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post #21 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 05:19 PM
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I did kung fu for a while.

Unlike karate and TKD there are no "belts" (as Bruce Lee made famous). So there's no grading, so there's no need for them to pass tests and the parents to have a hissy fit if their kids can't get it right.

You progress at your own pace. You don't need a belt to know how good you are, and without some kind of "badge" to brag about your competitiveness is based on the skill you can demonstrate rather than the shade of the thing holding your pants up.


But yeah, there are a lot of pretty dodgy martial arts schools these days. Some see it as a quick buck, some are proper practitioners who have been burnt by over-protective and under-aware parents and figure its easier to make a living training every idiot but then focusing on those who have the dedication to do it properly.

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post #22 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 05:23 PM
 
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Martial arts is one of the most challenging things I've ever done. For me, the most difficult part is getting through those periods of 'motivation deficit'. It's friggen hard to discipline yourself to work your ass off for years and years, but that's the only way you can get "good".

My favorite from the McDojo customers:
them: "I'm a Nth degree black belt"
me: "Really? how long have you been studying your art"
them: "2 years"
me: " "
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post #23 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:07 AM
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as it is, I don't really give a shit about belts. I have a black dockers belt I got from hect's. lol. how bout them apples. but if I know the school, and it's somewhat decent, even if they can't fight I still ahve respect for those that dedicated long enough to get to black belt.
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post #24 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:47 AM
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Don't even get me started on this one. I have a friend who is a professional instructor (Kuk Sool Won/Tukong Musool) and you should hear the gripes from his point of view.

Day care provider and aerobics instructor is more like it.

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post #25 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-02-2006, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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That's sad and the main point of my gripe. We have lost the true meaning of the arts, and finding a good school or instructor is like going on a quest for the holy grail.

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Calvin
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post #26 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-02-2006, 07:33 PM
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My favorite from the McDojo customers:
them: "I'm a Nth degree black belt"
me: "Really? how long have you been studying your art"
them: "2 years"
me: " "
The martial "art" that these McDojos teach is no different to the color-by-numbers paper liners McDonalds puts on their trays.

My high school offered TKD, which one of my friends did. He knew he wasn't learning very much, and although the instructor clearly knew what he was doing he wasn't allowed to enforce discipline his way, and he felt obligated to pass people for just showing up.

"I swear, officer, its all factory options!"


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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #27 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:39 AM
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hmm. seems like there is a lot of "american bashing" going on insofar as martial arts.

it doesn't matter where you are from. if you do not practice, you will not get better. period. if you are not prepared to make martial arts a "lifestyle" then you will only get good excercise out of it. you will more than likely not really be good enough to "kick ass" or win any tournaments if you attend 2 or 3 times a week and do not practice outside of the academy. period.

i dropped out of kung fu for that reason (with earlier and shorter-lived times with american karate and hapkido), and due to too many injuries and a run-in with the instructor who found no problem with unsupervised sparring. he felt sparring was supposed to be a full-contact brawl. i got my nose and ribs broken and i just fucking quit. i almost sued the instructor's ass.

and this leads to the main premise: yeah, most of these schools are all about the $$$. period. they figure in high turnover of students and volume. just like any retail outlet store. that is all it mostly is. what do you expect? this is not feudal japan or china in medieval times. this is hardcore capitalism. and martial arts are FOR SALE.

sure, there are devoted sifus out there. but you must prove to be hardcore yourself as a disciple or you WILL NOT become any good. and it does take some bit of natural talent, too. not just any asshole can pay per month, get belts, and be a kung fu artist. that is just not reality.

a more accurate statement would be that "most americans" who want who take martial arts end up quitting or just getting vigourous workouts with the added gizmo of self-defense training. but most people are not hard-core enough at anything to elevate to a mastery level. if you want to fight, i'd take street fighting. if you do not have the discipline to master any set of exotic forms or sets of moves, then such things will not become 2nd nature on the street. and it's the street where a real fight will go down. and once you're on the ground (if it ends up there), that's it. most martial arts like kung fu or karate do not deal well with fights on the ground. you need jujitsu for that.

unless you practice any form outside of class intently, you are wasting your money and time in thinking you're "covered" by some martial arts bad-ass skills. you just will not ever get them. it must become a "lifestyle" as i said. and the more i woke up to that reality, and the more injuries in class i got, the more i said "fuck it." i'll just get a gun license. i do miss the workouts and i actually enjoyed it for the most part. but i hated the gay ass politcs of the academy. and i've been in a few and it always arises. the higher in level i got, and the more that lesser students dropped out, the more responsibility to the school i was expected to have. and i hated that.

quality over quantity
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post #28 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:56 AM
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hmm. seems like there is a lot of "american bashing" going on insofar as martial arts.
I'm Australian, and I was looking at it from an Australian perspective (aside from calling it a "McDojo" which obviously references an American institution).

I think its the same everywhere. Unfortunately, historically martial artists were "full timers". Whether you were some monk or one of the guys in that crass "kung fu monks" travelling circus, martial arts were something you did 24x7. Its no different to being any other kind of professional athlete.

And like other sports, for every "pro" you get you've got a bunch of amateur people giving it a go to varying levels of discipline. To use motorsport as the analogy (since we are on a car forum) not everyone is a F1 racer but if you go to a pro driving instructor with the aim of being one they'll expect you to do the physical and dexterity training all the time.

Then there's guys who realise that people do it as a "weekend racer". They're a cut above your average schmuck behind the wheel and get the theory behind good driving but they're not dedicating their lives to it. Pro driving instructors will be a bit harsh on these guys, have a go at them for sloppy lines, but won't expect them to be able to balance on a pogo stick while catching tennis balls.

Then there's the guys getting into it for a lark. Driving instructors who need the money will just rent out a circuit or skidpan and let these fools go nuts. They don't expect them to clip every apex like their car is on rails or carry perfect drifts around cones. They just need the money, and cars is what they do. And they won't tell them that they're unco-ordinated monkeys since these guys won't come back.


Unfortunately its this last set that gets most of the publicity, and so attract the most amount of "capitalists". Guys who will blow a couple of grand massive rims for their Civic but then won't spend a couple of extra bucks buying good tyres. They're the reason why I can find 225 width tyres in 20" (no OEM or anyone with a motorsport engineering background would ever design a car with so much unsprung weight / rotational inertia without a massive footprint to go with it), but its near impossible for me to find a set of 275/45 R17 tyres for my car.

And its why its so much easier to find martial arts schools out there trying to make a buck doing glorified aerobics (they may as well be doing tae bo) instead of teaching people a proper art.

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Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front wheel.
Oversteer is when you hit it with the back.
Horsepower is how hard you hit the tree...
Torque is how far you drag it...
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post #29 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 10:37 AM
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werd scathing
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post #30 of 74 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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Hey guys, I really cant tell you how much i have enjoyed reading thru all of the posts... and i am impressed with the respect that has been shown between members and the arts.... I started taking Karate when I was 8. I earned my Black belt @ 11 and completed this with my father... something I recommed to anyone with their children.

I no longer train, but I took Tiger Schulman's Karate... im sure some of you have heard of theses schools. Unfortunetly, the schools have become very commercial in my opinion and that is part of the reason i have not gone back. But, my instructor at the time was amazing. He is middle eastern and had an amazing ability of being able to bring the best out of people. Finding potential in anyone and making them the best they could possibly be.... Discipline and respect were the 2 main focuses of the art. then came the "kicking and punching." What i enjoyed most was the 3 distance fighting style. 1st was weapons, then came hands and feet, and finally ground fighting. The style incoporated my different traditional styles and took the best of the best techniques and put them together. For example, our defensive stance is from boxing... hands up covering the face, body cocked to the side protecting the vital areas of the body... the nice thing was that the style would evolve as new and more efficient techniques were developed... the goal... if you must fight, finish as quickly and effectively as possible.

there is no point fighting... because it is ineffective... points dont count on the street.. as a matter of fact even in the kids class sparring was full contact(with padding gear), with exception of the face, but kicking to the head was still allowed. i even remeber knocking one of my fellow students out during a sparring class when i was 14; he was 19 and we were both black belts... I even saw one kid break another ones arm during a sparring class when i was 12... not done on purpose, but it was obvious the technique was effective. Dont let me get started with the "circle of death" in the Black belt adult classes....

I respect all forms of the arts, however there are many (as mentioned) that are jokes for lack of a better word.... I remember I went to Atalantic City to see my cousin compete in a point tournament... I cant remember the name of the style off hand, but the Master is famous for sticking spikes thru his arms and not bleeding.... anyway, they had a demonstration with all he masters and blackbelts. I have never seen soo many overweight masters in my life... not that that would cause them to be bad martial artists, but they had no coordination... no balance... no techinque.... I would hate to have seen any of them in a real fight.... i was embarrassed for them.... I mean board breaking can be impressive, but when u say that you have the best of your style on stage and they are only breaking 1 board with basic techniques.... i was dissappointed.

so there is my input to this topic, hope u guys enjoy it as much as i enjoyed reading your posts... i could keep going, but im at work ... and should do some work...lol
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