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Thread: Dojo Darlings

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    Default Dojo Darlings

    How has it that we in the martial arts have hit the same low levels as the Hockey Mom syndrome. Now a days when you go to tournaments you see kids with chips on their shoulder as big as the iceburg that sunk the Titanic. Parents jump out of their seats and verbally berate referees and yell at their kids to hit him hard when they are sparring. I see something very wrong with this. What is your opinion? And how do we correct it?
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    ...you see kids with chips on their shoulder as big as the iceburg that sunk the Titanic. Parents jump out of their seats and verbally berate referees and yell at their kids to hit him hard when they are sparring. ... And how do we correct it?
    Throw them out.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    How has it that we in the martial arts have hit the same low levels as the Hockey Mom syndrome. Now a days when you go to tournaments you see kids with chips on their shoulder as big as the iceburg that sunk the Titanic. Parents jump out of their seats and verbally berate referees and yell at their kids to hit him hard when they are sparring. I see something very wrong with this. What is your opinion? And how do we correct it?
    I totally agree with what you are saying about both the student and the parent. IMO, I think this starts at the dojo. The instructor needs to instil the proper value system for the student AND the parent. I'm sure we've all been in a dojo that has literally hundreds of trophies on display to illustrate their prowess and success. I have no problem with winning trophies, got a few in my basement too. The problem is when the instructor places too high a value on winning and at all costs. Not only does this create a problem, but I think it also attracts a certain type of parent and student.

    So, first I think the problem needs to be tackled at the school level. The tourney promotor needs to make clear the expectations to each studio owner. Then you can deal with the parents - they have banned parents from hockey games in a lot of places because of this. Finally you can deal with the student. Respect for the judges must be absolute, whether you agree with the decision or not.

    Here is a problem. From a business standpoint, the promoter NEEDS as many competitors and fans as possible to run a profitable tourney. If they start throwing people out will they still be able to survive? I don't think you need to make millions off of a tourney, but unless you have deep pockets you cannot afford to run a losing venture either.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    I would not tolerate this behavior from a student much less their parent. I would offer to take on the parent as a student since they seem to be in need of obtaining some discipline and learning about proper etiquette. If they refuse, then they can hit the road, Jack!

    Perhaps parents attending these tournie's should be required to sign an agreement to set the proper example of how one should behave as a spectator...a "Spectator Expectations Form." It should state that if they act in a manner that is contrary to what is expected of a civilzed human being then they will be banned from future events and their child may be barred from class. They would need to present this form before being allowed entrence to the event and the agreement should be enforced above all else.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Exclamation Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    I would not tolerate this behavior from a student much less their parent. I would offer to take on the parent as a student since they seem to be in need of obtaining some discipline and learning about proper etiquette. If they refuse, then they can hit the road, Jack!

    Perhaps parents attending these tournie's should be required to sign an agreement to set the proper example of how one should behave as a spectator...a "Spectator Expectations Form." It should state that if they act in a manner that is contrary to what is expected of a civilzed human being then they will be banned from future events and their child may be barred from class. They would need to present this form before being allowed entrence to the event and the agreement should be enforced above all else.
    CC...a most excellent idea! (Why didn't I think of this?)
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by SifuDangeRuss View Post
    CC...a most excellent idea! (Why didn't I think of this?)
    Feel free to use it. Just make all checks and money orders out to..... just kidding.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Throw them out.

    Dan C
    Definitive and right to the point answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCrippler
    I would not tolerate this behavior from a student much less their parent. I would offer to take on the parent as a student since they seem to be in need of obtaining some discipline and learning about proper etiquette. If they refuse, then they can hit the road, Jack!
    Not a bad idea CC.

    ExecKenpo, I think that you are definitely on to something here. The problem needs to be solved at the root cause. IMHO, this would be at the dojo and with the parent(s). The problem as I see it is that this behaviour has become the norm, therefore it is becoming "acceptable". It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. We now have parents brawling at these events with each other and the officials. Firearms have been involved on several occasions! I think that people are losing site of the fact that these events are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Yes, you are there to compete but, if you aren't having fun why are you even bothering to show up? It seems like common sense has gone out of the window. I know that you want junior to do well but, what kind of a message are you sending him with your antics?

    OK, I will stop ranting now.
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    As a parent and a student all I can say is that I'm happy as can be when my kids want to participate in a tourney. Winning and trophies are fine, but just getting in there and doing their thing is what makes me proud, it's more than I did at their age. I seen the type your talking about out at baseball games and yes I'd like to make them eat elbow, but its the officials who have to set limits and expell them and show the kids what happens when you dont know how to be a true sportsman.
    Just my 1 cent.


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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Parents are a major part of the problem, but I also see the children as part of the problem. They know the laws about child abuse,they learn it in school. And children pervert the laws to get what they want. Parents are afraid to discipline their children, and the children rule the roost. I see it everyday. My neighbor( a woman about 5ft and 90 pounds) has to carry her son's hockey bag when she drives him to practice and games. Her son is 13 yrs old and almost 6 ft and close to 200 pounds. There is definitely a problem. But this actually the norm if you go to an arena and watch the parents bring their kids to practices.

    I think we need to stop being so politically correct. Yes, racism sucks. Abusive people need help. But we are all living in bubbles afraid that we might offend someone. It is time to stop this nonsense. It is time for parents to give their children a swat on the bottom when they misbehave. That is how I was brought up and I didn't make the same mistakes twice. I still use sir and Ma'am, thank-yo and please, and yes I got spankings as did most of our parents. Child abuse laws are good, but they should not be abused.

    I used to have kids expect to get a stripe on their belt every third week because that is the way the group I was affiliated with did business. It made me feel cheap like I sold out. We had temper tantrums when I did not put on stripes. I had parents spout off at me when I did not put on new stripes. They even called the person who I was affliated with and told him I was not teaching right. Honestly how do they know. Have they put the time on the floor, Hell No, so who are they to tell me how to do my job. We as a society are too used to things being handed to us and get upset when it is not handed over quickly, cheaply and with a smile.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Again...True that!

    There's a difference between being Politically Correct and Social Etiquette. Being PC means you can't say or do anything that may hurt a hyper-sensitive persons feelings (which constitutes the majority of the Western world.) Social Etiquette applies common sense to the equation as well as common decency. It also applauds intelligent discussion which is completley absent in places endorsing political correctness. Logic and reason have no place in a PC world.

    There's also a difference between a spanking and a beating. Children need discipline (as well as most adults...) and spanking is a form of enforcing it. However, if you take a wire hanger to a child...you've definatley crossed the line! My mother spanked me ....well...quite a bit. LOL. And I'm glad she did because, you've probably heard this before, if she hadn't I'd probably be in jail right now.

    I almost totally subscribe to Robert A. Heinleins phiolosphy on social order.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Looking at the posts, most of you are right. Apparently the parents don't either teach the kids any manners or don't have any themselves. At least we should teach them in the Dojo how to act at a tournament., Maybe we should print up a flyer with rules of respect to be shown at tournaments including what is expected of the Parents and Warn them that their kids will be disqualified for unsportsman like behavior. Maybe include it in the liability release that they have to sign. We also have to look at it at the promotor level. There are usually only 4 or 5 promotors in medium size towns.
    Get them all together and agree on rules of sportsman like conduct. Get them all to agree if the same people continue to act that way they will be banned from all the tournaments in the area.
    I have stopped a fight when the parents were calling in insults to their kids compeditor , yelling for them to hurt their opponent or belittling the Judges. They were told that if I heard any more their kid would be disqualified. That stopped it.
    We used to have a school that was like the bad guys in the first karate Kid movie. The instructors and all the students all had the same bad attitude. We all got together and told them that we would not put up with their conduct. We don't see much of them any more . good riddence!!
    Another thing we should do is tell the Judges in the Black Belt meetings
    How we expect them to react to that kind of situation and back them up.
    Only my take on the situation. I have decades of Judging experience to go by.
    Most respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    I used to have kids expect to get a stripe on their belt every third week because that is the way the group I was affiliated with did business.
    Find another afiliation. Then ask them to leave.

    Dan C
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by sifuroy View Post
    At least we should teach them in the Dojo how to act at a tournament., Maybe we should print up a flyer with rules of respect to be shown at tournaments including what is expected of the Parents and Warn them that their kids will be disqualified for unsportsman like behavior. Judges. They were told that if I heard any more their kid would be Most respectfully,
    Sifuroy

    I have done this in the past for both sparringin class and for tournaments. Some parents have been asked not to watch sparring classes, it cost me a student or two over the years but that is fine with me, because the people that stayed turned out the be some of the bet students I have ever had.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    You know, reading everyone's posts, I doubt any of us would have this problem in our schools with our students because we all share the same attitude regarding the dojo darlings and their hockey moms. I think Rob and others are right when they say that the judges should be briefed prior to the tourney and they all should have hte SAME expectations of participants and parents. We don't have the power to change people that we aren't training but we can curtail their impact on others.

    So maybe Rob was right when he said "Throw them out!". If the tourney can't survive wothout them then it probably isn't worth the grief.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    If you have been in the martial arts long enough you can relate to this topic. Lets see your opinions on one of my favorite topics.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    I used to have kids expect to get a stripe on their belt every third week because that is the way the group I was affiliated with did business. It made me feel cheap like I sold out. We had temper tantrums when I did not put on stripes. I had parents spout off at me when I did not put on new stripes.
    Years ago I had a similar situation, only this was with a certain adult in my class. I've never cottoned to a set promotion schedule. Heck, it wasn't done for me, why should I do it for anybody else?)

    Anyway, this particular beginning student had been with me for a few months and one day came up and straight out asked me when he was going to test. Without missing a beat I said "Next month." A month passes and here he comes again. The answer... "Next month." He looked a bit perplexed and sure enough he came back the next month asked again. The answer... "Next month." It finally dawned on him that he needed to stop asking. The following month (with no questions) he passed with flying colors.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Unfortunately we are living in a society of entitlement, everyone thinks they are entitld to whatever they want not what they have earned.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Broad View Post
    Parents are a major part of the problem, but I also see the children as part of the problem. They know the laws about child abuse,they learn it in school. And children pervert the laws to get what they want. Parents are afraid to discipline their children, and the children rule the roost.

    You are correct sir, this kind of behavior and enabling of such behavrior by parents is rampant. I have seen students file false accusations against teachers they didn't like, I have had a student falsely claim the father pistol whipped the student as a distraction when I told him to quit talking and do his work (the student was laughing and joking up until told to be quiet and work), etc. I have had students sit no more than three feet from my desk and by using a cheat sheet on the test and when the student was sent to the office the parent threatened to sue me and actually called the district superintedent, a local member of the board of supervisors, a state senator, and the state governor trying to get someone to force me to change the grade. I even had other students literally come up and tell me thank you for standing up to this parent as the student had cheated their entire way through school with the parent running interference. In contrast I had an exchange student from India where discipline was very strict and the parent backed the teachers period. He was an excellent student and excelled as his schooling.
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    You gotta be proactive about it. My daughter does gymnastics and competes. There is always a meeting at the beginning of the school year, where the latest information is given, and we get to find out how much prices have gone up. Included, every year, are sheets with information on behavior and what is expected, including from the parents, a detailed list of do's and don'ts.

    Their system seems to work. One thing I've noticed is that closed tournaments (usually closed to one style) don't have anywhere near the same problems as open tournaments.
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    Default Re: Dojo Darlings

    I haven't seen too many problems at the events I've attended, but I've heard some stories. Walls punched, gear tossed, etc. I think part of the problem is the 'everyone is a winner' joke. Some kids will go 18 years before someone tells them the truth, "No, you aren't special, you aren't the winner, and there is no free ride.". That's usually the person they just applied for a job with, or a college professor who doesn't care if you show or not.

    When you have events giving out 3' tropheys for coming in first in a division of 1....well....there's part of the problem.
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