Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trouble at the Gym

After working out at the new gym for... maybe three months now, drama, that so often accompanies Martial Arts, has entered the scene. The guy who ran the Muay Thai class was a young guy, not terribly experienced, and new to the teaching gig. His workouts were disjointed, and didn't really focus on anything. I come in and we have some talks about his class, how to run a workout and such. The classes much improve and there is actual method to his madness.
Then he starts to feel the "coach" crunch. You always have to be there for the class. Guys are always on you about cornering and individual training. Fighters walk in and want special training because they have a fight upcoming and they feel they are entitled to the extra time.

As the classes improve, the number of students increase, and the training has to adjust to accommodate the additional people. Fighters still want to dominate the time. He gets fed up, and walks away.

The gym owner then calls me up asking me to take over the Muay Thai class, AND do an MMA class. He says that he will pay. I am left holding the bag. If I say no, there is no more Muay Thai at the gym. If I say yes, I am the chucklemonger who now has four days of classes to do, train fighters, do privates, and corner fighters. I just wanted to get a kickboxing workout a few times a week.

I had to tell the owner no dice. I don't have the time, or the inclination to do such a thing. The guy counters and asks how much it would take for me to teach the classes. I have heard this story before. I am not sure who he is used to negotiating with, but I am sure that he is not used to negotiating the kind of numbers that it would take for me to do these classes.
I tell him it is not about the money, it is about the desire to teach, and the time commitment involved. I told him that I gave careful consideration to his request, even to go so far as to contact my old gym for some ideas in to how to run the classes successful. I simply do not want the added commitment that will surely rob me of of what little alone time I have with my wife.

The other reason I did not want to commit to the classes is the clientele. A good half of the class has served time, half of those have been in for drug related felonies. I work as a contractor for the government. My wife is a resident physician. I need to maintain a security clearance, and she has to keep her DEA number. There is NO way I am going to put all of that at stake by teaching a bunch of ex-cons how to fight.
In the eyes of the DEA and the Government, you can associate with people who have had assaults, larcenies, tax fraud, general fraud, but once you step in to drugs, it is over for you. I take the class I run the risk of blowing my wife's, and my, future. No thanks.

The gym owner could have respected my position, said, that's fine I will let you know if we have somebody else to teach the class. Or, could have parted ways amicably. No, he actually said, "Fuck you very much. I didn't know you were the type of guy to fuck a friend." Wow. This dude didn't even know my name until a few days ago. We are friends now?
I told him that I was sorry he felt that way. He responded with another fuck you, and hung up the phone.

The silly thing is, that I now feel bad for the guy. I understand his position, I get that the cons are the only guys coming in to the gym. I understand that with out the income that they produce, he can't grow his gym in to some place respectable. I get that my teaching there would be a big step forward on the way to respectability. I get all of that, but another big step forward would be how he treats people. Talking that way to somebody who you could not manage to negotiate a deal with is just unprofessional.

So I am ronin once again. I am nearly to the point of simply paying for private classes when I have the time to train. It will cost me about the same as the gym membership, and I would get a better workout. Or I could just join the karate gym and attempt to form it in to a better Kickboxing gym, though I would, again, have to deal with teaching class. Not something that I want to do. I just want to train.

I realize now that if I am going to train I need to go to a gym that costs a little money. Yeah, it is a pain in the ass, and I don't want to do it, but it keeps the riffraff out. I don't have to worry about broke former meth addicts coming to the gym when the cost of the gym is $100 a month. I just have to deal with preppy douchebag Jersey Shore rejects who want to trane UFC. *SHUDDER*

So I have a couple of prospects. There is the Muay Thai gym that is next to my work, but far away from my house. They have a Noon to 3 class... I don't know what they do for three hours in the middle of the day, but I have sent an email asking what's up. I don't have time for a three hour workout in the middle of the day, but If it is set up to be three classes, that might be easier to handle.

The other is American Top Team. One of their black belts opened an ATT in OKC. It is about half way between the house and work. Their times suck, BJJ and Muay Thai is at 8pm. BUT they have a BJJ/MMA class at 7am. I could go and do a morning workout. The problem with this gym, besides the crappy times, is that they are over the top expensive. I mean almost $150 a month. That certainly keeps the riffraff out, but holy cow who can afford to pay that much?

I am near the end of my rope with Martial Arts training. I might have to give it up, something I am loathe to do. Life gets in the way, and it is certainly in the road up ahead.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Have you thought about biking? Ghey Kevin could make some spandex recommendations and you could post the pics? Like a little fashion show? You know you want to.
F you very much - LOL - what an idiot.