Fainting In Class

AKiddo77

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Hi everyone, thanks in advance for reading this.

Before I explain what happened to me, I'll give you a bit of background: I have a health condition that requires daily medications, periodic MRI scans, frequent blood work. To make a long story short, it prohibits me from doing some of things I used to be able to do prior to my diagnosis. The symptoms are mainly "womens things" and severe headaches...it isn't easy, but I've accepted it--I do what I can to live life to the fullest.

Anywho, in my teens, I trained in TKD and achieved a blue belt before quitting. I began training in TKD 3 months ago 2X a week (testing for yellow belt this Friday), which is what my Master/Sabum Nim recommended due to my condition and being a beginner. Well, TKD actually HELPS me to feel better both physically and mentally. Because I enjoy it so much, I decided to add a third day of training, which required me to go to my Master's "main" dojang on the other side of town from my main dojang. The new added class was tough, but for the first two, I was winded but felt that "rush" from working out...which is FANTASTIC. I love being challenged and I consider myself to have a fighting spirit.

Well, jump to last week. I went to the class at the main dojang, expecting a tough class--no biggie, right? WOW, was I wrong. The warmups were three times as challenging as normal and the list goes on...what bothered me the most was the almost TOO personal attention I got from the instructor/Kyosa Nim. The instructor decided that he was going to focus ENTIRELY on me the whole class, during kicking drills, he worked with me only (never checking on anyone else...weird??) and proceeded to use me as his own punching bag. We were using kicking bags, but I swear he was kicking me, punching me and pushing me with a significant amount of power. When it came time for MY turn to practice kicking, per him, none of my kicks were "correct"--so I had to repeat all of them about three times each. After repeating countless amount of kicks--I started feeling very dizzy. ***It should be mentioned that there were three other white belts in the class (myself included), plus an assortment of other colored belts including black, so I found it very odd that the instructor stayed with me the entire time.*** But I kept going, wanting to "get it right", if you know what I mean.

At the end of the class, we were instructed to all partner up for non-contact sparring. Again, the instructor partnered with me and was sparring so roughly that I fell down with a dizzy spell. Our Sabum Nim at this point came out of his office, took one look at my face and pulled me off the floor, telling me that I needed to rest. I sat on the floor, feeling dizzy but defeated--I didn't like the feeling of not being able to keep up with everyone else. In all of my other classes, I'd never had a problem like this! Anyhow, after a few more minutes, I joined the sparring again, being partnered up again with the instructor. During the sparring, he told me to "relax a bit", which I did. Once I followed his instructions however, he then told me, "relaxing DOES NOT MEAN SLACKING OR SLEEPING!" I'm sorry, but after nearly passing out during the class, being told this (rather sternly and loud enough for others to hear) was just jarring. I didn't know how to react.

Needless to say, I have dropped the 3X/week classes and gone back to 2X weekly. I have an overabundant amount of respect for all of my instructors, but going back to a class where I pass out from being worked so roughly just isn't going to work for me. I also didn't care for the almost "too personal" attention I got from this instructor.

Am I overreacting? When class was complete, the instructor asked if I was okay a couple of times and I said yes. However, thinking back, what bothers me the most was that he pretty much neglected the other students to focus entirely on me. Does any of this seem strange to anyone else??

Sorry for the book-length post and thank you for reading.
 

MJS

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Regardless of your prior background, you took some time off, restarted, and are in essence, a beginner. Let me ask you this: are the instructors at the school away of your medical condition? If not, you should tell them ASAP! If they do know, and they're pushing you this hard, that is wrong IMO. I don't care how traditional an art is, your health is first and foremost! This person you're talking about, the one that was working with you, seems to have some issues that need to be addressed. People should not be abused when they train. Sure, contact is part of the art, but this sounds like he has something to prove.

I would certainly talk to the head inst. about this. As far as not giving it your all in class, again, your medical condition prohibits you from certain things, and of course this is out of your control.

You may also want to make sure that you're hydrated before you start your workout. Don't over drink, but make sure you have something. I'd also drink someone after the class as well. You may also want to eat a piece of fruit prior and/or after the class. The natural sugars in the fruit should help.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

Mike
 
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AKiddo77

AKiddo77

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Regardless of your prior background, you took some time off, restarted, and are in essence, a beginner. Let me ask you this: are the instructors at the school away of your medical condition? If not, you should tell them ASAP! If they do know, and they're pushing you this hard, that is wrong IMO. I don't care how traditional an art is, your health is first and foremost! This person you're talking about, the one that was working with you, seems to have some issues that need to be addressed. People should not be abused when they train. Sure, contact is part of the art, but this sounds like he has something to prove.

I would certainly talk to the head inst. about this. As far as not giving it your all in class, again, your medical condition prohibits you from certain things, and of course this is out of your control.

You may also want to make sure that you're hydrated before you start your workout. Don't over drink, but make sure you have something. I'd also drink someone after the class as well. You may also want to eat a piece of fruit prior and/or after the class. The natural sugars in the fruit should help.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

Mike

Thanks Mike :) I appreciate your insight and tips for staying hydrated...I will try the fruit, that would help, most definitely. I agree completely, even though I've had training before, my body is a "beginner" again, especially when you take my condition into consideration.

I did tell my Sabum Nim when I began training about my condition, but I'm not sure if he's told the other instructors. After my little "episode" (for lack of better terms), I reminded him again of my medical stuff and he told me that he would find ways to work "around/with" my condition. So, I'm crossing my fingers that things get better now...it kind of sucks though because I'm almost afraid of fainting again. Like I said before, I really enjoy a challenge and pushing myself...I guess I just have to be extra careful.

As far as the instructor w/the issues, I have no idea what that was about...I just know that I won't be attending his classes anymore.

I hate thinking this way....but could it have something to do with the fact that I'm a female and I used to be a model? I know it sounds very sexist...and I hope I'm not offending anyone. I'm just looking for answers.
 

Ceicei

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Were the other white belts females? If not, then you might have a point there. In today's world, it would be nice to say that sexism is gone from martial arts, but the reality is that in many places, it still exists.

I am not sure what is up with that other instructor, but he probably didn't know of your situation while he was perhaps trying to make some unspoken points. He either likes having females there and want to push them to the maximum possible knowing that they're just as capable, or that he doesn't like them and wants to drive them out. Had he known of your health situation, would he have handled that class differently?

At this point, I would suggest you stick with the 2x week schedule as it seems to be something you can handle. You might very well become stronger in the future after working out on your 2x week schedule for a while. Perhaps in a year, you can consider trying the 3x week later.

The priority is to take care of yourself and know your limits.

- Ceicei
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Here's my thoughts as a male, an instructor, and a health care provider.

As a male...we are supposed to be moved by striking beauty, not just men of women, but everyone...of Yosemite, the playfully innocent eyes of a baby coming into his/her awareness of humor, a wildflower on the roadside, or a smokin hot blonde. That's part of soulful living, in my eyes. Part of being responsibly masculine is, if you like what you see and the context is not appropriate, keep it to yourself. If the people around you feel threatened by your lechery,...let's just say "your right to swing your arms wildly around your body ends where your neighbors nose begins".

As an instructor/practitioner...for many, the studio is where they go to get their zen on. Light-hearted flirting among agreeable adults is one thing, but the studio should be a safe place for people of all ages and genders to go train, without worrying about the person next to you aspiring to lechery at your cost. If that's what he's doing, shame on him...hopefully, he'll get over it. As an instructor, purely, I have a tendency to push my female students a little harder...they are less likely to be harmed by a fellow female martial arts hobbyist in the streets, than they are an aggressive male who is also larger than they. If he is doing this (aspiring to prepare), good for him. Hopefully, he'll keep it up, perhaps only modifying his approach to ensure participation longevity for his female students.

As a healthcare provider...can't help you on that without knowing more about the dx, prognosis, and ongoing treatment approach. Most people, if you push them hard enough in a training session, will go into oxygen debt and get dizzy, possibly fainting or swooning a bit. As likely with a diagnosis-free 22-year old male professional athlete as it is with a less-conditioned woman battling health concerns. It just takes a longer time and more training stress to get the kid-athlete to that stage.

As a student..I've got a cardiac insufficiency thing that kicks up, and really messes with my head if I don't pace myself (I've passed out in classes before with it, and gotten brutally nauseated as well). It's nobodys responsibility but mine to make sure I'm training within my limits. Set boundaries, internally with your self and externally with others, and keep them.

Keep on kickin',

Dave
 

rutherford

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However, thinking back, what bothers me the most was that he pretty much neglected the other students to focus entirely on me. Does any of this seem strange to anyone else??

Not in the least. Especially if this isn't your main school, an instructor is well spent paying more attention to you, learning the idiosyncrasis in your movement, and giving you personal attention. It's valuable for you, because it gives you lots of instruction. It's valuable for the instructor because they get to know how you move, and perhaps some insights into the training at the school you're at most often.

His regular students he knows well, and they should all know what to be working on. They probably had the hard day yesterday, and need time to assimilate the corrections/new material.

Everybody has days when they're the center of attention. As Kembudo-Kai Kempoka says, with you lies the primary responsible for ensuring that you're not going too hard for your health. It is also your responsibility to communicate with your instructors about any pre-existing conditions you might have.

Have you spoken with your health care team about your interest in the martial arts and the rigors of training?
 
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AKiddo77

AKiddo77

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Hi again everyone, thanks for all of your insight...I wanted to answer a couple of questions...

The other white belts in the class (beside myself) were all male, so I was the only female white belt...there was one other female student who was a colored belt.

In regard to him being tougher on me because I was "new" to his class, I wish I could say that I was the only student that night from the "other" school/class across town. However, there were a couple other students who go to the "other" school, along with myself, who were considered "new" in this instructor's class and they did not get the "one-on-one focus" that I had.

I have no problem with an instructor being "tough" on me...like I said, I love a challenge...but there's a point, when you start to feel uncomfortable--how exactly does one relay this feeling to an instructor, ya know?

My health care team all think that the exercise will be good for me, as long as it doesn't get too anaerobic...which is exactly what happened that night. Hence, I am backing off from the third day for now.

Perhaps I'm overreacting, maybe there was some "weird" stuff going on...but I'm not going to let it sway me any longer. For now, just because one can never be TOO careful when it comes to personal health, I'm sticking to taking classes 2X/week until I get stronger.

Thank you all again, so much! Your thoughts and advice have helped tremendously.
 

MJS

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Thanks Mike :) I appreciate your insight and tips for staying hydrated...I will try the fruit, that would help, most definitely. I agree completely, even though I've had training before, my body is a "beginner" again, especially when you take my condition into consideration.

Glad I could offer some advice. :) Its always good to take it slow when you're first getting back into something.

I did tell my Sabum Nim when I began training about my condition, but I'm not sure if he's told the other instructors. After my little "episode" (for lack of better terms), I reminded him again of my medical stuff and he told me that he would find ways to work "around/with" my condition. So, I'm crossing my fingers that things get better now...it kind of sucks though because I'm almost afraid of fainting again. Like I said before, I really enjoy a challenge and pushing myself...I guess I just have to be extra careful.

I'd make sure that its brought to all of the instructors attention. I'm a bit confused by his reply to you though. IMO, I don't see what there is to work around. Bottom line is, you have a medical issue of a serious nature, therefore, if you need to go at a slower pace, take a break, etc., then you should be able to do it, no questions asked.

As far as the instructor w/the issues, I have no idea what that was about...I just know that I won't be attending his classes anymore.

Yes, I'd avoid that class.

Mike
 
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AKiddo77

AKiddo77

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Hey everyone!!

Just a quick update and I know it's been awhile since I've posted...

To make a long story very short, this situation has been resolved, including everything with my instructor. It was mostly a misunderstanding on my part and definitely a learning experience. All is well, including my health situation...things are better!

Thanks again for listening...your ears and advice have taught and helped me in my MA journey.
 

exile

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To make a long story very short, this situation has been resolved, including everything with my instructor. It was mostly a misunderstanding on my part and definitely a learning experience. All is well, including my health situation...things are better!

Glad to hear that, AKiddo---I remembered reading this thread, and hoping it would work out OK, particularly on the health front. It's nice that sometimes things really do turn out all right in the end.
 
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