My mate and training partner Bill Barrott sent me a link to this, controversial, video, lets watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WCPZMnQ9API#!

Well following on from my last blog, Basic Addiction, I want to provoke some more discussion. For the record I train with an excellent martial arts club, Abbeydale Ju Jitsu Club in Sheffield, founded and run since 1975 by the Jenkinson family it is a not for profit organisation. I am now a senior instructor and receive no financial reward at all, you earn your belts by working hard and we maintain high standards and I am not a sucker. For me it is putting something back into a community where we all help one another but would I do this for a commercial enterprise? Never. Many martial arts clubs are businesses, that is not a bad thing but in all trades there will be the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

However, for every good, well run club there are some dubious ones and some downright bad ripoff joints we call MacDojos. For me a good club will distinguish between the art it teaches and distinguish it from self defence, many do the opposite they conflate the two in a dangerous way. Of course as I earn my living teaching self defence you would expect me to say that, I sincerely believe in keeping things simple and the first two things I teach in any self defence class is avoid and/or escape at all costs, then base everything else in the context of the law on self defence. Marc is an undisputed expert in this area, and his comments in the video are spot on and I have seen some real bullshit displays of exotically fatuous, useless ‘fighting’ skills sold by snake oil merchant who make double glazing salesmen look charitable. You can usually scent the odour of bullshit the moment the start doing ‘routines’ to music, often with smoke effects, to rooms of happy clappy families who are fooled by the snake oil merchants. Listen to this lifetaker and widowmaker.

So would you join that club? Just how did you join your club? What attracted you? Was it the incredible ability to break bits of wood? Well I am not one for reinventing wheels so I am going to send you off to read what Dr John Moor of Portland, Maine says are 5 things to consider when choosing, Click here but come back soon.

I like and respect John and he puts out some very good advice on Facebook. So I think it would be good to offer people who link and also to use it to evaluate your own club and how you make it work for you and your students. If you want to buy a black belt go ahead but you will be wearing the Emporers New Clothes, I earned mine with blood, sweat and very nearly tears. There is a MacDojo in Sheffield that guarantees black belts, for a nice price too, I cannot name them for legal reasons but I have seen the product, set to music, with happy clappy families and friends licking up the snake oil, want some?

Yes martial arts is the new miracle tonic, and your students will even clean your floors. When you are buying anything you should do your research and then shop around, take a test drive of the product wherever possible. Do the same with martial arts so that you choose the good rather than the bad and stay well clear of the downright ugly. Those who offer good martial arts training will not be offended by this blog, the bad will ignore it and the ugly not be aware of it, they are too busy brewing more snake oil for suckers.

Just sayin’.