We Are A Black Belt School

WaterGal

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1. Aren't contracts dangerous? While I see the need for them from the school's side (it's a guarantee that they will get paid for "X" amount of time) what if something happens like you lose your job or if you get divorced and cannot afford to go to the school anymore?

This is something that's important to ask about. A reasonable school will let you pause or break the contract if you move, lose your job, get injured, etc.

Multi-Tier Pricing, to me, is ridiculous and scary! Let me give you just an example of one of the schools that I went to last week:
You pay $110 a month, you get to attend two classes per week, but cannot test for your black belt- 24 month contract
You pay $120 a month, you get to attend three classes per week and can test for your black belt- 36 month contract
You pay $150 a month, you get to attend unlimited classes per week and can attend the "special" all-inclusive black belt class that is held on Saturday mornings. YAY! (insert dramatic music). -36 month contract

I think tiered pricing is normal to some extent, but that seems a little complicated to me. I think I'd be uncomfortable with that, too.

Our school does have different price points based on how long you sign up for (plus extra if you want to study multiple styles), but they all come with unlimited classes, every class is offered at least 4x a week, and anybody can test for their black belt if they're ready. And we're about to start a special black belt/competition class, too, but that'll just require a tryout to show you're serious and know your stuff. Does that seem reasonable to you?

5. I thank you for your advice here. It seems that a good amount of the instructors I have seen lately, cannot do half of the stuff they are asking their students to do. And these are instructors in their mid 50's, which is not that old nowadays. Not to mention, I have been to some schools where the 60 year old instructor is still doing split kicks in the air. But I know everyone is different. In the school that I just left, none of the three instructors could perform any of the techniques we were being taught. One tried hard (he was about 55) but because he was away from the school for weeks at a time, he was always "tight" and such.

Yeah, I hear you. Getting older is inevitable, and teaching martial arts isn't usually a job that comes with health insurance, so if you tear your ACL or whatever you're kind of screwed. But I still think it's important that teachers try to stay fit and be able to do most of what they're teaching, even as they get older. They need to be an example to their students, and to be able to demonstrate what they're talking about. I don't have a lot of respect for teachers that weigh 300lbs and can't even do a high kick!

7. My former school tested everyone every three months, up to 3rd gup and then tested every 3rd and 2nd gup every six months, all the way up to 1st gup. No one ever failed a test! It was basically just for money. This is where my problem arose with the school. It became more of a "rule" or a "right" to test than a privilege.

Yeah, I think you should only be allowed to test if you actually know your stuff. Which could be after two months, or could be after four months, or even more (I taught a couple 4-year olds at my old school, and it was 5 or 6 months before their first test). The only time I've ever seen anybody fail was because they got stage freight and froze up, but that's because the students that weren't ready didn't test in the first place.
 

lklawson

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I have a really awful way of measuring or doing anything martial arts-wise.
What I mean is, you were objecting to the "new" schools by saying that black belts were too easy to get and you wished that it was more like in the "old days" presumably by assuming that the "old days" were a lot harder to get a BB. But your way of measuring what the "old days" were like involves measuring your personal level of patience against a modern school.

To be honest, that's really messed up logic.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Guy Preston

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Moo Duk Kwan Karate School
More Info
3003 Byberry Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154
13.6 mi
(215) 637-3132 Directions


I just attended a class here an hour ago and loved it!

That's great news, are you going to stick with this club? If so post in a month or 2 and update on how you're getting on...
 

Black Belt Jedi

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Just kidding, I know that doesn't exist. But does the phrase "We Are A Black Belt School" mean an automatic GTFO sign?

Well, quite frankly, I am under the impression that if there is a sign in or on the dojo that says "We are a Black Belt School" that means it's a McDojo filled with black belts including black belts (jr. black belts) under 16 years of age. Not to mention Karatekas clad in Black, Red, Green, Blue, or multi-coloured gis to look good no matter how good or bad their Karate is. On the other hand if the dojo is just a Black Belt school, it can only mean it is run by a high ranking Sensei (8th-10th dan) who only teaches Black Belts, traditonal methods. Maybe on the side he/she has assistant instructors who teaches kyu belt adults and children. I know that where my Sensei trains has that system. However, it is far away from you, it's the Kenshi-Kai dojo in Hamilton, Ont. Canada.
 

MJS

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If had the choice from any in the world, the martial art that I would want to train in the most would be Hapkido, with Kung Fu coming in at a close second. Unfortunately, there aren't any of those types of schools within a 25-30 mile radius around me.

Do you have other options?
 

J W

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Moo Duk Kwan Karate School
More Info
3003 Byberry Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154
13.6 mi
(215) 637-3132 Directions

I just attended a class here an hour ago and loved it!

Is that the "Minger & Lee" school? I work in that area and drive by there fairly often. Thought about checking it out a few years ago, but then decided to go in a different direction.

If had the choice from any in the world, the martial art that I would want to train in the most would be Hapkido, with Kung Fu coming in at a close second. Unfortunately, there aren't any of those types of schools within a 25-30 mile radius around me.

Not sure what type of Kung Fu you are interested in, but there is a Wing Chun school in Hatboro (full disclosure, they are affiliated with the school I attend downtown). As for Hapkido, I can't make any solid recommendations but I kinda remember driving by maybe Cottman and Frankford (I think?) not too long ago and noticing a sign for a Hapkido school in the second floor window of one of the buildings around there. Unfortunately my memory is a bit shaky on that one, but you might drive around that area and see if you can find it (that is, if you want to study Hapkido badly enough to follow a lead from a stranger's foggy memory).

Of course, if you have decided to commit to the TKD school, please disregard this info.
 
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Kaygee

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Is that the "Minger & Lee" school? I work in that area and drive by there fairly often. Thought about checking it out a few years ago, but then decided to go in a different direction.

Yes!

Not sure what type of Kung Fu you are interested in, but there is a Wing Chun school in Hatboro (full disclosure, they are affiliated with the school I attend downtown). As for Hapkido, I can't make any solid recommendations but I kinda remember driving by maybe Cottman and Frankford (I think?) not too long ago and noticing a sign for a Hapkido school in the second floor window of one of the buildings around there. Unfortunately my memory is a bit shaky on that one, but you might drive around that area and see if you can find it (that is, if you want to study Hapkido badly enough to follow a lead from a stranger's foggy memory).

Of course, if you have decided to commit to the TKD school, please disregard this info.

Hatboro is pretty far from me and I work in Horsham, so I would be driving to the same area twice right after each other and home for only about 30-45 minutes. That is kind of goofy, in my humble opinion.

I will look around Cottman and Frankford, but that area is a little crazy to look around in (traffic wise and traffic light wise with the island there).

Thank you!
 

J W

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Hatboro is pretty far from me and I work in Horsham, so I would be driving to the same area twice right after each other and home for only about 30-45 minutes. That is kind of goofy, in my humble opinion.

I will look around Cottman and Frankford, but that area is a little crazy to look around in (traffic wise and traffic light wise with the island there).

Thank you!

Yeah, sorry to be so vague about that Hapkido school. Hope I'm not sending you on a wild goose chase.

I don't find myself in that area too often, but if I manage to jog my memory better or happen to drive by it again, I'll let you know.
 
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Kaygee

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I looked for a while and could not find a hapkido,not only on Cotman avenue or in the surrounding areas, but in Philadelphia period!

Thanks though.
 

Gentle Fist

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If you are getting something out of it (fitness, fighting skills, etc...) then that is all that matters. Black Belt means nothing without heart and guts behind it...
 
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