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To refuse to fight this guy? (martial arts)

(30 Posts)
BeWaterMyFriend Sun 23-Apr-17 22:06:00

I train in a martial art which involves occasional sparring.

I'm not terrible, but I'm average at best. Mid-range belt.

My problem is, one of the guys I train with is really good; fast, unbelievably strong, good technique. But though he's nearly a black belt, he has poor control. So every time we spar, he storms through my guard and punches me hard in the ribs/head/nose (often more than once). Not fun. And I'm getting fed up.

He's injured other people, got a reputation for brutal slaughter, been spoken to... No change.

WIBU to refuse to spar with him? And how the hell would I go about it? 'No offence, Jim, but I've had enough of being hurt by you, I'm too old for this shit and I have a family to look after'? I could speak to my sensei, who is lovely in many ways, but there's maybe 6 of us in the class so if he manipulates the pairings it'll be really obvious.

Any ideas?

MrsFogi Sun 23-Apr-17 22:09:24

I know nothing of martial arts but I don't think you need to make excuses. "Jim, I have noticed that you hurt your opponents/you have hurt me. I do not wish to get injured. Therefore I will not be sparring with you. If at some point in the future I can see that you are constantly sparring in a more controlled manner I will or course be willing to reconsider my decision." End of story, if he is not in control he is dangerous and you have not signed up for endangering yourself.

OfficerVanHalen Sun 23-Apr-17 22:09:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Imstickingwiththisone Sun 23-Apr-17 22:09:38

Fucking hell if he does it every time he spars he needs to give up or spar with a punch bag. I've no idea what the etiquette is but it sounds perfectly reasonable to just say you don't want to spar with him and no need for any secrecy either.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 23-Apr-17 22:12:05

Speak to your sensei and let him deal with it. He should have dealt with it already thats what he is there for.

StiginaGrump Sun 23-Apr-17 22:14:48

Or you could keep getting twatted by an arse who either gets off on hurting people (likely) or gives so little a shit he won't moderate his behaviour. It is not an accident so do not soar with the dick again - say it loudly, you might not be the only one. It's only fair he fights a much better and stronger man with a fondness for making grown men cry.

AtrociousCircumstance Sun 23-Apr-17 22:17:03

Christ - why are you even debating this? Don't do it, tell the Sensei you won't, and why, and if it is obvious, then - good. He needs better training. He's shit at what he does. He hurts people.

Don't worry about hurting his feelings when he doesn't give a shit about breaking faces.

MammaTJ Sun 23-Apr-17 22:17:26

My DD is 11, very good at karate and a brown belt. Only twice has she hurt someone and she cried as much as they did, if not more.

She enters competitions. She was in the club finals last year (got a bronze medal) nothing stealth about that boast, but even in competitions at that level, they are constantly being reminded to be careful. Is this not happening in this case? Is he being told? Like ALL THE TIME! Because if he's not he should be!


ChasedByBees Sun 23-Apr-17 22:20:50

Are you sure he has poor control and isn't doing this on purpose? Who cares if it's obvious you won't fight with him? It'll be obvious why.

ChameleonCircuit Sun 23-Apr-17 22:23:11

I thought the whole thing about martial arts was to develop control of the power you have? I wouldn't worry about hurting his feelings, he's been given a chance to change and hasn't.

Hidingtonothing Sun 23-Apr-17 22:27:26

I agree with ineed, your sensei should be sorting this without anyone having to complain and I'd be concerned that they're not. Are there other classes in your area? I'd be thinking about going elsewhere.

Pandamanda3 Sun 23-Apr-17 22:30:59

Mum of 2 black belts in mma kickboxing here!
You do not go to the club and train to be assaulted it sounds like your Sensai needs a kick up the butt.
He is supposed to know each persons skill level & monitor each member.
With only 6 in the class that shouldn't be hard, you do unfortunately always get one over the top in every class 'however he should be learning self control & dissapline that is part of martial arts.
Just say nop sorry think you need to go find a more appropriate match for you maybe try another club Jim!

Honestly op it's not worth it , hope your guard is spot on if you decide to say nothing.

My dc's started at 4 and are now 21 & 18 both not long got there black belts so iv had years of it but no club generally allows unfair sparring so you maybe need a better trainer!
Sorry op it's grim Being on the receiving end good luck!

Luttrell Sun 23-Apr-17 22:31:46

I did MA for many years.

Hurting people was MASSIVELY frowned upon. It show's a lack of control and discipline and you literally lost all respect if you did it. It was a serious misdemeanor.

When people showed that lack of control we all felt very comfortable and safe to confront or seek help. And it even happened to me when I was unfocused and hurt and instructor, and they were really stern and I really was ashamed. It was a massive deal.

Your teacher absolutely has to keep you safe from oversized egos - which is all it is, he just thinks he's too 'good' to be controlled, to show some restraint to a classmate.

Speak to the teacher or an instructor if you're not confident confronting him yourself. It's hard. They can be jerks. I was doing a gentle drill with some guy at a big friendly meet, just hands and wrists in contact, and he punched me in the face.
I was livid and 'made a scene' but my school supported me and he was properly shunned and disciplined for it.

But yeah. A good school needs to have this issue under control.

VestalVirgin Sun 23-Apr-17 22:34:41


As you say he's so very good, I must assume he does it on purpose. (And someone who doesn't want to hurt anyone and honestly has poor control, would have decided to not spar with other people long ago! )

Don't worry about hurting his feelings - he hurts your body!

BeWaterMyFriend Sun 23-Apr-17 23:04:22

Oh wow, thank you, I though you were all going to say I should woman up and fight better!

I don't think he is doing it on purpose as such, I think he just interprets 'gentle sparring' as 'knocking the other person back 6 feet but not knocking them out'. Maybe.

The sensei knows there is an issue, when there's an odd number in the class, there is a subtle eye-catching and manoeuvring so sensei ends up fighting Hulk Guy (and still often gets hurt) but... yeah, I think I have the lady-balls to address this. If I have MN in my corner grin

I know, VestalVirgin, I am really appalled by my own social conditioning to politely allow myself to be hurt rather than speak up. I need to have stern words with myself! I swear I am normally a very assertive and forthright woman.

ragz134 Sun 23-Apr-17 23:13:20

I feel your pain. I do a karate class (with DH and kids) and sparring is fine apart from one guy who has poor control and does end up hurting people sometimes. I did the kickbox class run by our sensei and the guy was there too, hit me so hard on the head I felt sick. I flatly refused to go back and just stuck with the karate and thankfully the guy has broken his wrist and is t currently attending! Kickbox had fewer members so would have had to spar him weekly, we don't often spar at the karate session I do as it's half juniors and much softer. I enjoy a good spar but only with control! Generally the black belts are very controlled and the lower belts are the ones that hurt you.

MammaTJ Sun 23-Apr-17 23:22:28

Oh wow, thank you, I though you were all going to say I should woman up and fight better!

From the title, I was going to. Your OP was very well explained and you do not need to woman up! He needs to gentleman up maybe! Or even man up and stop needing to prove himself!

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sun 23-Apr-17 23:23:27

Definitely address it. My Dh ended up with permanent joint damage due to a combination of a knob who refused to moderate himself (got ambition confused with ability) and a sensei who didn't give a fuck. He thought he covered everything by repeating "Well if you're in a street fight they won't play fair" No, but if you get so knobbled in learning to defend yourself you can no longer continue in any form of martial art, that's just dangerous. Up until then, DH had been in an environment where the sensei would not tolerate this kind of behaviour and the focus was on learning aspects, power, precision and control. This was a new group he only attended for a few weeks to try out, in a form he hadn't tried before.

MammaTJ Sun 23-Apr-17 23:26:57

I am really appalled by my own social conditioning to politely allow myself to be hurt rather than speak up.

I suppose at 11, my DD has us to speak up for her, but I can never see us needing to. Even when the person who had been bullying her at school was sparring against her.

fruitpastille Sun 23-Apr-17 23:52:33

In my experience the blokes usually take it easy when fighting a 'lady' and while this can be patronising it is preferable to getting hurt! And higher belts ought to give lower ones a bit of a chance. I agree that this guy could modify what he does but is choosing not to. Definitely talk to your sensei but if push comes to shove (!) and you are paired up with him then I think you should tell him you just don't want to do it.

BeWaterMyFriend Sun 23-Apr-17 23:55:24

Well, this is the thing, Dolores , as I slide into decreptitude (middle age) my tolerance for things that can injure me is decreasing rapidly; when people my age can be out for 6 months for just slipping on the stairs, it really focusses the mind <sob>

Somewhat ironically, DD (10) trains at the same dojo, and I am always on her back to speak up if someone is fighting too roughly/not listening to sensei/whatever blush. Bollocks. Do what I say, not what I do, right?

ChiefClerkDrumknott Sun 23-Apr-17 23:58:38

YANBU. Fuck politeness, you should not have to put up with a man hurting you because you're worried about his feelings or how you will be perceived. I don't know anything about martial arts but from what you've said it sounds as if the sensai should be taking control of the situation and either telling this man to moderate his behaviour or asking him to leave

randomuntrainedcuntowner Mon 24-Apr-17 00:04:13

Martial arts should be a form of "sublimation" I.e. A way to get rid of aggression without physically hurting anyone (whilst learning how to defend yourself in the event of being on the receiving end of unprovoked violence in real life). They should not be a "legitimate" means of actually inflicting harm on another person without getting arrested for assault.

This guy sounds like a prize knob, and you should not let him get away with it.

randomuntrainedcuntowner Mon 24-Apr-17 00:05:59

And he is not playing "fair" if he fights dirty with people of lower belts or females. What a twat. I hope someone retaliated and kicks the shot out of him one day! (And I say that as a pacifist!)

MammaTJ Mon 24-Apr-17 00:07:52

Somewhat ironically, DD (10) trains at the same dojo, and I am always on her back to speak up if someone is fighting too roughly/not listening to sensei/whatever blush. Bollocks. Do what I say, not what I do, right?

So, you do need to woman up and give the same respect for yourself as you would for your DD!!

If not, tell me where you are and I will come do it!

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