Children's Instructor Grabs Kids Necks

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Katie, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Katie

    Katie White Belt

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    My 5 year son is trying karate class for the 1st time. It is a 4 to 6 year old class. The instructor uses holding the back of the neck as a way to move children where he wants them or to get their attention. I have zero knowledge of karate practices but this seems harsh.
    Is this not good practice?
     
  2. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    What is the size of the class? This could be a McDojo, and the instructor may not have the energy/attention/mindset to give them other types of cues, hence the treatment. Many teachers don't actually want to be babysitters. Moreover, this action does not teach self-discipline, it only teaches discipline.
     
  3. Katie

    Katie White Belt

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    There were 8 students and one instructor. I dont know what their cap is. The next class after my sons was 7 to 10 year olds and there were about 15 of them. We stayed and watched that class for a few minutes and the neck grabbing was really bad.
    The kicker is, it seemed he would have had the right amount of respect from the kids without the neck grabbing. It just seems humiliating to me, not a way to gain respect.
    Again, I have never set foot in a dojo before and I would like to hear from some people with experience if this is normal.
     
  4. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    We each have our own ways, and there are many good works on the Way of Karate or Karate-do. I have experienced first hand that some Karate teachers look for a high level of submission from their students. However, this action seems specific to the teacher and I wouldn't feel comfortable sending my children to that school, but my 2 1/2 y.o. already knows how to play the bo staff :rolleyes:.
     
  5. Katie

    Katie White Belt

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    Thank you for your input. My thought is if it made me feel uncomfortable, it probably wasn't the right place for my children period
     
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  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    They're holding the back of the neck?...and? They're not hurting them or choking just moving them according to you. Doesn't seem a big deal to me
     
  7. Katie

    Katie White Belt

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    I'm curisous, Have you seen this type of instruction with children before? What do youn typically see in a dojo? As I said, I have nonmarital arts experience.
     
  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends how they're holding them. If its in a clinch-like manner/seems roughly moving, check out this thread Be careful

    Either way, if you're uncomfortable, leave. Depending on where you're at, there's probably another place nearby your kid could go.
     
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  9. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Did you watch a class at this dojo before you trusted them with your child? And in that class you watched did you see any of this grabbing by the neck that you speak of?
     
  10. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Purple Belt

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    I never seen a instructor grabbing the neck of a student and i think its not right
     
  11. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    If there is any roughness with the grabbing, that clearly is a danger to the child. However, there is also a problem if he is gentle in his touch.

    First off, any childrens instructor should be familiar with the ideas of "2 deep leadership." If you are in contact with children, especially physically, you want another responsible adult around. Not only does that prevent you from taking advantage of the situation, but it also covers you in the event that an accusation is made.

    This guy seems to be setting up a situation where he alone is teaching (correct me if I am wrong here) children and he is touching them a lot. He doesn't have a back up to testify that it was not any else. (look up "grooming" when you look up "2 deep leadership.") Now I am not saying this guy is doing anything inappropriate. But I am saying that he is opening himself to a ton of unneeded risk, by his actions.

    I realize that martial arts involves contact. However, if your contact is limited to the moves in the arts curriculum and you have another adult that can vouch for it... that is very different than gently touching all the kids in ways that are not in the curriculum, and are not drills... especially with no second adult to vouch for you.

    If it were my kid, I would not want them in a situation where it is normal for the person in authority, to have his hands on you, just because. That is not something that I want my kids to learn is normal. Its not. And too often, that happens in other places, where it definitely should not happen.

    If you are uncomfortable in any way, find someplace else.
     
  12. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    So is he just using the back of their neck to guide them where they need to go....or is he grabbing him hard and being rough?

    If it is just lightly graphing the neck and guiding them where you want them to go I dont see a problem with that.

    I do it alot with my son. Growing up a lot of coaches did it.

    It's just a quick and easy way to convey right where you want the kid to go without any confusion. As long as there is no malice in it it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It’s really difficult to say it’s appropriate or inappropriate. All we know is he’s grabbing the back of kids’ necks. Is it forceful, gentle, etc? We don’t know, and short of you telling us he’s bruising up the kids, we genuinely have no idea.

    I’m a parent too. If you’re uncomfortable, leave. Simple as that. You and your child(ren) shouldn’t get stressed out about this. Even if there’s genuinely no ill will nor physical pain inflicted, it doesn’t matter. Giving him the benefit of the doubt for a minute here, his teaching style isn’t what you seem to be looking for. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    If you’re genuinely uncomfortable, and coming here and asking us leads me to believe you are, find a new place. Watch a few different classes with a few different instructors (if there’s more than one) at as many schools as you reasonably can. Finding the right teacher and classmates is the most important thing IMO.
     
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  14. Katie

    Katie White Belt

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    Thank you for all the helpful information today! I feel like I have a better understanding of the viewpoints and experiences from within the community now. I appreciate all of your time and effort in responding to my query.
     
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  15. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're concerned, you have two choices: talk to someone there who knows what's going on and why, or remove your child. It doesn't seem that there is an immediate danger of injury, so I would suggest talking to the senior staff and making a decision based on their response. I can make a case for or against the practice described, since it doesn't seem to have been an injurious act -- so why not talk to senior staff or other parents.
     
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  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    A side question-what does your kid think about it? Is he uncomfortable with being directed that way? Did he enjoy the class?
     
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  17. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    I think it's weird, like can't he just put his on the shoulder. Why the neck? I've moved students around. I've never needed to grab anyone by the neck. I'm not trying to put the guy down or anything. I just think his method in this circumstance Is strange.
     
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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    It does seem strange, but none of us are there to witness it and say it’s fine or it’s bad.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm trying to picture it, and if I am actually moving a child (not telling them where to move, but helping them go in the right direction) a shoulder isn't very direct, and to really steer them would require both shoulders (thus, both hands). The neck is in the center, so a hand on the neck would allow me to steer them quite easily in any direction.

    So, it could be odd. Or it could just be the instructor using the more efficient steering point.
     
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