Brian Kagen pick: “McDojo” from wikipedia.com

“McDojo is a pejorative term used by some Western martial artists to describe a martial arts school where image or profit is of a higher importance than technical standards, and in the related use of martial arts franchising. The term is an example of McWords applied to Japanese martial arts dojo.[1] A McDojo of Korean martial arts may be referred to as a McDojang but the term McDojo is used for various arts regardless of origin. While using the term McDojo primarily indicates judgement of a school’s financial or marketing practices, it also implies that the teaching standards of such school may be much lower than that of other martial arts schools, or that the school presents non-martial arts training as martial arts. Where a McDojo’s practices may border on fraud, this can be referred to as bullshido.

What qualifies as a McDojo is largely the opinion of the user, but there are some practices, regarded as indicative, that are common in schools described as such. These practices may not necessarily be exclusive to McDojos, and schools that would not generally be classified as such, have adopted some of these practices to varying degrees, the line being the subjective one between profit and profiteering. Practices that cause concern include exaggerated or fake qualifications, the use of exploitative contracts and fees, advertising of training that only has a martial arts ‘flavour’ as actual instruction in fighting, equipment monopolies and restriction on activities outside the school. While the practice of exploiting the mysticism of martial arts is not new[2] it is perceived as having become more prevalent in modern times.”

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  1. bruce baker says:

    The most irritating thing about many good teachers who were given techniques they themselves have yet to understand, or see the depth of for their many practical uses or adaptations is .. they don’t give their students enough.

    My first teacher gave me volumes of information by teaching a curriculum of what he called basics, but then again, he had taught a variety of people who then established their own dojo as they rose in the ranks over time. My complaint was that when I studied with one of his contemporaries was that he only taught in a year I was with him one tenth of what I learned from my first teacher in same period of time, and they both were in the same school as they earned their rank under the same teacher.

    What is the deal? Why don’t the same people who learned the same style under the same master have the ability to teach the same techniques to their students so they are equal in knowledge and ability?

    Maybe I am crazy, but many teachers do not try a variety of martial arts, or study a variety of different arts, so if they stay with one style .. they miss out on how techniques from many different styles are all connected to teaching counters in their own style of martial arts? One technique does not address all the different counter technigue and varitions you may need, so you learn what you can from each teacher and figure out how use what you have learned for application to changing situations.

    Most Aikido students are seen as inept boobs who can’t fight their way out of a paper bag because in that public opinion is based upon the UFC fighting. Fact is, the safe practice we do for Aikido can’t be used against trained fighters. You have to hurt trained fighters and injure them to make Aikido work in that kind of fighting forum, and that is unacceptable under the UFC’s own rules for fighting in the UFC, let alone the training in Aikido forbids that kind of transmission of Aikido techniques to it’s students or teachers.

    All I can say is .. get a clue to what pressure point submissions are in your practice techniques, and the capability that is beyond your safe practice. Study, learn, research, and you will see … it’s in there!

    My point is .. even a McDojo might have something in there they don’t understand or know is in there …. but only the learned student will be able to see what it is …

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