I’m not good with confrontations. I never know what to say and I end up acting sympathetic, but not really saying anything useful.
This morning at karate one of the women was very annoyed because she thought the class wasn’t helpful. She was annoyed because people who started after her are now higher grades than she is. She said that she’d done 38 classes since her last grading (she obviously thought that it was a lot, but I think 32 would be an average number). She said that the class wasn’t a good work-out and that she didn’t get any technical instruction. She was asking me about it, wondering why she had to sit down for kata Saifa and so on. I tried to tell her that I don’t know sensei’s (hubby’s) reasons fo doing things and I don’t have any bearing on the way he teaches. When I said I don’t know his reasons for doing things she said “Yeah, but you’re his girlfriend, you live together…” I was quite offended. She thinks that I’m his “girlfriend”; she thinks we live together (which I know a lot of people do and that’s their decision, but I haven’t chosen to live with a man I’m not married to); and she thinks that we talk about people when they’re not around, as if we’re unwed gossips.
Now that I’ve thought about it I have plenty of things to say, but will probably never have the opportunity:
- Your karate journey is your own, it’s not about the people around you and how they progress. Everyone learns, physically and mentally, at different rates.
- Do you want a workout or do you want technical instruction? Rarely do you get both in the same class because if you’re being very active you don’t have time to stop and talk about what you’re doing right or wrong.
- 38 classes isn’t that many between a grading. Karate, just as much as being a physical exercise is a mental one. If you have a bad attitude towards other students and your teacher you won’t learn or progress.
- If you’re complaining about having done 38 classes, then why are you complaining about not doing enough kata and not getting technical instruction. Didn’t you learn anything in the last 4-5 months?
- There’s 15 other people in the class and one teacher, it’s not all about you.
I hope that she is able to change her attitude and come back to class and enjoy it. I hate to see people poisoned against a whole sport or a whole club (or any organisation) because there was some badly handled difference of opinion. Everything has it’s ups and downs, I hope this situation doesn’t go any further downwards.