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#134437 - 02/23/05 01:43 PM Controlling your Students Behavior
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
There has been some posts recently on students behavior and about what the Instructors do about it. This is a subject I have dealt with for years, and is one that has varying ideals about it. I went to a Sensei once and told him that I could not train with one of the students, he was too egotistical and arrogant. The Sensei replied "its my job to teach him, not monitor his behavior. Its not my job to alter his personality one way or the other, I teach technique, thats it." Another Karate Sensei was watching one of his students at a tournament and said, "he's a jerk, what an egotistical a**". I asked Sensei why he allowed his attitude. He told me, "A good fighter needs attitude" I asked if he need it off the mat too, and his reply was "I don't really care how he acts off the mat, its not my business."

Now I have had Sensei that are more concerned about the way I carry myself, and the kind of students I put out than how good they are on the mat. Both is a reflection of the Sensei and the art. One Sensei told me, "I can beat the ego out of him, but I can't make him technical". Yet another Sesnei has said if you are not humble, respectful,honest, and train from the heart on and off the mat, he will not teach your. I have met 100's of this Sensei's students, and only 1 has been arrogant and egotistical, and he admits it, calls himself, 'Sensei's badboy'.

So there are many answers to this question, should you control your students behavior, or let them be their own person? I feel that a student is a reflection of the Sensei, so I gravitate to Sensei whose demeanor and expectations that are close to mine. But we have all seen the arrogant Sesnei too, its not reserved for just students. But everyone is a student at one time or the other, and do the traits you learn as a student make the kind of Sensei you become? We certainly don't want a collection of cookie cutter Sensei's nor do we want a collection of arrogant ones.By allowing certain behavior, or teaching a students whose attitude is not quite in line, but makes a great fighter and gives the dojo recognition an ok thing. Or is it our place to control how students use the material we give them, and how they act? A Sensei once told me "would you give a 12 year old a gun and let him use it without your watching him? It was the Sensei's way of saying you should control what your student learns and how he uses it. Some say he should never have the gun to begin with. Others feel he has the right to learn how to shoot if he wants to. Its a dilema on how you should handle your students, so how do you?

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#134438 - 02/23/05 02:48 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


A student is a reflection of the teacher as the teacher is of the student. Watch sports on TV and see how many players in any sport feel they have to demonstrate rudeness and boorish behavior to ”show up their opponent”.

As a teacher I feel we should be guiding a student as to what is proper behavior. My students know I will not tolerate rudeness or disrespectful behavior at an event. They also know there is a level of conduct required in class. I hope they continue with this behavior in other parts of their lives.

As a probation officer it is more common than not for a juvenile to come into my office to address a problem that has occurred a month or more earlier and I am the first to place consequences upon them.

If we don’t show our students how to act they may not receive this guidance anywhere else.

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#134439 - 02/23/05 03:50 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Irrespective of whether the goal of the art is to simply impart technical proficiency or cultivate human character, there is no room for "loose canons".

If you take the view of MA in its truest sense, i.e. for training soldiers, then you certainly wouldn't want/need a loose canon on your team of warriors, if their behaviour compromises the safety of the team and jeopardizes the lives of their team mates.

The same applies if you take the view that MA is for developing better individuals.

As sensei, we must set the example for students to follow. The same is true of any organization - military or otherwise. Although, there are some who "do as I say, not as I do".

There is no place for arrogance in the army. And there is no place for ego on the mat.

One of my dojo rules is: "Please leave your shoes and ego at the door. Do not bring them onto the mat". By the same token, I tell my students that the "mat" isn't bound by 4-walls... when they step off the "mat", where is the "mat"? How big is YOUR mat?

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#134440 - 02/23/05 04:04 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Christiancadet Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 553
There is no ego on the mat There has to be ego on the mat, if you don't bring your ego on the mat you can't win. A fighter needs to believe that he will win to be able to win. A fighter needs to think that the other guy isn't going to be able to stand up to him. This is ego.
Now on that note, you don't need to be egotistical outside of competition because egos tend to get in the way of proper learning. You don't need to be rude because that just isn't nice. So basically there is ego involved, but there is a time and place for it. That place is competition.
As far as controlling your students, if they are in the dojo, our representing you in any way, they should reflect well upon you. If they are in a situation where there behavior will not reflect on you then it really isn't your business how they act.

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#134441 - 02/23/05 05:38 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Christiancadet:
...There has to be ego on the mat, if you don't bring your ego on the mat you can't win. A fighter needs to believe that he will win to be able to win. A fighter needs to think that the other guy isn't going to be able to stand up to him. This is ego.
[/QUOTE]

There is "fighting spirit" and "ego". Easy to confuse the two, but they are different. You do not need an "ego" to have "fighting spirit".

[QUOTE]
Now on that note, you don't need to be egotistical outside of competition because egos tend to get in the way of proper learning. You don't need to be rude because that just isn't nice. So basically there is ego involved, but there is a time and place for it. That place is competition.
[/QUOTE]

You seem to be contradicting yourself here. BTW, if you look at the true meaning of competition, it's not what the common use of the word has become. To "compete" comes from the latin word "competere", meaning to strive together.

[QUOTE]
As far as controlling your students, if they are in the dojo, our representing you in any way, they should reflect well upon you. If they are in a situation where there behavior will not reflect on you then it really isn't your business how they act.
[/QUOTE]

I disagree. Irrespective of where they are and in what context, your students' behaviour is a reflection of you. How they act outside the dojo directly reflects on you.

If some kid that starts learning MA from me, goes back to school, or out in the street and starts beating some other kid up, it reflects badly on me. Period. It doesn't matter who started it, or whether the kid was justified. People think (and say) that I teach the kid to do this.

So, it IS MY business how they conduct themselves ON and OFF the mat. Some of the kids that come thru, come from homes whose parents, I'm sorry to say, have no business being parents. I have to undo the damage where their parents' behaviour is being reflected in the child's demeanour. I try to guide them to rise above the BS they bring with them from their home life, and hopefully help them become better people.

OTOH, it brings me immense pleasure to hear some parents say that their child is different (in a better sense) after having started classes. It shows that I am doing something right.

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#134442 - 02/24/05 02:10 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Christiancadet Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 553
Yes I will agree that it is poor form for your students to start fights, and that goes along with what I said about reflecting poorly on the instructor. However if your student wants to drink beer, eat red meat on Fridays vote for the protege of George Lincoln Rockwell and follow The Church of Satan, it's his private life. Were he to make it public knowledge by wearing the uniform of Rockwells ilk to a rally, or do something publically that brings you into a bad light then it is your business. But I don't feel that what a student does behind closed doors in the privacy in his own home place of worship or political meeting place should be his teachers business if it legal.

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#134443 - 02/24/05 04:32 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Of course, what they do in their private lives should be of no concern, unless that activity compromises the integrity and reputation of their teacher.

Even so, I believe the role of sensei is to counsel and guide the student to be a better person. I can't control or change anyone - nobody can make someone do something they don't want to do - but if I can influence just one person to think and act differently, then I am happy.

This is what my sempai in Noosa does, and what our Sensei Takeda does.

2 weeks ago, I met one of my sempai's new shodan. He was a very angry young man when he started aikido. In 4 years, everyone who knew him, remarked to us, on the changes that they have seen in him since he started doing aikido. When I look into his eyes, I see a young man at peace with himself.

When something like that happens, does it not lift your spirit, swell your heart, and bring a tear to your eye?

I think, as sensei, the more lives we touch, the greater our intrinsic reward and fulfilment.

If a sensei believes their role is only to teach technique, then that is their choice. Everyone needs a role model, and I believe that as sensei, we are our students' role models.

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#134444 - 02/25/05 07:38 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sensei's/Instructors become father/mother or older brother/sister figures.
Monkey see monkey do.
One thing about martial arts that I loved was you didnt have a coach yelling at you do this do that while a martial art's instructor worked out with everybody. Every student takes traits of their Instructor, and those of you that know see your self in your students sometimes.

Humbleness and humility ! With out it their is no way to find your true self and learn lifes lessons.

All the codes of MA need to be practiced in all asspects of life.

I stopped teaching MA in a boxing Gym due to attidudes of people, their is no code no martial law in a boxing gym, Respect is lost in our world today. It's our job not only to teach mechanics of combat but also to breed good natured human beings.

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#134445 - 02/25/05 09:57 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
My instructor is not a father/brother figure to me-I already have both.

My instructor is not a spiritual leader/clergyman-I can attend a church for that if I feel a need for guidance.

What my instructors job/purpose is is to impart knowledge of movement and principles of hand to hand combat.
My job is to learn it and take it seriously.
If my instructor or I are unhappy with the relationship, we both have an obligation to end it.

If you personally feel you need a father/brother figure, spiritual guidance, etc. you are more than free to find an instructor who will suitably fill these voids in your life.

As an instructor -if you feel you need to be these to your students, best way to do it is by example. If your students are not living up to your expectations, the question is not why are they failing you but how are you failing them?

In closing, shouldn't we all, regardless if we are martial arts instructors or not, strive to live are lives as examples of good/decent people.

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#134446 - 02/25/05 10:55 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


I agree with Nekogami,

I see no need for anything more than an enforced code of conduct inside a dojo, and for no greater reason than that a pleasant environment will aid learning. This can be expanded to anytime a student is representing/wearing the uniform of the school. However teaching behaviour skills is the job of parents. An MA teacher is an employee, especially where adults are concerned.

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