Taekwondo found me

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet' started by inkypaws, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. inkypaws

    inkypaws White Belt

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    I'm new and still deciding, confused.. in that "whoa, didn't-know-what-to-expect", second week, phase.

    I didn't sit and watch a class or two, I didn't screen, I saw an ad, felt that weird crossroads feeling, went in and signed up.

    When I signed up it was a white/yellow adult class. There were two white belts, a yellow/green and a higher belted kid who was clearly in there with his dad. They were lining up kicking a pad that leaned against the wall. Master was envolved. I thought, eh, they looked like they were having fun.

    The girl in the office said she had trained there since a kid. Answered all of my questions as if she didn't really expect to see me again, a bit mechanically but semi friendly. The Master kept sizing me up at distance through office window. Sign-up was a deal, I was given my uniform, studio philosophy papers for "white belt" and told to come back the following Monday at white/yellow adult time.

    First Monday class there were three people, white and no belt and a yellow/green. Second Tuesday class three different people (same belts, different people). Both classes were jam packed with beginning info at starter speed. Stretches, warm ups, high block/low block movements and positions, basic punch position, basic kick to bag, exactly were to hit with what part of foot. Just what I expected. I enjoyed it though as it was a lot harder than I thought it would be and I found the challenge just up my alley. We start by learning everything in Korean. Manners, positions, etc. too.

    The next class, Thursday it was two no belts, a ton of red belts, blue, yellow/green... all in a white/yellow time slot (higher belt classes are listed as being the next hour, then black belt the following hour) this class was taught advanced, nothing like beginner. It felt like it was to keep the higher belts happy, when it is a white/yellow class. I am new, not even earned a belt yet so kept my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut.

    The following Monday it was green, blue, red belts, black belts. I asked a student if I was in the correct class, was it a white/yellow class? She was a blue/green belt. Told me, "yes". What the heck?? I asked if it was normal for higher belts to be in the white/yellow class? She sort of hesitated and then hedged, "yes". Then wlked away and kept her distance. This was another advanced taught class and the one white belt and me (a no belt) were like kindergarteners thrown into a high school class. --- They did give detailed info.. but it was way too advanced, for the advanced students, not in their own class. --- I did notice them correcting the higher belted students for basic things they should have learned before advancing... I would think. Like aiming to mid section (label on uniform) in a basic front punch (something they did teach me in my first class) it made me wonder how they advanced. They all mumbled that they were "rusty for this stuff".

    The next Tuesday and Thursday class were worse. Mostly black belts and many red. I felt like asking if I should come back at the black belt class for the studio would be empty and I can work on basics, but as a no belt, kept my mouth shut. That class was insane, everyone was fit I thought I would pass out from their routine.

    I was told not to come on Friday as I didn't know enough for Friday classes.. I don't know enough for their white/yellow classes either.... Wed is and Sat are out for white belts too..

    Evidently everyone was told on Friday (when I was told not to be there) that Monday and Tuesday white/yellow class slot would suddenly become a red/black sparring class. Excluded, both.

    What the heck??!

    What am I paying here for? Its the sixteenth of the month and only been allowed to attend six classes, and more than half of those were white/yellow classes.

    The studio feel skitzo. Its all over the place.

    So far I have been paying this studio for weeks, and I am learning more beginner info from youtube videos.

    They are WTF, 6 degree and higher Masters in all of their chains.

    Sorry for typos, its typed in middle of night on lacking sleep.
    Another class tonight and don't know what to expect. To be honest I am not looking foreword to it, and that shouldn't be. *sigh*


    What are your thoughts??
     
  2. Martial D

    Martial D Master Black Belt

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    Find a new place
     
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  3. Professor Random

    Professor Random Yellow Belt

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    So in my tkd class we go by age rather then by belt, so for example all the 0-4 year olds go to the first class starting at 6:00, then from there its 5-13 go to 7:00 and 13+ are at 8:00. So belt level or experience is only a minor factor. There are a lot of 14+ year old's (white/yellow belt) in the 7:00 class but they complain that they look too old, and they want to go to the 7:00 class, which is too advanced for them.

    Also the other studio where I studied at for 4 years went by belt rank, so white/yellow young kids go first, then white(teens/adults)-green go second, and thirdly anyone with green/blue+ and their seemed to be no complaint, on my end.

    I don't really know whats up with your classes. That does seem kind of iffy but hey I ain't 100% sure I understood it all. Where I study at classes are on Monday/Wednesday/Friday with classes on Thursday and Tuesday (nothing on Saturday and Sunday) where the teacher tells if you are allowed to come or not, for example if the class is for black belts I ain't going, but if it is to train for an upcoming championship then everyone participating in the championship is required to join the class. No this isn't being rude but maybe you misunderstood and you were only supposed to come for certain classes? Maybe they didn't clear that up with you or something. Again I don't know much about this topic so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    As to do with the teacher mixing up the higher belts with the lower belts I do see a problem with this. My teacher allows higher belts to attend lower belt classes, but he doesn't teach us anything, if we are too come to the lower belts we are there to help, or to warm up. But its not a class for the higher belts. If a lower belt decides to join a higher belt class is the same thing, he can come and work with us, but it just makes his work harder. My teacher doesn't care at what class we go to, but he's not gonna change every class so it helps the higher belts.

    And with the higher belts training sloppily sometimes black belts forget the basics or they take a break and are rusty when they get back, but thats not too bad. If they were all just being sloppy and not working right then something is not right.

    Lastly my classes might be different considering the federations are different. I think you said it was WTF or you were using that acronym to express something else. But if you meant what I thought you said then we are the same federation.

    As @Martial D suggested find a new class would be my best answer

    (Again don't take anything I say seriously, I might have totally misunderstood the problem here)
    that was a mouthful
     
  4. inkypaws

    inkypaws White Belt

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    Thank you both for the feedback.

    Martial D I was thinking the same. Stick it out till end of month, which I paid to.


    Professor Random, It was hard to get it all out, rambling, I wasn't very clear. Hopefully to answer all of your Q's,

    When I signed up I was given class schedual.
    Kids classes start at 3:30 - 6:45 (white, color, black)
    Then Adult white/yellow is 7:00 -7:45 Monday - Sat (Adult color is 8:845, Adult black black 9:945)
    They seem to change on whim, don't follow their printed schedule.

    The chain did their six-month black belt testing sat before last, and I did hear a lot of required class attendance before that. But the mixing is weird to me, if they are going to print a schedule I would think they would follow it.

    WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) The chains masters all went to Korea this past summer to learn all the most recent techs to pass down to students. If that is what is going on here, making colored belts come to white to learn new techs (such as fist to shoulder instead of behind ear, stance changes, etc) .. but I don't see why they can't just learn them in their own class slot.

    If they are sloppy the beginners shouldn't be asked to keep up with higher belted fitness. I'm not out of shape, but its been ridiculous.

    I went from first Monday learning basic block positioning, to the folowing weeks Tues being paired with a red belt (in a white/yellow class) doing 90 team power crouches, and 400 front kicks to paddels and side kicks to body foam pad. Its insane. Thats not a beginner class.

    Hmmm.. I hate getting introed into something incorrectly, especially something that prides itself on encouraging you to finish what you start. Frustrating.
     
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  5. Professor Random

    Professor Random Yellow Belt

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    Yea I would change class. I have been a part of 3 different studios so far, my first was my favorite by far, then I moved and got into a new class, it was at a gym and didn't have any padding for the floor and everyone wore their shoes during it, and all their gear that they let you borrow was old and worn out, as well as some of their methods of fighting were flawed, I mistakenly stuck around for a couple months picking up bad habits, and me not knowing the language too well I wasn't very accepted into it and didn't learn a lot because the teacher just kind of ignored me. I later transferred to another studio that was a lot nicer and they actually told me when events were, and treated me like an actual student. Well moral of the story is if you do not like it, leave. It's never good to stay at a place that is uncomfortable. In the long run it will be bad, you wont learn right and when you do go somewhere else it you might need to relearn some stuff or change some things.
     
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    All the teachers I know allow higher ranking students into lower ranks classes. But the higher ranks know that it is a lower ranks class and it won’t be geared towards the higher ranks at all. So basically, don’t expect to be doing black belt kata in a white belt class, or at least don’t expect to be taught a black belt kata during white belt class.

    IMO there’s nothing wrong with higher ranks in a lower ranks class, so long as the teacher isn’t ignoring who the class is actually for. And if a lower rank is allowed into a higher ranks class, that lower rank shouldn’t expect the teacher to cater him/her either.

    And a higher rank in a lower rank class shouldn’t feel obligated to help the teacher.
     
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  7. inkypaws

    inkypaws White Belt

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    Professor Random, agreed. Thanks again for feedback.

    JR 137 Ah, that is key too. I have had 50% instruction from higher belts in my classes to work on white froms mostly (while instructor taught the higher belts their own forms - which in my opinion should happen in their own class slot), but you can see that the obligation was not appreciated by those people assigned to me. I don't blame them.. but if they don't like it they can stick to their own class slot. I signed up to learn from the instructor, not incorrectly from students (she left out the two kicks in the middle of the form, because she forgot, so I had to watch youtube the rest of the night so that mistake didn't stick in my head. Not cool, imho.)

    Thanks again
     
  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Ok, so this sounds to me very biased. As a result, I'm going to give a very biased defense of the school/instructor, be prepared, this will be long:

    1A- Regarding higher belts in a lower class. From my experience, this is common in places that split it up by class size. Everyone can continue to work on the basics, and if you can't make a later class sometimes you go to the one you can (barring age differences).

    1B- Personally I find it a blessing currently (recently started some new arts) being with people from a higher class. It helps me learn/gives me multiple perspectives, lets me practice with people whom I know are going to be resistant (I've found beginners tend to be overly compliant to avoid pain), and I don't feel like I'm burdening them, unlike what you're feeling. I think this is because I've spent more than enough time as the advanced student, that I knew it almost never bothered me and actually helped me to teach someone new.

    2- Were you forced to keep up with them fitness-wise, or did you choose to? If you had stopped and took a break, would the instructor have said anything? I feel like in a lot of schools theres a pressure for new students to keep up with the black belts fitness-wise, but in reality that's not actually the case. If it is directly stated that you have to keep up, or if the instructor yells at you for not being able to, that is definitely an issue.

    2B- Came back to write this; fitness sucks. If you're expecting the fitness aspect to be easy, you probably shouldn't continue, but if you want to get good be prepared to be sweating A LOT in those first few months. If you don't want that, head to somewhere that doesn't focus on fitness.

    3- Regarding the higher belts being corrected, on basics; I would be more alarmed if they weren't. After 18 (I think) years of training, I still am corrected on basics when I make a mistake. Last week we were kicking, and I was told to keep my hands up during a roundhouse kick...I dropped my hand and my technique got sloppy once I started getting tired. If/when you get to a more 'advanced' point, you'll realize you need constant correction on the basics as you get distracted by your new material.

    4- If you know what you have to work on, what does it matter if someone else is taught something that you don't understand? You were taught, from what it sounds, the basic punches and kicks, along with the first form; IMO as someone who just started that's all you should really be working on at the beginning. This seems to be a huge issue to you, and I don't understand why.

    5-For clarification, did you find out through youtube that she made the mistakes, or did someone in the class inform you? If the first, you have to be careful-some schools have different variations for forms. Learning a form through youtube could cause issues when you go to class and find out your school does it slightly differently, or you are doing the movements incorrectly.

    5B-personally I think it's cool that you learned a full form in 2 weeks. That doesn't sound like something that would happen when you are being blatantly ignored since forms are pretty complicated, and you have to learn a lot of techniques to actually be able to complete them.

    6- It absolutely sucks that they're changing the schedule on you like that. Going 3 times a week at the start isn't horrible (based on 6 times from 11/1-11/16 I'm assuming that's what it is), but when you were told 6 times a week, that sucks. I would definitely sit down with the main instructor and ask him why you weren't given accurate information when you started.

    Overall, the only complaint that I would view as school-leaving worthy is the scheduling issue. If you're not able to attend the times that you planned to, and they changed the schedule without telling you, if the new schedule isn't something you can do that's grounds for leaving any school IMO. The rest of it doesn't seem to be a huge issue to me. The biggest complaint you seem to have is that other belts are 'invading' your class and learning, which I don't get since it sounds like you're still learning when they are there. Just that you don't want them there. (When you get to be a higher belt, you will likely appreciate being able to go to other classes).

    That all being said, if you are dreading to go to the class, I see three choices.
    Choice 1: figure out what is making you actively dread it, talk to the instructor and see if it can be resolved.
    Choice 2: Figure out what is making you actively dread it, and figure out a way mentally to be okay with it.
    Choice 3: If neither of those are possible, or if you continue to dread/not enjoy going, quit. There's no reason to continue going to a school and classes you are not enjoying, and you feel you are not getting everything you can from.
     
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  9. inkypaws

    inkypaws White Belt

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    Thanks for the detailed response. I love details. Valid points.

    My biggest issue, its true, is higher belts invading beginner classes (when they have their own time slot set), then instructor has higher belts teaching the beginners.... incorrectly (all of them so far).

    While the instructor is teaching the higher belts in beginner time slot, correctly.

    I was under the impression that the instructor would be teaching the beginner classes. I realize there are different techniques, but it leaves me no choice but to hit youtube for closest comparisons to correct these student teacher mistakes.

    The student mistakes have been, example: leaving both kicks out of the middle of basic form, or turning the wrong way, or just completely muddying it. Other students would speak up they are teaching it incorrectly. Then they would disagree with each other. Not a good first month impression. If they had more "instructors" teaching and watching I wouldn't have a concern on this point at all.

    I was told its good I have already learned so much of the basic form too... but that is thanks to hours practice on youtube at home, free (Minus feet and hand positions I did learn in brief running through in front of the Master)

    This happened again in tonights class. Ten min teacher instruction on basic form (first time full attention instruction from him in 16 days) then ten min getting entire form screwed up by student teacher off to side. Its hard to learn from multi different people who mess up. It does something to your brain when you start something new. I'm now developing a block, so the five min we ran through form in slowmo by teacher it wouldn't stick. You get mix memories when you try to reenact just moments later then. I am blocking in the same places that student teachers messed up. Perhaps that is the cause of their mental blocks too?

    The second, and equally big issue for me is the class changes without notice. But that will piss off anyone. Tonights class we were told the schedual is completely changing, again, after the thanksgiving holiday. Okay. Thanks for telling us. Now how many of those you say I can attend now will I really be able to attend at date?

    I've not seen anyone take a break or ask for one during a class, though many look like they need it. (Oop asside from the two last min sparring classes I wasn't allowed to attend, held in my time slot. They took water breaks. I watched from parking lot.) It has an expected atmosphere. I suppose I could break the mold and try for one. See if I get killed.

    There never is time to discuss. I suppose emailing would be best. I'm sure this will all come up when they want to set payment for next month, however. I'm not paying an insane sum if the norm is the amount of classes I recieved this month, they are barking if they try that.

    This morning I contacted another studio. Will sign for their two-week trial for comparison. They have mixed adult belt classes, but they have three instructors and not all are expected to perform the same way. Perfect. There are also cons as there is to anything, but not knocking till I try. I fear that one is a higher quality McBelter.

    I am not a quitter. It would take physically not being able to attain black belt for me to stop, or postpone, should it be through this school or another.

    Mostly I wonder if things would get better if I grit my teeth and stayed.. or would I regret wasted time and money. I have till end of month. Pisces have a hard time making decisions.

    On closing before I beat this to death completely, I don't want to moan about this. I joined because I have a deeply respectful appreciation for martial arts, and need to learn to defend myself. I wanted to have something to look foreword to several times a week, keep me fit. Aren't getting any younger. This makes me feel like I am just complaining. Not true. I want to learn. And meet new people.

    Cheers.
     
  10. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I don't think you're just complaining. If you're paying for something you deserve to be getting what you want, otherwise you have to decide if you should leave. The issue with an online forum like this is that we only ever hear one side of the story, and there may be other information you don't know or don't perceive that is eluding both you and us, since we have no opportunity to talk with the other side. That's the reason for my post; just to offer a different perspective.

    Now, as for actual advice, I'm sticking with my choice's 1 2 and 3 from the previous post. Choice 1 being preferable IMO. I would try to stay after class (or before class) one day, and talk to your instructor about your concerns with the schedule and the lack of learning properly. If you're not able to find time to do that, set up a private (if he offers them) to make sure what you have learned is correct, and to bring up your concerns. If you can't do that either, then send the email. And if he can't/doesn't change anything and you still dread going, find somewhere else to go. Whatever you do, don't continue with the youtube learning; it will teach you a ton of bad habits at your stage in TKD, and the school may do things differently (unless the instructor recommended a channel/video).

    Side note that is entirely irrelevant: It's weird to me that the other students would give an attitude towards having to teach you, if this is how the school is run. From my experience, generally in a situation where people with experience are asked to teach beginners, once those beginners have more experience they have no issue repaying the favor to new people as they enter. It's only an issue if they never received that themselves when they were starting. Not really sure if that has anything to do with anything, just an observation.
     
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  11. inkypaws

    inkypaws White Belt

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    I think by staying till end of month I might have answered my own question. I have not yet talked to the master, as the following week was a bit different.

    I'm beginning to think that no-belts in this studio must come and go quickly. And they have in turn learned (assumption) 'why waste precious time on people that won't stay?' Give a little, ask higher belts to help in between (I agree with you this is fine, though master is assuming these students are teaching correctly, I will bring this up with him) By week four, and retaining info they taught the no-belts, this must have proved we are willing to stick around.

    Monday it was only white/yellow people in our time slot. Master said at beginning of class that he asked the higher belts to come at their class time as he wanted to work us through what we had learned. This class was amazing, just as good as our first two at the brginning of the month. Lots to learn, lots already learned, you could see him checking our early language, etc, and tweaked to perfect foot hand positions, for all of us in class. Just what I thought these classes would be.
    I had also earned a nickname from the master. Then at the end of class I was surprised (as he had made sharp movements to the corner and hid what he returned with) a white belt. I was shocked as I heard it takes up to three months to impress the master and be invited as an actual student into this studio. Then the other woman I started with also received hers. The current white belts received their various stripes too.

    The next class the higher belts were back, but you could see we were treated differently. No longer looked at as if we would not be back. So it makes me feel better in way that I wasn't just whining and imagining these things. Its not right to lose classes that you pay for or to be trained incorrectly, I will bring these things up. But perhaps there is good reason. Asking here is not going to get those answers.

    When I came home with my white belt, my golden retriever took one sniff, thought "Nice" and tried to claim it as his own, in true golden fashion. Its nice to be ranked as high as my forum rank now.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for the feedback. I agree too, there might be a lot I am missing, and this is only my perspective. Will also hold off on youtube outside of studio posts.
     
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  12. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    Welcome to MartialTalk and congrats on your new rank.
     
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