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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.

I'm starting afresh.

#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.
I'm starting afresh.

#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"

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

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.
you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
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...


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

#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.
I'm starting afresh.

#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!!!

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

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

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


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.



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.

God only knows; Really.

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

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.


#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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