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Saturday, June 20, 2009

How to frustrate your Martial Arts Coach

A few weeks ago, my friend Wim Demeere posted a great blog article "How to piss off your training partner".

I loved his 3 part series on it. As someone who's had training partners that did the very same things mentioned in Wim's blog, I was amused to read about it. Granted, I think, that such behavior is "part of the learning process" for some people.

So, it prompted me to write about "How to frustrate (or piss off) your Martial Arts Coach". I'm not going to include breaches of ettiquete (based on a school's own code of ethics), because this blog post would go on and on if I did so. Instead, I'd like to present a few generic "breaches of polite common sense" that would probably (if not most certainly) piss off your Coach, Sensei, Sifu, Sabomnim, etc.

Demand that the teacher promote you:
Okay, so its perfectly okay to want to be promoted, if that is one of the things that motivates you. The idea is, to meet certain requirements to be eligible for promotion, whether it be a certain number of Kata, learning specific fighting concepts, etc. However also, higher promotions also may be based on marked improvement. Sorry, I'm not going to promote you just because you learned three required Kata in one week, that you need for (let's say...) purple belt. If you're doing them at yellow belt skill, and you've been corrected time and again by me or your Seniors, don't meet me in my office and say "Ya know, I think you should test me for my purple belt, 'cuz I know all the purple forms". You'll most likely get a long look then a chuckle from me, and then me asking you "Since your opinion of your skill is much more correct than mine, would you mind testing yourself for purple belt?"

Interrupt the Coach to coach the students:
Want a stern look from your coach? Then loudly interrupt your coach while they're teaching a technique to the class. I've seen this at seminars sometimes:

Coach: " let's move on to another variation of the you'll sweep out the foot at this angle, while...."

KnowItAll: (loudly cutting off coach) "....but be sure ya don't sweep above the heel, or they might fall on yer ankle.."

You might get stern looks from several students as well. Hooray! More people listening to you and the point you're trying to make! Yay! Those students will sure want to be your partner to practice what you know so well! Not bad for a first year student! Awesome!!

Sarcasm aside.....if you want to stay in a seminar or class....keep the interruptions to yourself. Note your observations in your notebook for your learning purposes, but refrain from rudely cutting the coach in the future.

Pay your class fee late, but date the check for an earlier date, *while we're watching you write the check*:

We, as martial arts teachers, understand that things happen...emergency car repairs, medical bills, unexpected expenses, etc. We will likely give you wiggle room if you notify us of your hardship. But if you just let tuition due date go by a week or two, then write the check in front of the staff for the earlier due date, it probably won't fly, because we all train our staff in the secret martial system of "knowing what today's date is".

Make disrespectful remarks about other martial arts:
Its okay to be proud of your art....but refrain from making bad remarks about other martial systems while you're in class. As teachers, what makes us think that you *wouldn't* make bad comments about us if you decide to study somewhere else? Besides, you not only make yourself look like an arrogant, opinionated oaf, you might make the rest of the school look the same as well.

Jump in front of the coach to ask a question while they're working one on one with another student:
Plain and simple....wait your turn, raise your hand. Our peripheral vision isn't *that* bad. We'll see you, we promise.

Keep in mind, that this is all written in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. In no way do I recommend that martial arts students follow these mentioned steps to see if they can piss off their teachers......

To any and all martial arts teachers and coaches out there, feel free to comment and add your two cents. In upcoming part 2, we'll discuss "Coaches/Teachers: How to irritate your students and get them to quit".

1 comment:

Wim Demeere said...

Woohoo! Rant-time! ;-)

What REALLY bugs me is students who ask questions before I've finished explaining the technique. I mean, what the??? I can't even get to that point and they're already on my case.
do they go into the kitchen of the restaurant to tell the chef not to forget the spices on their steak? Sheees!

Thanks, I feel better now.