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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2001 12:23 pm 
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Awareness of boundries.

Seems like either physical or verbal defense has the ultimate goal of maintaining our boundries. Emotional, physical -- same same.

In order to protect boundries we have to first recognize and be aware that someone has violated a boundry. For many, this can be the hardest part and if the person doing the violating is skilled, the most subtle.

So the step that seems comes before defense is to pay attention to the alarms going off inside that say that an uncomfortable situation is building. I acknowledge that this isn't always possible (i.e. getting groped on the subway). But lots of times it might be - especially in conversation.

I've tried to pay more attention to my own body language lately. To realize when I cross my arms or legs when talking with someone, when do I back up or move towards them, when does my voice lower, raise, tighten, etc.

It's helping to teach me where my own boundries lie, so I can better protect them.

(just early morning rambles on a beautiful Sunday)

Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 2:36 am 
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Dana, I don't know how I missed this thread! Image It's a very good one. One thing I noticed (from a recent experience) is that when I'm not comfortable and my boundries have been invaded my language tends to get very clipped and short. My voice tends to get lower as well. I feel the muscles in my legs tense and instead of closing in on myself (crossing my legs, arms) I tend to take a more physically agressive posture - arms distance themselves a bit from the body, legs tend to go to a wider stance, I get a very intense look on my face and my "boundaries" seem to grow bigger. In crowded spaces (shopping malls at Christmas, bars, etc.) this is especially true for me. Thanks for making me more aware. Image


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2001 1:57 pm 
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Hey Mary,

Another one I've noticed about myself is procrastination. If I have to go call or meet with someone who's violated my boundries in the past then it's something I'll put off.

By avoiding them, they can't do it to me again. (plunk -- my head in the sand)

My first "real" job was as an associate producer for a documentary that was going to air nationally. At the time, I felt I needed to stay on the project, no matter what, until the show aired so I could put it on my resume.

So my boss at the time said something like:
I'm flying out Friday to New Mexico to see if this guy is good for the film, so you'll stay here Friday & Saturday night and watch my kids until I get back.

Was I asked if I wanted to babysit? No. Did I feel comfortable saying no? No-way. I needed that job. I was told I was going to babysit, and I did. It took 3 trips before I was able to work myself up to the point that I was willing to confront her and say that I wasn't available to babysit her kids.

She was pretty upset when I told her no, but she didn't fire me. She said later she would have never thought to fire me over it. (my worst-case fear for the whole thing and why I wouldn't confront her earlier)

anyway.
long story for a short point.

Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2001 8:40 pm 
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Dana,

It seems that most of the battle over whether to act, verbally or physically, is mental. You went through the worst case scenarios in your head, time and again until they seemed likely and even real.

What I wonder is why the human animal seems so programmed to agonize over the consequences of an action, but rarely agonizes over the consequences of not acting. How many abused spouses are afraid to leave because of all the terrible things that might happen without regard to the terrible things that will happen if they don't act. Same for everything from crime victims to setting boundaries with bosses and coworkers to disciplining children to just having a conversation.

As for Boundaries, there are a number of good books that deal with aggression in the human animal, such as Desmond Morris' "The Naked Ape" that tie almost all aggression to either defending territory or social status- clearly forms of boundaries.

Rory


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2001 1:23 am 
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Thanks Rory,

I'll add it to the list.

Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2001 3:56 am 
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Interesting topic. It might help for the women contributing here to define the term "boundaries"

I am sure that the definition is a varied as the individual emotional makeup of the woman.

Some males are very much perplexed by the word "boundary" __ at times when you tell some male about "boundary violation" they get very flustered, and this "boundary" thing is a bit overdone by females in this day and age. We have seen this on the women's forum...Women never post there, yet when a lurker dreams up some "boundary" violation , she is quick in posting her outrage only to disappear again. Kind of funny I think. Image

so what defines "boundary" ?

------------------
Van Canna

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited May 03, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2001 5:10 am 
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Forgive me for not participating in this discussion until now. I really had nothing to add.

After thinking about first impressions, which I leave upon potential students that come into my dojo, I now wonder if there are boundaries that can be crossed or even overlooked. It is unclear to me, when casting a first impression on a prospective woman martial artist that I may inadvertently step on a few boundaries. I know no other way to explain the fact that I have NO ADULT FEMALE STUDENTS in my dojo.

A few weeks a go I had a female prospect, who is a nanakyu from the Shohei-ryu school on the other side of the city, come in for information about my school. She was very disappointed in her sensei and school because she had been a nanakyu for 7 months. She was to be tested for rokkyu at the end of the week. But she had never sparred in class before, and sparring was a requirement for her test. She purchased all the equipment for her test, but here she was exploring a new dojo.

I offered her the opportunity to take a free class with Christin instructing. She lives near my school and went home to get her gi. I observed her in class and watched intently when she performed kanshu. She hesitated before executing the testsui uchi and grimaced while she tried to remember the move. Christin calmly informed her of the movement and she continued with the kata.

When I got her back in the office, she stated that she was glad that Christin did not yell at her for the mistake. I asked her why she thought that Christin should yell at her. She said that when she makes a mistake in her dojo, the sensei and instructors lambaste her in front of the entire class. I informed her that I had been studying karate for 22 years and that not a one of my instructors or my sensei EVER yelled at me for making a mistake.

She went on to say that she would come back and sign up with us after her contract had expired on April 26th. I have not seen her since.

I had read this thread from Dana before she came in and was thinking about how it may pertain to first impressions. I tried to be objective and did not want to say anything derogatory toward the way her sensei and his instructors behaved. I do not like to put down other dojo. I commented only on the way we act in our dojo.

Now I wonder if I made a good first impression. Was she just saying that she would come back to sign up after her contract with the other dojo expired so that I would not chastise her for going back? I never tried to dissuade her form going back and getting her rokkyu, although I wanted to say “sign up here and I will test you for rokkyu.”

Now I wonder what I did wrong. I believed that she was impressed with our dojo, but why has she not come back to sign up, especially when she was very disappointed with the training that she was receiving?

I also wonder if she was a mole, sent by the other dojo to see what I would say about their school. I often wonder if other dojo does this type of information gathering. I do not send students into other dojo but that does not mean that all the other dojo do not either.

I guess I should just wait a couple more weeks, to see if she will come back. I certainly hope that she does.





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Len


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2001 5:57 am 
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"I wonder what I did wrong"

Image Len, I do not think you did anything wrong at all. There could be a variety of reasons why she has not come back.

Perhaps she may be intimidated by the thought of leaving. Think for a moment of women who are in abusive personal relationships and who simply feel they cannot leave. It may be that she simply feels she is not strong enough to leave the school she is currently attending. Perhaps she feels guilty at leaving her instructor and fellow students. Perhaps the initimidation factor is so strong to her that she is fearful of what might happen if she does leave....how her actions will appear, what people will say, etc.

It sounds to me like you did "everything" right. I do hope she comes back to your dojo. I know I'm looking forward to another visit some day! Image


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2001 12:45 pm 
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Thanks for the support Mary. I am looking forward to seeing you at the BUKA again also.

I can only imagine what happened when she went back to be tested for rokkyu. She might have told her fellow students and instructors that she took a free class with us and that when she made a mistake no one yelled at her. They could have told her that we do not care as much for her training and only want her as a student to collect her money. Maybe they put down our dojo for not being tough enough or concerned enough about our students training. Again, I am only speculating, as I have no idea if she even told anyone she took a free class with us.

I find it odd that she was determined to come back to sign up and if she was disappointed with her sensei, why did she go back there?

I remembered this woman (BTW she is probably in her early 20’s) came in the dojo about a year ago when we first opened. I think it may have been in April, because she had signed a full year contract with the school she is attending now which expired on April 26. I assume that she decided to sign up with the other school because we were new and they were in operation for many years. I am sure that they used this pitch to get her to commit to them instead of to us. After noticing that we were still open a year later and not much of a chance that we were going to go out of business, she may have decided to try our school to see if she could adapt. The Shohei style and the Uechi style are supposed to be similar. Shohei-ryu does some movements of some katas differently but I felt she could adapt to our style much easier than if she was a kempo or kung fu stylist. So this is the second time she visited us and the second time we were shunned.

I have had many people say that they would come back and sign up after taking a free class. Almost no one that has walked out the door without signing up right away, has come back! Why do they say that they will come back? Do they think that I will not let them out of the dojo if they do not say that they will come back?

Why is the BUKA having problems signing up Adult female students, when we have a female instructor? It does not make sense to me. I must be saying something wrong during the interviews with these prospective students. I must be making a bad first impression.


------------------
Len


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2001 11:57 pm 
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Len,

I highly doubt you are saying something wrong. I might be something that is going unsaid.

When I first started helping my teacher recruit I talked with many female students who watched & did not sign up. That continues to be the case. For those that do sign up the three areas that seems to be of highest concern are:
1. sparring
2. conditioning
3. sanchin "testing"

I guess all 3 could be summed up by the term "contact". I take the time in the discussion to say about 3 different times

"the level of contact is built up very slowly at the pace that is appropriate for each student".

"the sparring class is open to white belts because you start off sparring at the level of contact that is appropriate for your rank and skill"

"the amount of contact in the conditioning excercises is built up over time. We start off very lightly. There should never be any bruising during this excercise, just like there isn't any bruising when the teacher checks the sanchin. All of the testing, contact, and conditioning is built up slowly over time at whatever pace you progress at."

I continue to repeat these kinds of things to the new white belt women, especially during excercises and after class.

I have watched other female students literally back away off the floor when I do conditioning with my teacher. Then had to field questions like "gosh, you really let the guys beat on you in class don't you?"

Their fear comes out of the fact that they simply couldn't comprehend that my teacher (who is male & larger than me) & i could be exchanging that much force without me getting hurt in the process.

I don't know if it will help you with your recruitment of women, but I know it has helped serveral of the women in our school understand contact better.

Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2001 4:40 pm 
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Dana,
I can't agree more with what you said. I have heard some of the mothers of my junior students talk about the contact that the adult students take while we had our anniversary demonstration.

There is one mother of a student of mine (a young girl who is a purple belt) who is going to begin a free month of lessons that she won when I had my demonstration in February. She is seeing a chiropractor for an injury she suffered in auto accident. The chiropractor advised her not to take any karate for three months. She might be able to take classes next month. She is not intimidated by the male students because she was the only female on her wrestling team in high school. I am glad she decided to take the free month of lessons because I want other prospective female students to observe classes while she is on the floor. It would also help if Christin was teaching.

Can you answer a few questions?

Do you think that the absence of females in the adult class, makes prospective female students wonder why there are no other women?

If you walked into a dojo and only saw men working out, would you be intimidated to sign up knowing that contact with male students is inevitable?

As a beginner, would you rather have contact with another woman beginner?

Would you sign up at a dojo that has no women's dressing room, but does have two restrooms with hooks on the back of the doors? These restrooms are large enough to change without bumping into the sink or toilet.

The last question here bothers me the most. I have room to build another dressing room but that means that I have to eliminate my storage room. I supose that I could add a shelving tower in my office to store the supplies, but I cannot justify the expense of building a women's dressing room when I have no women students.

There is a saying (from the movie Field of Dreams)
If you build it...they will come.

However I would rather have the need to build it rather than the desire.

------------------
Len


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2001 6:32 pm 
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Location: Washington, DC
I think that if you do not tell a woman that women are welcome in the school she will think that they aren't because she doesn't see any.

I would wager that several will think that the woman teaching classes is only there because "she's your wife or something". And that any other women wouldn't be welcome.

Bring up the topic before she does and it will encourage her that you're thinking about her needs and concerns.

I did not prefer contact with other white belt women women when I was a white belt becuase I wanted to be pushed. I was luck in that we had other women black belts & higher kyu rank belts when I joined. But this might not be the case for everyone.

What might help is something we've started doing which is to assign a "mentor" to new students. Each new student (no matter what their rank) is matched with a senior student for the first 6 months so they have someone other than the head instructor to go to for questions, etc. Perhaps if each new woman new was matched with your woman instructor as her mentor she would feel more welcome. But that's just an idea.

An you're right. The last question is the hardest. By not starting out with a women's dressing room in your design it sends out the message (whether you intended to or not) that you didn't plan on having lots of female students, or if you started to get some you'd "make room" for them in your school.

I mean, the dressing room can be proportional. There's no reason it has to be as large as the men's -- most women would understand that. But being relegated to being the only one who changed in the bathroom wouldn't be very inviting to me. I suppose at this point you could insert the "well if she really wanted to train it wouldn't matter" argument here. But that's not really a good business argument. If women are people you'd really like to have train in your school you need to send as many welcoming messages as possible.

So they may not come if you build it, but if you don't build it you weaken your invitation.

these are my thoughts,
Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2001 4:32 am 
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Van has asked a very difficult question in asking the idea of boundries to be defined.

The best thing I can use as a way of example is the way the FCC tried to argue what could be considered pornographic.

They said the standard should be set based on local community values. So that each community could define for themselves.

Now, as long as people didn't travel too much, and as long as there were only 4 channels to choose from this was pretty easy. Everybody in a local commlunity could, for the most part, acknowlege what would or would not be considered inapropropriate by most of the folks they live with.

Cable, the internet & national digital radio stations circumvent the notion of local community.

This forum is an excellent example of how lots of people who are in no way local to each other geographically or philosphically have formed a community of sorts. This basis for our grouping ourselves together is an interest in martial arts. The difficulty comes from the fact that we do not all live in a similar community nor do we come from similar backgrounds. Add to that the fact that all of this communication is going off the written word alone without any of the typical body language, vocal intonations etc that tell people what you're "really" saying and you can see why:
people jump to conclusions about subtext
people tell a joke they think is funny and others find offensive
people say things the way they've always said them and suddenly somebody's offended
people get tired of apologizing all the time so they just decide to say whatever and if you don't like it you can go ****** an egg...

I could go on for a long time.

For me it comes down to the fact that on the internet we can't possibly all have the same community values. So hopefully we can all figure that out and not lash out at everybody for every little comment.

And, that being said, I still think there is a basic level of decency and tolerence that I choose to promote on a personal level.

So if I find someone's choice of expression to be something I consider to be way beyond what my personal community standards tolerate I'm going to speak up. Doesn't mean that anyone has to listen or even care. But it means that, for myself, I've established what I am comfortable with and what I'm not.

That is what a boundry is to me. The range of human experience within which I can function in relative emotional comfort.

If I feel that my emotional well-being is being threatened, then I would say that my boundry was being violated in some small way.

So Van, to answer your question after this long and winding post:
boundry violation is the term I use when my emotional comfort is being challenged in some way. Boundry and comfort zone could be pretty synonomous for me....

a community of one.

Image
Dana


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2001 5:31 am 
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Testa-Sensei:

Many people are afraid of change. They may be favorably inclined toward you and your dojo, but peer pressure, lack of familiarity with style, dojo practices and even the people that are students there all will contribute to someone's not coming back to sign on.

Humans are social animals. We go with what's familiar. Change is scary.

As a suggestion, perhaps a "Transfer Student Familiarization" series for people who have studied elsewhere first would help ease the fitting in process and make it easier to overcome the reluctance you seem to be getting from new transfer prospects.

Do a monthly "Get to know us" event where students interact in a social manner as well as having class demonstrations and run them in your friendly and professional manner with large doses of "we understand that you are new here and we will do everything to make your transition easy and enjoyable" comments. One of the easiest ways to get someone to be comfortable is to let them know that you are genuinely concerned with their enjoying themselves while still maintaining a professional attitude.

In the Far East, dojo, dojang and kwoons are often run like military training camps. Many US Sensei do likewise, which can be good for a student or run them off.

Like Marcus, a character on Babylon 5 once said - "you can get farther with a kind word and a two by four than you can with just a two by four" (that's a paraphrase, but, it works).

By showing students coming to you from a different background of training that you are a human being and are aware that they are too, you will probably have an even better ratio of sign-ups even among the totally new prospects that walk in your door.

Just an opinion, of course.

Hope it helps!

Lee Darrow

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LenTesta:
[I have had many people say that they would come back and sign up after taking a free class. Almost no one that has walked out the door without signing up right away, has come back! Why do they say that they will come back? Do they think that I will not let them out of the dojo if they do not say that they will come back?

Why is the BUKA having problems signing up Adult female students, when we have a female instructor? It does not make sense to me. I must be saying something wrong during the interviews with these prospective students. I must be making a bad first impression.


[/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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 Post subject: Boundries
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2001 6:18 am 
Dana great post. Your example on forums is right on the money we should all read and remember it.(once a week for a few of us Image)

Some boundaries seem to function on almost a sub conscious level.

Years ago in my I attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.I spent some time exploring nonverbal communication on film. Don't know what happened to the film But the results were interesting. We were playing with the old Desmond Moore's, Naked Ape stuff. Looking at and documenting nonverbal communication.

We started filming people on elevators,late night buses etc. The results were pretty funny. People in elevators like to share space equally. 1 person they stand in the middle, 2 well the split it 50/50. 3,4 you guessed it they split the space.

We sent someone on the elevator and told them to stand too close to people.1 person on the elevator the next person stands 12 inches behind them or beside them. Too funny as you can imagine Image. No matter were we placed that person the other person split the space. Some times our passenger would claim 50% of the space by standing as close to the middle as possible. The other person would react by immediately relinquishing there space and moving to the middle of the remaining space. the space would be now 25/75.

The results were the same when there were 3 or 4 passengers,no matter how we placed our plant the rest of the folks subconsciously redistributed the remaining space.

The games on the bus were pretty funny too.

I remember Sensei Dave Ryan or maybe it was Jim Maloney telling me too watch this and then pointed to two of my dojo mates who were talking.Paul and Chris talked for about 5 minutes,during the course of the conversation they took three laps around the dojo.Chris stepped backwards the whole time and Paul closed the distance.

Neither party was aware of the dance they had just performed. Sensei then turned to me with a big grin on his face and said people don't like to let Paul get inside.

The point is Paul's ethnic background required him to be in your face to communicate,he was comfortable. Chris was not however comfortable and retreated on a subconscious level.

We have all met Paul he's the guy who kind of creeps us all out a wee bit we don't know why,maybe it's because when we talk to him we see the dirt in his pours,or maybe it's the smell of his lunch,or maybe we just want to breath the air first and not have to inhale the air he has just expelled from his lungs.

Has he over step the boundaries,should we tell him...excuse me no offence my friend but I kind of like to inhale my own air and not your exhaust Image

Laird


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