***** the dragon's breath! ~ #2 *****

Fing Fang Foom

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THE DRAGON'S BREATH! ~ #2
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Would you believe we are already on our 2nd pulse pounding issue! :D As always FFF invites you to join me in a drink... I will slosh the vodka and redbull down my chin to soil my 70's retro Captain America T-shirt, but you feel free to be more civilized if you must ;) The "Iron Chef" backed out, so... we hired another who has her own section now (beware her sense of humor is an screwy as mine) :lol:...So sit back an enjoy:D




THE TAE KWON DO ~ POSTER OF THE WEEK!

This week all 64 1/2 staff members worked well into the wee hours of the night to make our decision. We were looking for posts that are 'thought provoking, humorous, or just generally create good amounts of blah blah blah'. This weeks COVETED award goes to:



.........drumroll..........



DANCINGALONE!
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Mr. Longhorn won this week by starting out strong and never letting up with his great posts: "Best fundraiser, non-traditional, handing out syllabi, abusive, tactful way of slowing, and how frequently do you test." Keep up the great work Longhorn! An offical "no-prize" is headed for your mailbox! :D




THE CHRONICLE'S OF LIL' TIGER!
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~ Part 10 ~
Student of the Month, Brown tape, and "The question of the week!"


Let me start out on Dragon Kid; Tues was a big day for her. She knew she had made her gold belt, but had not got the belt itself yet. Well I dropped her off around 11am & she went to the daytime class. We were kinda suprised though when she came home with 3 certificates instead of 1? One was for her gold belt, the next one was because she had Won "Student of the Month"!! We were all very happy for her.
(to be honest though I wasn't suprised; On Friday evenings when she practices her hardest I always notice a black SUV parked outside with Oklahoma plates. Turns out, the hobo who sleeps in the bushs near the Dojang let me know it was none other then Chuck Norris watching DK and taking notes) ;) The 3rd paper is what caught me off guard, and that is what I will address in a bit...

The week started out pretty good for Lil' Tiger too; She went to her 'junior class' on Tues & she did great! Class was much smaller, so as always she did really well when she could focus on the teacher instead of being distracted by a "johnny booger picker". Her kicking is comin' along great as she seems to have no issue with using left or right foot. Her "i-yahs" are great (when she does them), and she has been breaking glass on a regular basis now ;) At the end of the class she and others had did sooo well they all got their piece of Brown Tape! That means she is only one tape away (the cherry one) from being able to test for the much coveted white belt with the purple stripe (My friend "Ramon" says it is more like lavender then purple. I think its purple, but he is such a B!$#& when I argue with him, I just let him have his way) :lol: She got her Mexican Donut that day, and she gulped 1/2 on the spot. Thurs she did even better & if they were giving out premature blackbelts, Lil' Tiger surely would of gotten one! :D

Now... On to the question of the week! Which brings up that '3rd certificate' that DK received. It was a personal invite by the GM to their "Black Belt Club". I frowned when I saw it (after reading what others had wrote here about BB clubs), but didn't let on to my family. On Wednesday I spoke to one of the instructors about the invite. He said that it is a one time fee of $250.00 for the club. It comes with a 'fancier' and different colored uniform and a set of nunchucks. Also, it means you can attend the BB club practices, And, Unlimited training each week (meaning you can come to as many classes as you wish). Now all that sounds great right? Well here's the kicker....You have to also sign a 3 year contract! mmmmmmmmmm I told them I would think about it... Now; Here's the question for you: "What should I do"?
You can post your answers right here on this thread, and be as tuff as you want. I want your honest opinion!
Well, that's it for this week. Keep wishin' LT the best of luck in her classes, and when she becomes famous you can say; "I rooted for that kid"! :D :D





DRAGON KID'S ~ LAUGH LINKS!
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DK has agreed to post a weekly "funny" link for us to enjoy! (Remember her sense of humor is a little strange) :lol:

"Best Cry Ever"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee925OTFBCA


:lol: :lol: :lol:


WEEKLY 'SILLY'SCOPES!


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Year of the OX (aka Water Buffalo)!

It may have been a long time since youv'e had the 'blue box blues' but you need to eat some kraft mac & cheese this week; Your pancreas is crying out for some powdered cheese. Avoid hand crafted log animals (carved by any chainsaw craftsmen), the wood can harbor the deadly 'hoof & mouth' disease which you are prone to catch. Make sure to pay close attention to your oral hygeine this coming week; you significant other will tell you "your breath smells fine" but your co-workers will be looking for the month old Kimchee in the breakroom fridge.
Your lucky numbers next week are: 8-12-15-26-30-39


MR MIYAGI, EAT YOUR HEART OUT!

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Finding a person to do this section was no easy task! We received over 125 applications and had to screen them over the last several days. We were looking for someone that not only was knowlegable but understood the basics even better then Mr Miyagi (hence the title of the section) :lol: We here at the Dragon's Breath hope you enjoy these ongoing articles by "the teacher"!


JU-MOK! (The Fist)

To really understand how to punch one must first understand how to properly make the different types of fist used in TKD, so here goes: To clench the fist properly first open your hand. Secondly clench your four fingers, and third press down against your index and third finger to completely make a tight fist.

The forefist punch is the most common used punch. The identical way to make the fist (like what was explained in the beginning) is the foundation to the forefist. To deliver the (Ju-mok) one must keep the forearm and wrist straight when delivering a striking blow to avoid injury to the fist.

The backfist or (dung ju-mok) would be the second most common punch in regards to TKD. To properly form a backfist is the same as the above the most common area's to use a backfist is the Temple, jaw,chin, the solarplexus and the ribs, notice that with the (dung ju-mok) we are targeting specific area's for maxium blows to make your opponent end their assault.

The Hammerfist, or (Me ju-mok) will be the last one for this week. The fist is formed in the same manner as the previous the main difference between them is the hand or fist is used just like a hammer mainly for striking the head, wrist, ribs, solarplexus and elbow or knee's joints. The hammer fist is regarded as an devastating blow when used to target areas.

One thing I would like to add is simply I see too many people not understanding the importance of placing a blow to the target area, but more of "I will keep hitting and hoping I connect to the right spot". With anything, one should spend more time with the basics and more time learning where a hand technique needs to be delivered for the most effective result.

In my next piece I will cover the basics of the (Pyun Ju-mok), or the open knuckle fist, (Bam Ju-mok) or the chestnut fist and the (Inji Ju-mok) or the index finger fist. If you have any questions about this or anything else please send them to FFF and the editoral staff.

Sincerely,
The Teacher




EDITOR'S FINAL SAY!
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Wow, the 2nd newsletter is in the books! Please feel free to drop a line on this thread and let us know what you think! No matter how you feel let us know, we have pretty thick skin (exept for that guy in accounting) :lol: We are also always looking to make the newsletter better, so please let us know any tips or suggestions you may have.

Until next time...
Continue to Fight and Train with Heart & Fire!!!
 

terryl965

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FFF you have a tough decission because Lil' Tiger is doing so well, it is a tough spot but if I understand anything about you, you will come away with the best solution. With that being said I would believe that to be a good drinka dn a nice cigar...
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Athelus

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a 3 year contract? Thats a pretty substantial amount of time. The wee one could grow fed up in a year and that leaves 2 years where you either break the contract or force DK to go to something she longer has an intrest in (Do you want twice weekly guaranteed sulking for 104 weeks?) Of course thats the worst case scenario. I always figure work out the worst case then things can only meet your expectations or be better.
 

Gorilla

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I would not join the BB club. She is going to be a BB anyway if she sticks to it!!!
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Unbelievable marketing what a shame. I am not going to hold back but this is one of the things that is seriously wrong with the martial arts. How could any instructor ask someone to sign a 3 year contract for a little kid. That is in my opinion despicable. Not only that but he had the gall to ask for $250 to the club on top of the contract. Instead he should be doing his absolute best to teach your child a reasonable rate irregardless if she belongs to the club.
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terryl965

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Unbelievable marketing what a shame. I am not going to hold back but this is one of the things that is seriously wrong with the martial arts. How could any instructor ask someone to sign a 3 year contract for a little kid. That is in my opinion despicable. Not only that but he had the gall to ask for $250 to the club on top of the contract. Instead he should be doing his absolute best to teach your child a reasonable rate irregardless if she belongs to the club.
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Brian remember at that rate this school is cheap, I mean look around here the DFW areqa some school charge $500.00 down payment and then anothe $99.00 per month, they get a new uniform and special only classes with secret techs. that they only teach the one's on a B.B. program. Now that is a joke and a ripoff!!!!:erg:
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Yes Terry I know that in some places the rates are insane. Here in Vegas it is costly to have your kid trained poorly as well! That is unless you really look around and know what you are doing. Then there is good training to be found.


I like the newsletter by the way!
 

ATC

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We had a BB club program but have since discontinued it. It was similar in that it was a 4 year commitment. It will only make sense to join if you know you are going to be there the entire time. It should be cheaper than if you just added up all your regular payments for that amount of time also.

My kids have been training now for 9 years at the same dojang but we never opted for the BB club thing. I just let them come and go as they pleased. In the end they have ended up better than any of the BB club students, but that is not because of the programs, that is because of them.

The one thing our BB club program (when we had it) was that when you joined you were guaranteed to obtain your Black Belt. So If you joined and it took 6 years for you to get your BB well then, so be it.

I can tell you that we discontinued the BB club program a few years ago and we still have 3 people left that have not gotten their BB's yet. They are still coming to those discontinued classes and one will test for his BB in 3 months. The other two have a year or more to go. The point is, that the owner is honoring the contract even though it has been way over 4 years, as he promised a BB if you joined the club.

I say skip it as your kids progression will (should) only be tied to how hard and often they train and practice on their own. It is something that is not needed if you ask me. But if I were an owner and this was my living then I may push this type of program as well. Remember you GM or Master is a business owner as well as an instructor.

Hope I have helped.
 

Xue Sheng

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I'm dealing with a 1 year contract for a bit over $1000 and then there is the unadulterated marketing for buy our stuff.

To be honest I'm with Brian, I have over 30 years in MA and I have never had to deal witha contract. And once this contract is up with my daughter, I am looking for another school for her
 
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Fing Fang Foom

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ALL of you have helped greatly so far with your responses...

I think some of you did not read the Chronicles of Lil' Tiger correctly though.. (or I messed up!...nah, that never happens) :lol:

The BB Club is NOT FOR Lil' Tiger (3 yr old), it was offered to Dragon Kid (my older daughter who is 15).

That may not change anyone's mind, but I thought I should clear that up! :D


now....as far as the newsletter goes, I am glad some of you are enjoying it. That is what its purpose is, purely entertainment for the most part.

Would love to hear some responses on the "TEACHER" section (as well as any other sections you liked or disliked)... All 64 1/2 staff members would love to hear from you....
 

Brian R. VanCise

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No it does not change my mind a bit! Marketing of this nature is one of the things that is wrong with the martial arts and why the arts some times have a bad name. It is very disapointing to see on so many levels. ATC handled this correctly in that she just let her kid's come and go did not join the club and walla they are still good! Good luck and keep up with your newsletter!!!
 
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Fing Fang Foom

Fing Fang Foom

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Brian,

Really appreciate your open and honest opinions :)

These are the things that are flyin' around in my mind.

*sure she would get to attend as many classes as she wishes. (which for her would result in about 7 hours of training per week.

*with all this time training during the school year (which starts on Sept 8th), when would she do her homework?

*she also starts HS soccer when school starts. Thats practice 5 days a week, and 2 games a week. (that would bring her "unlimited practices" to only 3 available days.)

It's starting to seem like an easy decision.... What I TRUELY want to see is if we 'turn it down' how will she be treated differently? Will it effect Lil' Tiger as well? mmmmmm these are the tuff questions I ponder.


PS OMG! Look I am a green belt! No doubt about it, tonight (after I am totally sloshed like every friday night), I am gonna go to the toughest part of town and call out the bullies....when they find out I am a Green belt now, they will run fo sho!! :D :D :D
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Brian,

Really appreciate your open and honest opinions :)

These are the things that are flyin' around in my mind.

*sure she would get to attend as many classes as she wishes. (which for her would result in about 7 hours of training per week.

*with all this time training during the school year (which starts on Sept 8th), when would she do her homework?

*she also starts HS soccer when school starts. Thats practice 5 days a week, and 2 games a week. (that would bring her "unlimited practices" to only 3 available days.)

It's starting to seem like an easy decision.... What I TRUELY want to see is if we 'turn it down' how will she be treated differently? Will it effect Lil' Tiger as well? mmmmmm these are the tuff questions I ponder.


PS OMG! Look I am a green belt! No doubt about it, tonight (after I am totally sloshed like every friday night), I am gonna go to the toughest part of town and call out the bullies....when they find out I am a Green belt now, they will run fo sho!! :D :D :D

I would not worry about it and if they treat your daughter's differently there are other places to look for training. Look at ATC it did not affect her children at all. In the end you have to make the decision that is right for you and your family. Personally though you know my position. I also find it unsufferable when a school charges a testing fee. I feel that is wrong because the practitioner earned that test with their training and blood, sweat and tears and their dues should be enough to cover it. However, I could rant on for awhile today. It just seems I am in the mood!
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jthomas1600

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I'll offer a disenting opinion and hope I don't get kicked off the forum for it ;) I have three kids in TKD and two are in the "club" with a three year contract. Here's some of our reasoning. For us it was much cheaper especially when you consider that it is laid out like the one ATC mentioned. We will pay for three years, but the kids then have two additional years they can come train and pursue their black belts at no additional cost. Our kids in the club are 11 and 15. They are old enough to understand a long term commitment and in our house it is not a new concept. They have done scouts, music, other sports, etc. and every time we've told them if we are investing our time and money they would need to make a commitment for a period of time. We're not going to do boyscouts for six months then drop on whim because we had a boring outing....it's no different with TKD. So mom and dad made a financial commitment to the Dojang and the kids made commitment of themselves. Our third kid in TKD has soccer seasons twice a year so she/we opted to take it month by month between soccer seasons. At our school there really is nothing more to the "club" than the contract and the schools commitment to see you through to black belt. No special uniform, no special practices, no special nunchucks and no additional cost. So for a 15 year old who can understand a long term commitment, if the child is willing to make the commitment and it makes sense to you financially then, well....

That's my two cents.
 
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Fing Fang Foom

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JT and Brian... Both of you have wonderful points of view and I thank you both for you honest opinions...

Tuff decisions are just that.... tuff to make...

I will be taking DragonKid to her Friday adult class soon.... After talkin' to "Chuck" in the parking lot hopefully I will make my decision :D

*I still wonder what the 250 fee is for if the new uniform and chucks only cost 100 bucks?
 

ATC

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...*I still wonder what the 250 fee is for if the new uniform and chucks only cost 100 bucks?
Profit, to keep it short. Not much profit as like I stated above, The long term contract should come out much cheaper than if you were to pay month to month for the same amount of lessons. So in order to get a little bit back charge a $250 join fee. Because they are getting all the money up front they may lose money if everyone that joins stays for the full time. However if even one kids leaves within the first year, then $cha-ching$. But they can not count on this so they have to give a little, (cheaper for you over the long run) and take a little ($250). Remember he is still running a business.

If you daughter has soccer commitments and high school commitments then I would opt for not. Explain it just as that and you should have no animosities whatsoever.
 

Carol

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I wouldn't do it, if it were me.

For me, I LOATHE contracts. Once you get tied in to a contract, that lessens the power of free market accountability.

MA schools outsource their billing to a 3rd party company that does the automatic ring of your credit card or withdrawal from your checking account. That means the people that take the money from you are not your instructors. This also means that if the school closes down, you will still get billed. You signed a contract.

I'm not saying that teachers that issue contracts are bad teachers. We all love who we train under (or who the kids train under) or we wouldn't be there. I know the folks that trained in the town next to me at Northeast MMA in Hudson, NH loved who they trained under too. Great gym, tons of space to work out, and lots of people to train with.

Owner Scott LeDoux went up on federal charges, leaving Northeast Mixed Martial Arts Academy and all of its assets to be forfeited to the Feds. The members were left holding the bag on their contracts. Sure, that's not right, and even the AG got involved....but that didn't stop the billing company from ringing up those membership fees while the mess was getting straightened out. (Ironically....LeDoux should not have had his members under contract to begin with as he had not filed the proper surety bond with the state's Consumer Protection Board).

http://media.nashuatelegraph.com/assets/gymbust.pdf

This can happen anywhere...and it has.
 
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Fing Fang Foom

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....Well last evening DK had her class. The instructor approached me (a different one) to talk about her entering the BB club...

Lesson in life. Never try and have a serious discussion after drinking :lol:

I barely remember what was said, but I think I rambled on and talked more then he did.

What I did take from it, is that it will save me money in the long run..IF she decides to stick with it. Some of the extra training would be good IF she wants that...

A lot of "IFs" huh? Well the more and more I yakked about it, the more I came to realize that it really had nuthin' to do with me... just my 15 yr old.

So a lightbulb flashed in my brain and I ended the conversation this way; "alright, to me it don't matter what she does. It is not my decision. She is more then mature enuff to make her own decisions now based on both the positive and negative facts. If you have anymore questions about her and the BB club ask her, not me" (or something like that) :lol:

Basically I just became frustrated with the whole deal and want to wash my hands of it. I trust my daughter to make a good decision...will she? Well we will have to wait and see................ :D :D :D
 

terryl965

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They will make her feel guilty so she will join, but in the end it is her journey and should be her decission. Best of luck to you.
 

ATC

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Good Luck. Kids want everything and nothing at the same time.:asian:

It will be cheaper than if you just paid monthly each time but she has to stick with it.
 
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