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    Another mcdojo thread

    Howdy, I'm new here. I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on the school that my step son takes classes at.

    It's a TKD school (that'll probably get enough face palms) and he's been attending for about 2 1/2 years. There have been things pretty much since he started that have made me question the place. Let's see if I can compile a list of some of these things.

    - A contract. He goes twice a week, and is also in their black belt club, which I never agreed with him joining.

    - We have to pay for him to belt test, and the higher a student goes, the more the belt testing costs. I think red-black is something like $150.

    - They rarely ever spar. I've argued with my wife on this, because although I've never trained for a martial art, I think sparring is essential to preparing a person for a real life violent encounter. I just can't see how throwing strikes at the air can truly compare. They basically only spar if there is a belt test or tourney coming up that week. Otherwise, it's all practicing forms for an hour.

    - The school used to be located in a large, yet modest building out off the interstate. Then, the head instructor bought a new building in a nice location, and said building also came with a 24-hour fitness gym. Of course there are deals where you can get a discount if you're a member of the school as well as the gym. I've also noticed that the instructor spends alot more time over at the gym and not teaching classes. He used to teach all the time at the old location, but since moving he'll come in for a few minutes from time to time, always in his street clothes.

    - They have a demo team that said instructor seems way more interested in than any of the classes. I've seen him get down right pissed when watching on of their routines and seeing things that they're not getting right.

    - Any time I see an ad for the school, the instructor is always front and center, with some badass look on his face. It really makes it hard to take seriously.

    - We have to pay for EVERYTHING. Uniforms, belt testing as mentioned above, and even to watch my step son compete in tournaments. They charge 10 bucks a head. I've actually tried talking my wife into us sneaking in, because I think that is just frickin' horrible.

    I also have a 6 year old daughter who wants to join, but I've been very hesitant to let her since all this stuff started bothering me. I also failed to mention my son is a brown belt, and as much as I love the boy, I don't think he'd do well at all in a fight, if it came right down to it. I believe because they never spar, he's hates it because he doesn't like getting hit. I've tried explaining that sparring is good for him, and that I wish his instructors would make them spar more, but he doesn't agree with me.

    I'd appreciate any constructive help I can get on this matter. Thanks.

    #2
    Yes, you described a perfect example of a TKD Mcdojang. The question is, does your son enjoy going there, do you care that he isn't learning how to really fight (although I'm sure he is exercising), and are you OK with paying the fees?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by kaktus316 View Post
      Howdy, I'm new here. I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on the school that my step son takes classes at.

      It's a TKD school (that'll probably get enough face palms) and he's been attending for about 2 1/2 years. There have been things pretty much since he started that have made me question the place. Let's see if I can compile a list of some of these things.

      - A contract. He goes twice a week, and is also in their black belt club, which I never agreed with him joining.
      Just a thought...not all black belt clubs are created equal. I was in one as an adult student. Many of our instructors had black belts in other arts, they used black belt club as a chance to explore some material (sword training, grappling, etc.) that wasn't included in the base art. The club was 30 minutes, twice a week, and it amounted to $12/month more tuition. In my eyes, it was well worth it.


      I also have a 6 year old daughter who wants to join, but I've been very hesitant to let her since all this stuff started bothering me. I also failed to mention my son is a brown belt, and as much as I love the boy, I don't think he'd do well at all in a fight, if it came right down to it. I believe because they never spar, he's hates it because he doesn't like getting hit. I've tried explaining that sparring is good for him, and that I wish his instructors would make them spar more, but he doesn't agree with me.

      I'd appreciate any constructive help I can get on this matter. Thanks.
      Be careful not to live vicariously through your stepson. It sounds like he likes it there....kids don't normally stick with stuff they hate.

      What draws my ire about the way some schools teach children is the schools that try to push the kids too far. It doesn't sound like that is happening if your son goes two days per week. I also have an issue with instructors in a way that isn't age appropriate. I don't like instructors teaching adults kid stuff, nor am I fond of young kids smashing each other up on the mat.

      If he is 8 years old and this is an activity that he thinks is fun and keeps him active, that's a lot different than if he is 17 years old and thinking about a pro MMA career. If he's young, he'll have the opportunity to take on a style of training that is more alive when he gets older.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, guys.

        My step son is 10, and yeah, he does enjoy it there, so maybe that is the most important thing, but I just want to make sure we're not throwing our money away. I'm afraid what he's being taught may not be useful, and that he may get older and have to defend himself only to get his ass handed to him and maybe come to the realization that he wasted his time there. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

        EDIT: I forgot to mention the black belt fees. I'm not sure what costs what, but we pay 140 a month altogether.

        Comment


          #5
          If you have a problem with the place, offer an alternative. Have a look at a few other places in your area, then suggest to him that the two of you check out some free classes together. Hopefully it will be both fun and enlightening.

          Agree though that at age 10 - for a kid in any civilized situation - knowing how to fuck someone up is a non-essential skill. Sounds like he's exercising, making friends and having fun. These things are rarely a waste of time.

          Comment


            #6
            Well this reminds me of when I went to this crappy school and my mom wanted to move me out and put me in this private school in sixth grade. At the time I refused to because I would have to leave my bestfriends.

            The same thing applies. When he gets older he can decide what he wants to do... but at 10 kids should just do forms and have fun.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Nicko1 View Post
              If you have a problem with the place, offer an alternative. Have a look at a few other places in your area, then suggest to him that the two of you check out some free classes together. Hopefully it will be both fun and enlightening.

              Agree though that at age 10 - for a kid in any civilized situation - knowing how to fuck someone up is a non-essential skill. Sounds like he's exercising, making friends and having fun. These things are rarely a waste of time.
              Sounds like maybe it's an ATA school.

              kaktus316,

              Consider taking them both to check out a judo dojo.

              Comment


                #8
                Ok,so you already know (and the others have reinforced) that your son isn't learning to fight. To learn to fight you actually have to fight,but the question i think you should be asking is ,Does he need to know how to fight???...yet??. For some ppl, depending on where you live,this is an easy Yes/No answer.If No,then enjoyment should be the first consideration (aside from gettin their arse off the couch lol) Does HE need to know how to fight?? or do you WANT him to?? and is there a middle ground??

                I have an 11 yr old son,and when i looked at getting him into an MA i looked around and thought about what i wanted him to learn and basically decided that for now?? all i wanted him to learn was how to get himself out of the shit if he got picked on. So he's learning Judo,cuz at 11?? most fights are basically shoving matches where he lives,and like your step son,has a bit of an aversion to head gettin punched,and i agree hes a bit young for that still.So, Judo slam and gtfo of it.In the meantime hes learnin that he won't break when he gets thrown and when he goes into something striking?? he won't be quite so worried about getting hit.

                Kickboxing is lined up for a couple yrs away when he basically hits highschool, (i'm thinkin 14-15...maybe),but until then??hes enjoying it,which is awesome and hes learning what i consider to be appropriate skills for his age and area.

                Just my 2c worth.
                Last edited by KiwiPhil889; 5/11/2010 4:13am, . Reason: spellin cuz i suck at it.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well your in a contract so you probably screwed and stuck going there anyways. Hate martial arts for that sole reason, mostly all douche bag scammers. Is the head instructor heavy and bald with a mustache? Talks to you in a way that makes you think he is sticking a straw up your butt and sucking your crap right out? I'm not saying they don't know their respective martial art, just they like the $$$ more.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Zentenk View Post
                    Well your in a contract so you probably screwed and stuck going there anyways. Hate martial arts for that sole reason, mostly all douche bag scammers. Is the head instructor heavy and bald with a mustache? Talks to you in a way that makes you think he is sticking a straw up your butt and sucking your crap right out? I'm not saying they don't know their respective martial art, just they like the $$$ more.
                    Actually, the head instructor is a young guy, maybe 32 or 33. We went to high school together, but weren't acquainted back then or anything. He does come off as really nice, but sometimes I think it's just to keep us happy. At least that's how it feels.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by kaktus316 View Post
                      Thanks, guys.

                      My step son is 10, and yeah, he does enjoy it there, so maybe that is the most important thing, but I just want to make sure we're not throwing our money away. I'm afraid what he's being taught may not be useful, and that he may get older and have to defend himself only to get his ass handed to him and maybe come to the realization that he wasted his time there. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

                      EDIT: I forgot to mention the black belt fees. I'm not sure what costs what, but we pay 140 a month altogether.
                      140 a month for what basically amounts to an aerobics/gymnastics class? that sounds pretty steep to me, even if your son is enjoying it. Maybe when your contract is almost through, do some shopping around, even if it is a different art, maybe your son will enjoy it just as much, and maybe you'll save a couple dollars too.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ^
                        Seriously, $140 a month to do forms? If you took him to summer camp that just sat him in front of a TV for $140 would you pay for that too just because he liked the environment/other kids?

                        I do agree, however, you should watch out for trying to vicariously live through your children. God knows how many posters' children are already working on striking to compliment their "groundgame" by the time they graduate middle school in order to make up for the fact their dad only did TKD/Kung Fu/Krotty/whatever.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I've never taken any martial art, I just want to make sure we're not getting the shaft. I want my son to get a good, useful education, especially at the price we're paying.

                          My main problem with the lack of sparring is what happens if and when he gets into a situation where he has to defend himself? He's never been in a real fight, and hates what little sparring they do because he's not used to being hit or kicked. I know no one likes to get hit, but it's just the fact that he has next to no experience with it that concerns me. I know him well enough to know that if he gets into a fight with some kid at school and gets beaten up, it'll crush his confidence.

                          Thanks again for the comments, guys.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by kaktus316 View Post
                            I've never taken any martial art, I just want to make sure we're not getting the shaft. I want my son to get a good, useful education, especially at the price we're paying.

                            My main problem with the lack of sparring is what happens if and when he gets into a situation where he has to defend himself? He's never been in a real fight, and hates what little sparring they do because he's not used to being hit or kicked. I know no one likes to get hit, but it's just the fact that he has next to no experience with it that concerns me. I know him well enough to know that if he gets into a fight with some kid at school and gets beaten up, it'll crush his confidence.

                            Thanks again for the comments, guys.
                            If this is your issue you need to get him into the right school. I can attest to the pull your kick/punch if that is all you train. I did it once and quit my school soon after.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by kaktus316 View Post
                              My main problem with the lack of sparring is what happens if and when he gets into a situation where he has to defend himself?
                              He's 10. He'll get a bit scuffed up, the biggest bruise will be to his ego. It may cause him to want to start training in something a bit tougher, then again it might not.

                              I think that long-term you should try to get him out of that place though. It does sound a bit lame.

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