When do you say no?



When do you refuse a student? Is there a certain point where you don't let students join your school? ie - He's too rough, bad reputation, openly homosexual, has an illness? Or is it all about the money?
not sure why you would refuse someone for being homosexual...?

When I was teaching a self defense class in college, it kind of came about gradually. My best friend, who's gay, btw, asked me to teach him some self defense. I did. His roommate saw us, and asked if he could learn too. The next time, the guys next door joined in. Then one of them brought his girlfriend, who brought her sorority sisters, and within a few weeks, I had 25 students.

I did, however, turn people down. I turned down people who didn't listen, people who weren't respectful, and people who didn't have control, and had rotten, confrontational attitudes, and rather than learn control, used the excuse "if they don't block, its their fault if they get hit!" Not when they're white belts and just learning a technique its not. I believe that incident was the one time the phrase "get out or I'll throw you out" came out of my mouth. He looked me up and down, decided I was serious, grabbed his gear bag and left. His girlfriend trained with me til the end of the school year.

I would only throw someone out if they were endangering other students, didn't respect the studio, the instructor, or the other students, or had serious trouble with the law in recent history. If they robbed a store twenty years ago, I'd train them. If they robbed a store last week, forget it. If they ever molested a child or hit a spouse or child, forget it. I'm not giving them more ways to hurt people.

Just my $0.02


If I feel that the prospective student is only out to learn sometime so he can hurt someone I MAY still let him into class Showing him only the bare basics to see if he truly wants to learn the art or if he only wants to learn how to hurt.

I allow handicapped, any color ,race sexual prefrence in my class the only thing I ask is that they want to learn.

When I had a school in N.C. and my first non white student joined I told the class that as soon as he signed the papers he became their brother and they would defend him inand out of class the same as they did everyone else or else they could hit the road. My school at that time was made up of bikers,bar room brawlers, "good old boys", and one cop. NO one left, they all stayed and it was one hell of a group. I miss them even today. OH, he was a boxer and had been looked at more than once by pro football scouts.

Where do I draw the line on who comes into my class , It strictly by gut feeling, on how they will use what I teach.


Geez.. i hope that you would not refuse a student over their sexual preferences.... you may be setting yourself up for lots of trouble..
I can see asking a student to leave for poor behaviour, too agressive.. ect..

That's all ...
I will train anyone that shows adequate desire to learn.

If they end up being without self-discipline, without sufficient control in class, or other undesirable traits and behaviors, I won't "kick them out," but I do stop teaching them anything new. That usually is enough, and they realize pretty quickly that the folks around them are continuing to progress while they are being held back. They either wake up and change, or leave. Either way, the end result is favorable...


:samurai: :tank: :samurai:

When I was in Hawaii (it was tough duty, but someone had to do it) I lived at the bottom of a mountain ridge.
I would walk up the ridge with a prospective student under the guise of getting to know him/her.
If the prospective student was unable to carry on a conversation because he/she was winded (or worse had to stop and catch his/her breath) when we got to the top, I would tell them that they weren't ready to train...I told the prospective student that I would train him/her when he/she could walk the ridge without getting short of breath...
It wasn't a refusal...but it did weed out those who weren't serious.

Also, when in Hawaii, I had a guy come up to me and ask if he could train...I typically interview (conversationally) prospective students...so, I asked his motivation...He said he was afraid of some of the guys in the barracks. So, I took him on as a student for two lessons...one of my other students had injured himself and asked me if I could use acupressure to help with the pain...he lived in the barracks...I said OK and was surprised to find that his roommate was the very same "scared" student that I had just taken on...There was a hangman's noose and a sign that said "die ******" in the noose...when his roommate came for his next lesson, I told him he had a good reason to be scared and I would no longer teach him.

For those students who made it past the mountain and interview, I would invite them to Chinatown and order chickens feet at the DimSum Brunch...if the student refused to TRY it, he/she was gone. I did not expect them to eat it...but I did expect that they would at least try it. I figured anyone who made up his mind before giving something a chance would be very difficult to teach the more esoteric aspects of our art to.

But...other than the racist, I've taken just about everyone.

1 thing to keep in mind...if you reject someone due to gender, sexual preference, religious preference, etc, you may face legal action.

Its one thing if the student causes problems. Its another if its because of a predjudice. At least in the US. I believe Canada is similar.

I believe this also is more applicable to a school, than private instruction.

Personally....I'd drop a student who has no respect for me or his classmates or the dojo. A violent temper, poor control, intimidation tactics, etc would also be cause for dropping.
I do know of a school where a guy was not allowed to join because he was gay. It was not open but when you hear the person talking and saying things like he 'didn't want that person here because it would scare off the parents of little kids with that flaming homo around and you never know what kind of HIV those people have anyway' you know what's up.

Wasn't right but that kind of uglyness is around.
There's different kinds of HIV? Wasn't aware of that... :rolleyes:

And that jackass is a teacher who commands the respect of his students... Just another walking, talking advertisement for some kind of certification of MA teachers... School teachers would get fired for that kind of sh**.
When I say no:

- Bad hygien incl. sickness that can be infectious
- Wont listen to what I say
- Doesn't pay his/her fee
- Doesn't respect others, specially other students
- If he/her was convicted while pratice in my dojo. Depending on what it is.
- Prier conviction, depending on what it was

This is the simple form, and the guide line. An individual estimate will be done from person to person.

On more on the lighter side:

I'd say no:

- When she wants me to bark like a dog (don't ask)
- When Sensei asks if I mind he uses me as uke
- When somebody asks if it hurts ( while i grit my teeth)
- When somebody asks me if I'm sleeping (when I was)

Originally posted by Yari
When I say no:
- If he/her was convicted while pratice in my dojo. Depending on what it is.
- Prier conviction, depending on what it was

A lot of people say this. I wonder though if it is unreasonable for a parent who takes their child to a school to ask the instructor to provide a police conviction check before they take their child there?
Originally posted by GouRonin

A lot of people say this. I wonder though if it is unreasonable for a parent who takes their child to a school to ask the instructor to provide a police conviction check before they take their child there?

Well, maybe we'll be there one day. We had a school teacher that was convicted ealier for child abuse. He got hired another place in the country and started all over again. I think they talked about 11 differnent boys being abused. This guy was a karate teacher too, so it hit the whole MA society hard, because parents had troubles trusting the MA school with their kids...

Originally posted by GouRonin

I wonder though if it is unreasonable for a parent who takes their child to a school to ask the instructor to provide a police conviction check before they take their child there?

I find that quite reasonable, and I would hope that no instructor would be offended by it.
there have been several (i'd say bout 7) people, both teenagers and adults, that have acted so full of themselves, so much like jackasses, that the head instructor "asked" them to leave. one of the students was even teaching at the school. when someone is bringing down the quality of the school and making other students uncomfortable, and just being a regular pain in the ***...it's time to give them the boot. i've never had patience for people who don't take the art seriously, and i don't think anyone here would either.

as for just signing people up, we take pretty much whoever wants to come in and try the stuff out. they don't have to have a strong will to learn even, just a general interest. the rest is really up to you and your instructors. keeping them interested, showing them how good your particular art can be.

we have large and small, old and young (some very old). we have a young student with down syndrome that comes in with his father as well.

you just have to understand that some people just want something to do that will burn off a little fat and give them a chance to get a little physical. and maybe they learn something valuable along the way. then there are people who come in who have a great thrist for the martial arts and really stick with it. be good to them all, because they're the future of your school. whether they just keep it in business by paying tuition, or they help bring in more quality students by teaching.
there's always training one or two students on your own at home or what have you. i had a few requests for training when i was in college. most i turned down flat because sometimes you can just tell when someone wants to just screw around and maybe learn something here and there. that's a waste of my time, especially since i had a lot of work with college to worry about at the time.

there was one person though, a girl on the track team who i met, who asked me to give her some lessons. she actually offered to pay but i declined, that's not what it's about. i could tell right away that she had a genuine interest in learning, but when we had our first lesson i got my biggest surprise. she had more natural talent and ability to understand concepts and principles than anyone i had ever met. she was and is a joy to teach and makes the job of getting a student to his or her best very easy. to this day we are best of friends still, but unfortunatley keep in touch by computer mostly since i graduated. if i could fill a school with people like her, i'd be a very succesful man.
On he prior conviction idea. I had a young man ask if I would take him as a private student, one time. I knew for a fack that he had been in and out of jail several times for weapons charges, assult and battery, etc. We talked for about three hours with my asking some verry pointed questions about hos jail time and what lead up to the arrests. I also got pretty deep into the conversation about his gang activeities.
Turned out he was looking for something to give him the self confidence and self estem to walk away from the gangs. He had just got married and wanted to improve his life. The new job he had ,a move from where he had hung out, and someting to make him feel that he was accomplishing something.
Yes I took him. I watched him progress and learn. I watched him fight his desire to "hang out" and I watched him eventualy move away because the Gangs juyst would not accept his leaveing. He move far away and left no forwarding address with anyone because he didn't want anyone finding himand his family.
WHat I'm trying to say with all this is a person may have a past that looks bad but they may really want to improve. Sometimes it just comes down to a judgement call on OUR part. And I hope we all make the right ones.
I have to say that I will allow anyone to join but not all will be allowed to stay.

Despair Bear