View Full Version : Ever lose your temper while teaching?

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10-10-2002, 10:58 AM
I'd like to ask the instructors here. Have you ever gotten angry while teaching a class? If you have, what triggered it? How did your students react to your verbal ourburst?

mike lee
10-10-2002, 11:54 AM

I said "shit" really loud when a 2-kyu student, and once the best student in the class, repeatedly failed to execute iriminage properly during rondori.

This was at the end of a semester, after many explanations, demonstrations, and many lower-ranking students doing the same thing properly.

The class was stunned into silence, the mood soured, and it seemed to take a long time to regain their confidence. It seemed that they tought I had lost my mind.

My conclusion was that losing my cool, even for what I viewed to be a good reason, was not worth the price.

The drill-sargent approach might work with a select group of individuals, but not for the masses.

In the end, I've concluded, if students really want to make progress, they'll have to work hard and do it on their own -- I just provide the curriculum.

Larry Feldman
10-10-2002, 02:11 PM
My teacher would occassionally raise his voice when trying to convey a technique or a point that someone couldn't grasp. I knew he really wasn't 'mad' but more like aggrevated.

The volume never bothered me, and I wondered why he did it......Several years later I am teaching my own class, and here I am raising my voice to my senior student who just can't seem to grasp what I am saying. The idea was so clear in my mind, it was just 'pouring' out of me, yet he couldn't get it. The raised tone was my:

1. frustration

2. effort to 'jar' his attention, a change in style to get him off of 'stuck'.

3. way of dealing with the lack of communication - just like people will sometimes (wrongly) speak louder to someone who doesn't speak english, and can't understand what they are saying - as if they can't hear them.

10-10-2002, 02:31 PM
I remember a seminar with Saito Shihan a number of years ago when I was still fairly new to Aikido. Our dojo is not an Iwama dojo, so our weapons skills aren't on a par with theirs... Though we were certainly learning a lot.

On Saturday, during bokken class, I was working with my sensei, and he was having trouble getting the movements down for one of the kumi tachi.

Saito Sensei came by and repeatedly tried to demonstrate for my instructor. Finally, he got a little frustrated, and said through his interpreter, "Just watch Sensei! Just watch Sensei!"

It was obvious that Saito Shihan thought my instructor was a little slow to get it, but he kept his cool.... except for that little gleam in his eye.

He moved on to another group, and we floundered on; I saw him glance our way every now and then and give his head a little shake.

Saito was kind enough at dinner that night to do some nice calligraphy on my instructor's bokken, so he must have taken it all in stride. (unless what he inscribed read something like, "Look at these bozos thinking they're so great with a japanese autograph.. the joke's on them."

Anyway.... I guess the longer you do it, the easier it is to not get frustrated, either by your own mistakes, or others when you can't explain to them what you mean.


Chuck Clark
10-10-2002, 03:06 PM
Have you ever gotten angry while teaching a class?
The name of this thread is "Have you ever lost your temper ..."

The question quoted above is a different subject. I have gotten angry a few times while engaged in teaching a class over the years. No, I have never "lost my temper" while engaged in teaching a class.

10-10-2002, 06:06 PM
I can honestly say I've never lost my temper or gotten angry while teaching. Maybe I haven't been teaching long enough yet. I get annoyed when students don't sit in seiza while waiting their turn or watching the instructor, but this happens whether or not I'm teaching. It's not anger and I put it down to my own hangups. I'm sort of interested: what is their to get angry at?

10-10-2002, 07:45 PM
I've gotten irritated while teaching, but not aikido :P

10-10-2002, 09:01 PM
The "anger" thing reminded me of the following that George Simcox wrote back in January of 1999:
One day I asked a student how he was doing. He replied, "Not so well, I still get angry". I responded that getting angry wasn't the problem - anger is a natural reaction - it is holding onto the anger that is the problem. Many folks not only get angry or experience fear but choose to hold onto that emotion to the detriment of effective response. Our training in relaxation and calmness should help us to shed the negative elements of these emotions and get on with business. I word it this way because this applies to daily living as well as MA. Some where there may be a state of perfection toward what every you see as the end point of life, but until then we learn what we can, train how we can and do the best we can at any particular time, and then review what we did, train to do better, and grow. We are a "work in process" until we die. Let us make the best of it, what ever our training approach.
-- Jun

10-10-2002, 09:43 PM
I like this quote I remember from Dave Lowry's book.

"Man is like steel. Once it loses its temper, it becomes worthless" or something to that effect.

10-11-2002, 08:13 AM
Hmmm... I know one teacher that did...


10-11-2002, 09:36 AM
The name of this thread is "Have you ever lost your temper ..."

The question quoted above is a different subject. I have gotten angry a few times while engaged in teaching a class over the years. No, I have never "lost my temper" while engaged in teaching a class.
Sorry for the ambiguity. I meant to ask if anyone has ever gotten angry while teaching and verbalized that anger towards a student or the class in general.

10-11-2002, 02:18 PM
I have been frustrated and irritated.

But, then I remember that my students are the worst reflection of myself.

If your students are not getting something and you get angry...you should probably get angry with yourself more than anyone. It's not the students' fault you are not conveying the information in a fashion that illicits communication (2 way street)

I have seen instructors get ticked off because they keep saying the same thing over and over and the other party doesn't get it.

Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Hope this isn't veering too far off the subject.