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#115606 - 03/15/05 12:00 PM Please let me introduce myself...

Hello friends.

My name is Charlie. I'm 24 years old. I'm from Texarkana, TX. It's a small town of about 90,000 on the border of Arkansas and Texas. I'm hoping my new friends here won't geographically stereotype me [IMG][/IMG]

My martial arts ...resume (for lack of a better word) is 4 months TaeKownDo. 10 months Hapkido and Aikido. 6 months Krav Maga (ask for info if you're not familiar with this art, it's brilliant). My favorite, however, is my Shotokan Karate.


I got very lucky with my Shotokan school. I've been training for 2 years and I'm still white belt. Mr. Johnson (my teacher) does his class with tuition just enough to break even, so it's basically non-profit. He says it will take 6-7 years for anyone to receive black belt, understanding the ways of Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan. Godan.

I'm in love with this school also because Mr Johnson's class is very traditional but not completely traditional to Shotokan. It's Shotokan with a slight cross-train in Aikido... and a few other Japanese arts that I'm not remembering the names of at the moment [IMG][/IMG] I'm sorry. After I realized that I was learning the same things in Shotokan as I was in Aikido, I dropped out.

Here is where I explain my problem with most schools (TaeKwonDo in-particular). But please keep in mind, I understand this is not all schools.

My experience with TaeKwonDo was very sad. It was very short lived. I had been taking Shotokan for about a year when I decided to cross-train in TaeKwonDo also. Now, I'm not sure why as they're almost identical. Anyway... most (not all but most) TaeKwonDo schooled are geared towards children (lil dragons) for economical reasons. This puts the entire "profit" desire in their systems. My first day they realized that I had skill in an art very similar. They wanted to test me up on my first day to green belt. Every test costs $50 and the belt was another $20. Plus, tuition was outrageous. When I asked how long it would take to receive black belt, I was told 2-3 years. This struck me as amazingly fast. How could one master an art in 2-3 years?? Now - now, don't flame me. I know there is lots to be learned after black but nonetheless, I was very reluctant about this. It came to me that they tested their students up as quickly as possible for profit. They taught the students what they needed to know and tested. It didn't matter if they hadn't MASTERED the techniques, as long as they knew the technique. I dropped out of the commercial scene at this point.

Krav Maga was wonderful but I got a new job and simply didn't have enough time. I suggest EVERYONE check out Krav Maga though. It's the most no-nonsense self-defense system that I've ever seen.

Anyway, that's my history in the arts. I think it's very important to cross-train.

My weapon of choice art the Nunchuckas. I've been working with them for a year or so. However, my passion is Iaido. The closest school is in Denton, TX (180 miles from here). So, I was out of luck and just went for Nunchuckas. I have a collection of wall hangers and I study with them from downloaded Iaido videos -- of course, I don't cut with them. I know this isn't training but more myself trying to satisfy my ache to learn Iaido.

If in 1 more year, I'm still so badly wanted to learn Iaido, I will probably move to another city with a dojo.

Anywho, that is me. My name is Charlie and I look forward to many discussions.

Nice to meet you all!


#115607 - 03/15/05 12:15 PM Re: Please let me introduce myself...

Welcome, Charlie.

I'm sorry your experience with tkd wasn't a good one, as there are many good schools out there, but I will say that it was nice to hear an opinion based on personal experience in different arts then one based on some elses hearsay.

You seem like an open minded individual curious to learn, so again, welcome [IMG][/IMG]

#115608 - 03/15/05 12:38 PM Re: Please let me introduce myself...

Hi Charlie. Welcome to the forum.

The Denton, TX sounds like John Ray Sensei's dojo.
He teaches classical Karate there and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido. If anything discontinue learning from video and books and head over to that dojo and learn it from a qualified sensei. The Shotokan you know could not be learned from book or video right? You have details that are important that could only be obtained from live instruction from a qualified sensei right? You should consider it just as important to learn Iaido the same.

Another member name Charles Mahan posts here. He trains Iaido in the Denton, TX dojo under John Ray Sensei. If you like Japanese swords and like Iaido, head over to that dojo. Even once a week is still good if the driving is too much to do everyday. But it's so worth it under qualified instruction. Don't pass up the chance.

[This message has been edited by Walter Wong (edited 03-15-2005).]

#115609 - 03/15/05 12:45 PM Re: Please let me introduce myself...

Yes, Denton Dojo was the one I was talking about. This Dojo seems very much like my Shotokan class. I called them and the costs are very low and the class is very traditional. I want to go visit the class in a couple of weeks just to check it out.

If I fall in love, I probably will make a once a week drive to the dojo to attend. But it's pretty far: 180 miles.

I'd be very interested in hearing what Mr. Charles Mahan thinks about the dojo and if it's worth (pardon my asking, please) driving 180 miles every week to attend one class?

[This message has been edited by Shotokan_Charlie (edited 03-15-2005).]

#115610 - 03/22/05 10:01 PM Re: Please let me introduce myself...
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Well I've trained at the dojo in question for nearly 8 years. What do you think? [IMG][/IMG]

It's a shame you couldn't make it this past weekend. Tanida-sensei, our sensei from Japan, was in town to hold a koushukai(seminar) and shodan shiken(rank exam). It would have been a great chance to see what we do is really all about. Ray-sensei is the senior representative of the main line of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu in this country.

Now as to training long distance. It's not gonna be easy. We've had several folks try it, but few have succeeded. In the long run, weekly trips are EXTREMELY hard on you. It can be done though. We have two very succesful sattelite schools that started this way. One in Baton Rouge and one in Houston. At least, you are closer than either of these schools.

Once a week training is not ideal. Progress will be a bit slower than other students unless you are very careful to observe what is demonstrated and then practice it carefully during the intervening week.

When you come down, be sure to speak with Ray-sensei about your situation.


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