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Theochh
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 26 Jul 2019
Posts: 7


PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 10:19 am    Post subject: Lazy Students! Reply with quote

Hello All

For those of you that have spent time teaching martial arts, of any style, have you ever come across students who have no interest in being in the class, show a complete lack of effort and are just lazy?

Perhaps this is more of a teens issue and not an adult issue but I feel so sad when I witness this behaviour in a class. It's very evident that the teen doesn't want to be there and is being "pushed" by the parents to continue their martial arts journey. I fully understand parents and guardians encouraging their children to persevere and continue but there must a point where one must admit, "this isn't for you anymore".

Sorry to my fellow forum members if this sounds like a rant but I want to have the capacity to motivate and inspire these teens but I am not doing great.

Ideas and thoughts welcome.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15331
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not all black belts can teach. Problem lies within the CI. However, it's a two-way street, and both the CI and the student have to be accountable for the training. If the CI allows the laziness, then the CI best look in the mirror for both the problem and the answers.

Teen get bored quick. If the CI likes the sound of their own voice, then any student loses interest, drive, and attentiveness necessary to train in the MA.

If the problem lies within the student, then there's only so much that the CI can do. The CI can run the most exciting and educational and fun class on the planet earth, but if the student is lazy, then try to drive that laziness out in a positive manner. For example, end the dullness; more actions and far less chit chat.

I've no problem with laziness because I just weed them out. I've not the time nor the inclination to succumb to their decision to be lazy. Then again, the lazy can remain a white belt until the cows can jump over the moon; their laziness is their choice, and that's the bed that they can lie in.

Again, the floor will be unsympathetic to any lazy students, the same way that the floor will not tolerate the utterly incompetent CI.

If the parent is forcing the student, then sit down with the parents to let them know that you've noticed those exact traits from both the student AND the parents. Advice the parents the possible consequences of unwanted behavior from them all.

Not all black belts can teach!!



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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1711
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (Fiorian sword fighting)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Bob hits the nail on the head with this sentence:

sensei8 wrote:
Not all black belts can teach. Problem lies within the CI. However, it's a two-way street, and both the CI and the student have to be accountable for the training. If the CI allows the laziness, then the CI best look in the mirror for both the problem and the answers.


As someone who has had ADHD all 30 of their years, I can definitely speak towards the idea that teens are lazy. Sometimes, teens are actually lazy. Sometimes, like most people, they need to be engaged. Teenager's brains are still developing and that means that they don't have a fully developed prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brains that, among other things, controls our focus. So it's no wonder that a teenager might be struggling to focus during class, their brains are there for it yet. I've been doing Martial Arts in one way or another for 19 years and I still have trouble focusing (because ADHD more than anything else) but I remember being a teen and MA was all I could talk about. It wasn't that I was lazy, it was that sometimes I didn't find that my instructor engaged the class. As my instructor got better at engaging the class, I got better at holding my attention on the instructor throughout the class.

The point of all of this is that if you're having issues with teens being "lazy" and not focusing, find a way to engage them in a way that gets them excited for the lesson. When I was teaching middle school, doing this was most of my lesson planning. If you can engage them in a way that they enjoy without alienating the class or embarrassing them then you'll have a student for life.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28802
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's important as in instructor make sure you cover important points in training, and make it fun for the students. In an ideal situation, the student is there of their own volition, and wants to be there, and therefore is engaged prior to even getting there.

However, not all situations are ideal. When a student is being lazy, and you can tell that they are there because the parent wants them there, then you are already fighting an uphill battle. The way I would handle this scenario is three-fold. First, I'd have a talk with the student, one to one, and find out if they are truly interested in the class or not. Hopefully, you get an honest answer. From there, I'd move to speaking with the parents, and talking to them about your observations of the student in class, and how to handle that moving forward. I wouldn't want to push an unmotivated, lazy student into a testing or grading, and it wouldn't be fair to those who do work hard and engage in class. From there, I'd bring the student and parents together and find out how to solve the issue. If it means the student leaving the school, then so be it; it would be much better than burning the student out on something they don't want to do, anyways. Perhaps, the key to that student's enjoyment lies elsewhere.

Bob is right; not every black belt can teach. I also believe that as hard as a good teacher may try, they just might not be able to reach every single student out there, where another instructor might. This could be the case, as well, and they might need to seek a change of scenery.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6389
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points so far and I agree these are excellent approaches.

I would add that sometimes lazy students can also be those that don't want to or can't deal with failure (see bushido_man96's topic here). I've had a few, mostly teens, that are so embarrassed to fail if they try hard, they think better to not put much effort in at all! Its almost a self-fulfilling prophecy then because they don't try, they don't improve, and then they are even more likely to fail when the task is more demanding.

My current strategy with these is to start the session with easier tasks where they can get little wins. Starting with an easier technique or combo, then increase the difficulty level incrementally. If they start becoming self-aware and struggling and then stop trying, the difficulty level drops back until its challenging but not too difficult that they fear failing.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28802
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great point, Danielle, and I like your approach to dealing with that angle.
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