Anyone ever visit your old school?

Kittan Bachika

Purple Belt
Sep 17, 2009
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I was at a party last month and met some people who are martial artists. It was really cool talking about martial arts and demonstrating our stuff. One guy just moved back to his home town. He is a 2nd degree black belt in TKD. But not the WTF stuff. He trained under anold school teacher from one of the kwans. Can't remember which one. But his technique was awesome. He has been away for almost ten years and planned on going back to his old school. But when he visited the school he was quite shocked at what he saw. Back in the day when he was being taught, his teacher was really strict. From soup to nuts, everything had to be correct. Constant hard training or else, as he put it, the teacher would kick you out.

Now it is nothing like that. He barely recognizes the forms since they are not done properly. Sparring is a game of tag. The black belts, as he put it, can't even do a proper front kick. Out of respect to his teacher, he kept that all to himself. His teacher also taught him to be humble and he was very respectful to the class when he was introduced to them by his teacher. However, he almost went toe to toe with one of the black belts who basically challenged him when he said that their version of TKD was at a higher level and what the guy learned was not up to standards. His teacher put an end to it, and politely but firmly told the the black belt to back off. The black belt apologized and shut the hell up. Even though his teacher is more laid back, he can still scare the crap out of people.

After the class, he talked with his teacher, out of respect, even though he did not say what was on his mind the teacher knew what he was thinking and suggested he train with one of his old classmates who was running a small school in town. He is definitely happier there, training hard but as he told me, he is a little sad that he is not being taught by his teacher and what has happened to his old school.

Another guy who does an internal style was with his teacher for 5 years before he started working overseas. Whenever he is in town, he catches a class. He noticed that the new classes are taught differently than he remembered. They are more relaxed and the teacher does not correct the students as often. But his teacher keeps a close eye on him and when there is time he takes him aside to teach him more stuff. He asked his teacher why he gets treated differently. His teacher said those students don't have the desire that he has.

There was a girl at the party who has been going to the same karate school since she was in high school and she graduated from college last year. Nothing much has changed. Even though the classes are taught by another teacher, it is still the same as it was the day she took her first class. In fact the new teacher is a lot stricter.

There was another guy who does MMA and was thinking about going back to his old MMA gym that he left to go to grad school, but decided not to after he found out his old coach sells black belts in MMA. Now he plans on training at a BJJ school in his town when he finishes school next year and moves back home.

Sad to say, I am not surprised about their stories because unfortunately, that is the way it goes. Sometiems schools maintain their standards and sometimes they change but not for the best.


Senior Master
Dec 7, 2010
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Sad to say, I am not surprised about their stories because unfortunately, that is the way it goes. Sometiems schools maintain their standards and sometimes they change but not for the best.

Things change. People evolve. Time passes. Your parents probably didn't treat the first born in the same way as the last born. You probably won't either. I would be more concerned if your teacher or you taught for a long time and didn't change your methodology as the years went on.