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Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture
I hit Sensei!

A few recent events and conversations at the dojo inspired me to write this article.

The first event was during a sparring session when one of my students delivered a lovely, spot on, spinning back fist that nearly took my head off.


Kind regards


JuhaK's picture


Causing pain to instructor is the fun part of practising karate. Specially when they laugh at it. That is one reason why I haven't quit. I just don't understand all that egoism and worshiping. Training should be fun and productive for all, not just boosting teachers self-esteem.


tubbydrawers's picture

Hi, When some of my own students have graded to Black Belt, I have fought them. I willingly don't mind if they get one on me. I think it's nice sometimes for the students to spar their Instructor. I think there are only 2 of us who do this. I actually get frowned upon and get told not to do it by a couple of the other Sensei but I do it anyway! Cheers

Wastelander's picture

We actually had an incident in my dojo where someone with a black belt in another style had been helping with some classes, here and there, and wanted to help with a belt test. In that test, one of our adult orange belts was demonstrating some of the self defense techniques required at his level, and my Sensei jumped in and surprised him with a different attack just as he finished dealing with his partner's attack. To the student's credit, he adjusted quickly and managed to escape, throwing Sensei to the ground in the process. Now, for us, this type of thing wasn't unusual--the black belts on testing panels, including my Sensei, would regularly get out on the mat and randomly attack people during tests. For the black belt from the other style, though, it was apparently the height of impropriety! She actually called for a stop to the test so she could berate the student for it, because "TRADITIONALLY, you NEVER hit or throw your Sensei!" Until then, it hadn't even occured to me that people in other schools would have that belief, honestly :P

Anf's picture

I guess I've been lucky. Even the most egotistical of my past instructors have demonstrated the belief that its OK to get one up on the instructor, once every now and then. The most egotistical can claim 'I see I've taught you well', thereby still managing to take the glory despite it being the student that, on that one occasion, had the upper hand. I personally like that. I've had some instructors whose teaching methods I don't agree with but I'd never want to undermine them, especially in front of their other students.

Where I currently train, there is little danger of that. Pressure testing and improvisation are both encouraged, and I am more than happy to take up that encouragement and go for it. I always lose. Bit that's great. My best efforts (short of genuine intent to harm) consistently result in me either traveling at speed towards the floor, or tapping out. That's great though, because it removes any shadow of doubt that these guys have something they can teach me.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Thanks for all the comments, as you I never had a coach that would be not praising or allowing to execute the techniques. Good to know that there is many people who do allow students to learn.

Jeb Chiles
Jeb Chiles's picture

All of my instructor's had to show me the techniques worked with resistance, I wouldn't train with someone who wouldn't. I told Sensei Ken Baker (I was a teenager) that Ude Garame/Americana didn't work, he let me resist as much as I wanted. I found out his techniques worked great under pressure and after my arm healed up I've trained with him since then (still hurts when I add resistance). I spar with my students all the time. I'm just now getting my eye the same color again after a 13 year old female MMA/Jujitsu student got me with a left hook. All the best Jeb