Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society.
I hope ya’ll are doing well. This is going to be a bit of a rant or me just bitc….g about a subject and some thoughts on the subject.
It’s no secret that I am training my self up again after a nasty collar bone injury. This goes for normal strength and conditioning and LC Escrima training. Speaking of which, thanks for a cool training session at the beach yesterday Niklas! This old fart could feel it afterwards. I’m glad that I stayed at the beach to just lay around for a while. I’m looking forward to next time we train together.
Any Hoo! Back to the subject. Some of us were training at the beach and doing our best to not feel the heat. It was a hot day! For myself, I was doing my best to not feel my hectic schedule and the lack of sleep. In short “old fart stuff”! I felt all the 8,10,& 20 kg boxes I lift all day long. ;) The inspiration for this blog entry came from the fact that there was a group training at the beach not far away, and the instructor and 2 group members seem to really not understand the idea of personal space when walking by. Some would call it just stupid where I come from in Texas and in some circles here in DK. Provoking people training escrima is just silly! Add to that they did it twice just to prove a point….?
Any Hoo!! Back to the subject. Personal space is different everywhere in the world. In crowded country/cities, where there is a true mix of poor and other economic groups, like some Philippine cities, you will find people walking up against you without thinking about it. The New York streets could be another example of many people packed together in a small space. Here in DK, there is an odd mix of an understanding of personal space and a general respect, and there is a blatant habit of just doing something like walking too close when there is A LOT of space all around. It’s something you expect from teenage boys learning to find boundaries not instructors with a t-shirt proclaiming instructor for a club in Hellerup / Copenhagen. You see it also in young children of 1-5 years old because they are so focused on an end goal ( or something they saw) that they forget the world around them. Think of a 3 yr. old at the beach with his/her bucket and shovel and they have to dig right there beside you because they saw something in the sand. You smile and giggle at it when there is no expectation of normal social codes and more. It’s cute in many ways. And yes, I wrote cute. Blackmail me. ;)
It does not belong in the realm of instructors of crossfit! (hint), personal trainers!, self-defense trainers! and other coaches or teachers! There is supposed to be an understanding of respect for personal space! This understanding of respect for others personal space transcends other subjects like other people’s feeling as well as their opinions. As a personal trainer/ instructor, you have to understand the type of person you are working with. Once again, another reason, that I had a hard time not just getting down right angry at the lack of respect the instructor showed. Many of the people ( in the area ) who were curious asked if they could sit down close by and watch or just showed some respect and walked around…. leaving a decent amount of space between them self and us. There are always dumb teenage boy trying to prove something and provoke a response, but they don’t have a t-shirt on declaring “instructor……” and they are not responsible for a group. They are not paid to lead!
You could say that it was not worth getting worked up about. Forget it and move on. We have to remember, that instructors set a tone for the group in which they are a members of or teach in. It’s the same for higher grades in martial arts. This is getting back to the big brother / little brother idea. Sociologist have performed studies on behaviour in groups. It’s common knowledge that one person cheating seems to open the flood gate for the next few then the whole group. There is a cool video on the subject. The speaker uses the expression…. fudge factor. If someone, like an instructor, does not respect one groups personal space then the people he is teaching tend let themselves invade other people space. There were many families and groups at the beach who experience the same thing we did. This will not end here, btw. I am just cooling down before I talk with the local club responsible.
When I was running around in clubs in Texas, chasing women and dancing, there were places, where almost everyone was nice, because anyone was ready to fight for keeps, if pushed to far. A fight could get real ugly really fast! The very unprofessional instructors and his two groupies would not last long where I come from. Then we could look at the totally unprofessional behaviour of the person and the implications down the line….. economic, and moral. I can tell you there are several people at the beach that day who will never get close to the club in question.
One reason this angers me so, is because, I take teaching very seriously. Instructors are guides in life in many ways. That’s why I like to be called coach. A coach sets an example while trying to give to those willing to listen. Yet another reason I like instructors like R. Latosa & Martin Rooney. One of the reason I took the job of training the ice skaters, was that I like to see the development of young people to a type of person with a life code not to mention the development of tools and abilities that might make them an olympic athlete. When I say/write life code, I am referring to a way of treating others as you would like to be treated, a way of living up to a higher moral way of treating others, & living as well as showing respect for one self.
Good instructors / coaches and other teaching professionals try to understand the people they train / coach so that they can help them as much as possible. They want to inspire not lead people down the wrong path of blatant disrespect. This leads to the student not respecting themselves in the end and the cycle starts all over again.
To see a Ted Talk video about the “fudge factor” click here. It’s really cool.The Ted Site has a better video format. That was my rant! The next blog post will be about Latosa Concepts Escrima training. We might even put some video up.
BTW, excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes. There might be a few more than usual.
Stay Proactive in Life and Training.