Signs of a bad karate school? – Fred Mergen

Signs of a bad karate school? – Fred Mergen

What are the bad signs of a karate school
or what are the red flags that should come up? When you first walk in, remember your first
impressions about the school are usually correct. So if you walk in and the instructor is not
dressed properly or he’s not clean shaven, uses foul language in class….those are big
red flags. You look at the prices and they are more than
your monthly payment for a car, that’s a big red flag. If they make you pay for the year upfront,
that’s a big red flag. Again, walk into the karate school and you
should feel at home, it should be a friendly atmosphere. If it smells and smells like a
dirty gym locker that’s a big red flag. Watch classes a couple of times, is the instructor
good with the kids? Yes? Awesome that’s a good flag. If he talks down to the kids that’s
a big red flag, make sure that he’s having fun with the kids or she’s having fun with
the kids. Everyone just use your common sense when you
walk in. Everyone knows the difference between something bad and something good, just trust
your judgement. But the only thing is, is they ask you for money upfront or they make
you pay upfront, big red flag, big no no. If they do that look us up, Mergen Martial
Arts, we’ll take care of you.


100 thoughts on “Signs of a bad karate school? – Fred Mergen”

  • Miyamoto Musashi the samurai author of the Book of Five Rings was infamously unkempt. He was also victorious in numerous duels to the death and was even ambushed in some of his duels by multiple samurai so he would just kill them all.

  • Wait so the gym is not supposed to smell like a gym? I feel the opposite if it aint a bit rank peeps aint workin hard enough…

  • Remember. What this man says is the truth. However some gyms have these red flags while still being very effective. What he's describing by the high-end business model with the upfront contract and stuff like that is how most schools operate these days. Look for these red flags but don't turn away at school just buy one simple red flag. My school offers that brotherhood sense that he describes my coach will cuss at me. But when he speaks with the ladies in our class his demeanor is truly different. I have watched him and our kids classes and he is truly different. Yes the contract was a red flag but it is paid off in full. I would not have my instructor and his wife and children be wanting while I learn how to defend myself. I have help to run a martial art school myself so I understand why the long term contracts are a necessity. Customer turnover in martial arts is very high. Most people aren't meant for this.

  • I agre with most things said here but please chack out the credentials of a master Sensei teacher or instructure as all must have official certificates that are uptodate no matter which martial art they teach. A black belt on its own is not good enough to be a Sensei let alone types of uniforms so check them out on affiliation of that type of martial art. There are some Chinese martial arts that are banned and no longer recongnised because of how dangerous they are and manly were used by Triads and kept secrete.

  • KravMagaKitchener says:

    I'm not sure if you're connected to them or not, but I think it's kinda funny that you have what looks like the logo from John Hakleman's "The Pit" gym in your logo, and bear a striking resemblance to Chuck Lidell…

  • NappaTheProducer says:

    I was turned off one school by two things. First they wouldn't allow me to take a contract home with me. Second, I picked up on the little detail that in order to ended my membership I had to write a letter to some location on the other side of the country. Not by phone, email or even in person. So got information for that location and turns out it was completely outdated and unused, I had to speak to someone who actually had contact to reach the real office.

  • I'm On Your Roof says:

    Not clean shaven? So, if Chuck Norris were the instructor, you'd call him out.
    Or better yet, by your standards, even you aren't qualified to be an instructor !

  • Tekopua Kanapanapa says:

    Did he not just say "if the instructor is not dressed properly" big red flag? so flame shorts with a black belt is ok? lol

  • Mandy Mindy and Molly says:

    I attended a karate school for a few years but do thai boxing wrestling and bjj now. I would send my child to thai boxing over karate now, I believe it to be a better martial art.

  • Mikus Aurelius says:

    You're not clean shaven my man. the fuck you talking about? Who cares if they're clean shaven? If the place says KARATE out front and there's dudes in there doing those stupid forms and some of the other ridiculous shit they do, don't bother. You'd be better off training boxing/kickboxing and jiu-jitsu or judo, or all of them. Karate places are always a rip off unless you find the rare gym that actually teaches you something. i would go to a taekwondo place before i went to KARATE. The word Karate makes me cringe.

  • BenjaminGessel says:

    Good karate schools: Belts actually mean something (students REALLY need to work HARD to progress), and instructors are fit, EXTREMELY skilled/knowledgable in martial arts, and professional. You get REAL training.

    Bad karate schools: Belts mean very little, in reality. Very little emphasis on conditioning AND sparring. Instructors are a joke, out of shape, sometimes with completely bogus credentials. You get ripped off.

    The majority of McDojos just don't train students hard enough before they advance to the next belt color, etc. Because all the parents want their kids to have a "black belt"… (Groan…)

  • My big red flag is any karate dojo that uses Mr. Miyagi's Bonsai symbol. I'M LOOKING AT YOU LAS VEGAS KARATE SCHOOL!

  • Rebelution Athletics says:

    This dude is a the biggest joke lol. Clean shaven? Dude can't even decide if he wants to look like Chuck Liddel or Tito Ortiz!

  • Nice video but don't bad mouth martial art instructors who has sales experience and have the balls meet the price they ask and for the value of it. If you're not able to ask for a price of full pay for a year and then I'm so sorry you don't believe in your product

  • Tovarish Karno says:

    My coach swears but he's a really nice and funny guy. No contracts. Even a free trial. However we are BJJ only

  • remember, if the gym smells like a gym, then you definitely don't want that gym because they actually train hard instead of worrying about dumb shit like how the gym smells.

  • This is ridiculous. Different clubs have different atmospheres. With some of the casual, 18+ clubs, the instructor may swear quite a bit. He might be relaxed and not focus too much on appearances. Actually, an instructor that is all about appearances probably runs a McDojo.

  • ArmedPenguins says:

    Sorry to say but as someone who lives in Japan, authentic Karate schools are gonna be hard to find outside. It would be best to find the Karate Ryuha you want to join and contact them.

  • Signs of a bad MA school: If they don't let you have at least 1 free tryout session; if the head instructor has a cult personality; if the students are poor.

  • My big red flags:
    -Chi, ki, voodoo nonsense
    -There are more than twice as many students in the kids class than the adult
    -The kids have black belts
    -The instructor acts arrogant
    -The training studio doesn't smell like sweat / more than half of the regulars are obese
    -They spend more time on "forms" than sparring or cardio

  • if they have a good kids class its a big positive flag for any adult wanting to start as a complete novice an instructor who can teach children well can often break techniques down into steps that are easy to explain.

  • 3K Martial Arts Shihan Erika says:

    It's like I want the academies to give almost free class, as if they did not pay rent, instructors and more. Bad schools are NOT free, teach responsibility, pay for what we consume. You do not eat free at a restaurant, nor do they give you free classes at a gym. Because they always put Martial Arts masters as begging for the payment of knowledge. Bad schools on which teach irresponsibility, are those who do not educate, that is bad.

  • what i hate the most in martial arts intructor is, they would tell kids to do exercises and himself go to talking to someone else in phone. and that phone talk never ends. BIG RED FLAG!

  • Finlay Beaton says:

    Was i the only one who read the title and thought the thumbnail was going to be an example of a "bad karate school"

  • Not clean shaven says the guy with a goatee, not dressed properly says the guy with a thrasher t-shirt and flame board shorts. Hahahaha

  • Mohamed amine Lemmakni says:

    This is guy is the definition of a MC dojo….first saying his dojo is better…..making odds rules(clean shaved instructor)….contradict himself(his own rules)
    This better be a joke.

  • LightningStrikes66 says:

    If anyone is interested That skull logo is from Chuck Liddell’s lineage. Trained with the creator John Hackleman who is grandmaster from Kajukenbo which has ties to kenpo. They have a Great school with a great practical curriculum, that blends modern and traditional training practices well.

  • Esteban Outeiral Dias says:

    Idk if that should be a red flag or not.

    My sensei is a red white belt and my second sensei is a 7th dan black belt (in my country you have to be judged by the world karate federation in order to pass dan so it's not a fake black belt.
    It's really hard to pass belt in my dojo.
    But there's old persons and kids with brown or black belts.
    I'm guessing it's just to entertain kids and because old people can't do the same thing than us so it's a different type of ranking ?
    Cause they seem really serious about us and our belts so I guess it's not a mcdojo maybe they are just nice with the elders 🤔

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