policy" decision made by the "master" and that I didn't know enough about the martial arts to know what I was talking about).
The head instructor did call me the other night and said that my display was irrespectful to him, the organisation and to the child who recieved his belt. My reply was he graded a kid based on the size of his parents bank account, not on his skill and therefore neither he nor his organisation deserved my respect.

5/20/2003 6:48pm,

My question to you is, what does anyone else recieving a rank from you old school have anything to do with you, even if you were still enrolled there?

I can understand your disappointment with the apparent erosion of the school's standards, but how does that really affect your skill or your progress. As long as the school is still fullfilling your needs, I really don't see a problem.

I'm currently a green belt and will be testing for my brown (san kyu) at the end of June. Because of my past experience in martial arts I am generally much more skilled than the average person that holds my "rank" and often outperform brown and black belts in class and during testing. I don't care how others perform, I'm only concerned that I'm still learning and putting out my best.

I guess I'm pretty lucky, I attend a quality dojo, that has reasonable prices, and tries very hard to stick to their standards. It is true people very rarely fail any of our testings, because the instructors will NOT give anyone permission to test until they are ready. The "test" is more of a showcase of the students ability to learn and the instructors ability to teach.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

5/20/2003 6:50pm,
Pesonally im against Belt Testing. I've seen People/Teachers giving away Belts After the Fee is Payed. I believe that If u can Fight Well (depending on Fighting Style) then Your Coach/Trainer/Sensei/Master/Mestre Should Promote U, Wihtout Giving him Money or Anything.
I really respect people that do that. For Example a Guy that Recently Got in our Dojo Holds a BJJ Blue Belt... Listen How he got His Blue Belt-He Was attending a BJJ School in Boston U.S. for 2 Years, 2 Months ago he was Sparring with The Teachers Nephew (Purple Belt-Lower Weight) And managed to Choke him. The Istructor Open The Door of his Office came out And gave him the Blue Belt on the Spot, At the Same time he told to his Nephew "WHAT r U doing @$#%@!&**%".
Someone May Know a 100 Katas and a 1000 Techniques but if he can't Use them in Sparring or In a fight Why Give him a Belt?

5/20/2003 6:52pm,


5/20/2003 6:55pm,
Punisher: I know the question was not directed at me, but I will throw in my two cents anyways.

It is important to me, personaly, that the place where I train upholds a certain standard when it comes to ranking. The reason primerily being that personal and professional integrity is one of the things I value most in people. Giving out ranks to undeserving students to make a little more money, to me, is a breach of integrity, so to say. I have trouble respecting teachers that do so, and I will not perform or learn will with an instructor tha does not have my respect.

I remain, Hapko3

5/20/2003 7:03pm,
The head instructor did call me the other night and said that my display was irrespectful to him, the organisation and to the child who recieved his belt. My reply was he graded a kid based on the size of his parents bank account, not on his skill and therefore neither he nor his organisation deserved my respect.

They don't deserve any respect for teaching you and helping you achieve any skill level you reached under their instruction?

I know it sucks, but money matters. There is a difference between squeezing your students for every last cent or handing out bought belts to make yourslf rich, and charging/doing what you have to in order to survive as a school.

I'ved seen too many great martial arts schools go out of business, because they only wanted to teach dedicated, quality students and couldn't justify charging enough to keep the doors open.

I don't disagree with what you did or how you feel, just how you did it. The best way to change how any business operates, martial arts schools included, is to stop giving them your money. I just don't think you had to make a "show" out of it.

<marquee>Dragon , Snake , Tiger , Leopard , Crane. R.M.F.A.F.T.A.T.! </marquee>

Edited by - Punisher on May 20 2003 19:05:10