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#265453 - 06/21/06 06:18 PM People who are a bit touched.
Sorin Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
Well, I'm typically in school so I don't have time to go to my old class which is about 2 hours away except during the summer.
During the summer I go back to my old class and help run the classes with my instructor. I usually go back a few times to
help judge belt testing, but don't get to go to any full classes there until the summer. Summer classes are usually very
small, since most of the main students are swimming or playing baseball, etc, so we combine the adults and the kids classes
into one. We had a person join the class the other day who ,as my instructor told me, was a bit "touched" but an ok guy.
Apparently he came to a few classes before during the spring while I was at school.

My question involved dealing with someone who (for lack of a better term) isn't quite playing with a full deck of cards.
Now I don't mean to say that this person is full blown crazy, I don't think that he sits naked at his house sacrificing
frozen turkeys to the stain on his coffee table, at least I hope not. He's just not completely there. This guy certainly
is motivated and willing to learn. He puts forth a lot of effort during the class, although he does tend to rant about
some things when you talk to him. After class was over, everyone was leaving and he comes to me and asked me to go over
the white belt form with him. I say I don't mind. So we go over it for a while. I point out the mistakes in his stances
and posture. After we had finished, he asks me to show him some moves or something that would help you get out of a certain
kind of headlock or something. I look at him for a few seconds and then ask him why he wants to know this and why he's taking
the class. He then fills me in on his situation. Apparently his girlfriend's brother is always beating him up. According to
him, he's 300lbs and has trained himself to be a boxer and also quite crazy. Now I'm quite hesitant to show this guy something
that he could use to seriously hurt someone with. So I tell him, first off, do everything you can to avoid getting into a fight
first. If you are attacked then you defend yourself. During the course of our discussion, he tells me how he knows all these
"street" moves and even proceeds to demonstrate a few of them.(maybe this guy is the one who keeps starting all these threads
on the board about will this work in the street blah blah) Well, I do my best to show him that some of these moves he's attempting
would most likely not work in any fight anywhere. One problem is he seems quite sure of his "moves" and about how dangerous they
are. He has a bit of an ego about his "street" moves He then asks me if I can show him the yellow and green belt forms too.
I look at him and say no. I am not the head instructor here and can't just show you new stuff when you haven't gotten the first
form right. It's still sloppy and you still make a lot of mistakes. He persists, and says, yeah I know, but I was thinking you
could show me those and I could still go over the white belt form. For a few minutes I keep trying to explain to this guy that I
won't do it. Then finally I tell him, that me teaching you a new form will not magically make you any better. To become good at
martial arts takes time and continuous practice. And if he's serious about wanting to train that he will take his time and do things
properly. There are no magical shotcuts. And that if he doesn't want to put in the time, he is only going to end up hurting himself
in the long run. He finally said ok, though I suspect it all went in one ear and out the other. Has anyone else ever had to deal
with someone who wasn't all there? I think I did the right thing, but don't really have a lot of experience dealing with people who
are like that.


#265454 - 06/21/06 09:21 PM Re: People who are a bit touched. [Re: Sorin]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote by Sorin -


Now I'm quite hesitant to show this guy something
that he could use to seriously hurt someone with. So I tell him, first off, do everything you can to avoid getting into a fight first.

Sounds like you knew a good way to handle that. Just be persistent and consistent with him. Either he will grow to understand, or he will quit.
"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

#265455 - 06/21/06 11:47 PM Re: People who are a bit touched. [Re: Sorin]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Sorin:

You did well in what could have degraded into something foolish. Keep aware of him, and obviously keep the head instructor up to speed what happened.

Many, young, old and lots in between have strange ideas (myself included) about their abilities, skills, and certain what they can do or handle. When someone comes to learn, genuinely learn what you are teaching... they need to set aside whatever they brought/dragged with them, and try and learn. If the story he told is accurate, the main instructor should defiantely be made aware of the "why" he is there. Hurting anyone is stupidly easy, not getting into avoidable situations, that requires time and practice.

Nice job,


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