Dignity & Maturity...

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Dignity & Maturity...

Postby Ronin1966 » Mon Jan 28, 2002 12:22 am


I was curious, what is the thinking on blatent <sp.> verbal challenges. Whether from classmates, (but folks whom you do not know very well), or from visitors, strangers to the dojo?

Depending on exactly how it was done, and what you sense/feel the "intent" is...how it was worded, and from whom the request came, (and again what form it took obviously) when are we required, compelled AS martial artists, to cross the line into the physical, because the proverbial challenge is though seemingly friendly, a genuine challenge none the less.

Anyone have thoughts <g>?

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Dignity & Maturity...

Postby raulf7 » Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:07 am

One should avoid a fight as much as possible.

However if someone launches an attack what choice do you have?

Back in the 80's I was attacked and I blocked and moved out of the way and stared at the guy. So he did it again, this time I blocked and slapped in him the face and then distanced myself. He was not hurt. He tried again so I blocked and slapped him again. He realised he was facing someone who was much faster than him.

He was very humiliated and that was my goal. He left spitting verbal abuses about getting me. Well he never did.

I cant think of anything more humiliating for a man than to get a slap on the face like a girl and not being able to do anything about it.

If that happened again I think thats how I would deal with it.

When one is young it seems, you want to hurt his body, but hurting the mind is far better I think
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Dignity & Maturity...

Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:46 am

Rauf7 is correct, if the attack comes deal with it.

The verbal exchanges precedes that moment. The times of dojo crashing should have disappeared, and with the litigation system in place we must make sure that we have not provoked an incident.

Now, I have not faced this so how I think I would respond is hypothetical. The most I have dealt with was some disrespectful young lads who didn't believe the effectiveness of what I was doing, and I don't think that one would be a good example for best options.

Let us set the stage:

A person enters the dojo while you are teaching a class. He shouts out that he thinks karate is a f'ng piece of sh%t and no one there could fight their way out of a paper bag.

So folks how do we respond?

The first thing that comes to my mind is why would I care what this obviously rude person thinks? Truly, I could care less what he thinks of karate. Second, he is here because he needs to prove something to himself, while I don't feel I have anything to prove.

So I think I would ask why he was there? When he asks what I mean by that, I have already assumed he is somewhat stupid Image, I will say that if he thinks karate is a piece of sh%t then why come to a karate school?

I imagine he response will involve some statement about how I should prove to him it isn't. To which I should respond that it really doesn't matter to me what he thinks of karate.

Now, if he touches me or one of my students then "what choice do we have?"

Okay any comments on this out there or more stories?


[This message has been edited by Rick Wilson (edited January 28, 2002).]
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Dignity & Maturity...

Postby LenTesta » Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:07 pm

Hello Jeff,

Thanks for posting in the VSD Forum.

In street situations, some people can just shrug off a verbal challenge no matter how many insults were used. Others will be tempted to fight at a slightest provocation. A persons character, and upbringing, has a lot to do with it. I know some people who wont fight unless they are physically attacked. Some will ignor the challenge. Others will appease the challenger by agreeing with whatever is said. I know others who will attack without even giving it a second thought if you say something derogatory to him or about his lady friend who might happen to be with him at the time.

In the dojo, I do not condone classmates bringing verbal challenges to other dojomates. I try to instill an atmosphere of camaraderie in the dojo. If two students are sparring with animosity, I quickly separate them, lecture about dojo etiquette, that sparring is to be done for learning only, not for one person to see how much better he is than the other.

If a verbal exchange is used after class, whether inside or outside of the building, I would hope that my students have learned enough from my lessons to not escallate it into a fight.

Remember that old saying? "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
when are we required, compelled AS martial artists, to cross the line into the physical, because the proverbial challenge is though seemingly friendly, a genuine challenge none the less?

I can answer this question fairly easy...never. The key words in your question...seemingly friendly...mean that as an artist (I shun saying expert), it is my duty to not allow myself to be drawn into a confrontation simply because someone is taunting me with a verbal challenge.

On the other hand if the challange was phrased with wording such as, "I will hunt you down and kill you and your family as soon as I can." I would seriously consider some form of defense against this person. It may involve calling the Police. If I could not leave the area, then physical self-defense. After trying to de-escallate first.

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Dignity & Maturity...

Postby LenTesta » Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:39 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A person enters the dojo while you are teaching a class. He shouts out that he thinks karate is a f'ng piece of sh%t and no one there could fight their way out of a paper bag.

So folks how do we respond?

This used to happen all the time in the past. Especially in rural areas when a "new dojo" would suddenly appear in an area that was the territory of another dojo. Most of the time the banter consisted of a derogatory remark about a specific style. The "visitor" was usually one of the highest ranking students of the local dojo. It was the intent to challenge the sensei or the sempai to a match to prove superiority in the area. If the challenger won they would be compelled to go back to their dojo and berate the teaching of the sensei and tell the entire city/town that their school was not worthy to teach in this area.

In the 20 years that I have been studying martial arts, I have never seen anyone come into my Sensei's dojo and physically challenge him or any of the students while class was in progress. I have been a dojo owner for two years and not once has anyone come into my dojo and challenged me or my students.

I would assume that if it did happen some day, It would be a person who was either drunk or high on drugs. Why would anyone in their right mind want to come into a karate school and issue challenges?

Rick: Has this ever happened to you?

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Postby LeeDarrow » Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:48 pm

Many years ago, I watched my Sensei win a fight by putting a DENT in the side of a beer bottle with his thumb.

At least that's what the guy who was trying to get him to fight thought at the time.

Sensei simply held the bottle and calmly pressed his thumb into the side of the bottle. It did NOT break, but DENTED!

I was stunned and the guy who was being a pain, turned sheet white and left.

Sensei smiled and told the luncheon manager to keep the bottle for him - it was a factory irregular that had somehow gotten past the inspectors.

In other words, it came from the bottling plant with the dent already in it. Sensei merely mimed the effort of putting the dent into the side of the bottle.

Needless to say, I learned an important lesson that day - how to stop a fight before it happens.

The paper sheet test is a good way to stop a wiseguy who pushes into the dojo looking for a fight.

Hold a sheet of typing paper at arm's length. Drop it. Finger spear it - FAST - and make it rip.

There's an extremely good chance that your challenger won't be able to do this - it takes good speed, focus and practice.

Tell him to come back when he can do this little "trick."

It takes the wind out of the sails of some of the toughest guys out there.

It's also great targeting, speed and focus practice.


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Postby Rick Wilson » Tue Jan 29, 2002 6:53 am


In an answer no, but ... I first opened my dojo in a school classroom that I rented. The washroom was down the hall and we used it as a change room, one day after opening up and coming back from changing I found three older teens in the classroom.

One of them was jumping around on the dojo floor (I had built a floor) doing some stuff from an old kung fu film he must have seen. I asked him what he was doing -- basically that drop to the floor and swing your leg around for the take down.

He explained he was doing a move that would drop me and what do I think I could do about it. Well, he wasn't doing it correctly so I told him all I would do was stand there. Well, to put it bluntly he questioned this and I told him to try. The first time he stopped part way through his swing because he thought I was going to pull something. The second time he went for it, his leg hit mine and it was like standing on a rake, he flew straight up and I caught him in the air.

Then, part way through the class I was showing an entry for a naked choke from the rear off a jab and right cross. He shouted from the back there was no way it would work on him. I told him to come on the floor and try. He, of course, threw a different sequence of punches but still ended up in the choke.

Then, he said the choke wouldn't have worked because he would simply stomp on my foot and escape. So I put him in the choke position and told him to escape. When he moved I applied the choke. He did not escape nor even get to stomping on my foot.

Then, one of my students asked how to get someone out of a chair when ejecting them from an establishment. I showed them how to approach and ask the person to leave placing your hands in position to drive the finger tips up under the chin line towards the joint of the jaw. Of course he shouted that it would never work, only this time he volunteered one of the other guys. The poor young man launched out of the chair like a rocket and went about ten feet.

Then, this young man says that all this would do is make the guy mad and he would then really hurt me. I asked his friend, who
was still holding his neck, if he wanted anything to do with me at that point. His friend said no way.

The three of them decided it was then time to leave.

I probably could have handled it better.

A friend of mine saw something of a challenge at their Taiji school one day about two years ago. Two members of another school came in and challenged their teacher to push hands. The two guys tried to play very rough but were unsuccessful and the teacher kept putting them into broken positions and then letting them out hoping to show them their faults but it was over their heads.

I have heard a story about a gentleman coming into Sensei Maloney's dojo in Nova Scotia many years ago and uttering some rude remarks about karate. As it is second hand I won't relate the details but Sensei Maloney's dojo was on the second floor and as the story goes the guy never touched a step on the way down.

My teacher, David Mott Sensei used to run into this when he first opened his dojo in Toronto ,again many years ago. I think he was a Nidan at the time and, as he says, just a little unsure if he should be teaching. After throwing these guys out for the first few months he figured he could at least do better than the training they seem to have had.

I can remember Neil Dunnigan Sensei playing a voice mail for me of a guy challenging him to a match to the death or something to see If Neil Sensei would just give him a black belt. Neil Sensei called him and explained that it just didn't work that way.

But no, with the days of law suites this stuff has disappear -- for the better. But it has the good makings of a verbal self defence conversation.


[This message has been edited by Rick Wilson (edited January 29, 2002).]
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