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Jody Holeton
11th June 2000, 16:47
Dear all,

Why do people quit MA or MA schools?--Jody

Kolschey
11th June 2000, 22:03
I have been thinking about that recently. I believe that one of the primary considerations is the actual instruction. I consider myself very fortunate to have good teachers who are distinguished by their character and dedication to learning. On the other hand, when I was first learning about martial arts, I encountered some people who were distinguished by less pleasant characteristics. Where I have been fortunate is that I have had opportunity to counter those experiences with a considerable number of good friends and teachers who have reflected a sense of honourable values. I cannot help but think that people who do not have such a good experience initially, will often be inclined to decide that martial arts is characterised by an emphasis on bullying, cutthroat marketing with heavy advertisement, and vicious intramural politics. A sort of recreation of the dark side of the Roman Empire, as it were. If techgniques are not being taught properly, there may also become an issue with injuries that eventually force the practitioner to leave the art, even if they enjoy it. Sometimes, the reasons may be more subtle. If a teacher changes their emphasis or method of teaching, it seems that some students will find themselves uncomfortable, as they were initially inspired to join the training because of their instructor's previous method or emphasis, and find the new direction to be a striking departure from what they are seeking in the art.
There are other reasons that come to mind. If a student finds themself in a situation where their skills do not help them, they may well be hurt badly, and suffer a crisis of faith, as it were. Word of such an encounter could also have an indirect influence on other students, or potential students. Myself, I have heard more than one story about how " Yeah, the guy tried to do some sort of (whatever art) and man, This guy Jason just smacked him and he went right down!" The conclusion people will reach is that martial arts are not effective for any sort of serious self defense application. If the instruction is not very good in that particular school, then sadly enough this becomes true. Some people grow weary of internal politics, which begin to devour energy and time from their training and personal life in ever increasing amounts, leaving the practitioner emotionally exhausted and embittered with the art in general. These are a few of the situations that I have seen. I am sure that there are many others.

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Krzysztof M. Mathews
" For I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me"
-Rudyard Kipling

Jody Holeton
11th June 2000, 23:45
From my own experiences I dont blame people for leaving martial arts or martial art schools, especially here in Michigan.

I've had martial art instructors try and shake me down for money, hurt me because I asked a question they couldn't answer, hurt me because they had to show me who's in charge (always nice in Aikido when your opponent lets up on the pressure in shihou nage, I hate hearing my bones pop), come on to my girlfiends, tell me they were going to teach me something then dont or my favorite, the main instructor never shows up and you have a less skilled or less thought of instructor teaching you.

I've heard and had some real horror stories. I've had to really shop around for schools. I had the best instruction in Japan, so good I traveled by train for an hour just to get there on the world's most expensive train line (Omitetsudo).


My thought is that people should train in a place where they feel comfortable. Honestly, training in Japan and training here in America is completely different.

Just my thoughts---Jody Holeton

Joseph Svinth
12th June 2000, 01:20
Sometimes a fear of success is involved. While this may sound silly, think how many people quit shortly before or after achieving shodan. My guess is that such people think that the grade awards some magical powers, and rather than trying to grow into the rank(which for purposes of argument we will assume is legitimate), instead they flee.

Meanwhile, other people are professional students. Tell them they have responsibilities to others ("It's your turn to teach the beginners tonight"), and off they go.

And (say it ain't so!), there are those view the MA as a sport rather than as secular religion. So, when confronted with alternatives such as jobs, spouses, young families, and injuries, they decide that they have priorities other than continuing, if only at a reduced rate.

Finally, given how often North Americans move, it can be difficult to find a teacher in your new town that you like as well as your former one. This is especially true if you want to remain in the same general system that you trained in before. (Where you were, the judo teacher may have been a great guy, while here the aikido teacher is just the best person around. But if you don't visit the kendo class, you'd never know that.)

Of course there are more negative reasons, but as I have fulminated sufficiently elsewhere, I won't bore you with repetition. Nevertheless, I think we really should devise some methods for quantifying why people leave, otherwise we will never reduce the turnover rates in our own classes.


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Joe
http://ejmas.com

TommyK
12th June 2000, 04:41
Greetings,

Excuse my biased perspective, but as I am currently injured, but still training...INJURIES, INJURIES, INJURIES!!!

Additionally, the loss of the head of the school...and

personality conflicts, between lower ranked, but senior to you Instructors.

Regards,
TommyK

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Tommy K. Militello

Evan London
14th June 2000, 21:09
People leave dojos foe all sorts of reasons. It could be they don't like the people at the school (studnets or teachers), are uncomfortable with the level of formality (either too much or too little), dojo politics interfere with the atmosphere of the school, distance to the dojo, personal problems, family or work conflicts, medical problems, money problems (if it's a comercial dojo), and many others.
If you ask why some people leave MA systems, the one thing that matters the most to me is Passion. If someone doesn't have a passion for the art they are studying, they usually loose interest. I've tried several MAs before settling on the art that ignighted my passion. The others were just missing that special something that would hold my interest and keep me coming back for more.
Ev

Shizen
29th January 2002, 02:04
Great discussion, and it fits in nicely with "budo no kokoro" as the hearts of the students and the hearts of the teachers are a big factor.

I like Evan London's reference to passion. Commitment to just about anything involves a level of passion. If you don't like something, then you won't do it, right?

I've tried a few MA's before settling on my current path (Bujinkan Budo). The others I've tried were taekwondo, a peculiar karate/kung fu mix, and a couple servings of judo, tai chi, boxing, and european-style fencing. In all the above cases, My reason for joining were because I have always liked martial arts in general and thought that it was something I could get good at eventually and would improve my life. The problem I had with my first tastes of budo was that each one seemed to be missing something. There were other things I didn't like, such as some classes being to big, or a school where the head instructor never showed up except to speak to potential students and collect money. In every case, I just wasn't satisfied. I was bored with extreme repetition and punching air, I was frustrated by lack of repetition and lame explanations. I didn't feel like I was learning to defend myself. In other words, until I found Bujinkan Budo, I felt my training was incomplete.
This sure sounds like a testimonial to sell Bujinkan Budo, and I don't mind if you take it as such. I love the art I now practice and recommend it to anyone that wants good solid MAs.
However, my real point is that it does take some shopping around to find what you like. Dedication to a art takes commitment and a long time, so there is no point spending years in a dojo that you don't like.

:wave:

The Tengu
30th January 2002, 21:26
I know it depends upon the martial art and other things, but this is what I've noticed about people who have quit training at our dojo. This is only over the course of the past couple years, and really there have only been a few main themes I have picked up on.

1) New students that feel like they're "too good" and won't learn anything because they've done such and such art and can already kick butt.

2) New students at our school are specifically shown basic ukemi and basic techniques their first few classes, and I got the feeling from a few of them that they feel ukemi is namsy pamsy gymnastics crap. LOL, if they only knew...

3) Students of the same art as our own (from other schools) who think they are much more advanced than they are, or they are X rank but have no documentation to prove it and are upset that they must join our school as mukyu.

4) We aren't "ninja enough" for them.

Many of these are from ego problems, in my opinion. They might be specific to our dojo, I don't know.

12th February 2002, 20:55
Originally posted by Jody Holeton
From my own experiences I dont blame people for leaving martial arts or martial art schools, especially here in Michigan.

I've had martial art instructors try and shake me down for money, hurt me because I asked a question they couldn't answer, hurt me because they had to show me who's in charge (always nice in Aikido when your opponent lets up on the pressure in shihou nage, I hate hearing my bones pop), come on to my girlfiends, tell me they were going to teach me something then dont or my favorite, the main instructor never shows up and you have a less skilled or less thought of instructor teaching you.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?! What kind of "instructors" does this kind of things? If that would happen to me, Id be an enemy for a lifetime! I would probably burn down his dojo. :)



My thought is that people should train in a place where they feel comfortable. Honestly, training in Japan and training here in America is completely different.

Sure it's different! I don't blame them for leaving the school, dojo if that happens. It is a sign of lacking mental stability and growth, which is a minimum of what you should require of instructors.

Jyri :redhot:
Bujinkan Buyu

Soulend
15th February 2002, 10:50
Along the lines of 'passion', I think many people in modern society simply lack the dedication. In the age of microwaves,drive-thru banks, cleaners, and resturants, 'minute rice', and 'instant' everything, people's concepts of time have changed from when men like Funikoshi started training. A few years seems like a long time to them, but as we all know a few years is nothing. They also expect practicing a real martial art to be 'fun' all the time, or that in a short time they will gain the secret to flinging bad guys hither and yon as in the movies, and are oft-times swiftly disillusioned, usually in conjuction with their posterior landing on the tatami.

Another reason may be the Western desire to have things our way; we want this but without that, want to be instructed on our terms in the way we desire. In some things, as we are 'paying cutomers', we have the right to expect this. But many traditional martial arts are just not like that. We learn the way our Sensei teaches, which is likely to be close to the way his teacher was taught, and his before him. Many folk in modern times just can't seem to accept that there are those that know better than they do how something should be done. More's the pity.

Joel Simmons
24th February 2002, 07:53
Aloha all,

This is a refreshing discussion. I've also dabbled in a few different MAs until finding something that ignited that passion.

The first MA I studied was Shobayashi shorin ryu karate, and I loved it. Then the dojo went from 20 students to over 100 and my sensei was forgetting about what kata he had taught me and seemed to be focusing in on creating a "McDojo." So I left. Here in Hawai'i there are literally dojos,dojangs,&kwoons on every corner. However, I've lived here for two years before I found something that got me interested again. I think many people are turned off from MA when they walk into a dojo and see a personal shrine of the head instructor to him/herself. One place down here, the guy has magazine covers of himself framed and mounted on every wall of the school. I didn't even stay to watch the class, I just anonymously slipped out the front door before even introducing myself. Another reason, at least for me, was one instructor who had his facts on Japanese martial arts history back asswards. Nice guy...but I felt he had been "taken" by whoever taught him. Maybe its me, but little inconsistencies about lineage and legitimacy send me on my way.

I also agree with the post regarding the "fast food" society we live in. We really do look at a few years dedication as a lengthy study.

Shitoryu Dude
6th March 2002, 22:53
In the beginning just starting MA was a matter of having cash and time both on hand at the same time - being young had its drawbacks.

For me it was making a choice between school and MA. Going to school and getting my degree took precedence, I could always find another dojo and start MA again.

After that it was injury - ever try doing kicks with a missing ACL? Does not work!

I changed styles because the two schools in my section of the state that taught Kenpo were either way too far away or way too expensive/closed most of the time.

Starting over at the bottom didn't bother me, heck, I just flew through the kyu levels until I hit brown, and even those went fast.

:beer:

hyaku
6th March 2002, 23:28
I know the thread is based on the problems within countries other than Japan. But I would just like to say that there is a well over 90% drop out rate over here too.

This is because most of the practitioners are younger people.

For example talking to high school leavers who have practiced seven days a week since they were in elementary school the general attitude is enough is enough!

Those that continue are usually heading for a job in the education system or the police.

It seems that too much of a good thing also leads to people wanting to give up.

A survey some years ago showed that only one percent of the population were involved in MA. Also one percent still used wooden baths and one percent liked peanut butter. Not the same one percent I think!

Hyakutake Colin

http://www.bunbun.ne.jp/~sword/