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Category:Sports, Stunts
Tags:MMA, white people, mcdojo, black belt
Submitted:RocketBlender
Date:08/19/13
Views:2558
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Comment count is 36
kennydra
Not sure if mentally handicapped...
sjohnson301
Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing. Like maybe these people are in some kind of "special" class and this is a real achievement for them.

RocketBlender
This is honestly super fucking common in a lot of US 'Martial Arts Dojo's, especially Taekwondo. 80% of the class is actually more memorizing choreography patterns than anything else. My parents sent me to one when I was around 10 and we still lived in Chicago thinking it would help me if I ever got in a fight, and half the class was patterns like punch 4 times, turn 45 degrees right, kick, punch four times, turn left, etc. They even test your memorization of it for belt advancement. Someone with a good memory for choreography could easily make it to black belt within a year, than start going up in degrees. I made it past green belt, then talked to my parents about dropping because I still hadn't learned a single damn thing that would actually help me in a fight. I'd have probably ended up in a similar video had I stuck with it.

This video from the same channel is a great example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw3L2mJXagY You can tell they're all practicing the same pattern, and yes, there are specific parts in it where they're supposed to yell. Also, this video is especially laughable because holy fuck these '6th degree black belts' are amazingly uncoordinated.

In short, it's just a regular taekwondo class, nothing 'special' about it.

FABIO
Martial arts classes are like Boy Scouts. It's a place to dump your kids for some harmless activity but holy crap does it get sad if you stick with it past 10.

baleen
Depends on the dojo of course.

RocketBlender
I'm sure there are good ones out there, no doubt of that. There's a fuckton of the 'buy your belt' ones in the states though. It's a bit of a shame, being a 'black belt' doesn't mean shit in suburbia.

Old_Zircon
Belt mean no need rope to hold up pants.

Cena_mark
Put down a "McDojo" tag.
urbanelf
0:50 Fatty McNugget

Cena_mark
I mean really 5th degree? Most of them can't even kick without dropping their guard. The first one especially with his need to flail his arms out when he kicks. I wonder how much they paid to take this test.

RocketBlender
My family paid in 1990s money for mine, so probably somewhere around there.

Cena_mark
I was at a McDojo when I was a kid. I remember belt tests for lower belts were about 30 or so and black belt tests were 0. So I'm imagining a 5th degree test would be much more.

Old_Zircon
Looking at these videos makes me realize the ca. 1990 McDojo I was in for about a year wasn't as bad as I thought. I mean it was bad, but it wasn't THIS bad.

EvilHomer
I was at a really, really good dojo for awhile, one of those places where everyone takes things seriously, and black belts only get awarded to people who've put years of hard work in. Best of all, we had this small-town-community atmosphere; everyone knew each other and we didn't really give two shits about the business end of things, we just came down to see our friends, work out, and learn how to kick ass. My favorite part was our belt tests; for junior grades, we could expect about an hour and a half of running through katas and sparring with the sensei and showing off our high kicks and getting screamed at in Japanese. It was part karate class, part military smoke session. And for black belts, their tests lasted five, six hours at a time, longer if you were going for a higher dan. You couldn't even go to the bathroom once it started, or they'd fail you and you'd have to wait a month. It was real, grueling military shit, but it was fun, and we knew that all of our black belts got that belt because they wanted it, and they deserved it.

The owners were really open to different martial arts (they had an early sort of MMA philosophy), rather than just sticking to rigid forms and old Japanese ideals of correctness. We'd do a lot of sparring, and we'd have guest teachers come in for "enrichment", like a prison guard who was an expert in Muay Thai, or this little old Japanese man who was a Jujitsu beast and threw my ass into a wall. Not that we didn't have rigid forms to do too, oooohhhh noooo, we had rigid forms alright, rigid forms in spades. Our dojo was big on katas, formal combat routines codified by hundreds of years of Japanese tradition. Our kata lessons were especially brutal; we'd have to do them under boards to make sure our stances stayed low and powerful, and we would be hit by a foam bat for something as simple as not snapping your gi hard enough when you performed a side kick (sensei said the SNAP was how he could tell we were putting enough force and momentum into our movements). The first day we joined the dojo, our sensei would teach us a kata known as Taikyoku Shodan. That fucker was like our bread and water - we'd have to do it ten times a day, at least until we hit our senior belts, at which point we'd be doing it *twenty* times a day. And this was in addition to three or four dozen other katas, all of which, whether they were considered beginner or expert level, we were expected to take completely seriously at all times, lest we get whipped upside the head with a foam bat.

We cycled through a sensei pretty much every year - they were all pretty good, including one guy who was on the US Olympic team, but there were some big money issues behind the scenes and a rash of bad luck. We got to the point where the dojo was in danger of closing down, and one day, our last sensei just up and skipped town, leaving us with nobody in charge, and even worse, nobody responsible for the bills. Now, two of our senior black belts were actually a pair of kids, teenage brothers and karate prodigies, the kind who trained ten hours a day, competed in national tournaments, and beat up bullies in school (the eldest tried his hand at being the bully once, and got hit with some real Mr Miyagi guilt trips). Their dad - a real nice guy, one of the best people I ever knew, he helped *me* out of more personal jams than my own deadbeat father did - he really didn't want to see his kids lose that dojo. They were Puerto Rican and came from a bad neighbourhood, so it's like, dojo or the Latin Kings, take your pick. So HE bought the dojo. This guy was dirt poor, a divorced UPS driver raising two kids all by himself, but he took on the entire dojo's debt himself, just so we could keep going.

We didn't have a sensei anymore, but our black belts decided to take over the school. Like an informal martial arts commune, or something. You'd show up whenever, and these two teenage ninjas, the biker lady, or whoever, they'd teach a class. They'd get really creative with it sometimes, too - like doing twenty minutes of Japanese sand punching exercises, having an hour of kendo, or setting up a free running course in the parking lot. It was really cool how everyone came together as a community, how we all just loved the dojo and did it for everything BUT the business.

But there was a LOT of debt, and six months later, the father came down with a degenerative spinal disease. It hit him hard, and fast. All of his money was put into the dojo, and he didn't have very good medical insurance, so... yeah, you see where this is going. One of the saddest times in my life, and I won't get into the details. He didn't quit, though! He kept right on paying the dojo bills and coming down to cheer us on, even when he was in a wheelchair, even when it'd got so bad he could barely talk. We tried to do some fundraising, but there was absolutely nothing we could do, either for the building or for his medical situation. We lasted maybe another two months.

After that, I really couldn't take it anymore, so I dropped out of martial arts for a year or so. Then I found out one of my buddies was going to this chain dojo, I forget the name of it, but he wanted me to come along and I was like, OK, I'll come down and do some shit with you.

I'd been a purple belt back in my old place (hardly a bouncer), but the McDojo didn't honor our belting system, so it was back to white for me. The first thing that struck me was how big the place was - thirty, forty plus kids, when I'd been used to maybe a half dozen at a time. The second thing that struck me was how few shits anyone seemed to give. I remember doing some blocking exercises with a resident black belt, and the kid was flopping his arms around with this expression on his face, like his mom had just asked him to take out the trash. Looked rather like the jokers in this video, come to think of it. Don't get me wrong, I was no bouncer, and I got my ass routinely handed to me at my old place. But the fuck was a black belt acting like that for?

Within two weeks the McDojo gave me my first belt test. All the belts were lumped together, from white belts clear up to brown belts taking their final exams. We did some basic exercises, "Show us a high punch! Show us a Middle Block!" and then the sensei said, OK, whatever, good enough. Good enough?! Yep, good enough, you can sit down now if you want.

Ten minutes later, the instructor wrapped up the test. The last thing he'd grade us on was katas. KATAS! Yes! Something I knew really, really well. We'd do my good friend, Taikyoku Shodan. So I put my hand up and said, hey, I'll do it! This'll be fun!

ONE OTHER PERSON knew it. ONE person. Now, I guess, different schools, different ways of teaching, whatever, shouldn't judge the McDojo too harshly for not teaching Taikyoku Shodan, right? My partner in crime was a brown belt, the most senior belt grade in the class, and two years younger than me. So we both get up, and we start going through it. Only it's immediately clear that the brown belt's stance is shit. He's standing too high and his center of gravity is all off. He starts to fall over. I shit you not, the poor kid's legs start to wobble and he lurches over to one side, boom, flat on his ass. So our instructor jumps up and grabs his protege, puts him back on his feet, and we start the count again. This happens three more times by the end of it.



Guess who got his black belt that day?





So that's my McDojo story. I never went back after that.

Old_Zircon
I think I was lucky in that mine was a shitty, regional belt farm franchise but the guy who taught at this location was actually serious about it and (at least from my memory) pretty good (I don't know where he trained but I believe it had taken him about a decade to get to 3rd degree black belt, which seems reasonable). A couple years after I left he got enough money together to go independent, which was probably a big improvement. He managed to stay in business at that location for 10-15 more years and for all I know he still is someplace.

Jimmy Labatt
Five for Evilhomer's story. Good read!

RocketBlender
Mine was't good by any stretch of the imagination, but at the very least the students were somewhat coordinated, even if we had no idea how to fight.

Even at the lower belt levels like mine everybody moved together when doing the patterns. This video (and others on the channel) makes it looks like they're having a race.

Old_Zircon
Mine was about 80% sparring, and while belts came too quickly it at least took me two years to earn my barely-deserved green belt, which is a lot longer than these guys must have taken to get to black belt.

RocketBlender
Yeah, mine was almost all patterns and kick form. I had my green belt in a few months. It wasn't long after that I asked my parents if I could quit, when I realized that many circles considered a green belt to be pretty damn impressive (mine sure wasn't), and here I had one and still didn't know how to throw a punch.

RocketBlender
Okay, I just got around to adding the tags, and came across this in the McDojo tag. http://poetv.com/video.php?vid=125741

Was mine the only place that had their students actually move in unison with one another? It seriously looks like these guys are having a race.

cognitivedissonance
Now tell us about getting your third degree in Reiki.

Raggamuffin
"White People" tag.
Jet Bin Fever
I liked this version a little better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3LVrVtbrPk

Especially the ending.
bopeton
I'm certain I can beat the shit out of every one of these people...
StanleyPain
I know kung fu.
glasseye
This is a terrible imitation of Tae Kwon Do.

rhombus
This is just sad on so many levels. On this guy's original channel (where comments are disabled) there are many more specimens of failure.

http://www.youtube.com/user/onlywercnc/videos
The Mothership
lotta heavy breathing for karate, there.
Scrotum H. Vainglorious
I love black belt fail week.
Old_Zircon
http://tinyurl.com/ko5qbpp
BHWW
It would have been more diginified for them to have a weepy, sissy slapfight with hair-pulling and high-pitched squeals.
memedumpster
Fucking blend weights, why is the damned number between zero and one, do they hate goddamned integers or what?
Spaceman Africa
On guard, let me try your Wu-Tang style
pyslexic dharmacist
I'm really, really tempted to see if I can fake this.
Bobonne
I know a guy who's currently training for his black belt karate test.

The test is thus: all the other black belts in the dojo are going to be attacking him, one by one, for a minute each, full contact, and he has to do his best to continue fighting (not submit or be KO'd) through all of them.

Apparently, the test for the 5th dan is all the black belts attacking you at the same time, and the time limit you have to stay up (they learn some ground fighting and grappling techniques there, too) and fighting for is five minutes.

Different dojos, different flavors, from authentic bull-horn-chopping to mcdojo.

This is a classic video, though, and now I'm going to go see if I can hunt down a replacement for it.
Old People
Meh. Harmless enough, and it makes silly people feel happier about themselves and gets them to exercise.
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