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Syphilis
4/12/2007 3:08pm,
Hi, my name is Thomas and I'm new here.

I started learning Wing Chun not associated with any institution at about 18, very irregularly and unofficial. I attended some workshops in the Netherlands, too.

At twenty one I moved to the United States and began Tae Kwon Do in Huntington, West Virgina. I attend Marshall University there so the club there was excellent to meet people and to get involved in Martial Arts. We are associated under Master Chong Wong Kim who has a school further down the road where he teaches. We go there once a month but we're mostly left to our own devices with black belts from various other schools that know Master Kim etcetera.

His main school is definately a mcdojo. Some of the instructors and higher ups are fat
and old and never spar, other blackbelts are 12 years old. Their teaching is often horrible as they can only remember how to do things 'in the form' :gonk:. some of his blackbelts however, are in very good shape and consequently, are very good at what they do. (These are younger men 25-30's)

However, since we practice three times a week on our own, we do a lot more than just forms -we spar every session. (Unless it has been a rough week -lots of tests etc for everyone when we just kindoff chill -we're students)

When we're at his dojang Master Kim oversees us personally. He is very strict on us and makes us train much harder than the people at his school. Consequently,
we're much better at anything we do than the regulars there. He also urges us to fight as much tournaments etc as we can. Also, he has us currently teach the white belt things to a group of underpriviledged children at a local club.

The most important thing here is: we do not pay, except for belt tests. We do not pay a monthly fee.

My other experience at martial arts is much different. Last spring semester an indonesian guy came to our school and became my neighbour. Indonesia + Netherlands lol colony. We became friends. He joined our tae kwon do club. I never found out until much later that he was an instructor in various kung fu styles at home, including San Shou. He began to teach me a little, but his teaching was only through contact sparring, which was great. Of course he always kicked my ass but he liked it that I didn't give up trying to beat him. He was so fast that we'd start out and immediatly punch me hard enough to knock me back as I called 'go'. (which was more of a joke/test than anything else) I talk to him a lot now, because he switched universities, and I urge him to come back so we can train more, which he wants but cannot afford.

Last summer, I went back home and a Tai Chi quan teacher/trainer had just moved to my town and I joined up with him and my friend. He had lost his school or something because he didn't want to raise prices and the rent went up or something so he was now training in his backyard. He wasn't much about pretty movements but about moving out of the way of blows and proper blocks. I learned a lot about moving from that -I was there too short to start sparring. He did however mention that he used to fight a lot, but not so much in a bragging way.


Now I'm back in Huntington and summer is coming up. Which means I'll have more money and time as I graduate and will start a graduate assistantship next year which basically, pays me. (More time over summer + fall semester as instead of taking 7 classes I'll take 3)
I want to increase and vary my training. I go to the gym to work out, as I know strength and endurance are pretty important. I'm staying with Tae Kwon Do as it gives me a good opportunity to kick and spar and I've got a lot of friends there. Besides it is free.

I looked around town and there is a brazillian JiuJitsu place, but I'm not sure of their credentials. I'm definately going to check them out once my coursework is less.

What I'm looking for is more options. I want to find a good proper place to train here where I have to work hard and learn much. I want to spar and I don't mind getting my ass kicked. I'm a fall down 10 times get up 11 times kind of guy -I don't give up.

Huntington, West Virginia. I don't want to/cannot travel too much.

BJJbot
4/12/2007 3:09pm,
In spite of what some other web-sites would have you believe, we here at Bullshido.net welcome you, Syphilis, with open arms and hope that you will share with us your unique experiences and ideas on the martial arts.... so that we may then make fun of those experiences and ideas.

kwoww
4/12/2007 3:12pm,
I don't know about BJJbot, but I for one do NOT welcome syphilis.

Hi. Weird TKD school story, too.

Syphilis
4/12/2007 4:40pm,
Thanks!

On the one hand, his main school is a McDojo -Anyone can get a black belt, really. But on the other hand, he really drills us and wants us to be good -even though we don't pay. He started the club about 30 years ago at the school, maybe that's why.

leere_form
4/12/2007 4:40pm,
hey there, welcome to bullshido!

i'm from ashland, kentucky myself, about 20 minutes from huntington (although i live in lexington currently). i'm aware of that BJJ place in huntington you're talking about, but i've never been up there to train, so i can't tell you anything about it.

definitely check out the BJJ place. your options in that tri-state area are not good, really.

if you are at all interested in aikido, for any reason, you have that, and it's very good *for aikido.* it is not good self-defense, it is good aikido.

john van kirk teaches the marshall aikido club, and he's a cool guy.. his aikido is more, ah, what one would expect from aikido, i suppose.

but, if you're really interested, drive down to ashland to go to kyova aikikai and train with tom berry sensei, who taught john. he's 4th dan in aikido and 1st dan in judo, and i promise you'll have fun and learn a lot about posture and balance, if nothing else. his training is not live, so don't expect to learn to fight there. you'll learn a lot, just not that.

his instruction in ukemi has kept me alive for three years of hard falling, and his understanding of and emphasis on principles and technique has inspired and shaped my judo and jiujitsu.

so, do yourself two favors:

1. check out the BJJ place in huntington
2. check out tom's dojo in ashland

and i'm not utterly ignorant of the grapple (1 year of judo/bjj, training nearly every day), so if you're interested, i'll train with you sometime when i come home to visit!

... to be honest, i hardly ever come home because then i can't train.. haha..

Syphilis
4/12/2007 6:08pm,
Yeah I cannot wait for this semester to end so I'll finally have time to join/look around there. I've been eyeing it for a year. They used to have kung fu too, so I was a bit weary -most places that advertise kung fu look odd to me.

I've seen the aikido club, but it's mostly populated with Anime nerds. They're more interested in Japenese culture it seems like (e.g. anime) than working hard.


A Jukido Juijitsu club started up last year, which I checked out.
They don't spar. It is only self-defense 'Get away from me!' kind of stuff.
The guy who leads it/is the black belt is pretty self-important. After ten minutes of explaining techniques he basically shows off for fifty minutes.

All-in-All, a horrible experience there.

Thanks for the offer. I'll get my license this summer and if it's only a 20 minute drive to Ashland I might check out stuff there too.