- Jun 28, 2010
- Reaction score
I believe I may have stumbled upon one of the rarely seen "good" ATA schools here in Central Florida. I've been out of training for quite some time, though always looking. I've recently decided I'm not getting any younger and decided it was time to get back in a dojo. I contacted the school and had a great conversation with the owner. He answered all the "tough" questions about pricing, testing, fees, the program...He was not shy and I felt he understood why I was asking as the ATA can be known for some nonsense in their business practices. Anyway, I attended an adult class last week and was shocked truthfully. They have the typical Leadership and Black Belt Club extras for the kids as they all do, which is fine, whatever. As long as the kids do gain an extra benefit from these programs, I have no problem with them. The class I attended was full of people, which surprised me. There was roughly 20 or so people training, most adults with a few teens. The 3 or 4 teens were there to train, paid attention and worked hard. The class consisted of a warm-up, some kicking drills, some evasion drills, rotating sparring between everyone in class, and some individual forms training, four at a time as they had testing this weekend, so he was giving them all one last look over. I was impressed with the sparring as they were going pretty hard and was not at all what I thought it would be. The owner, a sixth dan was assisted by his lead instructor a 5th dan as well as an assistant instructor, a 2nd dan. It was nice to see so much experience and knowledge leading the class, which I feel also is rare. The owner has been training for 38 years and I believe said he has been with ATA for 36. He explained to me with regular attendance and testing, one could expect to reach black in 3.5-4 years, which also surprised me. As we all know ATA are known to be black belt factories, but with that timeline, this school does not seem to operate in the same fashion. All in all I was highly impressed and as much as I never thought I would say this, I joined.