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    The ATA masters

    The ATA has a whole bunch of 'masters'. Has anyone here trained with any of them and does anyone know what merits they have?

    I'm asking because I've attended a seminar with senior master Steven Westbrook, who seemed like a badass. Though to someone with only 3 months of TKD as MA experience at the time I was probably not very hard to impress. He taught the ATA Protech 'groundfighting' system, which he claimed to have developed in collaboration with the Gracie family.

    My TKD-instructor has a level 1 certificate in this 'groundfighting' and his grappling skills are..

    well..

    (in my triangle) "Oh but I could gouge your eyes out from here".

    #2
    Run, don't walk, away from ATA.

    It's total shit.

    PL

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      #3
      Megalef,

      The real power behind the ATA is one Chief Master William Clark. Bill Clark was a fully certified badass back in the 70's as a full contact karate guy...when open karate tournaments were not pussified by various protective gear. I'm certain if you do a google search, you will find all you need to concerning William Clark's credentials.

      To his credit, Chief Master Clark embraced BJJ earlier than most TMA'ers and flew Rickson in to Florida to train his staff after the first several UFC's. To the best of my knowledge Chief Master Clark still flys out to CA and trains with Rickson on occasion and due to first-hand knowledge from a friend who is a head ATA school instructor, Chief Master Clark is still a bad ass himself despite being in his mid-50's.

      With that being said, what Chief Master Clark may be most famous for is creating successful business systems for martial arts...what many of us would consider McDojo-ism. Besides his association with the ATA (those in the know claim he is the power behind the ATA) and his involvement with Mike Chat and the XMA. Chief Master Clark has for many years been one of the most sought after speakers concerning the successful building of a martial arts school/business. He commands quite impressive fees for his seminars in this regard and himself still owns outright or partially at least a dozen schools.

      Although Chief Master Clark has a few instructors who are very, very competent fighters including at least one MMA fighter (maybe it is KB/MT) and the instructors he has imported from Argentina and South America. The majority of his instructors in my opinion could be handled by most semi-competent fighters with ease.

      The ATA "groundfighting" system is a joke...if you can't get any real ground training, you could always try it...but you'll most likely pick up some bad habits.

      Gringo Grande
      MMA Record vs Llamas 0-1-0
      (The Llama bit my junk but the ref didn't see it).

      Comment


        #4
        MMA Record vs Llamas 0-1-0
        (The Llama bit my junk but the ref didn't see it).

        Comment


          #5
          This is just heart warming... (http://www.martialinfo.com/Articles/...view.asp?i=202)


          A Rags-to-Riches Tae Kwon Do Tale

          How does a poor U.S. immigrant from Paraguay become a martial arts mogul with 12 schools and 2,500 students in just a dozen years? See how Florida's Sergio Von Schmeling rose from poverty to prosperity as a living example of the American Martial Arts Dream.

          Like most of the four-million inhabitants of Paraguay, Von Schmeling's father was a farmer who grew only enough crops to feed his family of ten children. Von Schmeling remembers that they had no electricity and no running water.

          Von Schmeling's first taekwon do instructor wasn't the best example of the tenants of the martial arts. "He sat at his desk drinking beer and smoking," he says. "And he regularly beat us up."

          In 1988, Von Schmeling and his wife, Maria, sold all their possessions in Paraguay and moved with their two-year-old son, Hermann, to the U.S. They brought with them only what they could pack into a few suitcases. He then taught for Master Bill Clark in Jacksonville, Florida, for five years.

          "[Life] should be a picture of joy as well as success. I am happy. I have been married for sixteen years and have four children -- that is joy and success."

          One of Master Von Schmeling's biggest goals is to have 100 schools at the manageable size of 200 students each.

          Right in the middle of the South American continent sits the poor nation of Paraguay. Its main exports are coffee, cotton, lumber and -- taekwondo. That's right, taekwondo. About a dozen years ago, Master Sergio Von Schmeling brought his successful martial arts teaching formula from Paraguay to the United States. Today he is one of, if not the most successful ATA (American Taekwondo Association) owners in the United States, with 12 schools and over 2,500 students.
          But it was not an easy road for this immigrant who could only speak a few words of English when he arrived in Florida in 1989....
          "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

          Comment


            #6
            It IS possible to be McDojo and still teach effective MA. TSK is apparently one of these. If I were trying to make a lot of $$$ in MA, I'd be looking to do it without watering down my style.

            Fortunately for me, I have a career.
            Originally posted by pauli
            i was once told that "do" means wrecking people's shit for your own philosophical betterment.

            Originally posted by melvin_peebles
            I could be mistaking dumbness for delusion. I'll have to go dig out my DSM IV. It's great to have stumbled upon this site. The rich fauna and flora of mental dysfunction that exists in the martial arts is amazing. It's like the Galapagos.

            Comment


              #7
              hey Gringo, do you know how they pitch their prospective students, and why they're so successful?

              This is a nice example of the divergence of interests, I can understand why $, Clark places more emphasis on recruitment then teaching, and since he wants to make the bucks I won't expect him to do otherwise. However it would be in the interest of a prospective student to avoid his school and go some place in which teaching was viewed as more important then maximizing profit. What a student would want and what the instructor desires in this case is quite different.

              Comment


                #8
                The ATA "groundfighting" system is a joke...if you can't get any real ground training, you could always try it...but you'll most likely pick up some bad habits.
                Yes, I remember crossing the legs when taking the back and pronouncing Rickson with an R.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Samuel, do you feel this would be one of those things I might be better off PM you with? I don't know how "proprietary" a lot of that info is.

                  Gringo Grande
                  MMA Record vs Llamas 0-1-0
                  (The Llama bit my junk but the ref didn't see it).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Missing posts moved here: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107759
                    Shut the hell up and train.

                    Comment

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