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zookrider
7/14/2007 11:52am,
Baker's American Martial Arts (http://www.mindspring.com/~martialarts/index.html)in San Angelo, TX

Reasons I believe this to be a McDojo

1. One instructor - Five martial arts taught at the school (Karate, Kickboxing, BJJ, Arnis, and Aikido). This is more interesting when you reailze that the bulk of Mr Bakers training is, by his own admission, in TKD.

2. After your one free class you are immediately handed a 12 month contract.

3. Mr Baker has a BJJ blue belt which he received at a Royce seminar after training on his own for an unspecifed period of time. He used to be very up front about this but he currently does not advertise this fact (though it can be found on his website if you look.) He actually wears a black belt when he teaches his BJJ class.

4. Only 5 minutes are alloted for randori per class, and no you cannot stick around and use the mats after class. They do have one open mat night per week.

5. I was told that I must buy one of his gis.

6. Has TV commercials that show tourney footage of some really fancy subs. I can't prove it, but I would wager a months wages that none of the fighters in the video are his. I've seen his students both at my free class and in MACP training and none of them are anywhere near the level of the guys in the commercial. We are talking flying triangles and armbars, super slick judo throw into armbar, OTM 101 Subs quality stuff.

7. I asked Mr Baker if I could roll with him at my free class. He refused citing an injury, though I saw him rolling with another student right before I asked him. I know a few others who have had this experience as well.

Except for point #6 I have tried to confine this post to observations/facts and not opinions. McDojo or not? You decide.

Those enroute to San Angelo / Goodfellow AFB beware. I know many DLI graduates study with Daniel Thomas in Monterey and are looking for a place to train while at GAFB. I'm sorry to say that Mr Baker is the only option in town. Many others have reached the same conclusion I have and choose to get together informally at the GAFB gym to roll in the tiny mat room.

NJM
7/14/2007 12:19pm,
How did you keep a straight face after hearing Aikido and BJJ were in the same school?

zookrider
7/14/2007 12:34pm,
I play alot of poker.

Berserk
7/14/2007 7:41pm,
Royce doesnt give away belts at seminars to guys he hasnt trained. Total BS. Tiger Klay Lonis tried a similar smoke screen, but the reality is a BJJ black belt wont give a belt to someone after rolling with them at a one day seminar. It wont happen.

mijuil
7/14/2007 8:12pm,
yeah. sounds like hes moving into bullshido rather than just a mcdojo. pretty stupid given the nature of BJJ. probably best to wait around til a bullshidoka from nearby gets to roll with him before drawing conclusions tho.

Cassius
7/14/2007 8:18pm,
If it makes you feel any better, I train with Daniel and attend DLI, I'm not going to GFAB until next year, and I've already been warned about Baker's.

I'm definitely stopping by his academy when I get there, though. You know. For research purposes.

zookrider
7/14/2007 8:27pm,
Royce doesnt give away belts at seminars to guys he hasnt trained. Total BS. Tiger Klay Lonis tried a similar smoke screen, but the reality is a BJJ black belt wont give a belt to someone after rolling with them at a one day seminar. It wont happen.

FWIW he does have a photo of Royce presenting him with his blue belt and I have heard that Royce is known for doing this. Royce's nephew Michael Costas was here for a short while for some military training and checked the guy out. He was pissed when he saw what was going on and said he planned to call Royce about it.

zookrider
7/14/2007 8:29pm,
If it makes you feel any better, I train with Daniel and attend DLI, I'm not going to GFAB until next year, and I've already been warned about Baker's.

I'm definitely stopping by his academy when I get there, though. You know. For research purposes.

I'm going back to DLI in Jan for a second language. I plan to train w/ Daniel, we'll have to ftf and roll.

Cassius
7/14/2007 8:45pm,
I'm going back to DLI in Jan for a second language. I plan to train w/ Daniel, we'll have to ftf and roll.Sounds good. I'm probably leaving in February, though.

AcridSaint
7/14/2007 9:47pm,
Royce doesnt give away belts at seminars to guys he hasnt trained. Total BS. Tiger Klay Lonis tried a similar smoke screen, but the reality is a BJJ black belt wont give a belt to someone after rolling with them at a one day seminar. It wont happen.
This doesn't appear to be true. I also took classes under a blue belt from Royce who studied correspondence materials and took a seminar. He also puts pictures of himself on his website being awarded such belt. This is the reason I am very weary of any and all Royce Gracie schools.

From: http://www.roycegracie.tv/frames/network/gs_frame.htm



FOR PRINCIPALS / INSTRUCTORS THAT ARE NOT RANKED IN BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU:

For principals /instructors that are not ranked in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the first step is attaining rank. Please fill out the application for Getting Started with RGJJN (http://www.roycegracie.tv/frames/network/online_forms_frame.htm) and mail it, along with the $99.00 application fee to:

After paying your fees you receive a welcome package that includes:



3. An outline of techniques necessary to attain the rank of a blue belt as well as an outline of the Gracie Self Defense techniques that you must learn in order to become a RGJJN affiliated school. (techniques are demonstrated and explained in the two books that are included in the welcome package).

Lastly:



Study the techniques from the outline. Practice them with your training partner. Once you feel that you have a good knowledge of these techniques, check in the schedule section of the site for a Royce Gracie Seminar Schedule. Attend a Royce Gracie Seminar and or Network Visit at which time Royce will be able to test your knowledge and ability to execute the techniques. If you meet the required standard for promotion, Royce will award you the rank of Blue Belt at that time.


Royce does appear to give out blue belts at seminars and sanction schools. I don't know what exactly has to be demonstrated, but from what I saw of such a graduate I don't trust Royce's Blue Belts a whole lot.

Necroth
7/15/2007 9:58am,
This is sad, as I am from Abilene (Dyess AFB, 95 miles from San Angelo) and would have gladly checked this out before I moved to Alaska this spring, had I known there was anyone in San Angelo claiming BJJ. I still have friends there, from my days in Lambda Chi Alpha at ASU, but none are martial artists. I only wish I could have another friend track down his sparring partner from those days, Juice, and send him in to give this McDojo a good roll, but I'm not sure if Juice is still there, having been from Corpus Christi (if I remember right, anyway). Bleh, too many "blue belts" in BJJ in West Texas training others. Abilene had the same problem. I got lucky enough to train with a guy who spent every summer at Lion's Den and came back to roll with us the rest of the year.

Good luck in finding out the truth.

Kokujin
7/15/2007 9:32pm,
BJJ blue belt...the new bullshido machine? Wait a minute...what's my belt colour? Never mindi that...

As I recently learned, bjj waters are really, really murky, to say the least! People get belts out of friendship, buissness ventures, correspondence and online tutoring, fpr being old, for cash, politics, to avoid embarassing moments and for actually rolling and being there for class!:badgrin:

kungfu2u
7/15/2007 11:03pm,
Rember that Gracies are businessmen first.

Berserk
7/16/2007 1:39am,
God that's nauseating. I'm not disputing what you've said, it just turns my stomach to hear that Royce has stooped to McDojoism.

AcridSaint
7/16/2007 7:43am,
God that's nauseating. I'm not disputing what you've said, it just turns my stomach to hear that Royce has stooped to McDojoism.

It was an eye-opener for me, sad but true.

kungfu2u
7/16/2007 9:19am,
The UFC was always about making money; that's what Helio Gracie started it for. Dan Severn even told me that that the Gracies didn't want you training anywhere else, even if it hurt your progress.

The solution is consumer-awareness; Bullshido.net is a good source of informing people and improving the standards of the MA world. Don't take anything on faith, that's what Bullshido-cults are all about in accepting their dogma and rejecting rational skepticism.

It's the same with anyone else, like the Aikido-schools who preach a strict code of peace, humility and non-aggression, but say nothing about Seagal making the most violent, arrogant and sadistic films in history in the name of O-senseless, solely because he brings in scads of suckers to their schools. Plenty of pimps out there, and even more hypocrites. Whenever they say "it's not about the money," hold onto your wallet.