Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

My McDojo's "Point of No Return"

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    I left a no-gi BJJ school for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the instructor had no real interest in instructing new students (me) but remained busy with his fighters and promoting fights (he helped run a local MMA promotion). That and repeatedly being injured by people who muscled submissions during drills and I lost interests. The plethora of teenage blue belts who had no interest in helping a beginner develop skills and every intention of tapping me no matter the cost, and I was done.

    Thankfully I found a Judo club that was great, and I was very sad to leave when I moved to a different state.

    Comment


      Last edited by Sovvolf; 4/05/2014 12:15pm, .

      Comment


        My first MA experience was Aikido. I was a chunky 15 year old computer nerd, and I wanted to learn to defend myself. Someone managed to convince my mother that Aikido was the "thinking man's martial art" and she insisted that I take it. At first I enjoyed the class, but after several months I still felt like I had yet to learn anything practical, so I decided to ask the instructor (a sixth dan) and techniques for defending against punches and kicks. He muttered something about me understanding how to actually defend myself once I understood the underlying mechanics of aikido. During class that day he then had us do a really dumb drill that involved defending against a kick while kneeling. After class that day he then gave one of the most passive-aggressive speeches in history, where he went on about respect, not asking to many questions, and why trying to understand how to actually fight makes you a bad person.

        I didn't show up for awhile after that, but a few weeks later I did go back for one more class where I spent most of the times getting yelled at even though I was following his directions to the letter. After that I just quit. No fanfare, no explanation, no nothing. I just let my membership lapse, and never returned.

        More than three years later I decided that I needed to make a change in my life and found a good MT gym. I also started attending the BJJ class there, and doing some Judo on Friday's after school with my English teacher. I'm pretty happy now.

        Comment


          My McDojo's "Point of No Return"

          I apologize for your aikido experience. We had a new student, who is a sherif deputy, ask that question in his second class. My teachers response was to spend most of the aikido class free sparring. It was a good class, but our teacher is super laid back, and let's us train however we want.

          There is definitely a lot of passive aggressiveness and arrogance in the aikido world.

          Comment


            Originally posted by daishi View Post
            I apologize for your aikido experience. We had a new student, who is a sherif deputy, ask that question in his second class. My teachers response was to spend most of the aikido class free sparring. It was a good class, but our teacher is super laid back, and let's us train however we want.

            There is definitely a lot of passive aggressiveness and arrogance in the aikido world.
            Yeah. Part of what made me think there was better aikido out there (and made me leave that dojo) was spending a few days doing it with the previously mentioned English teacher. In addition to his Judo BB and some middle rank in Shotokan, he also has a third degree BB in aikido, which he got during his time in japan during the late 60s/early 70s. I have nothing but respect for that man. He's in his early sixties, and he is still incredibly fast.

            Comment


              I'm blessed in that my martial arts federation has two styles of aikido, plus just about everyone cross trains between aikido, karate, judo/jujitsu, or some combination.We even have several guys that train outside our organization in tai chi, Kung fu, escrima, BJJ, jidokwan, GoJu, etc...and if someone wants to practice something from their outside training, if it makes sense, we will spend at least some time doing it. Our wed and Fri judo/Jujistu class is informally a BJJ class as the guy that runs that is a BJJ shodan or first kyu. We've done a little escrima just for fun...not sure if we've ever done any of the stuff from the Chinese stuff a couple of the guys do (I think those places are all forms and they do them for health reasons).

              We had an 8th Yoshinkan instructor come in from Japan. This guy is either late 60's or early 70's. He threw me so hard I couldn't hear out of my left ear for like 20 seconds.... and I have very good ukemi. Impressive man...he's given his entire life to his martial art, and he just has that air of presence that people tend to have when they are great at something.

              Comment


                To add some background to the story I am going to share I have taken a variety of martial arts since I was four, my primary styles were karate and judo until I started bujinkan in my late 20's, this is where my story begins.

                As i've mentioned in other posts before the reason I started martial arts is due to the huge influx of martial arts movies during the 80's specifically the ones around ninjitsu like american ninja and ninja 3 the domination. Bare in mind I am like 4, 5, 6 years old and I see these things and I am like cool I want to learn it so I start martial arts.

                Anyhow if I continue with the above it's going to become a different post so what got me to walk out. So I took bujinkan for a few years, and maybe about a year or two ago we had some new students come in and they were younger they were teenagers and I was working with one of them on omote gyuku dori *excuse the spelling* and he said " I can't imagine pulling off this move in real life" and i'll admit I tried...not to explain but to see if it were possible and I wasn't able to...but that wasn't what got me to walk out...not yet anyway.

                The following class my sensei decided we should do some randori with the clause of take it easy it's about "technique" at that point I was thinking...even if I perfect the technique the likelyhood of catching someone in something like this would be nigh impossible...short of them being stunned I just don't see it... so anyhow we start with the randori and the guy I am sparring with decides he wants to take it up a notch and start punching faster than my ability to get any of the typical "holds" we are taught...so okay fine...

                Here's where I just stopped: He throws a punch which instead of doing our typical block I kick him in the gut with a side kick, which stuns him enough for me to punch him twice, grab his arm for an ipon seionage and then as he's falling proceed to go into an armbar *I have a background in judo*

                My sensei flips his lid and says " I know you have a background in other styles and I know that you've been doing it for a long time but you need to start transitioning into more of what we do".

                Had I done anything that he suggested or even tried I would have gotten hurt, furthermore if "technique" was the point my technique was flawless if i were able to do the above. I don't know if it was the rigid mentality of it all or the reliazation that although the techniques look great and would work, the circumstances in which you would need to find yourself in for them to work is too miniscule and unrealistic.

                So now I'm not training besides weight training although I do intend to join a karate dojo nearby which also offers iaido and go back to my roots...to me it's not about being "good" in a fight...I just want to go back to the thing that I love which was train for the sake of training and feeling good that im learning and growing...

                I should also mention as a person I love my sensei, he's a great guy but I just don't have it in me to tell him im done...this of course only a few weeks after he made me a shidan...

                Comment


                  I'll have a piece of this thread...

                  1994- Stepped into my first Shotokan Club after several years of getting bullied at school/ low self esteem etc. Did kata for about 2 years. Thought this was how it is done (i.e. Mr. Miyagi style). one day the instructor (4th degree BKA) said we would do some free sparring. As an exhuberant 16 year old I stood opposite a similar graded belt who, from the off, did a jump front kick, no contact at all, got awarded a point and that was it done. 2 years. 10 seconds of sparring. Left to go to university and only regretted those 2 years after realising what was what in MA...

                  1996- went off to university. Couldn't find a shotokan school. Found ITF TKD and Wing Chun school. Flipped a coin and got TKD. Didn't know much about the styles back then but strongly feel that lady luck smiled upon me that day...

                  Rate my instructor. Rate his ability. Rate his teaching methods. We did good, solid sparring. We had guest instructors regularly from thai boxing, boxing, kick boxing, Jiu Jitsu and senior grades came to our little town for seminars too.

                  Don't rate the cost of official ITF seminars/ equipment etc. Don't rate the light contact that can be encouraged in some competitions. Don't rate the limitation of the style when compared to cross training with MMA/ BJJ/ Thai etc.

                  I don't train in this anymore. I Regret that my instructor is bound to train under certain guidelines as he really is a life mentor for me having seen me through tough times since I was 18 years old (I'm now nearly 37). He is about 60 now and I would be delighted to go rounds with him and land one decent kick or punch! The guy really leads from the front which is an example to all of us.

                  2011ish- decided to go to a local JJJ class for a bit of cross training fun. My experience in the beautiful ground game at that point consisted of several sessions in a (badly) matted garage with a mate of mine who went to Helsinki for a few months and trained in the GB gym out there.

                  Did randori on 2nd or 3rd session. Handled myself fine against coloured belts. Instructor (who was not exactly a shining example of fitness) stepped up to put me in my place and we stalemated. I wanted him to own me. Show me technique that would satiate my thirst for learning. He didn't. Had I have been able to strike I feel like I would have spilled his blood. I left very disappointed indeed. Was it a mcdojo? Not sure. Their techniques were 'real' enough. When applied they worked. The training was too compliant and the association placed very little emphasis on competing.

                  2012ish- conversely- went to local MMA gym. Guy has many years experience in Hun Gar (I believe this is how it is spelled) and a very short lineage to founder. He trained for about 7 years with Braulio Estima in BJJ and also in kickboxing too before even considering teaching an MMA syllabus to the public and that experience, coupled with ABILITY to teach and desire to share information gave me the pleasure of learning from an amazing instructor who was very technical.

                  This school I advocate immensely and he has gone on to produce title holders accordingly. Awesome gym. Awesome guys. Awesome instructor.

                  The difference this makes cannot be quantified in words. It has to be experienced to truly understand what a good school/ instructor really is.

                  Enjoy your training people :)

                  Comment


                    Been over TEN YEARS since CT started this thread. Wish he was still around, but if wishes came true I'd be a BJJ black by now. Not too many McDojos here in Hilo Hawai'i, but I did check out the Wado-ryu dojo and was saddened. Lots of kata. Lots and lots of kata. And more kata. So scratch that one. The aikido I should go watch as the sensei is 92 years old and locally famous. I work out some at BJ Penn's gym and if I say it's a Mcdojo they'll beat me up.
                    "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


                      Originally posted by patfromlogan View Post
                      I did check out the Wado-ryu dojo and was saddened. Lots of kata. Lots and lots of kata. And more kata. So scratch that one.
                      As I mentioned in another thread, a couple months back I dropped by a friend's dojo to assist in a black belt test. The guy being tested had to do ELEVEN different kata. ELEVEN KATA. There was no free sparring. NO FREE SPARRING. They had me chase him about in free motion fight drill limited to just a specific two-punch combo and no other technique allowed. I still had to hold back a lot to keep from murdering the guy with just that.

                      Eleven kata. No free sparring. Good grief.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by ksennin View Post
                        As I mentioned in another thread, a couple months back I dropped by a friend's dojo to assist in a black belt test. The guy being tested had to do ELEVEN different kata. ELEVEN KATA. There was no free sparring. NO FREE SPARRING. They had me chase him about in free motion fight drill limited to just a specific two-punch combo and no other technique allowed. I still had to hold back a lot to keep from murdering the guy with just that.

                        Eleven kata. No free sparring. Good grief.
                        I'm assuming your friend is the instructor, you want to give him a slap around the head.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Sovvolf View Post
                          I'm assuming your friend is the instructor, you want to give him a slap around the head.
                          I have given up arguing with him about how martial arts should be taught. Not worth the bad blood. And it is his school, his choice.

                          The thing is that he used to spar decades ago, when we took karate together as students. He also has a background in TKD and Hun Gar training. But as he got older, and became A TEACHER, he stopped sparring, and began to buy more and more into the often preached idea that kata is the "soul of karate". He now trains only exclusively thru kata himself. A few black belts from different schools gather every Saturday to train at his place since he has the largest place with full mats. He sits out on all the hard training everyone else does and just joins in for kata/bunkai, which he leads, of course. He does weights on the side, but it has been ages since I have seen him do intensive kihon, much less any paired drills or bag/pad work.

                          Now, he is a few years older than me, and I know that most people do not want to keep fighting past a point, feeling they have already "paid their dues". But I often wonder it is a matter of really believing into the kata dogma, or just the matter that once someone is a "teacher" they do not want the pressure of showing their diminishing physical skills in comparison to the younger, upcoming fighters, and thus, step aside completely for positions of authority but not participation. I wonder if one can really still be called an active martial artist at that point.

                          A while back I saw that martial arts show where that Western guy who had training Kyokushin and fought in K-1 showcased different arts, and in the karate episode he went to the school of a former KK fighting champion who had now renounced combat and was convinced as well that it was all about the basics and, of course, the kata. How can someone who has fought and won have such a shift of mind? Can I be the one mistaken in thinking of kata as just an atavistic training method that was useful for "storing" knowledge in old times but has been superseded by modern methods, or is it a matter of turning the back willingly on something just because they can no longer remain at the top?

                          Comment


                            No sparring on a black belt test? Wow. Jeez, we do sparring at yellow belt test. I don't think having to know a lot of forms is a problem per se, but if *all* you're doing is forms, you might as well do tai chi or dance lessons instead.

                            I honestly like forms, myself, and if you do them with speed and power they can actually be a good workout, help with your balance etc. But they're just a training tool, not the end-all, be-all of martial arts.

                            I think a teacher that never spars or does bag work is, yeah, either being lazy or it's about ego. Yeah, it can be tough on the ego to not be able to do things you used to be able to do (because of age or injury or whatever), and it can be tough to lose to a lower-rank person. But you know, too bad - you gotta suck it up and deal with it.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by notfromvenus View Post
                              No sparring on a black belt test? Wow. Jeez, we do sparring at yellow belt test. I don't think having to know a lot of forms is a problem per se, but if *all* you're doing is forms, you might as well do tai chi or dance lessons instead.

                              I honestly like forms, myself, and if you do them with speed and power they can actually be a good workout, help with your balance etc. But they're just a training tool, not the end-all, be-all of martial arts.

                              I think a teacher that never spars or does bag work is, yeah, either being lazy or it's about ego. Yeah, it can be tough on the ego to not be able to do things you used to be able to do (because of age or injury or whatever), and it can be tough to lose to a lower-rank person. But you know, too bad - you gotta suck it up and deal with it.
                              If your training involves no sort of sparring, you're just taking part in a really hip dancing class. The only arse you'll be kicking is the ball rooms when Carl Douglass starts singing...

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Sovvolf View Post
                                If your training involves no sort of sparring, you're just taking part in a really hip dancing class. The only arse you'll be kicking is the ball rooms when Carl Douglass starts singing...
                                Perhaps that is even more honest. You are doing stylized exercise for health, philosophical, cultural reasons... whatever. But they DO limited sparring. Mostly alternating 1-3 move drills, and then very limited point-fighting sparring. And I think THAT may be even worse. Because the students THINK they are learning to fight, and really, they are not getting close enough to knowing how to apply realistically the tools they are receiving.
                                The black-belt test for example, had me spar the guy doing only lead-rear-punch combos. That is a valid exercise drill for improving a particular combination. But it is an intentionally limited exercise for narrow-focus improvement! It is NOT free sparring. Yet the fact that they do hit and jump around and dodge and cover up make them think they ARE sparring, when it is really horribly short of most scenarios even for sport combat.
                                I was watching a couple young guys with amazing athletic skills do full free point sparring for their accepted ruleset. They do not do leg kicks and their sweeps are not that great, so they end up bouncing up and down in these WIIIIIIIIDE stances where their feet are almost touching. I cannot help but wince at just seeing it.

                                Comment

                                Collapse

                                Edit this module to specify a template to display.

                                Working...
                                X