Anger Mismanagement

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2018

This story took place years ago, when I was very young. Due to some nasal spray I was using for my hay fever, I would have frequent but unpredictable nosebleeds. I also attended a taekwondo class.

I was paired for sparring with a kid who everyone knew has anger management issues, but hadn’t caused any trouble. I was a higher belt than he was, and I had padded sparring gear, but I was also a year younger and quite small for my age.

As soon as the teacher called, “Go,” the kid raised his fists and started to slam them down, clearly aiming for my head. I held my arms up over my head to defend myself, but quickly ended up just on the ground with him battering my arms like he thought he was the Hulk. I could hear the teacher yelling and he was pulled away from me. The whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds, but it felt longer.

The teacher called both our parents, telling mine that there had been a minor incident and they were needed, but telling his that they needed to come and collect him because he was no longer welcome as a student.

My mum, a nurse, arrived first and checked me over; I was fine. I took off my sparring helmet and just sat with her on a bench, while the two oldest students tried — unsuccessfully — to distract the rest of the class. Then, coincidentally, one of the nose bleeds from my nasal spray started.

The boy’s parents arrived, absolutely furious and demanding to know why their son had been kicked out of the class. The first thing they saw as they entered the hall was a tiny blond child in sparring gear, while their mother held a bloody tissue to their nose. Their anger instantly redirected to their son, and they apologised profusely to the teacher before taking him home.

I felt kind of bad that they thought their son gave me the nosebleed, but I realised that he would have done it to someone eventually, and it was best to have him removed from the class until his anger was successfully under control. Years down the line, he was permanently excluded for starting fights at school, so I guess he never did.

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Limping To Conclusions

| Learning | November 5, 2016

(My mechanic is fellow student in my karate class. When I see him badly injured from a dirt biking accident when getting my car checked on, I tell him that I’ll be telling our Sensei that he won’t be able to come in for a while. At the beginning of the next class this exchange happens.)

Me: “[Mechanic] is injured so he won’t be coming in for a while.”

Sensei: “Is he limping?”

Me: “A little.”

(At the time I thought that was a good answer, but end of class the mechanic came in and our Sensei saw that I may have accidentally understated how injured he was.)

Sensei: “LIMPING A LITTLE?!”

Me: *having an awkward “Oh crap” moment* “The crutches really help with the limping.”

Sensei: “And you didn’t mention the broken arm or leg!”

Me: “I knew it was one or the other and I didn’t want to be wrong.”

(And that’s how I learned that “limping a little” is not a good way to describe an injury that requires crutches and that it’s better to be wrong about broken limbs than to not mention them at all.)

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Putting His Foot In His Mouth

| Learning | September 26, 2016

(I teach three- and four-year-olds basic karate skills two times a week. I’m currently working with my youngest student ever, just barely three. He’s usually a very good listener, however, and advanced for his age. I’ve just knelt down to help him with his footwork. He has beautiful dark skin, where I am light skinned. This hasn’t been brought up before.)

Me: “No, sweetie, I want you to make your foot flat. Here, grab my shoulder. I’ll help you balance.” *I place his hand on my shoulder and reach for his leg*

Kid: “I like your face.” *pets my cheek*

Me: “Thank you, dear. Your foot—”

Kid: *pets my cheek more* “I like your face. And your nose.”

Me: “Thank you. Pick up your leg, dear. Just like that. Now, I want you to—”

Kid: *petting me more* “I like your skin.”

(We did eventually get his feet correct for the kick.)

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Don’t Be So Quick To Judge The Kick

| Learning | October 5, 2015

(At the time of this story, I am a red belt in Taekwondo, which is one step away from being a black belt. During this class, a new kid shows up with his dad to try out a few classes before doing any serious investments.)

Teacher: *after warm-ups* “[My Name], pair up with Mr. [New Kid] while we do some kicking drills.”

(I pair up with the kid, and my teacher explains how to do a proper front kick. After a few kicks, I notice the kid is getting sloppy.)

Me: “Hold on. That’s not right. Be sure to re-chamber, and raise your toes so that when you kick, you don’t break them.”

(The kid starts to follow my directions, and by the end of the class, is doing so well with just that one kick, our teacher is impressed. After class, I have to walk home. As soon as I walk out of the building, a man LEAPS out from behind the stairs of the patio and PINS me by the neck against the wall of the building.)

Man: “Why the f*** did you talk to my son like that!?”

(I recognize the man as the kid’s father.)

Me: “W– What…?”

Man: “You have the nerve to tell my son during the class that he was doing a kick wrong, and then you have the f****** nerve to act like you don’t f****** know?!”

(The man is about to punch me, and I’m so scared and dazed that I can’t really defend myself. Before the man even makes it half-way, I see a blur of white, and find my teacher standing with her feet on top of the man’s shoulders, pinning him to the ground.)

Teacher: “One: Do NOT EVER speak to one of my students like that! Two: She was helping improve your son’s kick in class. Three: You have just f***ed with the wrong teacher.”

(The kid from earlier comes from a car and just stares as his dad flails around spitting out curses as my teacher calls the police. The kid acts extremely calm about this, and I wonder what’s going on.)

Me: “Why are you so calm about your dad about to get arrested?”

Kid: “This has happened before. This was his last chance to be nice about it and not try to kill someone about something.”

(The police come in a few minutes, and after reviewing security footage and listening to our testimonies the dad is taken away. The best part? When we appear in court and the kid is asked to the stand, he says this:)

Kid: “My dad was always overprotective. But this was never something he should’ve done in any shape or form. Personally, I think he deserves it.”

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