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A "black belt factory" of sorts, where the bar is set low.
From the rec.martial-arts FAQ, Newbie Guide ∞
Version 2.0, Kirk Lawson. Last-Modified: 28 July 2003
First, let's look at the dreaded "McDojo." These are usually schools who's sole goal is to part you from your money without ever imparting any real Martial Arts knowledge. These can sometimes be difficult to detect since part of the successful money-student separation is to convince the student that useful information is, in fact, being taught while devising ever more ways to implement the money-student separation.
This separation is often achieved by having fee after fee after fee and required expenditures on and on and on. For instance, schools that require you to buy only their branded uniforms and gear, require you to sign long contracts, have no "move refund" option in their contract, or high-pressure sales pitches. Another common tactic is to have numerous belt test requirements and sub-ranks, all with a fee, non-refundable if the student "flunks" his test. An example would be a school which has students ranked, "Second Stripe, Decided, Green Belt" or similar. These schools may also require weekend training trips.
Besides the red flags listed above, a few other's that may indicate a "McDojo" include: Any school that promises you a Black Belt in under 3 years or routinely produces Black Belts in 2 years. Any school which seems to have overly young or inexperienced experts (usually "Black Belts" or "Dan ranks") - for example a school recently made the news, noteworthy because they had just promoted a three year old toddler to "Black Belt" and they had a five year old child as a 2nd Dan (second degree) "Black Belt."
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