How can you tell if a MMA gym is a McDojo?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by BrutalBoy, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. BrutalBoy

    BrutalBoy Green Belt

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    I am looking at a couple new gyms to go to, but some have instructors that have other FT jobs. I immediately thought those were mcdojos, any signs to look out for?
     
  2. Marbig

    Marbig Brown Belt

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    Not really.

    I know smaller scaled mma gyms as well as community-funded boxing/wrestling/judo joints often have instructors who work FT and only come in after 5pm. Its not really unreasonable either as the students themselves don't get off work till then.

    As for mcdojo/bullshido signs, off the top of my head:

    - the instructors themselves have no ring/cage/competition experience OR the instructors have numerous trophies on display yet they do not have a record of their fights (this is easily searchable through youtube, boxrec, asking them directly for footage etc)

    - the BJJ/judo instructor can't "remember" or makes up an excuse when you ask them where they got their belts from and/or the boxing/mt coach couldn't remember who taught them (or is reluctant to tell/ gives you a fake name)

    -very long term contract (2 or more years)

    - you never see the head instructor teach

    - there aren't any amateur/pro fighters at the club who compete regularly

    - you don't see people sparring/rolling or there are severe limitations to the way you are forced to go at it (e.g. no contact sparring)

    -you are paying more than $200 a month and you don't live in a big city like New York

    - the instructors have 'secrets' which you can only 'unlock' through buying privates or joining a club or anything that results in you paying extra
     
  3. cms9690

    cms9690 Green Belt

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    -If their record is strictly "underground" competitions.
     
  4. SpineBreaker

    SpineBreaker Orange Belt

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    And of course

    -Nothing they teach you is really an effective technique
     
  5. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    fraud =/= mcdojo =/= bad training

    Those are all different things.

    Edit: what if a great boxing coach with an amateur fight record of 10-4 got his physical trainer license and opened up a gym where he had successful students. He can't pay the bills so he makes up a boxing belt program, highers a marketer, doubles his prices and cleans his gym. Now he has good training and he is a McDojo. Not satisfied, he puts that he trained under Cus or has a pro record of 10-4. Now hes a McDojo Fraud with Good Training.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  6. TriangleMan

    TriangleMan Purple Belt

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    Are there MMA McDojos yet? I know boxing has LA Boxing, but what's the signature MMA McDojo? Doubt there are any. Someone should do it, they'll make a loooot of money. Closest thing is the UFC gym, but they aren't prevalent at all.
     
  7. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    I am not, at all, saying that there is anything wrong with their training. I have no idea. I'm sure the people who built this love MMA.

    Where this school is located though makes me chuckle:

     
  8. alaykala04

    alaykala04 Orange Belt

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    I have seen a growing trend of Karate/TKD schools hire a blue belt from another school to come teach a BJJ class. Then they call themselves a 'mixed martial arts' school when the bjj blue belt is the only 'instructor' with remotely useful techniques. They also overcharge and make u sign up for karate/TKD in addition to bjj.
     
  9. PeterPain

    PeterPain Brown Belt

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    Also don't put all the eggs in the same basket.

    Just because someone doesn't have 100 fights, did not train in the country your specific TMA was created in, or worst you guys buck heads because you don't like his way of teaching... doesn't meen your trainner shouldn't be trainning.

    If you want a competitive gym go where they train champions but the backlash is that those gym can end up with many people who just wanna tag along and push themself or you during group class.

    As a whole, group class are shit.
    It is my opinion.
     
  10. sourdiesel209

    sourdiesel209 Green Belt

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    Do they sell cheeseburgers??
     
  11. cms9690

    cms9690 Green Belt

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    Haha, this is great! I bet he sees a lot of traffic and trial memberships, but I bet that is about it. I wouldn't take a gym seriously if it were located in a Walmart, just not my thing.
     
  12. BrutalBoy

    BrutalBoy Green Belt

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    Ive heard that those Gracie Barra gyms require those two.
     
  13. nomilkforsanta

    nomilkforsanta Nathan

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    McDojos usually have common themes (most gyms have one or two, but mcdojos have most)

    1) enrollment fees
    2) will not tell you how much the prices are unless you come in
    3) have belts (exceptions are BJJ/Judo/kyokushin Karate)
    4) have testing fees
    5) make you buy your own belt when you advance
    6) do not allow you to wear thai shorts until you "earn them"
    7) black belt clubs
    8) have the words "self defense, college resume, discipline, fitness" on their windows
    9) have no open gym time
    10) wave-masters or any form of free standing heavy bags
    12) puzzle mats (for grappling class)
    13) pictures of bruce lee on the wall
    14) most of the classes are for children
    15) no sparring classes offered
    16) requires a uniform (expect BJJ/Judo for obvious reasons)
    17) rank t-shirts

    +


    Any type of weapon disarment drills
    After school programs
    A van that picks up kids from school
    Anti bully programs
    Reatreats or karate camps
    Woman defense systems against muggers.
    The word "ninja" posted anywhere in the school
    A cartoon of a dragon anywhere in the school
    Bake sales to raise money
     
  14. SuperKenMasters

    SuperKenMasters White Belt

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    Bake sales. I laughed
     
  15. CosItsFun

    CosItsFun Yellow Belt

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    ^ I disagree on a fair few things.
    McDojos usually have;
    High prices
    Charges for unneccesary things
    Bad teaching/incomplete teaching
    Suspicious/dishonest/gold digging coaches
    No sparring or limited sparring eg punches to the arm only, but only with the left hand and with 10% of your power and only 3 times maximum and only when the sun and the 8 moons of saturn align, after you have reacher the peak of mount everest and defeated the holy dragon which guards the boxing gloves there (yes I got carried away.)

    If your going to a reasonably priced place, with reasonable teaching (dont expect the best teaching for dirt cheap ofc) where you learn a variety of techniques in a way that coincides with how most pros/high levels do it, and you do a decent amount of sparring or rolling, then you're probs cool. Oh, and if your instructor cares about your progress.
     
  16. Centaur

    Centaur Black Belt

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    Depends on the location, but I know the GB in Vancouver is $150 for everything and there's NO contract.
     
  17. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    If any of the coaches from the TV show Biggest Loser are instructors.
     
  18. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Testing takes the instructors time. You are not required to test. The instructor's time is worth money.

    Belts cost money. If he doesn't charge for the belts, he will raise prices to cover the belt. Then people who don't test will be paying for other people's belts.

    Weapon disarm drills are easy. I did kali for 5 years. I can snatch a stick out of someone's hand in a second in full speed / full contact sparring. The sticks we spar with are quite painful and hard. If you do not think you can disarm a weapon, that does not mean other people can't do it.

    How is a karate camp different from a Muay Thai camp? Any karate camp I've ever heard of, you work out, hit pads, and spar 4 or 5 hours a day for a week. These cost money because the instructors time is worth money.

    Requiring a uniform has a purpose. Do you want a fashion contest between your students? Do you want women showing up in tights? What if I said, there is no uniform - you can wear any medium weight, pocketless pants without buttons or zippers that you want, that someone can grab and pull without them coming down or tearing? You can buy these karate pants or you can find some thing else that meets these requirements. Is that different?

    Open gym time requires the instructor to be there. The instructor's time is worth money. Is it a McDojo if the instructor doesn't give you a private lesson during open mat as well?

    Money is just money. The instructor has a right to charge however much he wants, and as long as people are paying him, he is doing right. Money is used in our culture to ration supplies and services. If you don't want to pay for something, no one forces you. If you can't pay it, you can't have it. That's life. The instructor doesn't owe you time or a belt or open mat or free training or any other shit you can think of that you would like to have. If he was giving shit away for free, news flash, he wouldn't be giving it to you.
     
  19. bubkusjones

    bubkusjones Brown Belt

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    FTFY :icon_chee
     
  20. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    touche! LOL!

    TRUTH BE TOLD, IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE TO KNOW THAT THE GYM YOUR TRAINING IN IS A MCDOJO....... DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, YOU'RE STILL LEARNING FROM SOMEONE WHO'S MORE EXPERIENCED THAN YOU. THEN ONCE YOU "THINK" YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE, GO VISIT SEVERAL OTHER GYMS AND SPAR WITH THEIR STUDENTS. THEN YOU'LL KNOW IF YOUR GYM IS IN FACT A MCDOJO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

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