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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:39 pm 
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Let Go – Guest rant by Rory Miller

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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Good Thread, Rick...

Rory is someone very special.

Would you mind expanding a bit more here as to the concept Rory is trying to get across? Thank you.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 5:46 am 
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Van:

Rory comments on this occasionally.

Take the example of a student sparring with their Sensei and the student lands a solid point or clocks the Sensei depending on the rules.

What is the Sensei’s response?

Does he get up and praise the student?

Does he proceed to beat the crap out of the student or out point them for the remainder of the match?

What lessons are learned in those responses?

How many teachers have very senior students who are acknowledged as better than their teacher either in that art or in aspects of the art?

How many turn the class over to a student when it comes to certain aspects the student is simply better at?

How many have very senior students who just aren’t as good as they are?

How many do not have very senior Students?

How many allow senior students to question what is being taught?

How many reward those questions?

How many punish them?

Self defence means requires firm confident actions.

If the student has been trained to excel and exceed the teacher then they have that confidence.

If the student has always been put in their place by their teacher (that power thing Rory mentioned) and they quickly learned it is better and sometimes safer to back down from Sensei – how can they possibly have the confidence for self defence?

On another aspect: Knowledge is power. Being the only one with that knowledge gives you that power.

A teacher who holds back knowledge so that they are always better than their students has an ego issue.

If your ego requires you to always be better than your students that is wrong.

If that attitude affects how you teach then you are a crappy teacher.

That is my take on it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 7:29 am 
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Yes.

What makes a good teacher. Probably the only reason I am still practicing martial arts is because of one teacher I had. I have never met another person who was so serene, while being so inherently bad ass. :lol:

This person taught me how to appreciate and understand other arts in relation to what he was teaching me. He taught me to own what I did, and pretty much opened my eyes to a different way of seeing things.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:10 pm 
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Pretty poignant post Rick...thanks. I think we have all seen those 'shadows' on the dojo wall. Human nature is very predictable.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 10:50 pm 
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Rick,

But surely you must have come up against the a-hole student...they come in different shades of attitude.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buYAxrwEcSk

I have had my share of them over the years...
Quote:
So anyone who has been in a dojo knows.. when a instructor is trying to show a new move or really any move to his students.. you go along with it. You don't CHALLENGE his position.


Many times a teacher will need very strong deterrents in place to dissuade some student jerks to behave in a class.

There are many stories I could tell from The old Mattson Academy in Boston and the 'action' that needed to be taken by the various teachers.

Anyone who walks in a dojo could pose some real problems...we saw people come up, as victims of beatings in the street, and trying to redeem themselves in a class.

Donkeys are everywhere.Image

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:23 am 
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"But surely you must have come up against the a-hole student...they come in different shades of attitude."

Yes, not sure how that relates but if you mean - now imagine that same A-hole student becoming a teacher then I'm with you.

Not sure how it relates if you means something else.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:39 am 
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Rick Wilson wrote:
"But surely you must have come up against the a-hole student...they come in different shades of attitude."

Yes, not sure how that relates but if you mean - now imagine that same A-hole student becoming a teacher then I'm with you.

Not sure how it relates if you means something else.


:)

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:50 pm 
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Rick,

I thank you again for this thread, as there is so much we can discuss out of corollarial deduction...a kind of deductive reasoning that focuses on human relations in the context of a martial arts classroom and on the relationship between student and teacher.

I may be off base here, but your outline and Rory's clip did kick up some brain dust from my own viewpoints.

First I think of what really brings a student to a dojo. Maybe it should be a standard question to a novice... 'and what brings you here today?'

Over the long years running a teacher hears and senses all kinds of reasons.

For the most part I saw students wanting to train because they want a break from their ordinary existence, they want to meet other people, sweat a little, learn some self-defense, be a little smarter, and most of all have a good time.

But we also see people wanting to train for many other personal reasons obscure and hard to fathom at times.

Both the student and the teacher can bring some daunting psychological hurdles to a dojo floor. Not in all cases but often enough resulting in some sort of 'floor strife'...

Image

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Have to run out but just wanted to say that you are dead on, Van.

We all start martial arts for our own reasons and there are many.

My opinion is that self defence is always a reason to join martial arts but it may not be the person's primary reason. I think if it wasn't part of the reasoning then any other "sport" would do. But that is me.

Van hits something very important because the other reasons be they primary or not are vital to what the student will need.

Even a deeper topic is understanding when a traumatic event has brought the student to training and how to deal with that emotional and psychological hurt with consideration as they train. The student may not tell you this at the start but behaviors may give a glimpse.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Thank you Rick, you are so right in what you write.
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Even a deeper topic is understanding when a traumatic event has brought the student to training and how to deal with that emotional and psychological hurt with consideration as they train. The student may not tell you this at the start but behaviors may give a glimpse.


This is really the pivotal point that might well reflect upon the 'functioning' of a student in the class format's interaction with the teacher, fellow students, and possibly with his own 'personal demons'.

I have seen so many baffling ramifications of this over the years...it seems a good teacher also needs a course in basic psychology and human relations, where we should anticipate in class...the long shadows of ego and self esteem...a balance difficult to achieve in certain hapless individuals who come to us with certain expectations.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:20 pm 
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Then there is a certain dojo etiquette to be followed by both the teacher and the student. Sometimes we see etiquette come tumbling down from a student's failed expectations.

Teachers as well as students function with a certain degree of expectations in and out of classroom format...individual expectations on many levels.

When there is a perception of failed expectations, even on a subtle level, difficulties may arise in human interaction within the group that will affect the whole.

But what happens when these expectations seem to fail? Our belief in a certain "reality" crumbles and even our own identities get disturbed by failed expectations.

This is when you begin to see 'out of character' behavioral displays in class that even the person who engages in it, cannot comprehend.

I think a good way to deal with this is the acceptance that our expectations are our own creation...many times outside the reality realm.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 4:12 pm 
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Wow there are so many directions this can take because it hits so many topics.

I’m going to come back to somethings Van said but first this:

I’m currently the Senior curriculum Advisor at KPC Self Defense in Edmonton which is an all adult Krav Maga school. The owner, Randy King, in his previous job was a very successful marketing person and he has some rules for people joining:

1. He always asks what they are expecting.
2. If they cannot get what they want from his school he points them in another direction – he will not sign them.
3. The first few levels of enrollment are always for no more that three months.

The first two are good for both the student and the school. If the student doesn’t get what they want they will never be happy. An unhappy student is bad for a school both in attitude in class and the bad feeling they spread in and out of the school. Just not worth a few bucks to have that.

The third rule has both a marketing and behaviour base. In three months Randy can tell if the student doesn’t fit and by that I mean are they an A-hole. If they are they are refunded and turned away. You don’t need that in your school for a few bucks. KPC has one of the best group of people I have ever trained with so this works. Three months for marketing because Randy says it is simple: People don’t think a month is long enough to do anything for them and they don’t want to commit to more than three months. He says look at all the successful fitness programs and check out how many are 90 days.

Van’s important comment:

“I have seen so many baffling ramifications of this over the years...it seems a good teacher also needs a course in basic psychology and human relations, where we should anticipate in class...the long shadows of ego and self esteem...a balance difficult to achieve in certain hapless individuals who come to us with certain expectations.”

Yes sensitivity to why that person is reacting is important. A person who has been assaulted is going to have to be handled differently to work at doing some drills – ones that kick in memories.

“Then there is a certain dojo etiquette to be followed by both the teacher and the student. Sometimes we see etiquette come tumbling down from a student's failed expectations.”

I think Patrick MacCarthy said don’t put your Sensei on a pedestal because you’ll get hurt when they fall off and land on you.

There are teachers who put themselves on a pedestal and invite this disappointment. We are only people everyone will disappoint at some time. But most of the time the student holds the teacher up as something beyond a person and eventually the teacher is shown to also be human and the student then vilifies the teacher as a horrible person – even though in most cases they aren’t.

These expectations, as Van says, are the student’s and they need to own them.

Another disappointment that can come when a teacher tells the students what they are learning is the best self defence and will always work etc when they really are teaching say a martial sport – and the student’s skill fail in an assault. This can be exceptionally traumatic. (An yes sometimes it is the student or the circumstances.)

I can’t recall the name but I always respected a big Karate franchise in because they advertised it as “Sport Karate.” Any expectations beyond that are the students.

I dislike one of the first Cardio Kickboxing programs because while the ads all said it wasn’t for self defence it was a workout program every testimonial in their ads had the person saying how much safer they feel going into parkaides etc now. The program created the expectation.

So many areas on this one.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 6:36 pm 
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"So many areas in this one"

Yes Rick, 'Time is a revealer'...and I often compare those martial arts 'thorns' in ambush to Medusa's head, usually met with denial.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:04 pm 
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And sometimes we wonder why we have a full class one month and the next only a few students show up...and down the road we end up with even less.

Fundamentally, I believe, the function of a sensei- is-to create situations where the student arrives at understanding through his own experience idealized or real, one reason why I like to ask students to relay any conflict they may have had.

It is more of a state of overall guidance than strict technique performance.

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