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Old 05-03-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
"Watching My Back"
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Grr! Protecting Your Self

Recently a student who trains at my school made a joke about me with full intention to upset me.

Jokes normally roll off and I usually don't care, especially not from this student who I've disciplined before and has it out for me.

However as a younger beginner student in his teenage cocky years, he decided that he was really gonna upset me this time. And the joke he said was that one of the other students who is a good friend of mine and alot younger, is giving / receiving sodomy from me. And some other nasty things along that line that involved sexual nature issues.

The student he said this about is still a kid, and I'm an adult. And I find it very distasteful and upsetting that someone would ever make a joke about that.

I know this is absolutely dangerous to have people even joking about this, especially when I will soon be teaching children's classes. I have told my sensei and he will deal with the student, but I am so upset right now over this that I think I will probably not teach the children's classes either as originally planned.

In fact I told my sensei if that student is there, I don't know if I'll feel comfortable in class.

Anyways has anyone else ever had to deal with this sorta BS before?
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:40 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Protecting Your Self

No I haven't...but in my opinion, the Head Instructor should expell the student promptly for at least six months. If at the end of that time he can demonstrate a more appropriate attitude in the dojo, I might allow him to return. Might seem kind of harsh, but there it is.

I'm not sure that you should allow the improper actions of this twerp to stop you from teaching...your call, but I'd think long and hard about it. Sorry you have to deal with this kind of thing.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:49 PM   #3
William Westdyke
Dojo: Aikido at the Center
Location: Tucson, Az
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Re: Protecting Your Self

"I'd give him a HAAAAAAAAA and a HIYAAAAAAAAA! And I'd kick him, sir." Don't give up teaching for some little *@#$. If you have something to give to the world you shouldn't hold back because someone doesn't like you. This is true in more than Aikido. Don't let other people control you by behaving in negative ways. Best of luck.

Oh, and i agree with Ron. That student should be kicked to the curb for a couple months.

"You, not anyone else, is 100% responsible for your own happyness and wellbeing." -- David Robertson
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:37 PM   #4
"S0meb0dy_Unreg1stered"
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Re: Protecting Your Self

1) getting really emotioanal about things is something I try not to do. If I get too emotional about something, it's usually a sign that I need to work on the issue. i.e. if somebody jokes about me or my life and I get upset about it, that means I am not comfortable with how I live my life.
If I am ok with myself & my life, then it does not matter what others say.
Of course listening to nasty jokes is not a preferred way to spend time, but you can just ignore him or without getting emotional tell the guy that you don't like this kind of jokes.
If there is no responce to his jokes, he'll shut up. If you react to his jokes emotionally, that would encorage him.

2) if you decide not to teach children's class because of this nasty joke, then are acting as if the joke has some truth to it.
Since what he says is not true, there is no need to change your life.

just my thoughts... as they say on another forum YMMV (your milage may varry)
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:21 PM   #5
"maki otoshi"
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Agree with the last poster. If you decide not to teach kids' class, it shows that that twerp has gotten under your skin, and suggests you have something to hide. Besides, they say teaching is really good for your aikido. Don't miss such a wonderful opportunity.

If you're worried that you'll be accused of abusing the kids you teach, take practical measures to protect yourself. Make sure that you are never alone with a child or children from the class. Change clothes in a different room. If possible make sure there is at least one other adult (pref. a woman) present at all times. Encourage parents to come and watch class.

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I hate it when people really get under my skin, and it's impossible to pretend they haven't. Can only recommend meditation, or a meditation-like mindset: don't try to push it away, just acknowledge it: Yes, it bothers me, ok, there is that.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:29 PM   #6
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Protecting Your Self

That student should be expelled permanently, preferably after a sound kicking is administered to them.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:33 PM   #7
Nick Simpson
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Woops, hit post a little early. You shouldnt allow something like a malicious joke to stop you from teaching, deal with the issue and trust in your sensei. Im sure things will be sorted out soon enough, you have my sympathy as I can only imagine how you must feel. I would be very furious and disgusted at any aikidoka who would stoop to such levels.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:35 PM   #8
Robert Jackson
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Location: Texas City.
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Re: Protecting Your Self

I agree with Nick here. This little brat isn't doing anything but hurting the morale of the whole. It effects the dojo as much as it does you (At the moment.)

I agree with the rest of them, you should teach the kids class but this should only be done if you feel you comfortable doing it... and hey you got yourself an uke to demonastrate on .... In all seriousness, something needs to be done with the kid some harsh form of punishment a forever ban sounds like the deal to me.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:20 AM   #9
Nick Simpson
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Re: Protecting Your Self

The world would be a much better place if everyone agreed with me
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:49 AM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Protecting Your Self

It sounds like a good time for a stern lecture on respect. Your head instructor may want to remind people about the rules of practice and respect. If people continually violate rules that make it unsafe or uncomfortable for people to train, they may be asked to leave either temporarily or permanently.

Don't let people get to you. We take things too personally and too seriously. When people make statements (jokes), its a statement about who they are, not who you are. Direct compassionate confrontation on the inappropriateness of the statement may embarrass the student and aid them in seeing the error of their ways.

Its another chance for you to practice Aikido. Relax, breath, and enjoy your training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:53 AM   #11
"Watching My Back"
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Re: Protecting Your Self

You know i posted a reply last night and it dident show up.

But i did talk to sensi. And he said that I should talk to this person myself. Confront him myself and ask him why he said what he said. He said not to get anyone else to do it for me, like him or another senior, because that would only make more noise then needs to be made.

He said find out why he says things like this to me, and if he thinks its true. He also told me that if the student was still persisting with this sort of thing then I was to get him to interviene. But first to handel it on my own, becuase I am in not danger of anything since there has always been other adults in the dojo or change room or what ever with me anyways.

And everyone there knows its BS. But he thinks that doing disapline right away isent the solution, however dealign with it personally and trying to help the kid who said this out is. Because the whole reason this kid is here is to be better. And the kid has no friends and has alot of social problems in his life because of this. And we have had one student that came to us like that a long time ago. Now he is changed alot himself.

Oh and he also made sure to stress i not get mad or show any anger or hate towards this individual, as hard as it is not to be angered by this. Because he said thers always going to be someone who angers me in life.

So im gonna see what happens with this advice. In all the years i've known him his advice has never failed me.

Thanks
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:57 AM   #12
"protectingmybackstill"
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Grrr not being logged in doesnt let me edit my post.

He has no friends because his attitude. Not becuase anything was ever done to him.. I just noticed that soemoen could misunderstand that easily... PHEEWW


Also maybe easily interpreted that the Sensi idea was BS... NO! Sorry... What the kid says about me is...

Phew!
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:31 AM   #13
PeaceHeather
Dojo: hopefully Purdue Aikido Club
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Wow.

I'd agree with the breathing, a lot... this is hard, hard, hard to face calmly. And I think the reason is that, with a one-time joke, you can blow it off, but with repeated instances, you start to wonder if this person could possibly, actually believe that you're the sort of person who would do such a thing. In other words, you might be upset siply because you feel your character is being judged. And wrongly.

In any case, my first reaction is "expel the jerk" -- but I have to agree with your sensei's point that instant discipline isn't always the best answer. If you can find out from this kid (in other words, if he can give you an honest answer) WHY he does this stuff, you might be able to work toward a real solution that not only benefits you (he stops) but also benefits him (he learns a better way to interact with people).

As usual, the richer, deeper answer is also a lot harder and will take a lot more work. You up to it?

Peace, and best of luck.
Heather
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:22 PM   #14
"UnREG"
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Grr! Re: Protecting Your Self

Much as the sensei's "give the kid a chance to reform" stance is admirable, I suspect that trying to have a nice sincere discussion with Beavis (or is it Butthead?) about his bad behavior may only result in immature sniggering and more bad behavior. Since the bad behavior in question is talking behind your back, it may not be immediately apparent that this has not stopped - unless you can enlist one or more of the guys to keep an ear out for you.

If someone doesn't respect you, they won't necessarily start respecting you just because you confront them about it. They might, but then again, they might not.

Am reminded of past interactions with a former landlady's very dysfunctional teenagers, who unfortunately lived next door.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:35 PM   #15
shihonage
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Re: Protecting Your Self

You can act like you didn't hear it.
Remain balanced.
This way, in order to upset you, he will have to be far less subtle next time, and his attempt will stand out in the eyes of others more than just a "simple joke".
He can throw jokes all he wants, but if he starts to get up during warmups and run around quacking like a duck, and you escort him off the mat, it will be crystal clear to everyone that your actions are justified, and that he is the jackass here.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:49 PM   #16
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: Protecting Your Self

I think the conversation should be held with the student with his parents present. That way there are no surprises if the kid has to be disciplined or removed from class. This kid sounds like he has some serious psychological issues and needs to be handled cautiously. I would not have this conversation without someone else present in a private setting.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:06 PM   #17
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Protecting Your Self

This youngster's "joking" isn't just inappropriate, but it can be terribly dangerous for you. In this day and age, comments about sexual contact with minors can cause you horrendous expense, pain, and embarrassment. Just yesterday a man named Stoll was released from 17 years in a California prison from a case that started almost as simply.

You've received some sage advice from other folks; talk to the kid with his parents and another witness present, invite student's parents to attend your classes, and ensure you have another responsible adult around when you are with the kids.

This isn't a laughing matter, at least out here on the West Coast. Don't give up teaching unless you feel really paranoid, but take some of the other's advice on how best to protect yourself from unfounded allegations.

Best wishes on your decision.

Michael

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:31 PM   #18
PeterR
 
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Re: Protecting Your Self

It boils down to consequences and what happens if people don't learn about them.

It's a simplistic model I know but aberrations (sexual, criminal, etc.) don't just show up but escalate from somewhere. Kid gets away with opportunistic thievery starts thinking about making opportunities, and so forth.

If something isn't done about malicious gossip then it will get worse. If something is done (and in the open) dojo remains a better place and the kid learns a lesson. Personally I think Ron is being too kind. Those allegations are serious enough to take on a life of their own - boot the kid out permanently.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:14 AM   #19
Hagen Seibert
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Re: Protecting Your Self

In Terry Dobsons "Aikido in everyday Life" there is a chapter about dealing with malicious gossip.

As Aikido offers no techniques/prinsiples to deal with hidden attacks his advice is to confront the person in order to force him into an open attack, then you can deal with it.

But I understood that boy has already given an open insult.
Anyway, I think you have to enter into a confrontation in order to settle it.
Keep your temper down and ask him if he really thinks what he is saying,
and what he thinks is the benefit of it ?
Make clear that he is putting a risk to him attending classes.

Good luck !
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Old 05-24-2004, 10:06 AM   #20
Mark Mueller
Location: Louisville Kentucky
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Hmmmm? What do we do with an physical aikido situation? There is an aggressive action on the part of uke...our training indicates that we maintain our posture and deal with the agresssion by entering/blending using movement, placement and leverage from (hopefully) a superior position.

During the attack we don''t ask someone else to step in for us...we are training to deal with the situation ourselves.

Does this type of physical training have any parellels in a non-physical situation ..... I think so.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:34 PM   #21
Largo
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Get the kid's parents into the dojo, and explain to them why their son is being thrown out. End of story. If I was visiting a dojo for the first time and saw that kind of behavior, I would be out the door and never be back. This is extremely dangerous and needs to be shut down immeadiately. No ifs, ands, or buts. It'll also be a good lesson for the kid on what happens when you shoot off your mouth.
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:48 AM   #22
Natasha Bradley
Dojo: Aikido School Leiden
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Re: Protecting Your Self

It sounds as if the kid wants attention, your attention especially he has no friends. He may be jealous of your friendship with the other student.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:39 AM   #23
erikmenzel
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Hmm, I would boot him from the dojo with his parents present so they know what is going on and why etc.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:29 AM   #24
BLangille
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Re: Protecting Your Self

Following your Sensi's advice seems like the best way to go. You will feel much better after confronting this person.

Your post was 20 days ago, has anything happened since then??
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:26 PM   #25
"Unrregistered User"
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Re: Protecting Your Self

<quote>It sounds as if the kid wants attention, your attention especially he has no friends. He may be jealous of your friendship with the other student.</quote>

I don't know if he is jealous, but some kids are just like that. Respect is important and needs to be reinforced especially in a martial art.
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