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#292148 - 10/10/06 01:30 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: senseihonor]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Students who say "No", have never met Instructors who say "Bye".

mcdojo kun: "Have it your way."

they aren't students saying 'no'...they are customers.

#292149 - 10/10/06 04:04 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: Ed_Morris]
senseihonor Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 62
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'm new to this forum, so I have to ask: what is a "McDojo/McSensei"? (I have a feeling our club is going to fit into these categories).

I don't think the student I was talking about takes the attitude of: "I've paid for my belt so I deserve it". She works hard in class, is focused, and practices outside of the dojo. She can be argumentative or sceptical, mostly from a bunkai perspective but she usually accepts a technique as being just one more tool in her toolbox of karate skills.

I think it's just one of her personal quirks which has posed an interesting learning opportunity for me. Is there a way to address a student saying "no" in a way that would be:
a) Firm - leaving no questions about what is an appropriate response to your sensei
b) Instructive for the student
c) Not crush their desire to continue because they've been "admonished"

Interestingly, I've started taking kobudo in a different style of karate, with a totally different sensei, and a very different infusion of what respect means - inside and outside the dojo. I couldn't even begin to imagine a karateka saying "no" in this sensei's class. I think the door would hit them before their "kobudo" made it out of there ...

#292150 - 10/10/06 04:16 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: senseihonor]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

A "McDojo" et al is poor quality school that provides the martial equvilent of "fast food", greasy, loaded with stuff that is bad for you, low in quality nutrition, poorly made, usually by sub/unskilled workers--often by youngsters who punch buttons with pictures of food on them rather than actually read.

ie. A place where quality training is a distint "2nd" to money, fast belt advancement etc.

They often do plenty of business as their business model is focused on kids--bright colors, fast service, lots of meaningless activity etc.

No offense to McDonalds meant--I eat way to much of their food.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#292151 - 10/10/06 05:03 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: senseihonor]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
For me it is inportant to understand the individual that I'm dealing with. In our styles membership oath we say "We as members comply with regulations and obey instructors" That agreement or social contract sets a standard and rules of conduct.

Having said that there are times when a student's "No" can be representitve of an unaddressed fear or conversely their personal growth. In the same way an obedient child can turn into an adolesent that questions authority. In many individuals things in their personal history may cause them to baulk at different times and different situations. Many times the behavior is in place to avoid an unpleasant emotion. When a person is reacting from fear they may not seem present or have there head in the game. When that is the case most people would rather be seen as defiant rather than fearfull. Really knowing the person helps you to know if it is fear based and what the fear is. If it is it is up to the instructor to determine if it is an appropriate time for the student to address the the fear. The teacher can encourage the student to continue, ignore it, dress the person down,tell them to take a hike, or any number of other responses.

I encourage people to comply and obey instructors. That being said I remind them it is always their choice and that they hold the responsibility to determine where they will draw the line. In certain student I would actually praise them if if reflected growth in their ability to verbalise a boundry and care for themselves.

#292152 - 10/10/06 09:12 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: cxt]
senseihonor Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 62
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the "enlightenment" on the McD label. And phew! Our club doesn't fit that description. Our membership is growing, as is the number of dojo's within our organization, but class sizes remain small. There are some kids with black belts (which is a touchy topic with me, but our senior sensei's endorse it, so I go with the flow on this one) and they teach classes, with more senior sensei's watching what is going on.

I don't think we're on par with McD's yet, but now I wonder if some of our sensei's were former McD employees...

#292153 - 10/10/06 10:05 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: oldman]
senseihonor Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 62
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi Oldman -

You raise in important point about membership oaths. This is something that isn't in place within the club where I, and this student train. I wish they were part of our students committment to their karate, but it isn't in place, nor is it likely to be implemented.

As for getting to know a student really well, I'm familiar with most of the more senior kyu belts within our club, but I definetly don't know them as a regular instructor would.

After reading the suggestions here, I'm beginning to realize that I probably would have a different perspective on the situation with the student who said "no" if I knew this blue belt better. Using less-than-ideal encounters with her (sparring during her grading & her possible kata "performance anxiety") as a basis to judge or critize an occurence of disrespect is presumptious (and petty, I might add) on my part.

Guess I better rethink my own attitudes about "respect"...

#292154 - 10/10/06 10:33 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: senseihonor]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

<<"No. I won't do it, and you can't make me."

Amused disbelief, preferably gentle laughter seems quite appropriate. Someone who is 30 years old and responding in that manner may have genuine issues well beyond the typical "norm".

<<she doesn't refuse a sensei's request.

Here is the primary issue. Any of us can easily and SHOULD "refuse" if we have a good cause but politely for goodness sakes. The manner which she choose seems a temper tantrum and literally designed to cause a "power struggle".

Easily handled any number of ways....

"Ok, thank you..." and then ignore her literally as if she was not there would be one possibility.

Public stoning apparently (according to some here) would be perfectly acceptable.

If her stunt was done in a very ~public manner~ then you can make a lesson of it. At the end of that class not immediately then... so you don't give gas to the fire she created.

Something to the effect,
~...there was a good reminder tonight, for the teachers that we want to talk just briefly about... basic gist:

not embarassing anyone
pointing out
teaching martial arts here...
cannot easily simulate the situations
hope none of you will ever face...
can & WILL create situations
designed to cause ALL of us discomfort...
for some -sparring, for some kata whatever the case everybody has something they won't always love everytime...
everybody has them

A real fight, physical/mental , car accident, boyfriend fight, assault.
We create a small pressure asking everyone to demonstrate in front of the class.
Not accidental, carefully controlled
Done to help you figure out how to handle these small pressures. In time more is carefully added.

A different possible approach not ~hardlined~ to be sure...

#292155 - 10/11/06 01:48 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: oldman]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

"No" is an acceptable option well put and/or if they can explain their need to refuse whatever the particular request...

Growth not cannon fodder....

#292156 - 10/11/06 11:11 PM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: Ronin1966]
senseihonor Offline

Registered: 09/09/06
Posts: 62
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hi -

Well said.

<<Here is the primary issue. Any of us can easily and SHOULD "refuse" if we have a good cause but politely for goodness sakes.>>

In the interest of personal safety, or let's say someone's personal baggage, it makes perfect sense to say "no" to something you don't feel comfortable with in class. Giving a brief explanation will hopefully buy you a lot more mileage on saying "no".

In the case of the blue belt refusing to do the kata (it was after class and she had asked for extra help) she didn't give any reasons why. I think it was a poor choice of words on her part and too quick a judgement on my part. In hindsight, I still have slightly mixed feelings about not having said anything, but mostly I feel fortunate that I kept my mouth shut.

Because we don't have contracts or a visible "code of conduct", "dojo etiquette" or even a definition of what a sensei/sempai is, it's probably better to let her figure out what "respect", "sensei" and "etiquette" means to her and how she chooses to demonstrate or comply with these things. Perhaps, in time, she'll come to view these things in a different way. I know I'm re-evaluating my perception of all of these...

#292157 - 10/12/06 04:25 AM Re: Students Who Say "No" [Re: senseihonor]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I'm amazed that it was after class and at her own request and then she says something like that. It's not the 'no' that gets me, it's the '...and you can't make me' bit.


I think it was a poor choice of words on her part and too quick a judgement on my part.

Of course, HOW she said it might have made a difference.

On a point of dojang discipline, one of the most notable TKD assocs in UK has a student rule book. It says a student may disagree with an instructor but should not argue in class. The student should do what they are told and approach the instructor afterwards.

It seems so,
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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