Saturday, October 17, 2009

Martial arts charlatans & clayton styles

Great care should be exercised when deciding to join a club for the first time in ones life because there are many charlatans and claytons styles that existing across all the martial arts spectrum, that is people claiming to be something they are not and teaching something that they have litle knowledge about.

As an example i will use shotokan, some schools claim to teach shotokan karate because they have the heian katas in their syllabus, but all the rest of the art has nothing to do with shotokan and its training methods, and the katas that they do have are only there for show and as an accessory to grading apart from that they have no real meaning to the instructors or students all they do is help the school classify its self under the umbrella of shotokan.

You should do your homework and access as much information about the art/style that has attracted your attention, see if they have a web site, compare them to other similar styles/schools, go an ask questions, talk to the students as well as the instructors, participate in the first free lesson, see what type of affiliation they have, what is there martial art geared towards eg, self defense sport & fitness.

Usually the larger organsisations which are world wide and have been around for a very long time are the real deal but this doesn't guarantee that the school you have chosen will be a good one, extra caution should be applied to the one of school that claims a grand master whos word is law, there are good schools under this umbrella you just have to find one.

The larger world organisations have things like insurance cover and a very well planned and structured syllabus that can take you through to advanced level in that system.

For example you should be worried if on the first night you are asked to do full contact sparring, or after a few weeks of training you are asked to take a class of first night begginers, or only after acouple of weeks of training you are asked to do competition etc etc.

Here are some of the many legitimate shotokan schools and associations that have a good reputation and have been around for a very long time.

JKA - Japan Karate Association
SKIF - Shotokan Karate International
KUGB - Karate Union of Great Britian
WSKF - World Shotokan Karate-do Federation

Here is a guy with very basic knowledge about karate yet he claims to be a 5th dan