Better quality training! Need advice.

faerie2

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I joined my (mc)Dojang 8 months ago, and I just earned my black stripe. Yep, that's right. sigh. I kept testing when asked because I figured that they wouldn't ask if they felt like I wasn't ready. I'm there 5 days/week, and train hard, but this is getting silly. The Dojang is run by an 8th Dan BB, and his sons (4th and 5th Dan) who are all incredibly inspiring. The students, however, are all kids - except for me and on the most part, woefully slow and sloppy, even the poom BB's.

Up until this point, I figured that I could get from it what I put into it, but my husband just signed up for Kung Fu up the street and in three lessons, he has had a farther in depth instruction than I have in the entire time at my Dojang. I know that GM and the instructors have a lot that they could teach me, and I feel that they are being far too easy on me, because they have seen students (kids) leave when they are too strict.

Part of me wants to stick it out, and ask them to step up the training, part of me wants to leave and start over somewhere else before they ask me to test for BB before 12 months. Is it possible to get better quality training from a McDojang?
 

jarrod

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why not try the kung fu class with your husband?

to answer your question though, you're going to have a tough time getting more intense training if you are the only adult training with a group of kids. you don't really have anyone your level to spar with, or push you in drills, forms, etc. there's nothing wrong with getting your feet wet in a mcshcool, but you sound like you might be ready to move on.

jf
 

AMP-RYU

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I joined my (mc)Dojang 8 months ago, and I just earned my black stripe. Yep, that's right. sigh. I kept testing when asked because I figured that they wouldn't ask if they felt like I wasn't ready. I'm there 5 days/week, and train hard, but this is getting silly. The Dojang is run by an 8th Dan BB, and his sons (4th and 5th Dan) who are all incredibly inspiring. The students, however, are all kids - except for me and on the most part, woefully slow and sloppy, even the poom BB's.

Up until this point, I figured that I could get from it what I put into it, but my husband just signed up for Kung Fu up the street and in three lessons, he has had a farther in depth instruction than I have in the entire time at my Dojang. I know that GM and the instructors have a lot that they could teach me, and I feel that they are being far too easy on me, because they have seen students (kids) leave when they are too strict.

Part of me wants to stick it out, and ask them to step up the training, part of me wants to leave and start over somewhere else before they ask me to test for BB before 12 months. Is it possible to get better quality training from a McDojang?
I would say probably not from the mcdojo you are currently at. If this is how they teach they prolly won't change just for you. Im sure there are several other schools in your area and I would check them out. Always make sure to ask about the instructors background, dont be afraid to ask, and I would certantly ask about testing. Anything less than atleast 2 years to black is way to quick! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask if the schools have a adults only class, this is a big plus. Where are you located maybe someone on here is from your area and can suggest a place to train.
 
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faerie2

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why not try the kung fu class with your husband?

to answer your question though, you're going to have a tough time getting more intense training if you are the only adult training with a group of kids. you don't really have anyone your level to spar with, or push you in drills, forms, etc. there's nothing wrong with getting your feet wet in a mcshcool, but you sound like you might be ready to move on.

jf

they have me spar with anyone who is my height :) I'm short, so there are a few BB pooms who are 12-14 who I regularly spar with, and sometimes the adult instructors. THey do push me hard in drills, but I feel like I have to push them to push me, you know? A few times I have had to tell them "That kick sucked, I have to do that over again, don't accept that kind of sloppiness from me!". I think they go easier on my because I'm a mom, but I walk or run 10km every day, and did so through both of my pregnancies up until the last day and went back at it after one week. I'm a tough cookie darnitt and I want to be trained as such.

I would love to do the KF class with my husband, but one of us has to watch the kids, and our class times off-set each other's. I was thinking of sticking it out at my current school for a couple of years, and join his when the kids are old enough to come with us and sit and colour while we train, but 10 months and 4 years is just too young to sit in a MA studio for 90mins. I think you may be right about moving on, it makes me sad, I really like the family who runs it.
 

jks9199

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I would say probably not from the mcdojo you are currently at. If this is how they teach they prolly won't change just for you. Im sure there are several other schools in your area and I would check them out. Always make sure to ask about the instructors background, dont be afraid to ask, and I would certantly ask about testing. Anything less than atleast 2 years to black is way to quick! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask if the schools have a adults only class, this is a big plus. Where are you located maybe someone on here is from your area and can suggest a place to train.
I disagree with any magic number of years rule -- but they're definitely moving the OP along rather fast. At the same time, she's there training a lot. I can see an intense program moving someone to black belt in many systems in a year. One example is the Yoshinkan Aikido Senshusei police program; the students train something like 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, and basically live in the dojo.

But that's an unusual and demanding program. I kind of suspect this isn't one...

What I'd suggest is looking for a program that caters to adults, not kids. As a general rule, outside of special occasions, adults and children shouldn't be training together. They learn differently and need to be taught differently. With the experience gained from spending the better part of year in this program, the OP can look for a program that's more demanding and more geared to her goals.
 
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faerie2

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I disagree with any magic number of years rule -- but they're definitely moving the OP along rather fast. At the same time, she's there training a lot. I can see an intense program moving someone to black belt in many systems in a year. One example is the Yoshinkan Aikido Senshusei police program; the students train something like 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, and basically live in the dojo.

But that's an unusual and demanding program. I kind of suspect this isn't one...

What I'd suggest is looking for a program that caters to adults, not kids. As a general rule, outside of special occasions, adults and children shouldn't be training together. They learn differently and need to be taught differently. With the experience gained from spending the better part of year in this program, the OP can look for a program that's more demanding and more geared to her goals.

Yeah, HA! I'm certainly not there 8 hours/day, but I do 2 hours of cardio/conditioning training outside of the dojang every day. That does nothing for my muscle memory, or my ability to do a perfect back hook kick ;)
 
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faerie2

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I would say probably not from the mcdojo you are currently at. If this is how they teach they prolly won't change just for you. Im sure there are several other schools in your area and I would check them out. Always make sure to ask about the instructors background, dont be afraid to ask, and I would certantly ask about testing. Anything less than atleast 2 years to black is way to quick! Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask if the schools have a adults only class, this is a big plus. Where are you located maybe someone on here is from your area and can suggest a place to train.

When I signed up,they had an "adult" class, but that morphed into the "advanced" class because there were no more adults. I figured an 8th Dan GM with 5th, 4th 2rd and 2nd Dan instructors would make for a pretty good place to be. They have trained me with the older students, but I'm still older than them by 20 years. I figured that because they were training kids who have been there for years, along with me, I would get better quality training, but it makes me mad that they let the kids get away with so much crap!

I should have checked out a couple of these "adult" classes before signing on. I feel somewhat emotionally involved in my Dojang, I really like the people who run it and I want them to do well - I want the other parents to see me there, so maybe some of them will sign up, or tell their friends to, but after 8 months there, it's not looking good for any other adults to sign up, but now, I'm feeling like I'm 34 years old, in top notch physical condition and being put on par with lazy, sloppy tweens :(
 

jks9199

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When I signed up,they had an "adult" class, but that morphed into the "advanced" class because there were no more adults. I figured an 8th Dan GM with 5th, 4th 2rd and 2nd Dan instructors would make for a pretty good place to be. They have trained me with the older students, but I'm still older than them by 20 years. I figured that because they were training kids who have been there for years, along with me, I would get better quality training, but it makes me mad that they let the kids get away with so much crap!

I should have checked out a couple of these "adult" classes before signing on. I feel somewhat emotionally involved in my Dojang, I really like the people who run it and I want them to do well - I want the other parents to see me there, so maybe some of them will sign up, or tell their friends to, but after 8 months there, it's not looking good for any other adults to sign up, but now, I'm feeling like I'm 34 years old, in top notch physical condition and being put on par with lazy, sloppy tweens :(
The rank of the instructors doesn't guarantee the quality of the instruction. I know some highly ranked people -- who are crappy teachers. And I know some brand new black belts (and even a few non-black belts) who are very good teachers.

I suggest you look at the schools; if they're focusing a lot of their efforts on things like before & after school programs and day care... then you're probably not going to be happy. Or at least want to talk to them at length about what they offer. You may also want to look around for classes through rec centers and other less obvious places; as you may have noted, there are a lot of excellent garage dojos out there!
 

hkfuie

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I'm there 5 days/week, and train hard, but this is getting silly. The Dojang is run by an 8th Dan BB, and his sons (4th and 5th Dan)

Faerie2, You sound alot like me when I first began training. I was a runner and the only woman, the only adult person in the classes, training ~10 hours per week. And it took me 4 years to get my BB in TKD.

I disagree with you, Jarrod, on the basis of my own experience. :)

I got a great workout. But then my instructor tolerated NO guff from kids. I would look around sometimes and wonder, what they heck am I doing sitting in this class with a bunch of CHILDREN???? But then I did not want to learn from anyone else and this is what it took to learn from my instructor. BTW, as soon as I got my BB, he suddenly got a bunch of adult students, and a bunch of women signed up. But I digress. :)

Faerie2, I understand that you like this family, but if you stick with them, will you always question, in the back of your mind, that you were not pushed to the level you should have been pushed? Will you have a seed of doubt in your mind? Will you question yourself? B/c a huge part of your ability to use your skills is your belief in your skills. Without that belief, you are the elephant tethered with a little rope b/c you do not know you can break that rope.


OMG, did I just call you an elephant? No! Forgive me faerie2! LOL!
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Have you voiced this concern to your GM privately? Perhaps they could offer you private lessons or separate you from the regular class to work with you on a more challenging level. It could be that they're in a period in their enrollment where they're just very heavy on kids and need to be careful with them because mom and dad will pull little Johnny out if it gets too hard.

A lot of schools in my area are either in difficult straights or shutting down. You've only been there eight months, so consider that your entire tenure with the school has been during four dollar a gallon gasoline for the first four months and a tanked economy for the last four months. Needless to say, they may fear for their livelyhood and be hesitant to push students or withold promotions. They may also be moving you along quickly because you are an adult and probably more skilled than the kids, thus they're trying to reward you with rank.

They may be overjoyed to be asked to train you harder. If you have already gone this rout, then I'm not sure what else to say. I don't know that I'd quit before blackbelt if I were there, but that's just me; I tend to ride the train to the last stop before boarding another one.:p

Daniel
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Adults simply need to train with adults. A different level of teaching must be used in training children. It is hard to get good or feel motivated when training with children as you are usually training in a child's curriculum at that point.
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In your case I would ask your instructor to get an adult class going or also take private-semi private lessons with them. If that fails to address your needs then you certainly need to look around.
 

BrandonLucas

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I can agree to sticking it out to BB to a certain extent...it really depends on how lax the instruction is as to whether I would want to continue paying for classes that I didn't enjoy or get anything out of.

If it's not that bad, and it's more of an annoyance, then sure, ride it out to BB, then move on. I would advise doing this judging from what you've posted...it sounds more like you're disappointed that they aren't hard enough on you than actually not getting anything out of it at all. Not to mention that since your schedule offsets your husband's schedule to watch your children, at least you're doing something productive with your time.

I think talking to the instructor is a great idea as well, but be perpared for whatever answer your given. It could be that this is how the school is run, and they may not like to vary from their program.

If I were the OP, though, I would definitely jump into the KF school as soon as possible, for no other reason that to at least be around other training adults. Just being around other adults in class can make all the difference in how you train and how you feel about your training. So even if you were to talk to your instructor about training harder in class, unless a private class is on the table where it's just you and the instructor, I wouldn't put too much effort into trying to stay there. Adults need to be around other adults...other serious adults...to seriously train and get something out of it.
 

BrandonLucas

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Adults simply need to train with adults. A different level of teaching must be used in training children. It is hard to get good or feel motivated when training with children as you are usually training in a child's curriculum at that point.
icon6.gif
In your case I would ask your instructor to get an adult class going or also take private-semi private lessons with them. If that fails to address your needs then you certainly need to look around.

We posted virtually the same thing...you just typed it faster and shorter and better than I did...lol.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I can agree to sticking it out to BB to a certain extent...it really depends on how lax the instruction is as to whether I would want to continue paying for classes that I didn't enjoy or get anything out of.
At the rate she's going, she'll be black belt next month, so it isn't as if there's that much more to be paying for, and this close to the end, it doesn't really make sense. Kind of like dropping out of high school in May of your senior year; sticking it out two more months brings you to the very end and you get your diploma.

Now, if they charge some exorbitant amount for the BB test, and if she truely intends to begin training at the kung fu school, then it would make sense to bring things to a close.

I guess from my own perspective as a martial artist, I like to see things through to the end. Then at least nobody can badmouth you and say that you quit.

Daniel
 

BrandonLucas

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At the rate she's going, she'll be black belt next month, so it isn't as if there's that much more to be paying for, and this close to the end, it doesn't really make sense. Kind of like dropping out of high school in May of your senior year; sticking it out two more months brings you to the very end and you get your diploma.

Now, if they charge some exorbitant amount for the BB test, and if she truely intends to begin training at the kung fu school, then it would make sense to bring things to a close.

I guess from my own perspective as a martial artist, I like to see things through to the end. Then at least nobody can badmouth you and say that you quit.

Daniel

That's very true. I do agree with you on this...

But playing devil's advocate here:

Would it be easy to admit that you earned a blackbelt from an instructor that just passed you through the ranks?

Again, just looking at the other side of this. I do agree that the OP should stick it out to the end...but this is just something to think about.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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That's very true. I do agree with you on this...

But playing devil's advocate here:

Would it be easy to admit that you earned a blackbelt from an instructor that just passed you through the ranks?

Again, just looking at the other side of this. I do agree that the OP should stick it out to the end...but this is just something to think about.
I bolded the words 'you earned a blackbelt' because that earning is the important factor. Now I'm going to retype the sentence and change one word: you earned their blackbelt. And that is the key: as long as you earned it at that school, by meeting their requirements, and can look someone else in the eye and say that you put in 110% and learned all of the material, then you've nothing to be ashamed of. If a student paid dues for two years, never showed up for class except for testings, paid testing fees and got a BB for basically knowing zilch, then the school should be ashamed, not the student. Though in that case, the student had better hope that they never need to use their 'karate' in a real fight, lol.

Dealing with the general public, they won't know the difference between McDojo's black belt and a Ruth's Chris' Dojo black belt. Then you can always follow it up with something like, 'I earned my TKD BB there, but I've since moved on to a more advanced school.'

When dealing with actual practitioners who do know the difference, such as instructors at a new school, if you approach them with humility and state that you earned your black belt at such and such school but find that you'd like the more in depth training that the new school offers, they will know that the McDojo is a McDojo. They'll also see that you stuck it out and didn't quit, and they'll see that you aren't swinging around your blackbelt as though you're the next Bruce Lee.

The big thing in this is to not badmouth the old school in the process. Some schools are more advanced and offer better training than others. No shame in having been to one of the regulars; lots of people go to the McDojo to get their feet wet. If you acknowledge that it was a fairly basic school geared towards families with kids, so what?

I kind of draw a line when a school blatantly rips people off, but that is a different story. I don't know that the OP feels ripped off; she hasn't stated such. Given that the average school seems to be about 100-150 a month, if she's out in less than a year, she hasn't spent nearly as much as a two year BB at a crappy school. She does see that she wants more out of martial arts than her current school offers.

Daniel
 
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terryl965

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I have to agree, we have a seperate adult class but we also have those adult that fight on the fight team and that brings up this the fight team needs to train together they arte one when going into a tournament. They are all they have to help each other out beside me and for the most part I am caoching someone. You need to ask about beginning a seperate adult class for those that need it, even if it means one on one training at this point.
 

GBlues

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I have to say this because it has come up. Bringing children to sit and watch at a dojo, or dojang, or any other martial arts school, is flat out wrong. Children that are there because mom and dad want to train but the children are not, are noisy and distractive to the other students. It is not right, nor fair to the other students. Because they aren't going to sit there and color in their coloring books. They will become bored and begin to run around the freaking place making noise, fighting, falling on the mats, etc....It's a real drag, and you feel bad to say anything, because you want people to learn, but by the same token, it really isn't fair to the other students that are paying the same monthly fee you are. On top of that, you'd have to stop in your training when your kids start getting out of hand, your partner has to wait for you finish with your kids before you can continue to practice. What's worse is this, YOU will get less out of the kung-fu classes having to deal with your children and trying to learn martial arts than you will at the McDojang. If your going to take your children put them in the class, get them learning, so they are not such a distraction to the other students around you. I personally have no problem training with children, I once was one. It's as necassary for them to learn self-defense as it is for adults. Also when you begin young you are hard wiring the automatic nervous system for martial arts. The younger you begin the better it is. THe faster you learn the quicker it can be permanently placed in (for lack of a better word) your 'muscle memory'.

Now that being said, if your not happy with your TKD classes and don't feel that your getting out of it what you need or are looking for, simply leave. Go somewhere else. However, on the other side once you reach BB they may push you much harder. I went to one Wing Chun school to check it out, and the instructor there told me this, " Most generally we try to get most students to Black Sash in about 6 months. The reason being is that wing chun is kind of a boring art. It's not flashy, there's no high kicks etc.. However, after 6 months, we spend the next 6 months tightening everything up, making sure that you know exactly what your doing, and everything is up to snuff." Right or wrong I don't know, I didn't stick around for that school. My point being that maybe after you reach BB they will get much harder on you, they just want you to stick around to get to what they may consider 'the good stuff'. I don't know, but it could be a possibility. My experience has been this. If your honest with your instructor and tell him, I need this to be harder, I don't feel like I've earned my rank, they will try there best to accomodate you, or they may simply say, " Look, (place your name here), I know that it seems that way, but, once you reach bb your going to find things change quite drastically for you here. The training gets much harder, the techniques have to be better, etc,etc....", but you aren't going to know if you don't talk to the guy. Tell him how you feel. He may surprise you. Just my opinion.:asian:
 

BrandonLucas

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I have to say this because it has come up. Bringing children to sit and watch at a dojo, or dojang, or any other martial arts school, is flat out wrong. Children that are there because mom and dad want to train but the children are not, are noisy and distractive to the other students. It is not right, nor fair to the other students. Because they aren't going to sit there and color in their coloring books. They will become bored and begin to run around the freaking place making noise, fighting, falling on the mats, etc....It's a real drag, and you feel bad to say anything, because you want people to learn, but by the same token, it really isn't fair to the other students that are paying the same monthly fee you are. On top of that, you'd have to stop in your training when your kids start getting out of hand, your partner has to wait for you finish with your kids before you can continue to practice. What's worse is this, YOU will get less out of the kung-fu classes having to deal with your children and trying to learn martial arts than you will at the McDojang. If your going to take your children put them in the class, get them learning, so they are not such a distraction to the other students around you. I personally have no problem training with children, I once was one. It's as necassary for them to learn self-defense as it is for adults. Also when you begin young you are hard wiring the automatic nervous system for martial arts. The younger you begin the better it is. THe faster you learn the quicker it can be permanently placed in (for lack of a better word) your 'muscle memory'.

Now that being said, if your not happy with your TKD classes and don't feel that your getting out of it what you need or are looking for, simply leave. Go somewhere else. However, on the other side once you reach BB they may push you much harder. I went to one Wing Chun school to check it out, and the instructor there told me this, " Most generally we try to get most students to Black Sash in about 6 months. The reason being is that wing chun is kind of a boring art. It's not flashy, there's no high kicks etc.. However, after 6 months, we spend the next 6 months tightening everything up, making sure that you know exactly what your doing, and everything is up to snuff." Right or wrong I don't know, I didn't stick around for that school. My point being that maybe after you reach BB they will get much harder on you, they just want you to stick around to get to what they may consider 'the good stuff'. I don't know, but it could be a possibility. My experience has been this. If your honest with your instructor and tell him, I need this to be harder, I don't feel like I've earned my rank, they will try there best to accomodate you, or they may simply say, " Look, (place your name here), I know that it seems that way, but, once you reach bb your going to find things change quite drastically for you here. The training gets much harder, the techniques have to be better, etc,etc....", but you aren't going to know if you don't talk to the guy. Tell him how you feel. He may surprise you. Just my opinion.:asian:

We actually have several parents that bring their small children to class with them that don't participate in class while the parents do, and the children actually behave quite well. It's not always the case that children are going to misbehave if left unattended...and it's not fair to the parents that want to train but don't have a way to get to the dojang unless they take their kids with them.

It's usually a case by case basis that children come in and wait while the parents train...if the children act out and distract class, then our instructor simply asks the parents if there's an altetinitive to bringing the children to class...of course, this is done in private.

In some cases, the dojang may even have a section for kids to wait on their parents, almost like a daycare facility but for only the duration of the class.

Again, it's a case-by-case basis, really.
 

Kacey

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If you're not happy with the quality of instruction you're getting, talk to the instructors; if it changes, GREAT! If it doesn't change... start class-shopping. Yes, you could ride it out until you get your black belt there - but what is it going to be worth? Any good instructor will take you from wherever you are as far as you're able to go - and they're going to start by testing you informally to see what you know. You may retain the rank you've attained when you change classes, and you may not. Even if you do retain your rank, you may need to stay there several testing cycles (or longer, depending on the length of the cycles and how much your technique differs from their other students).

But if you don't think you're getting what you want out of the training, and the instructors don't change it for you - why keep paying them to not teach you at the level at which you want to learn?
 

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