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View Full Version : "It gets SO much f***ing better than that Arch! You have NO IDEA, I'm LEAVING!"



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G-Off
6/09/2009 1:51am,
(title = Patton Oswalt quote)

So I'm finally leaving the mcdojo within the next week to do boxing/jits/strength training more of the time. 16 years of wasted time, 3 worthless degrees of "black belt," uncounted bad habits in kickboxing technique...yeah, this is long overdue.

I know there's a ton of threads on "how to leave your school," I was just hoping for some advice on a few specific situational things.

-First, I'm wondering how to approach the conversation. Since this isn't the kind of thing you do over email or even the phone, I'll have to go out in person. The studio is a half hour away, sort of a pain but no big deal, but I teach Wednesdays and train/never show up on Mondays and Thursdays. The advice part is, the studio head is there on Mon & Thurs, and his son and second in command is in charge of the class I help to teach on Wednesday.

First Question:
1. Having made this decision, do I tell my immediate instructor on Wed. because it's the soonest date possible, or do I wait till Thursday because the head of the studio should be told first?

-Secondly, I'd prefer to stay on good terms with at least the studio head's son. Not because of any friendship concerns...that would be nice, but I'm too sick of the BS there to care about maintaining friendship over training intelligently. I'd prefer to stay on good terms because I'm applying for grad schools this summer and have a (glowing) recommendation letter written by the Wed. night instructor that I'd really like to use. 12 years of teaching is hard to replicate for recommendation letter purposes. While on the one hand I'd hope he'd be professional enough to let me use the letter regardless of where I train, I know it might be unrealistic to have him be that gracious if I'm implying the art he teaches is crap.

2. Any advice on getting my reasons for leaving across while minimizing the danger of having the letter pulled? How far do I go in being diplomatic versus, well...honest?

Those are the major concerns. Minor ones include whether or not I offer to keep teaching for a week or two while the teaching schedule is re-shuffled, and what I say if asked about leaving by parents/younger students. I'd appreciate advice on the 2 major ones, the minor ones I figure can take care of themselves unless anyone has really good advice already. Don't waste brainspace on it otherwise.

Thoughts/stories/advice? Thanks.

Sam Browning
6/09/2009 1:58am,
What monthly or yearly contracts have you signed with them? If you are still under contract make sure you have a copy of this document before you even broach this subject to them.

G-Off
6/09/2009 1:59am,
What monthly or yearly contracts have you signed with them? If you are still under contract make sure you have a copy of this document before you even broach this subject to them.

This is the good part, there's no contracts of any sort. You just pay for 3 months at a time, no paper involved, and stop paying when you want to stop coming.

Thanks for looking out for the legal side though.

Sam Browning
6/09/2009 2:01am,
If you want to save the recommendation tell them that you have some sort of job or family responsibilies that have suddenly and dramatically increased. Talk to the son, since if you talk to dad, he is more likely to try to find your real reasons for leaving.

Seedle Avenger
6/09/2009 2:16am,
Yeah, that was basically my idea.

Make up a good lie, that'll stand till you've used the letter then.. Well, doesn't really matter what they know, after that.

G-Off
6/09/2009 2:17am,
If you want to save the recommendation tell them that you have some sort of job or family responsibilies that have suddenly and dramatically increased. Talk to the son, since if you talk to dad, he is more likely to try to find your real reasons for leaving.

Ah...a few wrinkles I definitely should have mentioned. First, the son is an adult (30), so it's not likely to be any easier convincing him. Second, and more importantly, the studio owner and my dad both work at Penn State. They're in different departments and as far as I know never see each other...still, it's a large risk to be less than honest when there's a chance they might speak to one another.

Whacker
6/09/2009 2:21am,
Building on SB's recommendation, it often helps if you can build on something that really is happening in your life and just overexaggerate the hell out of it in a very believable way, in essence making up a "white lie". Don't elaborate at all or as little as possible when having the discussion, keep it simple. Be as sincere as you can, if there are friends you have there that you generally do feel bad about not training with any more, keep that in the forefront of your mind. Do NOT be thinking about "time wasted" or negative thoughts, try to think about any good experiences or lessons you learned there and temporarily forget about the rest. You may wish to make this appear to be something temporary, as in half a year or so, whatever works with your story. Downside is you may have to deal with the issue again in the future. So good frame of mind, good story, leave it at that. Best of luck.

Edit - All the more reason to keep it as simple as possible, yet believable. Explain the situation to your dad and ask him to play along if needed.

LThornton
6/09/2009 2:36am,
This is a WTSDA school, right? If it's like those I know, it's stated flat-out that it's not competition focused. Not being one for lying, I'd probably just say I'm young and right now I want to do more competition-based training, which seems to be true for you. Leave it open-ended without ever saying you'll be back.

G-Off
6/09/2009 2:44am,
This is a WTSDA school, right? If it's like those I know, it's stated flat-out that it's not competition focused. Not being one for lying, I'd probably just say I'm young and right now I want to do more competition-based training, which seems to be true for you. Leave it open-ended without ever saying you'll be back.

Yes, it is a WTSDA school. That seems more in line with what I was considering, especially since I've used random responsibility excuses for missing the past few...months worth of classes =P In reality of course, I was doing useful things like punching and being punched.

I thought about something vague like Tang Soo didn't fit my "martial goals" or something like that. If pressed I'd probably say I wanted to do competition, yeah.

Jiujitsu77
6/09/2009 2:58am,
When I left my kung fu school after 6 years of training and also being
an assistant instructor, I sat down with my Sifu and told him that
I had found something that suited me better personally. I told him how
grappling seemed to come naturally to me and wanted to persue it full time.

He seemed sad that I was leaving but I think he respected my honesty.
I see him every now and then and he always asks me how my training is
going.

G-Off
6/09/2009 3:05am,
When I left my kung fu school after 6 years of training and also being
an assistant instructor, I sat down with my Sifu and told him that
I had found something that suited me better personally. I told him how
grappling seemed to come naturally to me and wanted to persue it full time.

He seemed sad that I was leaving but I think he respected my honesty.
I see him every now and then and he always asks me how my training is
going.

Thanks for the story. I'm hoping it'll turn out like this.

alex
6/09/2009 4:09am,
yeah, i was quite chummy with my KF instructor before i switched over to KB. i just said to him that i was looking to try a more sport combat focus. he was sad to see me go but was pretty cool with it.

JudOWNED
6/09/2009 6:32am,
So you're applying for Grad School and are having trouble thinking of an excuse to quit training? lol How about, you're starting Grad School! You know... Hard work, lots of studying, possibly moving, that kind of stuff.

If not, pull the "burn out" card. "Gee, Sensei/Sifu/Celestial Grand Master, you may have noticed I only show up for the one night a week I teach, lately. I've just been losing interest and getting kind of burned out. Plus I am applying for Grad Schools and have a lot going on in my life right now. I think, at the end of this month, I'm going to call it quits for a while. Thanks for everything... yadda, yadda." Voila!

Loginfailed
6/09/2009 6:48am,
Polite vagueness might be in order. Something like "I kinda want to take a look around at what else is out there, get a new perspective on things. Feels like I'm letting myself get in a bit of a rut... not sure where it'll go. Probably nowhere..." (wry smile, shrug).

It's not untrue, and it leaves the door open. You may never intend to come back, but it's not a harsh parting.

Or yeah, you could try 'I'm off to grad school pretty soon, everything is changing. Chances are I'll be back once things settle down a bit."

cyril
6/09/2009 8:34am,
If not, pull the "burn out" card. "Gee, Sensei/Sifu/Celestial Grand Master, you may have noticed I only show up for the one night a week I teach, lately. I've just been losing interest and getting kind of burned out. Plus I am applying for Grad Schools and have a lot going on in my life right now. I think, at the end of this month, I'm going to call it quits for a while. Thanks for everything... yadda, yadda." Voila!

Or going along with this (which is close enough to honesty for me, were I in your situation) I would tell my instructor that while I'm young, I'd like to experience other styles of martial arts and train towards competition.

foxd
6/09/2009 8:43am,
When I left my JJJ school, I didn't show up for a few months, but then felt really guilty because all the people there were nice as hell. I did what a people here already said; I went in, sat down, and told the instructor that I just wanted to do more a more competitive oriented martial art. I actually think he noticed I wasn't happy doing it, so he was cool with me leaving.