Students that try to counter you…

Holmejr

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So, You’re trying to show an individual or a group a particular technique and there is always that one or two students that have to turn it into a show of dominance. You try to explain that, for the sake of learning, please don’t counter and that 2) there will be plenty of opportunities to counter later and 3) We’re moving at a fraction of the speed of the actual technique. But Nooooo, they just can’t help themselves. Jeez! Sometimes Ya feel like just wacking the crap out of them…
 
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geezer

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I think we've all had that experience. It's probably best just to demonstrate with people who you know are more cooperative.
I remember a long time back working with one guy in particular that I knew had previously been an assistant instructor under another instructor in the same organization, so I thought he'd be a good person to work with.

I asked him to help me demo a move and he pulled that stuff you describe, deliberately trying to counter my move, hard, saying "So, what're ya gonna do if I do thi...?" He never finished the sentence, since my reflexes kicked in and he went down flat on his back. No biggie, but kinda knocked the wind outta him.

When I helped him up he gasped that I'd tried to break his back and he was going to sue. He didn't. But he left the school after making a huge scene and even called the head of our association to complain. He just got himself kicked out of the whole organization.

So the lesson I learned was to pick your demo partners carefully or they can really ruin the whole class. ;)
 
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Holmejr

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When I helped him up he gasped that I'd tried to break his back and he was going to sue. He didn't.
Haha, that why we have signed release of liability!! Good one.
 

Flying Crane

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Haha, that why we have signed release of liability!! Good one.
A release of liability is a good standard practice, but will not prevent a successful law suit if actual liability exists. And a person can always file a law suit that could be thrown out if liability cannot he reasonably proven, but can cost you a ton of money to defend, even if you win and/or simply get it tossed out. There is no assumption that you can recover those costs from the plaintiff. If you are teaching, you need to carry liability insurance. Don’t fool yourself into thinking a liability waiver is good enough. It is not.
 

Xue Sheng

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I think we've all had that experience. It's probably best just to demonstrate with people who you know are more cooperative.
I remember a long time back working with one guy in particular that I knew had previously been an assistant instructor under another instructor in the same organization, so I thought he'd be a good person to work with.

I asked him to help me demo a move and he pulled that stuff you describe, deliberately trying to counter my move, hard, saying "So, what're ya gonna do if I do thi...?" He never finished the sentence, since my reflexes kicked in and he went down flat on his back. No biggie, but kinda knocked the wind outta him.

When I helped him up he gasped that I'd tried to break his back and he was going to sue. He didn't. But he left the school after making a huge scene and even called the head of our association to complain. He just got himself kicked out of the whole organization.

So the lesson I learned was to pick your demo partners carefully or they can really ruin the whole class. ;)
Way back in my jiu-jítsu days the sensei had an assistant instructor (who had recently won a golden gloves match) who continually did that for everything the sensei was trying to show us. The sensei took it all calmly and in stride. We always ended the class sparing. The sensei said he felt like sparing today and asked the assistant instructor if he cared to join him. The guy happily jumped up with some snide remark.

The guy spent the next few minutes flying through the air, slamming into the floor (we had no mats back in the early 70s) getting up getting knocked down. Until the sensei thanked him for the match.

A few weeks later the guy tried a repeat performance and got kicked out of the school
 

lklawson

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I title this: "Somebody Gets Hurt."

Occasionally, I have to tell this story because sometimes in class, someone wants to either try to actively "counter" or starts asking about counters instead of doing the drill. Then I say, "yes, you could and the end result is 'somebody gets hurt'."

The story goes like this.

Years ago, I was invited to an Olympic fencing salle to teach a Bowie Knife seminar. We were doing some generic thrust, parry, ripost drill when one of my assistants called me over to a seminar student he was working with. The student asked, "but what if instead of getting cut/stabbed on the ripost, the person initiating the attack does X instead?" I replied, "well, let's take a look at that." I expected it to go just like the drill only with the student doing X at the end of the phrase and we'd explore that together. Instead the student did Y in the middle of the phrase. Now, don't ask me what it was. I don't remember. And don't ask me what I did because I never knew at the time, I just reacted as I had trained. But what I know is that we started off facing each other, and thrust, parry, Y (whatever Y was) and then he was sliding across the floor and I'm facing the opposite direction, from behind him, watching him slide. My assistant told me that when the student did Y, I parried, stabbed him (with the blunt trainer), then threw him. Anyway, he slid across the floor on his face, threw out his back, was unable to finish the class that he'd paid for, and had to be carried down the stairs while his wife gently harassed him for letting his testosterone get the better of him.

I end the story with this admonition: Yes, there's always a response or counter to everything. There's a counter to a counter to a counter to a counter, ad inifinitum. And what is means is, the first person to make a mistake gets hurt. What happens when you change the drill in the middle instead of taking the drill for a teaching tool? Somebody gets hurt. Either you or me, but one of us. Now I don't want to hurt you and I hope you don't want to hurt me. So why don't we just do the drill instead?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Buka

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We used to call it a case of the kitten trying to F the cat. It always ended up an embarrassment for the for the poor kitty, a non emotional reaction from the cat, but it was like cat nip for the other students as they knew sparring night was coming on Thursday.

Poor kitty, his head stuck in a mayonnaise jar, pondering "what the hell was I thinking?"
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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If we're doing storytime: I got my leg broke "countering" a technique. I was like 13/14, my brother was preparing for his blackbelt test and having trouble with a specific takedown. It was a jumping sideways scissorkick kind of, basically you run at the person, jump and land one heel on their stomach while the other hand goes under their knees, if I'm remembering it right. He keeps trying but can't get the force to take me down.

Our sensei comes along and goes to do it on me to show him, except for whatever reason I tensed and tried to stop it. Not something I normally do, but I guess a man much bigger than you running at you can do that. Anyway, I repositioned my feet to save my balance and keep me from falling...except I fell anyway, and now one of my feet was behind the other one the way that I fell, and my leg broke. I got delayed on my own test (I think jr.black belt or one of the browns), and had trouble doing the technique myself after. It's a bit of a "gutsy" one in that you have to fully commit from when you started, and each time I tried I'd get nervous I'd hurt the other person and not commit fully. Which is even more likely to hurt the uke. So to avoid me hurting someone else, and possibly because my instructor was just happy we never sued, I got a pass on learning that one specific technique.

So yeah, even when you don't mean to do it, being pointlessly resistant can result in pain.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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One day my teacher taught a CMA class in Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. He used me as his demo partner. In one damo, he told me to escape. I escaped not only his 1st attack, I also escaped his 2nd attack. He said, "Try again." This time he gabbed my arm, when I escaped his 1st attack, he pulled me and took me down.

I learned 2 things that day.

1. If I can move back faster than my opponent, even the best fighter in the world won't be able to hurt me.

2. If my opponent grabs on me, even if I move back, I will still pull him into me.

So if I don't want my opponent to escape, I have to grab him. But today, some people just like to push their opponents away instead.
 

geezer

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So if I don't want my opponent to escape, I have to grab him. But today, some people just like to push their opponents away instead.
This concept is important in close range striking arts too!

Once you get a good position (range and angle) you work to keep it! You don't want to shove or punch your opponent back to a distance where he can recover and attack again. We may not like to pull force back into ourselves, but we we train to latch-on and stick with our opponent as he retreats.

Pushing your opponent away is not wise if he is serious about attacking you. You just give him a second chance!


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skribs

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At my school, it's typically an assistant instructor that's the uke for a demonstration. They understand that active compliance is the best way to be a uke in demonstration. When the instructor is going at 30% speed and 5% strength so they can show off the steps of the move, it serves nobody any good in order to try and counter it.
 

Razor

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It can be annoying sometimes, but I think for some people it's less of a competitive thing and more of a testing the waters and seeing how techniques work kind of thing.

That said, I usually try to respond by modifying the technique and using it as a learning opportunity. I also let them know that it is fine to resist (to an extent) but then they have to accept that they may get hurt in a way they were not expecting! Unless you're trying to teach one specific part of a technique it can be useful to show people how to overcome unexpected resistance.
 

drop bear

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I let them.

Counters are a factor of the technique.
 

isshinryuronin

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It was a jumping sideways scissorkick kind of, basically you run at the person, jump and land one heel on their stomach while the other hand goes under their knees
In 1973, I invited Benny Urqueidez (I likely misspelled his last name, as always) to come down to my dojo for a couple of days and put on a seminar. He was at the peak of his amateur, career. One of my students was young, tough, sturdy, solid - a bricklayer by trade - not an easy takedown. Benny was doing some light sparring with him and, out of nowhere, executed a flying scissor takedown. It was perfect and no one got hurt. Benny, IMO, was one of the original MMA guys, before the term was even invented. If he was born 20 years later, we would have seen him in the UFC.
 

hoshin1600

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There are many reasons why the student is being uncooperative with the teacher. He could be very insecure, awkward, inquisitive or just not understanding what his role is supposed to be.
I call it the "what if's" what if I do this and don't let you do the technique?
Sometimes you gotta go with and say ,ok let's try that out and see how that works out for ya.
However, if I have clearly stated, don't do that, and the behavior continues.which it often does with added attitude, then it's disrespectful and you need to FIRE that student on the spot.
Tell them to pack their stuff and be on their way. If they don't listen while working with you, the instructor they certainly won't listen to other students while training and someone is going to get hurt. As the instructor YOU are fully responsible for everyone's safety on the floor.
 

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