It used to be so simple.
When I grew up, Karate was so cool.
I remember playing Ninja Turtles outside with my friends ’til it got dark.
Then we went inside, to play Street Fighter on my Super Nintendo (or watch The Karate Kid) until we fell asleep – tightly gripping our foam nunchucks.
Karate was my perfect world…
…where a small fighter could overcome evil forces through hard work and dedication.
I wanted that world.
But things changed.
Today, as a full time Karate instructor and dojo owner, I realize it was all a dream.
That spark just isn’t there anymore.
It’s time to make a change…
I’m opening a “McDojo”.
(Yes. You read right.)
I’m opening a McDojo; where I will teach XMA (Extreme Martial Arts) focusing mainly on money, ranks, tournaments, marketing, merchandize and huge kids classes.
I’ll tell you why:
#1: Zero Money in Traditional Karate
Have you ever heard of a traditional sensei becoming a billionaire?
So riddle me this:
Why should I waste my precious time teaching valuable life skills, effective self-defense, moral lessons, holistic breathing exercises and traditional values when people aren’t interested?
- Kids these days don’t want to learn boring punches in horse stance.
- They want to learn 360-spinning-dragon-tiger-backflip-twist-kicks.
Traditional Karate puts food on the table.
But I’d rather have a Lambo in the driveway.
You feelin’ me?
#2: Nobody Knows “Correct” Karate
A famous Japanese master told me to always turn on my heels when I move.
Another master told me to turn on the ball of my foot.
Some masters tell me to chamber my fist at the armpit, others to chamber it at the hip.
How can everyone be right?
I want a clear-cut, perfect answer.
But there is none. Why?
Because Karate is an old-school martial art based on a myriad of fighting methods combined to an eclectic mix of unarmed combat, hailing from ancient Okinawa.
It wasn’t created by modern professionals with a scientific understanding of human physiology.
I can’t sell that to people!
That’s why I’ll teach XMA instead: a hybrid of martial arts, acrobatics and showmanship.
A backflip is always a backflip.
#3: Let’s Face It: Karate Is Not “Hip”
That’s cool stuff.
- White pajamas?
- Bruised arms?
That’s NOT cool… like, ever.
Yet, people insist on keepin’ up with the outdated image of 80’s Karate style.
Sure, you can do nice deep stances in Chuck Norris’ Action Jeans. I get it. But kids today wear saggy pants. They listen to hip-hop. They say “swag”. They take selfies.
Karate instructors need to embrace this.
A “selfie” with a bruised arm will never be “swag”!
Traditional Karate is simply too brutal, practical and hard for modern society.
That’s why, in my new McDojo, I will introduce more belts, more colours (gold, military camo) and more patches, more exotic techniques, more cool terms (
mawashi-geri YOLO Kick), more cool music (my Justin Bieber playlist for Elite Babies Competition Master Class is already completed) and waaaay less discipline.
Karate should be fun and very easy.
Otherwise, why do it?
Hard things are boring.
#4: Oh, I Almost Forgot About These:
- Training will always be done to music. There will be a DJ booth in the dojo.
- There will be a sign that says “100% Black Belt Guaranteed in 90 Days”.
- Everyone will have stripes on their belts (to signify how much they paid). If you’re late with a payment, I take a stripe away.
- The mandatory age for black belt is 5 years old.
- I’ll never teach new katas. They will have to buy my 8-disc DVD series for that.
- Individual development and personal expression shall be non-existant. A strong conformist mentality is encouraged, since this inflexible mindset makes it easy for me to rule the dojo and ensure nobody gets better than me.
- The infamous “no-touch K.O”? It’s part of yellow belt basics. In fact, each class always starts with 10 minutes of harnessing ki/chi-energy power.
- Gradings will take maximum 20 min.
- I will repeatedly make reference to the notorious “street” (and what works/doesn’t work there) even though I’ve never been in a street fight.
- Kata is a dance. Nothing more. Studying the actual meaning of the movements is frowned upon. The important part is that you scream like a crazy person.
- Etc. etc. etc…
You get the point.
Many sleepless nights went into this, but I feel it’s the right thing to do.
The traditional Karate concepts of introspection, striving for perfection, pushing the limits and training until you puke simply don’t make sense in today’s fast-paced social media world anymore.
Classical Karate is dying, guys.
We need to evolve.
We need things like this:
“The only thing constant in life is change.”
– Heraclitus (535-475 BC)
I hope you’ll follow me in my new journey.
Thanks for understanding.
PS. April fools! 😛