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Brooknite
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Feb 2013
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:42 am    Post subject: Very New; Trying to avoid "McDojos" Reply with quote

My whole life I wanted to study and train in a martial art but never got around to it or was unable to, due to personal reasons. It wasn't until I came very close to getting my butt beat at a bar last week where I realized I need to learn how to defend myself, especially if it saves my life one day. So, I started looking around via Google for any martial arts school(minus kickboxing and boxing), that would conform with my work schedule and is something that will be effective in a street fight.

The first place I checked out is a http://www.brooklynbjj.com/ I was interested, but then realized BJJ is useless if I am fighting 1 guy on the ground and his 3 friends are kicking me in my face while I'm down there.

The second place that conforms to my work schedule is a Wing Chun school (Moy Yat lineage) http://www.nycvingtsun.com/Welcome.html

As for the third, well I went to a shotokan karate school yesterday http://www.ruskinkarate.com/, just to see a class and check it out. The class was about a hour long and I liked the teacher, but I have some reservations about it.

I was watching a class with all brown belts and I was not really impressed. One guy, it seemed, had no idea what he was doing, kicking super slow, not listening, it made me wonder just how he got that brown belt and why.

After class, the teacher wanted to sign me up right away. He told me I can do month to month or get a 6 month/1 year plan. If I paid once a month its $140 to go 2 times a week and $160 to go 3 times a week. That really seems a bit high. I told him I wanted to check out other schools before I made my decision and he seemed so insulted. He asked which schools and after I told him the schools he repeated, "You'll be back" like 10 times. Then he said how most teachers don't know how to teach and how he was the best teacher. This was a BIG turnoff to me. I don't like pushy salesman, they are my antithesis. The only real upside to this place was I got there in 10 minutes from my house which is nice.

Later in the week, I am going to check out a MMA/Martial arts gym http://www.fightfactoryny.com/. They are rather expensive but with the price you pay you get full access to a gym with free weights and smith machines along with 3 classes (1.5 hours a class) of your choice a week; they offer, MMA Fighting, Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate, Wrestling. For them it's $200 a month if I sign up for a year.

My biggest fear is that I get injured like 4 months into the training and then I'm out a big chunk of change, so I really want something that is month to month. This is not making my life any easier because there are so many, "McDojos" out there and I dont want to invest my money in something that is taught by a hack and/or is bogus.

FWIW, I will be checking out a Kyokukshin karate place http://brooklynkyokushinkarate.com/ later this week. It's about a 15 minute highway drive from my house, but their website shows that its $99 a month with no contract. I'm not sure how Kyokukshin karate differes from Shotokan karate? Anyway, I'm going crazy here trying to figure out what to do. In Brooklyn alone there are 5.5 million people, you would think their would be more/better schools to choose from.


My Stats:

•25 Year old
•5'10
•168 lbs
•14%-15% body fat
•Never worked out more than 6 months in my whole life

Any tips or feedback would be great. Thanks!
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MasterPain
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 1949
Location: Parts Unknown
Styles: Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Backyard Kali, Satsui no Hadou

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BJJ is never useless. How are you supposed to stay off the ground if you don't know any grappling? They have takedowns and takedown defense as well as groundwork. Royce Gracie didn't need 3 friends to beat up Ron Van Cleef on the ground, he did it very well on his own. Personally, I find the idea of fighting multiple attackers unarmed ridiculous. Even monkeys use sticks to get food.

MMA would be great if you can afford it. Kyokushin tends to focus on full contact competitive fighting, be prepared for a workout. Check around for FMA as well. There are a lot of backyard and basement FMA groups that don't charge much of anything.
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Dobbersky
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 1323
Location: Manchester. United Kingdom
Styles: Black Tiger Ashihara Karate Jutsu, Japanese Kickboxing, Cheng Man Ch'ing TaiChi

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say Kyokushin, would be your best option, all grapplers tell you most fights end up on the floor, no they don't. A maximum of 40% do, and that's because the grapplers bring it to the floor.

George St Pierre is a Kyokushin blackbelt and he beats many grapplers WITHOUT taking it to the ground. Bruce Lee never took any of his fights to the ground and most treat him like a demi-god.

I'd recommend Ashihara or Enshin karate IF there's a school near you as it's a modern style and it teaches you stand-up and ground defense.

Try all the schools if they offer a free class or 2 and see what suits YOU the best.
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JusticeZero
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 2166
Location: AK
Styles: Capoeira Angola

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Very New; Trying to avoid "McDojos" Reply with quote

Brooknite wrote:
It wasn't until I came very close to getting my butt beat at a bar last week where I realized I need to learn how to defend myself, especially if it saves my life one day.
Please dont get into fights in bars, they tend to have nothing to do with self defense, even if it is they have the reputation of being places where people go to get in fights and you get judged based on that.
Quote:
effective in a street fight.
Every martial out there is effective. They have different models of what a fight looks like and how to cope with it, and different ways to train those skills. An MMA person can be hospitalized in a fight against multiple untrained attackers that a Tai chi stylist could handle (and i've encountered some scary taiji people). Maybe you could start by examining your life and figuring out what dangers you are likely to face? A police officer needs different skills than a petite woman who needs different skills from the guy who lives on the bad side of town and so on. What is your life situation like? What are some scenarios you fear?

Kyokushin is similar to Shotokan in a lot of ways (differs in technical things that wouldn't mean much to you at the moment) but is known for having a very combative, full contact philosophy to it. There's a woman who posts here a lot who does Kyokushin. She has a lot of posts like "I got kicked in the face and now I have two black eyes. it was awesome!"
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kensei
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 05 Oct 2012
Posts: 235
Location: Canada
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off Kyokushin is close to Shotokan, but a more sporty and aggressive contact system. More people get hurt in that style but not badly hurt, kind of beat up and off with sore ribs for a few weeks.

Next some misconceptions about grappling. First off only about 40% of fights go to the ground with both people on the ground, normally its one guy over the other and pounding on the beat down guy. Jitsu will help if you get into this situation to help you get up, but if there are more than 2 guys you are fighting…most styles wont help you really. A bat will however!

For the money, its crazy to charge more than $60 a month for two classes a week, and probably not worth it. Rank means very little in relation to skills these days. Not that this makes the club a McDojo, but it might be. The instructor in question belongs to a legit organization and probably teaches mostly family style Karate. You can benefit from the Shotokan guy and he is legit, but to what extent you will benefit is up to you.

My suggestion is you sit down and write out your goals. Show it to each instructor and ask for feed back as to how long, if that is a focus of the club, what kind of benefits they offer you did not think of and do your research. Don’t jump in to fast and make sure you are going in with the understanding that each club is different and may not offer what you are looking for or part of what you are looking for.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15804
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all...Welcome to KF!!

You've received some solid advice thus far. Imho, avoid, at any cost, contracts because they are very binding, and in that, they're almost impossible to get out of if something should happen, you'll still have to pay each and every month.


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Bryan Sensei
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Location: The United States
Styles: Shorin-ryu ,Kobudo,Aikido,Jujitsu

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion any school that makes you sign a yearly or "so called lifetime member "contracks is particularly foolish .Especially when it comes to kids,because kids lose interests very fast and once you or your kids lose interests your still on the hook for the contract.And as others have stated anymore than about $60 to $75 per month for martial arts is also plain foolishness.Teachers who change large amounts of money for lessons are more interested in money than promoting the art or love for the art.
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Rateh
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 848
Location: USA
Styles: WTF Taekwondo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Realize that different areas charge different amounts. I know of no school in my area that charges under $99 a month. And no school that does not do a contract. Yes, there are places in the world, even places in the U.S. that charge very low per month. But to say "don't go to a school that charges more than X amount" greatly limits the schools available. Like I said, in my area, NO commercial schools charge lower than $99 a month, and none of them do so without a contract. If you want to train for less, and no contract, you would have to train at a fitness center. This means very limited class times, and generally all ranks and sometimes even all ages lumped together.

So my advice, do not use price as a major determining factor, unless the place is more expensive than you can afford.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2631
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Rateh stated, it's all well and good to say that people shouldn't sign contracts or pay more than $60 a month, but in some areas that just isn't a possibility. Where I am from, for example, martial arts schools are considered a "sports training facility" and are required, by law, to have contracts. Where I currently live, you aren't going to find martial arts training for less than $90 a month, with the exception of some judo or programs run out of the YMCA.

What you really need to do is find a school with an instructor that you like that teaches good material in a format that works well for you. You shouldn't worry so much about the style you practice as its effectiveness (do the techniques work under pressure?), it's comprehensiveness (covers striking range, clinching range, and grappling) and how well it is being taught (for you, personally).
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Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
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Aodhan
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 29 Apr 2005
Posts: 1508

Styles: ATA TKD, WTF, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryan Sensei wrote:
In my opinion any school that makes you sign a yearly or "so called lifetime member "contracks is particularly foolish .Especially when it comes to kids,because kids lose interests very fast and once you or your kids lose interests your still on the hook for the contract.And as others have stated anymore than about $60 to $75 per month for martial arts is also plain foolishness.Teachers who change large amounts of money for lessons are more interested in money than promoting the art or love for the art.


Teachers generally charge what the market will bear. Hopefully that's enough to feed their family, pay the rent and keep the lights on in the studio. When you're paying $3 per square foot for a 1500 square foot facility, that's $4500 a month just for the space. That's before equipment, electricity, AC and oh, yeah, putting food on the table.

Contracts are also not an evil thing. They allow an instructor to set a budget, and plan for their projected gross income level, rather than wondering month to month if students are going to show up again. Yeah, kids change their minds, but then it's up to the teacher and parents to engage them again.

Now, I tend to agree that anything more than a year contract is a bit excessive, although I can see two year contracts. Anything more than that I might be leery of.

And what do you expect for your "$60 to 75" a month? How many classes? Two a week? That's 8 classes, so lets say they are charging the exorbitant amount of $80 a month. That's $10 an hour, do you really think that's a realistic pay rate? Consider the amount of time you have in training for your job, would you work for $10 an hour?

John
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