View Full Version : Right or Wrong #1

John Lindsey
7th April 2002, 15:08
Student X invites Teacher Y to his country to teach a martial arts seminar. During it, Teacher Y shows how to do wrists locks. Student X invites Teacher Y to try it on a friend of his, who happens to be a fisherman with very strong wrists. Teacher Y cannot make the technique work and chews out Student X for making him look bad at the seminar.

Was Student X right or wrong for doing this?

Paul Mathews
7th April 2002, 15:38
Without knowing any more specifics, I have to vote that the student was in the wrong. Generally speaking, a student should never put his instructor in a position where he would be embarassed.

It would be interesting to know what the student's motive was. I would suspect that he had probably tried the technique on his fisherman friend and failed, thus he wanted to see if his instructor would have more success. The bottom line in wrist locks is that there are some people out there who just have "dead" wrists. It is impossible to create any pain with any wrist lock.

I would think, however, that the instructor should have been aware of this and been able to handle the situation without embarassment and without resorting to chewing out his student. That shows a lack of grace on his part.

7th April 2002, 16:31
Seems as though neither is old enough to buy airplane glue. No, the student shouldn't have put him in that position, but the teacher, if not able, should have bowed and asked the fisherman to teach him the methods he used to get his wrists in such good shape. If it was the fishing, he should be teaching the teacher how to fish.

Both, actually, need good spankings.


Jon S.
7th April 2002, 18:33

I think the problem with such situations is that when uke (or the fisherman) knows what technique is being applied, it is not too difficult to resist. If, when the fisherman was successfully resisting the wrist lock, he had received a swift kick to the groin, I imagine that his wrist would have softened for a moment allowing the wrist lock to come on. Of course, such an action would be inappropriate for practice, so the student was wrong to put the teacher in the situation. Likewise, the teacher handled it wrong - instead, he should have explained the reasons he couldn't be successful under those circumstances and taught the whole class a lesson about striking for distraction.

Steve Williams
7th April 2002, 20:10
Was going to reply the (almost exactly) same as Jon S.

My views are on the same wavelength.

Steven Malanosk
7th April 2002, 22:19
JuJitsu / TaiJutsu, is actually in concept, an art that should teach the practitioner, to naturally flow from one waza, to another, situation dictating the rule.

If one is facing an Uke that has impervious wrists, then it is logical that a follow up technique should be used / taught.

If the wrist does not budge, go to the fingers or the elbow, shoulder etc.

If student x is not trying to be a smart alleck, then he would not put teacher y in this position, without a forewarning.

Atemi "strike" is of course a prelude to Kansetsu "joint manipulation," but is not always a feasable thing to use, during a seminar or class, in leu of the waza, being addressed. Although it should indeed be taught and performed in the theater of reality.

But when dealing with the unexpected, situation dictates the rule, especially when dealing with those of dubious intent.

7th April 2002, 22:26
If we consider the whole situation from the view of fair play, we'll end up with this:
1) Student didn't do anything wrong, if his intentions were good and his point was not to embarrasse Teacher. If his intention was to make someone (either his friend, who might have been little bit too proud with his resistance skill, or Teacher) he was wrong from the start.

2) Teacher took the situation little bit too seriously, cos if he hadn't mention his embarrasment to Student, probably nobody would have remembered this one failure at the class. My personal opinion, which isn't as fair, is that a teacher should be able to manage even with difficult wrists.

József Pap

10th April 2002, 08:01
well I have to go with the people here who say the teacher handled it wrong.

I have always been tought that if Uke doesn't work with you than you have to make him work with you. Joint locks will not work when done by itself. But give a good atemi (as others here have mentioned) and Uke will have a looser/weaker control for a few short moments, that when it can be applied..

Of course the problem is that when you do that Uke starts to complain you are to rough and more complaints like that.... But think of it this way, he tried to make you look bad.....

Don't know if it is a saying in English but it is one here in the Netherlands:

Those who don't want to learn, will have to feel..

10th April 2002, 09:02
I agree with Mr.Feigenbaum. They were both careless with their actions. The student should either have known better or was disrespectful. The teacher shouldn't even remotely care about looking bad and was being petty.

10th April 2002, 09:55
I don't agree that any student should deliberately attempt to disgrace his teacher, however I think we should all be aware that martial art moves are for self defense and not every move will work in every situation.

10th April 2002, 10:34
I agree that not all moves will work in all situations, but the teacher should have adepted.... because he is a teacher and should know better

11th April 2002, 10:05
If everyone agrees that any or all actions have a reaction[s], then there is no need for the good teacher to be upset, even if he were set up.

The good teacher will simply show a different action on the student's ability to resist the action to his wrists.

IOW, "Oh, well Mr. Fisherman has just shown us what we all know. Not everything that works will work all the time for all people. In this case, I may then do "Y." But let's concentrate on the one wrist lock for today."

The teacher does so because he is the teacher. I think the only thing proven here is, whether a set-up or not, the teacher wasn't very good at teaching. If the teacher can't do the wristlock because the fishermans' wrists were too strong (not something which would happen, IMO) s/he may simply throw him/her.

It also gives the attendees to the seminar something to think about.

Reverse the situation. The fisherman says no one can put a wristlock on me (believe me, I've come across some judoka who just don't bend the way you want). The teacher asks "Any wristlock?" Fisherman says "yes, any." The teacher now has him where he wants because the Fisherman doesn't know the teacher. The teacher first off-balances the Fisherman so he isn't concentrating on keeping the wrist straight (it could be anything), then the teacher does the same type of wristlock (remember, the fisherman said "any") and it works just fine, he redirected the fisherman's attention off the wrist by, oh, pinching him on his backside.

The teacher just taught two lessons. One; the fisherman didn't know how to keep center. Two; fishing full time doesn't mean your wrist will resist that way when misdirected. The option then is to do something unexpected by the fisherman.

Sometimes, it just makes more sense to teach one wristlock and nine different ways of off-balancing so that the one can be used in nine different ways.

So, either way you do it, you still come up smelling like a cod.:toot


11th April 2002, 11:47
I totally agree with MarkF. Well put.

Benjamin Peters
27th April 2002, 11:50
Pehaps the ultimate aim of the art should be considered when applying an 'answer' to the case.

My opinion:

If the teacher is one which professes self-defense as a goal of long-term training, then the application of the lock should potentially be dealt with convincingly.

If the art studied is a 'non-combative' type and one which is a classical martial art, the teacher should not need to be subject unless the decision is made by that teacher.

27th April 2002, 14:08
If the teacher can't do his technique on someone stronger than he is then he should seriously examine his technique and find the weakness and correct it.

29th April 2002, 16:50
first and foremost.

The teacher is a guest. I find setting up any guest to be extremely impolite. So, if the student set the teacher up in public. He was extremely impolite, point and period.

But, the scenario could have been different:
If teacher Y knows a student has a difficulty applying the technique he taught to the fisherman. He has an obligation to show it can be done, or at least, what did the students change in the set-up to render the technique impractical. It is a difficult requirement, but then again, I would have thought we are talking of inviting a senior teacher…

When we invited one of the Shihan’s in our style, similar situations have happened, and students asked the Shihan if they had been unsuccessful. As far as I recall, there was only one case in which he wasn’t extremely convincing:
he was unable to move fast enough to apply a specific variation of a technique against a young very fast and no corroborating uke. Then again, Shihan was in his 60 and in poor health and uke was a very vigorous shodan in his 20’s, who knew the technique to be applied and used speed to avoid it. Nobody considered this as a disgrace of the Shihan, on the contrary. We were extremely impressed by him.


6th May 2002, 03:56


As a student, they are being taught the ways of their instructor. The Instructor should have had the leadership ability to correct the student before the fisherman demonstration even occured.

As we know, in martial arts, we should not show off the abilities in a like situation. Just think if the instructor was able to perform the wrist lock but the fisherman didn't know how to fall or roll out of it...

If the intent was to prove the technique, it all falls onto the instructor who at his level should know better than to make an ill spirited approach.

Blame the student for what?

The instructor should have used good judgement...


Michael Clarke
6th May 2002, 06:10
Hi all,
This thread brings to mind a story of the late Chojun Miyagi sensei (founder of Goju-ryu karatedo). He was always keen to meet teachers who had "great skills". One day he joined some others and visited a master who claimed that no one could remove his grip once he had a hold of them !
It is said that Miyagi sensei allowed the "master" to grab him. He then calmly kicked him full on in the nuts and removed the clenched (but now rapidly weakening) fists from his clothing.
Some may say Miyagi sensei cheated ? But I think he did what any sensible person would have done. It's no use bringing all your strength to a fight where you attacker has already got more strength than you. Instead it is always better to blend with their strength and turn it back at them. As in this case, through your foot into their family jewels.
Happy blending.
Mike Clarke

7th May 2002, 23:47
I know a guy that is nearly impervious to wrist locks. I wouldn't however "setup" my teacher to test his ability on a guy like this. This kind of thing is disrespectful and I think under this circumstance the Teacher was within his rights to chew out his student. Did the instructor continue with training and chew out the student later or did he dress him down in front of the class? If he did it on the spot then I think this is bad form. Another factor involved here might be a communication gap (Teacher Y was from another country) One time I went to a seminar with a Japanese Grandmaster and during a break I aproached where he was sitting at the desk of the Host Instructor. I wanted to give him a picture of my son who was born on the Grandmaster's birthday. I was about 30 feet away and waited for the Instructor who had his back to me and the visiting Grandmaster. The GM saw me and motioned for me to come over. I waited for the instructor to finish what he was doing and turn around so that I might ask his permission to aproach. Again the GM motioned a second and third time. I was torn. Finally I aproached and presented the photo trying to explain to the GM who spoke broken english. The Instructor turned around in the middle of this exchange not having seen the GM motion for me. Moments later the Instructor pulled me aside and chastised me for aproaching the Grandmaster and that I was very rude for doing this. I bowed and said I was sorry without explaining (I didn't want to seem to be making excuses) I felt like an idiot for aproaching in the first place. Was I wrong? Was the Instructor?

8th May 2002, 07:06
of course you weren't wrong. But your teacher also wasn't (at least from his point of view) you should have explained to him that the GM motioned you to come closer.

It is not rude or disrespectful to show someone that they are wrong, it just depends on the way that you do it. If you shout it at them, that will be disrepectful. But if you explain in a quiet tone, or after class then it should be no problem.

10th May 2002, 08:07
Originally posted by MarkF
Both, actually, need good spankings.


Correct. Well said.

Actually, in my experience, a lot of martial arts "instructors" could probably use one.

M.C. Busman
11th June 2002, 00:10
I doubt an individual who has taken the time to help someone come in to teach from another country would be thinking along the lines of setting the instructor up. If anything, the student probably thought his teacher was infalliable, and was as dismayed as his teacher when the technique didn't work.

That the teacher reacted as he did rather than using the failure as a teaching tool to remind others that nothing work on everyone all of the time, belies his insecure nature. When something unexpected happens, the most skillful of souls have the ability and insight to roll with it and adapt. Rather than show the full range of his expertise (?), the teacher blamed an underling. The teacher is directing the seminar, it is up to him to teach.

Words to teacher: Grow up. Whoever you are, you are still human. Why are you trying to hide that from your adoring fans?

Words to student: It's not your fault. Find another teacher. Someone who blames you so easily will probably hold a grudge, and probably never trust you in the same way again.

Another thought...was "the fisherman" a martial artist? Some of the toughest "friendly" matches I have ever had have been with non-martial artists who don't know how they are "supposed" to bend!

Happy Day,

M.C. Busman


13th July 2002, 02:38
i think if the student was deliberatly trying to embarrass his instructor, it was improper. however, i think the instructor should have had the skill to see the lock wasn't working and either add a distraction to make it work, or suddenly shift to another lock. i know locks can flow from position to position rather quickly with a skilled joint locker.

Joseph Peterson

28th July 2002, 03:13
Let's not assume that the student was trying to set the instructor up. I fully agree that if the student invited the instructor to come and give a seminar from another country, he obviously believed wholeheartedly that the instructor would be able to successfully apply the technique.

The instructor shouldn't have lost it, it illustrates the difference between a good instructor and a bad instructor. He was more concerned about his image than anything else. If this is how he handles himself outside of his dojo, then he wouldn't be able to teach me anything. Does anyone disagree that one is taught by example not merely by being shown techniques? When he couldn't apply the technique he should have adapted and improvised.

If this had happened in a self defense situation shortly after arriving here and wasn't able to defend himself against one untrained fisherman. What would he have done then, yelled at his student for inviting him to this country?