easy ways to spot Mc Dojo:
1. drive thru window
2. option to receive promotions by purchasing tapes or videos in lieu of attending class
3. belt specials: "today we have a special on brown belts..."
4. pompoms, cheerleaders, way tooo smiley, hyper, happy, complementing atmosphere...
5. membership fees that resemble the health club format
6. more emphasis on marketing strategy and spin...merchandise overdrive... all the great add on supersize products in an onsite sports shop...when these things cash long shadows on actual instruction...be weary.
7. when via price comparison...you find the monthly rate for your child's martial arts class surpasses that of your nephew's tuition (including books an on site housing) at Stanford!
the list goes on...
sure everyone enjoys positive feedback from teachers, but...when promotions and awards/rewards come despite one's ability and fortitude or lack thereof...then...something is amiss.
being and having are distunctly different in martial arts... i often hear newer students ask... when do I get my ________belt? My answer is...today after class or tomorrow if you want...just go to "discount belts unlimited" located just a few blocks from us...and you can purchase any color/size belt or purchase several... for just $6.99 plus tax.
Here at our school we do not give or sell belts. Here we provide the means and method to become...not a belt...(which is only some dye and woven fibers) but to develop and grow within and without the parts of yourself that attracted you to the study of martial arts. Unlike school, there are no diplomas and timetables, no start and end date, no posted test scores or secondary schools or colleges... that you must endure to be considered worthy...there is only yourself.
For a sincere student... the end goal shouldn't be 'graduation'...this is difficult. It requires unlearning our carrot/jackass method, so well ingrained by the public school system, and really pursuing something reachable, real, and longlasting undeminished value. No tricks...bribes...snake-oil salesmen...
So I suppose helping your son see the ultimate value of what he is really getting out of the class might be a start.
If you discover that indeed, his preferred school is a mc Dojo...and he still insists that this is the one he wants... forcing him to quit...might instigate a power struggle...an alternative is to allow him to attend classes...but also allowing him to spend his own money to pay for them...
then we see where the rubber meets the road...I have tried this with my own daughter and found that when she pays for an item or activity herself, with her own allowance/money... she makes much more careful choices and is more fully committed.
Sorry I wrote a small novel...your post was inspiring!