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monkeygirl
KF VIP

Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 3677
Location: Oregon
Styles: Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FlailingLimbs wrote:
Thats what happens when you don't question "is where I'm at a McDojo"? God bless the internet and searching for poular opinions.


Well, my dojo wasn't always like that. When I joined, things were very different. My father is a frugal and careful man...he thought long and hard about whether or not we would join the establishment. Somewhere along the line as the years passed, however, Earl became greedy. I don't really know what happened...family responsibilities, the birth of a third child, child support payments to his ex-wife, I suppose. Linda wasn't a great influence, either. She literally was on medication of some sort to keep her from being such a...well...you know. She took it all too infrequently and was quite the difficult person.
When we joined, Earl had a passion for martial arts and teaching. After two years, though, he just became tired. He took "a year off" in my second year, and never really came back. He let everything slide--both administratively and class-wise--and my brother and I basically picked up the slack (with a lot of help from the other junior instructors, of course). The students were satisfied except those of them that objected to being taught by teenagers...we really didn't have a choice as there were only two instructors over the age of 18 left: my brother at 19/20 and a woman at 22 who held a full-time job and couldn't always be there. We were doing the best that we could on our end, and the people were happy with us. Unfortunately, we couldn't control the business end of things, as only Earl and Linda had the authority to make supply orders, advertise, etc. Earl had no ambition by that point, and Linda was too busy, too frustrated, and too penny-pinching to take any action. There were actually times when Linda would take money that students had paid for supply orders, and instead use it to pay for some personal expense. Rather than just sticking to the profits, she would take all of the money needed to order the supplies, and would have to wait for her own paycheck to come in for the orders to be made, thus delaying orders substantially.
Sean and I stayed for the love of teaching, the students, and the companionship. Also, we had no place else to go, really. The business things didn't affect our training and were more of an annoyance than anything. The only thing that affected our training was Earl's disappearance. We didn't get to benefit from the critiquing of a man who had been teaching for 15 years. As underbelts, we didn't mind because we still had a lot left to learn. The blackbelt program was weak, however (curricula= 1 kata), and when we attained 1st dan, we started to feel his absence. Every now and then he popped in and we learned something, but that was about it. It got a little boring. The only thing to improve, we were told, was sparring. Sean was a better fighter than I, so he helped me a lot...but there was no one to help him. Again, we stayed so we could teach others, but we were starting to get frustrated. Then the whole not-paying-Sean thing happened and it was the last straw.

So, it was pretty gradual. Looking back at when I first joined, I don't think I could have said it was a McDojo. Other than being a little pricy (although not pricy at all compared to other dojos in the area), it was a perfectly good school with a great program. At the time, it even had a nice program for "life after 1st dan". The school was not started as a McDojo, but it became one. Now that Sean and I have left, I hear that Earl has taken a more active role in the dojo...he sort of had to since we held the sole responsibility for several of the school's largest classes. He even brought back the Master's class (1st kyu/gup and above) which he had been promising for years. However, some parents that left when we did (we didn't ask them to, they did on their own out of loyalty) and others that left more recently have told me that things really went downhill after Sean and I left. Earl has started developing partnerships with dojos he openly despised...it's so strange.
I have a lot of friends that are still teaching at the dojo, but I haven't talked to them for awhile. I'm afraid that he's told them not to talk to me. But now I'm off the subject of my post.
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No matter the tune...if you can rock it, rock it hard.
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Zorba
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 158
Location: Australia
Styles: Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

monkeygirl,

perhaps you can start your own club at the boarding school. Im sure that the school would allow you use of hall or whatever they have there for it. would be a good way of keeping your instructing skills up. there would be people that are willing to learn. even do it for nothing.

good to hear that you have started training on your own. dont do what i did, and let yourself slide. (see my article "why i quit TKD" if it gets accepted)
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It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, and I am NOT a big man.

Tae Kwon Do (ITF) - 1st Dan Black Belt
Shotokan Karate - 6th Kyu
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monkeygirl
KF VIP

Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 3677
Location: Oregon
Styles: Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I must not have mentioned something...just a tidbit that adds to the complication of it all..
My old dojo has a TKD club at MY high school! They hold classes in the gym's wrestling room. They only have about 3 steady members, but the point is that there's already a club. Even if I wanted to go (which I don't) my parents have forbidden me. I have been pushing for the school to let us create an Advanced Martial Arts club that would span more than just TKD, but the one faculty member seems to be dragging his heels on the issue. The school's admissions office wants us to make it because they have several martial artists who want to come to school but want facilities to keep training. So, we'll see. Next year is my senior year, so I probably won't get much enjoyment out of the club, but I would like to set something in place for future students.
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longarm25
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 26 Sep 2004
Posts: 304
Location: Ohio
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Ryu Kyu Te

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice article
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Phil
Ryu Kyu Christian Karate Federation

"Do not be dependent on others for your improvement. Pay respect to God and Buddha
but do not reley on them." Musashi
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gcav
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 284
Location: U.S.A.
Styles: Several different Japanese and Korean styles

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations and nice article
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27759
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that really opens things up, doesn't it?

Here is the way I see it: you both lost and gained. You gained lots of knowledge through many different experiences, both good and bad, both physical and mental, both in-school and out. You lost a lot of faith, and now have doubts about your accomplishments. You should not doubt your accomplishments. You have done many good things amongst many bad events, and you should commend yourself for it.

Now, you know what can happen, and what you can do differently to prevent it. Learn from this experience, just like you did from all of the others, and you will be much better for it.
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