Are all American MA schools watered down?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by emax, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. emax

    emax Black Belt

    Dec 3, 2010
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    By this I mean, are all schools in America that teach combat arts originating in other nations watered down and diluted to the point that they don't teach anything useful?

    For example, are there Muay Thai centers anywhere in America that can teach someone, provided they are a good enough athlete and committed enough, to fight Muay Thai as well as a reputed place in Thailand?

    Or Kyokushin schools that can teach you to fight using Kyokushin as effectivbely as a reputable Kyokushin center in Japan?

    Or a Savate school that can do the same vs a Savate school in France, a Krav Maga center that can teach you as well as those in Israel or a Wushu/Kung Fu aplace that can teach that art as effectively as a reputable art in China?

    Do such concepts exist or all all the American places that teach such arts as Muay Thai, Kyokushin, Savate, Krav Maga or Wushu/Kung Fu all severely watered down and diluted?
  2. thugpoet

    thugpoet Purple Belt

    Sep 9, 2009
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    saying all is a bit much, however there harder to come by in a rational sense.
  3. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

    Sep 5, 2012
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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  4. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

    Nov 2, 2010
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    The City of Angels
    I would say that most of the competitive boxing and muay thai schools in competitive markets like California and Nevada are quite good.

    When you get outside of combat sports and into stuff like krav maga or wushu it's a completely different question.

    But generally competition oriented schools rise or fall on the merits of their instruction and student performance.

    The southwest US is a mecca for combat sports and in both striking and grappling you see some of the best in the world coming here to teach (primarily because of consumer demand for such training combined with standard of living).

    While this is the standup forum, there is a strong trend amongst high level world class BJJ guys from Brazil leave Brazil in order to teach in the US (particularly southern California). Why? Money. Consumer demand allows them to charge a higher price for their services in the states while still filling their gym.
  5. barnowl

    barnowl Green Belt

    Jan 13, 2010
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    Oh there are are still the odd good MA schools. But very very fwe if any have big store fronts. you will want to look in to peoples back yards and gargages, or for school share space with "belt factories". You can't really open a big money making school and teach applied fighting styles just anywhere. Even for combat sports like MMA and boxing it is hard to get big.
  6. DoctorTaco

    DoctorTaco Breadhead

    Feb 15, 2011
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    Portland fuckin’ Oregon.
    There have been plenty of home grown wrestlers, boxers, muay Thai kick boxers, Jits guys and judo players who compete well on the international level
  7. Mr Mojo Lane

    Mr Mojo Lane Brown Belt

    Mar 5, 2012
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    Traditional...Yes 99% of them are. The arts where you have to do a lot of fighting are really good
  8. lts5025

    lts5025 "What the **** is a Dim Mack?"

    Mar 8, 2007
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    Think about your average Muay Thai gym in Thailand. Instructors are veterans with ~200 pro fights and have been training and fighting since they were in elementary school. Their students are in the same boat, most of them starting at a young age and wanting to become professional fighters.

    Now think about a Muay Thai gym in the US with an American instructor. Maybe he started in TKD as a kid and when he hit his teens, he found Muay Thai and began training. He falls in love with the sport and moved to Thailand to train and fight for a couple years after high school. Then he moves back to the States to open a gym. Even though he's got the most Muay Thai experience of any instructor within 500 miles, it still pales in comparison to a Thai of similar age.

    Okay, you say, what about experienced Thais teaching in the US? They've got more experience than any American instructor. True, but they're still teaching Americans. Americans take Muay Thai to get in shape, have fun and learn a little technique, whereas 95% of nak Muay in Thailand are looking to make Muay Thai a career.
  9. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

    Feb 22, 2005
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    This is a good post. And I would add that the trend of Americanized anything being watered-down to an extent is often a direct result of market saturation. A world class BJJ instructor might find teaching in a faster paced setting with more students difficult. This is typically how cutting corners begins. Eventually you end up with very edited versions of a particular Art. This happened in Boxing as well, and tends to happen in Boxing over and over every time it becomes popular again in-terms of being taken to stay in shape, or a trainer trying to teach a room full of soccer Moms and lawyers, as opposed to a squad of say 10 fighters who wall want to be good Professionals.

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