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#190413 - 10/02/05 07:30 PM USSD a McDojo?
prospero Offline

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 23
I've been studying Kempo at United Studios of Self Defense for nearly four years now, and I am a green belt. I'd like to hear the thoughts of the more experienced martial artists here on USSD's commerciality. Is it a McDojo? Is it a valid martial arts practice? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

#190414 - 10/02/05 07:48 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: prospero]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I do not know much about USSD. The only important question is do you think it is a McDojo? With nearly 4 years of training, you should have a good idea.

I am interested to hear about the style and your take on it.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#190415 - 10/02/05 09:26 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: prospero]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

I think it might have some elements of a McDojo, but I cannot confirm this. The reason I bring this up is with some anecdotal comments made by my cousin. She was taking two of her sons to USSD classes in Orange County, California and commented that the classes were getting too expensive.

If I remember correctly, she was stating that to go up another level or learn more kata/forms, they had to pay more money, meaning substantially more. That the tests kept getting a lot more expensive and I beleive there was something to do with a contract, as well. But I am not 100% sure of this.

To have a pretext where much more money is required for advancement and continued study has always been a bad sign for me. However, this does not invalidate the instruction or the instructors.

I have no personal experience about USSD outside of this. Just remember the comments and thought they were McDojoish.


#190416 - 10/03/05 01:24 AM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: prospero]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Let's see...

> Lots of up-front money...check
> Required to purchase lots of stuff through their school...check
> Teaching 'Open Tournament' techniques as SD...check
> Young, under-qualified "instructors"...check
> No legitimate lineage...check
> President bought an "honorary ambassadorship to the Shaolin Temple"...check
> Vast franchise willing to take on new schools regardless of background...check
> Teaching a variety of MA all lumped together...check
> Took over where Fred Villari left off...check

I don't do I say this...Yes?

#190417 - 10/03/05 01:13 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: hedkikr]
shaolinmonkdude Offline

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 8
Is ussd a mcdojo? In my opinion yes. They came from fred villari in 1988 mattara left villaris and opened about 30 or so schools in cali.
Their art is really mixed, it has kempo in it but I've never heard of any shaolin in it. I have heard that there is some shotakan forums in it.

I think its a mcdojo because mattera changed the kempo combs name to shaolin defensive maneuvers and on his web site and his manual he makes no mention of grand master fred villari, who he reveived white thruogh 7th degree black belt.
And you cant own a dojo with them 100% any more. And it cost around $120,000. Run away!!

#190418 - 10/03/05 01:32 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: shaolinmonkdude]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Holy S#%T!!!
I wouldn't buy a CAR for $120,000!

Keep running, don't look back!!!
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

#190419 - 10/03/05 01:46 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Perhaps we should all set some kind of estimated upper limit on the price of training in a non-McDojo, so that people have something to reference? I know prices will fluctuate with economic conditions but there should be some guide as to what to expect.

I'm thinking that a good price is between 50-100 USD per month, anything less is really cheap (not necessarily poor quality). Anything more than 250 USD I would call overly expensive. This excludes training equipment of course but should include grading fees.

Anyone else have any estimates? I'd like to hear what kinds of fees we're paying.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#190420 - 10/03/05 02:27 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I think he meant buying the franchise for $120K. Of course, this won't cover all the support items such as videos, t-shirts, gear bags, uniforms, weapons & instructor training etc., etc., etc.

But don't worry, you can pass it on to the throng of students waiting to sign-up via the company's excellent marketing campaign & support.

In my area, the local newspaper (Orange County Register) prints a yearly suppliment - "The Best of O.C.". It lists the 10 "Best" steak houses, beaches, dance clubs (everything) including MA schools. USSD wins nearly every year. WOW!

And how does the paper get all the ratings??? You got it...the subscribers send in their votes. So a large chain-school will have many more students submitting votes (can you say fixed elections kids?) to launch their school into 1st place. Naive readers see this & guess what???

Billions & billions served...want fries w/ that?


#190421 - 10/03/05 02:34 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: shaolinmonkdude]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
a loooong time ago (70's), there used to be called a "Villari's Studio of Health & Self Defense". They started in Waltham, MA I grew up 10 miles away. At the time in the area, you basically had 2 choices of commercial dojo - Okinawan or Kenpo. The Okinawan styles were mostly run by ex-servicemen, the Kenpo places seemed to have been heading into the more competitive/sport side of MA.
Then came along a third choice - Villari...arguably the first blatent McDojo. except, at the time, there wasn't a word to describe what they were teaching...other than the phrase, 'wicked crap'. not sure what business model was employed (pretty sure it was 'pyramid scheme' like amway), but there were new studios popping up in surrounding towns faster than pizza joints.

My friends and I called it "Villari's House of Pizza" ...the joke was you simply go there and pickup your blackbelt as easily as ordering a pizza. fastfood MA-blackbelt in 2 years or less at a time when the bare minimum was 5 years of continuous 4x+ a week training.
We didn't think to give it the 'McDojo' name... probably because we didn't consider it a dojo...some of these places were even carpeted and they wore little kung-fu shoes...they even experimented with wearing robes during training, so it would 'whooosh' when they do spin kicks lol. I think they stopped that when too many people were tripping on their capes during demos. That was the basis of the style: 'How can I look cooler doing this technique.'
Picture a really tacky chinese food restaurant interior with freaks from a circus running the restaurant and you'll get the image of walking into one of these places during the 70's.

anyway, if you can imagine Villari graduates opening their own chain of pizza houses thru the years, each one adding and subracting to an already bad tasting sauce...then you'll get an idea of how bad USSD is.
USSD's pizza is a ketchup sauce w/powdered cheese on a cardboard crust served cold.

That sound tasty to anyone?

#190422 - 10/03/05 03:05 PM Re: USSD a McDojo? [Re: Kintama]
McSensei Offline

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1069
Loc: Kent, England
"That sound tasty to anyone?"

*Raises hand...*


*Quietly puts hand down and hides*

Edited by McSensei (10/03/05 03:09 PM)

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