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Thread: New blog article...

  1. #1
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    Default New blog article...

    Folks,
    Forgive me if this is the wrong venue, but I just posted a new blog in my Classic Budoka site. I haven't been blogging for a while but a recent spate of strange folk coming to watch my classes started me on a rant. It's here: http://classicbudoka.wordpress.com/

    Thanks in advance. I mention e-budo a lot in the article as a resource.

    Wayne Muromoto

  2. #2
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    Thanks Wayne,
    I've always enjoyed your writing!
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  3. #3
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    Yo, dude.. err WayneSenseiSamaShihanMasterDude San Dude Sir.. That's, like, way cool stuff and all. But when do you guys get to break boards? I can do this neat thing with two Budweiser cans - I can show you now if you like, I just drank a couple while I was watching your class. Hey, maybe you could show me how to break a baseball bat with my shin.. my buddy tried it last weekend, he's coming out of the hospital tomorrow and he told me he's worked out what he did wrong. Can I wear my trainers in you class? I normally wear boots for work, but I got these cool Ninja training shoes at a garage sale and I'm just trying to show my girlfriend that they weren't a waste of the thirty bucks that she wanted me to use for groceries. I liked that stuff you did with the stick-things, can you break stuff with those? Do you run classes on a Thursday? I got a free evening on a Thursday and my sister wants me out of the house so she can hang out with her boyfriend. He's still mad at me after I messed up his brakes by trying to borrow some of the fluid for my bike. Yeah, I still got some stains on my jeans but it will come off that seat real easy with a bit of soap.

    So, when do I get a black belt?
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  4. #4
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    Default D'oh!!!

    Nice one, David. But it still doesn't beat the actual nuttiness of the guy who walked into the dojo one day claiming to have studied under the eight secret monks of Shaolin Temple and Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, in all seriousness.

    Wayne Muromoto

  5. #5
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    Ouch. That must have been a conversation that required some delicate maneouvreing (getting him out of the door and away from the weapon racks without activating his Spidey Sense). Was he wearing the tinfoil helmet, with batteries and candles in his pockets? And a small implant behind his ear made from an unusual metallic alloy of unknown origin.

    They're out there you know. I hear them at night.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  6. #6
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    Default No, but...

    David,

    No, but this fellow did wear a black karate uwagi with a green and yellow dragon embroidered on its back over a hakama to naginata class. He never took off his dark glasses. I asked him once about that and he claimed that he had glaucoma in both eyes (!). The sensei was a heck of a lot more patient than I was, because she let him keep coming until he disappeared about two months into the training. He never seemed to be able to remember any of the forms or basic kihon, having to relearn them over and over at each session. Once he started shaking uncontrollably and I asked him if he was alright. He said he was okay, he just forgot to take his usual anti-psychotic medications that morning.

    Writing this, I realize I shouldn't make too much fun of him because mental illness is a sad, serious matter. It can strike any one of us. But this guy was over-the-top loony. He kept claiming to be a master martial artist, trained by the eight (seven?) secret Shaolin monks and Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman.

    Seriously, dealing with such people in a martial arts environment can be a daunting affair. You don't want to hurt them or be mean to them. On the other hand, you don't want them to get violently physical and harm your fellows in a situation where there could be big sticks, sharp weapons, and other implements that they may suddenly lunge for and start waving around.

    Some teachers I've known have been incredibly patient with such people and let them do bizarre things until they get bored and stop showing up. For my part, I try to get them to go away in order to protect the physical safety of my students. Someone recently commenting on my blog thinks I'm being too judgmental and unenlightened by quickly turning away such people, but I feel I have a responsibility to first protect my students (and myself) from any potential harm.

    Wayne Muromoto

  7. #7
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    Well, all I can say is that your dojo is a kind one, Wayne. There's one karate school that, when a mentally ill fellow walked in claiming Jesus taught him kung fu, they beat him unconscious and left him out in the back alley to die.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

  8. #8
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    I know how you feel Wayne. Our dojo used to be connected with the local Parks and Rec. department, until one particular fellow showed up. He was probably in his mid twenties, and his mother would drop him off at the dojo, and pick him up after. He constantly mumbled to himself and couldn't do even the basics without constantly watching himself in the mirror. As long as I kept him to solo practice, he never really disrupted the class too much so I let him stay since he had signed up through the Parks and Rec. Once the Parks and Rec. intro course was over though, he quit coming. (thankfully!) I withdrew from the P & R listing so I had more control over just who was in the dojo.
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

  9. #9
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    Wayne hits on the reason I filter very hard on potential students and why I do some digging on them before they get on the mat. Hell, even then I still have personality conflict issues cropping up which makes things interesting as a teacher.

    People wonder why many sensei like drinking, I know why and Wayne's blog shows he does too.

  10. #10
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    Default Clean and sober!

    Ah, hah! Gotcha Neil! I'm clean and sober. I lost my appetite for booze about the time I got out of grad school and beer stopped being cheap by the pitcher. I'm so squeaky clean my wife doesn't believe that I used to drink, dance and party hearty like all the other grad students. The last time I imbibed some heavy alcohol was in Japan at a karaoke bar with fellow deshi, and the experience of everyone taking turns singing (badly) was so bizarre I swore it off forever. Bad karaoke can do that to you. Oh, the horror.

    ...So maybe that's why I walk my dog for miles on end...to get out some frustrations.

    Josh: I saw that video since it was linked up to an e-budo thread a while back. That was really sickening. The guy was obviously deranged and it looked like they beat him senseless, if not killed him.

    Neil: Yep. Frustrating, isn't it, though? It must be something about the exoticness, the expectation of physical violence, the notion that you gain instant super powers a la Bruce Lee that draws a lot of crazy or maladjusted people to the dojo doorsteps, and that's not speaking of the slightly off center ones who are just plain rude and crude.

    My current training hall is on a second floor walk-up in a community center, somewhat out of the way, although it's right near a busy street corner near the U. of Hawaii, where street preachers scream and yell their Gospel at passerby's and an assortment of street people scamper along, talking to themselves, screaming, waving their arms, asking for spare change, digging through the trash. The area sort of reminds me of a miniature Berkeley, in a way.

    The last crazy person to come in was the one who felt ninja were coming out of the walls. Actually, I think he was referring to a ninjer guy who used to teach in the same dance studio but was ousted from his group for being too bogus even for their own tastes. I think I recalled seeing this odd-smelling person in a class, twirling a bokken like a cheerleading baton once. He took offense that I didn't invite him to teach my class and began to berate me while my two students were trying to work out their kata. He said I was not a proper "sensei" because I was disrespecting him.

    I lost it then. I told him that I didn't care if he thought I was a sensei or not, but I was calling the cops on him if he didn't leave. And if he wanted to talk about disrespect, I told him that he tromped into the room without asking, with his dirty footwear on after we had just sweeped the floors clean, he stank, and he had an attitude problem that showed his own disrespect. As soon as I mentioned the police and he saw my cell phone ready to be used, he tried to deescalate the situation and apologized, trying to gomasuri (hoomalimali) me. Nope, I said, unless he left I was calling the cops. I walked to my cell phone. He made a wan smile, declared loudly that he was sorry and said I was an awesome sensei, and that there was no need to call the law, and beat a very fast retreat back into the darkness. I suspect he had several brushes with the law before and was afraid of them fingering him for vagrancy or something. Cell-phone-ryu.

    Wayne Muromoto

  11. #11
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    It happens in Japan, too. Years ago, I was training at a mainland Japan branch school of a Ryukyu karate dojo. During one Sunday morning practice when there was only two of us, my teacher drove to the train station to pick up a thirtyish guy who had called earlier about wanting to watch a practice. They guy came in and proceeded to change into training wear. Sensei suggested he sit and watch before any decisions were made about him training or not, but the guy insisted on getting changed and joining us. Many polite requests for him to just sit down and watch were refused. He got onto the floor, testicles hanging out of his shorts. The teacher tried to bring his attention to the fact that he was immodestly attired, to no avail. The fellow began asking technical questions, then wanted to spar. Sensei demurred, and told the guy to ask me if he really was interested in sparring. I wanted no part of that! Suddenly, the guy hopped toward sensei and launched a very ineffective kick. The guy was knocked back, apologized, and then we had to drive him back to the station in a very uncomfortable silence.
    Nullius in verba

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