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  1. #11
    1point2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    BJJ blue, judo ikkyu
    When the crawler gets around to it. Anybody's guess.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Brazilian Jiujitsu
    Well, I figured I should weigh in here if for no other reason than that this pertains to me and I feel I should represent myself so I won't feel misrepresented, no offense to hungryjoe ;)

    I was the blue belt instructor and I left the program primarily because I needed a change. I love the martial arts, but there isn't any money in it, at least not for me, and I'm wanting to start the whole "career-family-white-picket-fence" thing. Ultimately, my timing was bad, but that's a whole different story. I did have problems, that I admittedly never voiced with the director, with how rapidly kids were promoted. Even so, I shrugged it off because I enjoyed teaching and tried to do the best possible job teaching with the kids who came to me.

    I've always found the evaluation of belts to be a little silly, so I never attached much value to them in my classes. I explained them as a marker simply of how many sessions a kid had gone through, not necessarily an indication of skill. I let the student's own abilities speak for their butts, not the piece of cloth ties above it. As far as my perceptions went, my students at least partially understood this.

    Still, I understand and agree with this logic: our culture has attached a certain value to the idea of the black belt. The black belt says that a person has achieved a certain level of proficiency within a fighting system. Kids understand this from their exposure to all manner of movies and tv shows. So when they "achieve" a black belt in a minimal amount of time, they believe they have skills they do not necessarily possess. I understand that this is a dangerous mentality. I believe that in any program that teaches "self defense" the instructors should move away from the use of belts. Especially with kids. Regret #2: not being more vocal about that.

    Are you seeing a pattern in my regrets?

    That being said, I should throw this $.02 out there: everyone involved in this fracas are personal friends to me. I'd prefer not to be in the middle of this, but what joe says is true: the focus is on the kids. Moreover, I'm confident that no matter what opinions are expressed on any forum, my relationships will not suffer.

    The Mighty Strong Program is not a bad program, I feel that it is severely understaffed. The goal of the program, as was the goal of Safe Kids, is to bring affordable martial arts to those who might not be able to afford the >$100/month tuition many dojos in the area charge. That's a noble goal and the biggest reason I stuck with Safe Kids for so long: I felt that the goal was all good.

    Debbie is a remarkable administrator and has all the necessary tools to make her business work. The only tools she needs are more instructors who can convey her cirriculum in an efficient manner. It's easy to stare at faults and say that she has no place in the class room on the basis of training but the truth is that we can all count a hundred instructors who have failed because they didn't know a balanced account from a hole in the wall. Also, I would say that she does have the best interests of the kids at heart. She isn't the type of person who is out to turn a quick buck on the backs of ignorant kids/parents. Even so, as the director of Mighty Strong Kids, it is necessary for her to hire an army of quality instructors to propogate a fundamentally good program.

    Bryan is also a good man. He is one of the rare individuals cut from a different cloth who is trying to spread the martial arts, and the benefits therein, to the masses for reasonable compensation.

    With all that said, I think my conscience can rest for the evening. I do not mean to put words in anyone's mouths or speak for those who aren't accounted for, but I do think it is important for me to make my voice heard here in this forum. To those who are reading this and who know me personally, you know that I have written this out of love, nothing else.

  3. #13
    Just waiting for the paperboy. supporting member
    Lebell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Ok, i've read some parts of the site such as about the instructors and the explanations of the blue and brown belt classes.
    (ok ok so i clicked the mightystrongmoms link as soon as i saw it, sue me!)

    Anyway, with what i've read now i would say they aren't 'equipped' to do these kind of lessons.
    Lack of experience, lack of hours training etc.

    I think we can all agree on that.
    OP says they're all fine people, i believe OP on his word.

    Now let's make 1 and 1 into 2.

    Fine people are usually reasonable people, with a bit of luck they could take some tips from this thread when they read it and change their modus operandi a bit.
    Their goal is good, teaching kids how to defende and work on their overall development isalways good.

    So if they make some changes in their technical approach, perhaps they would be interested in approaching people from outside their own circle, i'm sure there are enough good ma-artists out there with more fitting experiences that will agree to provide cheap lessons.

    Just an idea.

  4. #14
    Sri Hanuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Zheng Manqing/Chen TJQ
    Quote Originally Posted by Threadicus Shiticus
    So if they make some changes in their technical approach, perhaps they would be interested in approaching people from outside their own circle, i'm sure there are enough good ma-artists out there with more fitting experiences that will agree to provide cheap lessons.
    I would say that it's a must. If they are to teach kids to defend themselves, they have to be on the up and up 100%. There is no excuse for going half ass when it comes to child safety. If they are making claims that they can not support, they have no right to be teaching the subject.

    Now, hungryjoe, zeitverbrecher, I understand you may know some of the people involved, and may have close connections to them. However, as a parent of a child who would get hurt as a result of careless or improper training (and fluffed up belt rankings), I would show no mercy in court. This is why it's important for guys like you to come forward and inform the general public.

    For that, my thanks.

  5. #15
    Matt Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Lauren Southern Poverty Law Center
    As a rule, I would never send a child to a belt awarding school. It is their *sport*. Send them to a gym.
    Now darkness comes; you don't know if the whales are coming. - Royce Gracie

    KosherKickboxer has t3h r34l chi sao

    In De Janerio, in blackest night,
    Luta Livre flees the fight,
    Behold Maeda's sacred tights;
    Beware my power... Blue Lantern's light!

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