Why doesn't boxing, wrestling, and most Western fighting sports suffer from the Mcdojo phenomenon?

7BallZ

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I was watching The Karate Kid series and indeed the film series portray just how abusive, fraudulent, and outright inaccurate teaachings of rival McDojos Miyagi and Daniel faces. Don't even get me started how they take the rival school wars to ridiculous extent that it is already flatout entering illegal territory.

The SCARIEST and WORST part is some of the rival schools they faced are genuine winners of local tournaments and at least got the physical training aspect correct in many way s(although still dumbed down in that they lacked many components of classical training like weight lifting and killing techniques).

But this inspires me to ask. Why hadn't Western sports fighting arts-in particular boxing and wrestling- hadn't been plaqued with the "McDojo" phenomenon?

I mean in the 3rd Karate Kid Movie, Terry Silver was intentionally getting Daniel hurt by having him hit wooden planks. Although not necessarily McDojo teaching as real Asian martial arts does have this training of sorts and Terry himself easily demonstrated his technique in front of Daniel where he crushed the wooden planks and boards with single blows, Terry forced him into this phrase of martial arts training WITHOUT properly conditioning him first and teaching him proper mechanics. Now I'll grant that Terry was intentionally forcing Daniel to injure himself and wear him out with such training both to get back at him for destroying John Kreese's martial art career and so he'll be so torn form the training he'll loose the upcoming tournament. But both he and Kreese have done such acts before to students they were teaching but personally didn't like as shown in supplemental materials like the novelization.

In boxing gyms, wrestling classes, and western based weapon arts like fencing and archery (love even MMA classes) such acts of stupidity practically don't exist. Even "home" instruction by uncertified amateur hobbyist (who never fought a single professional fight or even weekend betting bouts for extra cash) you'd practically don't have to worry about getting your hand broken because your coach was telling you to hit trees with hooks to get stronger or because you were given poor-quality obviously damaged fencing protection and you got hit when you were sparring.

Not to mention even just some random amateur hobbyists who you met and decided pay to give you lessons weekend lessons will AT the very least know enough about boxing or other western fighting sports that they can easily give you a schedule of proper boxing or wrestling regime and can quickly show you in an instant how to properly hold a longbow and what exercises you'll need to do and HOW to execute them properly like a real army pushup in order to gradually develop the body needed for amateur competition level.

For Christ sake an old man who took boxing lessons when he was a teen but stopped once he went to college around 50 years ago who I personally know can get you into far superior shape and teach you proper punching mechanics than most "certified" blackbelts in practically every dojo I visited. We're talking a man who stopped getting involve with the sport in his 20s and only got into it recently last year!

In addition, rivalry schools and cult mentality are so rare in the boxing world (and the same applies to other fighting sports) that if you mention them to an instructor I'm guarantee you'll get laughter. In the various boxing tournaments I've been to and boxing instructors I've chatted with,they often tell me one of the reasons they aren't into the martial arts or left very young if they were into them years ago, was because of all that big dick waggering "my style is betta than yours!" and "I'm going to vandalize your dojos!" mentality so common in the subculture. I'm not too much into wrestling to give a say, but my fencing instructor himself (who competed in many tournaments both nationally and internationally) states he is so disgusted with how Japanese kendo fighters and other obscure Asian style weapon masters are always bickering with each other and allt he known fights that happen in Asia between Dao fighters and Bo fighters, etc.

I mean with how lucrative western fighting arts are (Especially boxing), why is there no such abuse fraud, and "dojo wars' the way the martial arts world are rife with?

I mean even at the professional level, while illegal acts and shady people exist, you don't hear about a professional wrestling coach who won gold medals forcing a student to wear himself out with BS training like Terry Silver did in Karate Kid 3 so that he'll lose in the upcoming tournament to another wrestler (who the coach is secretly also teaching and has been in a longer stronger relationship with). You don't see pro-boxers getting a bunch of other students his coach was teaching and jumping someone else out of sadistic pleasure because they are taught that way in the gym the whole the Cobra Kai kids were repeatedly ganging up and beating Daniel Russo and other non-members of their dojos. Nor do you see practitioners of fencing going to gym locations late at night and vandailizing the gym so badly that it is practically useless the next day and thus it ruins their upcoming opponents fighting capabilities for the upcoming bout.

All of these things are so lovely common stuff that is involved with the McDojos. HELL even MMA gyms (including those with real life John Kreeses) don't get involved with such BS authoritarian personalities, cults, and illegal activities the way McDojos and Traditional Asian Martial Arts int he West do. The real life equivalents of John Kreeses I met wouldn't dare teach "mercy is for the weak" mentality the Cobra Kai espoused and in fact more often then not they try as much as possible to avoid students jumping other guys and other illegal stuff seen in Karate Kid. While from my experience many Traditional Martial Arts schools (McDojos) often encouraged stuff that would get their student locked up in due time and eventually gangraped int he prison showers.

What prevented Western fighting sports from getting such McDojoish tendencies? I mean have you seen the PPV payroll for boxers on HBO? With such millions of $$$ being thrown away, I'm surprised there isn't the same amount of McDojo boxing gyms the way TMAs suffer. Nor does wrestling, fencing, marksmanship, HEMA, and archery suffer such problems. Even MMA (which has many instructors of dubious qualification) doesn't go into the amount of BS that martial arts inspired in the west.
 

kuniggety

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You touched on a lot of things in your post. I don't know if anyone really does vandalizism...? Because that's straight up criminal but a huge difference in the Western fighting arts is that there is no "secrets". There's no being part of the inner club to learn the inner techniques, yadda yadda. There just "hey, we offer this" and you can go to a tournament and see how they fair. And that's a core thing... Many of the western arts are "ring" arts. There's nothing so "deadly" that they can't actually practice. They teach technique and step into the ring and beat each other senseless with it.

I hope that was intelligible... I'm kind of drunk at the moment...
 

drop bear

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Western martial arts do suffer from it. But otherwise I would say because they don't do lineage. And all the baggage that comes with that.
 

Tez3

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I was watching The Karate Kid series and indeed the film series portray just how abusive, fraudulent, and outright inaccurate teaachings of rival McDojos Miyagi and Daniel faces. Don't even get me started how they take the rival school wars to ridiculous extent that it is already flatout entering illegal territory.

You do know that this is fiction right? Getting mad at things that happen in a film is a bit over the top. Writers make things seem more extreme, more violent etc for entertainment purposes, it's called poetic licence.

But this inspires me to ask. Why hadn't Western sports fighting arts-in particular boxing and wrestling- hadn't been plaqued with the "McDojo" phenomenon?

A good few have, human nature being what it is there's always someone out to rip people off, boxing and wrestling is no different, you won't hear about it as much on here because we don't tend to discuss boxing and wrestling as much as martial arts funnily enough.

I mean in the 3rd Karate Kid Movie, Terry Silver was intentionally getting Daniel hurt by having him hit wooden planks. Although not necessarily McDojo teaching as real Asian martial arts does have this training of sorts and Terry himself easily demonstrated his technique in front of Daniel where he crushed the wooden planks and boards with single blows, Terry forced him into this phrase of martial arts training WITHOUT properly conditioning him first and teaching him proper mechanics. Now I'll grant that Terry was intentionally forcing Daniel to injure himself and wear him out with such training both to get back at him for destroying John Kreese's martial art career and so he'll be so torn form the training he'll loose the upcoming tournament. But both he and Kreese have done such acts before to students they were teaching but personally didn't like as shown in supplemental materials like the novelization


It's a film, a movie, it's not real, 'Daniel' and 'Kreese' are played by actors. It has little bearing on real life.

In boxing gyms, wrestling classes, and western based weapon arts like fencing and archery (**** even MMA classes) such acts of stupidity practically don't exist. Even "home" instruction by uncertified amateur hobbyist (who never fought a single professional fight or even weekend betting bouts for extra cash) you'd practically don't have to worry about getting your hand broken because your coach was telling you to hit trees with hooks to get stronger or because you were given poor-quality obviously damaged fencing protection and you got hit when you were sparring.

You are judging real life places against fictional ones, it's not a real comparison. You are saying that 'such acts of stupidity don't exist', well they only existed in a work of fiction so I'm not sure what you are thinking here.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The question is valid. I can't say that I know the answer, but I have an opinion on it. What follows is that; my opinion.

1) Most organized western martial arts do not have a non-physical component that I am aware of. That is, there is no 'do', there is only 'jutsu'. Boxers learn to box, not to meditate.
2) Boxers can be compared to boxers. Wrestlers to wrestlers. A 'McDojo' type training facility would be quickly exposed as such because they people they trained would not be able to compete successfully.
3) Most western martial arts are sports. Although of course one can learn to defend oneself quite effectively using boxing, wrestling, etc, skills, they are designed to be sports. As such, they are subject to national and international organizations, rules, and so on, which establish bona fides to a great extent.

Eastern martial arts are all over the board. Some are sports, some are not. Some are more devoted to application, some more towards a way of life instead of simply learning a set of techniques. You can't take a green belt student from one dojo and have them spar with a green belt student from another dojo and expect them to be even closely similar in ability, style, or technique. Not only do individuals vary, not only do styles vary, but instruction varies.

Some have attempted to address problems like these by establishing governing bodies, which attempt to set standards, enforce rules, create uniformity in training, and so on. Unfortunately, just as many (probably more) fake organizations have popped up, which pretend to do those things, but instead serve only to legitimize McDojos, leaving the average consumer confused as to what is legitimate and what is not.

Unfortunately, the unregulated nature of martial arts in general ensures that McDojos will flourish. It is truly a case of 'caveat emptor'. I see no way to resolve the issue in the current environment. As a karateka, I am as legitimate as my instructor's faith in me, and his instructor's in him, and so on, back to our founder. However, even if I put in the necessary time and effort to gain a teaching certificate from my instructor, there is nothing stopping anyone from declaring themselves a 11th Degree Black Belt with Strawberry Sprinkles and hanging out their shingle as Soke of their own system. They may be teaching garbage, but there is precious little I can do about that. There is no law or organization that can put a stop to the nauseating fake martial arts instruction.
 

Tony Dismukes

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The examples from the movies really aren't relevant. The Cobra-Kai wasn't a mcdojo. They were "bad guys", played up as cartoonish villians for the sake of the plot. Their misbehavior isn't typical of martial arts schools and isn't what most people mean by "mcdojo."

The "mcdojo" epithet is generally applied to schools that have poor quality instruction for inflated prices, generally with low standards for rank so that 8-year olds can be awarded black belts after their parents have paid ludicrous fees. Such a school would be highly unlikely to engage in "Cobra Kai" behavior, because the parents aren't likely to keep paying those steep fees if their kids are getting into fights.
 

lklawson

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As has been implied and flat stated several times now, the answer is basically, "because you can be challenged and if you're stuff don't hold up then it's clear to people who know what they're looking at."

The western arts have a very long tradition of trash talking and self promotion. But they also have an equally long tradition of "put your money where your mouth is."

George Silver notably trashed the effete european sissy rapier in favor of a real man's British weapon, the basket hilted broadsword in his manuals. And fencers were known to occasionally challenge each other to prove which "style" was better. My favorite is either the example are either the Navarez vs Quevedo duel or Bonetti vs. Bagger duel.

If you claim you know how to fight someone may ask you to prove it. If you claim your style of fighting is better, someone will probably show up and ask you to prove it. If you can't prove that you know how to fight, you lost your students so, frankly, most people claiming to be able to teach you how to fight knew how to fight.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Bill Mattocks

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If you claim you know how to fight someone may ask you to prove it. If you claim your style of fighting is better, someone will probably show up and ask you to prove it. If you can't prove that you know how to fight, you lost your students so, frankly, most people claiming to be able to teach you how to fight knew how to fight.

I have to respectfully disagree with this as it pertains to 'McDojos'. Many exist, many make all sorts of claims, but no one one challenges them (these days), or takes them on in a physical altercation. These days, people claim whatever they wish to claim, and it has no meaning and is subject to no test of legitimacy.

I also think that most students of McDojos would not quit in disgust if their instructor lost a fight anyway. People train for all sorts of reasons, but some of those reasons that I'm aware of have little or nothing to do with being able to fight well. Obtaining a belt or a certificate or some other recognition, trophies for the wall at home, even the opportunity to open one's own McDojo and earn a living; those are much more pressing than being able to fight for many.
 

lklawson

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I have to respectfully disagree with this as it pertains to 'McDojos'. Many exist, many make all sorts of claims, but no one one challenges them (these days), or takes them on in a physical altercation. These days, people claim whatever they wish to claim, and it has no meaning and is subject to no test of legitimacy.
I don't disagree with that as it pertains to many asian martial arts. Western based martial arts still have a "put it on the mat" tradition which helps to preclude this phenomenon. In this case, it's as much about what the tradition of the martial art is. :)

BJJ and Judo have a similar tradition. Schools are often selected by prospective students by whether or not their students have a solid track record of winning or whether or not their instructor(s) did. BJJ schools, in particular, are quite jealous of their credentials and are quite happy to challenge (and humiliate) instructors falsifying BJJ credentials.

Again, it's what is the "tradition" of the art. And martial arts of from the West have a long tradition of having to prove they're not bogus made up crap. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Bill Mattocks

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I don't disagree with that as it pertains to many asian martial arts. Western based martial arts still have a "put it on the mat" tradition which helps to preclude this phenomenon. In this case, it's as much about what the tradition of the martial art is. :)

BJJ and Judo have a similar tradition. Schools are often selected by prospective students by whether or not their students have a solid track record of winning or whether or not their instructor(s) did. BJJ schools, in particular, are quite jealous of their credentials and are quite happy to challenge (and humiliate) instructors falsifying BJJ credentials.

Again, it's what is the "tradition" of the art. And martial arts of from the West have a long tradition of having to prove they're not bogus made up crap. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

Ah, now I understand. Sorry, I was thinking 'McDojo' completely in the realm of 'karate' and karate-like training. Which would actually lend credence to the point you were making. I stand corrected, thanks.
 

drop bear

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The examples from the movies really aren't relevant. The Cobra-Kai wasn't a mcdojo. They were "bad guys", played up as cartoonish villians for the sake of the plot. Their misbehavior isn't typical of martial arts schools and isn't what most people mean by "mcdojo."

The "mcdojo" epithet is generally applied to schools that have poor quality instruction for inflated prices, generally with low standards for rank so that 8-year olds can be awarded black belts after their parents have paid ludicrous fees. Such a school would be highly unlikely to engage in "Cobra Kai" behavior, because the parents aren't likely to keep paying those steep fees if their kids are getting into fights.


 

Andrew Green

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It's very hard to "fake it" in western systems because of the sparring and competition. But that said I would argue that there is a slight equivalent, which is things like boxercise and cardio kickboxing.

There is however one big and important difference, those are not marketed as something they are not.

With the eastern styles there is a lot of mysticism and nonsense that can be pushed on people. Sparring can be avoided and as long as there is a good story to back it, people will believe all sorts of crazy ideas.

Movies certainly don't help, we've all seen plenty of kung fu movies where the old master trains Jackie in some ridiculous way and turns him into a invincible fighting machine. Western arts are based on results, so stupid crap doesn't slip in. And at least up here amateur boxing, wrestling and fencing are all governed by provincial organizations which report to a national organization. You have to go through official certification in order to coach them. Anyone can open up a karate school, and because it's got that element of mysticism to it and expectation of "traditional" methods you can get away with all kids of crap.

The belt system only makes things worse IMO. I'm all for a internal ranking system, but there is going to come a point where a coach needs to evolve themselves, and experiment. I'm not saying a coach ever really outgrows the need for a coach themselves, but not in the I've been training 40 years and have to do exactly what this guy that has been training 50 years says and teach exactly what he tells me too and how because he has a candy cane belt.
 

drop bear

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Weirdly with mma at least. It is a bit of a community between clubs. I am guessing because nobody really cares about mma except for those who do it.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The belt system only makes things worse IMO. I'm all for a internal ranking system, but there is going to come a point where a coach needs to evolve themselves, and experiment. I'm not saying a coach ever really outgrows the need for a coach themselves, but not in the I've been training 40 years and have to do exactly what this guy that has been training 50 years says and teach exactly what he tells me too and how because he has a candy cane belt.

I agree with everything you've said up to this point. I don't have a problem with the belt system, but whether I did or did not, it's not going to go away, so one can object to it all they like; it's here to stay.

The problem, IMHO, is that non-martial artists tend to think that belts are an objective and/or external system of ranking, which we all understand they are not.
 

FriedRice

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What an excellent post and lots of good responses.

I have no problem with people training TMA's to get in shape, as a hobby, self defense, Asian fetish, whatever....and never go hard on the sparring (up to KO sparring) and never wanting to compete in full contact competition for KO's. All of this is fine. Just realize that most Amateur level MMA fighters will beat the living crap out of them pretty easily in competition, on the streets, in prison cells, Mad Max Thunderdome to the death, etc.

McDojoer's collecting different colored belts are fine with me. Most people aren't looking for risks of head injuries as part of their training. Collecting belts does exhibit a certain level of skills. Like in BJJ, there are awesome BJJ kids with a ton of medals and belts....but many of them will start crying like a baby when the other kid's hand accidentally slips off of a grip and smacks them in the face. Seen this so many times, it's funny. Same goes with BJJ adults, all the way up to Black Belt. Not all can take punches to the face in a real fight, that's why some people only train BJJ. This can be said of Wrestlers who only wrestles, also.
 

Bill Mattocks

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What an excellent post and lots of good responses.

Well, up until now, anyway...

I have no problem with people training TMA's to get in shape, as a hobby, self defense, Asian fetish, whatever....and never go hard on the sparring (up to KO sparring) and never wanting to compete in full contact competition for KO's. All of this is fine. Just realize that most Amateur level MMA fighters will beat the living crap out of them pretty easily in competition, on the streets, in prison cells, Mad Max Thunderdome to the death, etc.

Interesting point of view. I think you are mistaken, but that's my point of view.

Of course, even assuming it was true, one has to wonder how often a person well-versed in a traditional martial art gets into a wild street fight with a person well-versed in MMA-style martial arts. This happens a lot, does it?

McDojoer's collecting different colored belts are fine with me. Most people aren't looking for risks of head injuries as part of their training. Collecting belts does exhibit a certain level of skills. Like in BJJ, there are awesome BJJ kids with a ton of medals and belts....but many of them will start crying like a baby when the other kid's hand accidentally slips off of a grip and smacks them in the face. Seen this so many times, it's funny. Same goes with BJJ adults, all the way up to Black Belt. Not all can take punches to the face in a real fight, that's why some people only train BJJ. This can be said of Wrestlers who only wrestles, also.

I will say that the true 'McDojos', often described as business models that offer basic martial arts training of a sort and a guaranteed promotion system in exchange for money, might well fit this bill. I was not aware of any 'McDojo' style BJJ dojos, but I guess they might exist.

It does appear to me, however, that you're conflating 'McDojo' with 'any traditional martial art that isn't MMA'. You have to know that doesn't fly here. First, because it only causes flame wars, and second, because it's stuff and nonsense.

TMA does not equal 'McDojo'. I hope we're clear on that.

As to getting hit in the face and crying, I've suffered broken ribs, fingers, toes, and seen a couple of rather gruesome injuries on others to include teeth driven through lips on both sides, in and out, and I didn't see any crying.

Maybe they cry easily where you come from.
 

FriedRice

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Well, up until now, anyway...

boooooooooooooooooooo

Interesting point of view. I think you are mistaken, but that's my point of view.

I think you are mistaken, but that's my point of view.

Of course, even assuming it was true, one has to wonder how often a person well-versed in a traditional martial art gets into a wild street fight with a person well-versed in MMA-style martial arts. This happens a lot, does it?

Then maybe you should aim higher for the level of danger that you may encounter.

I will say that the true 'McDojos', often described as business models that offer basic martial arts training of a sort and a guaranteed promotion system in exchange for money, might well fit this bill. I was not aware of any 'McDojo' style BJJ dojos, but I guess they might exist.

Can you show me about 10 of such McDojos that specifically states that someone would be guaranteed a promotion in a certain amount of time if they paid for it? Most will give you a range in time frame, but it's not guaranteed. Like BJJ, many people do ask how long to get to a Blue belt and most will answer: about 1-1.5 years of dedicated training of at least 3x per week but not guaranteed.

It does appear to me, however, that you're conflating 'McDojo' with 'any traditional martial art that isn't MMA'. You have to know that doesn't fly here. First, because it only causes flame wars, and second, because it's stuff and nonsense.

TMA does not equal 'McDojo'. I hope we're clear on that.

No, you are wrong and just making assumptions.

As to getting hit in the face and crying, I've suffered broken ribs, fingers, toes, and seen a couple of rather gruesome injuries on others to include teeth driven through lips on both sides, in and out, and I didn't see any crying.

Maybe they cry easily where you come from.

Take a deep breath, count to 10 and try reading what I wrote again.
 

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