Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 61

Thread: Lots of Martial Arts Schools Are Closing?

  1. #1

    Lots of Martial Arts Schools Are Closing?

    So calling around Seattle, trying to find places to train if I relocate there, a common thread has come up, which is that a lot of schools are in fact closing or their memberships are really down.

    It seems the main schools surviving are the ones that have a lot of kids programs and teach really watered-down martial arts.

    Anybody else see this happening? Like for example, there are no more Tracys kenpo schools around Seattle, they've all shut down. Several instructors I called said they teach kids to stay alive but there are very few students anymore even for kids, and they wonder what's going on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lostin Austin
    Posts
    854
    http://www.makskungfu.com/

    your search is over!
    The 10 Elements of Choy Lay Fut:
    Kum, Na, Gwa, Sau, Chop, Pow, Kup, Biu, Ding, Jong

    The 13 Principles of Taijiquan:
    Ward Off, Roll Back, Press, Push, Pluck, Elbow, Shoulder, Split, Forward, Back, Left, Right, Central Equilibrium

    And it doesn't hurt to practice stuff from:
    Mounts, Guards, and Side Mounts!


    Austin Kung-Fu Academy

  3. #3
    Thanks, but no thanks. I don't want to learn a lot of useless forms.

    I've found a place that doesn't require forms. It's called Ring Sports United.

  4. #4
    The martial arts industry is just reaping what it's sown. Kids programs went from a way to generate money that went into the adult programs to taking over the schools. Also add on programs to learn self defense, weapons and all the other things that used to just be a part of learning martial arts and you have a great way to eventually undermine your own school.

    On the other hand a friend of mine is doing well by orienting his school toward families and by also renting out floor time to other arts.
    I quit after getting my first black belt because the school I was a part of was in the process of lowering their standards A painfully honest KC Elbows

    The crap that many schools do is not the crap I was taught or train in or teach.

    Dam nit... it made sense when it was running through my head.

    DM


    People love Iron Crotch. They can't get enough Iron Crotch. We all ride the Iron Crotch for the exposure. Gene

    Find the safety flaw in the training. Rory Miller.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lostin Austin
    Posts
    854
    Quote Originally Posted by neilhytholt
    Thanks, but no thanks. I don't want to learn a lot of useless forms.

    I've found a place that doesn't require forms. It's called Ring Sports United.
    Got it. You wanted martial sports, not martial arts.
    The 10 Elements of Choy Lay Fut:
    Kum, Na, Gwa, Sau, Chop, Pow, Kup, Biu, Ding, Jong

    The 13 Principles of Taijiquan:
    Ward Off, Roll Back, Press, Push, Pluck, Elbow, Shoulder, Split, Forward, Back, Left, Right, Central Equilibrium

    And it doesn't hurt to practice stuff from:
    Mounts, Guards, and Side Mounts!


    Austin Kung-Fu Academy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Destin, FL
    Posts
    388
    Quote Originally Posted by neilhytholt
    Thanks, but no thanks. I don't want to learn a lot of useless forms.

    I've found a place that doesn't require forms. It's called Ring Sports United.
    Im pretty sure that Maks doesnt teach but a handful of forms and focuses more on 2-man drills. Sounds like youve already nailed the coffin shut, but if you have an open mind, there is atleast one person on this forum that trains there who can give you more info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Looking for the Iron Monkey
    Posts
    1,863
    I think several things have impacted this trend.

    First, the rising popularity of Mixed Martial Arts. I think you will see more traditional Chinese Schools close while the MMA gyms survive. I believe that this is just a trend though.

    Second, the economy is bad. With rising gas prices everything is more expensive these days and it's harder for a small business like a martial arts school to survive.

    Third, people are more lazy these days and don't want to put in the hard work that is required at a martial arts school.

    Forth, some people think forms are useless.
    Check out my wooden dummy website: http://www.woodendummyco.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,080
    It is a sad state of affairs for TCMA schools at the moment. I think the reason kids classes are booming and adult classes aren't is that parents will pay the money for their kids to go and get excercise (instead of sitting in front of the tv) much more willingly than spend it on themselves. What i think has been working at a few schools i saw in my search for a school after i moved to MD was that classes with parents and kids together were pretty successfull.

    However, doesn't this bode well for the future of CMA? If you have all these kids learning at a young age it means that when they get a little older there will be more of a demand for CMA than there currently is. Of course that doesn't help ppl looking for a school right now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,080
    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Fox

    Forth, some people think forms are useless.
    Thats funny.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    38
    I think it's a lot of reasons - the price of gas, having to travel distrances for a good school, the cost of training - a lot of schools take advantage of students with price for testing, fees for sparing gear, and other hidden costs. If you look at movies these days, there's more action films and not so much an emphasis on martial art action films: Seagal, Van Damme, Ninja movies, the Karate Kid, are all a thing of the past. It's more some martial arts with guns. There's no "Kung Fu the Series" or "Vanishing Son."

    Finally, Americans are more overweight than ever. Joining a school and sticking with it takes effort and many people are looking for a quick fix with some flash.
    To Ah Mui with love.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by yutyeesam
    http://www.makskungfu.com/

    your search is over!

    Took a little look at this site and was amazed. The price was about $80-85 dollars a month!!!!

    Is that high or about the norm these days?

    Just wondering......

    (and not to point out this school, it was just the link I followed)
    "Pain heals, chicks dig scars..Glory lasts forever"......

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,080
    i would agree with you if it was just the McDojos. Its been my experience that they are the ones that are weathering the storm. It seems that the legit schools are suffereing more. I think that the McDojos tend to be better in the marketing of their schools whereas many of the "good" schools tend to have the "the proof is in the pudding" approach. Whether this is true everywhere i can not say but it was true where i used to live. I haven't paid too much attention to schools other than mine since i moved to MD. This of course also goes back to the kids. Kids like sashes (belts). So you end up creating belt factories in some of the schools and that keeps mom and dad paying and the Mc Dojo survives.

    I once spoke with a woman that ran a TKD school and she said to me that she hated that so many schools turn out such high ranking unskilled students. So i asked her why the students progress so fast if they aren't good enough. She said that many of those kind of schools get funding from the AAU but one of the requirements for the funding is that a certain percentage of the students attending have to show progress. So they pass them to keep their funding. That could be another reason for the longevity of the McDojo.

    Honestly i don't know if the AAU thing is true. That was just something someone told me.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Tiger
    Took a little look at this site and was amazed. The price was about $80-85 dollars a month!!!!

    Is that high or about the norm these days?

    Just wondering......

    (and not to point out this school, it was just the link I followed)
    That's the norm and actually a little bit on the cheaper side from what understand. I do know that what Master Bill charges is super super super SUPER cheap. Like crazy cheap. Of course, the COL in general is lower in Lexington though.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,270

    It's really about the economy

    Martial arts is a luxury in America. When the economy is bad on the middle/lower economic classes, attendance drops. It's happened before. Fix the economy and all sorts of wonderful things will bloom again, including martial arts.

    The rise of MMA hasn't really shown much economic impact on the traditional martial arts. It has shown more impact on the health clubs than anything, just like TaeBo did a few years back. The demographic for MMA is too narrow. Actually, TaeBo had a more significant impact because it had sex appeal. MMA has some sex appeal, in a sort of brokeback way, but it's more of macho appeal, like boxing really. TMA has a much broader appeal because it grabs the young and old. It may surprise you tough-talkers here, but the bulk of bill-paying MAtists are just in it for healthy pastime, especially with kids and those slightly past their physical prime. Most parents look at MMA cage fights and are turned off. That's not what they want to put there kids into. Since MMA is very physically demanding, it requires far more time on task than most people can invest. For them, some 'useless forms' are very useful. Like wushu (and who else would compare MMA to wushu but me?) there's not much money in it because the demographic. Generally, it's only the teens to thirty-somethings that has the time and the energy to invest seriously in these arts, and they seldom have a lot of bank, accept on the upper end, and that's when they tend to start looking for something a little less hard. Of course, there are exceptions, but looking at general economic trends, MMA only poses a threat to the timid.

    Don't get me wrong - I think MMA is great. I love sitting down with a beer and watching some good MMA. But I confess, I'm past my physical prime and there's no way I'm ever going to get in the cage at my age. Plus my whole interest in martial arts stems from sword practice, so MMA has little to offer me in that regard.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    For everybody that's ribbing me about the forms thing, please understand that for people with 20+ years experience in martial arts, learning new forms is kindof a waste of time. For one thing, if you study the applications, they overlap between the martial arts.

    Plus, who has the time to learn a bunch of new forms and practice them in addition to whatever forms you already practice? I sure don't. Add to that the fact that every new school requires you to do the forms their way. Yang Tai Chi, for example, there are so many different variations.

    So I think that a school where you can train in a fairly realistic manner (sparring) that doesn't require you to learn their forms or a lot of new techniques is probably optimal. Hence something like Ring Sports United with a MMA focus.

    As for what Gene said about the health thing, I think that's right on. Most of the people I've met recently in schools seem to be there to get healthy and lose weight. The martial arts was just a side thing that is less boring for them apparently than going to the gym and working out. Plus, you don't really want kids doing weights and treadmills.

    For example, the local TKD schools are loaded with kids and fat teens. TKD seems to be primarily a way for parents to stick their kids in something to help them stay in shape and lose weight, and the tournament and belt aspect keeps them interested. (Oh, and not to mention the time the kids spend in TKD is like a babysitter).

    Adult Tai Chi (non fighting and non contact) seems to be popular with everybody in the 35+ age range.

    Plus, there is the liability thing. You teach people martial arts like they used to, and you get hurts, ouchies, sprains, broken bones, etc., and that's a big liability. MA insurance is like the 1-2 million range, so if somebody sues you for over $2 million (if they break their neck in a throw you're probably looking like $10 million+). This is the reason I personally don't open a school. Otherwise, I'd open a school tomorrow.
    Last edited by neilhytholt; 04-27-2006 at 11:34 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •