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advfhorn
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 61
Location: NJ - USA
Styles: Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: special needs Reply with quote

Suggestions on working with a special needs teen/adult who feels I am too agressive. I am a 45 yr old female testing for Blackbelt (with 8+ yrs experience). She is a 17 or 18 yr old female with special needs. She is quiet and not aggressive.

Last edited by advfhorn on Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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tatsujin
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Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 53

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

advfhorn:

As politely and nicely as I can say it, if there is one truism I have learned in almost a half century of being in the martial arts...it is that just because someone has been an instructor for 50 years, it does not necessarily mean that they are any good at it. Suffice it to say, how your sensei handles this particular issue might be a good indication for you as to whether you should continue to be a part of that school. Just a little food for thought...

As to the issue at hand, I am probably a little different in the fact that I don't run a commercial dojo. I don't have to retain students to pay the bills and keep the lights on. And, I am in no way afraid to tell someone that this is not the dojo for them and then show them the door.

You say that the both of you are going to be testing for shodan...or at least a dan grade. If she performs during the test the way you say she performs in class when training, then whether or not she gets a passing grade and the rank should tell you alot too.

I recognize that she may have some sort of issues. That's really too bad. BUT, it should not mean that she gets special treatment because of it. Look at it this way, if you and she both were to pass and she performed the way you say she does in class, what is your newly acquired grade really worth? For me, that would be the last class or time I went to that particular dojo. But, you have to make that decision for yourself.

I personally take the instructor/student relationship VERY seriously. I don't dp tournaments, sparring competitions, kata competitions or anything like that (although I have been asked to demonstrate at tournaments and have agreed to do so). What I teach my students is life preserving and life taking skills. There is no room for specialized treatment. If you walked into my dojo one night and ran into two of my shodans, by and large (excluding any difference in time in grade), they are going to know the same things and be able to perform those things at at least a minimally acceptable level.

So, what can your instructor do? If he feels he must promote her (for whatever reason), I would get her a shodan-ho belt (for those that may not know, that is a black belt with a white line through the middle of it). Typically, that belt signifies someone below the age of 18 that has passed a shodan test OR someone who was given a shodan grade but is (for whatever reason) on some sort of probationary status. If she asks why it is "different", he can have something prepared to tell her. But, she gets the rank and it does not necessarily equate to a "real" shodan and can be explained to others (privately) what the deal is. If promotions for her continue, just add stripes to the belt and then be done with it.

What you can do in the short term is this....tell her that you came from a different school and style where things were done differently and you are working hard to overcome that. And, it would be best moving forward (until you are able to get that bad habit corrected and/or under control) it would be best for her to work with and be paired up with other people. Add a comment about how you look forward to working with her in the future when your personal shortcomings don't make her uncomfortable. Additionally, if you know anyone else at the school that you can let know what's going on, if you get paired with her, spend a little time with her and then go grab that other person and tell them that it would be best to switch partners because you are just doing things too aggressively and it would be better for this other person to work with someone else less aggressive as well.

If your instructor is the only one that can change these pairings, then put him on the spot. Spend a few minutes with her and then straight up tell him you can't help be be too aggressive and maybe it might be better for you to switch out with someone else. He knows you are not being aggressive. So, if he refuses, start doing sloppy and weak drills, asking him very specifically in front of everyone else on the floor if that is "better" and how you should be doing the techniques. MAKE him tell you in front of everyone else that you should be doing something that is junk. You, him and all of them are then going to know what's going on. Don't let the fact that he is an instructor throw you off. YOU are not there to make this other person's life easier. YOU are there and paying money for him to teach you and put you into a good learning environment.

Again, I am one of those people that do not really care about stepping on the toes of others. He has a responsibility to you just as much as he does to that other person. If he wants to be treated with respect and does not want to loose face, then he does need to earn that and continue to earn it to keep it.

Best of luck with your issue and sorry to be so long winded...those types of things irk me.
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For me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body. Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously.
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advfhorn
Yellow Belt
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Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 61
Location: NJ - USA
Styles: Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I was talking to a 4th dan tonight about it and he said they were watching her last night when I was not there. They said her technique is good, and with men she is fine. They said they think she is timid with me because I am a dominant female. Even though I don’t hurt her, I hardly touch her she is just timid and afraid. The adult men she was confident with.

Its fine if its me, I can accept that. I am happy with the fact that they are monitoring this. Seems like they will make sure we both get what we need. The other point they made, which is true …. These teens did not grow up with me (bc I switched dojos). She is more comfortable with those adults bc she had known them for a long time.

Personally I believe testing and rank is individual to the Sensei and the student. My biggest concerns are about each of us getting what we need, everyone having fun, stay safe and learn. I feel bad she doesn’t want to work with me, but its okay.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15511
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my two-cents, for what it's worth...

I don't ever entertain any notion of gender in any of my students. Why? To me, my students are first and foremost, MAists. Secondly, one can't choose their attacker.

Therefore, I've not the time nor the inclination to make my students comfortable while they're training. Train hard and train well...no matter whom ones partner is at any given time.

My students don't dictate my floor, ever!!

While she might be special needs of some type, I'll always take said limitation(s) in consideration, and if she doesn't want to do something, I'm cool with that...for a moment or two...after that, effort goes a long way, and effective effort goes even further.

Going to the CI is always a good thing, even though it's not always what the student expected one way or another. Don't whine, approach your CI with a lucid, intelligent, well thought out concern, thereafter, whatever the CI decides is it.

While I've equal sympathy for all concerned in this matter, the bottom line is that my students are on my floor to train to the BEST OF THEIR ABILITIES, regardless of what they feel "comfortable" with.

In closing, the Testing Cycle always takes care of itself, on way or another, whether one likes it or not. I'm pretty sure that your CI knows what he's doing across the board, especially when the Testing Cycle is concerned. I always tell my students that they need to worry about themselves, and stop worrying about everyone else because there's only one CI, and they aren't it!!

We're not on the floor to make friends, although it can be a perk to training. Better yet...

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.” ― John Lydgate

I hope the best for you and all concerned in the matter. Train hard and train well.



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds to me like this is more part of a personal test on her part, that she needs to overcome, in regards to working with you. Hopefully, the instructor pushes the two of you to work together more often, to help her with this.
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Miick 11
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Joined: 01 Jan 2021
Posts: 69


PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: special needs Reply with quote

advfhorn wrote:
Suggestions on working with a special needs teen/adult who feels I am too agressive. I am a 45 yr old female testing for Blackbelt (with 8+ yrs experience). She is a 17 or 18 yr old female with special needs. She is quiet and not aggressive.


Do you have to work with her ? I'd walk away .

reminds me of two people , years back, in Aikido class, one was a kid, big, a bit 'slow' his mum was always there watching like a hawk. then one night she approached me privately after training and thanked me for the way I had been training with him , yes he had an intellectual disability , she said, "I like the way you are vigorous with him, but at the last moment you lower him gently to the ground , also you seem to be able to relate to him, he has trouble understanding what the instructor is showing him but you try a different approach and he gets it . I was happy to train with him, he was a nice kid .

The other was 'new guy' that turned up, declared he had blue belt in ju-jitsu . It didnt seem like it to me . First session I did a take down on him gentle and slow . For the life of me, I still cant figure out what he did ! Every other person previous and since I have done that take down went with it and fell or went down in the direction they where being taken , somehow he jumped on the ground the opposite way got tangled up and immediately screamed ' ARRRGGGHHH ! MY ARM ! !MY ARM ! " Straight away I released any grip I had on him and raised both arms . he was flailing around on the floor and instructor looks over and " MICK! Stop that, stop monstering people ! "

Oh fer Gawd's sake ! Dont know what his issue was, but I never paired with him again , which was easy as he started avoiding me like the plague ! Eve to this day, if I see him in the street he gives me a half ****** off / half scared look

Sometimes people just dont 'gell' .


( ****** gosh, the auto censor here is just as sensitive as Mr. Blue Belt Ju-Jitsu ! )

rather train with the 'disabled kid' any time .
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