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#183065 - 09/02/05 11:33 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
Galen Offline

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
I have to say that there is a very real difference between respect and fear.

Certainly advance ranks should be of a mind to instill respect in the lower ranks. NOT fear. The only reason a student has to fear a higher rank in a sparring circumstance is if they know that the higher rank may physically hurt them beyond the expectation of the match, either because the higher rank lacks control, or worse, would intentionally do so.

Advance ranks can absolutely, and have a responsibility, to push their juniors past their perceived limitations. Thats the whole freakin' point! If you are not pushing your students past what they perceive to be their limitations, they will never get better.

Having said that, there is a VERY fine line between instilling respect and instilling fear. One hit, a little too hard and any respect you may have had can immediately be replaced with fear.

Once your student fears you, you may as well hang it up, because you cannot teach them effectively.

Its the opposite with respect. You HAVE to have the respect of your students, or again, you cannot teach effectively.

Its a very fine line and not an easy one to walk. That is why there are precious few really good isntructors out there.

If you are lucky enough to have one, take care of him (or her).

Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

#183066 - 09/02/05 11:34 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
I don't believe Gavin was talking 'Cobra-Kai' mentality. and John, I wouldn't believe all of your students have absolutely no fear of sparring you.
A determining factor for setting the tone is the amount of contact allowed. another is the attitude/culture/ego of the dojo. Those two factors are pretty much set by the sensei. people don't like the levels set (too hard/too soft), they change clubs.

#183067 - 09/02/05 11:41 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
I think fear is not really what I was trying to describe. I'm pretty sure all of the guys trust me, but they do have a healthy appreciation of what the senior grades can do. I think can be taken as egotistical, but it isn't.

We train the guys hard, push them to their limitations and beyond. The guys aren't pushed to the point of being scared out of their witts, but they are most definately pushed outside of their comfort zones. I'm not saying that every sparring session should be a ultra hard, the senior grades should also move round slowly and concerntrate on the movements, strategies and such. However, I strongly believe that there has to be the odd session where people get bounced off the walls. On the street someone won't be pitching their skill level slightly above yours, and I think its healthy to have a skilled senior grade attacking with controlled intestity. It's character building, pushes people beyond their natural limitations.

I'm affraid, I honestly believe that if you want to produce fighters, then they need to be pushed. I understand that not everyone wants to become a fighter, but we have always stressed that we're not a sports orientate club, we're are purely concerned about combat.

As I said, this approach isn't for everyone, but I love our club. The guys all have a really close relationship, theres a real bond and trusting atmosphere. Perhaps I haven't put this across aswell as I could?

Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#183068 - 09/02/05 11:53 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Kintama]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Spot on Kin! And I think Galen made the point I was trying to make. Ignore my inane ramblings, listen to Galen and Kintama.
Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#183069 - 09/02/05 12:34 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: ai-uchi]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I have never had an oppurtunity to spar anyone higher than a 4th degree, myself.

I do agree with JohnL totally about maintaining a skill level appropriate for whoever you are sparring with. Students don't learn well from a hospital room.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#183070 - 09/02/05 01:19 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Galen]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Galen - Having said that, there is a VERY fine line between instilling respect and instilling fear. One hit, a little too hard and any respect you may have had can immediately be replaced with fear.

I think this just about says it, instilling respect ususally you only have to do it once ever so often. Initally and after each grade promotion. Its is human nature that you don't want to study with a guy you think you can whip. So you can't be too easy on your students and in order to show how effective a technique is sometimes/most times they have to feel it. While sparring not in demo (of how it works) knocking the wind out of them or even knocking them down assures they understand its power & effectiveness.

I think sometimes in order to instill confidence you have to let them score. But right afterwards show them the counter the very next time they try that same/simlar technique. I don't do it like my Head Goju instructor were if he asked you to raise your guard or block your chest once, and U didn't. He'd bust your lip or black your eye or dropped you. If you hit him solid he'd go wild into a 10 technique combination ending with a sweep or throw & stomp.

I take most of my sparring from his assitance he was my Instructor before I met Hachi, he wanted you to hit him, if you could. He stated if you could hit him, you could hit most people. Now he wasn't going to let you hit him, easily and if you did it wasn't too solid. I really respected Sensei Mike.

Hachi Wilson I thought was crazy, I remember Mike Sensei askig to see a Jump Back thrust, Hachi placed him in fornt of him, and knocked him down with the kick, had him stand again 2nds after releasing his hand knocked him down again. Hachi was an Okinawan stylist. Mike back away saying I thnk I got it, Hachi reaching for him saying "I think i can do it better then that".

Mikes Sensei's TSD instructor showed him the near same kick stopping inches form his nose twice, I respected Sabnum Cagel demo skills more. Hachi Wilson was crazy. I resepct his seriousness and skill but not his demo technique skills. Of cousre I never asked to see that kick from Hachi, was I scared I don't know. I never asked.

Respect helps you grow, Fear stunts growth. IMHO,

#183071 - 09/02/05 02:11 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I was always #2 in my former dojo but I never had to "blacken an eye" to do this.

I have all my beginner students spar against Brown Belts because BrB's have more control, they have nothing to prove & it allows beginners to overcome their fears to improve. The rule is that the BrB's must spar "1 click" above the level of their kohai (junior). Domination never teaches anything. Just the opposite; it reinforces a bully mentality, creates fear & humiliation among the newbees & can drive away potentially quality students. I've had many students that seemed to be ill-suited for MA who, w/ patient instruction, overcame their inadequacies to become fine karate-ka.

No I don't condone coddling or false promotion to build phony self-esteem. Inflicting pain may not drive away naturally aggressive students but there are many more who would succeed w/o a "hazing" mentality.

The military doesn't only recruit the most aggressive from our society. The jails & prisons are full of those. They mold fighters from everyday citizens.

#183072 - 09/02/05 04:42 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: Gavin]
ai-uchi Offline

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 200
Loc: harlow essex

and probably not bring into question someone's skill who they hadn't met. Especially when said person, making said comments only is down the road from us.

sir i never questioned anybody's ability in my post

i make the point of asking about attitudes in sparring

my main concern is that when training in northern Ireland i was aware of senior grades (one of whom was thrown out of my club by my instructor) who used lower grades as target practiceusing them as a means of testing how their reverse punch had improved.

i think the difference is that a lower grade should never feel they are in danger when sparring a senior grade as this would inhibit learning. Sir why should lower grades be as 'scared as hell' to spar with a senior grade - i would want the reverse in fact in my club - maybe we have ifferent ideas - that is all
streakers - your end is in sight

#183073 - 09/02/05 05:03 PM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: hedkikr]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
The military doesn't only recruit the most aggressive from our society. The jails & prisons are full of those. They mold fighters from everyday citizens.

Did you know Hachi Wilson? Where did you meet him? He was incarserated as a Nidan for a mishap, beyond his control, is the way he described it. After the mental aspect sunk in he was a much better person, listening to his past this is the way he learned. You were a sissy if you complainted about a busted lip and there was no one to complain to but him.

I agree its time for a change.

#183074 - 09/03/05 12:51 AM Re: correct attitude for senior grades [Re: JohnL]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia

Hi Ai-Uchi

I've missed your posts. Welcome back!

When I spar with lower graded students at the club, I adjust my own performance level to just above theirs. This gives them the opportunity to practice what they know, try out new things and do all this in an atmosphere where they are not afraid to do so and can have some success.

Gavin, I'm afraid I disagree with your comments. If your senior grades are fostering a feeling of fear in lower grade students, that does neither them nor you any credit. It will prevent the students from learning and inhibit their progress. This does not help the students in any way and if it gives your senior guys an ego trip then they, and you, are in the wrong business.

Further, I don't believe it matters whether you are doing point sparring, semi contact, or full. The attitude should be the same. When I work with students of my level, we agree on the training that we are going to do. When I work with junior students, I set the tone and maintain it.

On Friday's we have a sparring night that consists of 1 hour of, 3 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks, swapping partners every break.

We had a senior TKD guy visit. He was solid both technically and physically. He adjusted his sparring level to everyone he sparred with so that his opponents gained something from sparring with him. He had nothing to prove and showed himself in a completely positive light.

Instilling fear in students does no-one any credit.

John, I think you misunderstand.

I was a young teenager when I started hard sparring. I was afraid of sparring, not because of my lack of ability, nor being hit (it was fair and never excessive, although it did push me - in no way would I call it abusive) but being technically beaten, because it would show me how I would get hurt in a real fight agaisnt someone with a superior ability. Over time this fear changed from this to not doing my best and then to permamently hurting my partners or fighting kids too hard.

I think we do much the same thing - the experience I have gives me a good idea of what people can take, I can adjust it and like you, because the idea is to fight marginally above their ability, we, the Yudansha set the tone.

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