How do YOU teach control?

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
I'm curious how others teach control. I have a student who just will/can not control themselves on a regular basis. Some days are better then others. I have gotten several complaints from other parents saying that this particular student is out to hurt people.

Now, this is not a bully type kid in fact he is an intravert. Problem with socializing in his age group (very intelligent 12yr old).

I have addressed the class as a whole about the importance of making contact but not doing damage to your partner. I have pulled him aside quietly and addressed his lack of control. I have changed his workout partners to those older and bigger.

The other night I lost it, raised my voice and reiterated the instructions to be careful on leg kicks after I watched him side kick a kid in the knee as hard as he could. I pulled him off the mat and sat him in a chair to think about it. I was not very pleasant about it.

His father and his older brother both study with me as well and all though they train vigorously they do not share the control problem. I feel it probably stems from him trying to outdo others so that he can be accepted into "the group", but he is already accepted and just refuses to see it.

I have a sneeking suspicion that this incident will cause him and possibly his family to quite and I am at a loss, so I ask how do YOU teach control?
 

Bodhisattva

Blue Belt
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
263
Reaction score
16
Location
St. Louis MO
I have a sneeking suspicion that this incident will cause him and possibly his family to quite and I am at a loss, so I ask how do YOU teach control?


If they quit let them go.

You create a culture at the gym. This culture is the understandings about "what we do here" and "how we do it."

And people who refuse to understand that are not worth the money they are paying.

If they are possibly injurious, and won't stop, they need asked to leave.
 

stickarts

Senior Master
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
3,902
Reaction score
60
Location
middletown, CT USA
I don't think there is one answer for every person. Some students responded after I sat them down in the office and had a heart to heart talk, some I had do their katas very slow and controlled over and over and focused on control, one person I had stand close to a wall and throw punches and practice control by coming as close to the wall as possible without hitting it. If I think there is an attitude issue that won't resolve I recommend other schools to them if they don't immediately improve.
If this student is becoming a liability to you then their quitting is no loss to you.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,507
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Northern VA
Honestly, this isn't a general problem. If you had lots of students with problems, you'd need help teaching control. You've got one kid who DOES have control; he's choosing to hurt people.

You need to get to the bottom of this -- or get rid of the kid before he causes serious injury to someone.
 

hkfuie

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
371
Reaction score
23
Location
USA
Some good suggestions above. In the past, this is how I dealt with a similar situation:

I had a kid once and his mom thought it was so cute that he hurt other kids. She just smiled and lifted up her hands like, "oh, well, what can be done, he's just so powerful."

I explained to the entire class that part of being an expert at martial arts is expert control, being able to control just how hard or soft you hit. Then I talked to the kid and his mom privately telling her I would not allow him to partner with anyone until he developed control, it's a privilege, yada, yada...Turns out she was bringing him to my class on the recommendation of a psychologist.

I did not allow him to participate in partner activities and I let him know he'd be hitting air until he convinced me he was responsible enough to do so safely. And then I had him partner with ME so I knew how hard he was hitting. That means he got a partner (me) for a couple of times and then he was hitting air while I helped other students.

Everyone in class gets it except that one kid and while I'm telling everyone about control, they are hearing that I am going to take care of the situation, then they see me do it.

I was lucky that the kid decided he really could control himself and his mom was OK with it. I have had a couple instances when I was just getting good behavior from a student and suddenly parent doesn't want kid to come to class anymore.

Oh, well. You do what you can. :) It turns out how it turns out, but it will resolve itself one way or the other.

About him not seeing that he is part of the group? That I don't know about...I am curious to hear what happens for you in this situation...
 

newy085

Yellow Belt
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
Queensland Australia
I had an issue with one of the younger students in the club, and I followed pretty closely to what hkfuie has done. The class discussion, then I pulled him aside and like above his mum was really proud how he had one every fight at school (which I found out later, he started all of).

So I pulled him out of partner drills and his mum wasn't happy. She stayed on though and after a couple of weeks I had him doing partner work, but with a 19yo brown belt. It was only target work, where the other person was stationary, because I wanted to see if he had learned anything. Needless to say he hit the student as hard as he could. Not much of a proble for the brown belt, but if it was a younger student it would of been bad.

So I walked up and said, "Alright its Shane's turn to hit you as hard as he can, dont move". His eyes almost fell out of his head. I think he was just so used to people not fighting back he never had to deal with the thought of being hit before. I gave the brown belt a wink, which meant scare him, don't hurt him. Show he came in as hard and as fast as he could, and pulled up in front of his nose. After that I pulled him out and had another talk, his attitude changed immensly. For the next few weeks he was really good, then all of a sudden he left.

I never like to admit it, because I try to treat all students equally, but I was glad to see him go.
 

hkfuie

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
371
Reaction score
23
Location
USA
Yeah, Newy, I hate to admit that, too. But some people are just a bad fit for my class. They can go somewhere else where they may get reinforcement for their world view.

:)
 
F

foggymorning162

Guest
We have a similar student now he is on a zero tolerance plan. You act up you leave. But I haven't seen him in a couple weeks so maybe that's a good thing. Sorry but I agree sometimes they just don't work out.

Back on thread though have you spoken with the parent whom you said was also a student about his control issue? If you haven't lost him as a student try complimenting others about their control for him to hear that way if he is just looking for approval he will see the way to get it is through control not power. Depending on how you like to teach there are lots of different methods to teach people how hard they are hitting someone mentioned the brick wall. Also mentioned is the opponent who strikes back with the same force or even just the threat of it works for some. I have personally with younger kids used a whoopie cushion it requires mental control as well as physical because kids just want to hear the sound. There are some new products out pads with squeakers in them some can be hand held some strap onto a wavemaster and they just came out with new ones that you wear (chest and head) you can try drills with those the object being to make contact without making it squeak.
 
OP
J

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
Thanks All. I should see the older brother and father tonight. We'll see how it goes. I have tried in the past the majority of "teaching methods" mentioned above. If I haven't lost them I think I will limit his practice in class to his older brother. I will of course go over the reasons for good control privatel as well as discussing in class yada yada yada and that whole bit yet again. I think if that doesn't work I'm going to suggest that they all attend the adult class with their father and again pair up the "offender" with his dad and see how that goes. Thanks again for all your input I will keep you informed of how it goes down.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,507
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Northern VA
Thanks All. I should see the older brother and father tonight. We'll see how it goes. I have tried in the past the majority of "teaching methods" mentioned above. If I haven't lost them I think I will limit his practice in class to his older brother. I will of course go over the reasons for good control privatel as well as discussing in class yada yada yada and that whole bit yet again. I think if that doesn't work I'm going to suggest that they all attend the adult class with their father and again pair up the "offender" with his dad and see how that goes. Thanks again for all your input I will keep you informed of how it goes down.
I wouldn't pair 'em up within the family like that. Based on what you've said so far, I think there's already something going on with the kid; you don't want to throw family dynamics in on top of that!

If he can exercise control sometimes, but not others, I'd look to what's going on in each circumstance. Is he controlling himself only with those who can hit him back? Or is it more dependent on what he's bringing in the door with him on a given day? Does he need a better outlet for frustration -- or is he being bullied and taking it out on folks when he can? Or is he just a kid who's bouncing around all the time anyway? If so, maybe on his more scattered days, he needs to train on pads and bags and forms, not partner exercises.
 

Lynne

Master of Arts
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,571
Reaction score
30
Location
Northeast, USA
JTK,

There have been cases where our Sa Ba Nim has said, "if someone kicks you, kick them back." He was referring to out-of-control people making contact when they aren't supposed to. He was giving us permission to hit back. An example would be if we are doing one-on-one kicking where we exchange kicks as fast as we can but make no contact. I suppose the parents may not like the scenario but I see my Sa Ba Nim's point.

We have one teen boy who is not all there (I don't know how to be politically correct with that - I'm not a mental health professional). I feel he has a learning problem for certain but he also has a sneaky mean streak. He will keep hurting someone until an instructor spots him and gets on his case. An example was our last test. He had a younger white belt for a partner and they were doing hand combinations. The teen kept sidekicking the white belt to the outside of the knee. The kid would buckle everytime he got kicked. We never, ever make contact with those kinds of kicks. Finally, one of the black belt instructors saw what was happening and told him squarely, "Stop kicking him. You could do serious injury."

This guy is always pulling some kind of shenanigan. He routinely kicks white belts when he can get away with it.

He is wild and uncontrolled in sparring. We do make contact in sparring so if he gets better at sparring there could be serious problems if he punches to the face or the temple. I have a feeling he may drop out though. I kind of hope... I just don't think he is going to be more controlled anytime in the near future. I think he has some deep-seated issues.

He's the same kid who had the stinky dobok awhile back and called a female instructor a c&nt. I suspect our Sa Ba Nim doesn't know about some of these things and is probably trying to help the kid.

Personally, I think we'd be better off if the kid wasn't there. He seems to be motivated to hurt other people - not exactly the martial arts spirit. But he is really struggling with material now so he may not last.
 
Last edited:
OP
J

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
JTK,

There have been cases where our Sa Ba Nim has said, "if someone kicks you, kick them back." He was referring to out-of-control people making contact when they aren't supposed to. He was giving us permission to hit back. .

When giving the uke discussion in any given class I always finish with a little story of myself growing up through the ranks. I tell them anytime I was partnered with someone who blasted me I always got up with a smile because I knew it was my turn next. So if you don't want to be blasted then don't do it to others.

As for this case who knows how it will end up, but he skipped class last night.
 

Keith Kirkendall

Yellow Belt
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
You have set the example of control and explained it to the kid. It is his responsibility to learn self-control for training. Why get dragged into court for something that was not your fault, but a student's lack of discipline and refusing to listen and obey instructions? Unless he is willing to conform to class rules, you better let him go...it is not worth possible added troubles.
 

hkfuie

Purple Belt
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
371
Reaction score
23
Location
USA
Guess that's how it ended. Thanks for the update. :)

Mostly that type doesn't last long enough to learn the really cool stuff, anyway. :)
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
733
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
I guess we where talking physical control but you must look at the mental aspect that may be behind the physical also
 
F

foggymorning162

Guest
Got word tonight, kid quite.

Don't know if I should say sorry or congratulations. It makes life easier when you don't have those types in class, but they're also the ones you hope you can reach. What about the Dad and brother? Are they still coming to class?
 
OP
J

JTKenpo

Purple Belt
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
335
Reaction score
9
Location
Seekonk, MA
Don't know if I should say sorry or congratulations. It makes life easier when you don't have those types in class, but they're also the ones you hope you can reach. What about the Dad and brother? Are they still coming to class?

Yeah thats the double edged sword of being a school owner and the teacher. Yup dad and brother going strong.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,507
Reaction score
3,852
Location
Northern VA
Yeah thats the double edged sword of being a school owner and the teacher. Yup dad and brother going strong.
Good.

It may be that the kid'll be more emotionally ready in a year or two, and want to come back.
 
Top