Daughters abandoned martial arts after farting in class!

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by ConcernedDad, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. ConcernedDad

    ConcernedDad New Member

    Thanks in advance for anyone who has taken time to reply. So my twin daughters have been practicing kickboxing from ages 5-11 and were absolutely loving it. They did really well in several competitions and had ambitions to both become black belts. Their teacher has been superb, until recently I could not speak more highly of him. However the other day one of them farted in class, got pulled up by sensei and ridiculed in front of the class with the words “don’t you ever do that again in my class”. Now in my daughters defence she has a real issue with farting, to the point that she gets teased a lot at school about it. She also goes to class after eating her evening meal. Now after her public humiliation both herself and her sister completely refuse to ever go to class again. They’ve gone from wanting to be amongst the youngest black belts in their area, to now wanting nothing to do with it, which really makes me sad. The sensei is a top quality coach and I really respect him, he continues to teach my other children. I’ve tried to convince them to go back, but due to the public shaming from the sensei and club owner, they just refuse point blank to go back. He’s a reasonable guy by all accounts. So I was interested to hear any experienced opinions on 1. How I can convince them to go back to their local sensei and 2. How I may approach their local sensei about this, and keep him both motivated to continue teaching my other kids, and pull him up on it without appearing aggressive or confrontational and potentially getting my ass kicked? Lol perhaps it would be better to send them to another class or study a martial art other than kick boxing? Thanks again for anyone who has taken time to reply.
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I don't like the fact that the sensei would publicly shame your daughter like that at all. Had it been me, I'd probably never want to return either, as a young child when the authority would treat me like that for something I did not do on purpose. I mean in striking arts or in work-outs this is something that just happens. People are just farting from time to time. But unless it was super loud, no one would mention it or point fingers in our dojo. If it was super loud, someone might chuckle, and if someone actually made a comment, I guess it would be some of the younger kids. I can't imagine sensei doing that. I mean, adults should be adult about that.

    Maybe you could approach your sensei that your girls have been feeling down about this. Maybe it is all a misunderstanding and the teacher thought that for some reason your daughter has done it on purpose. Although it doesn't seem very likely. I would talk to the sensei by just mentioning your daughters feel insecure now and that maybe the girl in partiular has an issue with that that she can't really control. Of course, I wouldn't talk to the teacher in front of your daughters. You could see how the sensei reacts then. Maybe he really didn't mean it that way and if he is sorry, I'd try to talk to your girls. If not, I'd look for another school. What is the point being the youngest black belt if you can't practice without fear of being shamed and can't be happy about your achievements without second thoughts? The MA teacher is likely a great authority for your daughters and he should shape their self-esteem and instill discipline (but not about farting). If he was serious and realized the girl didn't do it on purpose, and shtill reprimanded her like that, I don't think he is a good teacher at all.
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  3. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    what Nachi says is excellent advise.

    what you describe is not an appropriate response for a sensei. If you speak to the instructor and they are not reasonable about it, find a new club. There are enough good instructors out there that you dont have to put up with the bad ones.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  4. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    If someone farted loudly in one of my instructors adult classes he would say in a strong American accent, "someone trod on a frog", "Who just trod on a frog?". He always took the art seriously but the training was always fun.
  5. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I hope that you do get the right response from the sensi and that you can convince your offspring that there will be no repeat of the sensei's bad behaviour.

    if however you cant - I would recommend getting your kids to do a grappling and throwing art. The most useful skill in martial arts is the ability to fall. I went straight over the handlebars of my bike last week and came up without a scratch. it is best to learn to throw, fall and be thrown when you are young and you still bounce when you hit the floor ( by the time you reach 55 - not so bouncy!!)
  6. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    He doesn't deserve to have them in his class. Treating the people who pay his bills with such disrespect is inexcusable.

    People fart, especially when exercising. Anyone who has a problem with that is in denial of reality and I would be suspicious of what other weird hangups they have.
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  7. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Accidental toots in a class is really common.

    We dont even shame adults for it at my club, why the heck would an instructor shame a child?
    Hes a small man to take an accidental fart by a child as disrespect and then berates them for it.

    Talk to the instructor privately and if hes defensive about the situation, change club.
    hewho likes this.
  8. hewho

    hewho Valued Member

    As above, it's super common in any form of exercise. Happens to me almost any time I teach energetic group exercise classes, literally hundreds, if not thousands, of times, and has happened to more or less every client I've ever had. To make a big deal out of it is highly immature.
  9. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    if it where my girl I would be having words, no matter what, shame him back
    what he's done is disgraceful behaviour

    man tell him you're going to put this all over social media or something, bad publicity kind of thing.
    of course you may not want to, but at least it will make him think about what he's done.
    he needs to see that it was wrong and he should apologise.

    if he's got anything about him at all he will accept his behaviour was out of line and a poor reaction.
  10. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    Real talk, was the far in question one that cleared the room? That's relevant here. I've had my face farted in, been farted on in all kinds of positions, and I've farted on plenty myself during training. It's normal.


    There have been times where I ate a meal and passed gas and it was the ripest thing you've ever smelled. Not even joking, I've cleared jobsites out before. If somebody were dropping those I would straight up tell them I'm not rolling or training with them if they couldn't control it, and if I were an instructor I might ask them to leave for the day until their digestive cycle was complete. I would however do my best to not embarrass the individual passing the rank. I think slapping the instructor upside his head with a piece of paper that has "The Golden Rule" written on it is in order.

    I don't have kids, maybe he doesn't either and doesn't know how to talk to kids? I think I would just tell the guy that the way he handed my daughter passing gas was enough to embarrass and hurt their feelings enough that they don't want to come back. You don't have to provide anything other then that. If he doesn't understand what you're telling him with that he's not the type of person who is going to listen and consider their clients the way we all want them to in this thread.

    Maybe take them to a get together with the guys only, eat nothing but baked beans and show them what a night with the guys is like and why they should totally not be ashamed of farting.
    axelb and cloudz like this.
  11. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    yeah I'm also one of those, so I go through my "rituals" before training to try and get it all out. I found a routine that works, and also times of the day that it isn't so bad.
    Always used to be during the warmups, running round the class, squats, situps and if I hadn't sorted myself out before class it would happen.
    It has taken some time to get to know how my body deals with it, and as a kid I would have been that child, I'm glad I never got sent out of class for it (but I did get sent out of class for sneezing- yes I am loud).

    But it's become an amusing thing for the family to laugh about, as a younger person, sometimes I would time it so I let one go in the middle of a side kick or spinning back kick for extra effect.
  12. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One of my old instructors did an absolute ripper in front of the whole class while demonstrating a reverse turning kick. Mid kick too so there was no hiding it!
    No one said anything but we all had that pained "trying not to laugh but keeping a straight face" look for a good 10 minutes after.
    Heard women fart doing Yoga and farted myself when someone went hard on a knee on belly in BJJ. I was once awarded the "more tea Vicar?" award at karate. :)
    Humans and farting go together.

    Honestly I think the sensei's actions were terrible. Negligent even. Abusive. The kind of ting that happened regularly 50 years ago in education but is not acceptable today.

    I have a 12 year old daughter and at that age girls in particular can be very self conscious and it can be hard enough to keep them physically active and getting sweaty in public without this doofus sensei adding to that pressure. He's lucky to have two motivated girls in his class and should be reminded of that.

    If this sensei is not approachable enough to listen to a parent's concerns about their child's treatment in his classes, without getting angry and kicking off then he's got no business teaching kids.
    At the end of the day he publicly humiliated your child enough that it put her and her sister off training. HE should be concerned about YOU kicking off not the other way round!
    Imagine this was your boss doing it to you at work in front of your colleagues? You'd have every right to be angry. I'm angry just thinking about it and she's not even my daughter.

    Personally I'd ask to speak to him privately after a class and tell him his behaviour was out of order, wasn't appreciated by you as a her parent and isn't the right way to deal with that situation. And if he didn't take that on board I'd move my kids (all of them) to another club and hit him in the pocket. Go somewhere with someone in charge worthy of the "sensei" title. I'd be inclined to move your kids anyway. He sounds like a terrible teacher.
    It wouldn't even be out of order to have a stern talking to him in front of other parents in the same way he humiliated your daughter in public. He shouldn't have a problem with that as he clearly thinks that is OK conduct right?

    Sadly your daughters may have been put off this club forever and maybe even martial arts as a whole. Kids are sensitive and I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to go. I wouldn't want to go into such an environment and I'm a 48 year old man!
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  13. Dylan9d

    Dylan9d Valued Member

    He doesn't deserve the respect you give him and he should know better than to shame people in front of a whole class and especially young girls.
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  14. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I don't even understand the idea stated here about talking to the instructor to see how he responds before deciding to leave the school for sure.

    Leave the school. Period. Nothing he can say would reinstate faith in his ability to watch any kids I theoretically had.

    Send him an E-mail or letter to explain why in no uncertain terms. If he understands why he lost students, it will give him a chance to change for the sake of other current and future students. Don't bother putting yourself through the stress of a person to person confrontation.

    He is not a reasonable guy. He just fooled you into thinking so until this event. Reasonable people do not shame kids. Period. Stop making excuses for him.

    If he does not write back or call in a hugely apologetic fashion, post reviews on yelp or whatever to warn other people. Not as revenge, but because other potential students and parents of students have a right to know.

    Use this as a teaching moment to your kids that people in any walk of life can be inappropriate. It could be a future boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, co-worker, school of anything, etc. There are jerks everywhere. And teach them how to stand up for themselves and not internalize the abusive behavior, but put the ownership right back on the person committing the offense. And that natural body functions are just that, natural body functions.

    I am not a parent, but that is my take on it.
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  15. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I'm with aaradia on this one--I wouldn't send my (hypothetical) kids back there. I wouldn't train at, or send my kids to train at, a gym where the instructor doesn't treat the students with respect. While I understand that some people think public shaming/humiliation is a good teaching method, I believe they are incorrect. Students will learn better if they feel emotionally secure. Push the students, encourage them to do their best, but keep criticism (outside of correcting technique/stuff directly related to the martial art) private. Someone who uses public humiliation as a teaching method is going to have that spill over onto students in many ways.

    I would find other martial arts gyms in the area and see if your kids would want to try any of them.

    If your kids seem hesitant to try again with another gym, given how long they have done kickboxing so far I'd consider that it is probably social apprehension/worry that they will be subjected to humiliation again (even if subconsciously).
    I'd probably do this anyway, but especially if they are hesitant: Talk to the owner/head trainer of various places and ask about their teaching philosophy, get a feel for whether they would publicly humiliate a student.
    You want to avoid a situation where they try a new gym and the new instructor does something similar.

    I don't know that I'd explicitly mention what happened at the kickboxing gym; if the instructor is good they wouldn't bring it up to your daughters, but if your daughters found out that you told their new instructor about it they would probably be pretty embarrassed.

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