Question for USTA folks...

Matt Stone

Master of Arts
Dec 4, 2001
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Fort Lewis, Washington
Let me first say that I do not study TKD.

I was working today with a guy I have never worked with before, and we got to discussing martial arts. He said that he was a 1st Dan Assistant Instructor from the USTA and used to have his own school. No problems thus far, right?

Then he said that it was part of his "duties" to go around, school to school, in "civilian clothes," to observe other martial arts schools, take notes on "what they were doing wrong," and come up with plans to block them out of the martial arts business community in that area (by deliberately opening schools nearby and drawing away business).

Perhaps this could be chalked up to aggressive business practices, but does this sound unethical to anyone else? :confused: This seems more in keeping with McDojo/McKwoon/McDojang behavior than with a respectable martial arts institution...

Any input? Not trying to start a flame war, I was just very surprised that this individual made such comments freely and openly, and seemed to believe they were good business practice.

Just curious...

:samurai: :samurai:
IMHO Ethical problems start as soon as your school becomes a buissness first and starts being a club second.
i've gone to check out other schools in my area that could be considered "competition," but i've never gone in undercover. i've always told the people there who i was and basically just told them i was interested in what they were doing there and was just checking the place out, which was the truth.

now i wasn't recuited to go out and do this, just went on my own. it sounds pretty shady that a school owner feels he or she needs to diguise one of their students and send them in to spy on a "rival" school. i'd just tell your friend to be careful he's not discovered. i've heard of people being found out when they were taking classes to spy on a tough school. it was fair game on him and he didn't even know it. got a good whoopin' and never returned.

basically, to show interest is good, and to try and put a school out of business deserves a beating.
That is fricking insane, who appointed him and his art god and able to pass judgement on other arts he may have no clue about what they are doing wrong. Even if he is only visiting other TKD schools the whole thing is nuts, cant believe he thinks that is normal. I wish it was the good ol days..... if you thought an instructor was bogus you challeneged him to a duel, ah I was born in the wrong generation....

Damian Mavis
Honour TKD
Find out who is the head of this USTA if you can and post it here please..This could be some intersting information.Also where is this practice being done at what city and state?
Not sure where the guy is from... When we worked together it was a one day kind of thing... He is in another unit on post, and we don't come into contact on anything resembling a regular schedule.

I posted the question here, because when I first began my training, our teacher would routinely provide us with "history lessons" of what had happened in the MA world in the "early days," and this kind of behavior was reminiscent of stories told about the early days of TKD in the US (along with FBI investigations regarding money laundering and transferral of funds back to Korea, and other amusing anecdotes). I found it difficult to fully swallow the entirety of those history lessons, but took it and jotted it down for future reference. When I am then, 16+ years later, confronted with the possible reality and confirmation of similar activities, well, I thought I would look into it before I filed it away in my mental "permanent" folder...

Thanks for the input.

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