My reason for signing up for martial arts is simple. I want to learn how to defend myself in a World were the crime is increasing, criminals are multiplying in record numbers, law abiding citizens seem to me are collateral damage. I also wanted to sign up for martial arts to help with my self esteem. My life is difficult I have few friends if any and whenever I wake up & leave my apartment for whatever reason its like walking on a remote desert planet similar to the Will Smith movie where he is on isolated Earth roaming it all alone. I signed on with what I thought was a good martial arts school. Since I receive no help or cannot consult with anyone in my family I had to choose the martial arts school off the internet. Of course I had no idea what I was doing. This school I’ll call Acme since I don’t want to get into trouble in case the instructor accidentally comes across the post. For awhile after I signed on with Acme I thought that I had found a great school. But after about six months maybe a year I noticed that the instructor was somewhat of a narcissist. This instructor was really into her own ego basically walked around like she was the King with the rest of her class lowly subjects something I found disturbing. For this instructor it was all about getting more students signed up to come to her school. My assumptions its so that the more students sign up the more money that comes into the Instructors school.
On another occasion the Instructor would make the same announcement over & over at the end of the training lessons that when we got home go on a local website to vote her school as the best of Washington, it was for a local award which is in several categories this one was for the best martial arts school. I began noticing other things that bothered me. It seemed to me that the Instructor was being somewhat elitist amongst her students similar to how some public school teachers single out those students that the Teacher may favor. The Instructor would hand pick certain students “to train” to go to certain competitions. A sort of “clicque” would form amongst the students were they only talked amongst themselves ignoring everyone else. I saw something similar, it was when I was going to High School.
When you attend a Martial Arts School it doesn’t mean that you won’t run into someone that isn’t a bigot. There was a female I’ll call her Jane I was paired off to spar with her sparring is when you practice what you’ve learned on another partner. I love sparring.
This particular person “Jane” did not like me. Jane is what you would call passive aggressive. While we were sparring there were rules. One is that you don’t hit or kick below the belt nor are you supposed to make any contact anywhere on the head. My sparring partner Jane would deliberately hit me right on top of my head. The students are required to wear protective head gear, there is only one exposed part on the head gear, that is on the top of the head. This woman would hit me right on top of the head not once but twice! I said to her “Knock it off” referring to the illegal hits that Jane was doing. What happened next seemed a new low, we continue to spar remember I’m a beginner in Tae Kwon Do so I’m not exactly at a black belt level, I make a kick that touched no where near Jane when all of a sudden Jane bends over & starts to scream then cry about how she is badly hurt. Give this woman an academy award! Clearly she had been faking the whole thing. This upset me as I know what she was doing. No one else meaning the other students seem to see anything awry. Jane was given all sorts of sympathy which is what Jane was counting on I’m sure so that she would garner some kind of attention.
The Instructor just didn’t want to get involved. Clearly I had signed on to one dysfunctional martial arts school. But that’s not all. I grew real disillusioned with this school and very unhappy. I emailed complaints to the martial arts instructor herself.
So to make a long story short when I said I wanted to terminate my contract which was 3/4 of the way over she had me sit with her & her assistant instructor and basically verbally humiliated me. If that wasn’t bad enough I was treated like a criminal I was escorted to clean out my locker then personally escorted to the door!
Finding a good martial arts school is tricky! You’ve got to avoid the egotistical Instructor and they’re a dime a dozen in the business. I haven’t trained since that day but I want to get back into training. What I’ve done is gone into a different direction. This time I’ve chosen a non profit school were the only objective is NOT to treat students like potential cash cows coming into the school & were training is highly prioritized. I’ve yet to visit the school I’ve chosen waiting until I get settled into an apartment that I’m moving into. I’ve decided on a local karate school, there are no contracts, and hopefully no ego’s among the instructors. You know since I have no one in my immediate family to help me, my Mom pretty much lives a sedentary lifestyle for many a decade so she is no option, I have no siblings, Dad has been gone for 7 years now so I have to do the best I can to do research all on my own my only help is the internet and whatever I can learn from the webpage. Training for me is real important I don’t have much else going on in my life and I would love to learn a lifelong martial arts, also I can never have enough self esteem. I simply have no one else around who can do that. Not family, not a significant other. No one.
My advice when your looking into a martial arts school avoid those that want you to sign a contract. Avoid those schools were the instructor acts like they were born to be special, treating the students like lowly peasants. Most times you don’t know the real score about a school until you actually take lessons. I feel that a martial arts school should be non profit at least this tells me that they are not out to bleed you dry. I still get just a little bit angry over how I was treated at the last school I attended for close to a year, it was awful how I was treated. That instructor was one big bully who did whatever she wanted after all she did own the school. I feel that this instructor let that get to her head! Avoid schools such as these. Of course ask a lot of questions about the school & the instructors to get a better feel about what your getting yourself into. Then think about it for a few weeks before making any final decision. In fact do some comparison shopping among the martial arts schools to get the most for your money find out as much as you can about the instructors getting as much as you can on them. Talk to current & former students check out any reviews on Yelp.com if possible to find out how the martial arts school rates. I just didn’t know much about these kinds of schools so I made some mistakes.
Now I know better and I know what to look for in a school, and what questions to ask. Something I simply didn’t know before. Mistakes are the only way to learn. I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress at the new school I’ve got great potential even if I am the only one who knows it.