View Full Version : Me, A McDojang Instructor To Be

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8/13/2006 12:13am,
A year ago I graduated school in Utah and moved back home to the DC area (because Utah sucks ass) in hopes to find a decent job and settle down. I desired to get back in shape and decided upon taking up TKD (again) after a 5 year break. You see, I had travelled to Cambodia and Thailand a few years ago to "get to my roots"... not really, I actually served a mission for my church where I happend to come across Muay Thai and it's Cambodian cousin Pdhal Serey (another story, another time).

Lo and behold, one of my friend happens to be the head instructor of a branch of TKD chains aptly named "US Taekwondo College". Before you jump to any conclusions about my friend, I will vouche and testify that he is a very skilled TKDist and has the balls to demostrate it. In other words, he is NOT Coda Scott. He invited me to take a class and see for myself how his dojang was run. Let's say I about threw up the first few drills (I was THAT out of shape). I was sweating my balls off when he pulled me aside and pursuded me to take the trial course for $50. He wasn't going to make me start at white belt either, considering I did have some history in WTF TKD. He actually gave me my old rank, 5th gup blue. After two weeks he pulled me in again and asked how I liked the classes. I told him that I enjoyed sweating my ass off. He presented me with a no lock contract for 18 months so that I could get my black belt. It wasn't actually a bad deal either, but I couldn't afford it. He told me to pay whatever I could afford but in the end I actually didn't have any time.

6 months pass, and in between he would always ask me how come I haven't shown up to class. I told him I couldn't afford it and he said, don't worry about it, just come and have fun. So I returned, this time with my GF. The second week in the Grandmaster comes for a visit. Typical Korean man who was very softspoken yet stern and set in his ways. And, of course, he backed up his claim of being an 8th Dan by teaching the class. Never thought an old man could do some of the things he did. After class I was teaching my GF and her friend a few of the forms they had to learn for their upcoming test. GM noticed it and was pretty impressed.

On my way out of the dojang, GM pulls me into the office. I thought he was going to pressure me into a contract or something. On the contrary. He actually offered me to be in the Masters Program (a program for rising instructors). I asked how much? He responded 180 bucks a month. I was about to say no, I can't afford that... but he cut me short and said, "no, for you, nothing. Master Eddie is a very compitent instructor but unfortunatly for him he has no assistance in class. You have natural leadership potential. I saw how you were teaching those girls. I liked what I saw. If you are willing, then I would like you to train with Master Eddie to become an instructor." I remarked that I was only a blue belt and I didn't think I was capable of it. "You will not teach classes until you are a black belt. You will assist in the classes with stretches and warmups and drills, but all instruction will be done by Master Eddie". I asked what the catch was. He said, no catch. You train for free and all your tests will be covered for the next 3 years (which would mean all the way up to 2nd Dan). I couldn't refuse that offer, I mean, hey I pretty much saved myself $3000. And as a bonus, my GF would be MY student and I would teach her progressingly all the way to Black (her training too would be free of charge).

Anyway, so I'm on my 3rd month of being a trainee instructor. I've been obligated to learn the sales program and how to "encourage" potential practitioners to sign these 18 to 36 month contracts. I know what it's like to be in the know of a McDojang. I haven't paid a cent (save for $50 almost a year ago). I go directly after work and help out with 3 kiddie classes and then I take my class. I'm now a 4th gup with my 3rd gup test approaching next week. In a way, this site has shown me the signs of a McDojo:

- Long complex contracts
- Expensive tuition
- Shady business practices
- Inflated ranks
- etc.

But in many aspects, my dojang isn't all mcdojanged out. The classes are rigorious and strenious. I'm always soaken wet afterwards. Though promotions are every 2 months (yeah, you heard it), Eddie only allows you to test if he feels you are ready for it. Testing fees are negotiable too ($50 bucks, but some parents pay less). There aren't many BBs at all... infact, there are a two under 16 black belts and they were transfers from other schools. There's one Poom belt who has been there for 6 months (because he's like 7). Eddie won't promote him to black because he's too young and he's not ready to train at that level. And for those young BBs... they get worked like all the adults. Eddie actually cares about his student's a progress more so than how much money he's making. In fact, one day just sitting around he mentioned that the GM likes too see numbers, but he likes to see improvement. So long as we make rent, it's all good.

So yeah, hate me if you wish, but I'm going to be part of this school for a while. I hope to find a BJJ school and perhaps a MT or boxing gym to xtrain. Perhaps that might be a redemption for my "sin" of producing more useless TKDers...

8/13/2006 12:39am,
um...are you seeking validation or just asking to be made fun of publically? Either way, just remember that Jesus loves you...just not as much as he loves me.

8/13/2006 6:20am,
i was always taught that confession is the first part of atonment...

8/13/2006 6:27am,
So basically you're going to continue becoing an instructor in TKD and take up MT/BJJ so you can hopefully intergrate some of their techniques in when you make instructor? If this isn't some kind of made up fantasy then good luck to you, as you are definitly going to need it (I take it you haven't come across the crippling politics that makes TKD and most Karate as useless as they are).

8/13/2006 6:42am,
mmmmm tkd happy meal.

8/13/2006 7:00am,
So you work at a McDojang... and it is a McDojang, in every sense of the word. That just means that you emphasize parting people from their money, that has no direct causal relationship to the way that you train.

Most McDojangs will train very light, simply because it is easier to get and keep students that way, but one that trains hard and imparts some real skill can be a McDojang without being bullshido. It's just rare, I think.

8/13/2006 7:12am,
<laughs and then cries>

In 1 year you will learn your lesson.

Don Gwinn
8/13/2006 9:20am,
Look, you're going to do what you're going to do. I suggest you PM Kempofist. Tell him Don said you should ask him what it's like to be the guy who wants to spar and teach real fighting in a McDojo.

I can't believe you escaped D.C., made it all the way to Utah and then chose to go back. I guess home can't be replaced. I'd love to live in Utah. I'd shoot myself if I had to live in D.C.

8/13/2006 6:20pm,
Look, you're going to do what you're going to do. I suggest you PM Kempofist. Tell him Don said you should ask him what it's like to be the guy who wants to spar and teach real fighting in a McDojo.

It's more fun than you'd imagine. As long as the students back you it's not only unstressful, but incredibly funny. :besos: (that icon represents me getting all of the bitches...I don't know why, but I never used that smiley and I liked it)

8/13/2006 7:21pm,
So, is this forum a confessional booth now?

Don Gwinn
8/13/2006 7:40pm,
I pushed a hobo into a trash compactor at the IGA once.

But, I mean, who hasn't?

8/13/2006 7:50pm,
So, is this forum a confessional booth now?

I once made up a grappling form and tried to sell videos of it on the street in Manhatten.

Don Gwinn
8/13/2006 9:03pm,
You sicken me.

8/13/2006 9:08pm,
You sicken me.

I wasn't done yet....

I named it, "Worm constricts the lotus blossom"

After years of mastery you may be able to "discover" the hidden ground knife techniques I put in there. Only after a minimum of 15.72years will one be able to gain the experience and clarity to see them.

8/22/2006 12:09am,
To me, a McD is a school with low standards for their teachers and their students. Sounds to me like your school runs asswhippin' classes. As long as YOUR behavior, skill, conditioning, etc is above reproach, you can sleep well at night.

P.S. If you join a BJJ school, the ghost of Ed Parker will haunt you in the Celestial Kingdom.

Anna Kovacs
8/22/2006 1:44am,
I like how people think getting really tired from a class means that it's not a shitty class.