Another new thread from a Noobie

opr1945

Blue Belt
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
208
Reaction score
111
Location
Michigan, USA
I read on one of the threads that there are noobies posting dumb questions. I am one of them.

Let me expand on that.

1. As a Teacher I know that sometimes people judge the person asking the question by the quality of the questions thsy ask. If they always ask good questions, showing thought and serious consideration the lostener may say bright person. If the questions are poor the listener might conclude a less bright person. Some use asking question to show others how bright they are, not really interested in the answer. When asking a question of someone who makes those judgements good advise may be "It is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open you mouth and remove all doubt."

2. I prefer to assume that a question asked in good faith to further the asker's knowledge, then there are no stupid questions. And, encouraged students to ask if they were serious. Probably there were others in the class who also had the same question but were were afraid to ask because of the potential judgement of others.

3. If I am in the Dojo in class and I don't understand something I might be hesitant to ask not wanting to look stupid in front of the sensi and others. Or to take up valuable class time with something that I don't know but more advanced students consider basic. I don't want to be an anchor dragging others down.

4. One of the benefits of an online forum is the anonymity. That is I don't care what you think of me and my level of intelligence or ability or whatever. (Actually, in person I probably don't care unless you are my wife or boss.) So here I can ask basic questions anonymously withoiut the above concerns. So thank for being here and responding to my questions.
 
Any questions? I kid, I kid.
 
I read on one of the threads that there are noobies posting dumb questions. I am one of them.

Let me expand on that.

1. As a Teacher I know that sometimes people judge the person asking the question by the quality of the questions thsy ask. If they always ask good questions, showing thought and serious consideration the lostener may say bright person. If the questions are poor the listener might conclude a less bright person. Some use asking question to show others how bright they are, not really interested in the answer. When asking a question of someone who makes those judgements good advise may be "It is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open you mouth and remove all doubt."

2. I prefer to assume that a question asked in good faith to further the asker's knowledge, then there are no stupid questions. And, encouraged students to ask if they were serious. Probably there were others in the class who also had the same question but were were afraid to ask because of the potential judgement of others.

3. If I am in the Dojo in class and I don't understand something I might be hesitant to ask not wanting to look stupid in front of the sensi and others. Or to take up valuable class time with something that I don't know but more advanced students consider basic. I don't want to be an anchor dragging others down.

4. One of the benefits of an online forum is the anonymity. That is I don't care what you think of me and my level of intelligence or ability or whatever. (Actually, in person I probably don't care unless you are my wife or boss.) So here I can ask basic questions anonymously withoiut the above concerns. So thank for being here and responding to my questions.
My $.10 is that - especially with Eastern sensei - it's not much of a matter of looking stupid or dragging others, but more the idea that asking question is not the expected way of learning.Which is, instead: look, try to imitate, repeat (10.000 times) until you get it. So if you ask, often an eastern sensei will simply show you again.

Western practitioners are usually much more inclined to actually explain. Sometimes the explanation is good, sometimes it is not, but there's almost often an attempt.

Our way of learning is generally more theoretical - we first try to understand, then to put in practice (and we feel like fools if we don't manage). In an eastern approach - at least traditionally - there is an expectation that you fail innumerable times before eventually succeeding, so you're a fool only if you give up.

The fun thing with karate - at least for me - is that it really works fantastically with a mix of both. You absolutely need to try a lot because for every technique you want obtain a certain "feeling" in your body, which is very hard if not impossible to put in words... and when you are getting there, you know it because it begins to feel "right".

On the other hand, the road to get to that feeling can be walked incredibly faster by getting some explanation and analysis.

Also add to the mix that very often karate is taught nowadays without any indication of the rationale for a particular move, which makes an explanation very hard, or sometimes quite misleading. It's like learning the movement to turn a screwdriver without being told that you're supposed to place a screw and that you're holding one.

All in all, good fun!
 
You that actually makes sense to me. My instructor was born and raised in Okinawa. English is a second language. I have noticed that questions get followed by demonstrations. But, if I persist I may get an explanation of why it should be done the way it is. Thanks.
 
My wife calls it "mansplaining". She say I ask a simple yes/no question and your answer is way more detailed than I needed, wanted can use or can cut you off in the middle!
 
I have noticed that questions get followed by demonstrations.
The 1st day I jointed in my long fist class in high school, I asked the long fist instructor, "What do you do if I punch at your face". He said, "Come and punch me." I punched at him. He blocked/grabbed/pulled my punching arm, blocked my leading leg, and took me down.

I didn't want to learn from someone who didn't know how to fight. So, I had to ask my question.
 
I think I would have been fired at my US University if I had tried that. Although there were times I thought it would be appropriate and justified.
 
3. If I am in the Dojo in class and I don't understand something I might be hesitant to ask not wanting to look stupid in front of the sensi and others. Or to take up valuable class time with something that I don't know but more advanced students consider basic. I don't want to be an anchor dragging others down.

4. One of the benefits of an online forum is the anonymity. That is I don't care what you think of me and my level of intelligence or ability or whatever. (Actually, in person I probably don't care unless you are my wife or boss.) So here I can ask basic questions anonymously withoiut the above concerns. So thank for being here and responding to my questions.
And that's perfectly fine. We might roll our eyes every time you start a thread about gis, but we're not the people who's face you have to see when you step into the dojo.

This is the reason why I'm hesitant to refer people back to their sensei when they ask a question in the form. The relationship between you and your sensei would've been a completely awkward one by now had you approached him with all your gi questions.
 
I think I would have been fired at my US University if I had tried that. Although there were times I thought it would be appropriate and justified.
Maybe you should have
 
In my first year of teaching I had a student who aways asked what I considered to be ridiculous questions. One time he start to ask a ridiculous question and paused in the middle and said"...never mind I figured it out." After I stared at him for several seconds I said "sometime it is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!" The class roared. He took it well and asked better questions after that. And I realized that I had done a bad thing. And was grateful nothing bad happened to me because of it. And I never did it again, although tempted many times.
 
In my first year of teaching I had a student who aways asked what I considered to be ridiculous questions. One time he start to ask a ridiculous question and paused in the middle and said"...never mind I figured it out." After I stared at him for several seconds I said "sometime it is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!" The class roared. He took it well and asked better questions after that. And I realized that I had done a bad thing. And was grateful nothing bad happened to me because of it. And I never did it again, although tempted many times.
I always told my soldiers, There are no stupid questions, only stupid people. That usually cut the questions down in class.
 
In my first year of teaching I had a student who aways asked what I considered to be ridiculous questions. One time he start to ask a ridiculous question and paused in the middle and said"...never mind I figured it out." After I stared at him for several seconds I said "sometime it is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!" The class roared. He took it well and asked better questions after that. And I realized that I had done a bad thing. And was grateful nothing bad happened to me because of it. And I never did it again, although tempted many times.
Why do you think it was a bad thing? You motivated the student to think for themselves.
 
in my opinion his questions intended to show others how smart he was not learn something. it got to the point where when he started to ask a question the other students would put their pens and pencil down, learn back in their chairs and talk to their neighbors. Generally, when questions were to gain knowledge others would listen and take notes. His questions were about one-ups-manship look at me in my opinion, not knowledge.
 
There a lot of reasons for asking a question. In my context from a student perspectivewanting to know the answer is probavly the best. Asking to gain new knowledge is what it is about. From teachers perspective asking a question may be to get students to think. Most of the questions I asked as the teacher I knew the answers, at least one one answer already. As pointed out above the object was to get the student to think.

If the student asked a question they wanted to know the answer to, it was not a stupid question. Perhap a question coming from ignorance tryinh to get enligenting. I know nothing about Quanrum Physics so if I ask a basic question it does not mean I am stupid rather I am ignorant. However, If I have studied it then ask a basic question it ight indicate my stupidy. I say might because there might be other reasons. Once I found myself in a position where I was rying to teach a 14 year old boy how to use a map. I had a large map of the city we lived in. I showed him how to orientate the map, where he lived, where we were at on the map and how to get from his house to where we were using the map. I involved about 3 turns so I thought it simple. But, he could not show me how to do it even after I showed him how it was done. after about an hour I gave up very frustrated concluding he wwas a dumb kid. Some time later I learned he suffered from a severe case of dyslexia. Turned out he was not really dumb but had a learning disorder.

There is a difference between ignorance, stupidity and disability.
 
Confucius required a real desire and ability in his disciples

The Master said, "I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson."

In learning, there is the acquisition of knowledge and then there is the synthesis of knowledge into something novel.
 
old addadge for lawyers examing a witness "Never ask a question that you do already know the answer to."
 
In my first year of teaching I had a student who aways asked what I considered to be ridiculous questions. One time he start to ask a ridiculous question and paused in the middle and said"...never mind I figured it out." After I stared at him for several seconds I said "sometime it is better to be silent and thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!" The class roared. He took it well and asked better questions after that. And I realized that I had done a bad thing. And was grateful nothing bad happened to me because of it. And I never did it again, although tempted many times.
It's good you realized. Ridiculing a student in front of others - for whatever reason, justified or not - is always at best a sign of lack of control and aggression, and at worse an indication of unsolved issues with yourself.

The right way (or at least the way of the teacher) is to take the person aside and tell him/her one to one what you think and why you think it, and engage in a conversation.

Of course we're all humans and there's just one Dalai Lama, so we make errors occasionally.. so long we don't repeat them, it's usually fine.
 
Agreed, it was a lack of self control on my part. As soon as I said it I realized my error. And I never did it again. It was my first year of teaching and I wore a younger man's clothes. But, It was clearly my fault. Thanks.
 

Latest Discussions

Back
Top