Wastelander is Getting Married!
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still kicking
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Posts: 443

Styles: Shito-ryu Karate, Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: My Story Part Deux Reply with quote

Or at least part of it. First of all, apologies for the double posting and all of the typos in my previous post. The main thing I want to correct from that post is, when I said "undue hardships" attaining advanced dan rankings in my new school, I meant financial hardships. As far as other hardships that may be involved, I really can't say.

Anyway... I also need to say that my previous teacher in no way profited from all of the money I spent there. It was/is a non-profit organization, and all teaching is a labor of love -- or something, but not money. The teachers did not get paid. Tuition money went to keep the place open, plus towards financial assistance for students traveling for testing, tournaments, etc. it's just that it was only a few hundred dollars and not nearly enough to cover all costs.

The thing is, I thought the training was amazing, in terms of what I was looking for. I have seen a lot of karate and people from other schools, and I think we were top notch in terms of basics, speed, power, focus, precision, etc. Very impressive. But to what end?

I had worked through (and paid to test on!) all of the kyu ranks and attained black belt within that organization some 20 years previous, and had to start over. I was OK with that, except that I didn't know that my teacher was so OCD. I work in the mental health field, so I'm qualified to say. I think that having "high standards" is one thing, but... when you are have testing opportunities only once every 4 months or so, at most, when a student knows all of the requirements for the next rank quite well, and then some, and is performing them quite well for that rank, and you don't promote them because "there are just a few more details to improve" -- people get very frustrated and discouraged, and leave. The enrollment is now very tiny. That's not why I left, actually, since I was only a couple of months from my next big trip and the black belt testing. I left because I was wrecking my body. I went through two hip replacements early in 2011, recovered quickly, and was back to training after three months. The joints were fine, but unfortunately, due to my own stupidity, I overdid it and developed major quad strains on both sides. Pushing and pushing to "re-earn" the gloried black belt, and anticipating another stressful trip which would have involved staying with a bunch of other people, a few of whom were just abounding with youthful energy and I found to be rather overwhelming, well, all of a sudden it just seemed ridiculous. I decided to forgo testing this year, and to "take a break". That gave me some time to reflect, and I started checking out some other schools, and ended up where I am. It is the same style, but a different organization. The changes are fairly minor, so it should not take me all that long to adapt. I am only training two or three times a week for an hour or an hour and a half for now, which feels like taking a break! My quads are healing, there are lots of great people there, and many sempais and senseis of all ages, including mine. I feel that there is room for me to grow and am feeling feeling positive about my training again, but just feel a bit stunned by all of the changes.

I know this is all rather incoherent, and don't know if it is of any value to anyone but myself. For what it's worth, it has been of great value for me to be able to write it out. I now feel more freed up to post about just "regular topics", having gotten this off of my chest, so thank you all for listening! If anyone has any comments they would be most welcome, but if you are left speechless that is OK too. Ha ha.
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Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 377
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Styles: Tang Soo Do

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how to respond to that. It's ok that you've left that karate school. It's nice to see you found a better school. Good luck there. I don't really think it is anyone's fault that your previous instructor had OCD. I'm sure you'll do good in the new dojo. Of course there is time to develop. After all, there's no harm in trying.
Tang Soo Do - Red Belt (2nd GUP)
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28209
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you've done yourself well, moving on when you felt you needed to, and it seems to have helped you along. Thanks for sharing this with us.
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