knowingly training at mcdojo

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Is it actually impossible to tell good Krav from bad? I doubt that.

I think almost any system is capable of turning out people with not much fighting ability, unless it weeds out the people who would become those folks. Competition systems (with real contact) will weed out people who just don't find it in themselves (but probably won't "fix" that about them). Of course, it's possible to just be teaching crap, which is more likely to turn out crappy fighters, but if a system is capable of turning out good fighters, then the issue isn't the system (meaning the system of techniques). It's the instructor, and possibly the organization.
Maybe for an experienced fighter, we could see someone training and be able to tell if they are good or not. But someone with no other experience (or only experience in a bad school), wouldn't be able to do that. Particularly in a school/style where there is no competition.

At that point, there's nothing for the newcomer to compare it to (only other krav schools, but you don't know if those are good either), and no way to verify whether or not the instructor is actually good.

In my mind it's the same issue people point out with Aikido. You can go into an aikido dojo, and seeing compliant drills the sensei/master/whatever may appear to be really good, while in reality he's crap. Then you go to another dojo, and the instructor appears to be really good, and in reality he IS that good. As someone with no MA (or bad MA) experience, how are you supposed to tell between them?
 

jobo

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Maybe for an experienced fighter, we could see someone training and be able to tell if they are good or not. But someone with no other experience (or only experience in a bad school), wouldn't be able to do that. Particularly in a school/style where there is no competition.

At that point, there's nothing for the newcomer to compare it to (only other krav schools, but you don't know if those are good either), and no way to verify whether or not the instructor is actually good.

In my mind it's the same issue people point out with Aikido. You can go into an aikido dojo, and seeing compliant drills the sensei/master/whatever may appear to be really good, while in reality he's crap. Then you go to another dojo, and the instructor appears to be really good, and in reality he IS that good. As someone with no MA (or bad MA) experience, how are you supposed to tell between them?
But the instructor doesn't have to n good a fighting to be a good instructor, and the reverse is even more so, someone who is good at fighting can often make terrible instruCtors,

Which is my issue about KM and fighting systems in general, just coz you guy is a bad ***, who looks good in combat pant and And has bulging muscles PPoppingg out of his army tee shirt and who can beat people up with little effort, doesn't mean those skill will or even can be transferred to you
 
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Gerry Seymour

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Maybe for an experienced fighter, we could see someone training and be able to tell if they are good or not. But someone with no other experience (or only experience in a bad school), wouldn't be able to do that. Particularly in a school/style where there is no competition.

At that point, there's nothing for the newcomer to compare it to (only other krav schools, but you don't know if those are good either), and no way to verify whether or not the instructor is actually good.

In my mind it's the same issue people point out with Aikido. You can go into an aikido dojo, and seeing compliant drills the sensei/master/whatever may appear to be really good, while in reality he's crap. Then you go to another dojo, and the instructor appears to be really good, and in reality he IS that good. As someone with no MA (or bad MA) experience, how are you supposed to tell between them?
Agreed. Especially on the compliant drills thing. Those are so close to being demo material that viewing them has to be done with the same caveat in mind.

Interestingly, even for schools with competition this can be difficult. I know of one school that produces crap (doesn't look god, I can see advanced students don't have control or good balance). Somehow they still win trophies.
 

Gerry Seymour

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But the instructor doesn't have to n good a fighting to be a good instructor, and the reverse is even more so, someone who is good at fighting can often make terrible instruCtors,

Which is my issue about KM and fighting systems in general, just coz you guy is a bad ***, who looks good in combat pant and And has bulging muscles PPoppingg out of his army tee shirt and who can beat people up with little effort, doesn't mean those skill will or even can be transferred to you
Agreed. For a coach/instructor, what they can help others do is far more important than what they can do. There's a pretty strong correlation between competence (both technical and application) and what you can produce, but those are neither necessary (an old guy who can't move well anymore but is a fantastic coach) nor sufficient (badass who can't teach).
 

Mark Lynn

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I don't totally disagree with your points Mark Lynn. We simply do not know whether it is a McDojo or not. However, based on the going rates across the country $300 a month for two people seems expensive.

Brian
Just from the OP's original post we have no clue whether one school or not is a McDojo because he later clarifies that he just used the term to kind of differentiate the one school from the other. Which was the point I was trying to get make. Don't blow off the TKD school without really checking it out since it might meet the OP's and his wife's needs.

In regards to $300 a month for two people with out discounts, that seems right about the average high line rate in my area. It's not the cheapest, but I know a Rec. center program with the upgrade programs charging around $119-129 so an extra $20 a month for a stand alone Krav school that is well equipped and furnished $149 a month is comparable. I charge $85 (in a Rec. program) and if you live outside of the city limits there is an additional $10 a month fee. I'm cheaper than the other 3 schools in my area.

I haven't looked at one of those e-mails in a while, but I remember one of the groups had a series of weekend seminars. I think if you took one seminar, you were certified to teach a beginner Krav program, and then when you took another weekend seminar, you could teach a more advanced level. I don't remember how many their were.

I imagine that that was one weekend this year, another next year and so on. So there was a progression it appears. Not take a weekend course and be a master level KM instructor.

This isn't unheard of BTW. In the early 80's Remy Presas use to hold 2 week Modern Arnis camps and you would earn much higher rank in the 2 weeks than over the same time at a Modern Arnis school.

Likewise the Inosanto academy offered week long camps in JKD, Thai Boxing, Wing Chun, Kali etc. etc. I'm sure many people left there and started teaching JKD or Kali or added it to their curriculum. It was how the arts were spread and got started.
 

Kababayan

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But KM isn't defined by what it contains so much as what it doesnt, iT doesnt have structure, it doesn't have KatA to perfect techniques and it doesn't have rituals, if it looks like two drunk blokes fighting in a pub car park wearing combat pants it's km, that's all you need to know to tech it, head but him and knee him in groin, " well done now your an expert"

I rarely respond to threads that I've already chimed in on, as sometimes I feel things get too nit-picky, but there are a few things that I'd like to clarify from the perspective of a six-year Krav student from KMWW and IKMF. I don't know how to quote multiple posts to put on one response, so I'll respond individually.

Regarding the above quote, Krav Maga is very structured and has a complete curriculum. Complete Krav Maga by John Whitman and Darren Levine contains the curriculum that KMWW uses. Krav doesn't contain katas. It uses scenario based drills and bag drills constantly. Most Krav schools I've trained at bow to their instructor and fist-bump students at the end of class (if someone wanted to consider that ritualistic).

The combat pants comment is pretty funny because it's not entirely incorrect. I do chuckle at how some close quarters combat instructors wear military pants when they aren't connected to the military. The combat pants, I am presuming, is because Krav is the from the Israeli military. To be fair, I have never trained with someone in the U.S. that wears the combat pants; I've only seen this in international Krav schools. Workout pants, sure, but not combat pants. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist here in the states, but not with the people that I've trained with.
 

Kababayan

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Maybe for an experienced fighter, we could see someone training and be able to tell if they are good or not. But someone with no other experience (or only experience in a bad school), wouldn't be able to do that. Particularly in a school/style where there is no competition.

At that point, there's nothing for the newcomer to compare it to (only other krav schools, but you don't know if those are good either), and no way to verify whether or not the instructor is actually good.

In my mind it's the same issue people point out with Aikido. You can go into an aikido dojo, and seeing compliant drills the sensei/master/whatever may appear to be really good, while in reality he's crap. Then you go to another dojo, and the instructor appears to be really good, and in reality he IS that good. As someone with no MA (or bad MA) experience, how are you supposed to tell between them?

I think kempodisciple said it perfectly. If someone has studied Krav for awhile then that person could tell good krav from bad, just like any other MA system.
 

Kababayan

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Agreed, assuming KM actually is something distinctly different from a MA. I don't actually think it is. I think the results obtained are likely similar to anyone else using similar techniques and similar intensity.

I go back and forth on this issue. I believe Imi Lichtenfeld, himself, said that Krav Maga isn't a martial art but a system of self defense. He wanted to differentiate it from traditional martial arts because it was meant to be a means of self defense that the military could learn quickly. I think it would be like saying that the Marine system of fighting (I forgot the name) is a martial art. Is it? Maybe. Krav has all of the elements that every other martial art has, minus the forms. Do forms alone define what is or isn't a martial art? (Rhetorical) Whether or not Krav is considered a martial art isn't that important of an issue to me. I can understand both perspectives and I'm good calling it either way.
 

Ryan_

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McDojo: a school that teaches a watered-down and impractical form of martial arts in the name of making money.
Hopefully, that definition of Mcdojo isn't the one you are referring to, but if it is, then I say find a different place. Otherwise, if the training is practical and suitable to goals, go for it.
 

Oni_Kadaki

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I go back and forth on this issue. I believe Imi Lichtenfeld, himself, said that Krav Maga isn't a martial art but a system of self defense. He wanted to differentiate it from traditional martial arts because it was meant to be a means of self defense that the military could learn quickly. I think it would be like saying that the Marine system of fighting (I forgot the name) is a martial art. Is it? Maybe. Krav has all of the elements that every other martial art has, minus the forms. Do forms alone define what is or isn't a martial art? (Rhetorical) Whether or not Krav is considered a martial art isn't that important of an issue to me. I can understand both perspectives and I'm good calling it either way.

I believe MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) is the term you're looking for. The key difference is that traditional martial arts tend to extend training over many years, even decades, with true mastery sometimes taking decades to be achieved. Krav maga, as I believe I alluded to earlier, was designed to be taught to conscripts quickly. I consider it a martial art, but, it approaches the concept differently than the traditional ones.
 

Kababayan

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I believe MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) is the term you're looking for. The key difference is that traditional martial arts tend to extend training over many years, even decades, with true mastery sometimes taking decades to be achieved. Krav maga, as I believe I alluded to earlier, was designed to be taught to conscripts quickly. I consider it a martial art, but, it approaches the concept differently than the traditional ones.

That was what I was thinking of. Thank you.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The combat pants comment is pretty funny because it's not entirely incorrect. I do chuckle at how some close quarters combat instructors wear military pants when they aren't connected to the military. The combat pants, I am presuming, is because Krav is the from the Israeli military. To be fair, I have never trained with someone in the U.S. that wears the combat pants; I've only seen this in international Krav schools. Workout pants, sure, but not combat pants. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist here in the states, but not with the people that I've trained with.
When I've seen it, it always looks odd to me. Then I remind myself I train in a Japanese dogi, and suddenly the combat pants look quite normal.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I think kempodisciple said it perfectly. If someone has studied Krav for awhile then that person could tell good krav from bad, just like any other MA system.
I think if two people were doing Krav - one poorly and one well - most experienced martial artists could tell the difference, too. What we might not be able to spot is if one was doing good Krav and one was doing something that wasn't Krav, at all.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I go back and forth on this issue. I believe Imi Lichtenfeld, himself, said that Krav Maga isn't a martial art but a system of self defense. He wanted to differentiate it from traditional martial arts because it was meant to be a means of self defense that the military could learn quickly. I think it would be like saying that the Marine system of fighting (I forgot the name) is a martial art. Is it? Maybe. Krav has all of the elements that every other martial art has, minus the forms. Do forms alone define what is or isn't a martial art? (Rhetorical) Whether or not Krav is considered a martial art isn't that important of an issue to me. I can understand both perspectives and I'm good calling it either way.
There are martial arts that don't have forms, and those that do. Most of us here include western boxing as a martial art, as well as fencing, etc. I think the issue is that for a very long time, especially in the US vernacular, "martial art" generally meant "Eastern martial art" or "Asian martial art". The distinction Lichtenfeld made wasn't meaningless, but doesn't actually mean much to the general public, except as a marketing tool. Note that that's not really anything negative - I don't mind marketing as long as it's not deceptive, and I don't consider that to be.
 

Kababayan

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When I've seen it, it always looks odd to me. Then I remind myself I train in a Japanese dogi, and suddenly the combat pants look quite normal.


You are so right. Sometimes I jokingly compare what we do to Renaissance Fairs. We all dress up and get into characters with hierarchy (and we get cool names like Shihan, Sensei, Sifu, and Guru.)
 

Flying Crane

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I believe MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) is the term you're looking for. The key difference is that traditional martial arts tend to extend training over many years, even decades, with true mastery sometimes taking decades to be achieved. Krav maga, as I believe I alluded to earlier, was designed to be taught to conscripts quickly. I consider it a martial art, but, it approaches the concept differently than the traditional ones.
It is my belief that all martial methods were originally intended to give useful skills in a reasonably short period of time. This, of course, depends on how dedicated one is to the training. But in the main, no system should require many years of training before one can expect to have reasonable skills.

Of course one can always spend a lifetime training and getting better, and true mastery may require much more time. But again, that should not mean that one cannot expect to develop useful skills far sooner than that, I would say beginning around 6 months to two years, depending on how dedicated one is to the training.

It is my opinion that it is a new and modern mythology that has been built around martial arts, that one needs many years of dedicated training before developing useful skills. Teachers who promote that mythology are doing a disservice to their students, and may be incompetent themselves.
 
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