Is KSW turning into a sissy art?

Discussion in 'Kuk Sool' started by MACA, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. tulsa

    tulsa Valued Member

    Yes you are! In your situation you say "from books, YouTube, or whatever, and then self promote once you can do well?", This is not the "Best option," I agree but it is not all that bad if that person is truly knowledgeable and Skilled. You are putting an absolute out that is totally outrageous. For just an example who gave the rank to Suh In Hyuk? I can question anyone's rank. So can you. But why would you and why would I? To belittle someone? or to try? :evil:
  2. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    Well, if I do understand you (and I am still not 100% sure that I do), then I am not questioning anyone's rank or belittling anyone, or even making any value judgment on what you are suggesting whatsoever. I am saying that if I were learning stuff on my own, without an instructor, I would question whether or not I might be missing some subtle component or aspect that could only be learned from an instructor.
  3. SsangKall

    SsangKall Valued Member

    just go to korea and get rank there. it would be fun, and you can say you are ranked in some legit kuk sool-hapkido. keep that as your rank and omit recognition of those who forget you.
  4. tulsa

    tulsa Valued Member


    This is true also. But then again just to restate my point, how many instructors really do know the material? Though my training in the WKSA I have been shown lots and lots of different ways just to do one technique. They all were so different that I was sure that they all just barley learned the technique and put there own twist on it. Not saying they where wrong because they seemed to work for that person. But they never really had the same nuances that where done when Suh In Hyuk did them on me.

    So again I agree that a teacher is always the best, but they are not the end all for learning the material or promoting. Self examination and team work with another is always good. A higher rank teaching is always good. Text books are good. Videos are good. Video conferencing is good. It all make you better in the long run.

    Does a musician that learns in his room ,not able to become a world renown guitarist? Unless he has a teacher in person? When can a person start learning on his own or in conjunction with another?
  5. SsangKall

    SsangKall Valued Member

    hey man, i'll tell you straight up. if you are selling prime rib, you are out of the hamburger industry. i liken posting all your credentials to a mcmenu strategy. go to any top restaurant and see how many options you are afforded. as for credentials, fixed who is the real deal and who isnt. if you want certs for teaching credentials get a physical education certificate from your state and a degree which certifies understanding instructor level knowledge. if you want to teach great martial arts: care, hustle, teach, train
  6. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    I think the Korean martial arts community in general overvalues credentials. I have even heard instructors say that if they are of a certain dahn, than they feel that they are at a business disadvantage if their competition in a given area is of a higher dahn rank. I really do not think this is the case. Say what you will about MMA, but one positive contribution is that it showed many people that traditional martial arts rank in and of its self does not really mean much. I'm 43 now. When I was 17 or 18, a martial arts instructor with high rank or multiplr titles would have impressed me. But that was before the UFC and before Youtube. The young men and women in my group are not interested in doing MMA, but they still are a product of this culture. When considering our group, they do not ask what rank I am, or from which organization I am certiffid by. They want to know if the top people in the club are fit and if we do live training, if we spar, how often, and if we cover getting up if someone is knocked down. These are not who you would think of as typical MMA people by any means - just young adults who grew up watching it. This goes for the women as well as the men. Now I want to emphasize that these are also people with an understanding and appreciation of traditional martial arts, not cage fighter wannabes. In fact TMA seem to be back in style with people in this age group. They just know rank does not mean anything!

    Think of it this way:

    A physically fit person (even an older person) who teaches physically demanding classes, has a
    2nd or 3rd Dahn and maybe a certification in excercise is going to be waaaayyyyy more impressive to today's consumers than some fat dude who's an 8th degree such and such and who's students are out of shape. And yes, they also know that an 8 year old black belt and an adult are not the same.

    (EDIT: Hmmm...just realized I was almost back on the topic of the OP)

    And before you mention that adult students like I am describing do not pay the bills, remember that people in this age group will be having kids soon enough.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  7. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    The last page or so contains some great stuff...

    I've seen plenty of discussion over the value & merits of MA certification, even from supposedly *respectable* MA organizations. So I seriously doubt that a consensus will ever be found. The thing is just one aspect of how the market has changed, and Cz's last post (#286) is a further peek into the reality of today's consumers.

    I'd like to add "innovate" to this list as a possible extra quality worth investigating (even though not everyone may be up to such a challenge). :bow1:

    And apologies for dragging things off topic, but I have to challenge Obewan on such a prejudicial statement as this:
    How is an insult somehow worse if the recipient is from a different ethnic background? If you disrespect someone, then it shouldn't matter who they are, right? Don't try to heap additional blame on someone's actions just because you worship the ground that a particular asian dude walks on (don't forget: he's JAFO -ROFL-).
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  8. tulsa

    tulsa Valued Member

    So a little back of the subject at hand and keeping with the last SEVERAL POSTINGS: I have been doing some research before I reopen a school and am finding that in my area the MMA schools are full of teen males, young adult males a few women and to my surprise a few KIDS. They are going FULL CONTACT. In the TKD schools around here I have noticed it has become a total KID FEST. The TKD schools have gone to lite to no contact sparring. The General "WE Do What Ever Is Popular" schools have mostly kids and then a good mix of Adults both men and women. The also have gone to lite to no contact sparring.

    ANY school owner knows what insurance costs. I am not talking about the insurance for property being lost. When you call for insurance you have to be honest and get coverage that will actually cover your A** or lie and save money . If you tell them you are a FULL CONTACT SCHOOL you will be paying so much money a month you will end up paying about 1/2 of your students tuition per month just on it. If you tell them you are lite to NO CONTACT and use "PROPER" protective gear you will pay ALLOT LESS. I was sneaky and went to check some of the NEW MMA guys in town the other week and asked them about there insurance as I was pretending to see if I wanted to train there. I played semi dumb and asked questions and finally got the answer.... They clam it is lite to no contact on there contract and any thing more than that is per persons OWN discretion. This means that there insurance would not cover anyone if another student just went off and broke an arm or such. As a teacher I find this to be appalling.

    So what brings me to the topic at hand is I think through the WKSA, Kuk Sool teachers have realized the importance of LAW SUITS! Train your students but not to hard so that they do NOT SUE YOU! Have Good insurance or you will find yourself in the poor house. The OLD days have gone (bummer) so embrace the new world. Kuk Sool use to be hard training where I thought my arm was going to break. But I could not do that now a days to a student because of the attitude of the SUE HAPPY WORLD! So in one point Yes, Kuk Sool has changed to a "sissy art" compared to what it use to be BUT IT STILL A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER THAN 90% OF THE OTHER MARTIAL ARTS OUT THERE in my opinion! I think the word sissy is not the right wording.

    my second thought of why or why not:evil: will be in another post.
  9. tulsa

    tulsa Valued Member

    Competing with the other guys. On that knowledge finding quest I took last month I found out again in my area that the average time to 1st degree black belt in any style here was 18 months (if you had the money) to 2 years. Yes, you read it right. WTF? Then I realized for what they where teaching or should I say what the lack of what they taught, this was doable. Allot of school around here have stopped teaching forms totally. So no time needed for memory training. Techniques have turned into a few one step sparring techniques and a few basic ground fighting techniques, again not much time in learning those. I sat in on a few schools tests and I was shocked that they lasted for about 1 hour. This was for everyone from white belt and and at one school, 3rd degree black belt. They only did what I would consider BASIC BASIC kicking ( they kicked well ) and then a "Chop, punch, hammer fist, palm strike and elbow" for there hand strikes. NO FORMS, so then straight into sparring. Each student sparred at the same time with another student of there approximate rank. Then they (even the Adults) broke one board (a 1 x 12 x 6ish) white wood board. The promotion ceremony was included in the hour long time frame. That was it.

    If this is what I have to compete with I know I am NOT teaching a "SISSY ART" but how do I compete if a student does check out other schools and thinks that they want there Black Belt ASAP! AND YOU ALL KNOW THE WORLD HAS COME TO THAT! Most NEWBIE'S to the Martial Arts really do not know the difference between them. And let's face it, these are the people that pay us. The Martial Artist looking for the perfect school are not the ones paying the majority of the bills. So how do we compete? I have my ways I have worked out and would be willing to share them with any Kuk Sool teacher that knows my personal Email. It is different and some might not like it and others will.

    Does anyone have any other ideas?
  10. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    I think that consumers are way more savvy than this. Obviously, you will never be able to compete for a customer that wants something you do not offer, like a 1 year black belt (like they do in Korea). As I stated before, I think that most potential customers are more sophisticated than this. I would offer that you should explain why you are better in a way that a consumer can understand.

    Also, in my area, TMA is definitely making a comeback among people in their 20s. I do not run a commercial school. we have 8 students and accept about 2 or 3 more every year, so admittedly, the cross section I encounter is limited. Almost every potential adult student says the same thing though. It is that they either went to another school and did not like it because it focused on Kids, or they went to a kickboxing or MMA class and felt like they did not learn anything because it was just a good workout. Due to a certain life circumstance, I am in contact with a lot of people in their early and mid twenties. The UFC is very popular with them and many of them do martial arts- but when I ask people where they train, no one says they train at a MMA gym. They say they train in things like Kenpo, Gung Fu or Traditional Taekwondo. They might be watching the UFC…but they are doing TMA!

    I think the biggest impact of MMA on the martial arts industry is one that no one talks about. That is the drain on the student base of young adults that like to “mix it up”. When I think about the make-up of my Master’s Kuk Sool school in the early 90’s, I remember it was a lot of cops, and young guys (some women) that liked the fitness aspect and didn’t mind mixing it up. Now these people would go to a MMA gym, because there are few alternatives if you want to spar and mix it up. But I think there is a huge under-estimated adult market in most areas for traditional adult classes that are still had and involve hard, live training. There are some very successful TMA schools in my area that focus on this market, and they operate quietly making a nice profit.

    Also, as my even BJJ instructor has told me, MMA wannabe students are notoriously flaky and it is bad business to cater to that population long term.

    You are selling a service. With any service you could have the best in the world, but you need to be able to express what differentiates yourself from others.
  11. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    Agreed. However the only problem with this fundamental truth is that it's best accomplished via an established reputation, something which is absent when starting out fresh. :rolleyes:
  12. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    It has to be done, if it has to be done, though
  13. SsangKall

    SsangKall Valued Member

    the united states is hardly over-saturated with quality instruction. after sifting through the ranting, it sounds like there are a couple of business decisions your 'competition' is making that can affect your enrollment. is this it?
  14. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Thanks for the challenge Unk, I like challenges. :cool: However in this case you read to much into my statement. You've been around Orientals enough to know that losing face is taken much more seriously with them than non Asians. So for others that haven't been around Asians as much... the family units is reverse of what it is in western society. The elders are held in high regard in the East as opposed to the youth in the West. And also Unk you know that if I was provoked to name names I would be very specific in regard to whom I was referring to, as I'm very passionate about Kuk Sool Won. Anyway I'm sure your comment was tongue & cheek, ;) as I know your more respectful than to be totally serious with JAFO. :hat:
  15. SsangKall

    SsangKall Valued Member


    run demos in public areas, and teach at community centers till you can cover overhead. easy
  16. tulsa

    tulsa Valued Member

    With only 8 to 10 students you are running a non-Profit school. After overhead and insurance and such you are either breaking even or losing money to do what you love to do. Nothing wrong with that. I have always had a "Small" school compared to others. So you look at MA's in a different light than allot of us. You look at it as a life style and not a business. I look at it as Both. If I was wealthy and did not have to work or care about money and how I pay my bills I would see more your way. But I want to teach for a living. It brings me happiness and fulfillment. I do not want to work for a boss doing something I distaste for the rest of my life.

    So this is what allot of us are saying, to compete with the FULL TIME Schools you have to supply a product that the general public wants. There is a statement of the "Magic Wand" where if you ask the general public this question:

    If there was a Magic Wand that could make you a Black Belt with a simple wave and it would cost you $4000.00 or you wan sweat and work you A** off for 5 years and have it cost you $100.00 which would you take? Most would choice the $4000.00. This is SAD! People have other things in there lives they find more important than Martial Arts. These are the ones that pay you. They want it quick fast and easy. Yes they want to sweat a little. They want to think they earned it. But they are not willing to become a life long Martial Artist. They are doing this for ENTERTAINMENT, a little fitness and that is about it.

    A teacher that ADVERTISES more than anyone else WILL get more students. Even if he teaches crap. The best teacher with a great style without ADVERTISING will close there school as soon as they are unable to pay the Electric Bill. I have said this before John Q Public does not really care about the style they learn. They do not know the differences. This is why Kuk Sool is a great style. It has a little of everything. Kicking, Hand Striking, Ground Defenses, Weapons, Falling, Throwing, Joint Locking, Ki Training, Cardio, Core Strength Training, Discipline, Self-Defense, Defense against Weapons, Forms and so on and so on. If they are looking for something Kuk Sool can fill that void and show them more to inspire them.

    You get out of Martial Arts what you put into it! If you put your soul into it you will have a Fulfilled Happy Soul. :evil:
  17. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    Quite the contrary... I've told plenty of people over the years (especially those that tend to get all wrapped up in the *AWESTRICKEN* air which is sometimes fostered around certain MA grandmasters), not to lose sight of the fact that despite people *falling over themselves* in order to please the guy, that at the end of the day he's JAFO (where O stands for "oriental"). :evil:

    But I can't take all the credit for it, as I originally got the idea from MY instructor. ;)

    (Understand that this doesn't mean I lack respect for the man, because I totally do have the utmost respect for him. I just think that one ought to keep things in the *proper* perspective. I mean, it's not like he's a king & I'm just one of his subjects...)

    IDK who raised you, but I was ALWAYS taught to respect my elders. :rolleyes:

    Yeah, I wasn't saying it was impossible to do, just that it gets easier once someone has built a reputation for themselves. It also doesn't mean that anyone has to start out small and wait a while before growing their business, even though that's the smart approach. But before I take YOUR advice on what works and what doesn't, I expect to be shown where YOU have run such a business YOURSELF, and not merely watched from the sidelines. :rolleyes:

    (and let's not kid ourselves, when it comes to teaching MA, people of asian descent have a decided advantage, even if less knowledgeable than a non-asian)
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  18. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Yea I knew what the acronym was, and I'm not sure where you want to go with this...but it's on you cause I'm not going on that journey with you. :cool:
  19. SsangKall

    SsangKall Valued Member

    "... But before I take YOUR advice on what works and what doesn't, I expect to be shown where YOU have run such a business YOURSELF, and not merely watched from the sidelines."

    o man. i just got busted. one digital pal mok to the baek-hoe and 20 push ups will immediately ensue.
  20. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    Aw c'mon, Obe. Tell me you don't think that there's a shred of truth in what I've shared, and then maybe I'll leave it be. :evil:

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