ata? Good, bad newbie needs help

atafamily

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Ok me and my family are new to the MA world and we have had my son enrolled at our local ATA school. His instructor is great and seems to run a good school.

I am thinking about joining as well, I am in 43, ex body builder so I am above avg condition for my age.

Question tho... I have been researching ATA and I find a lot of people think its a scam. Anyone have any insights or firendly thoughts you can share?

I can honestly say most of the negative things they say about the ata I do not see at our school. We have been to several tournaments with my son. I guess if the ATA was a bad organization they would not be as successful. I am sure there are bad schools in any style.

Thanks for feedback!
 

terryl965

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I will just add a few tidbits from my perspective on the schools around me. They are all about the mighty dollar with very little focus on the Art and Self Defense of TKD, now with that being said I have had the pleasure of meeting some excellent teacher withen there organization. I prefer old school blood swat and bruses type of training but then again this is what I grew up with/ If you and your family are happy with the instructor and the job he is doing with your childern then it is the right place for you. I hope your training goes well.
 

Blindside

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For the three schools that I have seen in the Pacific Northwest, well, lets just say I'm underwhelmed. I wouldn't say its a scam, just a very typical, below average TKD/karate franchise system. On the upside it it gives me a chance to laugh at my friend and the camo belt that he at one point had. :D
 

BrandonLucas

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Ok me and my family are new to the MA world and we have had my son enrolled at our local ATA school. His instructor is great and seems to run a good school.

I am thinking about joining as well, I am in 43, ex body builder so I am above avg condition for my age.

Question tho... I have been researching ATA and I find a lot of people think its a scam. Anyone have any insights or firendly thoughts you can share?

I can honestly say most of the negative things they say about the ata I do not see at our school. We have been to several tournaments with my son. I guess if the ATA was a bad organization they would not be as successful. I am sure there are bad schools in any style.

Thanks for feedback!

ATA schools get debated on these forums alot from time to time. You should stick around and get everyone's perspective...we have a TKD forum that would be a perfect place to post in the future, so you can keep track of the many things that happen and change in the TKD world. So, first off, welcome to MT!

Now, down to business....

The ATA schools that I've been to and have sat in on have not been up to par, in my book. There is virtually no contact when sparring, the techniques are sloppy, and there are too many kids in the classes that prohibit proper adult instruction.

Also, there are alot, alot of belts and testing fees, as well as other fees for equipment that may or may not be used, and is only allowed to be purchased within the school.

They also tend to churn out blackbelts like there's no tomorrow, and most of the blackbelts that I've seen from the local ATA schools aren't very good at all. They have sloppy technique and don't understand what sparring with any contact at all is all about.

Now, the school that your son is attending may very well be different...I have heard of a few ATA schools that weren't bad. But the majority of the ATA schools that I've heard of and all of the ATA schools around here aren't worth the money that you pay.

Hope this helps. Come on over to the TKD forum and have a look around, and see if you can find any other info that you may need!
 

Kwan Jang

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As a school owner (non-ATA), I'll share some insider things from the industry. Some of the leaders of the ATA market their business plans among the trade journals because they do have great financial results. Their viewpoint on the student is not one I would be comfortble with and if I were a perspective student, I would not want to be training in an organization that viewed me or my family that way. Their viewpoint is that everyone is going to quit anyways, so get as much cash up front as you can while they are excited. Upgrade their program (Black Belt Club, Leadership team, ect.) not based on merit (which if done on merit and earned over time is something I see as positive), but just as a sales hook for someone that they never intend to stay anyhow. As a former bodybuilder, you might be familiar with the marketing and sales strategies of many of the old health spa (Vic Tanny, Jack LaLaine, Grecian, Cosmopolitan, ect) chains. This is just this rip off strategy applied to martial arts. IMO, this not only hurts the students, but over time the publics perception of the industry as a whole. Also, if they are teaching a supplementary program like submission grappling, the ATA (as an org., not all the individual instructors) have that program as an income maker, not to make the student competent at grappling. I have always viewed the heiarchy for an instructor/school owner as the student is first; the school second; the staff is third; and myself fourth. I try to live up to using that as my guide. The ATA leaders who market their business plans to other schools state a very different philosophy.

The ATA is also infamous for their low training and testing standards as an organzation. They have taken some steps to upgrade this somewhat over the last few years. Like any org., there are going to be certain individuals who rise above and demand far more from themselves and of their students than the set standards of their org. I have met a few very good martial artists from the ATA over the years, but overall their quality is pretty low. This is one reason that they try to keep their students isolated and away from the rest of the MA community. It's easier to grow mushrooms that way; keep them in the dark and feed them manure.

You mentioned that they must be pretty good since they were financially successful, but their success is not based on quality. It's based on providing the market with what a large percentage of it wants and also on high turnover (though you've often already paid for it). To many parents, they want their kids to "achieve" a black belt, but neither their kids or the parents want to make too much of an investment in time or effort. With the ATA, this market niche is filled. They offer black belts in 12-18 months with little effort, sweat or growth neccesary (at least under org. requirements prior to their reforms). There is a significant part of the market that "want that belt" in 1/3 to1/4 of the time and far less effort, because they are far more interested in the belt than the personal growth, fitness and fighting skills that it is supposed to represent. Moms don't like their kids getting banged up, so their is very little contact. Adults have to go to work tommorow and don't want a black eye at a sales meeting, so the ATA handles this part of the niche as well. I am all in favor of safety for the students and building them up gradually towards higher contact, but you've got to take them up eventually. Flag football may be fine at one point, but if it was being played at the varsity level in high school, there would be a problem. Let alone a NFL flag team.
 
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Flying Crane

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There is an ATA school in my neighborhood, my wife and I walk by frequently. We just shake our heads and keep going when we see what is going on there.

Mostly children, it seems like more of a daycare than martial arts training. Many of the children are wearing fairly high rank including black belts, yet their basics and techniques are very very sloppy. It is my opinion that if any one of these children successfully defended themselves in a real fight, it would be INSPITE of their ATA training, and not because of it.

Granted, this is my opinion from simply watching thru the window. I've never gone in and spoken with them nor closely observed a class. But this is my take on this particular school. I have no experience with any other ATA schools. But I would absolutely never ever recommend this particular school to anyone, including children, not even as a daycare alternative.
 

IcemanSK

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First, welcome to Martial Talk.

There are a lot of good & bad schools within EVERY branch &/or style of MA. The ATA seems to be the whipping boy of TKD for a lot of people. I have seen a few really bad ATA schools in my day. And yet, I have a friend who runs a very good ATA school.

MT's own Dave Leverech (sp?) is a an ATA 4th Dan & a solid martial artist by all accounts. So, just because it says ATA on the door doesn't mean it's bad. It's like judging a book by the cover.

I would say that if discipline, good technique, & self defense applications are taught at the school, it's probably a good school.
 

Twin Fist

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i cant really add much more than has already been said, but, I will not, not EVER go to a school that uses CAMOFLAGUE as a belt color.........


ALL ATA schools use camo as a belt level

ergo, i wont ever have anything to do with the ATA
 

Brandon Fisher

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My experience with what I have seen with ATA is really bad. I have to believe its not all bad everywhere but I have heard so many bad stories I would not even consider walking into a ATA school. With the fast and guaranteed promotions I have heard about, huge charges, no contact fighting (which I always ask what is that?), and 8 year old black belts after 1 year of training makes the red flags fly.

Now why are they successful, I can sum it up in one word "marketing". Their marketing plan is unbelieveably good and many times their sales techniques are even better. But there are plenty of people that what their type of martial arts with "cutesy" stuff and parents that want their kids to be black belts and not have to really work hard for it. Thats their market alot of times. But again I still have to believe that there is good somewhere in the ATA.
 

hkfuie

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i cant really add much more than has already been said, but, I will not, not EVER go to a school that uses CAMOFLAGUE as a belt color.........


ALL ATA schools use camo as a belt level

ergo, i wont ever have anything to do with the ATA

Cammo is just a color...well a mixture of colors.
 
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atafamily

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Thanks for the replys, I am going to go ahead and sign up, I would like to start in the leadership class with my son.

I cant until I am a camo belt I dont believe. Now with this said I will be by far the oldest. I cant see myself sparring a 12 year old..

I wish my school would offer ADULTS only classes.. I am very athletic and getting thru the first few belts should be a breeze.. heck I can do the moves my 6 year old has done to make camo belt... In fact I would help him and correct him when he was doing forms..

I guess if I get good enough and feel I need more I can always pick up new style.
 

terryl965

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Thanks for the replys, I am going to go ahead and sign up, I would like to start in the leadership class with my son.

I cant until I am a camo belt I dont believe. Now with this said I will be by far the oldest. I cant see myself sparring a 12 year old..

I wish my school would offer ADULTS only classes.. I am very athletic and getting thru the first few belts should be a breeze.. heck I can do the moves my 6 year old has done to make camo belt... In fact I would help him and correct him when he was doing forms..

I guess if I get good enough and feel I need more I can always pick up new style.



What you said hit a nerve, you can all ready do what your child can do at camo belt and you wish they had an adult class. So why is it you are joining, I mean no disrepact but you have already gave them to strijes and still signing up. What three you do not want to spar a 12 year old, three strikes I would find another place for you and let your son stay there until his contract is up and change him as well.
 
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atafamily

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What you said hit a nerve, you can all ready do what your child can do at camo belt and you wish they had an adult class. So why is it you are joining, I mean no disrepact but you have already gave them to strijes and still signing up. What three you do not want to spar a 12 year old, three strikes I would find another place for you and let your son stay there until his contract is up and change him as well.


He was a tiny tiger.. they only taught half forms.. they did seem to advance him pretty quick.. I will not let him test until I can see him do songham 1 2 3 by memory.

As far as sparring with a 12 year old.. there are older people in the leadership class.. we have been to 2 classes and not all were there... I would assume I would spar with the instructor..

Best!

Thanks for reply -
 

RevIV

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Thanks for the replys, I am going to go ahead and sign up, I would like to start in the leadership class with my son.

I cant until I am a camo belt I dont believe. Now with this said I will be by far the oldest. I cant see myself sparring a 12 year old..

I wish my school would offer ADULTS only classes.. I am very athletic and getting thru the first few belts should be a breeze.. heck I can do the moves my 6 year old has done to make camo belt... In fact I would help him and correct him when he was doing forms..

I guess if I get good enough and feel I need more I can always pick up new style.

ATA has great kids classes, not sure if its great for martial arts but their character building is good and I frequently get tips from the owners on business. You are an x body builder? you want to go up against kids? Find a school in the area that has a good adult program and when your child is old enough you can get out of your contract when the term is up and have him switch over.
 

RevIV

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He was a tiny tiger.. they only taught half forms.. they did seem to advance him pretty quick.. I will not let him test until I can see him do songham 1 2 3 by memory.

As far as sparring with a 12 year old.. there are older people in the leadership class.. we have been to 2 classes and not all were there... I would assume I would spar with the instructor..

Best!

Thanks for reply -

A father telling a teacher when his son is going to test would not go over well in most schools.. Even if it is for the right reason. You will just hold your son back who will not understand why his classmates outrank him now and he is just as good.
Good luck with that one.
 
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atafamily

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A father telling a teacher when his son is going to test would not go over well in most schools.. Even if it is for the right reason. You will just hold your son back who will not understand why his classmates outrank him now and he is just as good.
Good luck with that one.


Ok My son is in the leadership class, he is 6 90% of these kids are black belt or red. He is about 6 belts away.. and he is only 6

As far as sparring 12 year olds I never said I wanted to spar 12 year olds not sure where you got that.

There are adults that take classes here to ..

I am done now with this thread .. I was just hoping to get feedback on The ATA.

best
 

terryl965

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atafamily let me help you a litle here, 1st thing is this,

As far as sparring 12 year olds I never said I wanted to spar 12 year olds not sure where you got that.

In red is your comments

I cant until I am a camo belt I dont believe. Now with this said I will be by far the oldest. I cant see myself sparring a 12 year old..

No what you said was you are the oldest by far and you could not see yourself sparring a 12 year old which means you had no one to spar.

There are adults that take classes here to ..

I wish my school would offer ADULTS only classes.. I am very athletic and getting thru the first few belts should be a breeze.. heck I can do the moves my 6 year old has done to make camo belt.

So which is it do they have an adult class or not, on one hand you said they do not have adults but on the other hand you say they do? I huess they combine the kids and adults?


I am done now with this thread .. I was just hoping to get feedback on The ATA.

You got feedback but it was not what you wanted to hear so now you leave, one of my biggest problem is 6 year old BB. How can they know anything let alone be a BB. You said you want to be push because tyou was a bodybuilder but yet you are going to a soft school that issue rank fo money. I guess you should be done with what you wrote. Have a wonderful day.



 

Guardian

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I'm don't know a dang thing about it to be honest here.

Go, give it a try and see what happens. It's pretty simple in my book.

I wish you luck and above all else, have fun.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Again another ATA school giving black belts to 6 year olds. I wonder why they don't have the respect from the martial arts community.
 
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atafamily

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atafamily let me help you a litle here, 1st thing is this,

As far as sparring 12 year olds I never said I wanted to spar 12 year olds not sure where you got that.

In red is your comments

I cant until I am a camo belt I dont believe. Now with this said I will be by far the oldest. I cant see myself sparring a 12 year old..

No what you said was you are the oldest by far and you could not see yourself sparring a 12 year old which means you had no one to spar.

There are adults that take classes here to ..

I wish my school would offer ADULTS only classes.. I am very athletic and getting thru the first few belts should be a breeze.. heck I can do the moves my 6 year old has done to make camo belt.

So which is it do they have an adult class or not, on one hand you said they do not have adults but on the other hand you say they do? I huess they combine the kids and adults?


I am done now with this thread .. I was just hoping to get feedback on The ATA.

You got feedback but it was not what you wanted to hear so now you leave, one of my biggest problem is 6 year old BB. How can they know anything let alone be a BB. You said you want to be push because tyou was a bodybuilder but yet you are going to a soft school that issue rank fo money. I guess you should be done with what you wrote. Have a wonderful day.

Wow U sure read way to much into what I wrote. My son is in leadership, most of these students in there are kids, they mix kids in with the adults. My son is NOT a 6 year old BB.. The leadership classes that are taught at my school is the most detailed of all the classes they offer so yes I want to learn full forms, full range weapons and have the opportunity to spar. Now my son has been to two classes, where each time the oldest student I saw was 12, I do know there are other adults that participate in this class however I have not seen them. I could always spar with the insturctor..When I say I will be the oldest I am 43 starting a MA.. so yes I am one of the oldest in this school.

I also made a comment about making my son was ready to test, if he wasnt ready or I as his parent felt he was moving to fast I will not let him test.. he is only 6. From what I can tell from my school getting to camo belt sems to go pretty fast, now getting from camo to black is whole different process.

I got the feedback I wanted to hear and most of it has been positive.

Untill your rude comments -

You have a wonderful day -
 

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