“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. 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 it is perceived as having become more prevalent in modern times.”
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