I’ve only recently gotten over a sickness that lasted a little over a month. A bad case of sinusitis that came from what should of been a routine cold but became something more. I picked up some weight unfortunately during that month, so I’m a little off. That said, and I’m not trying to use this as an excuse, my coordination in the dojo has been a bit off now that I’ve finally started coming back. So while that has been off, I feel like I’ve been getting ragged on more by the higher ranks than normal, and to some degree disrespected.
In that realm, and to a great degree in all dealings with people, respect isn’t something you really logic people into. Either you’ve earned it, by whatever criteria those people use (conscious or not), or you don’t. So I won’t blame anyone or get angry at anyone directly if I haven’t earned it. I admit it isn’t easy to do that…but I get it.
Let’s take some examples that come to mind, and I’ll refrain from using names as this is the internet…possibly one of the lonelier parts of the internet but still! Lets put down a few examples. We have one younger student, I guess overall a nice kid that gets put under a lot of pressure from what I can see (he had one break down as I recall, but he’s a teen, that stuff happens). I recall we were working various extensions of the katas that we work on, and the guy called me out on my tendency to use a somewhat upward angled parry for hooks. He saw it as a straight up I suppose (double factor) but it is not. Also he claimed that no one will ever do a haymaker (he didn’t call it that, but that was the punch direction)…which I know is bullshit from experience. I think they may be forgetting (or never knew) that I had nearly 3 years of experience in MMA (muay-thai kickboxing, BJJ, Wrestling) from a school that I still use as my bar so any evaluation of schools and fighting arts. I’m not some newbie. I’m not in the shape that I should be but that doesn’t negate what I know.
I’m being respectful and listening to their stuff even when it directly clashes with what I’ve learned before (both through instruction and actual full contact sparring), because it is their dojo and their art. I have a lot of respect for that. That said, I don’t think its entirely fair that anything I know potentially gets snubbed.
Another example, same student and another recent BB (congrats to him, I still need to say that to him directly now that I remember…I was too busy getting beat up [being ukei, and apparently verbally/morally too] to remember. Specifically we were going over extensions again, with the specific instruction on trying to emulate natural reactions and experimenting with responses to that. Younger student has me dropped to the floor, going for a standing arm bar, but he doesn’t control the rest of my body so every time he tries to pull on my arm the rest of my body naturally turns forward. So the BB comes in on this, and light heartedly (I think, can never tell with him) acuses me of “cheating” and then abruptly takes over, puts his other foot in front of me as I slide forward and yanks hard. Definitely felt a lot of pain in my shoulder but I just shut up and dealt with. The technique was good but just no warning, and could of easily gone real bad. That is a bit of marked difference for me when it came to my previous school…I always felt like the instructors there were always very respectful that we were there and not just things to beat up on or show off on.
And then we have the older instructor. I get that he’s old school, and by the sounds of it he did a lot of competitive fighting and actual fighting in his younger days. He’s definitely got a his way or the high-way approach. Also seems to use me as an ukei a lot…possibly because I’m a larger guy so I should be able to take more punishment maybe? Anyway last time he really held on long with that goose neck, and using that to drop and pick me up, in theory, reality is I had to pick myself up otherwise my wrist would definitely be broken (and I know the hard way how fragile the wrist bones are…). I can understand wanting to make a point and have something stick through pain, but at a certain point are you really teaching anything? Especially when the student is willingly putting himself in that situation for everyone’s learning? Seems like it went a bit far to me. Either I try to defend myself, and get beat up more for it…or I don’t, and get chopped in the neck or smashed in the jaw hinge and risk serious injury…for what?
Maybe I need to challenge corrections more often. At least with students. I feel like with the older instructor, all that would earn me is a beating that I’d just have to sit in there for possibly (which now that I think of it, I shouldn’t have to worry about that in the first place…maybe that is a big source of my feeling disrespected).