Martial Arts Myth #7 – “There are no REAL martial arts schools or styles anymore – they are all just belt factories or McDojos.”

Whenever I hear this one, it makes my blood boil.

Many of the people that I have heard say that there are no “real” martial arts schools anymore fall into one of several categories:

The first one is the Old-Timer – that doesn’t study anymore – who studied the martial arts overseas or in the military decades ago in a blood-n-guts type of dojo. He thinks if the students aren’t bleeding and dragging broken limbs out the door after every class like he used to, then it isn’t “real training.” Having known martial artists that trained overseas back in the sixties, it was a very tough type of training back then but even now, training styles and methodologies have changed and improved over time.

The second one is the Forum Moderator that lives in his Command Center (basement of his Mom’s house).  He has studied multiple martial arts styles (mastering none of them), usually including a “lost” style that is only handed down to one person from generation to generation and he somehow was chosen by one of these “masters” to pass on this sacred family style. He has also studied from many alleged “masters” teaching out of a garage or backyard; he  has every single article ever written about Bruce Lee and actually believes you can levitate if you sit and meditate long enough.

To be fair – there is nothing wrong with training with someone who teaches out of the home. It is also a common practice for someone to train with different instructors over the course of their martial arts careers. The point is that there are too many so-called “masters” that prey on people who are easily influenced or don’t know any better who get scammed. While the student thinks they are learning the “Ancient Long Lost Style of Ninja Death Touch” and the “master” only teaches out of the home because he “promised to keep the martial arts style secret” and “it’s too dangerous to show just anyone”, the reality is the student is being lied to, probably learning a martial art that was made up and getting stolen from in the form of paying tuition.

There is also the prototypical young, tough-as-nails aspiring mixed martial arts fighter that thinks anything is not MMA, “Ain’t real, bro…” This person is usually someone that went into ONE dojo, had a bad experience and has therefore labeled all dojos remotely like that one, “bad”. While mixed martial arts fighters are tough, skilled and physically fit and they usually have solid technique – mixed martial arts and martial arts training are like comparing apples and oranges.

You are an intelligent, forward-thinking, success-minded individual; I am positive you can see how the lives and experiences of people like this would color their opinions.

While Z-Ultimate may be one of the largest of its kind with seventy-plus locations nationwide and growing, we did NOT get that way by “giving away rank” or delivering shabby quality martial arts training. If we did – especially in this day of  the Internet and social media – we would not be in business very long.

While there ARE schools out there that may not be delivering the best quality service or martial arts instruction, Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios prides itself on making everyone earn their way up the ranks. We have standards for performance for earning belt ranks, and very demanding standards for awarding advanced rank in our style. On the rare occasion a student testing for a belt rank is not up to our standards, that student is not allowed to pass. We then contact that student’s instructor and find out why the student wasn’t ready.  This is something many martial arts schools never do.

We pride ourselves on making everyone earn every single one of their ranks. Just like in life or your career, you have to earn everything you get here.  Time doesn’t do it; just showing up doesn’t cut it.  It is all about always delivering your best personal performance, and you are only as good as your last performance.

On top of that, Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios was formed by a group of martial arts masters, with almost two hundred years of experience in the martial arts. These men have been practicing and/or teaching the martial arts for their entire lives, so they know what works, what doesn’t and how to teach it in the most effective way. They also care deeply for each and every student of Z-Ultimate and feel it is their responsibility to make sure that each and every student can protect themselves and their loved ones.

Earning your way up the ranks and being pushed to perform is one thing – what about the history of the martial art; where it is from, who the “Grandmaster” is, how many Black Belts there are and all that jazz?

Let me ask you a question:  does it really matter?

While we have a long history and tradition, Z-Ultimate believes that what REALLY matters is what YOU want out of your training – and can the program you choose deliver?

No one – except the hard core martial arts enthusiasts and historians – care about who so-and-so is, who your instructor is/was, who promoted who or any of that nonsense; what matters is the quality of the training and does it work.  Period.

If that is a definition of a “real” martial art, then Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios is the place for you.

The reality is that we CAN trace our lineage through a long line of masters; we just choose not to emphasize it.  We want to focus on delivering our best to YOU.

We are ready, willing and able to prove it; find out for yourself by simply filling out the form below and registering for a Free 30 Day Test Drive – No Cost, No Obligation. After you fill out the form, you will be taken to a page to find a location near you. Once you find the nearest location, you will then schedule your first class online.

After you register for your Free 30 Day Test Drive, you will be sent a confirmation e-mail and someone from the school will contact you to confirm your appointment.

When you arrive at the dojo for your class, you will get to meet your instructor, get a tour of the facility and go through a short interview. After that, you are going to get your first martial arts class!

Please fill out the form below to get started:


To learn the answer to Martial Arts Myth #8, “Martial arts classes and mixed martial arts (MMA) are the same thing.” click button below:

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