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#358742 - 08/28/07 07:42 AM "I don't wanna' fight"
Yuushi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
As you all know, when you teach you get all sorts of students. Well, at my dojo we don't spend much time on fighting. We only do it once every two weeks, if enough people of the required rank show up.

Last week one of our students came in, did the class, but when it was time to spar he just stood there. My instructor questioned him on where his equipment was and he said that he wasn't going to fight. When asked why, he said he didn't feel like it.

My sensei and I talked about it. We know this kid gets hurt easily. I think its because of a fear of fighting, and also that he's lived a sheltered life. Anyway, he's green belt and it's required of him to fight. My sensei and I basically reached the conclusion that well have to talk to him and that we wont be able to promote him unless he fights.

I don't think we're asking much of him. we only fight
once every two weeks and its very light contact.

Just wondering what any of your opinions or thought's may be; how would you handle the situation?

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#358743 - 08/28/07 09:18 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think that if he is willing to train in a school/style that insists on 'fighting' to make rank...that he should be willing to stay at green belt forever. But if that means he will not be allowed to learn more than the 'green belt curriculum'...then he should move on to another school/teacher.

His reasons are his own, and he needs to work them out. Until then, just teach.

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#358744 - 08/28/07 09:59 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

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

Anyway, he's green belt and it's required of him to fight. My sensei and I basically reached the conclusion that well have to talk to him and that we wont be able to promote him unless he fights.




That is very fair. If it is part of the curriculum, and he chooses not to do it, then his progress will be halted.
_________________________
"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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#358745 - 08/28/07 10:02 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Yuushi

Tough call.

On the one hand I kinda think that your there to learn and you should learn what is being taught--esp if were talking about kids here.

On the other hand, I have a buddy that refuses to do any breaking with his hands as he works in field where any accidental damage to his hands could cost him thousands of dollars a week.
So he has chosen not to test if breaking if breaking is a requirement for testing.

On the other hand he is a adult and has already made his choice--he likes to train, but if he HAS to chose, then he choses not to test.

Is the the first time that he has refused to do this?

I guess if it was me I would agree with Harlan, if the kid does not want to fight, then I would not make him do so.
I would however make it clear that his advancement was limited without doing all the training.

I suppose though that if its only very light sparring and only done every now and then, then is he really missing much?
I have a buddy that whose school only sporadically does Sanchin testing--so the question often gets asked as to how much good it really does.

Could you maybe keep us updated about what happens????
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#358746 - 08/28/07 10:41 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: cxt]
Yuushi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
I will say this boy is 11. It is a young age. He's a good kid and all.

cxt: I understand your friend's reason for not breaking. I accept that more though because its a legitimate reason, thats how he makes his living. My student however, just chooses not to fight. many times during sparring night the boy will "accidentally" forget his gear, now's just the first time he's chosen not to fight.

I would never make a student do something if they didn't want to do it. I'd rather motivate them in some way to make them want to learn or get better. I would like to do that for this boy. I would hate to see him quit, but I don't believe in making exceptions for anyone. I hope that somehow we can motivate this boy to spar.

Thanks everyone, I'll definitely keep you posted.
_________________________
Now the shugyo begins!

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#358747 - 08/28/07 03:31 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
ironsifu Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 37
Loc: sacramento, CA
it will not be fair to promote him if he never learns to fight, and does not get tested on his ability. there is plenty of schools that will do it, so maybe you should have a meeting with his parents, that he should either stick to the training program you have, or fine anouther school. i hope his parents do not support this, because next he will go to high school saying, i dont want to take math....

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#358748 - 08/28/07 04:48 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
GriffyGriff Offline
Good Egg,
Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 414
Loc: Earth
Is he reasonably coordinated?

The way I used to break people into sparring is to turn it into Paired WarmUps & Linework.

Mawashigeri Warm Ups (Using the Instep)
Both pairs stand Left Foot Forward and should start at 3/4 speed until Warm.
Side 1. Steps up and GENTLY taps the Back of Side 2 with a Mawashigeri, then steps back to their starting position.

As soon as the Kick was felt, Side 2 steps in with their Mawashigeri.

Once the pair have built up momentun/control & trust, then they can up the speed.

10xEach leg Middle Section and High Section.
With High Section, the defender lifts up the back of his hands close to the side of the head as a target.

This gets them to Warm Up & work on their Control/Distancing whilst getting used to being in a controlled sparring environment.

------------------------------------

Entry Technique LineWork:
Then I pair them up down the cewntre of the Dojang/Dojo and name one side "1" and the other "2".

I demonstrate an entry technique and have side "1" perform it in a controlled but loose manner on side "2" (With the correct distancing).

Side "2" has to watch How his opponent telegraphs the attack and gently block/parry and THINK about countering.

Side "1" has to concentrate on speed, fluidity, non-telegraphing and control.

Emphasise that this is a Paired Excercise and the Students must work together cooperatively. If they don't then they don't learn anything worthwhile.

The speed of the excercise is controlled by you calling out "1" (and Side 1 attacks, gets blocked and recovers stance & Guard). Then you call "2" and they attack etc.
After 10 reps, change pairs.

I have found that using these types of drills have dulled the emotions and nerves usually associated with sparring.

I hope that wasn't too long winded and hope it helps.
_________________________
I am NOT homophobic... I am NOT afraid of my own house!

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#358749 - 08/28/07 09:12 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: GriffyGriff]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
If he doesn't want to fight, he should take up ballet. He'll get all the same health benefits, and he won't be taking up precious time that could be devoted to students who are there to actually train.

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#358750 - 08/29/07 07:43 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Yuushi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
The boy's mother takes Karate too, but she has some emotional problems and only comes around once a month. Sadly, his father does not support the fighting at all. The father thinks of it as "barbaric" and "unnecessary". You're right Bushi no Ki, were learning how to fight here. This isn't a basket weaving class.

We do plenty of waza exercises. We have them for each rank and they are very similar to what you were saying GriffyGriff. He's decent at all that stuff; waza, kata, two man kata. We eve do bunkai punching and contact drills with our gear on.

I find the whole situation hard to imagine. An 11 year old boy who doesn't want to throw a couple of punches? Blasphemy!... but oh well.
_________________________
Now the shugyo begins!

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#358751 - 08/29/07 08:35 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
jpoor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 726
Loc: Fairfax, VA
Has anyone really sat down and asked him why he feels that way? It may be something that you can help him work through, or it may be something that should be left alone.

There are plenty of non-sparring schools out there for him to go to if it's that big of a deal for him to pass on the sparring where he's at.

Now, the effectiveness of such schools in the SD world is a hot topic, but there are still plenty of other benefits.
_________________________
Don't let the white belt fool you. . .
I know even less than you might think.

Best,
Jim

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#358752 - 08/29/07 11:44 AM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: jpoor]
clmibb Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
I was thinking about this thread this moring and my thoughts are with Jim. Really sit down with him and ask him why he doesn't like to spar. Maybe there was another student who was more aggressive than him and caused him to back off even more from it. See if he'd be more comfortable sparring the BBs in class (seeing how a BB SHOULD have more control than white and yellow belts). Build his confidence and see in a few months if he'd be more comfortable with students closer to his own rank.

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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#358753 - 08/29/07 12:02 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: clmibb]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Don't expect much of an articulate reply from an 11 year old.

You know: I'm 46...and I don't like to fight! It's why I looked into an art that I thought would not involve physical contact. (Of course, one get's that sooner or later.) There are all kinds of 'reasons' people will give for not wanting to do something...and sometimes we're barely aware if there are other, deeper reasons for our likes/dislikes. For all you know, the kid is exploring pacifism (a little young), or 'daddy used to beat on mommy' (and it brings on flashbacks), or he is an undiagnosed asthmatic (and panic/fear triggers shortness of breath), or he is lazy, or was brought up 'not to hit'.

The problem with schools that focus on benchmarks is that it leaves kids behind that need more time to reach those points, or who simply can't approach those points from the same path.

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#358754 - 08/29/07 01:55 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: Yuushi]
medulanet Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona USA
It seems you have laid the ground work for him to begin sparring, just approach it another way. Some people have a psychological block when it comes to "fighting" or "sparring" just refer to it as a drill. Explain that it is just like the two person drills, except one person can use any technique they want and the other person can only defend. Then switch it so the other person is attacking and the other is defending. Eventually you should be able to work him up to both doing whatever they want, attacking or defending which would be sparring. A lot of people don't like sparring because they are afraid to fail or to lose. In a drill there is no winning or losing just training. That is how sparring should be, however, I think we all know who that can go. Always stress that those are drills and he should be fine. You may even want to start doing the regular two man drills you do with the pads on. That will get him used to using them when exchanging techniques with another person and further acclamate him to the sparring, oh, I mean drilling sessions.

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#358755 - 08/29/07 02:40 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: medulanet]
AndrewGreen Offline
shadow-lurker

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 170
Seems like taking swimming lessons and not wanting to get wet to me...?

Fighting is not barbaric, unless it becomes about hurting the other person and not caring about there welfare. Otherwise play fighting is one game that every animal on the planet seems to enjoy naturally, humans included.

http://innovativema.ca/forum/view.php?pg=whywefight

Articles linked at the bottom are a good read as well
_________________________

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#358756 - 08/29/07 05:21 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: AndrewGreen]
ironsifu Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 37
Loc: sacramento, CA
the bottom line of this discussion is that martial arts is not for everyone. some people are in the business to train fighters, and teach people to defend. some are in business to held their hands. i have a problem with schools that advertise they are true martial arts school, when he is really a day care center. there is nothing wrong if you want to make money with the martial arts. but when you try to make it "one size fit all", and not even teach the real art of fighting, and use "good grades, fun, respect, blah blah blah", you are no longer martial arts school.

you are a self defense teacher, not a physcologist. if the boy needs mental help, send him to the professional. dont make promises to parents this is dishonest. "miss, you want your boy to walk with confidence, send him to me, i guarantee in one year nobody will mess with him." but if he's talking back to his mom and dad, tell them to beat his ass. if he skipping home work or cant pass the test, send him to a tutor (or hire one and let them tutor kids. i did this for my high school kids is a great idea).

martial arts is not for everyone, just like gymnastics, just like accelerated math, just like football. either you want it or you dont. give him a excited talk to get him to stay, but dont beg. martial arts is not "one size fits all". keep your arts pure, and hold your head up around the guys in the top of the food chain.

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#358757 - 09/06/07 01:51 PM Re: "I don't wanna' fight" [Re: ironsifu]
Yuushi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
Well, my teacher and I talked to the class as a whole. trying to get the point across that to do karate you have to do all parts of Karate, or we won't promote you. We then asked everybody what they liked and disliked about karate. The boy said that he didn't like pain. True he does get hurt sometimes in sparring... everyone does. Pain was the reason he chose not to spar, or at least part of the reason. The other day we did spar, and he did join in. I'm glad he chose to. Hopefully he'll stick with it.

Well I just want to say thanks everyone for your advice. This is definitely a deep subject and could be brought a lot further, and its pry something I'll encounter again some other time. I can definitely see this branching off into some other martial arts topics, but those are definitely for another time.

Thanks all.
_________________________
Now the shugyo begins!

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