Trying to find the perfect school but limited by time

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Felix79, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Hi everyone,

    I put up a recent post about my hesitation to change dojo because of dissatisfaction with my current instructor. The responses were hugely helpful. I have gone from feeling some weird sense of loyalty to absolutely not giving any fucks about shopping around for what's best for me. Thanks for the advice.

    Now that I've decided to shop around and find another club, I wanted to post about my frustration.

    A quick summary of my position: I'm in my 30s with a young family. I feel like I waited too long to get into martial arts despite wanting to for many years. I am behind the 8 ball already and want to throw myself into training. I'm training at a dojo very close by which trains late at night (suits me perfectly with kids). The problem is that the instructor is a bit disinterested and a bit of a tool. I am considering sticking around while shopping for other clubs.

    I trained in another city and the school was perfect. It was a traditional martial art school that trained in competition, the instructor was an inspiration. He was so invested in all the students and was gentle yet a fierce competitor. I feel like I've been trying to fill the void that club left in my new city, but I just can't find it.

    I went along to a kickboxing class this week and it was a lot of fun. Lots of hands-on instruction which was awesome (and highlighted what I'm not getting at my current club). The thing is, I want to learn a traditional art, but also one that is really practical. I'm also limited by the number of nights I can train. With young kids, I can't be off every night training.

    What I'm looking for is a school that checks these boxes:

    - An instructor that is kind, interested in teaching, and not a tool
    - I want my girls to train as well, so I would like the instructor to be caring
    - A traditional art that has some real-world practical application
    - Not a McDojo full of kids
    - Somewhere close to home
    - Somewhere that trains at convenient times

    Obviously, there are a lot of demands here and I probably won't find the perfect school. I live in a city of about 500,000 people, so there are clubs but not many.

    A friend said to me that I should learn to adapt. He suggested continuing to train at the dojo with the instructor I don't like because it checks many of the boxes (it's traditional, they compete, it has real-world application, it's close to home, they train late at night). He suggested supplementing this training with another art if possible, perhaps one with an instructor who is a bit better. He said that he continues to train and many of his friends don't, because he has learnt to adapt, just like in real life.

    Not being a perfectionist is important. What I don't want to do is settle for something crap, when a good school could be nearby.

    I guess I am searching for a club just like my old one, which I probably won't find. I am also feeling pressure because I want to find it now, and stop wasting time, which I feel like I've already done for many years.

    Thanks for reading this stream of consciousness. I suppose I don't have a real question, but I'm just feeling confused and would love some advice from anyone who has been in similar positions.

    I'm thinking that I just keep training at the current club and try out one new place each week. Am I overcomplicating it?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Probably BJJ, kuyokashin, judo, sambo. Something like that.

    MMA would be good because they generally have multiple coaches and so huge timetables. But not traditional.

    There are all these really cool mixes out there like sambo, sanda, kudo pancrase that would all work.

    Finding the right coach will be your job though.
     
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  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    You'll never find a perfect school. Find an imperfect one that fits the rest of your life and go train.
     
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  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Make a list of all schools in the area. Cross off the ones you can’t attend due to schedule, cost, etc. Visit the rest. It should make your choice significantly easier.

    In the meantime, stay put at your current place. Even if it’s kind of working for you, it’s better than not training at all.
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is about as good as the advice can get, IMO. Once you eliminate what really doesn't work for you, one of the remaining ones will probably stick out as a pretty good fit.

    A quick note that might help you with the internal struggle I read in your post. Your choice is unlikely to be as logical as checking off the boxes. Studies show that, no matter how much logical analysis we do, the actual decision is made in an emotional center of our brain. So, when you find a school you really want to attend, don't worry about how many boxes it ticks off - just go with it.
     
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  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Master of Arts

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    I agree with Gerry's comment above. When you find somthing you really like, you will try to find a way to make it happen.
    Reading your post I would advise against staying at the club you don't like. For starters it's a toxic environment to your motivation. It is common for people in these situations to never leave and time passes them by. You do not want to wake up 5 or 10 years from now and still be in the same situation.
    If it were me I would finish out any time I already payed for and then would never step foot in there again!!!!! Direct all your time and focus on finding something you like. Remember any time spent on that dojo floor is sucking up time you could have spent on the pavement looking for something better.
    My second thought is that you seem to be stuck on the idea of having you and your kids studying at the same school. Why? Your goals and their goals are not the same. To require that you all train at the same place could lead to someone's goals not being met. I understand you want what you want out of a school, great go out and get it, but do you not also want what is best for your children? Their training should be a separate issue and you need to find what is best for them and their situation. Do not confuse the two and think the solution to one will satisfy the other.
     
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  7. skribs

    skribs 2nd Black Belt

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    So you want a kid-friendly dojo that doesn't have kids?
     
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  8. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the advice. I am currently doing a really interesting hybrid art. I love the art but not so much the instruction. I would love to stay and continue to learn it but half the time I come home I feel annoyed and the other half I feel OK about it. Probably not good enough really. I will keep looking.
     
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  9. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks and I agree. However, how imperfect a school should one put up with? Poor instruction is a big one.
     
  10. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    I think this is what I will do. Continue to train but check out one new place per week. I may end up staying.
     
  11. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Thank you. Very good advice. I just want to walk in to a place and get that feeling that this is the place I want to train. It has happened before and surely can happen again.
     
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  12. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Great advice about the kids. In my head I imagined a dojo (like my previous one) that was close to perfect and taught adults and kids classes. I guess i wanted to do it with my kids and thought that would be a good bonding thing. In saying that, you are correct and it is not necessary. I can find another place for them. This should make my search easier.

    In regards to quitting and moving on, I might consider it. It's just that the style I am.learning is my absolute favorite and I enjoy the guys I train with. It is also so convenient. It's just the instructor that I am not clicking with. Perhaps I can talk to him and try and change things.

    I am worried that if I cut the strings on this dojo, I may not find a better place and don't want to have to go back.

    Deep down however, it is not great and it is unlikely that I will change his personality.

    But I am also not in a rush and can take my time.

    I am clearly struggling with the decision and sometimes I feel like I am talking myself in to staying.
     
  13. Headhunter

    Headhunter Master of Arts

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    No such thing as a perfect school just find one you enjoy well enough and just stuck with it and train. The grass isn't always greener somewhere else
     
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  14. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Haha yes point taken. As I mentioned to another poster, a place i trained in another city ran separate kids and adults classes and was impeccable.

    What I don't want is to have to stand in a line with children (as a 35 year old man) doing sloppy kicks and breaking soft boards.
     
  15. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Yes I agree. What I thought I might do is keep training at this current dojo because it is so convenient. I thought I could branch out and try a few other things.

    In saying that, time is limited and I probably can't do more than one thing in reality so I should look for something better.
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    My experience with hybrids is that any art with solid fundamentals should pretty much help any other martial art with solid fundimentals.
     
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  17. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks again sir. Thanks for the tip on sanda. I looked into it and it is exactly the type of art I want to do! I am not sure if it is offered in my city but will look into it. I guess kickboxing, kyokushin, muay thai, etc would all be similar.

    I do like the Chinese traditional arts but I want live sparring and not sure it is always on offer. I did another art that did not spar and found it to be not really very challenging.
     
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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    If you’re looking for hard contact striking with some grappling thrown in, check out Enshin karate. No idea where you are and if it’s available to you. I’ve got a bit of a man crush on Enshin. It’s like Kyokushin with judo thrown in.

    Ashihara Karate is similar.
     
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  19. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I've yet to see a school that will combine the children and adult classes the closest I've seen is teens in the adult classes.
     
  20. Felix79

    Felix79 Yellow Belt

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    Those styles sound awesome. The best option I have here is kyokushin unfortunately, which I will check out.

    I am going to do some more research. Unfortunately it seems that my city only has the popular styles.
     

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