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Trainer question: McDojo?

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  • Trainer question: McDojo?

    I won't bore anyone with a long winded diatribe about my experience. I am a black belt in Kempo 1st Dan, a brown belt in Judo (USJA) working toward my black belt, I have a back ground in thai boxing, kali, JKD, and savate as well as amateur boxing experience (nothing illustrious, I have fought a bunch of smokers, won some lost some.)
    I am working on a business plan to develop a private instructional program and corporate training program combining my background as a former EMT-Paramedic (8 years), SAR tracker (7 real life missions; one recovery was a direct result of my actions), bouncer (4 years), and my certification as a ACSM personal trainer.
    I have worked a couple years training am. boxers and coached peewee wrestling.

    Here is my honest question. I am considering taking an instructor course in something like Krav or JKD to enhance my resume. NOT MAKE OUTLANDISH Mcojo claims, "like whoop anyone's ass with my blah, balh!" I just want to teach people simple effective self defense they can use in a short training time. I was considering training with Vunak also.

    I plan on continuing my Judo & BJJ training as well. I realize this is more about marketing and I hate it. I think my practical knowledge, I have survived two knife attacks and disarmed a drunk holding a gun (nothing Segal, he was a REAL drunk and I caught him blindside), as well as training seriously for the past 16 years gives me a good background.

    Am I skirting McDojo by coming under one of these larger umbrella organizations? Honestly, I wish the Gracies were still doing their instructor development program, I'd focus on that.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Originally posted by thetallguy View Post
    whoop anyone's ass with my blah, balh!.
    That blah balh is too deadly! jk

    Sounds like a good plan. Good luck!
    Last edited by Tom Yum; 09-18-2007, 09:56 PM.


    • #3
      Before I start, I think that the “McDojo” or “Belt Mill” labels are ridiculous, put out by those who are jealous of others success in business. Now once in a blue moon I’ll agree that there are some bad practices out there (ie..5 year old black belts, $250/month for 2 classes/week….that sort of thing) but in general forget those freaks and fallow your heart.

      If you want my opinion, forget the "McDojo" label. Fallow what you feel is at your integrity level. If you do not feel comfortable teaching kids - then don't (that's the #1 McDojo claim, not yours) If you don't like the marketing plan put out by other groups don't invest in them. It's all about your Integrity not those who are over practicing to be keyboard warriors.

      But as a school owner I need to be honest. The days of opening a school and having a bunch of student at the door are over, you do need to advertise, take referrals, work some of the fairs, be a businessman as well as a martial arts instructor. Sometimes that may mean you must make concessions to pay rent. For one, I have a 3-6 year old program. I don't love it, yet it's a full class. You don't need to make outlandish claims, but dressing something up as "One of the most effective MA's out there...." or "A very fun and educational program...." is regular practice with most businesses.

      Remember, be true to yourself - not what other people think and you'll do great.

      Good Luck!


      • #4
        Once in a blue moon? id say there is a phenomenal amount of mcdojos out there. However they serve a purpose.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ghost View Post
          Once in a blue moon? id say there is a phenomenal amount of mcdojos out there. However they serve a purpose.
          Yes they do. And I'd like to think most have made decisions to help keep their doors open....I know that is my case.

          Honestly, my hands are full with my own school - so I really don't worry too much about what is going on elsewhere. Now if something is working for someone that I have not thought of, great I'm all ears - but that does not mean that I'll cut my own integrity for the almighty dollar (or pound).

          What I tell my students is: Do not bring down another school, raise your own.


          • #6
            I think it depends on what you emphasise. If you emphasise your Judo and Kempo credentials, as well as work experience I think you're OK. If you only have the KM or such instructor certification in your more detailed resume then I don't think that makes you look like a McDojo instructor. If you put it as one of your main features, then I'd start having to ask questions.