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    Disobedience and the Dojo

    yesterday I went to the early afternoon class at my school. There are usually only a few students at a time (there were 4 yesterday), and the instructor usually shows up later than the students. So, while we were waiting around for her to let us in, we were talking about another classmate of ours, Angela. A few weeks ago she had to leave in order to get knee surgery, which was supposed to keep her out of class for 3-6 months. A classmate asked when she would be coming back, and Karen said that Angela would not be coming back. My first instinct was "oh no, they fucked up her leg!", but no, Angela was kicked out of the school.

    Why? Because she attended a seminar at another school without asking our head instructor's permission. Apparently, she had done this before, and should have known to ask him, but damn! That's fucking harsh! The seminar was at another school, same style, where she has a few friends. All the cuong nhu schools in the area get together from time to time for events and major training seminars, so I really don't understand the problem. Our instructor doesn't have a problem with us cross training or attending other seminars, so long as we ask. But kicking someone out of the school for not asking? That's just fucked up, I'm sorry.

    The thing is, Angela was the most dedicated student there. She came almost every day of the week, she helped instruct the cardio classes, always stayed late to help clean up after parties, and she never goofed off in class or did anything to hint at disrespect. Angela can go to another school just fine, but I think this is unfair.

    I could understand if she cussed at a teacher. I could understand if she tracked her muddy shoes into the dojo and said "fuck you my feet are cold!". I could understand if she broke in and stole the heavy bags. But I really don't like the definition of 'disobedience' being used here.

    Oh yeah, and she was also my favorite classmate. So this bothers me on a personal level, as well. :5wolverin

    #2
    I think that that's kind of pathological. Although I never understood these draconian ettiquette rules in dojos, I hear about them on bulshido.net often enough to know that they're around.

    I don't really know what to conclude. It seems like it would just be the result of an instructor who for some reason has a tremendous emotional investment in having students act towards him in what he sees as a hyper-Confucian manner. I speak of this in the strongest terms because it dosen't even make sense. Why would an instructor, whose income depends on the students, kick out the most dedicated student for going to a seminar? Think about the effect on the morale of the other students, who will begin to think the instructor is some kind of psycho. And when people begin to wonder why seminars are forbidden, they'll start to wonder if maybe the instructor is incompetent and is trying to hide that.

    So, I really can't make sense of that, nor can I come up with any rational reason that the instructor would do that. To be perfectly honest, it sounds like he is living in some kind of bizarre 1980s martial arts fantasy and wants to punish anyone who threatens to distrub this world view of his.
    Lone Wolf McQuade Final Fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDe_mYUXg

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      #3
      That's ridiculous and a little cultish. I don't understand why some instructors think they're owed reverance. They seem to take the whole teacher/pupil relationship alot further than it was taken in the fuedal era.

      Comment


        #4
        That's ridiculous. You pay a martial arts instructor for lessons. You aren't married to your school.
        Last edited by DokterVet; 3/15/2005 1:39pm, . Reason: To please Pizdoff. He's on his period.

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          #5
          reminds me of this:

          http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6068

          The dude's feet are blistered and peeling from doing drills and his instructor keeps yelling "I don't care" into his ear when he tells him he's having trouble doing the drills because they hurt like hell. On top of that the instructor yells in his ear as loud as he can because the student can't Kiai loud enough.

          Comment


            #6
            That's pretty fucked up. I would start looking for another school just because that's pretty odd. I mean what's so bad about going outside to learn more?

            Behavoir like that just makes me question the real motives of the intructor.

            Comment


              #7
              edit: ooops.

              Your instructor is an idiot. Leave your school and go train BJJ.
              I pointed at him [the panhandler], bringing my rear hand up in a subtle approximation of the double Wu Sau guard that is the default hand position in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

              "Step away," I hissed.
              -Phil Elmore

              Comment


                #8
                that's just... weird...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Wounded Ronin
                  I think that that's kind of pathological. Although I never understood these draconian ettiquette rules in dojos, I hear about them on bulshido.net often enough to know that they're around.

                  I don't really know what to conclude. It seems like it would just be the result of an instructor who for some reason has a tremendous emotional investment in having students act towards him in what he sees as a hyper-Confucian manner. I speak of this in the strongest terms because it dosen't even make sense. Why would an instructor, whose income depends on the students, kick out the most dedicated student for going to a seminar? Think about the effect on the morale of the other students, who will begin to think the instructor is some kind of psycho. And when people begin to wonder why seminars are forbidden, they'll start to wonder if maybe the instructor is incompetent and is trying to hide that.

                  So, I really can't make sense of that, nor can I come up with any rational reason that the instructor would do that. To be perfectly honest, it sounds like he is living in some kind of bizarre 1980s martial arts fantasy and wants to punish anyone who threatens to distrub this world view of his.
                  Generally, we *don't* have draconian etiquette rules. You're not allowed to curse or wear shoes in the dojo, and if you're late for class you have to do pushups. Everything else is common sense stuff. He really breaks a lot of the rules that other schools adhere to. At our school we're allowed to wear black gi at green belt, when officially, black gi are only allowed at black belt. We don't do any of the weird oath pledges or whatever. I only know what those are because other students went to other schools and saw it done.

                  Cross training is really encouraged, and national seminars happen twice a year: once on the East coast, and once on the West. There people learn all sorts of things from all the other instructors, and everyone is encouraged to go. Our instructor studies at the aikido school across the street, and another wushu school in the area when he's not teaching our classes.

                  Officially, our instructor is Master ranked, but he doesn't want his students calling him 'master'. He goes by 'sensei', and I don't see a problem with that. He's more than competent, and won't forbid anyone from going to another school or seminar. I asked if I could do BJJ, and he was fine with it, so long as I didn't hurt my performance at his school (this is the same rationale behind double majoring in college -- don't do it unless you can do both of them very well, because it would probably result in a net loss).

                  I mean, people go to other seminars all the time. Just a couple of weeks ago he had an announcement about an escrima seminar up in the whiteboard so people could know about it and go. That's why I'm so confused and shocked. He really doesn't have a problem when people train elsewhere. Just when they don't ask first.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Your money, your choices. No grown adult should have to ask permission from their "sensei" to train elsewhere, really to do anything else.

                    Probably the best thing to happen to "Angela" in her martial arts training. My advice to you would be to go wherever she ends up going. That way, you keep your friend, and get rid of your control-freak instructor. Also, tell your instructor what you've done, and why. Maybe he'll get the message.
                    I would liken it to the boxing or the muay thai of internal kung fu, even though that's like calling apples the oranges of the apple world. --WalkOn

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by beka
                      Generally, we *don't* have draconian etiquette rules. You're not allowed to curse or wear shoes in the dojo, and if you're late for class you have to do pushups. Everything else is common sense stuff. He really breaks a lot of the rules that other schools adhere to. At our school we're allowed to wear black gi at green belt, when officially, black gi are only allowed at black belt. We don't do any of the weird oath pledges or whatever. I only know what those are because other students went to other schools and saw it done.

                      Cross training is really encouraged, and national seminars happen twice a year: once on the East coast, and once on the West. There people learn all sorts of things from all the other instructors, and everyone is encouraged to go. Our instructor studies at the aikido school across the street, and another wushu school in the area when he's not teaching our classes.

                      Officially, our instructor is Master ranked, but he doesn't want his students calling him 'master'. He goes by 'sensei', and I don't see a problem with that. He's more than competent, and won't forbid anyone from going to another school or seminar. I asked if I could do BJJ, and he was fine with it, so long as I didn't hurt my performance at his school (this is the same rationale behind double majoring in college -- don't do it unless you can do both of them very well, because it would probably result in a net loss).

                      I mean, people go to other seminars all the time. Just a couple of weeks ago he had an announcement about an escrima seminar up in the whiteboard so people could know about it and go. That's why I'm so confused and shocked. He really doesn't have a problem when people train elsewhere. Just when they don't ask first.
                      He can show up late but you can't? Hypocrite.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Reikon
                        reminds me of this:

                        http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6068

                        The dude's feet are blistered and peeling from doing drills and his instructor keeps yelling "I don't care" into his ear when he tells him he's having trouble doing the drills because they hurt like hell. On top of that the instructor yells in his ear as loud as he can because the student can't Kiai loud enough.

                        It's *nothing* like that. If you're injured, you sit out, or you change your techniques to fit around it. When I injured my ankle, I was told by my physical therapist to not stand on my left leg and kick. I also cannot really hit anything with that foot. My teacher didn't tell me he didn't care, he actually reminded me to not kick and re-injure myself. We even went over new stretches for me to do so that I could still participate in the class, even though I was hurt.

                        He allows injuries. He's not one of *those* types....

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Xango
                          Your money, your choices. No grown adult should have to ask permission from their "sensei" to train elsewhere, really to do anything else.

                          Probably the best thing to happen to "Angela" in her martial arts training. My advice to you would be to go wherever she ends up going. That way, you keep your friend, and get rid of your control-freak instructor. Also, tell your instructor what you've done, and why. Maybe he'll get the message.

                          I was thinking about that. I've never been to the other school, but I know that they don't offer as many classes during the week, and once I get a job, that may be a problem. Once I make my schedule more concrete, I will be giving it some major thought.

                          On a the whole, I really do not think he's a control freak. He's usually really easy going and he cracks jokes and is all around a nice guy. Until I heard about this. Now I'm just shocked because it came out from nowhere.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by beka
                            It's *nothing* like that. If you're injured, you sit out, or you change your techniques to fit around it. When I injured my ankle, I was told by my physical therapist to not stand on my left leg and kick. I also cannot really hit anything with that foot. My teacher didn't tell me he didn't care, he actually reminded me to not kick and re-injure myself. We even went over new stretches for me to do so that I could still participate in the class, even though I was hurt.

                            He allows injuries. He's not one of *those* types....
                            I never said it was like that. I just said for whatever reason it reminded me of it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I pointed at him [the panhandler], bringing my rear hand up in a subtle approximation of the double Wu Sau guard that is the default hand position in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

                              "Step away," I hissed.
                              -Phil Elmore

                              Comment

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