Dojo Disturbance

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Dojo Disturbance

Postby Uechij » Wed Apr 03, 2002 8:01 am

Ever had a student, or been in a class where a student is verbally confrontational and often times challenges what you or your sensei is trying to teach? When left alone to work on an assigned drill with the lower ranks, they may go so far as to add their own spin on the technique, negating the very purpose of it's intent. How far do you let this individual go? Should you drill this person with a hard strike in an attempt to educate them while satisfying a deep down frustration or keep convincing your self that maybe someday they will stop this annoying behavior? Yeeeeaaahhhhh Riiiiiigggghhhhtttt!
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Dojo Disturbance

Postby candan » Wed Apr 03, 2002 10:19 pm

Yes have and I am certain will have more. I solved the "problem" by allowing one on one discussions before or after class to address any concerns (mine or theirs). During class for safety reasons NO ONE puts their own spin on techniques when working with a partner and if I feel someone is being disrespectful to me as a person (let alone the one held responsable for the class) I address it person to person ASAP. I have indicated as a last resort that they are paying for the spot they are standing on NOT my instruction as I do it for free..therefore we respect each other or part ways
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Dojo Disturbance

Postby Troll Under the Bridge » Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:17 pm

As a lower ranking student, I will admit that I have been guilty of being distracted. Frequently, I have found that a particular blending move opens up a technique I learned with another blending move. A light bulb goes off and I repeat it because I now have a better understanding of the instruction from a previous session. Then I go back to what I am supposed to be doing. It is never intended as disrespect.
I guess I should restate that I was not adding my own spin.
I think that if someone is getting distracted it is worth asking what they are experiencing. They may have a different learning style(tactile vs visual or auditory)they may not be malicious in intent, rather exploring the art from different reference point. This may help you as an instructor reach more folks.
Again this is a beginner's thoughts. I think you are probably referring to a more blatant incident.

I have only seen one disruption in two and a half years as a student. A person came to train smelling of alcohol. He was quietly taken aside and asked to leave.
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Dojo Disturbance

Postby LenTesta » Thu Apr 04, 2002 7:05 pm

I have not had the displeasure of teaching a class where a student was blatently disregarding an assignment and teaching it in his/her own way. I know of another black belt that was an instructor who did this to one of my original students. I was not there when it happened but she told all about the incident. She had just finished getting instructions from the person who was conducting the class and began to practice with another student when this "off duty at the time" other instructor came over to them and told them they were doing it wrong. She tried to explain what the other instructor had told them to do but he went on a tirade and ended up making her run out of the dojo crying. This should not ever happen in a dojo (or anywhere else) to anyone.

However, at the BUKA, I have some junior yellow belt students who need to learn proper dojo etiquette. One talks all the time whether I am talking or not. Another likes to play rough with the others before class begins and runs all over the place in and out of the men's and women's dressing rooms. I want to discipline him however, I do not believe any Sensei should do this though:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Should you drill this person with a hard strike in an attempt to educate them

This student is 12 years old, is 5'6" tall and weighs about 200 pounds. There is no one I can put him with, other than an adult, that could "drill this person with a hard strike in an attempt to educate him."
The thought sometimes crosses my mind that I should use him as an uke and maybe let a slightly hard strike "slip in." But I come to my senses.

For the last few weeks I have bben disapointed with the bad behavior of some of my junior advanced class students before and during class. This child that I previously mentioned kicked a 1 gallon plastic jar, filled with water that we use for grabbing and stepping drills, out of another child's hand as he was using it. The jug was crushed on the side and the cap came off and spilled the water everywhere on the carpet next to the mats. Thios happened just before the Tinmy Tot class had ended and there were about 4 parents waiting for their children.
When we lined the juniors up, I made them do 50 jumping jacks then 20 push ups then 50 more jumping jacks then 20 more pushups, then I went into the elbows and balls of the feet drill. It was unfortunate for the few studenst who were not causing trouble but in the back of thier minds they wil be wary to get together with the troublemakes in the future. During the class the student who kicked the jar frequently did many pushups as everytime he was caught talking or fooling around I made him get down and do some more. He was being very lethargic during the class, feeling sorry for himself.
I told him to smarten up and pay attention. I told him that he received his punnishment and it was over, to not dwell upon it and continue with the class adding some spirit into his workout.

I do have another student who likes to talk all the time. He talks to the others while i am talking. He even talks out when he is performing kata. This bugs me to no end. I preach the dojo ettiquet, I make him do pushups, but he wont learn. One day he came to class late, which is frequent, and he was barely moving and was looking like he was drepessed. I called him aside into the office and asked him if he was allright or if there was trouble at home or anywhere else. He said that he wasn't feeling too good and rejected my suggestion that he sit and watch the class. I told him that if he resumes the class he had better put some effort into it and he went back into the dojo. About 10 minutes later he was down on the floor doing pushups because he would not stop talking while I was. I think that maybe I should have just left him alone!!!

I am sure that I could have many other problems with junior students. These may seem minor but I am trying to instill the discipline that the parents are expecting me to do. They will learn by doing the hard exercises rather than a swift kick or hard strike. They will either be quiet while I am talking or they will be able to do 100 pushups without flinching in the process.

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Dojo Disturbance

Postby f.Channell » Fri Apr 05, 2002 3:36 am

Sometimes these students don't see each other all week and develop strong friendships in the dojo. So they want social time it seems. Unfortunately they are there to learn, not talk, possibly pointing the quiet well behaved students out and praising them may help. Or reinforce good behavior and ignore the bad.
Maybe we need one of those wish machines Tom Hanks had in the movie Big to shrink ourselves and come in some night and get even!
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Dojo Disturbance

Postby Uechij » Fri Apr 05, 2002 7:45 am


“I solved the "problem" by allowing one on one discussions before or after class to address any concerns (mine or theirs). During class for safety reasons NO ONE puts their own spin on techniques when working with a partner and if I feel someone is being disrespectful to me as a person (let alone the one held responsible for the class) I address it person to person ASAP.”

Agreed! And I like your approach.

Troll Under The Bridge,

“I think you are probably referring to a more blatant incident.”

Yes I am. Distracted students are expected at times, but no big deal though.

Mr. Testa,

“…Should you drill this person with a hard strike in an attempt to educate them? This student is 12 years old, is 5'6" tall and weighs about 200 pounds….”

Yes, you are right. I should have clarified this statement a little…no, a lot better. When I made this statement I was referring to adults, I would never think of doing this to a child. I also meant in such a way, when I say drill, as to show the offending student why I am having them do this technique a certain way, exposing their lack of knowledge for their safety and others. Not to injure, but shake them a little to get their attention and show them where I am coming from. I guess for more of a humbling effect. Wow, sounds like you have a handful there with a couple of those kids. That would be very trying to say the least.


You are unfortunately right. Too many students use class time to socialize. When it gets too out of hand I will yell, “QUIET.” Then follow with a comment like, “the only noise I want to hear are Gi’s snapping and limbs banging.” This has worked pretty well in the past.

Thanks for all the great comments.
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Dojo Disturbance

Postby Dana Sheets » Fri Apr 05, 2002 11:53 am

A couple ideas...

Instead of giving attention to the individual acting out by assigning punishment to them, compliment the students that are doing what you'd like and ignore the one that isn't.

Another good tactic is to tell them in a very clear way what is expected.
"If you push another student before or during class - you will sit out for that entire class."

Then have them repeat the rule back to you until they can repeat the entire rule without your help. Then ask them if they understand it.

The next time they break the rule sit them out of class. Not participating is hard for kids - they like to be included.

Children model the behavior they are shown - if you hit a kid harder with a technique to "show them how it works" it is likely they will repeat the same behavior on another student the next time they are doing partner work. You are their role model in class and they will try to do what you do.

Karate class is not the playground AND play is children's work - by "playing" with thinks is how they learn. I see no reason that karate class for children can't be a fun activity. It is simply important to tell them the rules and to acknowledge the students that follow them. If you only give outward, verbal attention to the students who break the rules then you may have your hands full of rule breakers. Children love attention and they love to please - so combine the two.

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Dojo Disturbance

Postby LenTesta » Mon Apr 08, 2002 4:34 pm

Good Advice Dana

I have tried to ignor the trouble makers and reward the students who are paying attention. However the trouble makers see that they are "getting away with" talking and fooling around so they do it more. They do not understand that they are not getting rewarded or complimented on their performance in class. The attention bestowed upon them by the other students outweighs the attention from me.

What a coincidence...I posted the above message on Thursday. Then I went to teach at my dojo. I was 3/4 of the way through the Tiny Tot class when I heard a ruckus going on in front of the restrooms. Just as I turned to look, a 10 year old Junior student pushed a 9 year old into the wall and he fell down on his back. I yelled his name loudly and told him to go sit in the reception area. He bolted into a restroom and started crying. It seems that the others where laughing or giggling about something and he thought that this student was laughing at him so he pushed him. I got him to go to the reception area and he went outside when his mother came in to explain what happened. He was very upset and so was I. I have told them MANY, MANY times that they are not supposed to touch anybody unless I say it is OK to do so. I was livid because the tiny tot class witnessed the pushing and it was obviously not a lesson that I wanted them to learn.

When the Junior class lined up, I sat them down and went over dojo ettiquet and the rules of the BUKA. I explained that we were a family and that we should be treating each other as such and should be extra courteous and polite while we are in or out of dojo. I explained that the pushed student could have been hurt and that the pusher would have felt terrible if he had to live with the fact that he hurt someone for no apparent reason other than he thought he was laughed at. We talked about discipline for 20 minutes and then began the class. When the class ended I told them that they had forfeited their sparring time for the class due to the 20 minutes we had taken to talk in the beginning. I saw a look of disdain upon their faces (they really love to spar) and they all looked toward the student who caused the trouble which made him think that no one liked him anymore. Sometimes the best discipline they get is from their own peers.

It is not easy to discipline junior karate students. Some will respond to punishment, some will respond only to kind behavior, others will not respond to anything. It is touch and go and sometimes it appears to be a losing battle no matter what you do. The more each student becomes friendly with the others in the dojo the harder it is to discipline them as a group. I would rather not give punishment for ill behavior and each case must be dealt with accordingly.

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Dojo Disturbance

Postby Rick Wilson » Sun May 12, 2002 12:24 am


You might find it interesting that people ocassionally post questions on these forum that they believe they have "an" answer to in hope that they will learn something new.

Of course it is also true that many use these forums to learn things they don't know. This is a place where they can often find help from people with more experience.

I do not know Uechij situation, but I have seen people placed in situations where they are teaching or helping out at their school but do not have a lot of experience.

Sharing experiences and ideas are what these forums are all about.

I am assuming from your post you are an experienced teacher and have dealt with these situations (as we all have) so perhaps you could share your experience with Uechij.

Rick Wilson

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