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#233497 - 02/23/06 04:57 PM Punishments from a Sensei
ShorinjiSeisan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/05
Posts: 51
A previous Sensei of mine from the early 90's was a fairly severe disciplinarian. As time progressed, the incidents of dicipline being dealt out to his students seemed to increase.

What are your feelings regarding the practice of a Sensei who deals out punishments to adult and child students? At what point do you protest or take leave of the dojo?

The punishable offense might be from not calling when you don't make it to class, or an incident of not observing dojo protocol in or out (gashuku) of the dojo. The punishments might be include a lengthy and angry public lecture, an essay assignment, rei back and forth across the dojo for 5 minutes, reasonable calisthenics (20 each of pushups, situps, and jumping jacks), or unreasonable calisthenics (200 each of pushups, situps, and jumping jacks).

For the most part, I flew under the radar in my dojo. The only time I was punished was for being an individualist, and for not understanding/following certain implied rules. I was lectured in front of the class for 45 minutes, and I wasn't allowed to test for one year (at the time, I was for 6 months a gokkyu - green belt)

I tend to (unfairly?) look at the conduct of a sensei with this filter: What would Gichin do? Somehow, I don't see Funakoshi Sensei forcing 200 pushups out of a 45 year old man with a blown shoulder . . . do you?

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#233498 - 02/23/06 05:10 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
McSensei Offline
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Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Actually I believe that in his later years students used to complain of Funakoshi hurting them too much.

However, I guess it is up to the individual instructor to "punish" as they see fit.
If students don't like it then they go elsewhere. Simple.

Personally, I do use the exercise type punishments, but not to the extreme and they are usually given in a light-hearted way.
To stand there and berate a student for 45 minutes looks to me as if the instructor likes the sound of their own voice and could do with reeling their ego in a touch.
What were the other students doing while you got your earful, because I wouldn't be happy to pay money to stand and listen to the instructor telling someone off for 45 minutes.


Edited by McSensei (02/23/06 05:11 PM)
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#233499 - 02/23/06 07:09 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: McSensei]
BrianS Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I agree with what Mcsnsei has said.

Quote:

However, I guess it is up to the individual instructor to "punish" as they see fit.
If students don't like it then they go elsewhere. Simple.





That is simple,but maybe you should atleast talk to the instructor first.

Quote:

Personally, I do use the exercise type punishments, but not to the extreme and they are usually given in a light-hearted way.





I do the same,especially the light hearted part.

Quote:

To stand there and berate a student for 45 minutes looks to me as if the instructor likes the sound of their own voice and could do with reeling their ego in a touch.
What were the other students doing while you got your earful, because I wouldn't be happy to pay money to stand and listen to the instructor telling someone off for 45 minutes.







That seems odd to me to. 45minute lecture? Sheesh.
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#233500 - 02/23/06 07:57 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
when we talk about 'punishment' we are really talking about spirit (not the soul-spirit kind, the fighting-spirit kind).

Everyone seems to have different learning methods that work well for them, but not as well for others. The trick is matching how you learn best to an instructor that teaches that way.

everyone knows the stereotypical 'negative' instructors...from the nightmarish to obscene to the rediculous. image: kobra-kai.

but here are some of the different positive teaching methods I've been a part of and exposed to:

There are 'militant' style instructors, when attention to detail, show of spirited respect and 'can do' attitude is what they try to foster. not much time for thinking in class, it's just 'do this and do it EXACTLY this way'. later (after class) you can ask why. during class there are no questions and no talking. dicipline is strict but not unfair. you get hit during class, but not excessive and not out of masocism. sparing is hard and spirit is encouraged over skill/technique.
This learning method is good in the strength and spirit development, but lacking in the mind/tactics/meaning development. In that regard, it's a bit shallow and only a surface of the Art. IMO.

Another type of teaching/learning method is by allowing students to dicipline themselves. The ones who don't show a desire to learn or don't show respect or completely lack self-discipline get less attention and eventually drop out from boredom. This kind of class is a 'lead by example' model as oppossed to 'drill seargent'. It's not passive or less spirited, but the spirit comes from a different place. the drill seargent draws your spirit out by using your fear. The 'lead by example' instructor draws your spirit out with your admiration.

Another type is passive-agressive. The type that don't dicipline by giving tasks (pushups,etc) or yell or embarrass, etc. They can dicipline with a look or a few words of disapproval. even with a firm 'suggestion' you are doing something wrong can snap you into never repeating that mistake again. This attitude in the students can only come from an instructor that has the respect of the student. so the student feels he/she doesn't want to 'disappoint' their teacher. The spirit which can be drawn from this is the greater of the other two I mentioned. again, IMO. but for young pre/teenage years, sometimes the drill seargent can be a perfect fit....and later as the student develops and matures, a more 'think and feel for yourself' approach is best.

just from my point of view.
p.s. does anyone object to me moving this thread to 'Teaching and Learning' ?

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#233501 - 02/23/06 08:11 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ed_Morris]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Well I have seen/had a few in my time thats for sure. One situation sticks in my mind and reminds me that many Sensei have significant problems,

it was a week long training camp, training was outdoors in Novemebr (UK, very cold), I was 17. The group of students I was with would train extra hours, it really was full on and excellent fun all round.

The grading at the end of the week and 2 students fail, juniors aged 14. Some my Sensei gets upset and seriously yells at them publicly, then this is the good bit -

Him and his Sempai and me march the 2 students out to the swimming pool, then he tells them to strip to their pants, which they do.

I tell him to stop, he doesnt and you can see the fire in his eyes, so I say thats it im off and go back to the accomodation and leave the camp.

That ended my relasionship with that dojo.............

Im not sure where I stand on punishment, apart from it achieves little, is unpleasant and only creates further problems. where does one draw the line?

Personally I try and work with students, we all work hard - but my golden rule is hey if you dont want to do something then dont,

you may wait a little time before you grade of course...........and you might ache a bit after kumite drills...........then again you might just be told to leave.............


I dont expect I will be running a large dojo any time soon!
_________________________
Jim Neeter

www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#233502 - 02/23/06 08:19 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

does anyone object to me moving this thread to 'Teaching and Learning' ?





I think it's a good idea.

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#233503 - 02/23/06 08:24 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Loc: York PA. USA
Those punishments sound egocentrically excessive to me. However, it is his school to do as he sees fit. *I* would probably find another school, more into training and less into 45 minute harangues.
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#233504 - 02/23/06 10:12 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: shoshinkan]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
On the whole the use of punishment by an instructor is a mark of incompetence. The scenes that have been described are signs of people sitting around in a school and having too many people show up till they eventually believe they have the power that their students stand for.

The only role an instructor should ever have is to show the student to increase their abilities.

If the student disappoints the instructor the correct answer is to dismiss the student. If this is made clear when the student-instructor relationship begins, then there is no punishment involved, just a focused relationship.

If a student is given a task they cannot complete correctly, the instructor is likely at fault for incorrectly understanding the students abilities and not preparing them correctly.

It's a blasted shame incompetence is rewarded by obedience. In fact some of the acts mentioned, like the instructor ordering the students pants dropped should only have one moral response 1) calling the authorities to report the instructors abuse for even mentioning it and 2) taking the instructors head off when they first mention it (and believe me not in that order).

And if an adult doesn't respond in that order they should question thier right to be walking around in society.

Yes I'm being harsh, but so many of the abuses of every sort start with people not understanding their personal responsiblity every time. It's never somebody elses business, its always our own responsiblity. Not one a belt around your waist confirs, but one responsible citizenship demands.

Personally there are many times many instructors I've heard about that should never be allowed to instruct anybody. It doesn't care what somebody knows, or what they can teach. All that is important is we learn how to pick only good people to associate with.
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#233505 - 02/24/06 05:24 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Victor Smith]
shoshinkan Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Glad im not alone in my view of this subject, it seems that many instructors take this aspect a little to enthusistically!

Certianly i remember lots of this stuff going on when i were a lad, im glad to say that I have thought very deeply on this subject and havent followed my early instructors example.

You will be pleased to know that not long after I did train a few times in my first dojo with said instructor, accident when performing a hook kick...............sorry.
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www.shoshinkanuk.blogspot.com

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#233506 - 02/24/06 06:29 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: shoshinkan]
Kysogkram Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 137
Loc: Denmark
At my dojo punishment is almost always dealt out in good spirits. One Sempai is quite strict and militaristic, and is very much into everyone doing everything properly and 100% every time.

You will usually be punished if you're not following the dojo kun. Things such as yawning, being late, not paying attention, standing with your arms crossed, etc. will usually get you 20 pushups .

However Sempai's attitude towards this is, that we shouldn't think of it as punishment (and therefore something negative), we should think of it as training. So when being punished we should actually be happy that we're getting an extra workout.

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I do see his point. And I do appreciate his quite hard style, as it keeps the class concentrated and gets things done. I also appreciate his ability to make us push ourselves and do our best every time.

Only thing is, that if you're having a bit of an off day, it can get annoying, since he's full on all the time, so you really gotta be in the mood for it.

Contrasting to this is another Sempai, who's just a really nice guy, sometimes too much so. He will dish out punishment as well, but he's a lot more leanient about it. Unfortunately at times this will lead to the class being a bit too loose and people are distracted, because there isn't enough discipline.

In a perfect world, punishment shouldn't be necessary, as everyone are of course 100% concentrated all the time, doing their very best every time and interested in every minute detail of their martial art.

Back in the real world there are a lot of different people coming to a dojo, some people who cant keep concentrated and are easily distracted, not everyone's interested in some of the Kihon, etc.

I think that discipline in a class with a lot of people is essential to keep the class effective, and one of the means of achieving this is punishment.

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#233507 - 02/24/06 03:19 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Kysogkram]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
"Discipline isnít punishment... Discipline should come from love. Punishment comes from hatred. Children have to be guided with care and love, not with an abusive heart."

Master TaeJoon Lee
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#233508 - 02/24/06 03:40 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Prizewriter]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I honestly don't remember ever punishing a student, or seeing my teacher punishing one.

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#233509 - 02/24/06 04:44 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: oldman]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Loc: York PA. USA
Oldman -

Are you serious? Geez, for a while there in the beginning, I was starting to think my full name was "Mr. Jansson Give Me Twenty Pushups."

But no 45 minute lectures or anything like that.
_________________________
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#233510 - 02/24/06 06:05 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Prizewriter]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Yep, agree with that.
I like what Shihan John King (Gavins Dad)calls the dojo setup...
"...a loving dictatorship."
Which leads to...

..Oldman, I find that quite an extraordinary claim.
Are you saying that in all of the classes that you have trained at, there has never been an enforcement of discilpline using some kind of exercise "punishment"?
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#233511 - 02/24/06 08:53 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: McSensei]
wolfman Offline
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Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 19
My first sensei thought he was a Marine DI. Hour long phsycial drill punishments was the way he tought he had control. To be honest I never seen it help with the promblems. If anyting it only made it worst. In my school if a student is in trouble we go to the office to talk. Good talks are in front of the class, bad are in the office. Phyical punishment are the floor almost never happen, and the few time it has it's short and not carried to excess.

All in all I think there are better ways to handle students then by the sensei losing control of his templer

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#233512 - 02/24/06 09:57 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: McSensei]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
McSensei,
I'm really trying to think of situations like you are discribing. Certainly not inrecent years. I had something happen to me in 1979 if that counts. I was attending a class at a TKD school. I do not even remember the teachers name. It was in Champagne Illinois. During the class (which happened to be my first) the teacher was demonstrating a technique. As I listened I put my hands on my hips. He wheeled around striking down on both my forearms with his fists. DIIIISSSRESPCT!!! he bellowed. I had no idea that that was considered disrepectful nor had I been informed. I was also told not to speak to the instructor. I was to ask any questions to more experienced students. It was my first and last class under that instructor.
I'm very easy going as an instructor. People can usually tell by my demeanor if it is time to get serious. What kind of thing does a student do that they would need to be punished?

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#233513 - 02/25/06 12:23 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
ShorinjiSeisan:

Immediately, period.

This is literally a "no brainer" issue. I am a grown up, and study by informed choice. There are many ways to teach and unfortunately the militant-infantile is one method sadly regarded as being "appropriate" in some places....

If the instruction is FEAR based at its core ... that is not genuine learning... that is survival. They are similar but very different creatures. Discipline is a group imposed basically a "fear" environment. SELF-DISCIPLINE is a choice which individuals make and choose to follow as a group.

The first moment a teacher "punishes me" without severe and extraordinary CAUSE... one should leave! You are not there to be punished, you are there to learn. I do not learn from an infallible demigod, I learn from myself, my classmates, and our instructor. There are appropriate methods and methods used by angry, mentally unbalanced people. Hopefully we find the former rather than the latter.

I do not require the boot camp route... I have a brain. I am confidant it works for some, perhaps even many... but it is not necessary and largely avoidable I contend by those who understand teaching. Perhaps I am mistaken, it will not be the last time...

J

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#233514 - 02/25/06 06:24 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I think the last time I saw an instructor disciplining a class was in a capoerra class. We had to do cartwheels down the hall and those who'd finished were just chatting and longing around. A lot of them were thinking of Capoerra as a fun, trendy form of dance... perhaps not as MA. Well the instructor was a KF man and didn't like this laid back hippy attitude. The next minute we were all standing in horse stance with our arms in a cross-block. That lasted until the whole group had finished cartwheeling. It got his point across... BUT NOBODY COMPLAINED.

I think most serious students, even ones who only do MA for a hobby will accept that there is a time when they must be disciplined by a sensei/sabum/sifu. However, this should mean that the discipline is given in a way which respects the student, not humilates. The student is free to walk out and never return, so the instructor should bear that in mind too.


Edited by trevek (02/25/06 06:24 AM)
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#233515 - 02/25/06 07:00 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: trevek]
jamesd Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 145
Loc: Essex,England
Hi Everyone,

I'm a great believer in forging the spirit through hard training if you have a good Instructor he'll only be doing this hard type of discipline to bring the best out in his students, if you have an Instructor that seems to be bullying or even enjoying making his students suffer then i suggest you leave and find something more suitable, my Instructor Shihan John King has put us through some lessons which have seemed like a major ordeal but he'll always explain the purpose of the session and at no point have i ever felt bullied or victimised,

James.
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#233516 - 02/25/06 01:05 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: jamesd]
MikoReklaw Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 145
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I've only "punished" two of my students in the time I have been teaching. One is my uchisesu, Drew. He did something severly out of line, then decided to challenge my authority in calling him on it. That took an attitude-adjustment, and one I have only had to do once, luckily. I hated having to do that to Drew, because he's like my younger brother [he's actually my cousin].

The other was a student I teach during the day at my home. His name is Mike. He is a homeschool student, and was using me as a loop of miscommunication with his parents, and didn't do any of his work for nearly two weeks. I scolded him, in private, to a great extend. I also told him if it happened again, it would be the last time he trained with me.



As for BEING punished, when I was 8, in my TKD filled youth, at one of mt gradings, I was watching one of the more senior belts test and, while I do not remember what I said, or who I said it to, I was made to do like 35 push-ups after the test...after I had already changed into my street clothes, which were actually dress clothes, because my parents were weird like that when I was a kid.

< Got that from my Dad when I got home.
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#233517 - 02/25/06 10:40 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: MikoReklaw]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Exercise punishment. I think I can safely state in the 33 years I've been training, neither I or any of the instructors I've trained with in multiple styles punished anyone.

The closest I could suggest is when I inform new students (in the youth program) that if their concentration waivers I might require them to do 5 pushups to help focus their concentration, and then have the entire class drop to the floor to show them what I mean.

But this isn't punishment because it is just a tool to help them retain focus on their training, and it's literally been years since I've ever had to have a student do so.

A large part of the reason puishment is unnecessary is I teach for free, inform the students their first night they do not have the freedom to interfer with any other students training by their lack of concentration, and if they can't focus I just dismiss them from class.

I teach karate to teach karate, not to spend one instant disciplining anyone. And you can only teach those who want to be taught. If there is an attention problem in the student and the isntructor doesn't know how to head it off before it becomes a problem, or if they don't know how to contain the issue, or if they don't do what they know, they're just incompetent.

And it doesn't matter where the instructor is from or what 'traditions' they have behind their actions.

Unfortunately it takes work to teach, to shape a students awarness, and most of the time most instructors don't do the real job.

Nope punishment is simply a sign of an incompetent instructor, every time.
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#233518 - 02/25/06 11:33 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Victor Smith]
Ronin1966 Offline
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Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Victor:

I accept and agree with your sentiments... point of clarification, if I may??? Only asking for five pushups solely in order to help "refocus"... do you join them in doing those 5?

Simple curiosity... no deeper meaning intended...
J

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#233519 - 02/26/06 06:47 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
Victor Smith Offline
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
My simple answer, besides explaining this to the new students I haven't had to use it for so many years I don't know when the last time happened.

A large part of why problems happen is simply the instructor isn't controlling the class. In far older times the class was small, or one to one, and those 'situations' couldnt' happen.

I've always kept a small class structure trying to emulate the feel of old style karate. And these days' I've transitioned the program to another instructor, where we tag team the program (say 12 to 15 students show up a class). Thus because we're teaching directly the students aren't really given the chance to loose it.

Of course combined the two of us have 55 years in the arts. I've been teaching kids non-stop 52 weeks a year for 27 year, the instructor is a basketball coach and one of the program directors at the Boys and Girls Club so he's constantly aware of each of the students, and each an every section of each class they're actually studying karate.

All of which contribute to not having to even help them refocus. That concept came from the days when I ran the entire class myself and was focused on training 15-20 members of all ranks simultaneously. And even then it was never done but once or twice a year.

Of course you had a deeper meaning and just as clearly I've cleverly sidestepped your question. Which is a clear demonstration how to handle smart alecs....GRIN.
The truth is ongoing bouts of arthritis make it difficult for me to do a lot I used to do....but the instructor I transitioned the program to does get down as I used to.

But back to my point, an instructor must be in control at all times and the students must not be given the opportunity to wander. The study is too critical, they can't afford the lost time, even if the art is just to allow them to have the fun of training.

It's also part of the reason why nobody in our program can qualify to be an instuctor without a minimum of 15 continuous years of training, and then if their interest mainfests, undergoing a mentoring program following a youth student from beginner to sho-dan, so they really know what the instructors role is, beyond standing in front barking out what to do.

BTW as full time martial hobbiest I consider our mild standards far less than what I would expect a competent professional program ought require. My simple standards are an attempt to try and reach what Shimabukuro Zempo once explained about Okinawa when I once met him.

Simply put he said on Okinawa nobody would train with a ni-dan. Everyone wants to train with a seichi-dan (or above). By those standards my own are modest, but working for a long time.
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#233520 - 02/27/06 10:43 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Victor Smith]
tkd_high_green Offline
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Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
The distribution of pushups is a standard disciplinary action in our class, but most of the time it is more of an incentive to do better. If the instructor doesn't like the technique or feel we are trying our hardest, then pushups. However in those situations, we are always told what it is we need to work on, and it is never done in anger. There are times when I've even given myself pushups because I wasn't happy with my own performance of some technique.

Every once in a while we might get smacked upside the head or shoulder, most often for some off the wall comment directed at our instructor, but never hard enough to hurt, and always done in humor. My instructor has a fantastic sense of humor, and we are always trying to push his buttons. The trick there is to make the comment and get out of his reach before he can retaliate.

Most everyone in our school is respectful of each other, and so having to really discipline anyone is rare. With older students, little more than a change in the tone of voice and a verbal warning is necessary to maintain a safe and controlled environment. On the few occasions where this has occured, it has almost always been because of someone lashing out in anger, and almost always involving younger kids. In these situations. These kids were removed from class for the remainder of the class, or sent to timeout (depending on the age of the kid).

Laura

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#233521 - 02/27/06 11:09 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:

And what exactly do pushups however you classify them have anything what so ever to do with improving my XYZ martial technique??? Physical exercise for strength I can do at home. Politely I waste time exercising when I could be practicing XYZ specifically.... because at class I have partners and experience available to correct, work upon technique. At class it is the US things... (2 or more people) my time is best spent...

J

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#233522 - 02/27/06 11:22 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I find it odd that someone who does a long-term study of violence would raise a hand to a student, or even train the type of student that would require punishment.

Quote:

What are your feelings regarding the practice of a Sensei who deals out punishments to adult and child students? At what point do you protest or take leave of the dojo?



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#233523 - 02/27/06 04:24 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Quote:

what exactly do pushups however you classify them have anything what so ever to do with improving my XYZ martial technique???




1) Gives you something to do while waiting in line.

2) Its a good incentive to try harder. Works really well with the kids, especially when they aren't giving it their all. Especially when they are just coasting through the class, or when they aren't training to their level. Works really well on the adults too...

3) We also hand out "pushup bonuses" which can be used for credit to get you out of having to do pushups later (only good for the current class), when you do really well on some technique. (I tend to get really worried when my instructor hands out a lot of bonus points at the beginning of class)

4) increases the number of pushups you can do

5) Makes kids pay attention to what it is you are not liking in their technique.

6) The number of pushups handed out indicates how pathetic the technique you failed at was, and bonuses or lack of pushups indicate how good the technique was.

7) Teaches teamwork. When working in a group, if the instructor doesn't like one persons technique, he'll drop everyone for pushups.

8) Since tkd is 70 percent kicking, its always good to get a little upper body training in, any chance you can.

If you don't think it works, try dropping and doing 10 or 20 pushups every time your instructor tells you to correct something.

Laura

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#233524 - 03/03/06 06:48 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:

Let me start by simply saying, this is a friendly discussion-debate on my part, ok?

<<1) Gives you something to do while waiting in line.

A class size (with lines long enough) such that push-ups while waiting are even possible???

<<2) Its a good incentive to try harder.

And spents the energy they could use doing XYZ better, no?

<<4) increases the number of pushups you can do

Its nice that my arms are toned, or whatever but completely irrelevent (IMHO) past a very, very basic point. It is preferable that people are fit versus unfit, but if I am "stopped" by whomever, it shall be because they are more effective & efficent, not because they are more fit.

<<6) The number of pushups handed out indicates how pathetic

The punishment route... politely I propose that people who are grown-ups and capable of making informed choices that punishment is not necessary... again IMNSHO .

<<7) Teaches teamwork.

Ummmmmmngh....... ok, you lost me, what does a bad motivational cliche have to do with martial arts study???

<<8) Since tkd is 70 percent kicking

Ok, this part I get. Prefer to keep my feet on the ground personally... if you can hit with it I guess it works.

<<If you don't think it works

Words are unnecessary and a look suffices. But, our class time is spent very rarely on purely physical exercises eg jogging, pushups, etc. Those things I can do by myself... without any help, or pressure if/when necessary. I've got a ridicilously complex and obscenely subtle Okinawan art which requires partners to decipher best. I can practice and polish my flaws whatever they might be at home... but in class time is better spent practicing the art we all want to explore...

No time for pushups here... grab my hand, and here we go ~... need to shrink the arc of that movement, or you'll crush me....~ more careful examination of details concerning the habits of our art and no time to spend simply trying to make my shirt, pants, etc. fit better in the name of physical fitness... (ie a by product not "the" purpose)

Politely & I hope respectfully...
J

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#233525 - 03/05/06 07:42 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Quote:


Let me start by simply saying, this is a friendly discussion-debate on my part, ok?





Gladdly. I'm always game for a friendly discussion-debate.

Quote:


<<1) Gives you something to do while waiting in line.

A class size (with lines long enough) such that push-ups while waiting are even possible???





Class sizes are usually between 9 and 16 students, however we only have 3 bags. So there is usually just enough time to do 5 or 10 pushups before its your time to go.

Quote:


<<2) Its a good incentive to try harder.

And spents the energy they could use doing XYZ better, no?





If 5 or 10 pushups are that draining to you, perhaps you should add more of them to your workout

Quote:


<<4) increases the number of pushups you can do

Its nice that my arms are toned, or whatever but completely irrelevent (IMHO) past a very, very basic point. It is preferable that people are fit versus unfit, but if I am "stopped" by whomever, it shall be because they are more effective & efficent, not because they are more fit.





I train to train, to improve on whatever it is I'm working on, whether or not it was a kick, punch, or pushup. I hope I never have the opportunity to need what it is I'm learning.

Quote:


<<6) The number of pushups handed out indicates how pathetic

The punishment route... politely I propose that people who are grown-ups and capable of making informed choices that punishment is not necessary... again IMNSHO .





Its only punishment if it feels like punishment. Since the pushups are handed out with a sense of humor, with no sense of fear or intimidation, I am completely comfortable with receiving and dishing out pushups. The fact is, I've given myself pushups if I feel the technique warranted it. It keeps me honest and helps to push me to do better.

Quote:


<<7) Teaches teamwork.

Ummmmmmngh....... ok, you lost me, what does a bad motivational cliche have to do with martial arts study???





Peer pressure. In a friendly environment, knowing that how well you do will affect others, it causes you to push yourself even harder than you normally would. Especially as you get tired from a hard class.

Quote:


Words are unnecessary and a look suffices. But, our class time is spent very rarely on purely physical exercises eg jogging, pushups, etc. Those things I can do by myself... without any help, or pressure if/when necessary. I've got a ridicilously complex and obscenely subtle Okinawan art which requires partners to decipher best. I can practice and polish my flaws whatever they might be at home... but in class time is better spent practicing the art we all want to explore...





Different art, different focus. We do a lot of various kicking drills. However, it is also very rare for us to get pushups if we are working on something technical or advanced, but if we mess up on something as basic as a variation on a turning kick... However, getting the "look" or that particular "tone of voice" from my instructor for badly performing some techinique is far worse than any random set of pushups.

Quote:


Politely & I hope respectfully...
J




ditto

Tag you're it!

Laura

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#233526 - 03/12/06 01:36 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:



<<between 9 and 16 students, only have 3 bags. usually just enough time to do 5 or 10 pushups before its your time

Its a different approach... seems geared towards physical fitness rather than technical mastery. Can you see my perspective? If I use my energies and time for fitness neither is available to practice having been expended elsewhere. And its not the quantity which I find debatable or have an objection towards rather the underlying purpose of them I find questionable.

Consider for example, you utilize Hyung, Poomose (Whatever particular term utilized to describe "forms")? If the time no matter how little or great were spent rather than on "fitness" instead on examining them with profound scrutiny... and doing so for extraordinary lengths of time... you/I have explored something we are unable to discover solo. Spend enough time doing so with classmates and we gain insight into what's & why's of their specific presentations. Given energy & time we no longer "play on the surface" but understand the wisdom embedded in such forms. Given time we understand hints, whispers which explain wonderful nuances...

Repeated interactions, partner drills, "application", engrain via meaningful repetition "martial habits". I hypothesize fitness is a byproduct of training not the other way around. If I am to be "punished" send me back to the "hyung/poomose mines" . Have me continue the particular technique causing assorted trouble... pushups were not the problem, the technique, drill, exercise was...
working on something else will not fix the original problem

Politely & I hope respectfully...

J

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#233527 - 03/12/06 08:39 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
We never tend to do things we dislike very well, so I'm wondering if your performance of forms, which you were sent back to practice, are just an effort to upgrade your performance, rather than to punish you for some infraction.

As a sensei, I'm always careful not to make too big a deal of an infraction unless the student refuses to correct the situation or creates a problem. Being late to class is a pushup for every minute they are late, etc. enforced at the close of class... while everyone waits to bow out. If their technique is lacking, it's back to practice while the class moves on to other things. It isn't punishment, but enforcment of the standards of the class. Making everyone else wait at the end of class for the first "punishment" is to make sure that they realize that everyone was expecting them "on time" for class to start. When we "pair up", if someone is missing a partner, it causes a problem for them, and someone else has to "split their time" to be uke for this person, so it's important to have "little methods" of keeping people cognizant of the rules.

Our school has over 650 students in it, so there is something going on all the time... and if people don't follow the rules, it interferes with a lot of other people's opportunity to practice. It's hard enough to focus on training anyway, with that many people involved, so discipline is maintained by using varying degrees of "activity direction". To be reduced to pushups, someone must have interrupted the class in some manner or stopped an activity cold.

Our younger students in other programs at the school, will play dodgeball as a "skill drill". They learned the hard way that when the ball comes onto our mat, we own it from then on, so they are careful to make sure it isn't thrown carelessly into the middle of our class.

I don't consider it punishment, but discipline, and if you follow the rules... most likely you won't have a problem in your school either.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233528 - 03/15/06 09:58 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wristtwister:

In the years I have been studying, I have never seen anyone "punished" (adult or child) for any ~breech~. I've verbally kneecaped a very, very few kids who were obnoxious.

Why do you punish someone for being late? The kids cannot drive! Adults presumedly have professions which might well interfere for a few moments on occasion. But unless something is habitual, I do not understand that approach. I do admit to liking it administered at the end, in spite of my ~distaste~ however...


<<To be reduced to pushups, someone must have interrupted the class in some manner or stopped an activity cold.



What is the difference between discipline and self discipline IYO?

J

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#233529 - 03/15/06 03:07 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
WarblyDoo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
I think that a distinction needs to be made between punishment which helps the student and punishment which is malicious and hurts the student. As an instructor I do discipline my students at times but I use useful disciplines such as the afore mentioned pushups.

Students get individual pushups for things such as swearing in class which I can't allow because it degrades the experience for everyone there and for breaches of etiquette a small humiliation never hurts.

Pushups are handed out to the group for mistakes made in techniques that they are supposed to know (for example techniques which were required for their last grading). I give out group pushups because it builds a team camraderie and because the students who have an easy time of pushups will still focus to avoid them because they do not want to see their less fit classmates doing them. Note that I also do the pushups which can mean a great workout for me when I have them split in multiple groups and I am doing pushups with each of the individual groups.

Also note that all punishments are handed out in a light hearted manner. Never out of malice. If you are angry with a student for whatever reason it should be shared privately and professionally.

Also the delivery of the punishment is important, if you are using negative reinforcement be sure to use it in the most effective manner psychologically. For example the brain remembers what is on the beginning and end of actions far better than the middle. So if one of students is doing a form that was required for their previous grading and they make a mistake I stop them, explain their error, then give them 10 pushups, then make them restart the form from the beginning. This puts the mistake at the end of the action so they will more easily remember not to repeat it and the negative reinforcement directly after the action so they will not want to repeat it. I have found this to be an incredibly effective tool for quick learning of forms, my students have found this as well and I see them using it when they are practicing their techniques by themselves.

The only other time I use pushups as punishment is during drills when I see to many people dropping their hands. I first warn them that dropping their hands will result in pushups then when the hands go down everyone does pushups. I don't call out who it was who dropped their hands, this way no one is embarrassed and it puts everyone on their guard because they aren't sure if it was them. After all I tell them "If you are going to drop your hands get well aquainted with the floor because you are going to spend a lot of time laying there." Of course this punishment only works for martial arts where the hands are kept up to protect the face and neck and not lowered to shoot from the hip or counterbalance. To each his own and that discussion is for a different forum.

That is my dissertation on good punishment (reinforcement) now my quick rant on bad punishment (force) anything meant to explicitly humiliate a student, cause pain and suffering, or which isn't properly psychologically targetted towards improving technique has no place in a dojo. If you find yourself in this school run.

The simple rule to follow is to say more good things than bad. If you critisize a student's technique make sure you acknowledge improvment. Or compliment the technique then suggest refinement. "Your front stance is looking much better. Now slide this foot over here and you will find your balance improves."

Thank you all for a terrific forum read. I have enjoyed the differing opionions.

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#233530 - 03/15/06 03:15 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: WarblyDoo]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Hi WarblyDoo, welcome to the forums.

Quote:

So if one of students is doing a form that was required for their previous grading and they make a mistake I stop them, explain their error, then give them 10 pushups, then make them restart the form from the beginning.




This has been my experience when I was a beginner. I earned a lot of pushups for exactly the situation described above. My instructors always handled it well, kind of making it a game so it was never really terribly humiliating.

I have no problem with those type of "punishments", done in that manner.
_________________________
"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

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#233531 - 03/15/06 03:16 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: WarblyDoo]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Yes! This is exactly the point I've been trying to articulate. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

Laura

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#233532 - 03/16/06 08:21 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
When I teach class, I've recently taken to ensuring that the students understand the Japanese term for techniques. They have been taught previously but tend to forget.

When someone gets the term wrong, everyone in the class except the guilty person goes down for push ups. I stand and explain the term to the standing person, so everyone can hear.

Hey, it gets the push ups done and everyone blames the one guy who got it wrong and didn't have to do the push ups.

Guilt gets them every time.
_________________________
John L

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#233533 - 03/16/06 09:08 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: JohnL]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
this isn't as a reply John, just in general to the thread.

learning terms:
I like how a local Aikido place does it...they have copies of a 'cheat sheet' available and students can take it home and study it. That way, valuable class time isn't eaten up by acedemics or trivial calisthenics. When they don't know a term, they just look around to see what everyone else is doing and eventually learn. It's not like students are cramming for a test, the idea behind all MA is as a lifetime study.

Punishments:
Instead of punishments, what I think is much more effective in terms of long-term usefulness is teaching students how to push themselves - as oppossed to fear of doing something wrong. Since someday, they will likely be traveling the road alone without anyone to push them but themselves.

The atmosphere this creates in a class is students are inspired by how others are pushing themselves, and order is self-maintained. This also seems to side-step the social garbage of 'teachers pet' mentality and competition between students instead of helping each other rise up.

I'm not a teacher, so this is from my experiences as a student. The most effective teachers I've been lucky to train with have this philosophy of non-punishment in common. however, it's not completely passive....sometimes 'points' are made. If you continue a habit of raising your elbows while kicking, for instance, the teacher might tag the opening hard to 'remind' you. It should never be about power-trips or fear, it's all about self-awareness, thinking, learning, learning how to learn, and learning how to think and correct yourself.

...from this student's point of view anyway.

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#233534 - 03/16/06 10:15 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: WarblyDoo]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Warbleydoo:

Wow, your first offical posting. Congradulations!!!

I accept your views about never administer maliciously and always, always if we must then done with humor. What would you say to practicing XYZ say a dozen more times versus pushups, or other PE class exercises in terms of corrective behavior?

As for the dropping hands loathe using it, but accept with the children it seems effective... do not have to like all the tools we sometimes are compelled to use I guess...

J

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#233535 - 03/16/06 11:29 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Have to be very careful what you do these days, too many cry babies.

My Korean instructors were very strict way back but I can't think of any punishment per say. I did get my bottom wacked with a shinai a few times in front of the class for goofing off but that wasn't any big deal everyone got it once in a while. One time a BB complained that it was to hot in the dojang and Sah Bah Nim opened up all the windows during the winter and the snow coverd the floor for the entire night, no one said a thing. Sometime you can tell if he wasn't happy with something, he wouldn't say a thing but the work out that night would have been bloody. If your a good instructor and have respect from your students there are not many times you have to enforse punishment. Personally I don't enjoy belittling someone or making them feel inferior, I would rather try to motivate an individual....although if punishment is required there is nothing wrong with a good old fashion work out.
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#233536 - 03/16/06 11:39 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ed_Morris]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
I have seen many BB's drop to the ground & do push ups for doing something wrong without anyone saying a thing. I suppose you could call that some type of self punishment. Most of the time it was because they used to much contact during sparring and hurt a lower belt or something, I always thought that it showed great respect for their opponent as well.
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#233537 - 03/16/06 12:41 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
WarblyDoo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Quote:

What would you say to practicing XYZ say a dozen more times versus pushups, or other PE class exercises in terms of corrective behavior?




Doing the pushups is always followed by repetition of the technique. The pushups themselves are negative reinforcement to ensure the mistake itself is not also repeated. I used to have a coach who always said "Practice make perfect imperfection." If you do not reinforce the mistake that was made it will be repeated and the more a mistake is practiced the harder it is to break out of it.

I'm sorry I'm not sure what you mean by "other PE class exercises"

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#233538 - 03/16/06 01:05 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Shorinjiseisan:

<<Somehow, I don't see Funakoshi Sensei forcing 200 pushups out of a 45 year old man with a blown shoulder . . . do you?

At that point if confronted in such an authoritarian manner "200 pushups" I would and then leave right then and there. I am not a child and would not risk the injury to myself by being foolishly blase. If the teacher refuses to understand the danger... that's too neanderthal for me.

But some might thrive in that environment... not for me!
J

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#233539 - 04/21/06 11:50 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Jeff_G Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 222
Loc: Midwest
I always taught a rather loose class(compared to the militant types).
If the chatter got too loud for me to be able to teach, I started counting 3,2. If I got to 1 the next words from me were "One hundred side kicks...for the whole room." I only needed to do this a couple of times before the other students started shusshing the noisy ones.
It wasn't meant to be mean to the class, just to get their undivided attention.

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#233540 - 04/22/06 05:15 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Jeff_G]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
Some of the tactics I've heard in this thread gave me the shivers. I can't tell which tactics are applied to adult classes and which are for kids.....and I'm afraid to ask.

Everyone is aware of where the push-up punishment mentality comes from right? The US Army and Marines. whenever something becomes so widely accepted, it tends to re-write history for it's own means. I've heard sensei in the past say 'we have this kind of motivator since this is a traditional dojo'. traditional? if the 1960's is considered 'traditional' I suppose.

the fact is, a good instructor doesn't need to dicipline during class. If you need to 'count to 10' or some kindergarten nonsense like that, then it just speaks to how interested your students are in what you have to teach.

instructors use forced discipline to demand respect... whereas real sensei command a room by just teaching. classes are too short for dealing with that crap.

here is one tactic I've seen effective: A very qualified sensei was teaching class one time, and a couple senior students were goofing off and not paying attention. The sensei bowed to the class and calmly told everyone while looking at the senior students, to give him a call at home when they were ready to learn...then he just left. lol

very effective...and since it was directed at the senior students, the attentiveness during class had a trickle down effect to the newer students.

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#233541 - 08/11/06 08:51 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
mskajukenbo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 12
Loc: bay area california
need more information on how you wre an individualist? i mean,sit ups, essays, lectures, ect...are common....
did you disrespect him in front of the class? or is he just insane/has some really intense karma with you?

meeting with your teacher privately might be a way to resolve your concerns...

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#233542 - 08/17/06 03:02 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Kendo_Noob Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Wisconsin
We have these at my dojo, if you don't listen well or come in late, you have to go in the corner and do 100 swing repititions (men suburi) then my instructor watches to make sure you're not getting sloppy. And if you are, you have to start all over.
_________________________
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#233543 - 08/17/06 03:17 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ed_Morris]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
Quote:

here is one tactic I've seen effective: A very qualified sensei was teaching class one time, and a couple senior students were goofing off and not paying attention. The sensei bowed to the class and calmly told everyone while looking at the senior students, to give him a call at home when they were ready to learn...then he just left. lol





Thats pretty cool of him. What I don't understand is why students get punished for not performing something correctly. My school is much like the military school mentioned in the first post, where effort is a big factor. We're only punished if we're being lazy, not if we are having trouble with something. Aren't you there to learn anyway?

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#233544 - 08/18/06 03:49 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Mr_Heretik]
faarkuin Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 4
In our club if you mess about you get about 20 pressups in front of the whole class, if you carry on messing about after that you will get it again and made to do a bit of hard pad work, if you still mess about after that you have to teach about 10 minutes of the class so you know how hard it is for the instructors!!! After that you get kicked out lol

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#233545 - 09/12/06 07:15 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ed_Morris]
mskajukenbo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 12
Loc: bay area california
Quote:

when we talk about 'punishment' we are really talking about spirit (not the soul-spirit kind, the fighting-spirit kind).

Everyone seems to have different learning methods that work well for them, but not as well for others. The trick is matching how you learn best to an instructor that teaches that way.

everyone knows the stereotypical 'negative' instructors...from the nightmarish to obscene to the rediculous. image: kobra-kai.

but here are some of the different positive teaching methods I've been a part of and exposed to:

There are 'militant' style instructors, when attention to detail, show of spirited respect and 'can do' attitude is what they try to foster. not much time for thinking in class, it's just 'do this and do it EXACTLY this way'. later (after class) you can ask why. during class there are no questions and no talking. dicipline is strict but not unfair. you get hit during class, but not excessive and not out of masocism. sparing is hard and spirit is encouraged over skill/technique.
This learning method is good in the strength and spirit development, but lacking in the mind/tactics/meaning development. In that regard, it's a bit shallow and only a surface of the Art. IMO.

Another type of teaching/learning method is by allowing students to dicipline themselves. The ones who don't show a desire to learn or don't show respect or completely lack self-discipline get less attention and eventually drop out from boredom. This kind of class is a 'lead by example' model as oppossed to 'drill seargent'. It's not passive or less spirited, but the spirit comes from a different place. the drill seargent draws your spirit out by using your fear. The 'lead by example' instructor draws your spirit out with your admiration.

Another type is passive-agressive. The type that don't dicipline by giving tasks (pushups,etc) or yell or embarrass, etc. They can dicipline with a look or a few words of disapproval. even with a firm 'suggestion' you are doing something wrong can snap you into never repeating that mistake again. This attitude in the students can only come from an instructor that has the respect of the student. so the student feels he/she doesn't want to 'disappoint' their teacher. The spirit which can be drawn from this is the greater of the other two I mentioned. again, IMO. but for young pre/teenage years, sometimes the drill seargent can be a perfect fit....and later as the student develops and matures, a more 'think and feel for yourself' approach is best.

just from my point of view.
p.s. does anyone object to me moving this thread to 'Teaching and Learning' ?




What a great posting of information!
I am planning on printing this one up and inserting into our next newsletter. I so agree with the idea of teaching respect or values to others via personal demonstration.

Regarding 'punishments' on students: my question is why? especially those who are adults...like the original writer on this post who at 45, was given a 45 min lecture and push-ups despite a bad shoulder! Can we say sadistic cult leader boys and girls?

I am no expert but have some minimal experience teaching. I Personally discovered, having taught our school's children's classes for a few years, that the punishment system could be counterproductive. I would assign jumping jacks, push-ups or sit ups when students wouldn't pay attention, disrupt exercises, or fail to show an honest effort. Usually it would be just one or two who maybe lacked the maturity or mental focus to commit to seriously train...or worse...their parents forced them to come to class.

Giving these students some options:
1. to switch to a different lower-level class
2. work on their behavior/class performance through parental involvement and/or private lessons (some had learning disabilities)
3. Inviting them to seek another sort of school/study martial dicipline altogether as we were unable to accomodate him/her.

this approach miraculously eliminated any need for dicipline!....so what really worked best for me was engaging them, as people with individual needs and respecting and honoring their needs as well as the needs of my class as a whole.

I think punishments via enforcer tactics take way too much from actual learning...I also think severe punishments can harm one's development more than help, often crossing into abuse and victimization.

Furthermore, I do not want to herd dicile sheep...or automatons..or groupies looking for a guru. I teach because I truly enjoy watching the process of learning; watching people find answers, achieve personal goals, grow and develop their own sense of confidence, personal power, and physical fitness. Being a small part of the learning process gives me hope, makes my own meager existance in this too-oft god-forsaken world a little more meaningful..

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#233546 - 01/03/07 04:12 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Kysogkram]
shadowkahn Offline
anti-stupid crusader

Registered: 01/03/07
Posts: 234
Quote:

Things such as yawning




that's a bad idea. Not many people can suppress a yawn - -heck most yawn just thinking about yawning. I bet you yawned reading this.

And with the lack of sleep most people get these days, I don't have a problem with someone yawning in the dojo.
_________________________
"Belt mean no need rope hold up pants" - Mr. Miyagi, RIP.

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#233547 - 01/03/07 05:58 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: shadowkahn]
Spade Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 255
Loc: Auburn, Al.
One of my instructors (Yoshukia) would have one student kick another student in the leg if they kept acting up. (students generally didn't wail on each other)

My other instructor (Isshinryu) would never, ever use push ups as a form of punishment saying "I don't want my students to dislike push ups, they are good for, so you should enjoy them"
_________________________
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#233548 - 01/03/07 05:59 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
haze Offline
Dragon

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Syracuse NY USA
Our dojo is pretty relaxed. No real formalities. Punishment, if thats what you want to call it is usually given out after you've been warned about something several times. Too much contact when sparring, talking while a Sensei is explaining something to the class. Things like that and then it's based on the individual. I'm not going to tell someone to do 100 pushups when I know they can only do 25.

Grading is more formal and you may do pushups or situps for leaning on the wall or resting on the floor on one elbow. Things like that.
_________________________
David

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#233549 - 01/04/07 11:23 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
First of all, let me apologize for being so "late" in replying to your post... I'll do my pushups at a later time...

Seriously...
I issue all my students a handbook with all the rules and what's expected of them. In that set of instructions, I tell them that they are not to slide in "under the wire" to class, but be there early so that they can start and end on time. If I have a 6:30 class, I expect them there by 6:15... and they know it... so if they show up at 6:35... I reinforce my time instruction with a few pushups...

People who have to work, or are late because of someone else's tardiness don't get punished, but they are held off the mats until they receive an acknowledgement to be allowed to practice.

I did thousands of pushups when I was learning martial arts and it hasn't killed me yet... it did teach me to be there on time, and to follow the rules that the sensei set forth for me. Being ADD probably didn't help any, but it did create a learning tool that taught me to pay attention to the clock and to details of the instruction.

We consider our dojo a "benovelent dictatorship", where the rules are made and told to everyone, and then they are expected to follow them. I don't allow students to run in the door and "bob their head as they enter the school, regardless of how late they are... they're expected to enter, and take the time to do a proper bow, and then continue whatever they're doing... it's part of the discipline of training. If it isn't enforced, it will never ingrain itself into them.

The proof of that is found in people who hang around garages... if they never work on the cars, they talk a good game, but you can't have them fix your car because they don't know how... they've seen it... and watched it... but they've never done it... so it isn't one of their skills. Discipline is the same way...

It isn't done as punishment, but reinforcement of the rule... and if you have a problem with that, train somewhere else. There are lots of dojos out there that will take your money and you'll walk out the back door of the place just as undisciplined and untrained as the garage-watchers.

Part of the difference in "my training" and what we're discussing here, is that I understood that I was learning deadly skills... not just exercises and sport boxing skills. The discipline is necessary so that you don't turn around an slam someone's ST-9 because they surprise you or cause you pain... discipline is all about restraint and order... and this is a pretty painless way to teach it.



(I'm off to do my pushups for not reading this thread for many, many days and failing to reply in a timely manner...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233550 - 01/05/07 07:14 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
I agree with wristtwister that is the way it should be and that is, after all, what many of the parents actually want when they sign their kids up for karate. They want the discipline. They want the difference because of some issue with their kid. This is one possible reason for choosing karate.

We have a set of rules and discipline issued to us. I try to stick to it for the most part. It is more layed back. Oddly enough, parents have complained when an instructor issues discipline. I am not the school owner. If I am working with one of the owners or any dan higher than me, I let them call the shots on discipline. If I am the highest dan, I try to find the middle muddle.

One practical observation of one of our owners that is wise for the middle muddle, is that it makes no difference whether you give a kid 100 push ups or 10. It is all the same to them. There is still the embarrassment of getting busted and singled out. 10 gets them back in class sooner and reduces the attention it attracts.
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The older I get, the better I was!

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#233551 - 01/05/07 09:25 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: ShorinjiSeisan]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
What are your feelings regarding the practice of a Sensei who deals out punishments to adult and child students? At what point do you protest or take leave of the dojo?


As long as its fair, I see no problem with discipline inside the dojo. Personally I don't discipline so sever that the whole class suffers unless thats my intent nor so that the persons whole class is consumed by the action. If its that server I just will suspend them from class for some time. Most of my discipline strategy are mind building or body building either push ups or six inches, pending their level sometimes it isometric kick holds with or /wo ankle straps. Or 100 punches on the makiwaria. Or Sanchin with body tempering.

Once a single Mom reported that her 5th kyu son had problems talking back to the teacher. She wanted me to handle it. I decided that at the end of class the Sanchin body tempering from his upper classmen was in order. I could check both their techniques.

The Child didn't mind it so much but the Mother freaked, even after the kid told her he was Ok. I just explained its what we do, its like letting a duckling swim in the lake by himself the 1st time.

As long as it fair, the class must have structure. Some of the parents use my method of discipline at home.
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#233552 - 01/05/07 09:42 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Neko456]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Neko456:

<<What are your feelings regarding the practice of a Sensei who deals out punishments

See my 02/25/06 12:23am comment, (finally said it well).

<<She wanted me to handle it.

Ok, I too hope we effect students elsewhere (because of what we offer/share with the children). But how does a child's impoliteness/insolence/impudence (whatever you prefer to label it) have to do with you??? Specifically when it is done elsewhere in a situation we did not observe...? How did that fall into "our" laps???

<<Sanchin body tempering from his upper classmen was in order.

How does this work???????? ("Tempering" done presumedly by other children forgive me that sounds hazardous to be polite...) Am I missing something (hopefully)???

<<its like letting a duckling swim in the lake by himself the 1st time.

Sounds like making ~pressed duck~ to me!!!!

<<Some of the parents use my method of discipline at home.



Jeff

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#233553 - 01/05/07 10:17 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wristtwister:

<<First of all, let me apologize for being so "late" in replying to your post...

You have had other matters of importance to deal with... there is no harm.

<<I tell them that they are not to slide in "under the wire" to class, but be there early.

Despite the fact those children have no ability to alter their "fate"? They can whine, complain, have a massive hissy fit, or be ready in the car....regardless if I am on the phone with a client they have no say.

Rhetorically, is "late" or not training at all the ~higher path~ to your perspective?

<<they are held off the mats until they receive an acknowledgement, to be allowed to practice.

Makes perfect sense and IS the way ours is written too btw. I am not contending that it will kill anybody. I simply believe that punitive measures, even benign/healthy ones run the risk potentially of detracting from the end goal; studying, learning meaningful arts & practices. Class is not long enough to spend doing "PE class". A byproduct of study/practice certainly but not "the" goal...

Sigh, I am not framing this well...

<<Being ADD probably didn't help

As I think we have spoken before (???) some teachers (not implying you) hide behind the "discipline" issue as well. Confuse the forced group behavior with bone-fide self-discipline.

<<I don't allow students to run in the door and "bob their head as they enter the school, regardless of how late

You articulate this very well, and I appreciate-admire (sic. and we use) this approach. Your description in a strange way reminds me of T. Nakamura's book "the Human Face of Karate" where he spoke quite elliquently to the heart of the problem I see with a stiffer version (if you will) but that I cannot seem to explain sufficently well...

<<If it isn't enforced, it will never ingrain itself

What of the ~empty ritual~ issue? Compelled, forced it has the potential to be meaningless and insincere?

<<I understood that I was learning deadly skills...

Can young people, children ever understand that I wonder?

<<discipline is all about restraint and order...



When/as/IF time permits,
Jeff

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#233554 - 01/05/07 10:39 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: underdog]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Underdog:

I too appreciate & acknowledge wristtwisters approach. I guess I have concerns for the "excess" or the shield if you will that some contend as discipline, the forced-compelled insincere actions solely by rote passing/pretending to be "discipline"?


<<after all, what many of the parents actually want when they sign their kids up for karate.

Absolutely... Yet when asked, ok... what exactly do you wish us to teach your child (eg "discipline"), you get some awfully weird/outright insane answers....

<<parents have complained when an instructor issues discipline.

Tell us more PLEASE ????????!!!!!!!!
[As for 10 rather than 100 pushups, with most normal children I agree.]

I noticed fairly recently (over the past few years) several children WANTING to do them. "...Johnny we asked you twice, and you are deliberately keep doing "X"... SIT OUT until we ask you to return... what, WHAT Sam, we'll get to you in a minute... what's that... you'd, you'd LIKE to do some push-ups (followed by the raising of hands/spontainously calling out by different younger kids "...can we do some too...")

It is a damned strange phenomina when it happens.... I suppose at the core I hold the belief (rightly/wrongly) that children learn the BEST when they are enjoying the learning....(sic. vs. a fear based approach).

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken...
Jeff

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#233555 - 01/05/07 10:44 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
clmibb Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
I don't assign push ups to the kids I warn them first that they need to settle down or they can hold my hand. I have yet to have a boy willingly hold my hand! LOL the girls on the other hand have no problem with this so you have to think of something else for them.

Casey
_________________________
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan


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#233556 - 01/05/07 08:30 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ronin, let me make this simple...
I don't look at most discipline as anything other than someone learning to "do as you're told" by someone who outranks them and as such has more knowledge of their art. It's an effort to teach someone that not everything is negotiable, which most people seem to think today. MA courtesy and discipline is military courtesy, i.e. following directions because your superior gives you an order.

Discipline has no measure of time... the idea of "bobbing your head" as you walk in the dojo is both discourteous and defeats the purpose of bowing as you enter the dojo in the first place. The dojo is "the place for learning the way", and regardless of your schedule, you're to acknowledge both those that have gone before you in training, and those that you train with now. I would suppose that it might take 5 to 10 seconds more to stop, do a proper bow, and then continue on your way... as opposed to running in the door, bobbing your head, and never even slowing down to get to the class (which you're probably already late for).

I went back to the dojo tonight, and it was like a madhouse... another 100 to 150 people have started taking MA there, (we had 650 before) and it was like a zoo. Our students were the standouts... they moved quietly and deliberately through the crowd, waiting to get onto the mats for class, and what was clearly visible was the difference in their demeanor.

Everybody else was in a hurry... either to come in or leave... and the parents of the kids were even worse than the kids. It was clearly something they were "trying to fit into their schedule" rather than a sincere desire to do anything positive, like reinforce the character of their children through MA practice.

We live in a world of "mealy-mouths" that say whatever they think is necessary to make them look good, and the "trendy" parents all want their kids "taking martial arts for discipline", when they have no discipline themselves and act worse than their kids in most cases. I don't usually teach children in my classes (except Judo) so hopefully any of them wanting to study jujutsu or aikido are old enough and smart enough to understand the inherit danger of the techniques.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233557 - 01/06/07 12:18 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Victor Smith]
hugo Offline
Elvis Sharkey

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 134
Loc: I am not going to specify that...
Personally I disagree. For example:

My design tech teacher was an ex Spetsnak and Jewish military man. He was a stocky and chubby man. And despite that he appeared "fat" he could hold himself out horizontally on a bar with his arms straight, despite his bulk.

Every time I was late he made me do pushups. At first ten, then 15, then twenty. Until finally one day he said. "Hugo my friend, you very strong boy, I want you try to do pressup on fingers, if you are late, you do pressups, if you no fast, you will be strong" all in his strong Russian accent.

The next class I was late I did 25 pressups on my fingertips. The next class he said to me "you late again boy, how many pressups I give you now, 20?" And I said. "No. Give me 30". So I did 30 three finger (on each hand) pressups.

He said to me after class "Hugo, many boys I teach say I cannot do this many, give me less, I do not have the strength to do this many, you did more, this makes me proud, I like you Hugo".

And the discipline he gave us, coupled with his attitude and his respectful nature gave me a respect for him that I hadn't had the previous year I was taught by him. Each time I was late I would do more, motivated with trying to please him, and make him proud that his system of discipline would both motivate his students, and not make them want to be late (this worked the opposite in my case as I like pressups to a certain degree).

In my Judo class I have been awarded pressups for dawdling, swearing, and just generally slacking. Mainly for swearing. Once or twice for the other two things.

This is a good punishment, as hey give it to you either before or after class. So it does not interrupt what they are teaching you and the others.

Punishment is not a sign of a poor teacher. An unreasonable punishment, or a punishment at an inappropriate time is an example of a poor teacher.

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I'm starting afresh.

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#233558 - 01/06/07 12:22 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Victor Smith]
hugo Offline
Elvis Sharkey

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 134
Loc: I am not going to specify that...
We also do lineups. And we have a system of "banking lineups" where at any point an instructor can place a lineup in your bank or decide to "cash a lineup" and make you do one.

You get lineups for: swearing, having a bad attitude, not showing up enough, complaining, etc. That sort of thing.
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I'm starting afresh.

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#233559 - 01/06/07 08:58 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: hugo]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Well, that's a great story... and the method worked well for you, which is the important thing. It brought you closer to your instructor and helped the two of you bond.

Any teacher worth his salt has to have some method of enforcing discipline, because as long as there are MA classes, there will be people failing to follow the rules or skirting their responsibilities. Whatever method you use, it's still considered "part of the training". Some teachers have methods and personalities that make it work for them, some do not... The trick is to find something that works the way your teacher did... something that drew you closer together.

Often, the class "screw up" simply needs attention... others, need the reinforcement to do things correctly... whatever the reason, discipline is discipline, and as long as it is uniformly enforced and everyone knows the rules ahead of time, (unless it's abusive), the end result is positive.

If you pay attention to the students, you can see what exercises they have the most trouble with, and use those for discipline. I've had guys who could do a thousand pushups, but situps make them struggle... guess which exercise they did for discipline?

It's all training, and the end result is what you're after. If what you're using causes problems, switch to something else until you find something that works. It's maybe the one thing that's actually "teacher's choice" in training in any style if you're teaching traditional arts.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233560 - 01/06/07 10:52 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
scottt Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Winnipeg, MB
Finding suitable punishments is challenging sometimes. I used to make kids do pushups, but some of them were so bad at them it made me angrier. Then I made them do jumping jacks instead, harder to do badly. Still, not very satisfying.

Depending on the student, different things work. Some are not embarrassed at all by doing push-ups in front of the class, with the whole class counting them out for them.

One of my ADD kids is so disruptive and has so much energy that exercise is of no use as punishment. However... I told him he has to sit still for 2 minutes and it took 15 minutes for him to pull it off. Not just a time-out, but actually sit cross legged, gazing forward not moving. If I had been stricter about it, he would not have been able to do it before the end of class. I did want to calm his mind down, not make him busier, so it seemed to work.
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you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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#233561 - 01/06/07 06:08 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: scottt]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Scott:

One of the things you mentioned piqued my curiousity. Are we, should any teacher actually be "angry" when they ~punish~ a student/students??? Not talking about stocism, or being a robot, merely... punishment when/if angry a wise idea IYV/IYO?

<<One of my ADD kids is so disruptive

Whatever the particular label.. whatever the specific condition(s) might be... can we teach particular students within a group context? Some people literally require more help and to teach/address only them while X number of students are waiting for more instruction.... difficult challenge.

<<I told him he has to sit still for 2 minutes

Many I have encountered were/are literally incapable. 2 minutes... 2 days, for them (many at least)identical and interchangable to their reality. Do/did you feel the time required to enforce that particular "punishment" for whatever the infraction might have been achieved the goal? Consistancy is excellent yet to keep many involved their self-esteem has to be propped up, incorrectly believing they are somehow "bad kids", they stop trying, caring...

Jeff


Edited by Ronin1966 (01/06/07 06:24 PM)

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#233562 - 01/06/07 06:42 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: scottt]
hugo Offline
Elvis Sharkey

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 134
Loc: I am not going to specify that...
Well seeing I'm younger than you this might sound weird but, that makes me proud.

I think it shows your integrity that you chose an appropriate punishment for the boy, and let him remain in your class. That shows commitment to helping him learn, and that you wouldn't give up on a student.
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I'm starting afresh.

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#233563 - 01/08/07 02:15 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Hello Neko456, Ok, I too hope we effect students elsewhere (because of what we offer/share with the children). But how does a child's impoliteness/insolence/impudence (whatever you prefer to label it) have to do with you??? Specifically when it is done elsewhere in a situation we did not observe...? How did that fall into "our" laps???

I believe and was taught that Te teaches more then just how to handle yourself in a fight. It teaches societies Laws and the laws of Universe. These lesson if not taught in the
home or educational system should be taught somewhere, like teh dojo. It would be nice that they are taught at all three forums. If our purpose is to creat better people morally, spritually and physically then these lesson should be taught. Thats how it falls in OUR lap, if you believe in a higher purpose then just teaching how to fight. Knowing how important societies law are is the difference (this is the extreme) in living a normal life and being in prison the rest of their life.

<<Sanchin body tempering from his upper classmen was in
order. Its part of their training nothing harsh just part of Iron body training, while concertrating on doing a form, laymen terms. Its just something we do, and I use it to motivate or slow down a student.


How does this work???????? ("Tempering" done presumedly by other children forgive me that sounds hazardous to be polite...) Am I missing something (hopefully)??? If trained right there is no hazard except a strong resilent body and solid mind that can ignore discomforts and concentrate better.

<<its like letting a duckling swim in the lake by himself the 1st time.

Sounds like making ~pressed duck~ to me!!!!

I got do what works no matter what we call it, we have to teach them that a Business closed means to them, don't enter through the window or door. A hard head, makes a soft a$$ as my Dad use to say.

<<Some of the parents use my method of discipline at home.


Push ups, Sit ups and I'm gonna tell Sensei!!!
Jeff




Edited by Neko456 (01/08/07 02:18 PM)
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DBAckerson

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#233564 - 01/20/07 08:23 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Midnightcrawler Offline
Dragon

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 184
Loc: England
Quote:

Quote:

what exactly do pushups however you classify them have anything what so ever to do with improving my XYZ martial technique???





2) Its a good incentive to try harder.

4) increases the number of pushups you can do

7) Teaches teamwork. When working in a group, if the instructor doesn't like one persons technique, he'll drop everyone for pushups.

8) Since tkd is 70 percent kicking, its always good to get a little upper body training in, any chance you can.

If you don't think it works, try dropping and doing 10 or 20 pushups every time your instructor tells you to correct something.

Laura




Laura.

Looks like neither Ronnin or myself find these assertions to be true. If I may be permitted I'll explain why.

1) "A good incentive to try harder" How? It would just get my back up. Can't speak for Ronnin, but I'm there to train and learn techniques. Pushups are a waste of the time I'm paying for, I can do them in my gym. In fact I can go one better than that, in the gym I can 'bench press' which does exactly the same thing. Current personal best 150 Kilo.

4) Increases the number of pushups. It really isn't that important in terms of training as they can be done outside the Dojo/Dojang without supervision.

7) The same practise was used by the German army under Adolf Hitler. If anyone in a village was thought to be a member of the resistance their whole family was shot, if two suspects were found together, the whole village was shot. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't find that in the least bit motivational.

8) 70% kicking is fine. If you need upper body workouts enroll in a gym and hit the straight bench press, incline press and decline press. Try some front and lateral raises and assisted pullups reducing the assistance as you go, follow that with some front fly's and rear fly's. You'll soon (6 months or so) have a hell of an upper body strength.

No, I don't think it would work, simply on the basis that it isn't motivational, it's punishment and I don't pay to go to a Dojo to be punished. If you've ever trained a dog, you'll realise that you get far better results through kindness and reward than by chastising and punishing them. Same works for humans.

MC.
_________________________
God only knows; Really.

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#233565 - 01/20/07 11:43 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Midnightcrawler]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
ok mnc. I look at it this way. Adults are rarely "punished" if ever, as most adults understand proper behavior. Every once in a while some adult might get overly frustrated and lash out at the bag, which is not allowed at our school, but I've never seen an adult punished for poking the student in front of them. Kids however, often need timeouts. As for the push-up penalty for bad techniques, if its not part of your curriculum it might be hard to understand the impact that it can have on your training.

First off, we are a small school with limited equipment to kick, so if we are doing bag drills, it will take time before you can go again. So getting penalized 10 pushups for a bad kick doesn't interfere with the rest of my training.

Second, its a good indication if you are slacking off. We also have "bonuses" which get you out of doing pushups, for doing a really good technique. We sometimes do drills where you get bonuses if you kick the back over, but pushups if you don't, etc.

You must also understand that there is never any negative attitude associated with pushups at our school. Instructors might yell at the students, but its the all in good fun, rolling the eyes over exaggerated kind of yell that you have to work to keep a straight face with. The same goes for when pushups are handed out.

I hope that clarifies my points.

Laura

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#233566 - 01/21/07 12:04 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
It isnt bootcamp. Most of you pay for teaching, do you not?
As a former teacher, if I could not get my point across with words, I will simply send you home. Give you time to think. If you dont like that I couldnt care less. I have other students who need my help. If a Sensei ever expected to punish me he had better expect to do it himself.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#233567 - 01/21/07 12:17 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Anybody ever heard the saying "rules are rules"? For punishments or corrections to be consistent, the adults should have the same types of corrective measures that are employed with the children, otherwise, you're just "picking on the kids" with your discipline.

I have certain things I expect of students... whether they are 16 or 36, and part of that is an understanding that the rules are for everyone. We have a society where people think that the rules only apply to everyone else, which is why we have so much chaos in daily life.

If the dojo is truly "the place for learning the way", then "the way" must include consistent teaching and not a parallel universe for everyone who plays there. If "yes" means yes and "no" means no, then rules can be enforced and you can pattern behavior using that as a tool. The first time it means "maybe", you lose the discipline of the argument for having rules.

Everything in life needs a framework in which you can operate, and "the disciplined life" must include discipline... and if you need punishment to enforce it; then, so be it. I've had students before who refused to help clean the dojo because they thought it was "beneath them"... so they got their cleaning rag, and were allowed to sit out classes until they joined in the cleaning of the dojo with the other students... no training, no watching the others train... nothing except sitting in the dressing room with their rag. When their parents complained, I told them that if I couldn't trust them to do their part with such a simple task as cleaning, I couldn't trust them with any kind of deadly skill.

Martial discipline is "military discipline", and while you don't have to run a class like a drill sergeant, you still have to enforce discipline by some method when it isn't used. I had one teacher who had an "effort rag", and if you didn't put forth effort in class, you had to clean with the dreaded "red rag" after class... and NOBODY wanted to stand out like that during "down time" of training.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233568 - 01/21/07 10:05 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Chen Zen]
MikeC Offline
Dragon

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 130
Loc: Kingston Ontario
I agree. This is not the Army. If an adult student/beginner wants to learn they will pay attention. The worst punishment is not to be taught.

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#233569 - 01/21/07 10:28 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:

Pushups as benign punishments... suppose its possible, but

I understand both what MC is saying (I believe) and your approach as well. Provided I was coherent I have commented sufficently my perspective is plain.

Bottom line for me, PE is not what class is about... a nice byproduct perhaps... but respectfully completely irrelevent in the manner MC suggested.... (though the Hitler reference was excessive IMV. Militant would have sufficed....)

Children.... medals/straight-jackets for teaching em all around.

Jeff

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#233570 - 01/22/07 08:50 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wristtwister:



How did your explaination fly with said parents, (or new students) prey tell? It is a very old school method of a very different era...?

As for your other assertions, what does one do if the training is NOT based on the Samurai Bushido Code (eg the way), nor based on the militant training models of the 50's???

I love your stories and your consistency despite my potential challenges with some of the underlying approaches... no offense meant!

Jeff

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#233571 - 02/10/07 12:43 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Ronin1966]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Jeff,
let me tell you that I'm an old guy with "old school ways". They've worked pretty well for me over the past 40+ years of training, so I don't see any reason to change them to be "trendy". Since I don't teach martial arts for money, anyone is welcome to come to class or leave as they see fit. If they stay, they have to follow the ryules...

I've had some run-ins with parents who had "perfect children"... and I "explained" things to them the same way I have here... they're welcome to stay or go... they'll just learn more if they stay and follow the rules. Some of them have been in and out of every MA school in town...

If your school doesn't follow Bushido training, it's their loss, because much of the essence of martial training is found in "the code". The right mindset, the right teaching, the right attitude about both life and training should be part of what the school instills into it's students. Ryu gi, or "right thinking" is an integral part of the discipline of martial arts, and if that's not there... neither is the actual essence of the training.

As for the "50's models", they are much older than that... and they still work. That's what being "oriented" is all about... a change of mind toward your subject. Much of the training is rote (repetition), some is intellectual (thoughtful), and much of it is esoteric (learned without training... simply absorbed).

Take a look at our public schools... they have been constantly "evolving" since the 50's as well. Today, we graduate kids that can't read, write, or balance a checkbook. Many of them can't hold jobs because they don't know how to work, or do anything other than "get along"... which they don't do well either.

I didn't like everything I was taught, either in school or in martial arts... but I learned the lessons. There was structure, information, and practice. Without that, you have to have the training factored into your genetic code... and way too few people have that for it to be a way of passing on the training.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#233572 - 02/11/07 10:13 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: wristtwister]
BloomingLotus Offline
Member

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 75
I always thought the potential we get from our gentic code was predetermined .. as with the ways to best to develop that from individual to individual.. different lessons for different ppl at different times for different developments.. to potentially come together to be all it can be. YoUu develop this way = this and Ii develop thiis way equals this.

It's the greatest joy of a sensei or sigung or shifu to discover that a student can kick their ass ( or even keep up or provide a challenge would be nice enough) .. it's got to be a sweet mercy to have someone to teach who might fill that ... I don't find it overly surprising that toward ashe got older,. that sensei, as his own need to train so hard to not be beaten declined, copped some curious or even accusing sideglances and comments ..dedicated students who are willing to develop are often a teacher fantasy that for the benifit of both for reality's sake, entails the testing .

I think it maay be as simple a case as 'catch up and we'll go from there".. ' go dbl time and we can do it sooner ' .

the beauty of it all though .. is that if you don't liike the lessons you supposedly of your freeist spirit are there to learn... then you can just walk away..( even if there arre cosequences of either that you would no doubt possibley weigh up before deciding,) . .. diirectly after your lecture on distiguinshing the differences of what you want and what you do not. .

I'm kind of the mind personally that 'i'm getting there as fast as I can because that sounds fun and anything you can do to help would be greeat thankyou ..sir/ miss.' .. and if a student or less skilled person said the same to mee , then I'd like to think that I'd believe them and want to help themm out equally as much by whatever method I thought would be most effective and lovingly considered and appropriately nurtured for that individual at that point in time... again knowing that they 're free to leave should they not want to pursue.

At worrst.. iMo.. because we do so much thinking when these things hit .. a hard lesson is a good opportunity to discover exactly how much we want what and how much your prepared to dig for to give to your choice..even if it's something different altogether.

I guess if doesn't work out or take me some place good, I can always feel abused and mistreated or ripped off or what ever and leave for greener pastures sometime later. So far so good though I guess.


Blooming tianshi Lotus.



Edited by BloomingLotus (02/11/07 10:42 PM)

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#233573 - 09/25/07 05:07 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: BloomingLotus]
sheepingly Offline
Member

Registered: 09/07/07
Posts: 92
Loc: Southern California.
I learn best with Sensei's are encouraging that don't dish out harsh punishments (45 minutes worth of embarrasing lecture infront of the whole class). At the dojo I go to the main sensei is positive 100% compliments you when your doing great and takes pride when your improving well. If you do something wrong like for example I was a little too rough with a male student when doing a ankle lock in BJJ he thought I was going to break the guys ankle off (I didn't even put pressure but that's what the Sensei thought I was doing) anyway, he told me in a nice way to not too much pressure because I could cause a serious injury. And then he made an announcement in general (didn't name names) not to be too rough and cause serious injuries or doing something that might cause permanent damage.

Was I ashamed by his comment to me? No. Because he was right. Was I ashamed by his announcement? No. Because everyone needs to know that sort of thing. But like I said he's more about praise than anything and his theory is, like someone in this thread said, the ones who half crap things will eventually get bored and leave and the ones who are dedicated and serious about learning follow the rules and pay attention. Plus he has faith that we aren't jugheads.

Our other Sensei, Bobby, he's more macho, military style but he's nice as well. He's more likely to do the 20 push-ups punishment thing. He likes picking on people (in a nice way) who have been flaking in class. My sister flakes alot in KB and he knew that, so when she finally showed up after 2 weeks of flaking he kept picking on her (in a funny way) when she was half crapping crunches that if she keeps half crappin' it that he's going to make her do 20 more.

Our other Sensei, Sayla, he's more serious of an individiual and more strict. He is nice though but more strict and less friendly than all the others.

Then there's this one other Sensei I don't remember his name, he's kind of new. He teaches the Elite Combatives class...he's a big huge dude and kinda scary lol...everyone pays attention in class lol. But he's really nice but he's kind of like Bobby in the whole stict military sense.

But overall at the dojo 95% stick around after attending one the classes for a few days. Because yes they can be strict but they aren't going to rip you a new one like that infamous "Cobra Kai" in KK movies.
_________________________
Me: "Yeah but you guys beat me up alot..." Sensei: "That's okay, we've gotta toughen you up..."

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#233574 - 10/07/07 02:20 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: sheepingly]
karate_popo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/07
Posts: 154
Loc: NYC
in my class we have to do pushups if we forget a basic japanese word, that we should know, or if we forget the style of judo, jujitsu or karate that we study.....yelling only comes if we disrespect the sensei.. on one occasion pushups were threatened-100!!- but not given out.. being that i'm the only female, that might have been the reason. and he knew i coudln't do them anyway.. our class is made up of adults ages 21-45... so it is not too harsh to hand out such disciplines i think, plus it is usually only the ones that are younger that get it.. the other day however, we were all 'punished', due to some of the lower belts not knowing their stuff, and we were made to kneel on knees, and tuck toes under and stay that way for a couple minutes.. sensei has never hit us.. nor would he ever, but even he sometimes i do not agree with how he yells at us in front of other students, the teaching that he gives us, outweighs this.. i have never thought of leaving....

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#233575 - 10/20/07 01:29 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: Kysogkram]
BurningUpstairs Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 6
Quote:

In a perfect world, punishment shouldn't be necessary, as everyone are of course 100% concentrated all the time, doing their very best every time and interested in every minute detail of their martial art.

Back in the real world there are a lot of different people coming to a dojo, some people who cant keep concentrated and are easily distracted, not everyone's interested in some of the Kihon, etc.

I think that discipline in a class with a lot of people is essential to keep the class effective, and one of the means of achieving this is punishment.




Have you ever thought that there might be biological reasons why people show different levels of alertness?

The need for attention is a practical one, given the military structure of the training, and a narcissistic need from a sensei's perspective.

In a perfect world, somebody would kick their asses in a way these ignorant fools so rightfully deserve. That includes yours.

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#233576 - 10/21/07 01:25 PM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: BurningUpstairs]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5821
Loc: USA
Burning

Yeah, that makes lots of sense.

So to show your dislike for a teacher "punishing" students they should have their asses kicked to teach them a lesson.

Which is the same "reasoning" that the teachers are punishing students...to teach them a lesson.

Which is what your objecting to and suggesting people kick their asses for.

Sure the whole punishment thing can easily cross a line...but "punishment" is also how people learn.....its how you learn NOT to touch a hot stove after all.

People are training in fighting art after all and not being "alert" in class can be a real hazard..both to the student and everyone around them......I really don't want to wacked in the back of the head with a bo because somebody has a "biological reason" for not paying attention.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.....but people not paying attention can get people hurt....usually OTHER people.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#233577 - 10/27/07 11:36 AM Re: Punishments from a Sensei [Re: cxt]
RSG Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Northwest FL, USA
Up until school kicked back into session in August, I was an elevated assistant instructor in my home dojo two days each week. I say "elevated" only because there were numerous times when Sensei trusted me to lead the classes on my own if something prevented him from being there, ala family emergency.

Anyway, we tried to steer clear of using calisthenics as punishments, because we wanted people to enjoy workouts rather than associate them with punishment. But there were times, numerous times, actually, when being ADHD didn't exempt a kid from holding a straddle stance with a bo staff over their shoulder for a few minutes.

Our other methods were just things like having the student sit at the back during class, or if they were lined up and not showing respect, to stand at the back, regardless of rank.
_________________________
Regards, Steve 4th Kyu - Yoshukai Karate-do

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