Buyer Beware?

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Sparks

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Hello All,

Recently I signed on with a TKD school in my area and have attended the "adult level" classes. However, the age range was not what I expected as there were kids as young as 6 years old in the class. There are even some mother/father/child combinations taking the same class together. I have noticed this mix and while I have nothing at all against children, I worry that my ability to advance with this school will be limited. Reason I say this is that the ratio of kids to adults seems to be 2:1 and the instructors seem far more concerned with the children and their activities than the class as a whole.

Other things I'm noticing is nobody bowing when entering the dojang and people showing up late. I guess I'm comparing my former experiences with another school where you always bowed before entering and waited for permission to join the class from the instructor if late. I have yet to see any forms practice, sparring or self-defense really being taught. Yet, there are around 250 students in this school total. There are people of all ages with different color belts in there- they had to do something to advance! The black belt instructors all seem very adept yet I've seen some with brown belts there who act like the've never thrown a side kick!

Sorry, but I find all this lackadaisacal and hard to understand from my perspective. Maybe I'm the victim of a "McDojang"? Ah well, this is a non-contract place and I can leave whenever I want to. I don't know if I should continue & give them a chance or not (??). Maybe I'm still just having beginners-jitters here. Any advice is appreciated- thanks for letting me vent!
 

oldnewbie

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This is a great place to vent!

Sounds like the school is a little too big, and control may have been lost.
Some schools don't bow, less traditional....

Talk to the instructor about your concerns, then make the right choice for you. Belt color is not a measure of skill. (Although it should be.)


Good luck!
 

arnisador

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The bowing doesn't seem like a big concern to me--some schools have that tradition, others don't--but you getting good training does matter.

If they have 250 students, then from a business point of view, they'll have little motivation to change to address your concerns. Perhaps they will do so anyway, for the right reasons, and I think you should try to discuss the matter with them...but if you've given it a few weeks and are still concerned, you should look around. Do you have many other choices in your area?
 

TigerWoman

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I read your post and thought, this sounds familiar until I got to the "brown" belt. We don't have brown belts. whew! But.. We recently went to all ages-family classes instead of adult. Being a single adult in these classes is not so great. Being a father, mother, with kids is great for them. I think there should be just adult classes still who don't want the chaos experience. Usually this is before class and after but still, I see your point about it being catered to the kids. They take the most attention and I mean take. Adults you can tell them to do 100 of each of front, round side, etc. and they will just do it. Sometimes, I have older men, young men, mothers, teens, and small children in one class. Kids depending on their age group have lower attentions spans and want fun. Adults don't require fun, just progress or toward that direction. It is difficult to please everyone. But at least most of them get to participate in TKD without having to get child care. And we do everything, sparring, self-defense, etc. Of course, when I do an more adult oriented class-less kids and parents come back the next time. When I do a kid's fun class, less adults.

We bow in and out and as an instructor, I remind students this is required. But still, I see newbies forgetting...

I would just talk to your instructor about your concerns. If more students like yourself voiced it to them instead of quitting, it might get changed for you and me both. (I'm not the owner/Master of our school). Good luck! TW
 
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Sparks

Guest
Thanks much for your replies.

I suppose that because the former TKD school I went to was fairly strict I now use that as a template and am setting myself up for disappointments when things don't meet that expectation. I'll try to flex more on that point.

Arnisador- I agree with what you are saying. They enjoy a humongous enrollment and you sure as better get to class 15 minutes beforehand if you want a parking spot- serious! Yes, there are some other school choices but a little further drive away. As far as getting good training, I feel like I'm becoming a good dancer- lol.

Tigerwoman & oldnewbie- I'll take your advice & talk to the instructor. One issue is that he has very broken English and it takes a bit to understand one another. He's such a nice man that I hate to complain- 250 other students sure seem to like it there.
Thanks again guys!
 

still learning

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Hello, Alway trust your instincts. I believe you know the answer? You may want to find a school that meets your needs. We all have at one time or another needed something more from the training.

It will be harder to learn and advance at a school that you do not have much respect for. What will a brown belt mean to you if you got one like the rest of the students?

How would you like your black belt to read, from Mac's house or Jet Li's School? Your choice? again trust what you believe will be best for you! ...Aloha
 

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