Originally Posted by globetrotter
I work out in a long fist dojo (and really no offense to the style, it really is an issue with the dojo) but there isn't a blackbelt in the place, aside from 2 or 3 of the instructors and the owner, who I can't knock on their ass in sparing - and that is a controled enviroment. and I am a fat, short old man.
Gotta agree with the Krav Maga, in theory. I have no personal experience. As for the problem with your dojo now, I sympathize. My stepson has been in the school for all of about 12 lessons, and he is ready to test? WTF? Most of the upper level belts do not impress me either, unless they train particularly lazily. They say that the usual progression to black belt is 5-6 years, which, in my mind, is ridiculous. Maybe that can happen if you are natural super tough, have former experience, and train like a mofo (at least 5 times a week). It's a Taekwando school, and I've seen black belts with trouble drop spinning back kicks. I haven't trained in 3 years and can still pull one off decently.
When I learned long fist, I spent the first month in low horse stance, and whenever we (the beginners) weakened or shifted weight, the instructor (Sifu) would sweep our legs from under us and insult us. His favorite was "You weak like lamb. Fight like grandma" and then make mewling noises and mock out punching style. The second month or so, we learned to walk properly, and then basic punches and kicks. The guy was a real fan of punches in bunches. One exercise was to punch, in horse or front stance, as fast and strong as possible. Another was to punch a piece of solid oak, and then later, a steel plate. Knife handing and side and roundhouse kicking two-by-fours was pretty common too. The point was to toughen up the hands and legs for real fights. Half contact sparring was the norm. So yeah, definitely the dojo you are at.
Of course, the instructor was an old school guy from the Hong Kong tradition, and at about 65 years old then, could still do one finger pushups. His favorite form of humiliation was to tell us to make our most stabil stance, and then push us around the room (concrete, btw, and all the sparring was matless) with his index finger.
There were no ranks. Everyone knew who could kick whose' ass.