competing with my students

painstain

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our tournament season is over, but for those of us that want to keep competing we have a mini tournament series. yesterday the mini tourny was held one of the schools i teach at. all my students were there and helping out first before anyone else got the chance as i had instructed them to do. they all competed and dominated the tournament and i got my first chance to judge and ref. then my compitition came around. the only person in my rank was one of my students, my best student. not only is he a great martial artist, he is 6.5. no big deal right? i am 5.8 150ish.
i had sparred him many times in class or just for fun cause none of my other students really stand a chance agianst him. he is the only adult male in this particular class i teach and he is one rank bellow me.
i decided tochange up my game a little to spar him. though i am way shorter than him, i took a very low fighting stance, knees bent way down. he is not used to kicking someone with such a low stance. when he attacked with a front leg side kick, i sprung into a double touch front snap kick. the second i did that, his eyes opened wide. he has never seen me or sparred with me when i use advanced kicking. i save that for advanced class on wed. also when he threw a kick, i would turn the target (my chest) sideways, without sidestepping, i would simply turn my torso the oppisite way and follow up with skip side kicks. then twards the end of the fight i managed a front leg hook kick to the side of his head (i am very flexible). i won the fight and got first place. i also got first in forms.

now i'm looking at my pretty little first place ribbon and wondering if i really earned it..

please tell me what you think about this and if i even deserve it. i love competing but i have never competed agianst one of my students. share your thoughts please.
 

tkd_jen

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painstain said:
now i'm looking at my pretty little first place ribbon and wondering if i really earned it..

Why didn't you earn it, I didn't read anything that implied you cheated somehow. Knowing your opponent and how to exploit their "weaknesses" or how to exploit your strengths is something that as high rank you should and are expected to do. You changed up your usual routine and it worked, nothing to feel guilty about in my opinion. In my school there is another girl I train with all the time for the last 3 years. Do we know each others strengths and weaknesses? Absolutely, and we try to use that to our advantage much the same way you did, changing up our usual routine. That is fighting smart in my opinion.
 

bluemtn

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I'm with tkd_jen- you two were competing, and you just knew his weakness. It doesn't sound like you did anything to cheat, and you both had a good time.
 

Grenadier

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If your student is only one rank below you and in the same division, then what you did is completely in the boundaries of fair play, plain and simple.

If anything, you are helping your student get better, since he must now certainly realize that he has a ways to go before he can close the gap. That's what being a teacher is about; making your students better, and eventually, better than you are.

Also, this experience was good for your student, in that it teaches him to be cautious when it comes to assuming things. Many times, it's better that such a lesson comes from you, than it does from someone else.
 

Kacey

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You fought a fair fight, and used your opponent's weaknesses against him - would you have done something different with another opponent?

Also, ask yourself this: if you hadn't fought up to your potential, and your student won because you held back, how would you, and he, feel now? It is, in my opinion, better to win a fair fight than a rigged one - and that's what you did, you won a fair fight rather than letting him win a rigged one, and (hopefully) taught him how to improve in the process!
 

Rich Parsons

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painstain said:
our tournament season is over, but for those of us that want to keep competing we have a mini tournament series. yesterday the mini tourny was held one of the schools i teach at. all my students were there and helping out first before anyone else got the chance as i had instructed them to do. they all competed and dominated the tournament and i got my first chance to judge and ref. then my compitition came around. the only person in my rank was one of my students, my best student. not only is he a great martial artist, he is 6.5. no big deal right? i am 5.8 150ish.
i had sparred him many times in class or just for fun cause none of my other students really stand a chance agianst him. he is the only adult male in this particular class i teach and he is one rank bellow me.
i decided tochange up my game a little to spar him. though i am way shorter than him, i took a very low fighting stance, knees bent way down. he is not used to kicking someone with such a low stance. when he attacked with a front leg side kick, i sprung into a double touch front snap kick. the second i did that, his eyes opened wide. he has never seen me or sparred with me when i use advanced kicking. i save that for advanced class on wed. also when he threw a kick, i would turn the target (my chest) sideways, without sidestepping, i would simply turn my torso the oppisite way and follow up with skip side kicks. then twards the end of the fight i managed a front leg hook kick to the side of his head (i am very flexible). i won the fight and got first place. i also got first in forms.

now i'm looking at my pretty little first place ribbon and wondering if i really earned it..

please tell me what you think about this and if i even deserve it. i love competing but i have never competed agianst one of my students. share your thoughts please.


Let one say you had infinite money and could video tape all your competitors and study them, and by so doing you learn their weaknesses.

Or more likely you go to a few events and watch some people and see their favorite techniques and some weaknesses and know what to use against them.

Now if you told your student to throw the event for your ego then I would say you do not deserve it. But that was not mentioned here. :)

Also, for myself ribbons and trophy's are not the end all, it just means that on that day against those who were their, you got recognized for something. :) They are nice for growth.
 

still learning

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Hello, Just as important...you fellow student had learn something too!

Both of you had gain a new experience here......Keep up the training.

Your partner now knows to be more carefully and expect the unexpected...Aloha
 

tshadowchaser

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Both of you did your best and both tried to win so YES you deserve the win
next time he may but that is the way of point sparring
 

searcher

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I have been in your shoes before and I know how you are feeling. As has been stated before you did what you should have done. He gets some good experience and possibly soem great motivation to work harder. You get some great humility. By this I am saying that you did not rub it in and you showed great skill in doing so. Many instructors fail in this regard. I myself have done so and had to learn a hard lesson from it. I applaud you for your being a great example.
 

Fluffy

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I do not compete with my students. I would bow out before facing them in comp. What would it prove if I beat them and why would they stay if I lost to them. It's a lose-lose situation....I would steer clear of it in the future.

My 2 cents....
 

Haze

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Sounds like fair play to me. One rank below you BUT you seem to have a bit more knowledge and there is nothing wrong with using it to your advantage. It has been done to me and it has been done by me. As long as everyone was having fun, during and after the tournament all is good.
 

Lisa

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You completely deserved the ribbon, imo. Now your student also knows there is more for him to learn. Perhaps you can speak to him about it at your next class and maybe light a fire under him to work hard and learn what you showed him in the tournament. :)
 
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painstain

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we were both in great spirits and sportsmanship afterwards. i'm proud of him, his wife was on the judges panel and i heard she had a hard time with this. she is also one of my students and lost to my wife in competition. he and i are pretty good friends other than he is my student. i don't know why i felt weird about it, i just feel like i didn't earn it really. he did a great job and was a good competitor and fought well. its not that i used his weaknesses agianst him, i just wanted to try a few new things out in sparring and they worked. plus, i drive 40 miles to teach this class twice a week and i also attend 5 classes a week right now, including fight night on monday and advanced class on wednesday so other than we were close in rank i just simply have more experience. he would have to travel pretty far to take the same classes i do. i try to get them to come to town at least once a week, but you alll know how work goes.

anyways, thank you all for your encouraging words i really appriciate it.

with respect,
painstain
 

Shaolinwind

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painstain said:
our tournament season is over, but for those of us that want to keep competing we have a mini tournament series. yesterday the mini tourny was held one of the schools i teach at. all my students were there and helping out first before anyone else got the chance as i had instructed them to do. they all competed and dominated the tournament and i got my first chance to judge and ref. then my compitition came around. the only person in my rank was one of my students, my best student. not only is he a great martial artist, he is 6.5. no big deal right? i am 5.8 150ish.
i had sparred him many times in class or just for fun cause none of my other students really stand a chance agianst him. he is the only adult male in this particular class i teach and he is one rank bellow me.
i decided tochange up my game a little to spar him. though i am way shorter than him, i took a very low fighting stance, knees bent way down. he is not used to kicking someone with such a low stance. when he attacked with a front leg side kick, i sprung into a double touch front snap kick. the second i did that, his eyes opened wide. he has never seen me or sparred with me when i use advanced kicking. i save that for advanced class on wed. also when he threw a kick, i would turn the target (my chest) sideways, without sidestepping, i would simply turn my torso the oppisite way and follow up with skip side kicks. then twards the end of the fight i managed a front leg hook kick to the side of his head (i am very flexible). i won the fight and got first place. i also got first in forms.

now i'm looking at my pretty little first place ribbon and wondering if i really earned it..

please tell me what you think about this and if i even deserve it. i love competing but i have never competed agianst one of my students. share your thoughts please.

I am thinking that you are a person who wishes to be humble, and you feel pride. Don't sweat it. Demonstrating your superiority certainly has made your students see that you are a worthy and skilled teacher. Hopefully they will train harder under your tutelage.
 

MRE

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I applaud you for competing with your student. As Fluffy mentioned, there is a perceived risk to losing to your student. However, I need to mention that this risk is usually only perceived by the instructor. As a white belt who is part of a class that regularly competes against their instructor(s), I can tell you that none of my classmates think any less of the instructor if we beat them. Quite the contrary, we feel honored that they would give us the privilege to learn from them. Also, we all know that point sparring is only one of hundreds of things we can learn from the instructor.

That being said, I think you did earn the ribbon and should feel pride in that. But, IMO, you should feel more pride in the lessons that you passed on to your student by agreeing to compete with him.
 

MJS

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painstain said:
our tournament season is over, but for those of us that want to keep competing we have a mini tournament series. yesterday the mini tourny was held one of the schools i teach at. all my students were there and helping out first before anyone else got the chance as i had instructed them to do. they all competed and dominated the tournament and i got my first chance to judge and ref. then my compitition came around. the only person in my rank was one of my students, my best student. not only is he a great martial artist, he is 6.5. no big deal right? i am 5.8 150ish.
i had sparred him many times in class or just for fun cause none of my other students really stand a chance agianst him. he is the only adult male in this particular class i teach and he is one rank bellow me.
i decided tochange up my game a little to spar him. though i am way shorter than him, i took a very low fighting stance, knees bent way down. he is not used to kicking someone with such a low stance. when he attacked with a front leg side kick, i sprung into a double touch front snap kick. the second i did that, his eyes opened wide. he has never seen me or sparred with me when i use advanced kicking. i save that for advanced class on wed. also when he threw a kick, i would turn the target (my chest) sideways, without sidestepping, i would simply turn my torso the oppisite way and follow up with skip side kicks. then twards the end of the fight i managed a front leg hook kick to the side of his head (i am very flexible). i won the fight and got first place. i also got first in forms.

now i'm looking at my pretty little first place ribbon and wondering if i really earned it..

please tell me what you think about this and if i even deserve it. i love competing but i have never competed agianst one of my students. share your thoughts please.

I have to agree with the others as well. I don't see that you did anything wrong. You didn't do anything illegal during the match, fought a good fight, and most importantly, everyone had a good time!:)

Mike
 

Fuzzy Foot

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It's all a matter of perception and what you subscribe to conduct-wise in regard to student and instructor interaction. When two people compete, what it comes down to is one human against another regardless of how we've divied up our uniforms and ranks etc. I don't see that you did anything "unbecoming an instructor" if you have no issues with it yourselves. As a side note, many many years ago, in local tournaments, when it came down to an instructor and a student from the same school competing directly with each other, it often never happened. Usually the instructor would "opt out" to allow the student to compete against other students cause he/she had already been there and done that, but also (I think) to give the student a chance to shine, or learn from the experience, without the instructors direct participation in an open public setting. Some instructors still do this. It sounds like you may be concerned that it will look like you competed against a student to prove something and feed your own ego. The fact that you pose this question on open forum proves otherwise and that you care about your relationship with your students. Ego(s) and relationships can sometimes be fragile things, but it sounds like you both took it in stride which, if you learn anything from martial arts and life, that's how it should be. Train hard, be happy.
 
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painstain

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thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts on this. this student is also training to be an instructor and i think he will make a great one. as for the sparring match, we both enjoyed it and learned from it. in our system, great sportsmanship, and encouraging others are our top priorities along with teaching and helping.

agian thank you all

with respect,
painstain
 
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