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anon1 11-14-2005 05:27 PM

underestimated
 
hello everyone.
I am a young, female aikidoka witht he rank sankyu. at my dojo it is rather small and most of the aikidoka there are adults. me being a teenager i often get underestimated and treated like a child by some of the beginner students. even though i am a higher grade then them. Our dojo is very small and the senpais and senseis are very good and do not treat me like this however whenever a new beginner comes into the class and i am paired up with them they think that because im a young teenage girl that i dont know any better then them. I still classify myself as a beginner being only 3rd kyuu, but i have been told i am a good senpai and a great help to a lot of beginners by some of the higher ranking students.
I guess what is really bothering me is the stereo typing of age and sex. just because im young and female doesnt mean that i dont knwo what im talking about. These beginners that come in and are partnered with me treat me as inferior and like im a stupid child. But whats worse is theres also two other 3rd Kyuus who treat me like this as well. And although they are equal to me in rank, i have been told and i can see my aikido is a lot better then theres. Whenever i try to offer advice or suggestions, (not telling them how to do it just saying "try extending more ki, or, try to get me a bit more off balance" or something to that extent) i get snapped at and told that they know what there doing and there doing it right. and yet they feel they have the right to snap at me and TELL me what to do. yes i take all there information and advice into consideration and practice but i do not appreciate them not willing to learn off me. All these people are older then me by many years and see me as just some kid. I am getting annoyed and extremely frustrated at these people underestimating my ability. I want to be treated as an equal or as someone who can help them further there understanding. Yes i am a begginer myself but i am still able to help them in someway, even if it is small. i have been doing aikido for 3 years now, and train as often as i can, i am always willing to learn off others even people with a lower grade then me as they can often teach the higher grades about moving people who have limited or no understanding of aikido and how to react to a technique. I guess i just want some advice from people on how to deal with this issue. any help people?

Arianah 11-15-2005 09:43 PM

Re: underestimated
 
Quote:

however whenever a new beginner comes into the class and i am paired up with them they think that because im a young teenage girl that i dont know any better then them.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) as women, we often have to earn the respect of beginners despite our rank. This involves carrying yourself like a senior student: projecting confidence without appearing cocky, gently correcting, and being firm when things get out of hand.

Often, beginners (male or female) want to try to impress you, maybe by flying through a technique or cranking on a lock. Don't contest with it, blend with it and redirect it. Get them to want to learn. Gently bring them back with confidence: "Slow down a little. Work on the correct footwork. Step here and you won't have to pull so hard." If you get angry, you won't blend.

Show them that you deserve respect. And you do this by carrying yourself in a manner that actually does deserve respect, using your skill and maturity (the latter mostly). I am far younger than most people that come into the dojo, but it doesn't matter. Often, they don't even know how young I am because of the way I carry myself.

Change yourself and your whole world will change. :ai:

Sarah

giriasis 11-15-2005 10:52 PM

Re: underestimated
 
I am 35 years old and have been training in aikido for almost 6.5 years now, and I still get the cockiness from newbies. I have experienced this with some males (usually young with previous martial arts experience), but I have also experienced one cocky female newbie. It's just part of them being new and trying to prove themselves to you. I found the best way to deal with that is emote confidence and to throw them appropriately letting them "feel" the throw but thrown with enough control where they don't get hurt. Out of 6.5 years of training, I literally pulled rank once and that was about 9 months ago. But, mostly you don't need to pull rank. Just smile to yourself and let that kind of thing pass.

Also, as far as when people your equal in rank correct you there is nothing wrong with feigning confusion and calling the sensei over to "help." If you are in the right, then your sensei will reinforce what you are saying.

Also, speak to your sensei and and a trusted sempai and describe the problems your having. In most cases, they are like that with everyone. The sensei or sempai could give you advice on how to deal with it and also they can keep an eye out and step in if need be.

Kevin Leavitt 11-16-2005 01:57 AM

Re: underestimated
 
It is interesting that even in aikido we must be cognizant of the fact that we constantly form paradigms, stereotypes, and prejudices against people. I think one of the biggest goals of aikido is to simply accept what is presented in a situation for simply what it is...without all the distractions. i.e. you are a person...period.

The good news is that you are in a wonderful art that should at your young age teach you how to better deal with these things. In some cases it may become more apparent in the dojo since we are creating conditions of conflict that isolate many, many feelings, emotions, and prejudices!

Your training, as my wife has found, helps here confront the realities that exist in the workplace and the world.

My advice is to try and embrace those moments, work with them to better understand yourself and how you are going to react/proact, or respond to such situations in the future.

Remember first you must influence yourself before you can influence others!

Good luck in your training!

Sonja2012 11-16-2005 02:46 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Remember first you must influence yourself before you can influence others!

I second this. Nice post, Kevin.

Anon, I think many women (and men) can understand how you feel. Most of us have probably encountered being patronized and not being taken seriously on the mat. At your age, I guess you experience that even more, which is a shame. I myself had (and still have) huge issues with being treated in that way and I think I know how it must make you feel. For a long time I used to get terribly upset when people were like that and my reaction was to push back, meaning I thought that I should give them a taste of their own medicine and either correct them back or show them how strong my technique can be :(

Eventually I started to think about this in a different way and asked myself what it is in me that creates this reaction. They pushed my buttons and even though it was them pushing, they were still my buttons. So I figured that if I learn to understand my buttons as it were and maybe start working on them, then they can push as much as they like and it wonīt bother me. After all, it all comes down to my ego being hurt when people correct me. So, in a way I now think that when people behave like that, they offer me a chance to practice letting go of my ego. Donīt get me wrong - I am far away from being over this issue ;) but it does bother me much less than before. Not only on the mat but also in every day life. And the funny thing is, it seems to happen less the more I get over it.

I donīt know if this helps at all. I hope you find your way of dealing with this and have more fun on the mat.

Best regards,
Sonja

Ron Tisdale 11-16-2005 06:54 AM

Re: underestimated
 
I remember one of the young female brown belts (about 125 pounds) I used to train with dealing with a 300 pound male newbie uke. I was teaching nikkajo (nikkyo) and warned him to be carefull of his wrist, as in take the ukemi. He started being a jerk (looking around the room smirking, shoving her around, etc.), so she floored him.

It was quite illuminating. :) He paid much more attention to his wrist, his partner, and the class after that. And we learned that the 'color' of nikkajo is 'red'... :D

Best,
Ron

SeiserL 11-16-2005 07:58 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Better to be underestimated and surprise people, than overestimated and disappoint them.

Let it go. Some people will not listen because of who they are and not because of who you are. Its your job to train, not change people.

Focus on your own training and people will eventually listen. When people see you can do it, they will ask you.

dj_swim 11-16-2005 09:32 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Anon... I can't speak to being treated differently for being a woman, because I am not, except to say that gender-equality is fashionable to pretend to know about in this country, but not much else. Unfortunately the movement has been stalled for a while, and some people have that kind of ignorant attitude no matter what (yes, I know, ignorant is not a nice word, but I won't hesitate to use it against those who want to pretend they're better because they're men, even if they are fellow students).

However, your problem with age I can relate to very well. Please do not take this in a harsh way, but you simply have to learn to deal with it. Honestly. I am 25 and I still am treated differently every day in my line of work because almost everyone else in my industry is 1.5-2x my age. It happens. No it's not right, but it exists, and often we are in a situation where we can do little about it except "roll with it", which fortunately is one of the things aikido teaches :)

In summary, if you fear gender discrimination, say something to sensei. As far as age, you can always discuss that with sensei as well, but learning how to deal with it on your own terms and earn respect slowly by demonstrating consistant competence may be an outstanding lesson for you to prepare for later :)

Good luck, and good training!

-Doug

James Davis 11-16-2005 10:21 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Try remaining non-verbal. When you try to offer help and they tell you that they know what they're doing, just stop speaking. Don't resist too much or be a bad uke, just don't speak. When they get no help from you, they can't throw it back in your face, right? If your technique is better, it will become readily apparent to all involved (especially in randori ;) ). Don't let them upset you. You are in control of yourself. Take care. :)

MaryKaye 11-16-2005 01:13 PM

Re: underestimated
 
Beginners often assume that if you handle them gently and carefully, it's because you're weak. Being female, small, old, or young makes this even worse. It's hard to confront them directly on this topic. One of my teachers responds to it by calling up the senior women and throwing them around fast and hard. I find that once a class of beginners has seen me attack all-out and take ukemi, they are much more willing to assume I know what I'm doing. With particularly troublesome groups of beginners, he will also call up a senior woman and a really big man (not a beginner--someone with good ukemi) and ask the woman to be nage.

I like this approach; it's not confrontational and it speaks very clearly. Perhaps, if your dojo culture allows, you could suggest it to your teachers.

Mary Kaye

MaryKaye 11-16-2005 01:17 PM

Re: underestimated
 
My other word of advice: if you are willing to learn from your juniors and peers, and your rank-mates are not, it's very likely you will eventually surpass them. As you say, there is a lot to be learned from lower-ranked students, so you are getting a better "education" than they are. It may help to think of this when they are annoying you.

I learned a ton about the kneeling pin from kotagaeshi from an eight-year-old green belt, because I was so impressed that a tiny child (he is really small for his age) could nail me to the mat that I had to find out how he did it. So I just have access to more good teachers than the people who think that kids are beneath their notice. It's the same for you.

Mary Kaye

aikigirl10 11-16-2005 02:40 PM

Re: underestimated
 
Quote:

hello everyone.
I am a young, female aikidoka witht he rank sankyu. at my dojo it is rather small and most of the aikidoka there are adults. me being a teenager i often get underestimated and treated like a child by some of the beginner students. even though i am a higher grade then them. Our dojo is very small and the senpais and senseis are very good and do not treat me like this however whenever a new beginner comes into the class and i am paired up with them they think that because im a young teenage girl that i dont know any better then them. I still classify myself as a beginner being only 3rd kyuu, but i have been told i am a good senpai and a great help to a lot of beginners by some of the higher ranking students.
I guess what is really bothering me is the stereo typing of age and sex. just because im young and female doesnt mean that i dont knwo what im talking about. These beginners that come in and are partnered with me treat me as inferior and like im a stupid child. But whats worse is theres also two other 3rd Kyuus who treat me like this as well. And although they are equal to me in rank, i have been told and i can see my aikido is a lot better then theres. Whenever i try to offer advice or suggestions, (not telling them how to do it just saying "try extending more ki, or, try to get me a bit more off balance" or something to that extent) i get snapped at and told that they know what there doing and there doing it right. and yet they feel they have the right to snap at me and TELL me what to do. yes i take all there information and advice into consideration and practice but i do not appreciate them not willing to learn off me. All these people are older then me by many years and see me as just some kid. I am getting annoyed and extremely frustrated at these people underestimating my ability. I want to be treated as an equal or as someone who can help them further there understanding. Yes i am a begginer myself but i am still able to help them in someway, even if it is small. i have been doing aikido for 3 years now, and train as often as i can, i am always willing to learn off others even people with a lower grade then me as they can often teach the higher grades about moving people who have limited or no understanding of aikido and how to react to a technique. I guess i just want some advice from people on how to deal with this issue. any help people?
Hahaha... i know EXACTLY what you're going through. Im female, 15 years old and 3rd kyu as well. (what a coincidence)

Try searching on some of these threads --
BS in fellow aikidoka and
Unfair belt rankings

These are some of the threads i started when i was having some difficulty with age sex and rank. You might see some good advice there.

It will all pass, with time... either that or you'll learn not to worry about it, thats what i learned... the hard way.

-Paige

Special Appearance 11-16-2005 03:25 PM

Re: underestimated
 
My young woman, talk to your Sensei, talk you someone who is older and that you respect and look up to about this situation, it just doesn't pertain to the dojo.

Besides that sound advice, your situation brings up many other issues. Sadly, as we get older, respect isn't something easily come by. I have seen Aikidoka who have been in the art for years and are out of shape, over weight, and know little and get lots of respect. I see Aikidoka who are very talented, young, and ambiguous in their skill and get zero respect.

Not everyone is going to respect you, especially people new to your dojo, from different arts, of different skill, etc. Cops, judges, and the alike get little respect for their positions. The elderly get very little respect. Look around in your world and see who gets respect and why, you might find that the issue of respect is nothing more than a popularity contest.

When I was young there was a saying that respect was earned and not given. Maybe, in your case the type of respect you want is a result of your tolerance, and the respect you desire may be earned over time.

Personally, I am past the tender and fresh years of youth, and the need to be respected, like my youth, has long since past. Now, if a person respects me ( in the way you are concern with ), fine. If they don't respect me ( in the way you are concern with )fine. This is because over the years of not being respected as I wanted, I developed instead a good strong sense of myself, and who I am. In other-words, for me, I respect myself. I respect who I am, and what I have achieved inside and outside the dojo. many of us have been in your shoes, we know. Therefore, I am honest with myself, my abilities and that allows me to build and develop myself and who I am. That is the key for me, and is how I developed and maintain the same type of respect you seek.

FWIW.

Anonymous too 11-17-2005 11:41 PM

Re: underestimated
 
I understand what you mean entirely because I am also in my teens and a female.

In my case, it took about a year for people (particularly men) to finally take me seriously. In fact, only now have people really started to look at my technique for tips. No one ever asks and I suspect that it's because I'm young and female, but they do look. I have to say that it caught me by surprise because once people start respecting you, they expect a lot of you. I am happy that people are beginning to respect me, but at the same time... there's an added pressure once people start to.

Before they did, I was always the butt of jokes. Not in a mean way, but it doesn't have to be mean to become bothersome. All the guys were always making comments about my being a girl and made a point to be gentle with me. No one ever chose me as an uke because they were afraid to hurt me and I always got criticism. The criticism was helpful, but what made me dislike it was how they went about giving it. Who likes being dismissed and treated as if the only thing I had ever done was lift a frying pan or play with my dolls?

In the end, I think it was my patience and tolerance that got me through it all. If someone tries to muscle you... who cares? You know what you can do and what you can't. That's the important part. Someone else's perception will not impede your growth. I learned to just ignore what people thought and went at my own pace. Eventually, your abilities will prove themselves and even if people don't actively acknowledge them, they will know.

Nowadays, people, especially the guys, like using me as uke. :D

Robert Rumpf 11-18-2005 07:06 AM

Re: underestimated
 
I'm a 29-year-old male shodan and I've had no-kyus and people with 6th and 5th kyus (all without prior martial arts experience) "correct" me in class on even the simplest of techniques. I'd expect it would happen more often to women, especially young women, but it does happen to us guys too. Depending on my mood, I have been known to ignore it, react badly, or tell/show them how mistaken they are.

I think its something you have to get used to unless you want to be one of these people who (a) are extremely intimidating or (b) use a ton of muscle and violent joint locks to show them who must be obeyed or (c) micromanages and directs all beginners from the first moment of contact or (d) hits the rankest beginner when they screw up. That seems to be how most people cope.

Since I find all of those types of coping methods to be annoying and counterproductive, I have to tolerate this ignorance sometimes while looking for a fifth way. I think its a function of American culture that people with no knowledge in an area are often entirely comfortable criticizing or overruling those who have studied that area for a while - especially if they are older. Science gets the worst of this.

I just try not to lose my temper and do something drastic, but occasionally it does happen. For example, once a fellow, older shodan who didn't know me tried in my home dojo explaining the nikkyo ura joint lock to me and why I was going to do it wrong before I'd even had a chance to start the technique. Needless to say, his wrist probably hurt him for a week after that, but a shodan should know better. I have also been known to refuse to train with people when they have pissed me or disrespected me too much as an alternative to hurting them.

This is also a place where sensei's treatment of and training of beginners as they walk in the door is very important. Most people who are not Japanese don't learn in the Japanese style (repetition and emulation) naturally, and the verbal explanation that "this is how its going to be" to beginners by sensei would fix a lot of this nonsense. Sadly, many instructors also frown on their students providing this education. There is an etiquette, and many people take a long time to learn that etiquette because noone lets them know what it is, and they are not observant.

The fifth alternative to the above four reactions is, of course, to do all techniques perfectly, gracefully and irresistibly - I'm still working on that one. :)

Rob

another anon 11-20-2005 02:14 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Lots of good points here - I have one more comment. I'm a smallish (125 lb) female 1st kyu, but not so young (>35). When I started 6 years ago, in a different dojo than I currently am, I definitely experienced the patronizing or muscle man thing (mainly from ~3rd kyu guys), but when I moved to a different dojo, the senior students resisted the hell out of my technique but never ever patronized. And I'm glad they did, because even though it made being 5th and 4th kyu insanely frustrating, I can hold my own now. And, now that I have at least some skill, I find that big strong guys are sometimes very interested to know how I can throw them, being they've got 80-100 lbs on me and/or I'm older than them by 10 years.

So:
a) how beginners, teens, old people and women are treated is to some extent dependent on the sensei and sempai of the dojo - the dojo culture, as it were.
b) just wait. the tables will turn if you stick it out long enough
c) I agree it's better in the long run to be underestimated than overestimated. You can catch people off-guard. Well, maybe. I'm blonde, and can get pretty annoyed w/ people who assume that means you have a low IQ (quite the opposite, in my case).

Leon Aman 11-20-2005 04:35 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Quote:

I guess what is really bothering me is the stereo typing of age and sex. just because im young and female doesnt mean that i dont knwo what im talking about. These beginners that come in and are partnered with me treat me as inferior and like im a stupid child. But whats worse is theres also two other 3rd Kyuus who treat me like this as well. And although they are equal to me in rank, i have been told and i can see my aikido is a lot better then theres. Whenever i try to offer advice or suggestions, (not telling them how to do it just saying "try extending more ki, or, try to get me a bit more off balance" or something to that extent) i get snapped at and told that they know what there doing and there doing it right.

I too am a student as ichikyu (ist kyu) I also dont feel to be corrected by my partner for some reason. First we must also consider that every student goes to a dojo to practice/train . Instruction/advice must leave us thru our senseis. Secondly every technique is perfect in itself whether it is done by gokyu or rokyu ,
"perfect" in a sense that is appropriate to their level. Thirdly(it may not be included) variation was created in order for us to choose the style where we are comfortable with. I remember in the book "Art of Peace" o sensei used to say that "each and every teknik is a unique, once and for all experience....in ultimate terms there are no mistakes".

good day!

Anat Amitay 11-20-2005 07:17 AM

Re: underestimated
 
hello there,
In a way, women in many places are underestimated by men and even other, older women.
Being younger in age also gives some the feeling that they know and understand more than you.
Much of the advice given in the posts before is very true.
Still, I think you will meet this behaviour alot more in the future. If you take it in a mature way (smiling and letting it pass, gently guideing the technique to what you want the other person to learn, showing confidence- but not OVER confidence, etc...), than you will see less and less of these behaviour towards you.
With no offence at all, I think that also, when you will be through of your teenage years, you will care less and less about it. most teenagers (and I'm not saying- you might be mature for your age), are more prone to radical mood swings and feelings, towards what has been said to them.
I know for me, things settled over time and I also started to take things in a lighter mood. I look very young for my age and get reactions in all works of life (I work in a hospital and already got comments such as why I'm not at school...). Sometimes when people tell me I look 16 (I'm really 27), I answer with a smile that I hope they'll say the same thing in 10 years time! :D
About the other Aikidoka ranking like you- I think they are very immature. After all, they must be training with you for quite some time and know your rank, yet they refuse to credit it. That's acting like children. It doesn't matter how young you are, every person can learn from anyone else, no matter younger or older, and we should respect each other for being human before anything else. I guess they missed some of the points of Aikido (the "spiritual" side).
I hope you find peace with dealing with these feelings. I know it can get frustrating sometimes, but accept the fact that you might meet these reactions in many other parts of your life and for many more years.
I say take it with a smile. You know who you are, and I guess your sensei also, and so do other sempais in your dojo. Enjoy their behaviour towards you, because it matters more. Hopefully, the others will learn from them with time.
Just my two blabering cents ;)
Anat

Don_Modesto 11-20-2005 08:31 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Get used to it. Folks judge based on age and gender and race and the rest. They like to hear themselves talk. They like to know more than the next guy.

I had a student once who was teaching others after literally 15 minutes on the mat.

When people talk at me on the mat I abruptly shush them. It's rude on both counts, but they drew first blood.

In turn, I only offer suggestions when asked, and sometimes not then. You might try this, especially at 3 KYU.

"Underestimated." Who isn't? Who cares? Who should?

You're paying attention to the wrong things.

Anon1 11-20-2005 12:41 PM

Re: underestimated
 
Thankyou everyone for your advice its much appreciated. I havent really talked to my sensei about this yet, i want to try and sort through it myself first. I've tried not to let this bother me to much and iv been taking all your advice into account during training and although i am still recieveing this kind of treatment, as i would expect it being only about a week since i last posted, but it doesnt really worry me the same as it did before. Thankyou all for taking the time to help me out with this one.
doumo arigato gozaimasu.

Anon1

RobertFortune 11-20-2005 05:50 PM

Re: underestimated
 
Hi!

It may sound crazy now and it won't change the "extra" hassle you're currently experiencing but if you stay focused on why and who you study Aikido for there will likely come a day when it will go into that plus column and you'll be able to say to yourself without any doubt whatsoever - "Oh, yes! I most certainly earned this!"

I was once in a place and took a lot of heat from just about everyone else in the place. You want to know something about just about all of those people who gave me all that heat? The last and as best I heard about *all* of them, not one of them made it. They *all* failed. I did not. I don't take any satisfaction from how that turned out in the long run, but it never crossed my mind while I was taking all that heat that was the way it would actually work out in the long run.

There's parts in the poem "Desirderata" (which can be searched for and found for free online) that *I* think is very applicable in the type of social situation you've been experiencing. If you get a chance, search for that poem online, read it and see what you think. The Best to you and yours!

"Who is gonna make it? We'll find out in the long run!" - The Eagles

g22 12-12-2005 08:13 AM

Re: underestimated
 
A question I have been grappling with was touched on in many of the replies to the underestimated post. I am training in a country which is segregated in most public spheres. Our dojo does allow men and women to train together, however, not everyone agrees with this policy, and it has been a source of conflict among many on several occassions. In a seminar recently, I was told informally not to approach men I don't know to ask them to train with me (I am a woman) as it may be considered insulting to them. After many instances of being left alone while everyone else paired up, I approached a man and he reluctantly began to train with me. He was so violent that I was sure he was close to breaking my arm several times. The sensei came over and instructed us to "play nice" but of course there was no point made about the general issue of gender and the problem of men and women training together in a situation where the "culture" looks down on this practice. I would be curious what others believe I should do in this situation where the culture of aikido is at odds with the culture of my country.

giriasis 12-12-2005 09:40 PM

Re: underestimated
 
I live in the U.S. so it is really hard for me to relate to you, but I'll tell you what I tell most people who find themselves around people who are not supportive. Just surround yourself with those who really care about you and surround yourself with people who do not mind training with you (men and women). Develop a strong training relationship with them and ask them if they will help you out. Also, if there are other women that you train with just keep training with each other if most of the participants are not supportive. Even if you switch off between three of four different people. The group of you can keep watch out for each other and partner up if you start getting left out again. There are times that I stick around with my fellow dojomates at seminars because I would be intimidated even without the gender problems that you are experiencing.

You are more than welcome to send me a Private Message if you want to talk any further.

Amelia Smith 12-13-2005 06:34 AM

Re: underestimated
 
I think it would be really tough to train in a gender-segregated environment, especially because there's so much to be gained from working out with different types of people. The vast majority of the students where I currently train are male, and if I had to only train with other women, I'd be sitting on the side a lot of the time. I guess I can understand the belief that sex might be a distraction in training, but in my experience, it's better to just work through the attractions and flirtations (assuming they don't get out of hand) so that you can learn to keep your center in those situations. Your reluctant/violent training partner sounds like he has some serious issues to deal with! I've trained with some men who seem to be too rough, and some of them are just like that all the time, but I think we can sense when that roughness is agravated by some hostility to women, or to training with women. You can't change the larger culture (on your own, anyway), but hopefully you can create a group in which you'll be able to train/practice as you would like, and be appropriately challenged.

P.S. I don't know where you're from, but I have been considering taking a trip to a predominantly Muslim country at some point, and I was thinking about visiting an aikido dojo or two when I go. I'd appreciate any advice. PM me if you'd like.

Upyu 12-14-2005 05:28 AM

Re: underestimated
 
Quote:

Don J. Modesto wrote:

"Underestimated." Who isn't? Who cares? Who should?

You're paying attention to the wrong things.

Not that it really matters but I totally agree :D

Second, if it really bothers you, then floor them.
Like really really floor them, get them to see the color "red" type floor them. :crazy:
If you can't do it, well maybe they aren't underestimating you as much as you'd think.
You being the underdog actually puts you in an advantageous position, believe it or not(in a lot of different ways). Think about it ;)


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