'Demonstration Gone Horribly Wrong' or 'What the Hell Was I Thinking'?

Tames D

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I thought I'd share something with you that happened a few weeks ago that keeps coming back to haunt me. It would be funny if it wasn't so stupid of me.

My kids are in the scouts (cub and weblos). We had our annual banquet (very informal) where the kids get their achievement patches and awards. The other parents are constantly asking me to put on a martial arts demonstration with my kids at one of these events. I always say sure, one of these days.

Well a good friend of mine recently joined our Pack with his son. We have been training partners for years. He's a professional stuntman in motion pictures. We met on a show years ago where we worked together co-ordinating stunts. So we're pretty good at doing gags together.

I thought it would be fun if we gave the Pack a pretty realistic demonstration and he suggested that we not tell anyone prior to it and let it appear as a real fight. I said let's do it
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. We brought some fake blood hits from work and agreed to use some good contact. We set it up where he would start a verbal confrontation with me at the podium after the awards were handed out and from there we would get it on.

The actual "violence" lasted only a few seconds but the reaction from everyone was way beyond what I expected. There was screaming and kids crying. This thing just totaly backfired on me.

When they found out it was an act and not a real fight some of the people laughed it off, some said it scared the hell out of them, some thought it was the best thing they ever saw and some haven't talked to me since. Two families even pulled out and are looking for another Pack. Now these are people that my wife and I are good friends with and have known each other for along time. I know now how stupid it was but I'm a little baffled that a few of these people are writing me off (their still talking to my wife though).

Anyways...just another poor judgment call by me. lol.
 
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Carol

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Maybe the stage blood was a bit over the top? ;)

I would have been with the "best thing I ever saw" group though...once I learned it wasn't real :D
 

Carol

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In hind site I would agree. But a nice effect
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. It didn't help that we accidentally broke a table.

LMAO! :rofl: :rofl: OK that would DEFINITELY be up there with the best thing I've ever seen. Oh I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.... :) :)
 

matt.m

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Augh,

Man if wish I could have seen it. The performance sounds great. Too bad some people can't take a joke.
 

Bruno@MT

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I thought it would be fun if we gave the Pack a pretty realistic demonstration and he suggested that we not tell anyone prior to it and let it appear as a real fight. I said let's do it
icon10.gif
. We brought some fake blood hits from work and agreed to use some good contact. We set it up where he would start a verbal confrontation with me at the podium after the awards were handed out and from there we would get it on.

The actual "violence" lasted only a few seconds but the reaction from everyone was way beyond what I expected. There was screaming and kids crying. This thing just totaly backfired on me.

All I can say is... wow. Bad judgement.

When they found out it was an act and not a real fight some of the people laughed it off, some said it scared the hell out of them, some thought it was the best thing they ever saw and some haven't talked to me since. Two families even pulled out and are looking for another Pack. Now these are people that my wife and I are good friends with and have known each other for along time. I know now how stupid it was but I'm a little baffled that a few of these people are writing me off (their still talking to my wife though).

No offense, but I can understand their reaction.
My kids are sacred to me, and I am picky about whom I entrust them to.
I don't expose my young kids to movie violence yet, because they are not yet at an age where they can place it into context, and it will scare and confuse them.
I also don't watch K1 or other fighting events when they are watching tv. They're 2 and 4 years old, and not at an age where they understand the difference between sports and fighting. All they see is grown-ups hurting each other on purpose.

So from their point of view: if you thought that what you did was appropriate / funny then, what else will you think off? And they are asking themselves : 'Do I really want to trust this weirdo with my kids' and their answer is no. To be honest, I could make that same decision, depending on the circumstances. You'd do that in front of my kids and I would be royally pissed off too.
 

sparky12

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Hind sight being 20 20, I think if presented in a different way this could have been a great lesson to all. If you had said something before hand like, Ok everybody gather around and we will show you how they do this on tv, and shown them the blood packs and all it would have helped them understand that the tv violence isn't real and would have had a very positive effect.
Regards, Don
 

MA-Caver

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A demo like this is fine, particularly one that is set up like the way you described ... for adults, emotionally they can handle the drama/trauma. Kids... ehhh... yeah not the smartest thing. If you had it previously set up with the kids ... simply tell two or three of them beforehand and let nature take it's course (shhh dude, dont' tell anyone there's going to be a cool fight on stage later, no it's fake but should be cool)... mentally they'll be psyched up for it... but NOT traumatized because they've convinced themselves it's fake... just like on their favorite games and TV shows.

We live in a world where we're brainwashed with the words TERROR, VIOLENCE and are slowly becoming conditioned to ignore or accept it and (sadly) even enjoy it.

I was part of a summer camp where I was supposed to "kidnap" one of the kids (pre-arranged with the kid and police and counselors, etc). I nabbed the kid in front of the others, "threw him into the car" drove off and cops started chasing me around the city park block... in full sight (lights going full tilt bla bla bla). I was allow myself to be boxed in by two cars and jump out and get arrested.
Well I went for realism... went around the block as planned, got boxed in, then jumped out of the car, vaulted the hood when approached by the officer, ran and their cop instincts kicked in and whoo boy, got knocked down and ... well hey, I'm a kidnapper of a child how am I going to hold up in prison... right, not going... peacefully... I resisted their efforts to cuff me... that got them really going! :lol: Damned near broke my arm.

Later things were explained to the kids about not going with strangers and etc. etc. etc. All the while I sat in the back seat with TOO tight cuffs behind my back waiting... on the radio the "back-up units" were still reeling from it all. One comment was "I...I didn't e-expect it to be that REAL!"

Point is the kids were explained later after it all and I was venerated by the arresting officer (who could sign) and given a hug by the guy to show that I'm not really a bad guy.

Your stint... yeah I agree.. could've been scripted a bit better. :D

Don't sweat it. CYS
 

Cirdan

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My girlfriend once came to watch a JJ class and when the instructor demonstrated a hip throw on me (full speed) she screamed loudly and thought I was hurt. It didn`t matter that she watches a lot of boxing and contact sports on tv, she was suprised and bleeted like a scared sheep. Now if this had been done in front of any of the kids who have been to the dojo a few times they would all have been like "wow, cool, do it again!"

My guess is that you scared the parents way more than the kids and the kids were crying because they felt their patents were scared. It is a natural reaction to percived danger. With all the strange ideas and fear even the general public (like parents) have about the arts it takes very little to bring them out of their comfort zone.

I think they should thank you, not only for the fun but the reminder that you train martial arts not patty cake.
Might even suggest we do something similar ourselves this summer camp....
 

Stac3y

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Hind sight being 20 20, I think if presented in a different way this could have been a great lesson to all. If you had said something before hand like, Ok everybody gather around and we will show you how they do this on tv, and shown them the blood packs and all it would have helped them understand that the tv violence isn't real and would have had a very positive effect.
Regards, Don

I agree with Don. It could have been a learning experience if it was set up beforehand; done this way, it was potentially traumatic for the kids. Though I guess it was a learning experience for you. Seriously, you're lucky nobody tried to intervene and got hurt, or called the police and had you hauled off for causing a public disturbance. I would have pulled my boys out of that pack. (Though I won't actually let my guys join the BSA anyhow due to their discrimination against gay people and atheists. But that's a whole other issue, and I don't want to get into it.)
 

Jade Tigress

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I'm sorry Tim, but I really do think it's great. I would have LOVED to see it and my son would have thought it was da bomb! He's older now, but even as a little tyke he would have been hyped over it. Shocked at first maybe, but after clarifying he would have thought it was the best thing ever.

Ya know, this is a learning experience parents can use. Remember, not everything you see on TV or in the movies is real. It can be made to look very real, but that doesn't mean it is.

You lived, you learned Tim. Problems come when we don't learn from our mistakes. You could always send out a written apology to all the attendees and offer to put on another demonstration showing all the kids the "tricks of trade".

Thanks for being brave and humble enough to share it with us. :asian:
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Here I thought you were going to say that you resheathed your katana through your left forearm or some other blade related accident.

Had you played the cheesy kung fu movie music and been dressed in gis an been yelling 'hyah!!' and making Bruce Lee noises, opening the act with a gong, you might have had a better overall response.

Daniel
 

kaizasosei

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That really is a case of poor judgement. Especially kids will get very frightened but you could easily scare adults the same.. the fake blood is even more shocking. Oh my god, what Were you thinking..
Hope you can still patch things up nicely and laugh about it later.

The reason it is so scary is because the kids, for example, are much smaller. You have to imagine what you look like to them. How they perceive you. Then there's the fact that you have to be in total mental control to give them security. If you are fighting and having to take up an aggressive stance, it not only makes them feel very frightened, but they won't know who's side to take, if there even is a side therefore their instinct tells them to 'get away from the madmen'.
Cool experiment however, all's well that ends well.







j
 

CoryKS

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One thing I've learned from playing practical jokes on my son is to make it obviously fake so he can enjoy it. Probably should have done without the fake blood and tone down the verbal assault. Some pratfalls when one of you got hit would go over well with kids that age, or just a straight up demonstration if you are hoping to recruit some of them. Young kids really hate the idea of someone being hurt, and especially someone they know and love.

Actually, that goes for grownups too. Went to a Metallica concert a few years back, and they had rigged a stunt where the set appeared to go haywire. It ended with a stuntman falling through the scaffolding and dangling from a rope while engulfed in flames. It was very well choreographed, and what made it more plausible was that Hetfield actually had burned himself on the pyrotechnics years before. Some people were crying, some alternated between "That was SO cool!... It was fake right?... Oh, man..." I found myself unable to fully enjoy the rest of the show after that.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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We brought some fake blood hits from work and agreed to use some good contact. We set it up where he would start a verbal confrontation with me at the podium after the awards were handed out and from there we would get it on.

The actual "violence" lasted only a few seconds but the reaction from everyone was way beyond what I expected. There was screaming and kids crying. This thing just totaly backfired on me.
Perhaps the verbal assault should have been limited to:

'Your chocolate is in my peanutbutter!'
'Your peanutbutter is in my chocolate!'

Roll the kung fu fighting tape and do some well coreographed moves, all culminating in the two of you eating a peanutbutter cup and the subsequent cecation of hostility upon realizing the great taste.

Daniel
 

CoryKS

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Perhaps the verbal assault should have been limited to:

'Your chocolate is in my peanutbutter!'
'Your peanutbutter is in my chocolate!'

Roll the kung fu fighting tape and do some well coreographed moves, all culminating in the two of you eating a peanutbutter cup and the subsequent cecation of hostility upon realizing the great taste.

Daniel

I'm stealing that if I'm ever tasked with setting up a demo for kids. You have a good feel for the target demographic.
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Tames D

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They're 2 and 4 years old, and not at an age where they understand the difference between sports and fighting. All they see is grown-ups hurting each other on purpose.
quote]

I understand what your saying and I would'nt have done this in the presence of 2 and 4 year olds. These kids are 9 and 10. But still poor judgement on my part.
 
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Tames D

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I'm sorry Tim, but I really do think it's great. I would have LOVED to see it and my son would have thought it was da bomb! He's older now, but even as a little tyke he would have been hyped over it. Shocked at first maybe, but after clarifying he would have thought it was the best thing ever.

Ya know, this is a learning experience parents can use. Remember, not everything you see on TV or in the movies is real. It can be made to look very real, but that doesn't mean it is.

You lived, you learned Tim. Problems come when we don't learn from our mistakes. You could always send out a written apology to all the attendees and offer to put on another demonstration showing all the kids the "tricks of trade".

Thanks for being brave and humble enough to share it with us. :asian:

Aw Pam. You really do understand the little child inside the man
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. Still your goofball after this fiasco?
 
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