Forumites! I've recently started taking boxing lessons from a gym trainer associated with my school, and it's been going well. My taekwondo background also helped with keeping my wits about me in the midst of sparring. Anyway, I'd like to know if anyone on here has ever or still takes lessons or competes in any martial art (from karate to wrestling). And if anyone's got a gym experience to share. I'll start us off...
I went to a gym that's 13 miles away, after Googling any martial arts schools/gyms/dojos nearby. Since I live way way put of town, my options for a place were very limited. So I ended up going to the gym that looked the least shitty from what I saw on Google images. I get there and the place looks very run-down, with peeling signs on the dirty window that advertised a few exotic-sounding martial arts (shin ji, kenpo, Chinese kickboxing). The inside looks worse, with a few lost-looking dojo walls closing off an area with two rowing machines (I think that's what they're called) and a kitchen area in the corner, a couch in front of that, and a relatively wide patch of foam mats. The guy who owns the place is a bald, old-looking man and his 15-ish daughter. He sits us (my parents came with me) down and starts a spiel about learning the "highest" forms of martial arts. I ask questions about them (I was looking for a place that taught muay thai, or boxing) and he dismisses all the martial arts I ask about or say I'm looking for with more rants about his superior arts. He ends the discussion with a solid "You think you can handle it?" It's a good tactic to end with a yes/no question when you're trying to manipulate/scam/con some fools (though my only prior experience with that was entirely in Filipino) and both my parents were leaning towards yes. I, despite already having that nagging feeling that this whole endeavour would end in nothing but wasted money, said yes. Fast forward a few months and the guy's charged me $65 bucks per month, around $195 for how long I was there, and an additional $100 for a shin ji dummy. All I've learned in the time I was there was a few forms in shin ji and sword. I've not competed like I wanted to (or been taken to watch a competition, as some trainers do to newbies who want to compete).
Phew, that turned out a bit more rant-y than I would've thought.
Well, there you go. I do take a lot of the blame for falling for that scam, and I know I'm right to do so. I was very very new to everything here (States) and I hadn't found my "voice" (my general term for ideal way of speaking, tone, body language, etc for optimal conversation with locals without having to repeat myself a dozen times) yet. Nor had I the confidence and assertiveness required to deter that con-artist. But I allowed him to suck money out of my wallet for three months before finally realizing that I would never get anything worth the money out of that place, and that I'd be better off in another gym that costs half as much and teaches twice as much practical things. That was entirely on me.
However, I still didn't leave that place the way I wanted to (denounce the bastard and his superior Death-Touch martial art and return, triumphant, with several awards from all the competitions I'd won in). I left without warning, and without returning two books about miyamoto musashi to the trainer. I did that because I'm still not entirely sure that I'm in the right on this. Maybe I hadn't given the guy the chance to teach me, and I'd been fighting him through the whole thing.
Eh, I won't worry about it. The bastard taught me nothing but forms.
Ok, I didn't actually mean to write something this long on here, but I got banned from bay12 forums and its invaluable Life Advice subforum, and plus, since there's not as many folks on here, there'd be a smaller chance of people weighing in and giving false gym stories. Sorry I went overboard with that post.