Shin-Toshi Karate, your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Strikes, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Strikes

    Strikes Yellow Belt

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    Hello all,

    I made a post in the beginner forum but it isn't getting any attention. I would like to train in Karate, but there are not many options near me, so I would like to see what you all think about this school that is fairly local.

    Here is the description of the art:
    http://www.karateshin-toshi.com/Excellence/evolution.htm
    And the school's website:
    http://www.utahkarateinstitute.com/

    I am 26, in the Air Force, stationed at Hill AFB and I live in Ogden, UT. I'm fairly flexible for not stretching and am also fairly fit 5'10" 145lbs. I don't know if I want to risk Tae Kwon Do because I do want to be able to defend myself in a self defense situation and I know that TKD CAN be used, it's more for the sport and not trained as much for self defense.

    Thanks!
    ~Quinn
     
  2. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Don't know anything about the place but from reading up on the website, my nose is itching. I would keep looking. That school seems to be very touchy feely, like a school I attended for a short time. I hesitate to use the 'M' word but it has a lot of the signs. :asian:

    Just had a quick look at what's around the area. This is one I would look at ... http://www.actkenpo.com/index.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  3. Strikes

    Strikes Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I don't have enough experience to be able to tell what is good and what isn't. So I don't know where to go to learn, there aren't many options around here that I can find.
     
  4. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    You beat me with your response. :)
    Things I don't like about places are short classes, higher fee if you don't lock in a direct debit, lots of touchy feely, love is in the air messages. It seems to be set up as a business model to bring in the kids by appealing to the 'good side' of the parents.

    What I like about the other one, I added to my post above, is the reality based approach training against common weapons and instructors who look as if they might know what they are doing, rather than being 'assets to the school'. Just my 2c ...

    Oh, also! The school I posted invites you to go along and check it out. That's always a positive.
    :asian:
     
  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Visit. See what you think. If they won't let you visit -- that's a bit of a red flag. (Note: there is a difference between "this would be a bad week" and "no, no contract, no visit...")

    I don't know enough about the system here to have much of an opinion.
     
  6. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    what I read makes my nose itch too... I would suggest you keep looking and see what else is available. I would be looking for something shall we say more conventional in linage.
     
  7. Zero

    Zero Master Black Belt

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    Cripes there a lot of young kids with blk belts or higher in that club and a few v young "senseis" (still in their teens) in this very recently founded school. I would not say don't be so closed minded not to try them out if you can do so for free but I am suspicious of the quick grade progression rate and the ages of some on the "Team Leadership" and what real SD abilities you would get from this place. If there are other less kid focused schools about such as the suggested links I would punt for those instead.

    Are there no clubs/groups or even a skilled/experienced karateka or martial artist on the AFB you can't train with in down time???
     
  8. Zero

    Zero Master Black Belt

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    Gosh, maybe I am a cynic today but even that suggested ACTKenpo club's link made me wince, photos are never good to go by I guess but the first one on the home page of the guy throwing a punch with his eyes closed didn't exactly inspire confidence, none of the higher ranks seemed confident with or comfortable in their punches/strikes in the photos. It may still be a good no-nonsense club though and worth checking out, I may be totally wrong...

    The other clubs I checked out online in your area seemed to be quite kid orientated or had "black belt assurance" accolades which always gives off a strong conveyor belt / McDojo whiff. If there is no one on the base you can train with then just head down and check them all out I guess, see if you can spend a couple (at least one) free sessions at each one to get a feel for what seems right for you.
     
  9. Mauthos

    Mauthos 2nd Black Belt

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    If you follow the link in the website you posted to their mainpage (covering all their schools not just the one you are interested in)

    Here it is for ease of use: http://www.karateshin-toshi.com/Excellence/ (not sure if it will work though)

    Under classes and then enrollment they have a printable coupon for beginners to try out a free trial class. So like everyone else has said before me, go and give it a go and make your mind up, at least it won't cost you anything.

    Hope that helps :)
     
  10. Strikes

    Strikes Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the replies, I have seen the coupon as I have been trying pretty hard to research all the local places. There just isn't very much to choose from, the best place I can find is a BJJ place that seems truly legitimate. I'm not sold on BJJ yet though.
    http://westsidebjj.com/
     
  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Westside BJJ actually looks quite good. They're a Pedro Sauer affiliate, so they probably don't neglect the self-defense side of the art. They have Muay Thai and MMA classes, so they have the stand-up covered. I like the instructor's philosophy (check his blog to get an idea of his outlook). The price is reasonable and the instructors seem to be fully qualified. I would give it a try if I were you.
     
  12. Strikes

    Strikes Yellow Belt

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    I probably will, it is the closest to my house and the instructor seems like he's very skilled and dedicated to the art. I read a little bit of his book on Amazon (it has a few pages for a free look). I just wonder how well BJJ is in a real threat fight, one person I'm sure it's good, but what about multiple attackers?
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The best art for defending against multiple attackers is Nike-jutsu. The good news is that you don't even need a dojo to train in it.
     
  14. Strikes

    Strikes Yellow Belt

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    Haha, I am a pretty fast runner too!
     
  15. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Welcome Strikes, and thanks for your service!

    What troubles me a bit about the karate school's "leadership team" is, aside from their ages and eyebrow-raising ranks -- 'leadership team' is often a code word for a program that gets students to pay extra tuition to train as 'leaders', and many times they end up teaching class. In other words, the student is paying to work. That's a model that bothers me a bit -- and there are many schools out there that do such a thing. There may be schools out there that do a great job with such a thing, but it makes my spidey sense tingle a bit. Go in with your eyes open.

    Another thing to watch for is who will teach the classes you will be taking. Some schools advertise that they are headed up by a very high ranked dan who has been teaching for decades -- but Mr or Ms. High-Ranked-Dan hardly ever goes on the mat.

    When you visit what's the reaction of the folks around you training? Do they generally seem happy to be there? Or do they seem bored/unhappy? Does everyone seem to know what to do as the instructor moves from segment to segment, or does the class easily get lost or confused? If you get a chance to get on the mat yourself, is your training partner reasonable to work with? Or does s/he act like they would rather do anything but work with the a visitor?

    When you go to meet the teachers, be up front with your goals, and first ask them how they have helped others achieve that goal. Once they tell you, ask them how they can help you achieve the same thing. Its OK to have multiple goals too, such as self defense, fitness, concentration, etc. If you have particular needs or concerns (example: do you want your training to help you when you are deployed?), bring this up in the beginning, too.

    Ask about how much it costs -- including incidentals -- over the course of the year. Does the school have clubs, in-house tournaments, workshops or seminars that would be an extra cost? Are any of these required for you to advance? If you get a hard sell for any of this, that can be a big red flag.

    Hope all goes well. Good luck and I hope you keep posting about your journey!
     
  16. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    "As prerequisites for promotion to black belt more advanced Shin-Toshi forms must be learned. An example is Shin-Kata, a trilogy of sequences which blend together as one form. When performed skillfully, Shin-Kata is awesome to observe. It contains complicated movements, the success of which depend on split-second timing and absolute concentration. It is no wonder that very few Shin-Toshi students have been able to master this kata."

    So basically, if you want to learn self defense, go somewhere else. If you wanna learn complicated kata, go for it. :)
     
  17. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I teach some of the beginner classes at my gym, but I get my own training for free in exchange. If a school is charging extra to the students who help teach, I would consider that a major rip-off.
     
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    not to mention that it may actually violate some employment laws.
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    that does sound like performace kata, and not really valuable for skill development.
     
  20. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Good choice. As Tony said they do Muay Thai as well so that will round you out for a real fight. I wouldn't be concerned about multiple attackers. Firstly, how likely is it that you will be attacked by even one person, let alone a number. Secondly there are techniques you will learn that are common across the MAs that may help. Remember, the first part of self defence is not being there in the first place. And, finally, there aren't many places that effectively teach RBSD anyway.

    The other thing is that the guy is a black belt. I have a couple of black belt BJJ friends. The first one has just received his black belt after 10 years of solid training. The second is at the next level and is the teacher. A black belt in BJJ is really something that means a lot.

    Something else I liked was the teacher's blog. There are some good thoughts there, especially the one on being 'strong'. Anyway, good luck with your choice. You are about to embark on an exciting journey.

    The only thing I don't like is that they seem to be making you sign to contract or pay 50% more. Personally, that would stop me training there as I refuse to do that for anyone except the bank. However, from first hand experience, some things are negotiable if you ask nicely.
    :asian:
     

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