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    Attitude Adjustment

    So today I tested for my blue belt in Seidokaikan. It was a huge test, we rented out the Judo and Kendo halls at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium for the day, and people testing for every belt from yellow to black came from all over Kansai. Needless to say, there was an exorbitant testing fee. At least we appear to have gotten something for it. That's not the story.

    I was in a testing group composed of the 32 current yellow belts testing for blue and the 20 or so blue belts testing for green. We did the fighting in groups of ten pairs, and it was hard/full contact, but not the same level of viciousness as a tournament since we were still looking to show an instructor who was overseeing us that we had solid strikes and defenses.

    After finishing my match, I watched the blue belts, who had three matches each. One guy who looked to be in his 30s was pretty short, so he ended up being paired with a high school girl who had good technique, but a typical Japanese school girl build, so he could push her around pretty easily. He was really getting into it, maybe a bit too much, and toward the end of their match he managed to get a hand around behind her shoulder and pull her down into a knee to the face.

    The girl was a little shakey but got up and bowed out of the match since time had run out while she was down. Then the 5th dan leading the testing group spent a minute talking to the guy about why you shouldn't be a dick during the test. The pairs were rotated after that, but instead of getting to spar the guy he was going to rotate to, one of the instructors made a substitution, this time of another high school girl. She was probably 3 inches taller and about 20 pounds heavier than the last girl, and most of the extra weight appeared to be across the shoulders. She looked like her nose had been broken at least once in the past. She was also a blue belt testing for green, so the ranks at least were equal.

    Our new high school girl spent the next three minutes working this guy over. It was amazing. She danced back from his kicks and dove in with solid four, five, six, punch combinations that ended with a tremendous left round kick to the liver area every time. He scored some hits on her, but she didn't even seem to notice. He tried grabbing her for a similar pull and knee and found himself on his back immediately. I'm guessing she cross-trains Judo. At the end of the match, the head instructor who had given the guy a talking to after he kneed the first girl declared that our hero and the new high school girl had a good match. Everyone should see a match like that. So let's have another three minutes with everyone watching. The second match was a worthy sequel.

    At the end of the test when we were lined up to receive our promotions, our hero was one of the dozen or so whose names weren't called. I think it was the first time I've seen someone fail a MA belt test, which should tell you something about the quality of instruction I've witnessed in the past.
    -------------------------------
    So my question is, is sending in an enforcer like this a dick move, or is this kind of blatant attitude correction the kind of growth experience people are supposed to get in the martial arts? If a guy is a pretty OK fighter for his rank but he's still a dick, does he deserve the belt anyway, or should being a good sportsman be part of the qualifications? If a club loses a hard-charging jerk, does the utility of having a tough partner available outweigh the liability of having someone who can't attenuate his game based on his partner's size and strength or ability? I know in an ideal world we'd all get to spar people of the same height and weight class who are just a little better than we are so that we push ourselves, but in reality sometimes you have to step it down a notch for the sake of the club.

    Maybe what I'm really asking is, if I ever have to spar this very scary high school girl, who will send flowers to my hospital room?
    It seems to me that the Sanjuriu Martial Art is not in guestion, but, rather the character of Mr. Galt.
    -AkidoMom

    #2
    Hmmm, short answer: I think part of learning a martial art is learning to control it. This is universal whether it is karate, muay thai, or grappling or just plain friggin gymnastics. The ultimate goal is to be in complete control of your body at all times.
    My view on competetive fighting is a little different, It takes a lot of heart, and sometimes the heart can outweigh the control.
    So either the guy was out of control, or he was intentionally trying to hurt that girl.
    Either way I say fuck 'em, he needs more practice and discipline.

    Comment


      #3
      I applaud that instructor. Either the asswipe will learn to grow a pair and be a man (i.e. not try to hurt people he out classes in a fucking TEST) or he'll quit. Good riddance.
      Monkey Ninjas! Attack!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Jiujitsu77
        You know you are crazy about BJJ/Martial arts when...
        Originally posted by Humanzee
        ...your books on Kama Sutra and BJJ are interchangeable.
        Originally posted by jk55299 on Keysi Fighting Method
        It looks like this is a great fighting method if someone replaces your shampoo with superglue.
        The real deadly:

        Comment


          #5
          If a guy is a pretty OK fighter for his rank but he's still a dick, does he deserve the belt anyway, or should being a good sportsman be part of the qualifications?
          Bullying someone significantly smaller and lighter than him doesn't really constitute being a "pretty okay fighter", it just makes him a dick. It's a belt test, you're supposed to show your grasp of the techniques, not your ability to push around someone that you have a huge physical advantage over. Any braindead idiot can do that. He had it coming and he deserved to fail.

          Comment


            #6
            I'm going with the majority and giving the situation a big thumbs up. It is my opinion that one should always adjust to the level of their opponent when in a non-competitive environment, so kneeing a skinny highschool girl in the face is a bit of a no. Plus, having another highschool girl come in and beat the jerk into the floor is delicious, delicious poetic justice.

            As for the second question, maybe, if you're lucky, she'll bring the flowers herself.

            Comment


              #7
              Grown men being humiliated by plucky high school girls is the basis of the whole of contemporary Japanese popular culture. Dude had to know what would happen, and should just be happy that she didn't also turn into a giant robot or a tentacle-rape demon or something.

              Comment


                #8
                The brothers on Car Talk tell the story of a professor at MIT who failed one of them--I forget which one--in Physics (I think.) Anyway, the way they tell the story, he told Tommy, "Mr. Magliozzi, I am going to do you a very great favor. I am going to give you an F."

                Sometimes failing a student is the best thing you can do for them--and sometimes, they need their faces rubbed in it.
                *********************************************

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MrGalt View Post


                  So my question is, is sending in an enforcer like this a dick move, or is this kind of blatant attitude correction the kind of growth experience people are supposed to get in the martial arts? If a guy is a pretty OK fighter for his rank but he's still a dick, does he deserve the belt anyway, or should being a good sportsman be part of the qualifications? If a club loses a hard-charging jerk, does the utility of having a tough partner available outweigh the liability of having someone who can't attenuate his game based on his partner's size and strength or ability? I know in an ideal world we'd all get to spar people of the same height and weight class who are just a little better than we are so that we push ourselves, but in reality sometimes you have to step it down a notch for the sake of the club.

                  Maybe what I'm really asking is, if I ever have to spar this very scary high school girl, who will send flowers to my hospital room?
                  You weren't privy to the conversation were you? I am asking in all honesty. If so, what did the student say?

                  I am asking because, maybe the instructor saw/read/heard something in the conversation that warranted this action.

                  Oh and as everyone else said yes, from your description, it sounds perfectly warranted. Unless you (impersonal) larp, there is only so much you can learn from drilling and pad work. Some of the most arrogant people I have met, in Martial Arts, have never been hit in an unscripted alien environment.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This has become one of my favorite stories. Thank you, and give my thanks to the instructor for taking such a course of action against him.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by MrGalt View Post
                      So my question is, is sending in an enforcer like this a dick move, or is this kind of blatant attitude correction the kind of growth experience people are supposed to get in the martial arts?
                      Assuming you were referring to girl #2 was the "enforcer", absolutely not a dick move. Sometimes certain people need to be put in their place, whether it's being humbled via getting the shit kicked out of you by a more skilled girl or being reminded that sometimes you'll be the smaller person depending on the control of a much larger sparring partner.

                      If a guy is a pretty OK fighter for his rank but he's still a dick, does he deserve the belt anyway, or should being a good sportsman be part of the qualifications?
                      Depends on your instructor/club's perspective I suppose. I would say, and most JMA will agree, that character development (through hard work and pushing your limits) is an important part of the process. Personally, I would not promote a dick past a certain point. I would, however, do everything within my ability to teach him to not be a dick because I would want him to succeed too.

                      If a club loses a hard-charging jerk, does the utility of having a tough partner available outweigh the liability of having someone who can't attenuate his game based on his partner's size and strength or ability?
                      The liability outweighs the utility of the jerk in most cases, because the jerk will injure other people and induce new students to not stick around.

                      I know in an ideal world we'd all get to spar people of the same height and weight class who are just a little better than we are so that we push ourselves, but in reality sometimes you have to step it down a notch for the sake of the club.
                      Sparring is not a fight, no matter how hard. In class you're trying to apply what you drill, on a test your goal should be to push the other person, to bring them to the brink of quitting, but you should avoid injuring them at all costs. It's never good to lose a training partner due to injury and it's even worse to break a training partner's spirit/make them gun-shy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        he's a dick, it would be irresponsible to think of him as anything else.. but putting girls against boys for gradings or competition is a peeve of mine.. only because the guy (when he's not a dick) normally will underperform

                        Obviously this is not always the case but most men (even if the girl is huge) have a psychological block when it comes to fighting women, regardless of how good the woman is.
                        "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". - Cus D'Amato
                        Spoiler:

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think that in the end it was justified. The only problem I see here is that the instructors should have not paired them up in the first place. If doing a belt test I feel that your partner should be of equal weight and skill class. It should be treated the same as pairing up in a competition.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by dethklok View Post
                            I think that in the end it was justified. The only problem I see here is that the instructors should have not paired them up in the first place. If doing a belt test I feel that your partner should be of equal weight and skill class. It should be treated the same as pairing up in a competition.
                            Disagree here, because it's about demonstrating real self control, as others have stated.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I say it's up to the instructor or style's discretion.
                              -If the instructor/style wants to emphasize the ability to spar without getting out of control, then they should allow vast physical differences during grading.
                              -If the instructor/style does not want to emphasize the ability to spar without getting out of control, then they should not allow vast physical differences during grading.

                              I think that given the scenario, use of the enforcer was well done.

                              Back in my Shito-Ryu days I had problems keeping the contact low (Touch to the body, almost touch, but not actually touch, to the head). I was given pushups, then a more skilled/heavy sparring partner, then I sparred my sensei. I was allowed to (attempt) to make contact while taking some solid shots. I had to take a knee because one shot dazed me too much to remain standing. Although I saw it as more of a reward than punishment, I'm sure others would see it as punishment.

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