Thursday, February 17, 2005

You maybe in a McDojo if....

While there are tons of legitimate martial arts schools out there, and thousands of serious practitioners studying those arts every day, there are at least an equal number of McDojos out there (especially in the US). For the uninitiated, a McDojo is essentially a martial arts school that puts greater emphasis on marketing and profit than on educating the public in its selected eastern art. That being said, here are some signs that you may be in such a program:

You may be in a McDojo if...

  • Every belt has up to 4 tabs, 2 stripes, in each of 3 colors, making for 19 possible combinations at each belt level.
  • You have so many belt colors that they've resorted to using Camouflage, Gingham and Plaid as belt colors.
  • Your monthly membership fee is $10, your grading fee is $30, and you pay amonthly average of $100;
  • Requirements for grading are: attendance, completing a 'homework/behavioral' checklist, attained specific knowledge, understand specific terms, and pay the $50 fee - all of which are flexible, except for the fee :).
  • The instructor in your adult class is a Black Belt and has the title 'Shihan' and has been practicing for 7 years... but he is only ten years old.
  • Their 'pro shop' offers black belts down to size 00.
  • The head instructor let's rank beginner's take him down - but only at their own birthday parties.
  • You are required to buy a new Uniform to color-coordinate with each belt.

Feel free to comment and add more to the list.


mushroomprince said...

In ninjutsu under the bujinkan curriculum we have 3 belts.

Yonah said...

Mushroom prince - Uh, I think you missed the point.

The idea isn't about how many belts you have, but how certain martial arts schools have turned their selected art into a business.