Would you accept a challange in your school?

Discussion in 'General' started by Kali Cowboy, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Kali Cowboy

    Kali Cowboy New Member

    Some people need to learn the hard way. I Had a cocky 24 year old Master from a Japanese art attend my class. At the end of the class he challanged me in front of my students. He said he wanted to fight me and show me how good he was, he would not take no for an answer. I did my best to discourage him but it was no use.

    He was using 2 sticks about 1 1/4" x 4 feet or so in length, and spun them in tight sinawali. He only wanted me to use 1 standard length stick, and that is how we started. I was doing OK but he was getting some hard shots in, so I grabed another stick (both of my sticks were 28" x 1 1/2".) I need to tell you here that this fight was with a hockey helmet and hockey gloves for protection. He did not wear the gloves and suffered for his dicission. He also tried to refuse the helmet, but I told him it was a must if he intended to go through with the challange. Good thing, too. His helmet ended up cracked in the forehead area about 20 seconds into the 30 second fight, he may not have survived. Hockey helmets are made to withstand the impact of a frozen hockey puck at 100mph. They are hard to break.

    After the fight he told me that he had never been hit so hard before. He limped away with major leg damage and a headache. I managed to ask his girlfriend (who was there at the fight) for his phone number and I gave him a call the next day to make sure he was OK.

    This was more respect then he showed me.

    My point is, he was wrong go into my school and issue a challange, for any reason! By doing it in front of my students he left me no choice. He would not leave without fighting. He was lucky he walked away. He was young and a fool.

    For the most part - there is not respect in todays generation.

    God Bless,

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  2. Phil Mar Nadela

    Phil Mar Nadela New Member Supporting Member

    Not all of us are bad.

    Although it was foolish of that young man to challenge you and it is was wrong , I disagree with your last statement Kuya (older brother). Not all of the young generation nowadays are disrespectful. I teach the younger students in our school and they are totally respectable young adults. I think it depends on how they are raised.
    Growing up in the philippines, i was taught to always respect my elders. I'm 27 now and i would never challenge anyone even if i am sure of my skills. In my opinion, it's disrespectful to my Guro's and my parents.
    Hopefully that young man learned his lesson and be worthy (healed) enough to join your group.
  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I'm in Sweden still and had time between seminars and thought I would visit. Your thread asks:

    Would you accept a challange in your school?

    I would say NO. It proves nothing, sets a bad example as well as opens you up for a possible law suit. This clown had nothing lose. You had everything to lose.
  4. tellner

    tellner New Member

    Phil and Tim make a very good point. Still, I can see why a reasonable person might accept it. Some people just won't listen to reason and will keep causing trouble. You have to supply a punctuation mark to their run-on sentence if you want to get any peace. Then there's student confidence. Once you strip it away down to the essentials the students are coming to you to learn how to fight. If they don't think you can it can be awfully hard to inspire the confidence they need to progress in what you're teaching them.

    And let's face it. Human beings like to get things Sorted Out. Status and 'face' aren't the only or even the most important things in the world. They are part of what we are. If someone is trying to diminish you it's very human and not entirely unreasonable to put a stop to it. There's a point at which a healthy ego becomes an ego problem. There's also a point at which it shrinks to an unhealthy level. Everyone has limits. The important thing is figuring out what they are and living according to them.

    Of course, the guy making the challenge has the onus. This is doubly true if he's going out of his way to invade someone else's space. The challenged party is perfectly within his rights to demand that it be held at some other time and place or specify weapons, safety equipment and the point at which things will end.
  5. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I think that this is the problem. In my school I teach my people to be martial artists, not warriors. I do have my fighters, but the majority of my students are training for the love of the art. I tell my students to protect themselves at all times and resort to fighting as a last resort. By the information presented in this case the clown wasn't threatening anyone. You ask him to leave, then you tell him, then call the police. In this case it may have made bad situation worse. What if someone was seriously injured? Is someones honor or ego worth losing you home?
  6. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Since when does a "kid" off the street get to be the boss of what goes on in a martial arts school?

    There was an article published in the Wall Street Journal not long ago called "The Most Praised Generation Goes To Work" and it talks about these kids whose parents (or parent, singular) never said no to them, constantly rewarded them and bribed them to do stuff that they should do without being asked (such as homework), and otherwise just let the kids demand whatever they want. The adults never grew a backbone and acted like adults.

    I don't think the young man was necessarily being disrespectful. It sounds like he's done a very good job of learning the behaviour of his elders around him. He is proving that all he has to do is approach them with the demand of "Gimme this cuz I want it NOW," and in return he'll get what he wants handed to him just for the asking.
  7. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Some situations are just unavoidable. The key word being "unavoidable". I would do everything in my power to discourage the situation especially if it was in my place of business and in front of students. You would have much more to lose. And I am not speaking of the fight.

    That being said, you could have refused and called the police. Sure, it may not be the "warriors way" but would have been a commendable approach and risk free one. No matter how you look at it, he was in the wrong and it was witnessed so in the worse case scenario, you had no choice but to physically toss his ass out. As a business owner you have the right to especially if a threat is present.
  8. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    Many times a "challenge" does not involve a fight or violence.
    I've heard it many times in the simple question of does what you are teaching really work.

    It should and a teacher sometimes has to demonstrate that it will.
    Without losing their house, or losing the student.

    It is not malice or bravado on the questioners part.
    They simply NEED to feel it to know and frankly so do I most of the time.

    As to being challenged to a real fight in your own school?
    Tell them to go home or go to jail.
  9. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Understood but it depends on the demeanor of the individual. In this case, there was obvious disrespect and an attempt to prove something.

    If a friendly "exchange" was what he was looking for, there are numerous ways to better approach it.
  10. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    True enough John, I just wanted to point out not all challenges are fights.

    But like I said on the last line, if they really want to fight me then I'm teaching them they can go home or go to jail. :D
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Bill hit's the nail on the head. Go home or go to jail. (ie. call the police) I have no time to indulge someone in their warrior fantasy. I teach, train and spar very, very seriously. In a situation like that you would have everything to lose when they get hurt and nothing to gain. Best move, hit the road bub or have a nice talk with the police. [​IMG] That is the professional appraoch and one that any professional in any field would tell you to take.

    Now if said person wants to become a student and take the time to train and learn properly after awhile then they will get to spar full contact with other students and yes eventually the instructors. That is the way to go about it but in this day and age challenge matches will just get you a lawsuit or worse you will go to jail after someone gets damaged really bad.
  12. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    Yup, and as much as it sucks as a responsible persons we may have to "win" 3 times.

    The street attack. Simple survival is a win here.
    The criminal case. You may have to prove you did the right thing.
    The civil case. You may be sued for doing the right thing.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    At an MMA school, yes. At many other schools, it's to learn to defend themselves. That's different! Refusing to be drawn into a fight is setting a good example.

    As to lawsuits, wasn't it Hee Il Cho who learned this lesson the expen$ive way in the 1970s? A braggart challenges him in his school, he repeatedly declines to fight, the guy keeps taunting him, and eventually he spinning heel kicks him in the jaw, causing (if memory serves, and in 1970-something dollars) $30,000 worth of dental damage that Hee Il Cho ended up paying for? I think it was covered in Black Belt. Mr. VanCise's comment about someone with a "warrior fantasy" is very relevant here.

    That having been said, of course you're right that it's a boost for your students to see you win a fight, and I suspect most instructors in this position are secretlyhoping to be forced to fight.
  14. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Even at an MMA school, they teach a student how to fight but they also teach them to use only the energy needed. MMA schools are very good about teaching manipulation and control. For the ring fighters, it helps conserve their energy in an extended bout. On the street, a fighter can take control of their attacker without using deadly force.
  15. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    ...as winning a fourth time....which is living with the aftermath of all of the above. Just because one can survive all of the above doesn't mean one's history just goes away.

    Especially post-9/11, many people that apply for jobs have to go through some sort of background check. A large majority of people have to go through such a check if they are applying for a good-paying job or applying for a job with a large organization.

    A civil litigation check, a criminal background check, even typing someone's name in Google and looking at what gets returned...these are all common occurrences. And, unfortunately, workplace violence is a very real threat, even in professional environments. Most employers don't look too kindly on people that have a documented background of physical violence. There are some scenarios where employers are required by law to refuse employment to such a person.

    It is up to an individual person to manage their own reputation, but to an extent I think a teacher needs to take some steps to show a student that their choices could have detrimental, long-standing consequences to their lives.
  16. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    The problem here is, it's a bit of a catch 22 situation.

    You are confronted by a young ego who obviously thinks because you teach things in a controlled manner in your class, that he can take you.

    As you know when you teach something in a controlled way you can pick holes in it left, right and centre, do it at full speed and how it is meant to be done in reality then it's a whole new ball game.

    But the young ego is blinkered to this and his ego dictates he has to show you he is better.

    Now you can do the right thing so to speak, get him to leave, call the police etc etc, but this in it's self can add fuel to the fire, he will then go around telling everyone how you chickened out and had to get the police to get him to leave because you where too scared, this in turn can have an effect on your class as some may well see this as a sign of weakness too, after all you are teaching combat techniques that are supposed to see off idiots like this.

    I think how you react all depends on the situation as it arises and the circumstances that surround it, I commend him for giving this young buck a hard lesson in respect and I feel in today's society it is something we should be allowed to do more often, but unfortunelty the law is as they say an ass.

    I remember when I opened my first club back in the early 90's, this one club in particular took great delight in sending their young bucks to try us out at least once a month and everytime they came, they claimed they had never done anything before but yet had the bag full of the proper kit??? During the lesson I would often put the seniors with the begginers in order that they could help them come along in their understanding of the basics.

    Now the seniors wanting to see these new people progress would help them by leaving gaps open for the bigginer to spot, they would inform them that this is what they where doing and ask then to spot the gap and give a gentle tap to the area when recognised. As sure as eggs are eggs these idiots would use this oppertunity to take a cheap shot. Now we have the 3 strikes and your out rule. Once is a mistake, twice you get the benifit of the doubt, three times your ass is grass and I'm the mower attitude comes into play.

    On one occasion we had these three guys from this club come along one night, one of them paired off with my wife (she was not my wife at the time), she was one of our new instructors so she was keen to teach and keen to impress. We where doing some light empty hand sparring and my wife told this young man to look for the gaps and tap them when he seen them. Of course the first gap was shown and POW! he cracked her on the chin, she staggerd back and looked at him in disgust, second gap shown and BANG! another full blown shot goes in, by this time he now has the attention of all the instructors in the room (there was about 5 of us at the time). Gap number three and this time he takes a run up to try to rip her head off, and with a big grin on his face too.

    Well as he picked himself off the floor I said "OK, grappling" (We had some very good Vale Tudo fighters in that club at the time, this young man turned as if to pair off with someone else, I said "No mate, you stay where you are, you are with Lucy" he said "But she is a girl". "Not in my club she is not" I said. I looked at her and gave her the nod that all the seniors knew meant all bets were off. Round one, 30 seconds into it he is turning purple and refuses to tap out, eventually I tell Lucy to release him. Round two, 10 seconds into it again he is turning all the colours of the rainbow and again he is refusing to tap, I leave it a little longer but eventually I have to tell her to release the choke. Round three, I ask her not to use a choke and this guy is trying to look for a way out but I tell him to stay where he is, 20 seconds in to the bout you can hear his elbow start to crunch as he refuses to tap to the armbar Lucy is putting on him.

    "OK, Stick sparring, put your armour on" I shout.

    He don's his own personal armour (bearing in mind he said he has never done anything before) and turns to go with one of the male students, "No, your with Lucy I shout", He is not a happy bunny rabbit at this time. I lean over and tell Lucy "You realise he is going to go all out now to prove a point, OK Fight". About 20 or so seconds in to the first round as he is curled up in the corner in the featal possition I stop the bout.

    "OK, Put on your gloves, hand and legs. Your with me now" I tell him. Round one, he runs at me like a demented lunatic, I side step him, give him a gentle tap of the back of the head as he rushes past and he smacks in to the wall. For three rounds I constantly kick him in the right leg, jab him to the face and keep making him run into the wall.

    We end the class and on his way out he mentiones say's to me "That Lucy is really good and very tough". "She would be" I said "After all she is world Eskrima Champion, A full member of the Black Eagle Society (Similar to Dog Brothers), she has done Muay Thai for many years and is also British Vale Tudo Champion". "You never told me that" he said. "You never asked" I replied "Oh! and by the way, tell your instructor (I mentioned his name) to stop sending you guys, we are getting tired of kicking your asses, and if it happens again tell him I am comming to his club to do the same to him". This was the last instance of this instructor sending his guys, it had gone on for 6 years, and all of them where always sent away with their tail between their legs.

    If we had not constantly stood up to these guys then this instructor would have used this to tell people they should be training with him and not me. So really it all depends on the situation and the circumstances surrounding them. Over those years I was often publicly challenged by other schools and I always accepted, most of the time the went quiet and scuttered away but those that did not, got the message that I would not put up with their ego building. The word eventually got round that we did not suffer fools lightly and thankfully it never really happens anymore.

    In short, I think my signature at the bottom say's how I think and deal with things.

    Best regards

  17. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    I like your way of handling the "challengers", we've had a few guys like that in the past. Never from other schools but needing the same sort of hospitality.
    However there is a big difference between someone that can be tuned up and will behave and some one that really wants to fight.
    But that's the beauty of "go home or go to jail", once they decide to go to jail they don't get to leave till the police get there.:D
  18. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge


    All of you have great points. Especially when it comes to the intention behind the challenge and the demeanor..... Up until my early 20's I would not ever pass up a single challenge. But at that age, you do not think about the possible negative repercussions of your actions. My father always wondered how I kept from ending up dead or in prison. It was nearly an everyday occurence. My honest but stupid response was, "But I didn't start it........." My happy go lucky, passive-aggressive personality and live for today attitude could very well have been my demise. After nearly losing my life a couple dozen times it made me realize how fargile life really is.

    Another thing my father always used to tell me was, " one of these days you are going to meet someone you just can't beat." It happend durring my first year of college when I met a little guy from Sarawak that became my first Silat & Kuntao instructor. A humble, passive and harmless looking dude. He really took it easy on me and I knew it. I wish every bullheaded person would get a freindly wake up call like I did, to make them see the light. It taught me to be easy on those young guys that are just starting in MMA's that just want to brawl with very little experience, technique or concern for their training pertners, opponents or other people in general..

    I think what Stephen says is very true as well, " students often convey the temperment of their intstructor." Attitude toward others has nothing to do with tellent and determination. He actually displayed compassion by insisting upon the head gear.

    For a combination of reasons, I beleive in trainig hard and always preparing for conflict, but avoiding it if at all possible. I could care less about what people say. The world is full of jealousy, greed, self indulgence, arrogance and deceit. Knowing this, I rarely even give things like that even a second thought. Especially with my love of combative systems. People practicing systems like we all do, can be in big time $#!T if we do what we are all trained to do. So unless someone is threatening my family, friends or my self physically I don't take much creed in it. I have a couple of old freinds that I goof off with and it's duelling enough. The neighbor's think we're nuts and no body is going to get sued or go to jail when they get hurt. And it's a hilarious to hear your self yalp on a camcorder phone when you get smacked with a stick or get shot with a potato gun. So I think duelling your friends is the safest and most fun way to cope with your own competitive mechanisms.

    Sun-Tzu, "To win without fighting is best."

    God Bless, Mike
  19. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Nope ...I would not accept a challenge. One has to have a dueling mentality and the willingness to prove a point, I posses neither nor do I wish to. If someone confronts me with a challenge my survival instinct will kick in as it has in the past and then unfortunately all bets are off. Some people can play by rules, some love rules, I unfortunately do not have that type of wiring. It comes down to play and reality. When I feel threatened I will react and my reaction does not come with rules attached, dueling will not happen, fighting will not take place, what the outcome will be will not be pretty and NO I do not worry about incarceration (never have) or lawsuits, too have those thoughts plague your mind in a realm of combat will get your brains served to you on a silver platter. So NO I will not accept a challenge.

    Many people disagree with my stance and that's okay but remember we are all made up of our past experiences and shaped by the world we have survived, my trail shaped me towards the attitude of "don't tread on me".

    As the great Mark Twain once said:

    "I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him."
    - Mark Twain
  20. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    When I used to teach on base, I would always have people come in and challenge me from time to time. My response would be, " if we are to fight, I will send my kid students home and my adult senior students would close the doors and not let anyone in or out until one of us would say uncle or knocked out... That usually would put an end to any challenges rather quickly..

    There was a time when an instructor from a Korean art wanted to fight me at all times.. I ignored him for years until one day he came up to me while at a tourney and told me that he was going to fight me.. I told him ok, but I am going to fight filipino style, the other instructor said what does this matter and I will fight you any way.. I said ok, and reached into my pocket and showed him my spyderco civilian.. That was the last time he challenged me, in fact, it was the last time I saw him

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