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Saturday, April 28, 2018

A lot of these fish in the sea



Laura’s physical education class this year included self-defense. Part of the self-defense class featured instructors from a local martial art school, and concluded with a certificate entitling the student to three free Krav Maga classes.

I scheduled three classes, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. On Tuesday I sat on the world’s hardest chair, reading a book amidst the roar of children and teenagers.

Thursday I went in with a cushion and a book. Laura went to the desk to check in. An imperious late aged teen strong-armed her for a dues payment before joining the class. Her demands were quite clear above the din, and I went to the desk to defend the previously presented coupon. It was a quiet argument on my part, but Miss Teen grew increasingly vocal, and soon attracted a superior.

The new conversation quickly elicited the information the error was exclusively mine because the previously recorded coupon was at home on a dresser; however, Laura was permitted to join the class. 

Almost at once the instructor flew out, in exchange of Laura going in, to protest an extra student. He was embarrassedly shooed away by the red faced superior, from whom I also extracted a statement this farce would not be repeated Saturday.

And, I took my cushion and book and sat in front of a classroom window, with maybe twenty children, half a dozen instructors, and a leader calling out moves. Loudly. The leader led classes on Tuesday, also, loudly. At one point he instructed the children to put on protective head gear, then berated them when they came up one short from the pile.

The leader came out and began yelling at the parents; the student’s last name and first initial must be on each helmet. He continued with a diatribe of how disruptive it was to come up short on gear. I read my book. He hit my table, bounced my book and yelled, “I’m talking to all of you.”

I glanced over at the desk and saw Ms. Superior vigorously shaking her head “No!” I returned to my book. Who knew Frank Lloyd Wright had a paramour, two of her children and three employees and a neighbor child murdered at the Prairie Style home he constructed for her in Wisconsin. Interesting book.

The instructor returned to his class, and I turned my attention to him. The students apparently were learning a hand and knee thrust maneuver. One boy near me, maybe eight, had no confidence and his opponent was backing him to the wall with his moves.

The instructor grabbed the child by the shoulder and thundered “They’ll kill you out there if you don’t learn how to hit back!”

I turned another page and waited for Laura’s class to end. I sent her into today’s class on her own. On the way home I told her what I’d seen on Thursday, in the other class.  Indefensible, she agreed.
There are martial arts schools and to spare here. We’ll find another for the summer.


In other news, it poured cold rain all night. The rain barrel almost is full, but tonight's forecast is mid thirties and rain, or snow. Poor ranuculus!




28 comments:

  1. Loving your blooms.
    And so very glad to hear that Laura agrees that the Leader is indefensible. How I loathe shouters.

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  2. Hari OM
    So the anger management part of self defence amounts to loosing one's cool...that's the message they're giving? Aikido...waaaayy cool.

    Perhaps not as cool as the weather, but still... YAM xx

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  3. and there are parents sitting there listening to this instructor bully and berate not only the students but the parents? Ms Superior was shaking her head 'no' at you as in don't engage the asshole? it's a wonder he has any students at all. no wonder they have to give away three free classes.

    sorry to hear about the cold rain

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    1. On the whole, parents had faces in phones. They did engage and praise the kids.

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  4. Such a bully. One needs to learn self defense against people like him. A good choice to find another class.

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  5. When I left home for university my father said that as I would now be meeting men, rather than the lads with whom I went about while at school, I should be prepared. He then proceeded to show me how to kill someone - an art learned in his army days.
    I think I can still do it.....

    That instructor needs a few lessons in manners.

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  6. Some teachers should never be in front of a class of any kind. It always pays to stick around to see what the first few classes are like.

    The only activity our son wanted to go to at age eight was a karate class. Our daughter, younger by three years, decided to tag along. The instructor continually engaged every child in the class except our son. After a half a dozen lessons we could see his enthusiasm waning and finally he said he didn't want to go anymore. Why would an instructor do that? It's not shouting but it's just as harmful. Anyway, I think voting with your wallet is the way to go!

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    1. I watched the youngster backing up instead of engaging, and expected the instructor to send him off with one of the junior instructors for some one on one. I sure didn't expect to hear him yell that the boy would be hit by someone in the big world. And I sure didn't expect to hear the world was waiting out there to hit him. Just too strange.

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  7. My goodness, for a martial arts school they certainly sound overly aggressive! I do hope you find a better one next time you need one. The blossoms look absolutely lovely.

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  8. Why oh why oh why do so many people believe that if they are loud enough and mean enough they are better at teaching? I had so many discussions at school when my children were students. I expected fair discipline, respect toward my child, and ability to teach. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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  9. I think there are some serious staffing issues at that place.

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  10. I agree that is a very poor defense instructor, perhaps inquiries need to be made regarding methods there. Great idea to find a better place for Laura to learn. The ranunculus are gorgeous.

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  11. I wonder if he 'teaches' older students and how they react to his methods

    Bit odd when you almost need self defence to deal with the person supposedly teaching you self defence

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  12. Still snow. Wow. The class sounds dreadful.

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  13. Tough time at that class for you Joanne.
    Love those ranunculus.

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  14. Disturbing. I'm sure there are better martial arts places in town.

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  15. oh brother, I would have said a thing or two, I wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue, lovey blooms

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  16. Yeah....that doesn't sound like the place for her...or anyone else for that matter.

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  17. I'm surprised he had any return customers. We had a marvelous kick boxing school in a nearby town. Kids have great opportunities to travel and compete and are often featured in the paper. This guy sounds like he takes his own insecurities and problems out on the rest of the world. -Jenn

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  18. I hate bullies! I don't know that I would have been able to bite my tongue. After all, he did tell the child to get in there and push back ...... maybe he was just issuing a challenge for someone to push back at him. I would, no doubt, have been tossed out for taking that challenge. Might be nice if a local news station was looking for a human interest piece to pay that class a visit.

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  19. I would have told that abusive instructor to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

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  20. I think all girls should be taught martial arts so they can protect themselves from attack if necessary. It's crazy that women so often feel defenceless when under threat.

    The way the staff were behaving at the martial arts class is shocking and inexcusable. You're quite right to look for an alternative class.

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  21. As a parent, I wouldn't have cared for that one instructor. Seems like he should be in a different line of work. However, learning martial arts is a good thing for Laura to do!

    betty

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  22. Sounds like the woman who taught us hockey!

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  23. I don't think kids need to be exposed to that type of instructor (?)... at least not at a young age. My daughter had one when she was 7. We took her out of the class. We believe in discipline, but not in ridicule.

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  24. I wonder what the instructor thought he was accomplishing by browbeating that child.

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  25. Dear Joanne, having a bully for a teacher does nothing but deflate a child and take from her or him any self-confidence that has been developed. I am so glad that you witnessed this and could tell Laura and thus decide to try another place to go for instruction. It's wonderful that you can be and are an advocate for Laura when she needs one. Peace.

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