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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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#134447 - 02/25/05 09:41 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I am not really going to get into my feelings on this, as I was trying to elicit others opinions. But I don't agree with the statement that I am an employee to my adults. Anything but. I have said this before, but I am a train, if you want to work on the train, and learn, jump on, but its not a free ride. If not, get off, and don't let the train run over you. In my school I am on the mat at every class, and teach if there is one person or 12 doesn't matter to me. I also train if no one is there, though I usually have enough for me to train as my kids train with me. So I am not at the whim of a parent, or adult who wants to train. Its my Kingdom, and I am the king, so I dictate what happens, not the student. So if you can live with my rules and the way I construct the environment for my students fine, if not, the door swings both ways, in and out. I have asked people not to return because their head wasn't in the right place, and I have had others quit because of what I demand. To me Martial Arts are a gift, and when you find those who share it, it only makes things better. But nothing is free, it may not be dollars, it maybe committment, dedication or a code of behavior, but it always cost something to get something. I think it depends on what the student wants and what he is going to put up with. My Sensei don't demand how I act, though lead me in a way that I should know how. I am not going to take one side or the other in how a Sensei should act to his students, and what he allows or doesn't allow, but the one thing I am sure of, is I am not an employee to my students. Maybe in a commercial dojo where you have 50 plus students and have to teach to keep students that may be the case, but for me, I dictate the rules and if you can't deal with it, then I am not for you.

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#134448 - 02/25/05 11:20 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


I totally agree.

Otherwise, it turns it into something like how the public education system here is degenerating to - where educational bureaucrats are labelling students as "customers", and teachers as "employees" or "customer service agents". Where is the respect? Once students learn that they are the "customers", any concept of "code of conduct" goes out the window.

It also saddens me to see that the love and passion of teaching (and learning!) has been replaced by service provision, learning objectives, assessments, and pressure to perform.

I guess some of us are from the "old school". [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Although I would refrain from going as far to say we are substitute parents or siblings to the student, I generally think it a human thing to encourage the best in everyone, and to moderate the attitudes of those that need an attitude adjustment.

Let me put it this way:
What would you do if a customer demanded that you teach them the highest level of the art and that that they be graded to the next (x) level belt? Would you provide them the "service" or point them in the direction of the code of conduct and the door?

Likewise, how many businesses do you go to where the customer is directed to a "code of conduct" on how they should behave on the proprietor's premises?

Or yet another way, which teachers do you remember most from your school days and why? Because they were just another "employee" or because they nurtured something in you??

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#134449 - 02/26/05 07:29 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Double Posted

[This message has been edited by Shonuff (edited 02-27-2005).]

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#134450 - 02/26/05 07:40 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by eyrie:

Let me put it this way:
What would you do if a customer demanded that you teach them the highest level of the art and that that they be graded to the next (x) level belt? Would you provide them the "service" or point them in the direction of the code of conduct and the door?

Likewise, how many businesses do you go to where the customer is directed to a "code of conduct" on how they should behave on the proprietor's premises?

Or yet another way, which teachers do you remember most from your school days and why? Because they were just another "employee" or because they nurtured something in you??

[/QUOTE]


I think my statements came out harsher than I intended, its just that I am fervently against anyone trying to tell me who I should be or how I should behave in my life, nor do I feel that it is my or anyone elses place to tell grown folk how to behave.

Demanding to be graded to a level beyond that they are ready for is not the service being provided, nor does it fit with the code of conduct. It may not sound as nice as romanticised MA student/teacher respect ideals, but so long as everyone is grown up about how they act there is no reason why there should be any difference in how people are treated between the two ideologies.

As for the second example about businesses you enter... everytime you get on a plane or walk into a resteraunt with a no smoking sign or get on a bus with a no loud music/no smelly food sign etc etc etc... Proprietors do not have to put up with unacceptable behaviour, and in a teaching environment this is especially true. You join and you sign a contract saying that u will not disrupt life for the other students you will not do anything to put the schools name in disrepute (look at any University).

As for which teachers I remember, the nurturers I remember (few though they were), but also those who were firm but fair earned my respect. I dont feel anyone should be teaching who doesnt love it, who isnt in it to nurture their budding MAists, but Adults should know how to behave. If you dont want to teach someone because you dont like them thats fine, shopkeepers dont serve people who tick them off or are rude, but why should it be the responsibility of an MA teacher to teach a grown adult how to behave? What possible reason could there be besides old oriental traditions?

Bare in mind I have no problem with being a role model and behaviour coach to children, but if you think an adult is such an ass he disrupts learning for others or is unpleasant to teach or he may misuse his ma skills then just dont teach him.

Sensei lou, I think perhaps your viewpoint is a better way of looking at it than the employee example I gave, on the other hand that attitude to MA teaching is also the cause of numerous MA cults and tyranical regimes wherein the teacher is "king" and wields that power with an iron fist to the detriment of his students. Much of that happens because the MA teacher is placed on this guru-like pedastal where he is given more authority and respect than he deserves precisely because he is something more than just a teahcer of MA skills and knowledge.

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#134451 - 02/26/05 01:12 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I think there is one aspect of any Martial Art, any style, any practice and that is Respect. To me, Respect is the biggest tenant of the Martial Arts. Without it, you have a club. If that is what you want, great, join the Judo club, or golf club whatever. A club brings people together who's interests are the same, and its very social. Martial Arts schools teach many things from techniques to spiritual or mental training. What is wrong with a Sensei teaching lessons in life? No matter how old or talented you are, one who has more life experiences, or has seen other things can be a mentor. I am 52 years old, and I still look up to my Sensei for guidance, and insight on how to live my life. Its not a cult, its not heavy handed telling me how to live. What they are doing is sharing life experiences, and knowledge they have received, and help guide me in my path.I have tremendous respect for those who have taken the time and patience to help me. Its all about respect, respect for the art, the Sensei and the process. So what is wrong with someone showing a way for people to live? No one makes another do anything, you can always walk out the door. If one has an overbearing Sensei, and is cult like, leave, no one forces anybody to train or train with that person. People have a choice and if they choose to follow a Sensei's way, its their choice. Cult leaders only exist if they have followers, and no one makes them follow, its their choice. I find nothing wrong with a Sensei leading a student, no matter how old, on a path to make them a better person, family memeber Martial Artist, whatever. I have pretty much kept my feeling about this quite, but I feel you are Sensei on and off the mat, and its my job if a student needs a shoulder to cry on or just to be there. I feel if one of my students is in trouble I need to be there. One of my students had an emergency surgery having her gall bladder removed. when I got the call, I stopped class and took everyone to the hospital to make sure she was allright. We treat our Dojo like family, Ohana in Hawaiian, and close knit group that takes care of one another, are there for one another, and respect one another. to me this is what the arts are about, Respect!!!!

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#134452 - 02/26/05 03:41 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Members,
I have enjoyed reading what you all have contributed. In reguard to the original question of controlling a students behavior, I think it is a complex question. I think the goal should not be that I control them but that I help them establish an internal locus of control. I would want them to come to understand what it is that they want and why they want it. I want them to be disciplined enough to do what they have to and couragious enough to do what they want to. Life and natural consequences are better teachers than I'll ever be. Many people would think of me as a good or moral guy. It only proves that they don't know me or themselves well enough. I'm am happiest in the company of fellow strugglers and wounded healers. There are only two kinds of martial artist on the path,
those that are having a hard time, and those that will. We don't really teach what we know. We teach who we are.

oldman



[This message has been edited by oldman (edited 02-26-2005).]

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#134453 - 02/26/05 05:33 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by senseilou:
I think there is one aspect of any Martial Art, any style, any practice and that is Respect. To me, Respect is the biggest tenant of the Martial Arts.
[/QUOTE]

I agree completely.

[QUOTE]
Without it, you have a club. If that is what you want, great, join the Judo club, or golf club whatever. A club brings people together who's interests are the same, and its very social.
[/QUOTE]

Here I disagree.. Ive never been to a club of any kind where disrespectful attitudes were tolerated.

[QUOTE]
Martial Arts schools teach many things from techniques to spiritual or mental training. What is wrong with a Sensei teaching lessons in life? No matter how old or talented you are, one who has more life experiences, or has seen other things can be a mentor.
[/QUOTE]

This is true, but, it pressumes that the teacher has lessons to teach that the student doesn't already know or that he/she would find valuable. It also presumes that the teacher is a good person who will teach good values. It also presumes that the teachers beliefs gel with the students. An MA teacher is a person with flaws and beliefs like anyone else, who is to say he/she has anything of value to offer in regards to being a mentor.

[QUOTE]
I am 52 years old, and I still look up to my Sensei for guidance, and insight on how to live my life. Its not a cult, its not heavy handed telling me how to live. What they are doing is sharing life experiences, and knowledge they have received, and help guide me in my path.I have tremendous respect for those who have taken the time and patience to help me.
[/QUOTE]

Thats great, but I want implying that you or anyone you know generates a martial cult around himself, but I have certainly seen it happen. Teachers who ball out students for messing up resteraunt bookings, who treat grown men like children because they are somehow higher than those they teach. Not everyone out there is a nice person, but that doesnt stop them from teaching MA.

If I walk into a dojo for the first time, the teacher does not know me. If I train for ten years and the only words Ive invited from them are to correct my technique, then they dont know me. To automatically assume the role of mentor in life because I've walked into a school or he/she's shown me punching and kicking for a while, (or even meditation and focussing exercises) is not that teachers place.

If I come looking for a mentor, asking advice etc etc thats fine, but that kind of thing is not the place of anyone (but parents) to assume. Now if Ive trained for ten years and there is a bond thats grown (no it doesnt need to be 10 years) then again thats different, but dont just assume because Im in your class I need or desire your guidance in anything other than MA.


[QUOTE]
Its all about respect, respect for the art, the Sensei and the process. So what is wrong with someone showing a way for people to live? No one makes another do anything, you can always walk out the door. If one has an overbearing Sensei, and is cult like, leave, no one forces anybody to train or train with that person. People have a choice and if they choose to follow a Sensei's way, its their choice. Cult leaders only exist if they have followers, and no one makes them follow, its their choice. I find nothing wrong with a Sensei leading a student, no matter how old, on a path to make them a better person, family memeber Martial Artist, whatever. I have pretty much kept my feeling about this quite, but I feel you are Sensei on and off the mat, and its my job if a student needs a shoulder to cry on or just to be there. I feel if one of my students is in trouble I need to be there. One of my students had an emergency surgery having her gall bladder removed. when I got the call, I stopped class and took everyone to the hospital to make sure she was allright. We treat our Dojo like family, Ohana in Hawaiian, and close knit group that takes care of one another, are there for one another, and respect one another. to me this is what the arts are about, Respect!!!! [/QUOTE]

Thats fine for you, its just a different viewpoint, and if you are a genuinely good person and can provide genuinely good advice thats great. But I dont feel that because someone has some years at martial arts they have the experience or right to be a life coach.

As far as cults, people get drawn into them for a variety of reasons and they stay for a variety of reasons. The fact that they do stay despite ill-treatment is testament in its self to the fact that its not as simple (at least in the cultists head) of walking out the door.

It is possible to have respect without deference. Respect of equals. Respect of individuals who have come together for a comon purpose. Respect for the knowledge of a teacher, but also respect for the knowledge of a student. There needs to be respect on both sides, or it isnt respect anymore. Why, if the MA teacher can be mentor, should the student not be mentor? He might actually be a qualified counsellor and life coach outside of the dojo, so what makes the MA teacher special.

You said if a student needs you to be there, thats fine. If any human being needs you, be there. If it is asked for, if it is desired or requested or even if it is just welcomed, but is it the teachers place to assume it is. Did you re-imburse your students for the lesson they missed? If I didnt know or like that person I would not have wanted my class interupted, I need the exercise for one thing! You treat your dodjo like a family, but not all familys are healthy, not all families are a good influence on the members. It is an admirable goal, and if it grows into that through the interactions a teacher has witha student and everyone is nice and balanced people, it is great, Ive experienced that in places Ive trained. But Ive also experienced the other side where the family are stuffed down your throat, in your business, and do not have your best interests at heart.

You are right, the arts are about respect. But is it respectful to enforce the beliefs (of behaviour, of life etc) of one onto all, just because he is the teacher of an MA? To me it does not seem so.



[This message has been edited by Shonuff (edited 02-26-2005).]

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#134454 - 02/26/05 11:08 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Shonuff,

All good points from another perspective.

[QUOTE]
But is it respectful to enforce the beliefs (of behaviour, of life etc) of one onto all, just because he is the teacher of an MA? To me it does not seem so.
[/QUOTE]

And you are absolutely right. But I don't believe the intent is to do so. I like how oldman put it .... "[to help them] establish a locus of control"...

Indeed, you are also right to imply, what gives us the right to do so? We are all imperfect beings, but we can always try to better ourselves, and also try to encourage others to be the best they can be.

However, if we subscribe to the virtues of budo, then as budo-ka, is it not our ethical and moral duty to temper or moderate the student's behavior - and I qualify - where it is needed?

Whether this is necessary or not, is entirely up to the individual teacher. The difficulty is, it is not all cut and dried. And I agree with oldman, we teach who we are. All we can do is share our life experiences.

As you suggest, I'm not saying everyone needs it or would even be receptive to such advice. It would certainly be inappropriate or not applicable to all. However, I believe we are talking about arrogant/egotistical individuals, who may also be good fighters. I also believe that, more often than not, such advice is usually "given" covertly, or couch in a story, and not expressed in so many words.

Sure you can request that they leave, but I think that is equally remiss (as budo-ka) - in effect, turning the "problem" student over to become someone else's problem.

This may not be a problem for some. And I'm not saying that it's right or wrong. Just different ways of how people deal with the issue.

This has been a really excellent discussion, and I can see your perspective is just as valid as the next.

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#134455 - 02/27/05 01:21 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Eyrie,

Thanks for responding, you made some very good points as well.

I would just like to point out that in the case of arrogant egotistical individuals I am still advocating a means of curbing their behaviour. Codes of behaviour are common in our everyday lives, we encounter and abide by them without even thinking.
Aside from not putting the teacher onto a pedastal of moral authority, a simple behaviour code that everyone must abide by to me seems to me like a more effective way to get the message across.

Take the arrogant jerk who wins every tournament, but who gets on students and opponents nerves because he talks down to them. The behaviour code for the club says something like, "no one will antagonise other students or any persons while representing the school so as to preserve the teaching environment and the schools reputation". You tell him what he's doing and that he needs to stop because it upsets other students. If he continues putting people off with his attitude you tell him he wont be allowed to represent the school in tourneys. He may stay an arrogant person but his behaviour will have to modify, he wont be upset anyone and you've done nothing but manage your school. Also he will be made to think about his behaviour, and the change in his actions in its self will help him towards changing his attitude. Some of the best life lessons are learned simply by having rules and discipline enforced around us.

I understand the other side of things though... As I said for me the issue comes first when the mentoring role is being taken up by the teacher without being requested by the student. Second, with the fact that not all MA teachers are good people. As Oldman said, we teach who we are, but that may not be a good thing. Sanctioning these not so good people to become elevated above the men and women they teach disturbs me.

Good Debate eyrie!

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#134456 - 02/27/05 03:13 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Shonuff,

I take your point, but I don't think that it is about sanctioning or elevating a teacher above their students, whether or not that teacher has the appropriate moral rectitude.

I can therefore appreciate your reservations about mentoring someone without first being requested of it. However, mentoring is sometimes necessary where the person in question isn't even aware that they require it, as in the example you provided. It is like the coach pushing the athlete's buttons, because the athlete does not yet know their own potential.

Perhaps it is easier to point to a code of conduct, in such instances, to maintain a sort of professional distance - which in some cases is not such a bad thing. Or can we not rely on good old fashioned human decency - treat others as you would have them treat you, because our moral compass is questionable?

In which case, whose moral compass guided the development of that code of conduct, by which all and sundry must adhere to?

Good debate.

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#134457 - 02/27/05 04:12 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by eyrie:
Shonuff,

I take your point, but I don't think that it is about sanctioning or elevating a teacher above their students, whether or not that teacher has the appropriate moral rectitude.

I can therefore appreciate your reservations about mentoring someone without first being requested of it. However, mentoring is sometimes necessary where the person in question isn't even aware that they require it...
[/QUOTE]

And this is my problem, the moment we take it upon ourselves to decide that someone else is in need of guidance we are taking on a position of moral superiority. If we have developed a bond with the person in question then thats a different matter, intervening with friends and family is something that is often expected as well as necessary, however such a bond takes time to develop. I dont believe its an automatic right of an MA teacher to assume that role just because someone trains in his class.

[QUOTE]
Perhaps it is easier to point to a code of conduct, in such instances, to maintain a sort of professional distance - which in some cases is not such a bad thing. Or can we not rely on good old fashioned human decency - treat others as you would have them treat you, because our moral compass is questionable?
[/QUOTE]

Again this is my point. For the idea of the teacher as mentor to work it requires one BIG assumption. The assumption that the teacher is a good old-fashioned comonly decent person. The assumption that even if its meant in the best intentions that he/she will impart good advice and not a load of crap which when taken to heart will do more harm than good.

When someone goes to see a counselor, very often the counselor does not give advice, to do so takes away the persons responsibility in solving their own problems. The very concept of a martial arts teacher giving out advice goes against the conventional wisdom of the genuine problem solvers out there and again what qualifies them to do this? A 5th dan in karate???

[QUOTE]
In which case, whose moral compass guided the development of that code of conduct, by which all and sundry must adhere to?
[/QUOTE]

Now that is a good point (one which I'd hoped you would miss [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] ). Its partly for that reason that I conceded that Sensei lou's description of things (the train) might be a better description than a simple service provider. To some degree the teacher/head of school will have to lay down his view of things unless the class simply has no rules (inadvisable).
However, its one thing to set down a code of conduct specifically for the mutual benefit of the students that all must adhere to (with no moral basis beyond what allows us to best get on with each other), and another for the teacher to feel it is his/her right to tell someone else how he/she should live or what kind of attitude he/she should have.
Its another thing for students to be subjected to and judged on the teachers idea of morals. You might disagree that any judging would go on, but when moralistic ideas are brought in to a situation judging is inevitable. A cold set of rules to me is blind justice, the moral interpretations (path of Budo?) of the teacher as to what kind of person a student should be is easily coloured, and if the teacher actively pushes his view (even if just through kindly but unsolicited words of advice) on the student, I feel it is inapropriate and potentially harmful.

[QUOTE]
Good debate.
[/QUOTE]

Indeed [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]!

- Shogun of London

[This message has been edited by Shonuff (edited 02-27-2005).]

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#134458 - 02/27/05 07:14 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


Shogun of London?

I thought it was Shogun of Harlem??? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Shonuff:
... I dont believe its an automatic right of an MA teacher to assume that role just because someone trains in his class...
[/QUOTE]

Nor do I. Obviously some sort of bond (familial or otherwise) is pre-requisite. It would otherwise be inappropriate to pre-suppose or assume the moral right to do so. I think this was what I was trying to say all along, just that it didn't quite come out as clearly as how you put it.

[QUOTE]...
The very concept of a martial arts teacher giving out advice goes against the conventional wisdom of the genuine problem solvers out there and again what qualifies them to do this?....[/QUOTE]

A very good point indeed. However, giving advice outright, is very different to (subtly!) influencing a person's perspective, or just simply telling it as it is, as in your previous example with arrogant student.

The example you give of a counselor is probably more appropriate in any given circumstance. I definitely agree. To "counsel", rather than "advise".

[QUOTE]...
A cold set of rules to me is blind justice, the moral interpretations (path of Budo?) of the teacher as to what kind of person a student should be is easily coloured, and if the teacher actively pushes his view (even if just through kindly but unsolicited words of advice) on the student, I feel it is inapropriate and potentially harmful...
[/QUOTE]

Yes, it is a fine line. I can see your point for moralistic detachment and deferrment to a code of conduct. However, I am not suggesting a active imposition of the teacher's world view on the student. I was referring more to the use of strategy, and subtlety in verbal communications, not unlike what we would use in military or martial strategy, just at a different level. Of course, it doesn't hurt to also point them in the direction of any number of interpretations of codes of conduct and hope they identify with the underlying message you are trying to convey. After all, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

[QUOTE]...
Now that is a good point (one which I'd hoped you would miss [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] )
[/QUOTE]

It has certainly been worthwhile exploring the parameters of this topic, and I wouldn't be a worthy adversary if I didn't pick you up on that. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

I immensely enjoyed the verbal sparring...and thank you for your perspective! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#134459 - 02/27/05 07:21 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Did you re-imburse your students for the lesson they missed?

This question was posed when I talked about cancelling class and taking my students to the hospital to check on another student. The answer to the question is Hell No.

I feel I give my students 10 fold for what they pay. I don't do it for money and money has never been a issue for me. I had one student train for 2 years and did not pay a cent. If my students couldn't take a hour away from training to check on a fellow student, they can leave. I have a family environment and part of our Family art is to treat one another like family. The notion to give them a refund for doing something for another student apalls me. If that is they way of most dojo, if they feel its only about money for training, I want no part of it.

But I have found this post really interesting and I am following up with another thread. But basically, what I have seen here is a no win situation for a Sensei. You get a Sensei who just teaches marterial, teaches you for money and he gets the rap of owning a McDojo, money for training and not caring. Then when a Sensei really cares and gets involved with other parts of the art, and tries to help his students on a personal level, he is cult like or he is too involved in the student. People argue they don't want someone to lead and nuture them, and then when a Instructor gives bare bones training, he has a McDojo, and is a McSensei. You can't have it both ways. Its really interesting the quotes about cult like and a Sensei just teaching and not preaching, seems really funny when other times a Sensei is tagged as not caring. Its a no win situation. The populace is just as bad. They want nothing to do with Martial Arts, too violent until their son gets pulverized by the bully, then we are great people and a strong influence to their kids, thats ok, but being too involved and viewed as taking over their kids isn't. How does one win? See the next thread.

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#134460 - 02/27/05 08:56 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by senseilou:

I feel I give my students 10 fold for what they pay. I don't do it for money and money has never been a issue for me. I had one student train for 2 years and did not pay a cent. If my students couldn't take a hour away from training to check on a fellow student, they can leave. I have a family environment and part of our Family art is to treat one another like family. The notion to give them a refund for doing something for another student apalls me. If that is they way of most dojo, if they feel its only about money for training, I want no part of it.
[/QUOTE]

I don't want to go too deeply into this as I don't see a need to make this debate personal, I will simply say that I do understand your point but I disagree.


[QUOTE]
But I have found this post really interesting and I am following up with another thread. But basically, what I have seen here is a no win situation for a Sensei. You get a Sensei who just teaches marterial, teaches you for money and he gets the rap of owning a McDojo, money for training and not caring.
[/QUOTE]

Personally I had always understood a McDojo to be a place that gave substandard training and elevated students in rank regardless of ability for the sake of getting paid? I have encountered very very few teachers who can afford to teach without re-imbursement and none who are criticised for it.

[QUOTE]
Then when a Sensei really cares and gets involved with other parts of the art, and tries to help his students on a personal level, he is cult like or he is too involved in the student.
[/QUOTE]

If that was said in response to my words then they have been misunderstood. I would ask if you believe that Martial cults or over involved teachers exist or not?

[QUOTE]
People argue they don't want someone to lead and nuture them, and then when a Instructor gives bare bones training, he has a McDojo, and is a McSensei. You can't have it both ways.
[/QUOTE]

Why not. Why can an MA teacher not be a friendly and social while maintaining a proffessional distance from the students. It seems a fairly simple matter of establishing some boundries regarding how involved one gets. Also those people who complain about over-involvement and then call an uninvolved teacher a McSensei should be asked precisely where they want the line drawn.

[QUOTE]
Its really interesting the quotes about "cult like" and a Sensei just teaching and not preaching, seems really funny when other times a Sensei is tagged as not caring.
[/QUOTE]

Like most things in life I feel its a question of balance. Asking "how are you doing", or "is everything ok" lets people know a teahcer cares and opens the door for them to seek help. On the other hand they can just as easily politely brush off the extended hand without fear of offending. If they dont wan to talk, they dont and everyone can get on with their lives and lessons without fear of intrusion.

As far as MA classes becoming cult like, I've seen it, its not pretty. That is a case of a total imbalance, the instructor has become elevated beyond the level of an equal and is to be obeyed for fear of reprisal. Fear and guilt in my mind have no place in a martial arts school. As I said, not everyone is a good person with the students best interests at heart.

[QUOTE]
Its a no win situation. The populace is just as bad. They want nothing to do with Martial Arts, too violent until their son gets pulverized by the bully, then we are great people and a strong influence to their kids, thats ok, but being too involved and viewed as taking over their kids isn't. How does one win?
[/QUOTE]

As above, balance is the key.

Of course that is just one opinion.

Eyrie..
It is Shogun of Harlem... but Im not from Harlem [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

- Shogun of London

[This message has been edited by Shonuff (edited 02-27-2005).]

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#134461 - 02/28/05 09:06 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


As for the father/mother/brother role, I looked to my instructor for advise on life, martial arts etc...So I looked up to him like an uncle/ older brother. I too allready had a father who taught me many of lifes lesson's. After years of training with an instructor, you gain a bond, a friend ship. I would die for my instructor/s and fellow students of my school as I would die & lay down my life for my own family.

New students who come to my school, I am just an instructor and thats it. They are nothing more than a new face who will probally not return. I am their for what ever purposes they may have, to defend one self , to get in shape etc... I feel they have walked in for a reason, if they stay then it is ment to be, if they leave then it is ment to be. My door swings both ways as well and it's something I allways say.

My concern's are for the ones who show up. If students dont show up I'll call them see how things are. Time is valuable and if students are not going to show up, Then I tell them to leave, I have done it in the past and will continue to do it today. The Art's are to valuable for me to just let people come and go and be half a$$ Wanna be Martial Artist. Thats what the mcdojo's are for.

I dont push my self as a replacement for father figure type senerio. But like Senseilou said I would be their for a shoulder to cry on, some one to talk to on and off the mat, help students in anyway possible, mentaly, physicaly, financialy, anything I can do thats do_able. Some of the best lessons I have learned were off the mat.

But I do not change my ways for anybody. The Art will lead to all truths, And I will teach the traditions, & codes of MA.
After years of training the bond and friendships grow and bloom to what should be something beutiful between instructor and student, student to student etc... Students who train for years become family. My fellow class mates that trained with me through ranks & years, we have a bond together, they are like my brothers & sisters.

So yeah as Instructors I strongly believe that we put lesson's and mind sets to our students so that they make the right decisions and their behavior's are the same in and out of the school.
If I didnt want to concern my self with my students I would be just a coach, just be a mechanic with the arts, stop running through belt systems, instruct cardio work outs take peoples money and be their employee, do not concern myself with their problems, worry about their progress of the arts have no concern for their outcome in life then I would be their employee, wich I am not. & what I say goes, If they dont like then their's the door.

It is easier to point and command rather than give the helping hand. Your right we need to lead by example, practice what we preach.
I am not perfect either but, I put my heart and soul into my teachings. So A student that disrespects or is out of line in or out of the school, their behavior is out of proper character for learning MA and disobeying codes. I will tell them to leave. This is how I can somewhat control the behavior and keep a good name for the school .


[This message has been edited by Ajacks (edited 02-28-2005).]

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#134462 - 02/28/05 09:42 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


MA is not fighting, it's a way of living. With this comes an understanding of discipline and respect. The best techniques I've seen preformed are done with self control, confidence and respect for your opponent. Having a big ego makes accepting that there are people better than you are difficult and is a barrier to improving yourself. All students of MA at any level should respect all other students of MA.
(Also the best masters keep learning even after they are considered masters)

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#134463 - 03/07/05 07:29 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


all i can say is that the best form of controlling them is discipline. Smack them on the ass or get them with the cane!

this can be also be called as a beating.

Your Reguards,

Mr. T.

(The A Team: JOIN US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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#134464 - 03/07/05 06:04 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by The A Team:
all i can say is that the best form of controlling them is discipline. Smack them on the ass or get them with the cane!

this can be also be called as a beating.

Your Reguards,

Mr. T.

(The A Team: JOIN US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
[/QUOTE]

REALLY? Last time I checked, this was against the law, and you would be up for assault and battery.

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#134465 - 05/11/05 02:06 AM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior [Re: senseilou]
wbbfan Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 31
Loc: southern manitoba, canada
I taught for a short time in a small class filled with children. I nearly lost my mind. You have to sttempt to change tehre attitude. You are a teacher. No different from a school teacher. Attitude is a major part of MAs. Your teaching some dangerous techniques and must be sure you do your best to help your students to be as responsible as possible. The MAs are more mental then physical. The physical techniques are mostly ment to build mental strength too.
There is how ever, a point at which you can not cross with attitude. If a student refuses to behave, and no punishment seems to help you have to do one of two things.
Talk to there parents. Get them to do some thing and make it clear that MAs is NOT baby sitting. Many parnets seem to get the two confused. If it still continues, you may have to remove the student from your classes. Either for a period of tiem or permenently. After all you can't let one bad student hurt the experience for teh rest of the good students.
You must try to make poorly behaved students act better. But after a certain point you can not do any more.
_________________________
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."

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#134466 - 05/15/05 10:43 PM Re: Controlling your Students Behavior [Re: wbbfan]
rockleewannabe Offline
Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 41
Loc: Canada
I'm young, I'm only 18, and when I was just starting high school I had only a few friends, barely any at all, 1-2

I went to this place, a teen center, lunches and after school, being grade 8, the highest grade being grade 12, and being incredibly egotistical and annoying, I got picked on a lot, but I had belief's that people are equal and shouldn't be treated harshly because of inferiority


anyways, the transition I won't talk about, but from grade 10ish-12, I started to become a prominent figure in that place, I disdained being an authority figure, too wild for that

but what I learned is, that a GOOD instructor will teach both aspects, technical and mental, they will not put emphasis on any of it, but they will teach accordingly to whoever lacks it

I have skill in martial arts and training, and a fair bit in school fights, but in the teen center, it was super smash that people played the most

I'd teach people the skills required to do decently, and I would almost always be playing, as only 4 can do this at a time, the losers would usually end up giving up the controller since there would be up to 12 people wanting to play


note that this game is for fun, and it's not super important that you lose, but fairly important

if someone was being cheap, and toatlly picking on a really new person, I would take them out of the game first, no questions asked, or I'd tell them not to attack them again, and then I'd tell the new person some controls so they could do a little better

in this sense I've satisfied both conditions, technicalities and spirituality/mentality

but the best instructor is a good leader, someone his inferiors respect and know that if it went down to the wire, they couldn't beat him

to show great self discipline, honourable morals, and truth of self, as well as skill, strength and ferocity is how you will "control" people well

to TEACH them to be good like you are, requires understanding, patience, compassion and determination

control refers to someone forcing someone else to do something, rather influence them to do things using you're own greatness as a slight shove, and make no threats other then those that are relevant, some people will say they have, but they are just playing mind games to make others think they are in the right

this is the basic leadership principle, which is what an instructor of ANY kind should have at least a small amount of experience in
_________________________
You advance in forum fighting.

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