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Thread: What should I tell them?

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    Default What should I tell them?

    This is a follow up to the thread I posted in baffling budo, where I was searching for information on an instructor nearby. Much thanks to anyone who took the time to read that. I appreciate it.
    I have some friends that have been training in said instructor's school and wanted my opinion on it since I've been involved in the MA for some years now. At the request of these friends I attended a class and checked out the techniques for myself, and honestly I'm afraid for my friends for learning a lot of what I saw there. There's a fairly long list of questionable things I saw, but I'll only mention what I considered the worst. Any kick I saw them throw, whether it was student or instructor using the front or back leg, and regardless of the type of kick, was thrown with the support foot facing completely forward, not rotating to relieve tension on the knee or provide balance at all, and thrown as if slinging the leg out somewhat wildly. I hate to think what a few years of that would do to someone's knees (or hips for that matter), and my friends did ask my opinion, but I'm not sure how to tell them what I think in a tactful manner. Any suggestions?
    Robert Gibson

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    Default Dear "Concerned In Saskatoon..."

    Quote Originally Posted by kedamono
    I hate to think what a few years of that would do to someone's knees (or hips for that matter), and my friends did ask my opinion, but I'm not sure how to tell them what I think in a tactful manner. Any suggestions?
    I would say "as quickly as possible" would be the best way to tell them.

    Just tell them plainly that the instructor looks like he's teaching them in a way that will end up damaging himself and all his students. They did ask your opinion and it doesn't sound like they have a really big investment in it yet, so even if they have to pay to get out of a contract, it'll be cheaper than having their hips and knees replaced.

    They asked you because they trust you. That's great!
    David Orange, Jr.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    "That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
    Lao Tzu

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    Perhaps you could get them to attend your dojo for a week or two? Maybe if they saw for themselves what was going on they'd switch schools.
    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    Tell them the truth - knee injuries are serious stuff for those who wish to train for any period of time.

    I have lots of friends who train in [to me ] strange arts, and if they are happy - what do I care? - but physical injury is another matter entirely



    mew
    Margaret Welsh

    "It's more fun when they do it to themselves." Barbara Hambly

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    The main problem I'm facing is how to tell them tactfully though. I suppose it's true that they value my judgement on it, but they also seem to be exceedingly excited about being a part of all this. I don't even know if I could get them to visit my school since it's relatively far away, and their classes are the same nights as ours. So really the problem is that I don't want to come off like I'm attacking them when I try telling them how little I think of the style itself. In any case, thanks for the advice so far. It has given me some idea already of how to handle it, but I'd love to hear more suggestions if anyone has them.
    Robert Gibson

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    Well, DON'T attack them - on a first go-round, try the sandwich method -

    something nice - I'm happy to see you are enjoying training....

    then " I really worry about the way those kicks are taught - brief body mechanics lecture -

    something nice - "think about this, because I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself and have to stop the practice you enjoy so much... "


    or some varient of this - the nice/problem/nice method often lets people hear what they would rather not.

    mew
    Margaret Welsh

    "It's more fun when they do it to themselves." Barbara Hambly

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    Quote Originally Posted by kedamono
    This is a follow up to the thread I posted in baffling budo, where I was searching for information on an instructor nearby. Much thanks to anyone who took the time to read that. I appreciate it.
    I have some friends that have been training in said instructor's school and wanted my opinion on it since I've been involved in the MA for some years now. At the request of these friends I attended a class and checked out the techniques for myself, and honestly I'm afraid for my friends for learning a lot of what I saw there. There's a fairly long list of questionable things I saw, but I'll only mention what I considered the worst. Any kick I saw them throw, whether it was student or instructor using the front or back leg, and regardless of the type of kick, was thrown with the support foot facing completely forward, not rotating to relieve tension on the knee or provide balance at all, and thrown as if slinging the leg out somewhat wildly. I hate to think what a few years of that would do to someone's knees (or hips for that matter), and my friends did ask my opinion, but I'm not sure how to tell them what I think in a tactful manner. Any suggestions?


    As someone that trained my first 4 years in karate with someone who knew little of body mechanics and who now suffers from bad knees and hip because of early training practices...... yes... tell them now......

    Mike O'Leary
    Old Dragon

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    This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Thanks everyone. I'll let you know how it goes after I get the chance to talk with them.
    Robert Gibson

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    It may be late to add this (I just saw this thread), but one way to word it is:

    "Well, what they do is quite a bit different from how I've seen it done in X-ryu, y-kan, and z-do [add your own names as appropriate]. In my school we'd be concerned about loss of power and accuracy in a kick, not to mention knee damage over time, if we kicked without ..." etc.

    Instead of saying, in effect, "They're not doing it right" you're saying "We do it this way, because..." and giving sound reasoning.

    It's less confrontational this way, and gives them information they can use in forming their own opinions.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Brian --

    I guess it depends on context -- I recall one sokey dokey getting upset when I asked, in all seriousness, if the eyes were supposed to wander all over the room, the toes point any which way, and the sword tip wobble like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Svinth
    ...I recall one sokey dokey getting upset when I asked, in all seriousness, if the eyes were supposed to wander all over the room, the toes point any which way, and the sword tip wobble like that.
    Exactly.

    If I were talking to one of his students, I wouldn't say,"Your teacher's eyes wander all over the room, his toes point any which way, and his kissaki wobbles."

    I'd say, "In my school we are taught to keep our eyes fixed on our targets, which is an outward expression of zanshin; our toes point in specific directions related to the line of movement, and we practice keeping the line consistant every time we repeat the kata; and we practice hasuji and tenouchi in a way that keeps the kissaki from wobbling."

    It's saying the same thing, but in a more polite manner.

    Of course, if I'm talking to the phoney directly, I may not be so polite.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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