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

TSDTexan

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They don't translate because people are different. Teaching is different. Standards do not exist. Probably never will.

And I did not earn my rank. I was entrusted with it. Very different concept, and it means it is an ongoing relationship and conversation.

Great view.
 

TSDTexan

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Part of the issue with belt ranking culture that came as a result of Dr. J. Kano's Judo belts was the spreading of dan belt advancement by supreme performance in competition.

Much like Shogo player rankings (Where the better your game performance "wins" history translated into higher ranking)

Kano allowed for one dan rank advancement, within a single night, if you could pull off some specif criteria at the official kodakan tournaments.

It is said in very early kodakan history, this was the only way to get your shodan because some teachers refused to promote by teacher awarded ranking.

The mindset of battle is required for the chance of promoting, was a real thing in different places of Japan back then.

So, in Judo... the attitude of earning rank became a semicommon thing. There were a lot of cross training Martial Artists who studied Judo. This attitude did migrate into other arts. While not pervasive, it did exist. And a lot of American servicemen did bring home this view, with their arts.
 

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Two reasons:

1. Hollywood portrayal of the arts. I think what attracts people to eastern martial arts is what they see in the movies; such as beating up multiple attackers armed with knives, chains, baseball bats, etc. And if people really think they can learn how to do this stuff, there's always going to be someone who will try and profit from it. Have you ever seen a movie where a boxer does any of this? Me neither.

2. Getting back to the Karate Kid, Cobra Kai is not a McDojo. They're actually learning Tang Soo Do, and Kreese isn't trying to be rich (Terry Silver is willing to GIVE Kreese as much money as he wants, but Kreese doesn't take "handouts." He's stated this). However, I think that Karate Kid is an example a very racist view that Western audiences have toward far East Asians: in this case, that elderly Asian men are sages who constantly speak ancient words of wisdom. There's also the fact that Mr. Miyagi spoke very broken English, despite having been in the US for nearly 50 years as of the time setting of the movie. This isn't to say that it's impossible for a speaker of a second language to still have an accent after 50 years, but they'll definitely be speaking in complete sentences in a tiny fraction of that time. I'm aware that Pat Morita was born in the us, however, he does have an accent - and if he spoke as he normally did when playing Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita's speech actually would have been in line with how a Japanese/Okinawan immigrant who had been in the US for 50 years would have spoken. Problem is, he wouldn't have been viewed as a "wise sage" if his English was that good. Throw in things like his ancient technique for healing Danny's broken leg in the locker room (which was never questioned by Western audiences), and you'll see why McDojos are able to thrive in the case of Eastern martial arts. I suppose you could say that there is a parallel to martial arts in medicine. For example, there's "Western medicine" (and I put that in quotations, because I'm not certain that all OTC and prescription medications we're familiar with were developed in Western countries), and then there's alternative medicine - which is typically associated with the East. Westerners who partake in alternative medicine believe that their healing properties are effective in ways that cannot be explained by science, as opposed to "Western medicine" which can.

Western martial arts are never portrayed this way in Hollywood, and our proximity to and familiarity with Western martial arts wouldn't allow us to view them that way, even if Hollywood attempted to portray them as such.

This isn't to say that Western martial arts aren't made out to be more than what they really are on TV and the movies. For example, professional wrestling is really catch-as-catch-can portrayed by actors, and the real form of it doesn't look anywhere near as cool. Also, Evander Holyfield has stated that if an actual boxing match had gone down the way it does in any of the Rocky movies (not just Rocky IV), at least one fighter would be dead very early on.

However, big difference is that it's not the intention of the writers and producers to make boxing and wrestling out to be something that they're not. It's for dramatic effect. If, for example, the fights in the Rocky franchise looked exactly like real boxing matches, the movies wouldn't have been nearly as good, in fact, they probably wouldn't have been good at all.
 
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lklawson

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Western martial arts are never portrayed this way in Hollywood, and our proximity to and familiarity with Western martial arts wouldn't allow us to view them that way, even if Hollywood attempted to portray them as such.
Rarely so. The Don Diego (Hopkins) in the 1998 Mask of Zoro is sort of presented as a wise teacher with arcane training methods. There are a (very) few other examples but you are right that they are rare.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Wing Woo Gar

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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
Well said, challenges like these still occur. My Sifu was generally a patient man, never test the patience of a patient man. This kind of stuff can get out of hand quickly. Sifu Woo also told me a few stories of this kind, everybody loves to hear about it, but real people got seriously injured.
 

Steve

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Rarely so. The Don Diego (Hopkins) in the 1998 Mask of Zoro is sort of presented as a wise teacher with arcane training methods. There are a (very) few other examples but you are right that they are rare.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Have you all seen Rocky lately? Burgess Meredith had Rocky chasing chickens, for pete's sake. If he's not the wise teacher with arcane trainig methods, I don't know who is. :)

I think part of this is that the same things happen in Hollywood with Western combat, it just looks different because it's, well, Western. There is a lot of gun-fu type stuff, a la Matrix, John Wick, Nobody... going back to Equilibrium. Also, a lot of similar phenomenon in movies like the Bourne series. Some good stuff if you go back and look at King Arthur stories and movies, too... I mean, Merlin. Am I right?
 

Urban Trekker

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Have you all seen Rocky lately? Burgess Meredith had Rocky chasing chickens, for pete's sake. If he's not the wise teacher with arcane trainig methods, I don't know who is. :)

I think part of this is that the same things happen in Hollywood with Western combat, it just looks different because it's, well, Western. There is a lot of gun-fu type stuff, a la Matrix, John Wick, Nobody... going back to Equilibrium. Also, a lot of similar phenomenon in movies like the Bourne series. Some good stuff if you go back and look at King Arthur stories and movies, too... I mean, Merlin. Am I right?

Yeah, but those movies tend to be in the sci-fi and/or fantasy genre, unlike Karate Kid. Or Bruce Lee or most Jean Claude Van Damme movies. So when someone watches the Matrix or any of the other movies you mentioned, they don't walk out of the theater believing that they can actually learn how to do that stuff.

Except for the "Jedi-ism" crowd. But they're a bunch of weirdos.
 

drop bear

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Yeah, but those movies tend to be in the sci-fi and/or fantasy genre, unlike Karate Kid. Or Bruce Lee or most Jean Claude Van Damme movies. So when someone watches the Matrix or any of the other movies you mentioned, they don't walk out of the theater believing that they can actually learn how to do that stuff.

Except for the "Jedi-ism" crowd. But they're a bunch of weirdos.

Exept the jedi-ism crowd suffers less from McDojo mentality that your average RSBD guy.

If you are good at ludo sports. You are better than someone who isn't good at it.
 
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Urban Trekker

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Exept the jedi-ism crowd suffers less from McDojo mentality that your average RSBD guy.

If you are good at ludo sports. You are better than someone who isn't good at it.
I remember watching a video on the Art of One Dojo, where he was explaining the difference between Bullshido and McDojo. I remember him saying something to the effect that if the owner actually believes in his own bullshido, then it's not a McDojo.

I suppose it's sort of like the difference between 1) bulls***ting, 2) talking out of your a**, and 3) lying. You actually have to know what you're talking about in order to be capable of lying.
 

jmf552

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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.
Good point about BJJ. I studied it for a while, but I kept thinking, "I may be losing this roll, but all the stuff the rules don't allow, like punching, kneeing, gouging, finger breaking, groin grabbing, etc. are exactly what I would be doing right now if this were a real fight.

Also, if I am on the ground, my #1 goal is to get off the ground, not stay there and roll. The technical stand up was the most important thing I learned. I actually learned some good ways to get out of a roll in another training. That did involve striking.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Good point about BJJ. I studied it for a while, but I kept thinking, "I may be losing this roll, but all the stuff the rules don't allow, like punching, kneeing, gouging, finger breaking, groin grabbing, etc. are exactly what I would be doing right now if this were a real fight.
This is why for those of us who study BJJ as a martial art and not just a sport, it's important to regularly practice with striking involved and not just pure grappling all the time. (Once you reach a certain level of control and trust with your partner you can add in simulated eye gouges, head butts, biting, groin grabs, etc as well as actually applying "dirty" tactics like hair pulling and finger twisting, but I won't let my beginning students play with those.) The good news is that even pure sport application is primarily about controlling position and the more dominant your position the bigger advantage you have in applying punching, kneeing, gouging, finger breaking, groin grabbing, etc.
Also, if I am on the ground, my #1 goal is to get off the ground, not stay there and roll.
In general, that's a reasonable approach. What I teach my students is that what they really want is to be the person who decides and controls where the fight will occur - standing or on the ground. That's why I often have them go through sparring sessions starting on the ground with one partner on top, then the bottom partner's objective is to stand up safely while the top partner's objective is to keep them down, stay on top, and either land strikes or submissions, depending on what we're focusing on that day.
 

dvcochran

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That's why I often have them go through sparring sessions starting on the ground with one partner on top, then the bottom partner's objective is to stand up safely while the top partner's objective is to keep them down, stay on top, and either land strikes or submissions, depending on what we're focusing on that day.
This really took me back to my Roman-Greco wrestling days in High school & college. One round both people up, one round starting on the bottom, one round starting on the top.
I do not have an issue with being on the bottom or on the ground but my tendency was always to break away and stand. I think that was because I was more agile and fast rather than having an excess of strength. I was kind of gumby so could play the leverage game pretty good but I could shoot a leg and take them down better.

If they were my height or shorter and used the classic wrestlers stance or were shooting a lot I had good success with an over grab around the armpit and head. I would then roll both of us while standing and land on top with their back down. Got several quick pins that way.
Good times.
 

cane56

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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.
I'd like to first point you to David Letterman, on YouTube. Look up Mouse Strauss. Hahahahaha, before computers who were you watching fight?

Dojo wars were very common. Jon Balet, Roger Carpenter no holds bar, century 2 Wichita Ks. This was caused by Jon spear handing Roger in the eye after a competition. We also might remember Count Dante, and the murder in Chicago at another Dojo. Mcdojo, is a creation when ppl started being crybabies in Dojos. You will never know if you can defend yourself unless you have taken a shot.
 

cane56

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This is why for those of us who study BJJ as a martial art and not just a sport, it's important to regularly practice with striking involved and not just pure grappling all the time. (Once you reach a certain level of control and trust with your partner you can add in simulated eye gouges, head butts, biting, groin grabs, etc as well as actually applying "dirty" tactics like hair pulling and finger twisting, but I won't let my beginning students play with those.) The good news is that even pure sport application is primarily about controlling position and the more dominant your position the bigger advantage you have in applying punching, kneeing, gouging, finger breaking, groin grabbing, etc.

In general, that's a reasonable approach. What I teach my students is that what they really want is to be the person who decides and controls where the fight will occur - standing or on the ground. That's why I often have them go through sparring sessions starting on the ground with one partner on top, then the bottom partner's objective is to stand up safely while the top partner's objective is to keep them down, stay on top, and either land strikes or submissions, depending on what we're focusing on that day.
I wish I would have gotten into the Brazilian jiu jitsu but it wasn't around. But I did take kodokan goshin jutsu, where we practiced strikes and ground grappling. We were taught and practiced hair pulling, but not to a full fight scenario. But where the head goes the body will follow. This was very important to Gracie in one of the first UFC matches.
 

Steve

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This really took me back to my Roman-Greco wrestling days in High school & college. One round both people up, one round starting on the bottom, one round starting on the top.
I do not have an issue with being on the bottom or on the ground but my tendency was always to break away and stand. I think that was because I was more agile and fast rather than having an excess of strength. I was kind of gumby so could play the leverage game pretty good but I could shoot a leg and take them down better.

If they were my height or shorter and used the classic wrestlers stance or were shooting a lot I had good success with an over grab around the armpit and head. I would then roll both of us while standing and land on top with their back down. Got several quick pins that way.
Good times.
You were shooting legs in greco-roman wrestling?
 

InfiniteLoop

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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.

Because it's real, not theoretical.
 

drop bear

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I remember watching a video on the Art of One Dojo, where he was explaining the difference between Bullshido and McDojo. I remember him saying something to the effect that if the owner actually believes in his own bullshido, then it's not a McDojo.

I suppose it's sort of like the difference between 1) bulls***ting, 2) talking out of your a**, and 3) lying. You actually have to know what you're talking about in order to be capable of lying.

Technically bullshido is just garbage training.

And a McDojo is a money making scheme.

So they can be independent of each other.
 

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