How Do I Quit?

lklawson

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Also, the chances of burning bridges are much greater if you go in and have to wade through one last guilt trip/sales pitch. As you said earlier, this will probably be one last chance for them to convince you not to leave. If it becomes a hard sell, there is a very real possibility that the situation will be more volatile than need be.
Yes. Absolutely.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Bill Mattocks

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When I was a young man, I had a job in a convenience store. The owner was an alcoholic and a difficult man to deal with.

One weekend, because a customer had complained that a frozen pizza was frozen to the base of the reach-in freezer, I moved the frozen food in it to another freezer, thawed it out, cleaned it out, and then restocked it. As I was doing that, I noticed that there was some frozen food in the bottom of the freezer that was damaged and past the end of the 'sell by' date as well. I threw it out. I left a note for the owner and told him what I'd done.

The next time I worked, he came into the store, drunk or having been drinking, angry and yelling at me for throwing his produce away without asking him first. I told him it was past the expiration date and the cardboard cartons were ripped anyway, so what was there to discuss? He called me a series of profane names in front of all the customers in the store. I came around the counter, told him where he could put his job, and left.

The next payday, no paycheck in the mail. So I went in to the store during the shift of a friend of mine, and she told me he had my check, he figured I'd be coming in during her shift to try and get it, and if I wanted it, I'd have to come in during the day and talk to him in his office.

I could have walked away. But I manned up, came in the next day, marched into his office, and demanded my paycheck. He asked me why I thought he ought to give it to me. I said "Because if you don't, I'm going to commence to kicking your fat, sad, old drunken *** all over this store, you worthless sack of crap. And if I can't manage it today, I'll come back tomorrow and do it again. I'll never stop until I get my paycheck."

I was shaking when I said it, but I said it.

He looked me in the eye, laughed, said "Sure you will." I'm pretty sure he could have kicked my ***. But I stood my ground.

But he gave me my paycheck and I left. He even tried to shake my hand, I told him to go to hell.

It is these moments in life that define who we will become. Grow some fangs. Do what you have to do. Good luck.
 

J W

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I quit a school last year after about a year of training. Not because I had any problem with the instructors or the style - they were all great guys and I enjoyed training there - but because I had developed a real fascination with Wing Chun and decided I had to give it a try (glad I did, too).

After I had made up my mind, I went to class. After class, I asked the head instructor if I could speak with him. I explained to him that I felt the need to explore another martial art and would need to discontinue my membership at his school. Of course, he was disappointed and asked if there was anything he could do to keep me as a student. I told him that this was something I felt I needed to try, and he understood.

I sent him a follow up e-mail the next day so that he would have something in writing. I made sure to thank him for everything he had taught me. He stopped his automatic charges to my credit card, and I never had any issues. All very amicable.

If they are stand-up guys, then they should accept your desire to move on to MMA. A follow up e-mail couldn't hurt so that you have a record of the conversation.

If you think they will try and jerk you around, then the registered letter suggestion isn't a bad idea to CYA. And if they're they kind of people to jerk you around, then you probably don't owe them an explanation anyway.
 

UKS

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I would talk to the head instructor in person and tell him your concerns, and be honest about how you feel in the school. If he truly cares he will listen if not at least you stated your conserns.

I would also send letters like others have suggested in the forum to cover your bases.:)
 

Tony Dismukes

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Now, if you go back to the paragragh where I explain how my brother quit, I will tell you that some students, and the younger master, constantly make fun of him quitting. They state things like "he couldn't hack it because we wouldn't test him" and "he was too cowardly to even come in and tell us that he quit." I don't wanna be that person that is being made fun of for years and years to come for future students in that school.

Here's the deal - if they behave like that, then they are just showing that they aren't the sort of people whose opinions you should respect or care about in the first place. If jerks and morons want to make fun of you, it reflects on them, not you.

At the BJJ/MMA gym where I train, people drop in and out of training all the time. In all my years there I have never heard a single bad word spoken about someone for quitting the gym.
 

jks9199

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Thank you. They charge me on the first day of every month, so I was hoping to quit and be done with it now. I relaly didn't intend on having to get certified letters and such. I haven't even thought about notifying billing companies and such. I guess I will have to get that information when I go in there. I would really hope that they wouldn't charge me when I am no longer there, but I guess I should take all precautions.

If you don't want to start with the certified letter -- send a normal letter to them. I do think that they deserve the courtesy of notice, and that a discussion would be good for both you and them. While they know on one level what's happening with their business, sometimes people just have to be told, as well.

Realize that it may take two billing cycles to stop the bills; the notice for this one may be too late to stop it. If the bills continue past the second billing cycle -- send that certified letter.
 

geezer

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Certified letter. Move on!

Nope. I disagree with Arnisador. If you really respect the head instructor as you say you do, meet with him, thank him for the good training that you received and tell him that you have decided to do something else. If it makes it easier, type your "resignation" up in letter form and give it to him, but be brief and to the point. If he doesn't accept your reasons, then perhaps he isn't as worthy of your respect as you think.

I admit that my situation is different, since I don't try to make my living from MA instruction. I just teach a small group in a rented facility. Still, it's always a struggle to keep a strong club going and pay our rent, so I really regret it both personally and financially when a student leaves to train elsewhere. That said, I always wish them the best in their journey. And several who have left have remained in contact over the years, even inviting me to demos and events. Some who left themselves have even referred students to me who they thought would be a good fit in my class.

A true teacher is more concerned with his student's ultimate success than with keeping them as a paying student for his own benefit. It would be worth your time just to find out which kind of teacher your old Sa Bu Nim is.
 

harlan

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With all the diverse replies, this thread reminds me of a song.

Oh yeah. Paul Simon...'There Must Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Sensei.' ;)
 

Dirty Dog

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If your contract/agreement stipulates certain things to be done if/when you leave the school, then do them. You agreed to them. If not, then personally I'd simply (as others have said) talk to the head instructor or owner. Thank them for the training and tell them why you've decided to leave. Shake hands, and walk out.

I'd do it in writing, CC it to my lawyer (more for the owner's attention), and keep it simple. A follow up call, maybe.

The reason being is that I have 'done the right and honorable thing' in the past - and it was a complete waste of time. Folks that don't listen while you are there are not inclined to listen on your way out.

I disagree. Doing the right and honorable thing is never a waste of time. Never.
 

mook jong man

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Don't you quit , make them quit you.
Continue training , just don't wash your uniform for a couple of weeks or use any deodorant.
Believe me , they will only be too happy to see the back of you.

Not only that , you will achieve legendary status and become a talking point for many years to come as they recall fondly that guy they had to get rid of due to a lack of personal hygiene.
 

Chris Parker

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Right. I'm not going to address how to quit (frankly, you go in, and you quit. You make your decision, based on your own reasons, and you hold to it), as others have covered it pretty well. What I'm going to deal with are some of the things that leap out at me from the initial post, which I've highlighted....

Hi. I am looking for some feedback from the community here, as hopefully someone has been in my position before, or they can relate and can lend some good advice. Please read the full post before you comment.

I have been attending my Tang Soo Do classes for 2 1/2 years now. I liked the art and the school, and I still like the art, but I would like to move on to something more "practical" and phycially demanding such as Muay Thai/Boxing/BJJ....ya know, MMA. I have taken some trial classes at different school and love the MMA stuff! I cannot believe how sore I am when I leave the places, and the actual fact that I have targets to hit helps a lot. Not to mention, fighting other students will help me in real life situations, should they arise.....that of course, is my opinion anyway.

I am leaving my school not only becuase the training has gotten stale and boring, but many other reasons as well. When I first came to the school, we had about 35 students in the children's classes and about 15 in the "adult" classes. Now I put the word adult in quotations because the adult class was made up by mostly all 14-16 year old kids. There was one 58 year old guy in there. I am 38, I was 36 when I joined. My younger brother, who is 6 years younger than me, joined with me at the same time.

There you go, there's some reasons. Mind you, what this tells me is that you have an image that you want martial arts to be, and what you're currently doing doesn't fit that image. That's cool, and if that's the case, I would suggest strongly moving onto something else... but realize that things like it getting "boring" are things you might find everywhere... after all, martial arts only work when you constantly and consistently repeat what you're doing over and over and over and over and over.... and over.... and over.... and so on. Personally, I find that boredom comes in with that repetition not because of the repetition, but more to do with a lack of perceived value to that repetition, whether because you don't see the point of what you're doing, or because you can't see a positive result (grade, better skill, deeper understanding etc). We'll revisit this.

And so we began our crusade. We trained and I made every single class. Not once did I miss one of the classes that they offered. We had a blast at first. I would take first place in forms all of the time in tournaments. I also became a teacher like student at the school, as when I acheived 3rd gup, I would teach the private children's classes.

Yeah, this is one of those things that makes me think you're looking for it to be your experience, rather than allowing yourself to see what the experience is itself.... I'm not saying that what you're looking for isn't better, really, but to have your journey in a school described as your "crusade" implies that you (and your brother) were going in aiming to create a reality of your making, rather than going in looking for education and skills. Think of it like going to watch a movie, but then complaining that it's not who you would have cast, or it's not the story you would have used, rather than just watching the movie to see what it was offering you (again, though, some movies are bad, and some movies, although good for their genre, just aren't going to be what you want to watch. That doesn't change what they are, though).

But things started to change. The children's class shrunk to under 15 so they had to combine the two children's classes together. My brother had his 2nd child in April, so naturally, he did not attend class. Now, take into account that we both received our 3rd gup rank in December of 2011 and there is a 6 month minimum requirement before you can test for 2nd gup. He came back in early May, but when it was time for him to get a test paper, they did not give him one because he "didn't have enough classes". His technique and knowledge for the rank were just fine! He practiced at home while he was taking care of his new baby boy (he already had another 2 year old boy which is handful on its own) and helped around the house while his wife recovered. So my brother did not think that was fair, so he quit.

So you lost your training buddy. That happens. I never expect any group that joins together to all last. At best, I wonder which will last the longest. So you know the reality there... but really, this is about his complaint, not yours, unless you're taking on his complaints as yours?

Now, there aren't any contracts at my school, but they throw in a loophole here. The regular charge per month is $99. But, if you elect to pay electronically and have the money taken out of your bank account automatically at the end of every month, they drop the price to $90. The catch? You can only quit if you come into the school and tell them you are going to quit. My brother did not do that.....he called and just told them to stop billing him. When the school "owner" stated that he should wait to talk to the head instructor, my brother told him that there was no reason to speak to him and to stop billing him and the call was ended.

Yeah, read the fine print in those situations. Unless the school is hours away (and, honestly, I'm doubting that), then arrange a time in the next few days, turn up, and say "I'm out, stop taking my money." Being stubborn about not following the agreement you made isn't really a morally superior position...

We have two masters in my school. The main master is 59 years old and works 70 hours a week. He usually isn't there and when he is, it is very normal for him to get up and leave in the middle of class becuase he has to go to work. The other master is 27 years old and is the son of the owner. He is a great teacher, but a very cocky person. Many people have quit because of him. I have the type of personality that shakes that type of thing off though.

So... there are two instructors, one of which is rarely there, and the other has a personality that drives people away... hmm, we'll come back to this as well.

Now, to go back to the children's class and the decline in attendance, the "adult" class has suffered just as much. We had another student join over a year ago, and he has been the last student to join since. All of the students above me have since quit and our numbers in the adult class are down to 6. Usually, it is only me, the guy under me that just joined a little over a year ago, and one or two black belts. Because my master works so often, me and the guy under me offered to make a website. The head master was all for it! The other master and the owner however, were not. They fought us tooth and nail over it and did not want to advertise. Also, the light for the school never worked. We were told by the owner that it doesn't work and it doesn't need to work. This light is on a an EXTREMELY busy street and intersection. I mean, you are stuck at the red light for a few minutes. So me and the guy that is right below me found the landlord, who showed us how to switch the lights on. Even though we did that, they are still always turned off when we come in. The website is in limbo because my master needs to look over some things, but he has been saying that for nearly 5 months now.

Seriously? Okay, those that have suggested "so long as their professional, telling them in person shouldn't be an issue", I would look to this to demonstrate that they really aren't professional at all... they like the idea of being a "teacher", having students look up to them, but are shying away from anything that would amount to responsibility... even when they don't have to do anything.

Here's the real message here. They have no real interest in being professional martial arts instructors. They have other jobs. They don't want to advertise (and it's not like a range of more traditional systems who tend not to advertise, let's face it, this is Tang Soo Do here), or do anything that will improve the chances of the school being successful... so, the question is, why not? Well, if they do things, and it doesn't work, they've failed. At the moment, their school is failing, but that's because the students have been leaving, not because of them (yeah, I know how it sounds, but believe me, that's the inside of their heads you're seeing there....). Importantly, don't expect anything to change. It's too big a threat to them, if it doesn't work.... so they avoid failing in that way by not doing it. It really is like the old Simpsons episode, where a young Ned is taken to a therapy center due to his acting out, and his free-loving hippy parents complain to the therapist "Ya gotta help us, man, we've tried nothing, and none of it's worked".

I have completely lost intrest now. There is no one at the classes anymore, as last week it was just me and one other student. They only offer two classes during the week and Saturday, which can cause friction between my wife and I. It also causes isseus at my work as well. For example, on Monday the 1st, it was my brother in law's birthday. There was a tournament coming up on the 6th, so I knew I had to go and practice, so I missed the birthday dinner for him in place of class. I was then offered to stay and work overtime at my work that Thursday, the 4th, but I knew I couldn't do it because that would mean that I would have not practiced for the tournament since Monday.

(By the way, I won first place in forms and fighting in the tournament)

The lack of options for class, along with the decline of fellow students, along with the constant fighting to try to get some sort of advertising going along with the fact that I am in a class with no other adults over 15 (I cannot communicate with them. I have kids their age), has made me not want to go back.

So you have no interest in the classes, the structure makes you feel out of place (dealing with the kids), and you're frustrated because this place, that you now resent, yet are trying to continue to build for whatever reason, isn't giving you what you're wanting, or any respect for what you're doing. Yeah, this ain't your job, this is part of your leisure time. Stop worrying about the future of the school, it's likely it doesn't have one. You can wait around and have it fall down around you, or you can move on. I think you've made the right choice.

I really have no more intrest in fulfilling minimum requirement times. And yes, I know, it takes a long time to become a black belt, but I cannot do anymore Passai's....I can't stand there and kick in the air anymore and pretend someone is there. We have all sorts of bags and such to use as targets, but, even though I requested it, they refuse to use them.

Okay, training methodology. First off, if all you're doing when you run through your forms is "stand there and kick in the air, and pretend someone is there", there's something deeply lacking in your training. Again, this comes back to the aspect of repetition and boredom I was talking about earlier.... you can't see the benefits of continuing to train the Passai forms, or even the value of the training method, which leads to boredom as you continue to do something repetitive that you see no value in. If you were taught them as just a sequence of movements, where you're hitting and kicking "someone" who is invisibly in front of you, then I can certainly see where that lack of value comes into it. In fact, I'd say that the only real value you've seen in them is the ability to win tournaments, and their need to pass grading assessments, yeah? In other words, you need them to achieve something else, but in and of themselves, there really isn't much there. I'd say, if that's the case, that's a sad case of events, as the forms hold an incredible amount of information and lessons... in fact, they are more what the art is about than any other area, in my estimation. Then again, what I'm talking about there isn't commonly understood, so I can understand if it hasn't been presented that way to you.

I really do have an issue with them having impact equipment but not using it, though.... firstly, why wouldn't they want to strengthen your (and other students) abilities by applying them with force to a target? All my training has included it, even my Iai training (sword drawing)... But secondly, and possibly more bizarrely, why do they have them, if not to be used?!?!

Honestly, I'm not getting a good impression of this school.

Now, if you go back to the paragragh where I explain how my brother quit, I will tell you that some students, and the younger master, constantly make fun of him quitting. They state things like "he couldn't hack it because we wouldn't test him" and "he was too cowardly to even come in and tell us that he quit." I don't wanna be that person that is being made fun of for years and years to come for future students in that school.

Students talking like this should be stopped by the instructors. Instructors talking like this shouldn't have students. Especially in a damn school where they don't even hit pads.... what is there to "hack"?

So my question is, how should I quit? Should I do it the way my brother did it? Or should I go in and tell them that I quit. You know the only reason they make that "deal" is so they can try to talk you out of it. If my master is there, it is going to be really hard to look him in the eye when he asks me "why" and I don't want to be put in that position, because I really respect the guy and he was never anything but nice to me.

What do you all think?

Thanks!

EDIT: And by the way, the school is the best traditional Tang Soo Do school anywhere remotely close to my area, so I would highly recommend it to anyone that likes this sort of thing.

Okay, this is what I was most interested in addressing. Forgive any blunt talk here, or assumptions (and, obviously, feel free to correct anything that I get wrong), yeah?

Firstly, from what I can gather, aside from the few sessions of MMA you've had recently, you don't have any other martial arts experience, yeah? I'm asking mainly to see how you can gauge whether or not this is a school that should be recommended... after all, the picture you've given us is a school that is mainly kids, doesn't even hit pads (for whatever reason), is something that you don't consider "practical" or particularly demanding, has a cocky younger instructor who is driving people away, the elder instructor (presumably what made the school work in the first place) is largely absent, there's little depth to the training, and fosters an attitude of belittling people who don't agree with them, as well as not caring about the image presented to the public, to the point of avoiding being seen or noticed. How many other schools have you visited to compare this one to, to state that it's the "best traditional Tang Soo Do" school around? Even leaving aside the small detail that Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do is essentially a fairly modern Korean version of a fairly modern Japanese form of karate (Tang Soo Do is really just the Korean pronunciation of "Karate", for the record), I might even question how you'd rate it as a "traditional" school, as aside to anything else.

When laid out like this, are you sure that you'd actually recommend them? Or do you think it's a form of misplaced loyalty due to emotional investment... in other words, do you think it might be something closer to you not wanting to believe that most of the last couple of years have been "wasted"? That's fine, if that's the case, it's perfectly normal and expected, really... but it might help you distance yourself emotionally from the school if you examine exactly what you're feeling about it.
 

Instructor

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Yeah just march in there and get it over with...

From an instructors perspective:

I love Hapkido...I love everything about it. I am not saying it's the best martial art (because there is no such thing), I am saying that it's the best FOR ME. Students come and go... Some love Hapkido and stay a good long while and for some it's just not for them and they leave. Some just don't show up one day and that's it, I never see them again.

I can say, just as a human being, I always appreciate it when people are forthright and honest with me. If a student decides that this just isn't for them, that's okay..hey it's not for everybody. I think no less of them and in point of fact I am friends with a number of former students. Some have moved on to other martial arts and I always love to hear how it's going with them.

In regards to burning bridges...

Every once in a great while a student leaves for whatever reason and then returns and continues training with us. I am always glad during these times that our first parting was a friendly one.

Jon
 

Cirdan

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Quitting in person is always better, it shows the same kind of respect as when you bow stepping off the mat.


And yes, I know, it takes a long time to become a black belt, but I cannot do anymore Passai's....I can't stand there and kick in the air anymore and pretend someone is there. We have all sorts of bags and such to use as targets, but, even though I requested it, they refuse to use them.

Yes, you should defenately quit. Or you need to take some time to get a deeper understanding of what you are actually doing. This is often the root of the "blue belt syndrome" where a huge percentage of students quit. Either they don`t see the value of what they are doing, or they understand but are are not willing to put in the deeper comitment needed to improve further.
 
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Kaygee

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Right. I'm not going to address how to quit (frankly, you go in, and you quit. You make your decision, based on your own reasons, and you hold to it), as others have covered it pretty well. What I'm going to deal with are some of the things that leap out at me from the initial post, which I've highlighted....



There you go, there's some reasons. Mind you, what this tells me is that you have an image that you want martial arts to be, and what you're currently doing doesn't fit that image. That's cool, and if that's the case, I would suggest strongly moving onto something else... but realize that things like it getting "boring" are things you might find everywhere... after all, martial arts only work when you constantly and consistently repeat what you're doing over and over and over and over and over.... and over.... and over.... and so on. Personally, I find that boredom comes in with that repetition not because of the repetition, but more to do with a lack of perceived value to that repetition, whether because you don't see the point of what you're doing, or because you can't see a positive result (grade, better skill, deeper understanding etc). We'll revisit this.



Yeah, this is one of those things that makes me think you're looking for it to be your experience, rather than allowing yourself to see what the experience is itself.... I'm not saying that what you're looking for isn't better, really, but to have your journey in a school described as your "crusade" implies that you (and your brother) were going in aiming to create a reality of your making, rather than going in looking for education and skills. Think of it like going to watch a movie, but then complaining that it's not who you would have cast, or it's not the story you would have used, rather than just watching the movie to see what it was offering you (again, though, some movies are bad, and some movies, although good for their genre, just aren't going to be what you want to watch. That doesn't change what they are, though).



So you lost your training buddy. That happens. I never expect any group that joins together to all last. At best, I wonder which will last the longest. So you know the reality there... but really, this is about his complaint, not yours, unless you're taking on his complaints as yours?



Yeah, read the fine print in those situations. Unless the school is hours away (and, honestly, I'm doubting that), then arrange a time in the next few days, turn up, and say "I'm out, stop taking my money." Being stubborn about not following the agreement you made isn't really a morally superior position...



So... there are two instructors, one of which is rarely there, and the other has a personality that drives people away... hmm, we'll come back to this as well.



Seriously? Okay, those that have suggested "so long as their professional, telling them in person shouldn't be an issue", I would look to this to demonstrate that they really aren't professional at all... they like the idea of being a "teacher", having students look up to them, but are shying away from anything that would amount to responsibility... even when they don't have to do anything.

Here's the real message here. They have no real interest in being professional martial arts instructors. They have other jobs. They don't want to advertise (and it's not like a range of more traditional systems who tend not to advertise, let's face it, this is Tang Soo Do here), or do anything that will improve the chances of the school being successful... so, the question is, why not? Well, if they do things, and it doesn't work, they've failed. At the moment, their school is failing, but that's because the students have been leaving, not because of them (yeah, I know how it sounds, but believe me, that's the inside of their heads you're seeing there....). Importantly, don't expect anything to change. It's too big a threat to them, if it doesn't work.... so they avoid failing in that way by not doing it. It really is like the old Simpsons episode, where a young Ned is taken to a therapy center due to his acting out, and his free-loving hippy parents complain to the therapist "Ya gotta help us, man, we've tried nothing, and none of it's worked".



So you have no interest in the classes, the structure makes you feel out of place (dealing with the kids), and you're frustrated because this place, that you now resent, yet are trying to continue to build for whatever reason, isn't giving you what you're wanting, or any respect for what you're doing. Yeah, this ain't your job, this is part of your leisure time. Stop worrying about the future of the school, it's likely it doesn't have one. You can wait around and have it fall down around you, or you can move on. I think you've made the right choice.



Okay, training methodology. First off, if all you're doing when you run through your forms is "stand there and kick in the air, and pretend someone is there", there's something deeply lacking in your training. Again, this comes back to the aspect of repetition and boredom I was talking about earlier.... you can't see the benefits of continuing to train the Passai forms, or even the value of the training method, which leads to boredom as you continue to do something repetitive that you see no value in. If you were taught them as just a sequence of movements, where you're hitting and kicking "someone" who is invisibly in front of you, then I can certainly see where that lack of value comes into it. In fact, I'd say that the only real value you've seen in them is the ability to win tournaments, and their need to pass grading assessments, yeah? In other words, you need them to achieve something else, but in and of themselves, there really isn't much there. I'd say, if that's the case, that's a sad case of events, as the forms hold an incredible amount of information and lessons... in fact, they are more what the art is about than any other area, in my estimation. Then again, what I'm talking about there isn't commonly understood, so I can understand if it hasn't been presented that way to you.

I really do have an issue with them having impact equipment but not using it, though.... firstly, why wouldn't they want to strengthen your (and other students) abilities by applying them with force to a target? All my training has included it, even my Iai training (sword drawing)... But secondly, and possibly more bizarrely, why do they have them, if not to be used?!?!

Honestly, I'm not getting a good impression of this school.



Students talking like this should be stopped by the instructors. Instructors talking like this shouldn't have students. Especially in a damn school where they don't even hit pads.... what is there to "hack"?



Okay, this is what I was most interested in addressing. Forgive any blunt talk here, or assumptions (and, obviously, feel free to correct anything that I get wrong), yeah?

Firstly, from what I can gather, aside from the few sessions of MMA you've had recently, you don't have any other martial arts experience, yeah? I'm asking mainly to see how you can gauge whether or not this is a school that should be recommended... after all, the picture you've given us is a school that is mainly kids, doesn't even hit pads (for whatever reason), is something that you don't consider "practical" or particularly demanding, has a cocky younger instructor who is driving people away, the elder instructor (presumably what made the school work in the first place) is largely absent, there's little depth to the training, and fosters an attitude of belittling people who don't agree with them, as well as not caring about the image presented to the public, to the point of avoiding being seen or noticed. How many other schools have you visited to compare this one to, to state that it's the "best traditional Tang Soo Do" school around? Even leaving aside the small detail that Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do is essentially a fairly modern Korean version of a fairly modern Japanese form of karate (Tang Soo Do is really just the Korean pronunciation of "Karate", for the record), I might even question how you'd rate it as a "traditional" school, as aside to anything else.

When laid out like this, are you sure that you'd actually recommend them? Or do you think it's a form of misplaced loyalty due to emotional investment... in other words, do you think it might be something closer to you not wanting to believe that most of the last couple of years have been "wasted"? That's fine, if that's the case, it's perfectly normal and expected, really... but it might help you distance yourself emotionally from the school if you examine exactly what you're feeling about it.

To start with your last statement, I guess you are spot on. I do feel like I have some sort of misplaced loyalty due to an emotional investment towards them. Yes, this was my first martial art. And my lessons were a lot of kicking and punching and being told "you're hitting someone in the face" or "you're stopping a sword". I have an imagination, but......meh.......that is only going to get me so far.

I did go in and resign last night. It was hard and the owner tried everything in his power to talk me out of it. The 4th dan instructor tried to make sure it was nothing personal towards him, including asking me why I took him off of his Facebook as friends. I informed him that I removed him as a friend OVER FOUR MONTHS AGO because of a political dispute and that I never wanted to ever have to question a test decision that he made because we exist on opposite ends of the political flagpole. The hard part was when my sa bum nim called me in his office. He understood, completely. He said that he tries to keep up with everything, but he comes in there wafter working 12 hour shifts and then teaches and then, many times, goes right back to work for another 4-6 hours. I don't know how he does it. He even said to me last night, "I don't know why I keep doing it......if I was to quit tomorrow my entire family would be happy". This guy put his house up for collatral to keep the school open. He also asked me, "Honestly, if I have 16 real adult students out there, would you consider staying?" And I told him, maybe. He said, "yeah, for some reason, I am not getting anymore students and all of my adult students have left." I told him AGAIN about the advertising thing. I told him AGAIN that he has another master there that should be helping with the advertising thing...and I mentioned, one more time, THAT THE GODAMN SIGN LIGHT IS STILL NOT ON OUTSIDE!

Anyway, hopefully the owner pretty much refused to cancel my account, but stated that he would "put it on hold in case I decided to come back" for a month or two. I didn't want to cause a scene or a fight with all of the parents there (it was during the kids class) so I just continued to tell him to please cancel it. I am going to see if I can call my bank and get it manually canceled.

All in all, it was rough. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that school, but you are absolutely correct!! Why am I worrying about promoting the school and ensuring its survivability? This is something that I am supposed to go and do for fun and relaxation, but all that I have been getting out of it is grief and furstration lately. And maybe the whole point behind forms was not explained to me, who knows? I do know, however, that it takes a certain type of person to acheive black belt status....and that includes going thru the times when you are doing the same thing over and over and over again! It seems that I do not have whatever it takes to do that. And I accept it! I also understand that in all martial arts (whether tradtional or mixed) repetiveness is key! But I, personally, think I need targets to hit and a pratical response as what I am doing instead of doing a form over and over again and just being corrected about how low my left hand is or that I didn't shift my waist enough when I go from two fist low block to two fist high block. I do understand the need for the technical aspect of the art, but I just don't think it is for me.

Who knows, maybe I will find myself back in Tang Soo Do one day. I went to a lot of different schools, and although the other schools did not have the students with the same skill that my old school did, they did have more students, more adults, and more available class slots. The reason that I would recommend the school is because the students at my old school were frikkin incredible! These kids had every move (techicnical-wise) down to a tee and their forms were beautiful! Other schools had a lot of sloppiness and you could tell that there was no discipline on the matt. In my old school, discipline was the name of the game!!!

Anyway, I really really apprecaite everyone's help here. My journey now takes another turn and I guess we will see where it takes me. I am a firm believer that you cannot have an instructor stand in front of the class, call up another student, ask them to take a front punch at them, and then demonstrate what to do in that type of situation. I believe the only thing that is predictable in a fight is how unpredictable it is! No one know who is going to do what. And you know all of those high blocks and low blocks and inside outside blocks? Well, I have NEVER seen one of them used in sparring, so I believe they are not practical either and are just for the forms. And that is fine, but again, not for me. I would like something with more adults, more available classes, a more intsense workout, and more practically when it comes to fighting and self defense.

So in the end, I "think" that I made the right choice. If I didn't, the good thing is, because of everyone's input, I can always go back. If that is even a good idea and if the school is even around anymore due to their increasingly decline in student retention. But there are other schools, and other arts.

Who knows....I'm only 39...I have my whole life ahead of me, right? LMAO!!!
 

Tony Dismukes

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I do know, however, that it takes a certain type of person to acheive black belt status....and that includes going thru the times when you are doing the same thing over and over and over again! It seems that I do not have whatever it takes to do that. And I accept it! I also understand that in all martial arts (whether tradtional or mixed) repetiveness is key! But I, personally, think I need targets to hit and a pratical response as what I am doing instead of doing a form over and over again and just being corrected about how low my left hand is or that I didn't shift my waist enough when I go from two fist low block to two fist high block. I do understand the need for the technical aspect of the art, but I just don't think it is for me.

I can testify that it is a lot easier to make yourself perform zillions of repetitions of a movement focusing on small technical details when you fully understand why each of those technical details is important and what exactly the technique is supposed to be accomplishing. Raising your hand two inches higher because sensei said so is much less motivating than raising your hand two inches higher because your opponent hits you in the face whenever you forget to do it.

Good luck with the next steps in your martial journey. I recommend that you decide on a new school and start classes in your new art before you get comfy with having that extra time off and start getting out of shape.
 
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Kaygee

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Good luck with the next steps in your martial journey. I recommend that you decide on a new school and start classes in your new art before you get comfy with having that extra time off and start getting out of shape.

Thanks! And, I know what you mean.....the lbs can come back on quickly! :p
 

Chris Parker

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To start with your last statement, I guess you are spot on. I do feel like I have some sort of misplaced loyalty due to an emotional investment towards them. Yes, this was my first martial art. And my lessons were a lot of kicking and punching and being told "you're hitting someone in the face" or "you're stopping a sword". I have an imagination, but......meh.......that is only going to get me so far.

I did go in and resign last night. It was hard and the owner tried everything in his power to talk me out of it. The 4th dan instructor tried to make sure it was nothing personal towards him, including asking me why I took him off of his Facebook as friends. I informed him that I removed him as a friend OVER FOUR MONTHS AGO because of a political dispute and that I never wanted to ever have to question a test decision that he made because we exist on opposite ends of the political flagpole. The hard part was when my sa bum nim called me in his office. He understood, completely. He said that he tries to keep up with everything, but he comes in there wafter working 12 hour shifts and then teaches and then, many times, goes right back to work for another 4-6 hours. I don't know how he does it. He even said to me last night, "I don't know why I keep doing it......if I was to quit tomorrow my entire family would be happy". This guy put his house up for collatral to keep the school open. He also asked me, "Honestly, if I have 16 real adult students out there, would you consider staying?" And I told him, maybe. He said, "yeah, for some reason, I am not getting anymore students and all of my adult students have left." I told him AGAIN about the advertising thing. I told him AGAIN that he has another master there that should be helping with the advertising thing...and I mentioned, one more time, THAT THE GODAMN SIGN LIGHT IS STILL NOT ON OUTSIDE!

Anyway, hopefully the owner pretty much refused to cancel my account, but stated that he would "put it on hold in case I decided to come back" for a month or two. I didn't want to cause a scene or a fight with all of the parents there (it was during the kids class) so I just continued to tell him to please cancel it. I am going to see if I can call my bank and get it manually canceled.

All in all, it was rough. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that school, but you are absolutely correct!! Why am I worrying about promoting the school and ensuring its survivability? This is something that I am supposed to go and do for fun and relaxation, but all that I have been getting out of it is grief and furstration lately. And maybe the whole point behind forms was not explained to me, who knows? I do know, however, that it takes a certain type of person to acheive black belt status....and that includes going thru the times when you are doing the same thing over and over and over again! It seems that I do not have whatever it takes to do that. And I accept it! I also understand that in all martial arts (whether tradtional or mixed) repetiveness is key! But I, personally, think I need targets to hit and a pratical response as what I am doing instead of doing a form over and over again and just being corrected about how low my left hand is or that I didn't shift my waist enough when I go from two fist low block to two fist high block. I do understand the need for the technical aspect of the art, but I just don't think it is for me.

Who knows, maybe I will find myself back in Tang Soo Do one day. I went to a lot of different schools, and although the other schools did not have the students with the same skill that my old school did, they did have more students, more adults, and more available class slots. The reason that I would recommend the school is because the students at my old school were frikkin incredible! These kids had every move (techicnical-wise) down to a tee and their forms were beautiful! Other schools had a lot of sloppiness and you could tell that there was no discipline on the matt. In my old school, discipline was the name of the game!!!

Anyway, I really really apprecaite everyone's help here. My journey now takes another turn and I guess we will see where it takes me. I am a firm believer that you cannot have an instructor stand in front of the class, call up another student, ask them to take a front punch at them, and then demonstrate what to do in that type of situation. I believe the only thing that is predictable in a fight is how unpredictable it is! No one know who is going to do what. And you know all of those high blocks and low blocks and inside outside blocks? Well, I have NEVER seen one of them used in sparring, so I believe they are not practical either and are just for the forms. And that is fine, but again, not for me. I would like something with more adults, more available classes, a more intsense workout, and more practically when it comes to fighting and self defense.

So in the end, I "think" that I made the right choice. If I didn't, the good thing is, because of everyone's input, I can always go back. If that is even a good idea and if the school is even around anymore due to their increasingly decline in student retention. But there are other schools, and other arts.

Who knows....I'm only 39...I have my whole life ahead of me, right? LMAO!!!

Hi Kaygee,

There's just a few things that I'd want to say here. The first is congratulations, this sounds like it is a completely positive move for you!

The second is that I wouldn't be discouraged on the idea of what you can achieve in martial arts... most specifically, I wouldn't think anything of any comments about whether or not you "have it in you" to be a black belt. All I'd say is that the methods you've been exposed to so far don't fit your best way of learning, so it could be said that you don't have it in you to be a black belt there... but that's not due to your personal potential, it's more that the way you were taught would have you leave (which is what happened). If you find the right school for you (one that matches your values, aims, and preferred methods), that'll keep your interest, and that keeps things relevant to your ideals, you'll probably find that such problems with repetition just won't be an issue.

So, in summation, well done, and all the best for your future endeavours! Make sure to keep us informed here as to how you're going.
 

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