Calling Somebody's Dojo A McDojo Is Offensive

Gerry Seymour

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This question assumes that earning a black belt is equal to earning a college degree. Four years of full time study, 120 credits, the first 60 of which are the core curriculum classes consisting of hard science electives, literature, humanities, mathematics, etc. Where the entire curriculum of most Japanese and Korean martial arts up to 1st Dan are on just a few pages (maybe 5 to 10), you have a 500 page textbook for each 3-credit class in college. They're not the same.

Yeah, but you have no way of knowing how many hours these students are studying on their own time, or even if they are at all. Every student is different, and some are fully capable of excelling with little or no self-study time.
I don't think that post requires they be equal, or even equivalent. It more questions whether they are being made analogous, which they could be. You could look at 1st degree as graduating HS in some systems or as an undegrad degree in others. Each progressive "degree" rank would be analogous to the progressive degree system in US higher education.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Its one of the things a new cohort of students is told when they entered our university department. When a fellow student says Oh I didnt do any work for that exam but does well, they are lying and probably trying to psyche you out/show off!
But that's not necessarily true. There were classes I took that required no work from me, even if they did for others (math classes were this way for me, even in college).
 

Hot Lunch

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This mentality makes no sense to me. Even if the answer is, "I don't think you have the emotional maturity I want in my X rank students", it's not at all unreasonable to want to know what's needed to reach the next rank.
I've only trained at two dojos and both times, I got the information about how promotions work by reviewing the dojo and/or association website and asking questions before signing up. If they're going going to talk down to me for asking about that, I'd rather find out before giving them a dime of my money.

What Tigerwarrior just described was akin to asking out your crush after you've allowed yourself to be put in the friendzone.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Is there anyone on this forum who trains for the sake of training, hasnt taken a grading of any sort and done so for more than, say, three years?
Are we counting training beyond a point? I hit my last promotion in around 2002. I trained years more at my instructors school, then many years on my own and with my own students, with no actual path for further promotion (though further ranks do exist).
 

Gerry Seymour

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I've only trained at two dojos and both times, I got the information about how promotions work by reviewing the dojo and/or association website and asking questions before signing up. If they're going going to talk down to me for asking about that, I'd rather find out before giving them a dime of my money.

What Tigerwarrior just described was akin to asking out your crush after you've allowed yourself to be put in the friendzone.
Not at all. At some point, even if you know the paper requirements, you may not know where you stand in meeting those standards. I've had students ask me what they should be working on to prepare for their next test, because they weren't sure what I thought they weren't good enough at to pass a test. (Interestingly, in every case, the answer was "nothing - just keep working - you'll test soon".)
 

Hot Lunch

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But it's not a simple yes or no. It's kinda both, kinda neither. Which is pretty much what the post you quoted said.
His response was a way out of the corner he backed himself into.

It's far more likely that someone will later contradict themselves after saying "belts don't matter" than it is for someone who says "belts matter." And he knows this.
 
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Hot Lunch

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Not at all. At some point, even if you know the paper requirements, you may not know where you stand in meeting those standards. I've had students ask me what they should be working on to prepare for their next test, because they weren't sure what I thought they weren't good enough at to pass a test. (Interestingly, in every case, the answer was "nothing - just keep working - you'll test soon".)
He was saying "how much longer" and "what do I need to know." I don't know about where he trains, but many dojos have it spelled out. What kihons, katas, and kumites they need to know for each grade, and the time in grade eligibility requirements for testing and/or testing intervals.

Key word is "eligibility," as opposed to more firm "if/then" statements. The factors you're talking about are already implied with the word "eligible."
 
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Tigerwarrior

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This mentality makes no sense to me. Even if the answer is, "I don't think you have the emotional maturity I want in my X rank students", it's not at all unreasonable to want to know what's needed to reach the next rank.
It was a old school bjj school. He basically told me "you get it when you get it" which made no sense because that school did test for belts. Probably just the instructor imo
 

Tigerwarrior

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Well let's say you're training 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In that case I could see it feasible to be a black belt in 3 years or less.

What if it's been a long time since you've been promoted, and by that I mean much longer than what you hope or expect? Wouldn't it make sense to at least ask or say something about it at that point?

And why shouldn't you ask what you need to learn to be eligible for your next belt if you have a goal of getting the next belt? After all, when you have a goal it's crucial to know what you need to do to reach it. And that's true not just with martial arts but with life in general.

So why was he pissed off? It was not unreasonable for you to ask what you asked in the situation you were in. Did he not have his morning coffee?

Well that's good. My current Goju Ryu instructor operates much the same way.
It was a old school style bjj school. He said to me "you'll get it when you get it" but it made no sense because that school indeed tested for belts, I've seen gauntlets so I know this for a fact. He also could of not liked me but just dealt with me being in his gym. I'm a very humble guy but I take the arts serious and to some people they get the wrong impression.
 
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PhotonGuy

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It was a old school style bjj school. He said to me "you'll get it when you get it" but it made no sense because that school indeed tested for belts, I've seen gauntlets so I know this for a fact. He also could of not liked me but just dealt with me being in his gym.
It sounds like he didn't like you and that he had an attitude. If you ask me belts should be earned of course but you should know what you need to do to get them and if its taking you longer than usual, longer than other students for instance, you should know what you're doing wrong so you can fix it. That's only fair. If your instructor isn't being fair you should be able to take him to court.
I'm a very humble guy but I take the arts serious and to some people they get the wrong impression.
Why would somebody get the wrong impression because you take the arts seriously? If anything, most instructors would love to have somebody who takes the art seriously to train at their dojo or gym.
 

Hot Lunch

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It sounds like he didn't like you and that he had an attitude. If you ask me belts should be earned of course but you should know what you need to do to get them and if its taking you longer than usual, longer than other students for instance, you should know what you're doing wrong so you can fix it. That's only fair. If your instructor isn't being fair you should be able to take him to court.
I don't know about all that, but I will say that if the instructor can't answer a straightforward question, understand that a dojo is a business at the end of the day and that you're a paying customer. When you walk into a McDonald's, you would never tolerate that type of service from the cashier, so why should you anywhere else?
 
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PhotonGuy

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I don't know about all that, but I will say that if the instructor can't answer a straightforward question, understand that a dojo is a business at the end of the day and that you're a paying customer. When you walk into a McDonald's, you would never tolerate that type of service from the cashier, so why should you anywhere else?
Yes a dojo is a business although the business part is supposed to be secondary. The first and foremost purpose of the dojo should be to teach the martial arts and to help develop students into good practitioners of the martial arts. As such a student should be able to ask the instructor about how the dojo is run including on how rank advancement is run.
 

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Please tell me that we aren't beating the same horse.
We arent beating the same horse.

its the same horse.
IMG_2587.jpeg
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I don't know about all that, but I will say that if the instructor can't answer a straightforward question, understand that a dojo is a business at the end of the day and that you're a paying customer. When you walk into a McDonald's, you would never tolerate that type of service from the cashier, so why should you anywhere else?
I think you have this backwards. Im not at your service, you come to request training. I decide the if, the when, the how. Dont like my style or the service? Go somewhere else. My school, my rule. If someone walked in demanding answers or suggested to me that I was the same as a McDonalds cashier, I would ask them to leave and not return.
 
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