Changing Clubs

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Sackett, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    I am starting this thread to gather perspective on my experience with changing martial arts clubs.

    I'd been with the same instructor for 3 1/2 years before moving and was unprepared for how difficult it is for me to adapt. Please note, my new instructor is a really impressive martial artist and I know I have a ton to learn from him.

    There are a lot of factors: difference in instruction methods, differences in the work out, differences in techniques, issues of changing loyalty, to name a few.

    Have any of you changed clubs after a significant amount of time?

    Was it difficult for you? If so, how long did the hard part last?

    Do you have any advice on how to make it easier?

  2. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe


    Yes. The difficult part lasted about a month.

    Relax. I find it's easier when you take your new instructor's word as gospel for the first few months to help you get over old habits. I've had to deal with some terminology changes, stance changes, some of which were difficult. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Try to be as "blank slate" as possible. That's what I do, and it's been a great learning experience. :)

    Best regards,

  3. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    1. Yes. I did ITF Taekwon-do for two and a half years before moving on.

    2. Yes. It was hard as it was the first martial art I took up and I wanted to
    get through the belts and all. I left because I have a job, I wanted to
    train for longer hours at later time. I also left because the club had
    some weird views on self defense and morals. I didin't get along much with some of the people there either. The hardest part lasted me from October last year, so around about a year. I had emotions spilling out from me left, right and center. I had also suffered a torn hamstring from a mock grading that was back in march (still recovering from it) and I felt depressed and nervous allot.

    3. You know deep down in your heart when its time to go. If you aren't happy training or having fun there then move on. I believe you must have a good laugh and lots of fun while training.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  4. Scarlet Mist

    Scarlet Mist Banned Banned

    Have I changed clubs after a significant amount of time?


    Was it difficult?

    No, I realized that they sucked raw and wanted to leave for a while.
  5. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    What was wrong with the club?
  6. flammee

    flammee Valued Member

    1. If four years is significant amount then yes. Did itf-tkd then changed into taido..

    2. Well, change itself was easy, after I left I better realized how bad the former club really was. Everything was better in this new club. Training in new style was physically harder and required much more coordination skills. Which was/is nice.

    Out of curiousity I tried crosstraining in different itf-tkd club than the one I started itf-tkd, after I had trained taido for a while, that was good club too. Perhaps wouldn't have needed any style change if I had earlier tried that club. Crosstraining didn't work, because I don't believe in crosstraining. ;)

    3. As advice I would say that if you think that your club might suck, you might be right. Don't wait too long before testing other clubs. But at the same time, don't swap clubs all the time.. :p Swapping styles after every six months is as useless as f*cking fossils in effort of trying to resurrect dinosaurs. At least I don't have any skills from those styles that I trained lesser amount of time than one year. Or perhaps those short tryouts were needed to be able to find the right one, who knows... :rolleyes:
  7. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I changed Instructor from a club where I'd trained for 5ish years, including really getting back into TKD and gaining my BB.

    I moved house and had to start at another club (same style), which took a lot of getting used to. New people, different training methods, exercises, emphasis, everything!

    I had some pretty traumatic events in my personal life at that time too so it was a time of upheval all round.

    Obviously I know you've got a lot of other things to get used to Sackett (tried branston pickle yet? lovely!), so you've also had some pretty major uphevals which can only exaccerbate things.

    My advice would be to relax and soak it all in! In a short time you'll get used to the new people, routines, the rhythm of your new club. Take in everything you can. In the end it's a fantastic opportunity for a learning experience that may broaden your knowledge in all sorts of ways.

    Get yourself out to Southwell sometime too, I'd love to hear how you're getting on first hand :)

    Best wishes,
  8. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. The hard part is that I LOVED my last club and actually think the instructor might be an angel. Not only did he teach basically for free, he ran a safe house for abused babies and adopted as many as he could. I mean, just a good person AND a solid martial artist. It is so hard to have anyone criticize in anyway his methods and techniques.

    I mean, I don't say he's right, or the new club is right. It's just different and it's all good and I'm happy to learn. I do feel like I'm being asked to say that the new way is the only way that is right and that is hard. And it is definitely not as good a work out, especially since I'm just learning.

    Still, I remember the tenets of TKD and am using my indomitable spirit and perseverance. So that is good.

    Even when I feel like crying in class because I feel my old instructor has just been insulted in some way. Or when someone is publicly humiliated (is that an English thing?) Or when I think about learning the Korean for all these things...

    I'm just not willing to give up ITF TKD.

    And I know my new instructor really is good. I am unbelievably excited to learn to put my whole body into the techniques the way he does.

    So I'll hang in there. I think I will give it til Christmas. If I'm still not having fun, I'll try something different.
  9. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I'd hope it's more a case of poking a bit of good natured fun at someone; your Instructor has quite a dry delivery.

  10. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    If your footer is anything to go by, you're pretty far along in taekwondo. Red/black, yes? So if the new club makes you miserable (after you've given it a chance, that is), maybe you could just contact some like-minded individuals and do some training on your own. It's not like you don't know a fair amount of the art already. Besides, if you're not enjoying it, I don't really see the sense in technical excellence anyway. That'll just become drudgery.

    If you really feel like your past teacher is being bad mouthed, and you feel strongly about it, you could just mention it to your current teacher. Personally (and opinions vary) I think the student/teacher relationship needs to leave room for this kind of talk.

  11. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    Thank you for all the kind words. I had a good class last night. I worked up a sweat, which always helps clear my mind. :p

    I do think the communication is important. The teacher is so good technically, and the class is so large, I think I feel intimidated to ask more than a question. I don't feel comfortable engaging in much of a back and forth conversation, so that does make it hard. I am also very obsequious in the heirarchacal relationship, so don't want to be seen as challenging the teacher in any way.

    Last night the instructor spent 10 minutes or so showing me how to use the turn to prepare my chamber, rather than preparing the chamber before turning. That was good because in the one-on-one I was able to ask questions and understand what he was talking about.

    I'm thinking of asking him if I could steal one of his black belts for 10 minutes every so often to go over what I need to know.

    In retrospect, I do wish I'd taken this fall to practice, practice, practice on my own, then gone to my old instructor for my black belt test. I was supposed to test in December. This whole thing would be less emotional if I didn't have this milestone looming.

    Thanks again.
  12. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    Another update: Two good classes this week. And I seem to have made a mental shift. I've started studying Korean. :rolleyes:

    I am still going to have to figure out how to fit in the culture of the new club. I seem to be much more aggressive (violent?) in the free sparring and self defense than other folk. I don't want to lose the speed and combinations, but it is an opportunity to focus on control to make sure I'm not scaring or hurting people.

    Being an utter newbie at some things, and quite proficient at others... I think I'm a pink belt!
  13. narcoleptic

    narcoleptic New Member

    I was with my old instructor for 4 years, but had to leave due to exams. I've been thinking of joining another club run at my university, but hesitant about what sort of problems might occur due to the change.

    Did you find any major differences in the techniques being taught? I do Wing Chun, which has alot of branches (or so I've been told) and the new club seems to differ quite a bit from my old one. I was also wondering if your new instructor had any qualms with you starting up at the level you left your old club? I really dont want to start over again, myself.

    Would appreciate your help, cheers =)
  14. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    As TKDMitch pointed out, I've got so much going on its difficult to separate the change in clubs from all the rest of the chaos, but it has been hard.

    The techniques aren't totally different, but in some ways fundamentally different. So it's hard to be ready to test for bb in one school, and then be struggling with fundamentals in another. And switching loyalties, so to speak, is also hard.

    I cannot speak for my instructor as to whether or not he's got qualms. My guess would be yes, but it wouldn't make sense to start over, either. He has definitely started putting more effort into training me now that I've been there for a couple of months, though.

    So, I guess I just have to work harder. It's that or quit, really. I've thought have changing arts, and may yet, but I think it will be because I want to learn something different, not because of trouble with this club.

    If you do decided to give the new place a try, let me know how it goes. I'm curious how it is for another.
  15. cptnpicard

    cptnpicard New Member

    I am currently facing the dilemma of changing clubs now, My current club is closing down due to finacial problems, this is not my teachers fault as he is employed by them and as a result will have no where to train, he is then moving away so we wont be able to train with him regardless, after training in 3 different styles, Kyokushinkai, shotokan and Sabaki styled training I have found him to be a great teacher and friend, extremly knowledgable in many different martial arts.

    I went back to my old shotokan style and I just kept thinking that its not as good here as my current club.
    I do think that if you go to a new club you need to go with a clean slate, its definately the best way to go, but after you have had a good teacher, its hard to move on.
    I also believe its good to try different styles to pick up different new things, because every martial art has something good to offer, some clubs just have more good things than others.

    I think if your on a good thing, stick to it for as long as you can, or make a plan to stick with it for another 12 months and at the end of that time commit to moving on?

    Dont know if I'm being much help here anyway but if anyone has any suggestions for where I could go I would be happy to chat.

    Cheers :)
  16. narcoleptic

    narcoleptic New Member

    I can understand moving clubs in order to switch the art you practice, but I think the biggest problem arises when you try to continue the same form onto a different club, especially if you've had a reasonably long history with it.

    My first class will be in a week's time, so I'll see how it is then, but I know for a fact that my old sifu was much higher ranking than the one at the club I'm thinking of attending, so it'll be hard to be a blank slate. Not to mention me wanting to pick up where I left off, which may cause friction with the instructors.

    If I were in your situation, I'd try and stay with your old instructor if possible, and if not, to try and continue what you've already learnt, rather than learning a new style. Although you pointed out its good to mix and match, in most MAs, it takes quite a while before you learn anything useful.
  17. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    Okay. It's been almost 3 months. It is still really hard at times, but I think I've got over the worst of it. I"m glad the subject of testing won't come up for at least six months. The pink belt status is hard in that way. I'm not sure, since I don't know my set sparring, but I think I might promote myself to orange belt soon!

    Thanks to all for thoughts and support.
  18. Sackett

    Sackett Valued Member

    Well. I thought I'd raise the dead of this again to say that it all turned out great. I totally fell in love with my new instructor and learned tons from him. In fact, the whole club ended up feeling like family.

    Now I'm on to the next challenged! I've moved back to the US now and am trying to reintegrate into my former club. So many of the same challenges! It is different, though, in that I already worship my instructor. It makes it that much harder for me to do the questioning that is needed to understand and assimilate the differences.

    We'll see how it goes, but I can say I'm glad I stuck with it in the end. I think the move and the extra learning that's happened because of it has been really key in my development as a martial artist and my commitment to the art. As hard as it was, i wouldn't trade it for the world.
  19. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Make sure you keep your hip twist :D

  20. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    The thing that bugs me about joining a new club is the students there (at the new club) treat you like you know nothing. Even though you've probably been training longer than they have been alive. I find keeping my head down and just kicking them in the face several dozen times in the first lesson sorts out their perspective.

    But then, I love kicking people in the head and I have a lovely ego :D :evil:

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