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

lklawson

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Hapkido has never been widespread or popular enough to really be brought into the equation. I would say the majority of folks just haven't had enough experience with it to form an opinion one way or another. I will say that Combat Hapkido's anti MMA stuff is some of the funniest junk I've witnessed in a long time.

Though NOTHING will ever top Ving Tsun anti-grappling...

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Steve

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I said this years ago and got shouted down by BJJ folks: "It isn't happening and never can happen because of how BJJ 'works'."


I pointed out an Open Letter written by Helio himself in Black Belt Magazine complaining about the watering down of BJJ and the lowering of standards. The BJJ folks <cough> "informed me" that it was just that Helio was butthurt over all the non-GJJ derivatives and how he didn't have control.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
I don't know how long ago that was, but you can see the McDojo business model very clearly in the Gracie Barra system, and it's been like that for a long time.

As @drop bear correctly said:
Technically bullshido is just garbage training.

And a McDojo is a money making scheme.

So they can be independent of each other.
And others have talked about McDojo is about standardization.
 

Urban Trekker

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However, the very act of wrestling is indeed a natural instinct for humans.
Very true. The world's oldest unarmed martial art is malla-yuddha, which is an Indian wrestling art. When apes fight each other in the wild, they wrestle (and bite and scratch too, but still wrestle).
 

lklawson

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I don't know how long ago that was,

Here it is:

Black Belt Magazine, August 1996, Vol.
34, No. 8

Grand Master Helio Gracie Speaks Out

With regard to the large number of new Jiu-Jitsu academies and instructional videos that are appearing everywhere, I consider myself very flattered by the great acceptance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States. However, as the person who caused the major impact in the Jiu-Jitsu that is now practiced all over Brazil and increasingly throughout the world, I want to make clear to the practitioners worldwide that the only method of Jiu-Jitsu that I endorse is the one practiced by my sons Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, and Royce.

Outside of my sons, the only certified instructors that I endorse are those who have earned their instructor certification from me or my son Rorion at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. Rorion or I are available to examine anyone's ability as an instructor of Jiu-Jitsu as well as to clarify our standards.

The purpose for this declaration is to make sure my work and the effort of my sons does not provide an opportunity for unqualified people to fool the public by misrepresenting their ability as instructors. We do not want anyone to mislead the good faith of those who are interested in studying under the teaching methods of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Students can practice Jiu-Jitsu whenever they want, wherever they want, with whomever they want. That is none of my business. But I feel professionally and ethically obligated to ensure that those students who want to train under my teaching methods know that I only endorse the teaching of my sons, and that only my eldest son Rorion has my blessing to select and prepare the instructors that will carry on the tradition and principles that I have spent my entire life upholding.

If you wish to compare our teaching methods with any other methods, please be my guest for an introductory class at the Gracie Academy. You will then have a good point of reference to make your own comparison, and I am confident that you will appreciate our higher standards.

My fondest regards to our studentds and friends throughout the world.

Helio Gracie

***Helio Gracie, mastermind behind what is today known as Gracie Jui-Jitsu (R), wears a Blue Belt in Brazil. He does this out of protest against th eproliferation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu "experts" and self-proclaimed "Gracie" stylists who are poluting the once crystal clear spring of knowledge that he perfected.



Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Tony Dismukes

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I pointed out an Open Letter written by Helio himself in Black Belt Magazine complaining about the watering down of BJJ and the lowering of standards. The BJJ folks <cough> "informed me" that it was just that Helio was butthurt over all the non-GJJ derivatives and how he didn't have control.
Whatever you might think about BJJ being watered down, I do strongly believe that any such complaints from Helio were definitely due to his financial and ego motivations for running down the competition. (Even though the competition would have been members of his own family.) Helio and Rorion were at that time pushing the myth that Helio was the sole innovator who made BJJ the effective art that it is now.
 

lklawson

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Very true. The world's oldest unarmed martial art is malla-yuddha,
You sure about that?
Egyptian wrestling dates to 3,000 B.C.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Here it is:

Black Belt Magazine, August 1996, Vol.
34, No. 8

Grand Master Helio Gracie Speaks Out

With regard to the large number of new Jiu-Jitsu academies and instructional videos that are appearing everywhere, I consider myself very flattered by the great acceptance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States. However, as the person who caused the major impact in the Jiu-Jitsu that is now practiced all over Brazil and increasingly throughout the world, I want to make clear to the practitioners worldwide that the only method of Jiu-Jitsu that I endorse is the one practiced by my sons Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, and Royce.

Outside of my sons, the only certified instructors that I endorse are those who have earned their instructor certification from me or my son Rorion at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. Rorion or I are available to examine anyone's ability as an instructor of Jiu-Jitsu as well as to clarify our standards.

The purpose for this declaration is to make sure my work and the effort of my sons does not provide an opportunity for unqualified people to fool the public by misrepresenting their ability as instructors. We do not want anyone to mislead the good faith of those who are interested in studying under the teaching methods of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Students can practice Jiu-Jitsu whenever they want, wherever they want, with whomever they want. That is none of my business. But I feel professionally and ethically obligated to ensure that those students who want to train under my teaching methods know that I only endorse the teaching of my sons, and that only my eldest son Rorion has my blessing to select and prepare the instructors that will carry on the tradition and principles that I have spent my entire life upholding.

If you wish to compare our teaching methods with any other methods, please be my guest for an introductory class at the Gracie Academy. You will then have a good point of reference to make your own comparison, and I am confident that you will appreciate our higher standards.

My fondest regards to our studentds and friends throughout the world.

Helio Gracie

***Helio Gracie, mastermind behind what is today known as Gracie Jui-Jitsu (R), wears a Blue Belt in Brazil. He does this out of protest against th eproliferation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu "experts" and self-proclaimed "Gracie" stylists who are poluting the once crystal clear spring of knowledge that he perfected.



Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Yeah, based on the date of that letter, Helio would have been largely concerned with competition from the Carlson Gracie team and possibly with Renzo Gracie as well. I can state quite unequivocally that neither of those could honestly be described as a "watering down" of the art or Helio's standards.
 

Steve

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Here it is:

Black Belt Magazine, August 1996, Vol.
34, No. 8

Grand Master Helio Gracie Speaks Out

With regard to the large number of new Jiu-Jitsu academies and instructional videos that are appearing everywhere, I consider myself very flattered by the great acceptance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States. However, as the person who caused the major impact in the Jiu-Jitsu that is now practiced all over Brazil and increasingly throughout the world, I want to make clear to the practitioners worldwide that the only method of Jiu-Jitsu that I endorse is the one practiced by my sons Rorion, Relson, Rickson, Rolker, Royler, and Royce.

Outside of my sons, the only certified instructors that I endorse are those who have earned their instructor certification from me or my son Rorion at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA. Rorion or I are available to examine anyone's ability as an instructor of Jiu-Jitsu as well as to clarify our standards.

The purpose for this declaration is to make sure my work and the effort of my sons does not provide an opportunity for unqualified people to fool the public by misrepresenting their ability as instructors. We do not want anyone to mislead the good faith of those who are interested in studying under the teaching methods of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Students can practice Jiu-Jitsu whenever they want, wherever they want, with whomever they want. That is none of my business. But I feel professionally and ethically obligated to ensure that those students who want to train under my teaching methods know that I only endorse the teaching of my sons, and that only my eldest son Rorion has my blessing to select and prepare the instructors that will carry on the tradition and principles that I have spent my entire life upholding.

If you wish to compare our teaching methods with any other methods, please be my guest for an introductory class at the Gracie Academy. You will then have a good point of reference to make your own comparison, and I am confident that you will appreciate our higher standards.

My fondest regards to our studentds and friends throughout the world.

Helio Gracie

***Helio Gracie, mastermind behind what is today known as Gracie Jui-Jitsu (R), wears a Blue Belt in Brazil. He does this out of protest against th eproliferation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu "experts" and self-proclaimed "Gracie" stylists who are poluting the once crystal clear spring of knowledge that he perfected.



Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Reading it, that does actually sound like a "Rorion is the one true path for my jiu jitsu" letter. I would agree with him that folks who aren't qualified to teach BJJ shouldn't do it.

The McDojo is, I think, more like what Gracie Barra has done, though I don't think anyone would argue with the expertise of their instructors or their results.
 

lklawson

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Whatever you might think about BJJ being watered down,
To be completely honest with you, I don't worry about it too much. When I was initially thinking about the phenomenon, back in the mid-90's, I was mostly noting how "grapppling" was suddenly being added to every school, dojo, dojang, kwoon, gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse. I opined that the general level of grappling and groundfighting in the U.S. was being watered down and I used Helio's open letter as supporting evidence (perhaps wrongly).

It seemed a bit more relevant back then. Now, honestly, I kinda don't care. I'm bemused by people who think that "anti-grappling" defenses (or however they're being branded now) are worth anything, and I'm perfectly willing to tell them that if the subject comes up, but I don't usually go out looking to evangelize my opinion on it.

I do strongly believe that any such complaints from Helio were definitely due to his financial and ego motivations for running down the competition. (Even though the competition would have been members of his own family.) Helio and Rorion were at that time pushing the myth that Helio was the sole innovator who made BJJ the effective art that it is now.
That seems to be a strong possibility and I certainly won't argue against it. There seems to be a lot of evidence to support it. IMS, wasn't that the time period where there was a big split and conflict with the Machado's?

That said, the plain reading of Helio's open letter is complaining about the watering down of BJJ and it's hard to fault someone (me?) for thinking that it McDojo-ification might be happening in the BJJ community, or at the very least within the "ground grappling" community at large.

To be honest, I still sometimes see people teaching "ground fighting" who looks like they learned it from mixing together old tapes of Hulk Hogan and Ashida Kim. :D

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Urban Trekker

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You sure about that?
Egyptian wrestling dates to 3,000 B.C.
If we're including martial arts that are either no longer in practice or with breaks in continuity/reconstructed (such as HEMA, etc), then we can go as far back as Sumeria. But I'm only referring to martial arts that are still in practice today.

Of note, one thing I thought about is that we have innate apprehension when dealing with muscular men. Given the choice between lanky opponent who is two inches taller than us with a reach advantage, and a muscular opponent who is two inches shorter where we have the reach advantage; most of us will choose the former. That's not to say we don't get apprehensive with taller opponents too; we just view the muscles as being more dangerous than the height. And where does muscle matter the most? Wrestling. If pugilism was more natural to humans, we'd be more apprehensive about the taller lanky guy.
 

Hanzou

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I pointed out an Open Letter written by Helio himself in Black Belt Magazine complaining about the watering down of BJJ and the lowering of standards. The BJJ folks <cough> "informed me" that it was just that Helio was butthurt over all the non-GJJ derivatives and how he didn't have control.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

To be fair, that is a rather accurate assessment. The Gracies aren't happy that BJJ has grown out of their direct control, and that they're no longer the drivers of BJJ's development. I have a great deal of respect for Rickson as a martial artist, but dude is sounding like the cranky old man yelling at teenagers to get off of his lawn (mat).

The best way for Rickson to get what he wants is to produce a team of BJJ practitioners using his system to dominate the competitive sphere. He's never going to do that, so he might as well sit back and get comfortable, because BJJ isn't veering off of its current trajectory any time soon.
 

ThatOneCanadian

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Very true. The world's oldest unarmed martial art is malla-yuddha, which is an Indian wrestling art. When apes fight each other in the wild, they wrestle (and bite and scratch too, but still wrestle).
That's actually a good example. Most mammals seem to know three things by heart: wrestling, biting, and clawing (in the context of fighting ;)), with some knowing how to kick. I think this is why animal Kung Fu became a thing, i.e. to emulate fighting techniques that clearly work well for wild animals.
 

Buka

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On a related note, Rickson Gracie seems to agree with BJJ becoming McDonaldized;


Of course I think he's more upset that BJJ as a whole is moving on from his family.
I don't think he really cares. When I first trained with him he told me, "I'm not going to teach you Gracie Jujitsu per se, I'l going to teach you how to use Ju-jitsu on the ground so you may better use your striking skills while on the ground. And that's what he did.

When I first moved to Maui, I joined a Rickson Gracie Ju-Jitsu school. It was run by Rickson's first black belt, Romalo Barros. The school was called Rickson Gracie Free Style Ju-Jitsu. When Rickson would visit it was a lot of fun. When speaking he would always refer to it as "Jiu-Jitsu", never Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

My guess is it had something to do with him and Rorian, I know they were frequently at odds over....whatever.

I've met a lot of Jiu-Jitsu men from Brazil. And I can tell you one thing for certain, they only care about three things. Jiu-Jitsu, women, and surfing. That's it, that's the list.
 

WaterGal

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The McDojo is, I think, more like what Gracie Barra has done, though I don't think anyone would argue with the expertise of their instructors or their results.

I've never been to a Gracie Barra school, but my understanding is that they're a successful franchise. Is that what you mean?

The term "McDojo" gets used to refer to both "a school that uses repeatable business processes to train instructors, enroll students, and make a decent amount of money" and "a school that waters down what they teach until it's useless". Sometimes, martial arts schools do both, but not always.

I think that a BJJ school could be well-suited to be the first kind of McDojo, and I'm guessing that's what you're saying about Gracie Barra. But maybe not the second kind.
 

Steve

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I've never been to a Gracie Barra school, but my understanding is that they're a successful franchise. Is that what you mean?

The term "McDojo" gets used to refer to both "a school that uses repeatable business processes to train instructors, enroll students, and make a decent amount of money" and "a school that waters down what they teach until it's useless". Sometimes, martial arts schools do both, but not always.

I think that a BJJ school could be well-suited to be the first kind of McDojo, and I'm guessing that's what you're saying about Gracie Barra. But maybe not the second kind.
Exactly. They standardize everything, have a very specific curriculum, require students to all purchase their gis, and are very tribal. And the model has worked very well for them.

I don't think their results have suffered.
 

Hanzou

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I don't think he really cares. When I first trained with him he told me, "I'm not going to teach you Gracie Jujitsu per se, I'l going to teach you how to use Ju-jitsu on the ground so you may better use your striking skills while on the ground. And that's what he did.

When I first moved to Maui, I joined a Rickson Gracie Ju-Jitsu school. It was run by Rickson's first black belt, Romalo Barros. The school was called Rickson Gracie Free Style Ju-Jitsu. When Rickson would visit it was a lot of fun. When speaking he would always refer to it as "Jiu-Jitsu", never Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

My guess is it had something to do with him and Rorian, I know they were frequently at odds over....whatever.

I've met a lot of Jiu-Jitsu men from Brazil. And I can tell you one thing for certain, they only care about three things. Jiu-Jitsu, women, and surfing. That's it, that's the list.
I don't know Buka... His recent interviews seem kind of bitter about the present state of BJJ.
 

Buka

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I don't know Buka... His recent interviews seem kind of bitter about the present state of BJJ.
I think its because he feels that most people arent training hard enough.

His recent book, Breathe, is a good read. If you get a chance, check it out.
 

Flying Crane

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That's actually a good example. Most mammals seem to know three things by heart: wrestling, biting, and clawing (in the context of fighting ;)), with some knowing how to kick. I think this is why animal Kung Fu became a thing, i.e. to emulate fighting techniques that clearly work well for wild animals.
I would say its not wrestling in the way we humans tend to think of it.

As someone who practices an animal style, in my experience we are not trying to emulate the animal, not imitating their techniques. Yes, there is an inspiration taken from the animal, but it isnt with the desire to imitate and fight like the animal fights. People are built differently from animals and cannot imitate animal techniques and expect similar results. But sometimes a principle of movement or strategy stands out, and the methodology can be built upon that.

I practice a Crane method. We do not stand on one foot, wave our arms about like they are wings, and strike with the fingertip Crane beak. That just isnt how the method works. We punch and kick like everybody else. We just have our rather unique way of developing our techniques.
 

ThatOneCanadian

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I would say its not wrestling in the way we humans tend to think of it.

As someone who practices an animal style, in my experience we are not trying to emulate the animal, not imitating their techniques. Yes, there is an inspiration taken from the animal, but it isnt with the desire to imitate and fight like the animal fights. People are built differently from animals and cannot imitate animal techniques and expect similar results. But sometimes a principle of movement or strategy stands out, and the methodology can be built upon that.

I practice a Crane method. We do not stand on one foot, wave our arms about like they are wings, and strike with the fingertip Crane beak. That just isnt how the method works. We punch and kick like everybody else. We just have our rather unique way of developing our techniques.
In a crane style though, would there not be a strong focus on balance and accuracy?
Would a tiger style not dedicate much of its training to strength? Or a mantis style focus on speed? Very true, we cannot directly imitate animals, we can only emulate them. But with that being said, is the instinct of very quickly and aggressively grabbing something not the same in a human as it is any other mammal?

Watch how two dogs growl at each other and then suddenly pounce, going into a mindless, disorganized brawl of grabbing and clawing. Then watch how two people having a verbal disagreement slowly walk toward each other, calm and relaxed, and then suddenly start throwing wild punches while simultaneously grabbing each other. You will see that it is pretty much the same thing.

This is why I believe in the following logic, which I have seen quite a lot on martial arts forums: when you train, do the techniques you train to do, but when you get into a fight with someone dangerous, just wail on the opponent like a maniac and hope for the best.
 
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