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McDojo Class Length

One of the easiest ways to tell if you are in a McDojo is by the class length. A typical class length for adults and older children will be an hour. Younger children will be either 30 minutes or 45 minutes (give or take). The reason for this is profit margins for the school. Floor space (rent) is the biggest budgetary expense they have.  So the more space you have for larger classes the more it costs to operate. In order to maximize the use of your floor space (instead of increasing it), you need to increase the number of classes you run. In order to run more classes they have to be shorter in duration. The more classes you have, the more students you can maintain in the same school/floor space. The more students the more money comes into the school.

Most potential students are hobbyist, and just looking for a good exercise routine etc. to help improve their lives, overall health, and possibly give them skills for self defense if they ever need them. So the typical student attends 1 to 3 one hour classes a week and may do some supplemental training.  It is about the same amount of time the average person would spend at a health club. This type of class provides most people with exactly what they are looking for.

Traditional Schools and hardcore martial artists, as well as athletes of any kind train much longer and more frequently. Though a traditional class may be as short as 2 hours long, serious practitioners do supplemental training too. Your hardcore serious practitioner will train anywhere from 2-5 hours a day (some more in the range of 8 hours) 5-6 days a week. Their daily training may be broken down into sections/sessions spread out through the day. Such as road work, conditioning, bag work, forms, grappling, or sparring.

When picking a school you need to be honest with yourself about your long term goals and how training fits into your life. You need to pick a path that will allow you to continue, and enjoy training for the longest period of time. Of course at different stages in ones life the best way for any individual to train will change. Be open minded and flexible you’ll get more out of your training . You will also enjoy it more.


Mike Murphy




Categories: Concepts & Principles
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