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    My first Mcdojo...

    Usually I only read but don't post, but I had to share this experience with you people.

    I've been learning chinese kung fu on and off for a while(mostly due to the fact that my parents move a lot and I have to pay for the lessons out of my own pocket), so i've seen a lot of different styles like Shaolin, Wing Chun, Ba Ji, Hsing Yi, etc. Lately, I've been doing Jeet Kune Do/Grappling seriously just because it's easier and quicker to learn around my area(and very effective to boot).

    I was so excited when I got to college, since I figured I'd be staying in one place for 4 years, and be able to take a free(or reduced price) class in real chinese kung fu. So I showed up to my first class today, and I was.......shocked. This guy teaches kung fu, but he calls the sparring "Kumite", and the forms "kata". He encourages us to call him sensei, and to respond "osu"(yes in japanese) at his request. I was a little thrown off by the language inconsitencies, but no matter. I was determined to learn.

    He then started to show off the first form(starting with the salute). I've taken shaolin under 2-3 different instructors, and the salute is pretty much the same. The salute that THIS guy showed me was dropping into horse stance, extending your right hand out in a fist, and putting your left fist to your right bicep(across your chest) while shouting Kiai!(or Ha! or something), then stepping back to ready stance. And I believe his reasoning was that it showed we were "punching from the heart".....

    Anyway, with regards to the forms that he showed us, it was all karate/kempo style, hard blocking, hard striking, etc. Definitely not Kung Fu. Later on, he showed off the more "advanced" styles, like Chang Quan. I'm sorry....what he showed was NOT chang quan. Chinese martial arts for the most part is very fluid. THe form he showed us went from awkward stance to awkward stance(at one point, his students did a downward groin block in horse stance, then jumped 180 degrees to do a downward groin block in horse stance in the opposite direction!). He also tried to show us the 7 Animal stances used in Shaolin. I could be wrong, but I remember Shaolin having quite a bit more animals than just 7(Panther, Tiger, Dragon, Snake, Crane, Mantis, Eagle, Monkey?). Anyway, with regard to the stances, they were pretty useless...I dont' even know how to describe some of them. Needless to say, I was more than a little taken aback...


    He then proceeded to show us Shuai Jiao/Chin Na. Everything seemedmostly useless. No groundwork whatsoever, just takedowns, and not efficient ones at that. He made no mention of the famous double leg/single leg take downs, and the chin na locks he had seemed to be all reliant on "compliance"(Besides of which, I'm starting to doubt that Chin Na has any practical application).

    Well I had pretty much made up my mind that this was a Mcdojo, and the sparring clinched it. Now these guys were green belts(who supposedly had been learning for 3 years or so now). They were TERRIBLE. it was low contact, one hit(and back away) sparring. Takedowns were allowed, but you werent' allowed to follow up. No punch combos or anything. Even with these limitations, these green belts had the worst habits of A) not countering when the opponent screws up B) not feinting C)kicking off BALANCE. These guys were even encouraged to stay in the Animal stances! I'm pretty sure even with my relative lack of experience, I could take them out. Granted, I didnt' see the black belts spar(they were ALL out for some reason), but I definitely wasn't expecting too much out of them. Now he claims that his students have entered numerous tournaments and won many top awards. But i'm a little dubious about that...

    Now, I'm not saying the guy that was teaching this was completely unskilled, or completely full of it. the kicks/punches/flexibility he showed off were pretty decent(but more was to be expected with someone that took 25+ years of training in martial arts). He just couldn't teach(didn't teach any of the newbs how to side kick or front kick, just assumed everybody knew). Not only that, he seemed way too hung up on the fact that he knew "112 forms of Chin Na"(there's only 108 movements in Chin Na I believe), and X number of Shuai Jiao moves. Throughout the entire sparring time, he was cracking his neck and knuckles, giving off the aura that he wanted to fight one of us. I dunno, that seemed kinda childish of him to want to fight some relatively unskilled beginners. Now, I'm sure he could take me(but then again, I've only been seriously learning/practicing for about 6 months). But I simply couldn't believe what he was passing off as "kung fu", or any real martial art in general. If any of his students(that i saw) got into a real fight, they'd get beaten so easily, it wouldn't even be funny.

    Anyway, any comments/questions about this potential mcdojo, or suggestions on what I should do with regards to martial arts training now?
    Last edited by jhsu; 10/11/2004 11:13pm, .

    #2
    Sounds pretty bad...horse stance groin block to horse stance groin block...lol.

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      #3
      It's good that this site provides a base to allow you to recognize the flaws. I was wondering on a somewhat related note, perhaps I have missed it completely (and would not be suprised if that is the case), but either is there or could there be a place on this site where schools that have in general seemed to meet a consensus on not being mcdojos could be listed (maybe in groups of at least by state, etc). I think that would be neat. And yes, I do realize that the nature of discussion/argument and the distributed location of the members here makes it hard to "legitimize" any given school, but it would be at least something of a starting point since in theory the majority of people here posting have the same goals of training in decent locations.

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        #4
        I was thinking that might be a good idea...I guess mabye if a few established members acknowledge a school as being legit, and the staff agrees as well, that'd be helpful.

        Comment


          #5
          Why are you only going for Chinese kung fu? That is silliness, sillier even more if you are doing it for the 'cultural experience'

          Go find somewhere else to train, and avoid this silly place.


          and the chin na locks he had seemed to be all reliant on "compliance"(Besides of which, I'm starting to doubt that Chin Na has any practical application).
          Wow. Thank you for your decisive conclusions. This is a crap school from you post, and the guy will likely be crap himself. Yet you are hardly in any position to give any conclusion on chin na.
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            #6
            Originally posted by I Choke You
            I was thinking that might be a good idea...I guess mabye if a few established members acknowledge a school as being legit, and the staff agrees as well, that'd be helpful.
            Things are easier said than done, but I could almost see a secondary banner ad system any interested schools that checked out ok could use too...again much easier written about than done by the people who are running this site on top of their training and work/family schedules.

            It would be really neat though seeing the schools in various styles and areas that have maybe not a stamp of approval but at least are recommended by members with good credentials.

            Comment


              #7
              To PizDoff: Did you happen to notice the part in my post where I said I've recently begun to take up JKD/Grappling? In my younger days, I was solely interested in taking Kung Fu, but now I'm more open-minded(mostly due to sites like Bullshido), so i'm willing to go the MMA route to fighting. I'm interested in taking Kung Fu as a supplement to JKD/Grappling, not only because of it's aesthetic qualities, but also because when trained right, it seems to be a pretty good SD system.

              I have learned a bit of Chin Na(not a whole lot mind you), but from what I've learned, it doesnt' seem effective. TO ME, it doesnt' seem effective. If i'm wrong, by all means, correct me. I didn't say its' the decisive "be all, end all" decision on Chin Na, did I?

              Pizdoff, why don't you quit being so aggressive and chill out?

              Comment


                #8
                Re: My first Mcdojo...

                Originally posted by jhsu
                Anyway, with regards to the forms that he showed us, it was all karate/kempo style, hard blocking, hard striking, etc. Definitely not Kung Fu. Later on, he showed off the more "advanced" styles, like Chang Quan. I'm sorry....what he showed was NOT chang quan. Chinese martial arts for the most part is very fluid. THe form he showed us went from awkward stance to awkward stance(at one point, his students did a downward groin block in horse stance, then jumped 180 degrees to do a downward groin block in horse stance in the opposite direction!). He also tried to show us the 7 Animal stances used in Shaolin. I could be wrong, but I remember Shaolin having quite a bit more animals than just 7(Panther, Tiger, Dragon, Snake, Crane, Mantis, Eagle, Monkey?). Anyway, with regard to the stances, they were pretty useless...I dont' even know how to describe some of them. Needless to say, I was more than a little taken aback...
                Your CMA background seems to be Northern.......Southern CMA had very different outlook,and using hard blocking, hard striking is quite a common characeristic of Southern CMA(which karate and kempo are mostly based on).Also Southern CMA is not so fluid as Northern
                But despite that it is obvious that the instructor that you had described is teaching crap~~~
                "People think that judo is only unarmed combat - but you are never unarmed when you can hit someone with a planet. "
                - Uncyclopedia entry on Judo

                Comment


                  #9
                  Pizdoff, why don't you quit being so aggressive and chill out?
                  If you knew PizDoff, you'd realize how funny this line is.
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                    #10
                    Re: Re: My first Mcdojo...

                    Ok piz made me laff :P
                    Southern sounds absolutely nothing like what he described l.o.l. I have done northern forms, they all seem to be fairly fluid, but so does most of the pak mei i've seen. TAI CHI IS TEH FLIUD 2!!

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                      #11
                      Tough luck. Keep looking around and you're bound to find something.
                      Dedicated to legs and the disrespecting thereof.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sounds like "Shorinji Kempo" which is basically Japanese for "Shaolin Kung-Fu". That might explain why they are using Japanese terminology in a "Kung Fu" school. That would also explain why it looks like karate. It's a Japanese take on Kung-Fu.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jhsu
                          To PizDoff: Did you happen to notice the part in my post where I said I've recently begun to take up JKD/Grappling? In my younger days, I was solely interested in taking Kung Fu, but now I'm more open-minded(mostly due to sites like Bullshido), so i'm willing to go the MMA route to fighting. I'm interested in taking Kung Fu as a supplement to JKD/Grappling, not only because of it's aesthetic qualities, but also because when trained right, it seems to be a pretty good SD system.

                          I have learned a bit of Chin Na(not a whole lot mind you), but from what I've learned, it doesnt' seem effective. TO ME, it doesnt' seem effective. If i'm wrong, by all means, correct me. I didn't say its' the decisive "be all, end all" decision on Chin Na, did I?

                          Pizdoff, why don't you quit being so aggressive and chill out?
                          Hahaha! If you found that agressive, then you won't last long in this world. :D

                          Hmm, good you say you are open minded NOW, but all I got was enthusiasm at learning the real kung fu in your first post.
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                            #14
                            Does this place have a website?

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                              #15
                              This school sounds alot like Fred villari's Shoalin Kempo. Everything they do looks like standard karate and they teach Chin Na that doesn't look effecive

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