Legitimate Kung-Fu training in North-Austin Area

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Legitimate Kung-Fu training in North-Austin Area

Postby Tye Botting » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:07 pm

From the old boards.....


Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Started at Fri Jan 16 17:01:03 2004 IP150.113.7.99 Howdy!

Glad to find your school. I think I can trust my Aggie buds, here. I'm class of '82.

Our 10-year-old daughter is enrolled in a new Kung Fu school in Round Rock, where one of our friends is an instructor. The school is associated with several others around central Texas, such as the American Martial Arts Academy in Killeen. Their overall organization seems to be Impact Martial Arts.

I have concerns about the legitimacy of this school - details in a moment. Can anyone recommend any well-regarded Kung Fu training in our area? (Georgetown, Round Rock, north Austin)

Our daughter is enjoying it very much, and has been to three lessons. Several things have put up red flags for me, though.

1. At the end of the month, they'll have a graduation ceremony where all the kids in her class will get their first belt. This belt will cost $30 and she can get a stripe of some sort for another $20. Perhaps this is just a way to get the kids going, and maybe future belts will be associated with rank testing, but a belt after three weeks of classes seems odd.

2. At her third lesson last night, she was identified as having leadership potential. So were three others in her class of 9. I think it's unlikely that they could spot her as being gifted after so few lessons, and I think it's odd that almost half the class would be extraordinary. Saturday, they have us coming in to discuss the opportunities that she'll find in leadership training. Sounds like they'll hit us up for more money.

3. As near as we can tell, they are not keeping notes on each student. No training record, just attendance. They do claim to have a syllabus, which I want to see. I'm a training developer at Fort Hood, and that's no way to run a railroad. Not all students will excel, and some will not even succeed. How will they know, if they don't track progress?

Hope y'all have some suggestions!
Gig 'em!

Dan N

Re: Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Reply #1 Posted at Mon Jan 19 18:24:25 2004 IP165.91.177.45 It sounds a little shady to me, but it's hard to say. We run a low volume school (student wise), so commenting on the business aspects of a large volume school is merely speculation. I definitely think that your flags are appropriate in this case though.
As far as the belt system goes, I can only conclude that they are operating under the same premise that most schools with very young students abides by. Keeping the kids interested and motivated is not always easy, so rewards and positive reinforcement are hidden in the ranking system. I don't necessarily agree with that, but children often get frustrated easily and are more prone to quit than an adult. Hopefully, they have a junior ranking system(almost all schools do if they deal with children). The children are responsible for a lightened curriculum and upon receiving a high rank, they are still not conferred with the same priveleges and responsibilities as an adult. Still, it gives the child a goal and benefits on a timeline they can understand.

I am not sure about what to say as far as good kung fu schools in the Austin area. I can only tell you what I would look for and that's an instruction program where the basics are focused on. Foundation, movement and attention to detail are sound criteria, although lesser for children. Also, you want the child to have fun too. It's not worth it if it's not fun.

Still, the red flags are there, but maybe it's not as bad as it seems. I wish you luck.


Re: Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Reply #2 Posted at Mon Jan 19 19:32:33 2004 IP150.113.7.99 Thanks very much, Dan!

Good guidance on how to sort the schools near us.

We achieved clarity over the weekend on whether or not her school is focused on their students, or their students' financing. They offered our daughter membership in their leadership program for $150 initially, and only $200 per month afterwards, with a 3-year contract. She's paid in advance through June, so we've got time to look elsewhere and be careful about it. We'll also be looking for correlation between which kids graduate to the next belts, and which ones have been signed up for "leadership" training.

We appreciate the help!

Dan S

Re: Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Reply #3 Posted at Wed Mar 3 22:59:14 2004 IP204.210.96.119 Hi,

I don't have any north-Austin suggestions, and while I would look for another school for your daughter, I would echo some of what Mr. Nowlan
says. Kid oriented programs (even to the teens)
tend to have lots of belts/tests.

As a side note, the "leadership potential" thing,
while looking fishy from your description (too soon, sort of expensive, not a good description of what you get) , can be a legitimate way to encourage good students. If the "leadership" thing includes more training opportunities and more one on one training, it might not be a bad thing.


Re: Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Reply #4 Posted at Mon Mar 8 22:38:55 2004
Last Modified at Tue Mar 9 13:47:27 2004 by Tye Botting IP68.84.86.140 Hi, I'm not really from Texas - so no immediately helpful advice on where to find a school - sorry undecided However, what I can comment on is that it's entirely possible to find a school out there where kids are taught effective self-defense techniques and engage in extremely hard work at the same time. Well, maybe not so much children (ages 2-7/8 ), but teenagers (10-17/17) shouldn't be any real problem.

My first teaching gig was teaching a teenager class that initially had just 3 students - and they weren't very good students either. 1 was lazy and didn't want to work, 1 was a whiner and hated working hard, luckily the 3rd was pretty tough and easy to motivate. From those 3 students I was able to grow the class to average 30 or 40 students per class; yep, that's right per class not just overall. And these weren't easy classes, there were lots and lots of bumps and bruises, gallons of sweat everyclass as well as many times when "heart" was only the thing that kept them going.

I say all this not to pat myself on the back (I hurt myself once trying to do that happy), but to let you know that you shouldn't give up hope - there are good schools out there! I know that this is a Kung Fu board, but have you considered other arts? Arts like Judo, wrestling, boxing, bjj, and kickboxing can be great for kids. I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here (and if I am I'm sure Tye will let me know), but style is really a secondary concern to getting good instruction. You'll learn a lot more from a good boxing coach than you'll learn from a mediocre Hsing-I sifu - and that includes things like discipline, respect, humility, etc.


Tye Botting

Re: Legitimate Kung Fu training in north-Austin area?
Reply #5 Posted at Mon Mar 8 23:04:04 2004 IP204.196.55.102 Naw, my toes 're just fine. cheesy And this section of the forum's not really limited to kung fu or arnis or taijiquan in any case. MA General is just that - any MA discussion whatsoever is just fine here, even though it is hosted on kung fu site. wink

Anyway, I agree totally and 100% with you. The teacher makes far more difference in the long run than the particular style - even within a 'limited' style, a good teacher will often show how the style's supposed limitations are either not really there, or how they can be addressed in the real world, or whatever that gets you past them.
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