Going to check out a new school today

skribs

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There's a local school in the small town I just moved to. I think it (like my town) is just starting up. The owner is a 4th degree black belt.

If I join, this will be the first martial art school I attend where I'm remotely close in level to the person running it. Even at my highest in my main school, I was 3 degrees underneath the Master. My BJJ professor has been doing BJJ 25 years longer than me. The other schools in the area I briefly attended were a Hapkido school with a 4th degree (I'm 1st in Hapkido) and a TKD school with an 8th degree black belt.

Here, I'm only 1 degree underneath him, and I was really close to getting my 4th before I moved. It will be an interesting experience.
 

HighKick

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There's a local school in the small town I just moved to. I think it (like my town) is just starting up. The owner is a 4th degree black belt.

If I join, this will be the first martial art school I attend where I'm remotely close in level to the person running it. Even at my highest in my main school, I was 3 degrees underneath the Master. My BJJ professor has been doing BJJ 25 years longer than me. The other schools in the area I briefly attended were a Hapkido school with a 4th degree (I'm 1st in Hapkido) and a TKD school with an 8th degree black belt.

Here, I'm only 1 degree underneath him, and I was really close to getting my 4th before I moved. It will be an interesting experience.
Just start as a white belt and train.
Empty your plate.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Hopefully this one is closer to what you're looking for. Have you talked with the owner yet?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Just start as a white belt and train.
Empty your plate.
He did that for other styles. Why would he do that for his own style, that hes a (i think) 3rd degree bb in? At its best, that would be extreme sandbagging. It also would probably be a violation and/or some very confusing conversations if he tried to rank in kukkiwon or attend any tournaments as a kyu.
 
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skribs

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Hopefully this one is closer to what you're looking for. Have you talked with the owner yet?
I had emailed him last week, heard back from him this week. Went to meet him today. He seems very chill to talk to. He's also very opinionated on KKW being "real TKD" and all others being "fake TKD". Which to some degree I get, but also think if you're defining yourself by what you're not instead of by what you are, then what are you?

His attitude is if someone comes in with a high rank in any other style of TKD, they're a white belt in his school because it would be dangerous for them to be fighting his upper belts.

It sounds like it would be a much tougher class than the previous school I went to, but in talking to him I wonder if maybe he swings too far on the other end. He told me his school is unappreciated in our town, and told me a story about a Mom who brought in a kid because the kid needed exercise, but they didn't stick it out because "it was too hard". I know that's just one anecdote, but I wonder if it's just that the kid was lazy, or if it's that he doesn't understand white belts.

He did mention a program he has with a lot of the Masters in neighboring towns to do cross training with them. I thought that sounded cool. He had a bad experience with the school I previously tried and disliked. We both had similar opinions of their intensity of training.

I had mentioned in my email keeping my TKD skills sharp and maybe volunteering. He didn't discuss me volunteering at all. It's possible it slipped his mind or that he wants to wait to see my skills and character beforehand. But he only talked to me about coming to the adult class, which is currently not active. He just kind of considered me as a potential student in the adult class. Which is ironically less expectations than I had both in BJJ and MT, where early on they were already talking about me potentially coaching in the future.

His website is rather bad. Lots of blank pages, the information that's on there is disorganized. His Facebook, Google Maps, and website entries all have different information. I went today during what should be a class, and there was nobody else there. He told me to watch Facebook and reach out again when he opens the adult class back up. I think that might also be part of why he might not be getting many students (to his complaint I mentioned above) is he doesn't do a very good job of getting information out to the public.

I don't know. I did like him, and I do think it would be a very unique training experience. He also has connections that might help me get the rank I'm looking for. He may also be open to partnerships if I open my own school. But I also have to wonder if there's a reason his school is "not appreciated", and his public information is not very easy to navigate. I didn't get a chance to see a class, see him do any martial arts or teaching, or show him anything I know.

Kind of a long ramble, if you read thanks for reading. Overall, I think I like the guy, although I have concerns about how he does things. And there doesn't seem to be an adult class right now for me to try.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I had emailed him last week, heard back from him this week. Went to meet him today. He seems very chill to talk to. He's also very opinionated on KKW being "real TKD" and all others being "fake TKD". Which to some degree I get, but also think if you're defining yourself by what you're not instead of by what you are, then what are you?

His attitude is if someone comes in with a high rank in any other style of TKD, they're a white belt in his school because it would be dangerous for them to be fighting his upper belts.

It sounds like it would be a much tougher class than the previous school I went to, but in talking to him I wonder if maybe he swings too far on the other end. He told me his school is unappreciated in our town, and told me a story about a Mom who brought in a kid because the kid needed exercise, but they didn't stick it out because "it was too hard". I know that's just one anecdote, but I wonder if it's just that the kid was lazy, or if it's that he doesn't understand white belts.

He did mention a program he has with a lot of the Masters in neighboring towns to do cross training with them. I thought that sounded cool. He had a bad experience with the school I previously tried and disliked. We both had similar opinions of their intensity of training.

I had mentioned in my email keeping my TKD skills sharp and maybe volunteering. He didn't discuss me volunteering at all. It's possible it slipped his mind or that he wants to wait to see my skills and character beforehand. But he only talked to me about coming to the adult class, which is currently not active. He just kind of considered me as a potential student in the adult class. Which is ironically less expectations than I had both in BJJ and MT, where early on they were already talking about me potentially coaching in the future.

His website is rather bad. Lots of blank pages, the information that's on there is disorganized. His Facebook, Google Maps, and website entries all have different information. I went today during what should be a class, and there was nobody else there. He told me to watch Facebook and reach out again when he opens the adult class back up. I think that might also be part of why he might not be getting many students (to his complaint I mentioned above) is he doesn't do a very good job of getting information out to the public.

I don't know. I did like him, and I do think it would be a very unique training experience. He also has connections that might help me get the rank I'm looking for. He may also be open to partnerships if I open my own school. But I also have to wonder if there's a reason his school is "not appreciated", and his public information is not very easy to navigate. I didn't get a chance to see a class, see him do any martial arts or teaching, or show him anything I know.

Kind of a long ramble, if you read thanks for reading. Overall, I think I like the guy, although I have concerns about how he does things. And there doesn't seem to be an adult class right now for me to try.
Hmm, a couple red flags, but it's worth checking out. The issue with other styles could make sense if it's a concern of different information being learned, but I have a hard time buying that non-kkw/wt TKD black belts would find sparring too hard, and also assume that those with a KKW black belt would be fine.
If he can help you rank though, through a connection at least, that could be worth it. Just don't sign a contract for a couple months at the least lol
 
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Hmm, a couple red flags, but it's worth checking out. The issue with other styles could make sense if it's a concern of different information being learned, but I have a hard time buying that non-kkw/wt TKD black belts would find sparring too hard, and also assume that those with a KKW black belt would be fine.
If he can help you rank though, through a connection at least, that could be worth it. Just don't sign a contract for a couple months at the least lol
No contracts at this place. It's very cheap. Which is another thing that he seemed bitter about, folks leaving his school to go to other sports that are more expensive.

Although, to be honest, I may not even notice when his class starts back up. It's not that worth it to me that I'm going to monitor his Facebook page for when the adult class starts back up. If I do notice, I may try it out.
 

HighKick

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He did that for other styles. Why would he do that for his own style, that hes a (i think) 3rd degree bb in? At its best, that would be extreme sandbagging. It also would probably be a violation and/or some very confusing conversations if he tried to rank in kukkiwon or attend any tournaments as a kyu.
Since @skribs is very active, this is true. But there seems to be significant gaps in his previous training compared to the required KKW curriculum. I certainly do not know this for certain.
Skirbs should fly through the color belt material, but it is imperative that he/she learns it correctly, so he/she can teach it correctly going forward. Naturally, the same can be said about the Yunandja poomsae and BB material.

I think it is great to start early in a new school, but there will be challenges to navigate with the school owner. They are Not equals, even is Skribs rank is higher.
I wonder how big the cultural changes will be.
 

HighKick

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I had emailed him last week, heard back from him this week. Went to meet him today. He seems very chill to talk to. He's also very opinionated on KKW being "real TKD" and all others being "fake TKD". Which to some degree I get, but also think if you're defining yourself by what you're not instead of by what you are, then what are you?

His attitude is if someone comes in with a high rank in any other style of TKD, they're a white belt in his school because it would be dangerous for them to be fighting his upper belts.

It sounds like it would be a much tougher class than the previous school I went to, but in talking to him I wonder if maybe he swings too far on the other end. He told me his school is unappreciated in our town, and told me a story about a Mom who brought in a kid because the kid needed exercise, but they didn't stick it out because "it was too hard". I know that's just one anecdote, but I wonder if it's just that the kid was lazy, or if it's that he doesn't understand white belts.

He did mention a program he has with a lot of the Masters in neighboring towns to do cross training with them. I thought that sounded cool. He had a bad experience with the school I previously tried and disliked. We both had similar opinions of their intensity of training.

I had mentioned in my email keeping my TKD skills sharp and maybe volunteering. He didn't discuss me volunteering at all. It's possible it slipped his mind or that he wants to wait to see my skills and character beforehand. But he only talked to me about coming to the adult class, which is currently not active. He just kind of considered me as a potential student in the adult class. Which is ironically less expectations than I had both in BJJ and MT, where early on they were already talking about me potentially coaching in the future.

His website is rather bad. Lots of blank pages, the information that's on there is disorganized. His Facebook, Google Maps, and website entries all have different information. I went today during what should be a class, and there was nobody else there. He told me to watch Facebook and reach out again when he opens the adult class back up. I think that might also be part of why he might not be getting many students (to his complaint I mentioned above) is he doesn't do a very good job of getting information out to the public.

I don't know. I did like him, and I do think it would be a very unique training experience. He also has connections that might help me get the rank I'm looking for. He may also be open to partnerships if I open my own school. But I also have to wonder if there's a reason his school is "not appreciated", and his public information is not very easy to navigate. I didn't get a chance to see a class, see him do any martial arts or teaching, or show him anything I know.

Kind of a long ramble, if you read thanks for reading. Overall, I think I like the guy, although I have concerns about how he does things. And there doesn't seem to be an adult class right now for me to try.
Some people who are really good martial artists are terrible at business and social medial/marketing. In today's world, that is not a great combination for a fledgling business of any kind.
It's not real clear what you offered to volunteer for, but that could be received in multiple ways, even as 'threatening'.

Numerically, how many schools are there to try in your new location?
 
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But there seems to be significant gaps in his previous training compared to the required KKW curriculum. I certainly do not know this for certain.
My previous school, which didn't do the KKW forms for the longest time, started implementing them shortly before I left. I learned the forms there. I checked my learning and learned some new details at my brief stint at another local school. Although some of those details may be the WT way instead of the KKW way of doing things.

Other than that, there isn't much of a KKW curriculum, at least not one that's required for schools to teach. Many of the other things KKW teaches are part of their classes. I know how to kick, punch, and move.
Skirbs should fly through the color belt material, but it is imperative that he/she learns it correctly, so he/she can teach it correctly going forward. Naturally, the same can be said about the Yunandja poomsae and BB material.
Even if I do fly through the curriculum, there are time-in-grade requirements I wouldn't be able to bypass. But as @Monkey Turned Wolf said, I am already ranked in this organization. I don't even know if I could test for my 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree here, because I already have it in the organization.
It's not real clear what you offered to volunteer for, but that could be received in multiple ways, even as 'threatening'.
How could offering to volunteer possibly be seen as threatening?

I offered to volunteer my time as an assistant instructor. I'm a 3rd degree black belt, he's a 4th degree black belt, so it's not like he's that senior over me. That's not to say I can't learn anything from him. But it's not like he's orders of magnitude more experienced.
 
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His attitude is if someone comes in with a high rank in any other style of TKD, they're a white belt in his school because it would be dangerous for them to be fighting his upper belts.
I'm coming back to this one. Yesterday, I was thinking about this from the perspective of ego. That he's got the attitude of "our brand is good, other brands are bad". Which is ironic, considering he's set up a network of schools to crosstrain.

I was thinking of it along the same way that @Monkey Turned Wolf was when he said:

I have a hard time buying that non-kkw/wt TKD black belts would find sparring too hard, and also assume that those with a KKW black belt would be fine.

But now I'm thinking about this: why would it be "dangerous" (his words) for the incoming student to be sparring in those classes? Do his students have a lack of self-control? Does he foster an environment where sparring is dangerous?

He knows of the other KKW school in the area that's incredibly soft. I've seen folks come in from other KKW schools that were woefully undertaught. Yet, I've gone to that other school and not hurt anyone in sparring. The students I've seen come in that are incredibly unprepared did not get hurt sparring at my old school.
 

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Honestly, his "our school is so tough/too dangerous" and "my school is so underappreciated" sounds like ego saving justifications. An easy way for it to be too dangerous, but not highly skilled is simply to allow a higher level of contact or contact to body parts that others aren't used to -- as scribs recently learned in muay thai... Doesn't mean the fighters are better or have more skill... they just play their ruleset better. And the "underappreciated" just sounds like ego coming out and explaining why he doesn't have more success... because it couldn't be his bad marketing, inconsistent class schedules, poor class structure (which skribs hasn't even seen to evaluate), right?

I could easily be wrong, since this is sight-unseen, but it sounds to me like there are some issues. It is cool that he promotes cross training... but I'd be curious if it's other styles, or just TKD schools that he has a connection with.
 
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It is cool that he promotes cross training... but I'd be curious if it's other styles, or just TKD schools that he has a connection with.
Just other TKD schools. But that in itself is a big deal to me. I can't imagine either of the other TKD schools I've attended being part of it. In fact, he had reached out to the other school nearby and they said, "We don't do sparring". He said he then went on their website and saw sparring in the calendar, so they lied to him. I know the Master at that school doesn't do sparring tournaments and is very hyper-vigilant about going light and avoiding injury, so I think that's what he meant.

I don't think cross-training at other TKD schools is very common. I think most schools just do their in-house training and maybe tournaments, and that's about it. My experience with TKD culture is very much like the old Kung Fu movies. School "secrets", "our school is not like other schools", loyalty to a fault, etc.

So the fact that not only did he set this up, but also that a handful of other schools agreed to it says something.
 
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Also,
Hmm, a couple red flags
This is the first thing my Dad said (verbatim) when I relayed the conversation to him. The fact that multiple folks have reacted the same says something.

That something could also be that I misinterpreted a lot of what he said and that my biased representation of him is what's creating the red flags. Or it could be the simpler answer - there's a lot of red flags.
 

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I had emailed him last week, heard back from him this week. Went to meet him today. He seems very chill to talk to. He's also very opinionated on KKW being "real TKD" and all others being "fake TKD".
Red flag. I have Dan ranks in three different TKD styles, including KKW. They're all real TKD.
His attitude is if someone comes in with a high rank in any other style of TKD, they're a white belt in his school because it would be dangerous for them to be fighting his upper belts.
Red flag. This ranks right up there with schools that say they don't spar at all because their techniques are "too deadly".
It sounds like it would be a much tougher class than the previous school I went to, but in talking to him I wonder if maybe he swings too far on the other end. He told me his school is unappreciated in our town, and told me a story about a Mom who brought in a kid because the kid needed exercise, but they didn't stick it out because "it was too hard". I know that's just one anecdote, but I wonder if it's just that the kid was lazy, or if it's that he doesn't understand white belts.
Red flag.
He did mention a program he has with a lot of the Masters in neighboring towns to do cross training with them. I thought that sounded cool. He had a bad experience with the school I previously tried and disliked. We both had similar opinions of their intensity of training.
Red flag. Mostly because it's restricted to TKD schools. Inbreeding isn't helpful. We have a similar program here, but it's open season. Any school, any style. The only restriction is "advanced students" because rank systems vary wildly, if they're used at all.
I had mentioned in my email keeping my TKD skills sharp and maybe volunteering. He didn't discuss me volunteering at all. It's possible it slipped his mind or that he wants to wait to see my skills and character beforehand. But he only talked to me about coming to the adult class, which is currently not active.
Red flag. It's soooo dangerous to fight his advanced students. Who are all kids anyway. Because that 9 year old is going to pose a HUGE threat to even a half trained adult.
His website is rather bad. Lots of blank pages, the information that's on there is disorganized. His Facebook, Google Maps, and website entries all have different information.
Red flag. Effective communication is a very important part of teaching.
I went today during what should be a class, and there was nobody else there.
Red flag. Where are all these dangerous advanced students he claims to have?
 
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I agree with most of your points. There are two I'd like to follow up on.
Red flag. Mostly because it's restricted to TKD schools. Inbreeding isn't helpful. We have a similar program here, but it's open season. Any school, any style. The only restriction is "advanced students" because rank systems vary wildly, if they're used at all.
Like I said before, I can't imagine either of the other schools I've been a part of doing anything like this. The fact that he's even opened up to other schools and had them reciprocate is big for me.

I disagree with you on this one, it's actually a green flag.
Red flag. It's soooo dangerous to fight his advanced students. Who are all kids anyway. Because that 9 year old is going to pose a HUGE threat to even a half trained adult.
I think in this case he meant adults in the adult class or kids in the kids class. He also talked about how kids shouldn't have black belts because they might think they're tough and pick fights they shouldn't.

But I still agree with you on 5 of the 7. And internet meme is that 5/7 is a perfect score, so there you go.
 

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There's a local school in the small town I just moved to. I think it (like my town) is just starting up. The owner is a 4th degree black belt.

If I join, this will be the first martial art school I attend where I'm remotely close in level to the person running it.

Here, I'm only 1 degree underneath him, and I was really close to getting my 4th before I moved. It will be an interesting experience.
Food for thought. There are many instructors out there with low dan rankings, but vast experience. The number of bars on the belt is only one indicator of knowledge/experience... and not really a reliable one.

My original instructor has been teaching and training longer than many 9th dans out there (over 50 years). For many reasons, he has been independent of any organization and had no one to promote him to higher rank. He is still a 4th dan on paper, but has knowledge and experience that is far more than all but 2 of the 8th or 9th dans that I have ever met.

I've met 6th dans with very little actual knowledge, and 2nd dans with incredible skills and teaching abilities.

Who knows about this guy you are meeting with, but there's always a chance he could be more than his belt says.
 

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