Do you feel this is a problem?


Master Black Belt
Mar 24, 2002
Reaction score
Effingham, Illinois
My schools is located inside of a health club. Which is across the street from the local ATA school. The past couple of days, they have had several students come over and watch while they wait for their class to start. Would I be wrong in telling them they can't watch, or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill. The students coming over are around the age of 10-12 and white belts. I don't mind if they are not spying on me. But I do have a problem if they were told to come spy. Thought about going over there and watching them.
Bob :asian:
They may like what they see, and join your class.I would not worry about it, but welcome it. I think over the last 2000 years its all been done. There are no secret techniques or mistical bull s*** to hid. So If you have faith in your system and faith in your teaching abilities, I'd let them watch. As long as it does not effect or distract your students. Some people do not like to be watched while training and are insecure about it. Kids tend to be easly distracted by other kids, or anything that happens to go by a window. So as long as it does not effect your class, I think its all right. But if they are taking notes and drawing diagrams and reporting back to there teacher, then I would go talk to him or her and see whats up. But its sounds like harmless curiousity at this point.
Your friend in the arts, Redfive
Kill a few of them, wound a few more so they can go back and warn the others.

That should take care of the problem.
Originally posted by Kempojujutsu

...... The students coming over are around the age of 10-12 and white belts. I don't mind if they are not spying on me. But I do have a problem if they were told to come spy. Thought about going over there and watching them.
Bob :asian:

You are worried over 10-12 yrs spying on you? Are you serious?

They are just a bunch of curious kids! Invite them with open arms!

Every once in a while I get people that watch.

Basically in Japan proper dojo etiquette dictates that you ask in advance to watch and just don't "pop in". Even if you don't ask in advance you should still ask to watch when you enter................otherwise it is kind of like they are "checking you out" and is really disrespectful.
When I am teaching at the Budokan it is a closed door session so people are not allowed to just poke their head in and gawk while we train.
I let people watch but actually make them work out too. What I teach can't always been understood from across the should be felt. How does the saying go....."feeling is believing"....
Why don't you ask them to jump right in and try a class for free. They might join up. After all it's your dojo, your class, your the teacher...........take control of the situation.
May be put a limit on how many at a time

If they are being direspectful then yes
ask them to go
but they maybe your next students
or intraduse U to your next students
thru word of mouth.
Maybe I will ask them to join in. God knows the crap ATA is teaching them will only get them hurt.
not unless they're 18 or you have parental consent. otherwise, you can be held liable.
Originally posted by Kempojujutsu

Maybe I will ask them to join in. God knows the crap ATA is teaching them will only get them hurt.

I am sorry I don't know what ATA is.
American Taekwondo Association (I think).

One of the most infamous politically oriented TKD belt mill associations ever. I have known several TKD blackbelts from the ATA who were "demoted" for various reasons including, but not limited to, refusing to open schools, failing to maintain tournament win records, etc.

Really bad bunch in general, but I have also known some really talented MAists within their ranks.
I took some shutokan karate years ago. The classes were held in an elementary school's cafeteria. One side had windows open to a main hallway. Wasn't a huge deal since it was after the school's hours, but it did draw gawkers occaisionally. The sensei's solution was to ask them loudly if they'd care to join the class in the workout.

I never saw anyone say yes. (They just hightailed it outta there once she fixed her attention on them.)
Bob, I have run my school out of health clubs in the past, onlookers are common and harmless. Many times it has been a martial artists watching and theres nothing wrong with that, but if they are disrespectful or disruptive ya ask them to leave. I had one jackass stand on the side and loudly talk to one of my students (who was in street clothes so the guy didnt know it was one of my students) about how he could kick the *** of some of my toughest students. I asked him to join and put him with my most senior belt making him hold the pad for my student.... he left after just a few kicks saying he had to go to the bathroom and never returned. It kind of helped that I gave him my flimsiest kick shield and told him to stand with his feet together....

I've heard some interesting things about ATA.

Mr. Rousselot, I know you don't really like me but if I came over to Japan would I be able to take a class or 2 at your Dojo while I'm there? I'm going on a trip to various countries Starting December 25th for a couple of months. If not I'll understand.

Damian Mavis
Honour TKD
I don't think it cinstitutes a problem unless, like everyone else has said, they are being disruptive, or disrespectful. My school has a large open window in our main room, from time to time we get people who stop to watch a bit. Usually we motion for them to come in, or ignore them. But most will watch for a bit, thne come in and ask questions about the school, so it turns out in our favor quite often.

One of the local Wing-Chun sifus would come and have a chinwag with my sifu (in Cantonese).

If he started looking too hard at the training my sifu would tell him to get lost.

I asked him if this was because the WC guy was spying.

He said 'What makes you think he doesn't know the stuff I am teaching you? I kick him out because he comes to eye up the girls.'
If they are there to hassle your students or try to dissuade other health club members from joining, then by all means, get them out of there. If they are curious, hey, ask 'em to join you.
Funny story...I was teaching a lesson a few months ago, working the 1-2. (left jab, right cross). This putz comes in off the street and tells me, right in front of my students and God and everybody, that I needed to "take the weight out of my shoulders," that I was "too tense." As this most assuredly is not the case, I told him simply, "Run," and advanced. He said, "What?" and I repeated, "Run." Self-preservation kicked in, and he ran. He forgot his shoes, which I threw into the parking lot.
Thus always to dojo crashers. What kind a two-bit McDojo do they take us for, eh?

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