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scanz
8/11/2008 8:37pm,
Hello,

I'm posting for the first time to get some advice from people who may have been around to multiple schools in their career.

Most of my training has been of the club sport variety in kick boxing and a bit of wrestling.

About 9 months ago, I did a bunch of research and decided on a traditional school teaching 7 star mantis kung fu because I liked the style and the instructor's perspective seemed to match my goals.

I'm trying to determine whether I should be looking for a new school.

The school is based upon the principle that everyone starts at the basics and learns a foundation, which seems standard at most schools. In the beginner's class I am in now, we do about 10% on forms, 10% on cardio, and the other 80% is partner drills - mostly 3 point blocking, toe and heel kicks on pads, various strikes. I'm at a point now where I am being offered an option to cross into a more intensive class that I need to test into to be part of. The class is an extra 30 minutes long, which is spent is actual full contact sparring with headgear, etc.

Here's where my alarm is going off and I'm wondering if this is normal, or something is off:

The class that is more fighting intensive is an extra $45 per month. It's taught by the school owner and is, as I said, 30 minutes more. I am already paying $104 per month with a military discount for being a veteran. The school also charges for sash promotions, and things like Chin Na or weapons are extra in the form of seminars.

There are other schools out there that are teaching Kempo Karate, or TKD for around $80 per month, but most of the schools I've talked to have been telling me they do mostly forms work and that I should look into MMA schools if I want to fight...

I seem to have found a good balance of traditional and fighting, but the fees are kind of making me wonder. I can provide more background on the owner's justification on why he is more expensive if you want. What do you guys think? Should I just suck up the extra money, or look elsewhere at the expense of another style and starting over. Most of the other schools in my area are Karate or TKD.

Sorry for the long post, but thanks for reading - lots of background ...
Scanz

OmegaBot
8/11/2008 8:38pm,
BULL RUSH ON scanz!!!

1point2
8/11/2008 8:47pm,
That's not an unreasonable price for legitimate training. Fees for testing CAN be suspect, but don't have to be BS.

Hitting pads? 80% partner work? A few months of that and now 30 minutes more of sparring? This sounds good to me. Stick with it is my recommendation.

EDIT: go ahead, post the reasons the instructor says he charges more than the other schools.

Joe Karate
8/11/2008 9:00pm,
If you like the school / instructor after 9 months of training, invest an extra $90 for two months of the expanded class and see what you think.

scanz
8/11/2008 9:29pm,
Appreciate the advice. My friend's knee jerk reation was the school is too much compared to other schools in my area, but I wanted to get some more opinions.

Reasons for the cost:
First and foremost, the rent and energy costs are going up

Mostly, he has to travel to San Diego CA to learn learn more from his teacher Tony Puyot, whose school is linked here: http://www.puyot-mantis-boxing.com/aboutus.html

The airfare adds up, and he passes that cost to his students. I guess it's a combination of the airfares and keeping a school running in a small shopping plaza.

I personally think some of it is also going to the pretty decorations in the facility, and to the fact he's also taking classes himself, which I guess is knowledge passed on to his students ...

Joe Karate
8/11/2008 9:40pm,
[quote=scanz]Appreciate the advice. My friend's knee jerk reation was the school is too much compared to other schools in my area . . . quote]

Not nearly as expensive as wasting your time and money at a"cheaper" school with no sparring and/or poor instruction. Good Luck

1point2
8/11/2008 10:04pm,
Not nearly as expensive as wasting your time and money at a"cheaper" school with no sparring and/or poor instruction. Good Luck

Quoted for truth. Kenpo karate and TKD where they do lots of forms, and are pointing you to MMA schools...does not sound like the best choice for you.

Skillful
8/11/2008 10:19pm,
Between classes and private lessons, I spend 3 times what you're talking about per month. Worth every penny. I wouldn't trade for karate if it were $1 per year. If you don't feel the same way, try the karate and see if it gives you what you want. TKD is just silly though.

Featherstone
8/11/2008 10:21pm,
I would check it out for a couple months, see if it is what you want.

scanz
8/12/2008 5:52am,
Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I'll give it a go and see how the budget fairs.

3moose1
8/12/2008 6:22am,
...why not take muay thai?


or bjj!

Sang
8/12/2008 7:22am,
Because it might be a traditional school which does full contact sparring everyday, that'd be awesome. Just make sure their idea of full contact isn't pulling punches or stopping after a hit lands and you'll be sweet. Thats the thing i hated most about my karate training, whenever i land a nice hit even now i stop for a second instead of going for the kill.

It is Fake
8/12/2008 8:43am,
Hello,

I'm posting for the first time to get some advice from people who may have been around to multiple schools in their career.

Most of my training has been of the club sport variety in kick boxing and a bit of wrestling.

About 9 months ago, I did a bunch of research and decided on a traditional school teaching 7 star mantis kung fu because I liked the style and the instructor's perspective seemed to match my goals.

I'm trying to determine whether I should be looking for a new school.

The school is based upon the principle that everyone starts at the basics and learns a foundation, which seems standard at most schools. In the beginner's class I am in now, we do about 10% on forms, 10% on cardio, and the other 80% is partner drills - mostly 3 point blocking, toe and heel kicks on pads, various strikes. I'm at a point now where I am being offered an option to cross into a more intensive class that I need to test into to be part of. The class is an extra 30 minutes long, which is spent is actual full contact sparring with headgear, etc.

Here's where my alarm is going off and I'm wondering if this is normal, or something is off:

The class that is more fighting intensive is an extra $45 per month. It's taught by the school owner and is, as I said, 30 minutes more. I am already paying $104 per month with a military discount for being a veteran. The school also charges for sash promotions, and things like Chin Na or weapons are extra in the form of seminars.

There are other schools out there that are teaching Kempo Karate, or TKD for around $80 per month, but most of the schools I've talked to have been telling me they do mostly forms work and that I should look into MMA schools if I want to fight...

I seem to have found a good balance of traditional and fighting, but the fees are kind of making me wonder. I can provide more background on the owner's justification on why he is more expensive if you want. What do you guys think? Should I just suck up the extra money, or look elsewhere at the expense of another style and starting over. Most of the other schools in my area are Karate or TKD.

Sorry for the long post, but thanks for reading - lots of background ...
Scanz
Sounds like my old school before, the changes. So, it is a McDojo. It doesn't mean it is a bad school nor, does it mean it is bullshido.


The school also charges for sash promotions, and things like Chin Na or weapons are extra in the form of seminars. I will always hate this type of school. Especially when inclusive things are charged for as extra.


Anyway, if it is the best you can find at this point stay. If you like it stay. I checked out 30 schools, back in the day, before settling on my McDojo. List what you want to get out of a MA class and search around if it bothers you that much.

Otherwise, suck up the cost.

foxguitar
8/12/2008 12:08pm,
I dunno most schools in the NY are are $150 a month .That goes for BJJ , Karate , TKD , what have you .

If you like your training the extra few bucks wont kill you , besides you would only piss it away .

The one thing I dont like , is alot posters say stay away from Karate or TKD , I dont think its the art , If you find a good Karate teacher or TKD , you could do a helluva alot of sparring and real training.

But getting back to your school and instructor . I think you should be happy that your instructor is still learning himself , usually what that means he is learning cool stuff that will be passed to you.

My advice if you like your training the extra bucks are well worth it and reasonable.

scanz
8/12/2008 12:22pm,
Thanks. It's definitely NOT point sparring. Here's a youtube video showing two students who are just starting out in the fighting program.

YouTube - Fixed Feet Sparring (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUwr8bnMRf0)

My understanding is that at this stage shown in the video, they are only doing fixed feet sparring in a controlled environment to increase comfort level. As they progress, they naturally add more movement, etc.

I didn't want to do Muay Tai because I have done the mixed martial arts/kick boxing thing and it just wasn't fullfilling my desire. I wanted something a little more traditional. I like praying mantis so far because it's strike-heavy, but it's more than just kicking and punching. There really aren't many other Kung Fu schools in my area. There's one that teaches Shaolin styles, including baji and pigua, but I have heard they are very form heavy and I am personally not interested in that aspect of training very much. The other Kung Fu place is more of a fitness focus. Aside from that, it's a bunch of Kempo Karate schools and TKD.

Did any of you guys take a look at the link I sent of the school in San Diego, where my teacher's teacher goes? Any thoughts on lineage, etc?

Anyway, thanks again for all the great feedback.

Scanz

It is Fake
8/12/2008 12:36pm,
Just so you know, this isn't the best forum for CMA lineage questions.


Look, you really need to make the decision. There are things that are going to be picked apart in the above video, from the stance to the guard. The video of sparring, on the website, will get picked apart.



I wanted something a little more traditional. I like praying mantis so far because it's strike-heavy, but it's more than just kicking and punching.
Check some Kyokushin Karate schools.
Judo is also traditional.
Muay Thai is also a traditional art.

Don't fall into that trap.

Also, look at Kung fu schools that offer Sanda or Sanshou in their curriculum.