Trouble finding a martial arts school in Dallas

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Trouble finding a martial arts school in Dallas

Postby strangedejavu » Oct 27, 2005 14:58

I've been frustrated trying to find a martial arts school. I have a year of tae kwon do under my belt and I quit that school because I was bored with it, I wasn't learning anything useful, and I wanted to take some time to condition myself. Soon after that, I picked up Stretching Scientifically and started paying close attention to Tom's advice. My old school did about everything that he advises against (forced stretching beyond the pain threshold, wood floors, static stretching as a warmup, learning too much too soon, etc.) so I thank my lucky stars every day I didn't get injured. Now I'm looking for a new martial arts school and I need to vent some frustration. All the schools I look at say they're into conditioning, which is great, except they do it as a warmup before practicing technique. Why it doesn't occur to anyone to do it at the end of class is beyond me. One school even had the students do 180 pushups as a warmup! Maybe some advanced athletes can do that much without flinching, but at my level, if I do that many pushups, I'm not going to be fresh and ready to learn techniques. Jumping jacks seem to be a favorite warmup as well. Anyways, does anyone know of any good schools in the north Dallas area they could recommend? I think a good idea for Stadion (or anyone with a lot of time on their hands) would be to periodically publish a ratings guide for martial arts school all across the country. They could send out surveys or call the schools and ask about their facilities, their warmup, cooldown, curriculum, etc. I'd buy it. It would save people like me a lot of time and gas money from calling and visiting these places. Just an idea.
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Re: Trouble finding a martial arts school in Dallas

Postby mmeloon » Oct 29, 2005 17:54

strangedejavu wrote:Now I'm looking for a new martial arts school and I need to vent some frustration. All the schools I look at say they're into conditioning, which is great, except they do it as a warmup before practicing technique. Why it doesn't occur to anyone to do it at the end of class is beyond me.


I'm not sure why you feel that having schools that focus on conditioning is "great". I'm fortunate that my TKD class focuses entirely on skills. That way, I can do whatever conditioning I wish on my own time. Stadion's products have given me enough knowledge that I can put together a training schedule that is superior to what most martial arts instructors would try to force upon me.

Personally, I think devoting class time to conditioning -- which can be easily performed in solitute without coaching -- is a waste. My recommendation would be to stop looking for a school that focuses on conditioning (since you're finding that most of them don't really performing conditioning properly anyhow) and try to find a school that focuses entirely on skill development.

-Mark
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Postby strangedejavu » Oct 29, 2005 21:47

I agree with you there Mark. I said it's great because at least they value conditioning whereas many instructors (my last included) seem to think that skill training alone is sufficient conditioning. But then, fifteen minutes before class doesn't cut it either. I would prefer to spend my time and energy coaching myself, but I might have to settle for some of their "conditioning" if I can't find a place that meets all my criteria (and so far it's not looking good). I'm thinking of doing Jeet Kune Do because of the philosophy of "embrace what is useful and discard the rest". Then I could get away with skipping the conditioning and do my own warmup.

If I ever end up in your corner of the world, you'll have to let me know where you train. Thanks for the comment!
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Postby mmeloon » Oct 29, 2005 22:46

Okay, thanks for the clarification. Yes, you are correct that conditioning is very important and that doesn't seem to get enough emphasis. People seem to think of martial arts as some kind of magic that will turn an untrained person into a warrior. It doesn't work that way.

I'm very fortunate that my instructor saves class time for skills. Even our warmups and warmdowns are very minimal. He tells us that we ought to be warming up on our own and be ready to go when he enters the room. I fully agree, but I almost realize that I am one of the very few people who is warming up instead of talking while we are waiting for the instructor to arrive. I can understand many instructors not trusting their students to warm up or do conditioning on their own and deciding to take charge of the situation. In my mind, that's essentially the same as "dumming down" an academic class to make sure the slower students don't get lost. The result is that the overachievers get screwed.

Good luck on your search,
Mark
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Postby strangedejavu » Nov 26, 2005 12:16

I owe Mr. Kurz my gratitude for the email he sent out about my original post here. That's much more than I expected. If anyone comes up with a school within an hour of me (McKinney, TX) that satisfies all eight criteria, I'm there. I'll even take you out to lunch. Unfortunately, I doubt it's likely. I called a bunch of places and some met maybe two or three criteria. It's enough to make me want to start my own martial arts school. Too bad I have no skills yet. :(

For those reading this that aren't on the Stadion email list, here's the deal. Tom is asking everyone to recommend good schools or gyms in their area and send them to gyms@stadion.com. They have to meet the following eight standards:

1. No static passive stretching in a warm-up for dynamic activity.
(See http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch33.html .)

2. No forced stretching ever.
(See http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch33.html .)

3. Rational, efficient warm-ups.
(See http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch12.html ,
http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch13.html ,
http://www.self-defense.info/sd_tip22.html , and
http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch34.html .)

4. No jumping jacks, as they do not resemble enough any sports or
martial arts technique to be a good warm-up for it, or even a
conditioning exercise.
(See http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch12.html .)

5. Conditioning after the practice, sparring, etc., and before
cooling down.
(See http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch16.html and
http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch19.html.)

6. Teaching skills in a rational progression.
(See example of the progression of lead-up skills for high
roundhouse kicks at http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch7.html .)

7. Safe floor. (Spring floor or at least a mat for empty-handed
practice. Fencing and weapon practice that do not involve falling
may be done on harder surfaces. See
http://www.self-defense.info/sd_tip21.html and discussion of the
2nd bad workout at http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch16.html .)

8. Showers.
(See http://www.self-defense.info/sd_tip21.html .)

Oh, and Mark, I believe the proper spelling is "duming down".
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Postby mmeloon » Nov 27, 2005 11:46

strangedejavu wrote:Oh, and Mark, I believe the proper spelling is "duming down".


Actually, the correct spelling is "dumbing down". Both of us forgot a "b" in "dumb".

That's pretty sad that neither one of us spelled "dumb" correctly. :(

-Mark
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Postby strangedejavu » Nov 28, 2005 23:57

It's alright Mark. We have good reasons. You're a mathematician and I'm an engineer. We spend more time looking at Greek letters than Roman. You can rest assured that I will never forget the beta in "dumb" again.
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Re: Trouble finding a martial arts school in Dallas

Postby Thomas Kurz » Dec 03, 2005 19:59

strangedejavu wrote:For those reading this that aren't on the Stadion email list, here's the deal. Tom is asking everyone to recommend good schools or gyms in their area and send them to gyms@stadion.com .


Addresses of a few recommended schools are already posted at http://www.stadion.com/gyms.html . More to come.
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