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Help me deal with a bully in an otherwise positive competitive sports environment.
February 28, 2012 12:24 PM   Subscribe

I train in a martial art at a place with an active competitive team, which I am trying to join. The other person there who is my size/skill level and on the competitive team goes very hard with me in sparring and always leaves me injured/bruised to a greater degree than any other student. How can I work around this situation or have a mature and productive confrontation about it, given that I still want to compete so I cannot avoid working with this person 100%?

(Gender neutral for anonymity.)

I've been doing a martial art pretty intensively for about two years at the same place. I train 10-12 hours a week, more when my job isn't really busy. I also want to compete so I lost some weight and asked my coach to help me find an appropriate opponent a few weeks ago. He said okay. I also help teach classes a couple of times a week, on a volunteer basis.

There is one student I work with who always goes very, very hard in full contact sparring. This person has a reputation among all the competitors and instructors for being out of control, and when I asked them what I should be doing, they told me to escalate, give it back, not back down. This person is a veteran and competed before and has been a member for several years.

However when I try to escalate, my technique gets worse and I get hurt (examples from the past encounters include sprained/broken extremities, large & deep bruises, a mild concussion, and a muscle tear). I can't risk getting hurt like this every week because it prevents me from coming in the next day. And also because I have a day job and getting concussions and broken toes impairs my job performance.

I truly love this hobby and want to compete. But the only person who I'd work with to prepare for a fight is this bully person because we are the same size, and there is no one else my size who is as good for me to train with.

This person has said to my face that I'm not ready and has told me I need to "beat the shit out of" other people I spar with in order to show the coaches I'm ready for the pressure of competition. Since no one else in our gym behaves like that, including many other competitors who are titled and more highly ranked, I don't believe that...and I don't want to practice with the intent of hurting other training partners.

I want to compete and I know that involves hard work and potential injury and pain for the 6 weeks of intensive preparation, but I cannot work with this person every week during regular time, because I get hurt EVERY TIME.

QUESTIONS
What should I say to my coach to help move this situation forward?
If this person won't calm down so I can train productively with them, should I find another gym to compete out of?
Should I attempt to talk to the person again?

(I wrote a message about it to them after our last time sparring together and was basically brushed off, albeit very politely. This person is never nasty or rude to me verbally, but when we train together it is out of control. I am afraid of speaking up to the person again because I don't want to look weak, scared, or whiny, and because I don't want them to go to the coach and say, she's not ready for this, don't get her an opponent. I work hard and I don't complain. But my instincts are telling me that letting this stay at the status quo is unwise.)
posted by zdravo to Human Relations (33 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your technique is getting better--it may be not as good when you aren't going at the more amped up level, but the more you practice the better you get.


Also, just clock him one time. If he says anything, say back what he said to you.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:39 PM on February 28, 2012


Tell you're coach that you're not comfortable training with that person. If said person brings it up, you can explain why, but you're not obligated to. If your coach doesn't understand, you need to find a new gym.

It's the coaches job to make sure that you're safe and comfortable. Right now the coach isn't doing that job. If you talk to the coach and that job is still not getting done, then it is not a gym you want to be in.

Safety is absolutely important. This isn't a blood sport. You will get banged up sparring, but you should not be regularly breaking bones, tearing muscles, or feeling that your health is otherwise endangered. In proper amateur sparring injuries are the exception, not the rule.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:39 PM on February 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


Question: Are you looknig at doing full-contact competition? If so, consider the fact that your opponent will be trying to kill you with every ounce of their strength and technique when you get in the ring with them. If you can't handle "hard" sparring, you likely can't handle full-contact competition.

Now if this guy is going harder in sparring than you are expecting to see in your competition, then that is a whole different story. But I need more info.
posted by some loser at 12:39 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Um, this person is being a total asshole. I box and have done some training in MMA and although I don't know your particular martial art, I am positive that it makes zero sense to keep sparring with someone who disrespects you and puts you in physical danger.

I would say directly to this person, "I need you to train more gently with me. I don't want to get hurt training, and I need to go more slowly so I can learn my moves better" Or whatever is true for your situation. I would also say clearly to your coach that you are not willing to keep training with this person if they keep acting like this. I would frame this as a direct request for assistance, "Coach, I need your help. I am not willing to get hurt by Mr. Assholepants. It doesn't work for me to fight harder - I keep getting hurt. I want to focus on learning technique when I'm sparring - not putting myself in danger. Would you be willing to talk to Mr. Assholepants about this? Otherwise I'm not sure I can keep working out here."

If this doesn't work, switch to a different gym. It is not worth putting yourself in harms way for this. You could be injured permanently for no good reason.
posted by latkes at 12:41 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


You say that you can't actually compete with this person because your technique suffers when you attempt to match his or her level of aggression. This person is not at your skill level, and you need a more appropriate sparring partner. If your coach can't see that, spell it out for him. If he disagrees, you need to find a better place to train.
posted by Etrigan at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


Also, if other folks here give the advice that you should just suck it up or whatever, I think it would be helpful to hear if they have experience training and fighting. Because in my experience in most contexts, sparring is not about beating the shit out of someone. You save your top game for competition. So if folks here have had a different experience with sparring or training I think it would be cool if they'd share what art they practice so you can see if that art has an application for your specialty.
posted by latkes at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Question #1: You should basically say everything you wrote here. I'm sorry you were brushed off before but it really is not okay that you were. I've never been involved or heard of a recreational sport where safety wasn't one of the highest principles in TRAINING. The other responses about sucking it up are not taking into account that you are SPARRING.

Bullet points are:
*This person has not listened to your request to tone it down.
*In fact, they claim everyone else goes at the same level.
*Observationally, this is not true. Your coach should know this.

So explaining the situation will allow your coach to look at and take appropriate action. It is not in their interest to have their students beating up or intimidating each other. I'm not sure what that appropriate action is... you might have to find a new gym regardless.

You did a really great job of sounding neutral and level-headed so I'd really not change anything.

Question #2: If they won't or can't train safely with you, then yes, you should find another gym where safety and competition can co-exist.

Question #3: Normally I'm a fan of working things out with the party you have the problem with but this person does not sound at all interested in that. I wonder if it might be an alpha/beta thing where they are attempting to keep you "in your place" i.e. below them.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Have you spoken to your coach at all about this? Or has all your communication been with this sparring partner? (Your question doesn't make it all that clear). It sounds like this partner doesn't actually want to spar with you, and is trying to make things so miserable that you leave or quit.

If this were me, I'd speak to the coach about your dilemma. Couch it in the following terms: you understand that competition is pressure and you appreciate the sparring partner's efforts to help you prepare, but you are getting injured a lot, which is non-ideal if you want to compete shortly. Could the coach offer suggestions on how to improve technique so that you don't get hurt? Could the coach supervise a sparring match and provide feedback? Could you work one-on-one with the coach after a class to help improve? Is this truly the only partner available?

It may very well be true that you aren't ready for really hard sparring. But it's not appropriate to have your sparring partner demonstrate this fact by injuring you repeatedly. If you wanted that, you could get into a fight in a back alley. This is about training so that you don't get injured, and if your partner is working actively against you, then it's not helping you.
posted by LN at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2012


Spar with this person with your coach present. Before starting, do talk to both coach and the out of control sparring partner about how hard you are going to spar. What my coach used to do when I trained was to tell us, "You'll be sparring at 20% power" or anything else less than full-on try to beat the living daylights out of the other person. My coach very rarely allowed anyone to spar at full contact unless they were seriously training for a upcoming fight. His philosophy was that sparring was just another method to develop technique, especially learning how to read how someone else moves.

If no one listens to you though, find a new gym. Getting hurt isn't going to get you anywhere.
posted by astapasta24 at 12:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


when I asked them what I should be doing, they told me to escalate, give it back, not back down

Well, this is why you're getting hurt. You've been instructed to try to increase the contact level and intensity against an opponent who is much more experienced than you and also has no control. This is terrible fucking advice.

This needs to be the coaches' problem. They need to teach this person how to spar with varying levels of force. If they cannot do this they are bad at their jobs. It's not appropriate to make you try to cope with this when you're getting broken bones and concussions in what should be a learning environment.

Honestly, if I were you I would a) tell everyone in whatever passes for the management structure that this is an unsafe situation and b) find another dojo so fast I'd leave a very small sonic boom behind me. I study karate with a fair amount of seriousness and one of the things I love about my dojo is that we have our goddamn priorities in line. No one gets to full-contact sparring without going through literally years of carefully calibrated contact level increases, including being able to switch contact levels on command. I help teach this to eight-year-olds - it's not hard to do, if the will is there.

I'm sorry you're being put in a shitty position, but take this to the most senior coaches and if they don't fix it for you, leave. No one should be forced to choose between not sparring and risking moderate to severe injury.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:00 PM on February 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


In my dojo we are encouraged to say something if our opponent hits us harder than necessary. If they don't change their level of force, the senseis/coaches will step in. We participate in AAU karate competition and not full-contact but in any case you should make your concerns known.

If your concerns are ignored, it's time to find a new place to train.
posted by tommasz at 1:06 PM on February 28, 2012


I agree that you need to talk to your coach again. One of the things I learned from the martial arts (and from the Karate Kid! ha!) was that words are better tools than fists. However, if your coach won't take you seriously and you don't want to change where you train, consider the fact that there is a difference between backing down and avoiding getting hit. You need to work on judging the amount of space between you and your opponent, and on reading your opponent's tells.

I did Taekwondo for a while pretty seriously, and my favorite sparring opponent--and also the most frustrating one--was my teacher who had been studying Taekwondo his entire life. He had spent some time at a martial arts university in Korea, and was something like a 6th dan black belt (or in other words: very good). I never managed to land a single kick or punch on him, even though I practiced with him regularly for 2.5 years. No matter how sneaky I thought I was being, or how quick, my kicks would always land exactly half an inch away from him. Every freaking time. I took that lesson to heart, especially as a short-ish, small-ish sort of person.

Practically speaking, you can get better at judging distances by learning your own range. You can practice a lot of it with a punching bag or a kicking stand. How close do you have to be to really land a punch (or a kick)? How is it different when you pull your punches, i.e. you land something and you could put your full force behind it but you don't? How close are you to the target when you whiff, i.e. try to land a punch and miss by just a bit? How far away are you when you totally miss? Burn those distances into your brain. Then practice being light on your feet, so you can get in, whack your opponent, and get out again quickly. And finally, learn what telegraphs movement most in your sport. In Taekwondo, where sparring was mostly kicking, our teachers always told us to watch the hips. You can't kick without moving your hips. If your bully opponent is going at it hammer-and-tongs, they should also be telegraphing pretty wildly. Instead of escalating, pay attention to that and get out of the way.
posted by colfax at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2012


This person has a reputation among all the competitors and instructors for being out of control, and when I asked them what I should be doing, they told me to escalate, give it back, not back down...If this person won't calm down so I can train productively with them, should I find another gym to compete out of?

YES. Find another gym. You're an adult with a day job, this is your hobby, and you can't afford broken and fractured bones. Your gym should support you in the idea that your physical health is not worth sacrificing so you can spar with ole' Paquiao there. This is my policy with contact sports, and I LOVE contact sports. I've never regretted following this policy and I've often regretted ignoring it (I would pay about a million dollars to get my healthy knee back. I'm 26.).
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:23 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've trained judo and boxing at competitively successful gyms. I was far from being among the elite, but the attitude was never like this at any level at these places, and they got results.

The reason we have rules in full contact martial arts is precisely so that we can avoid getting injured so that we can spar often against resisting opponents and get better as a result. Your sparring partner is throwing that away by treating every session like a tournament match. It's incredibly wrongheaded. I can see why he might do this once (not saying that it's right, though), but if he knows he can beat you, and he keeps on piling it on week after week, he's just wandering around in ego stroking territory. The cost is that neither of you are getting better.

I don't know why your instructors are ignoring this guy, knowing he's out of control. Maybe he's too valuable in competition in the short term. Whatever the reason, they're not acting in your interests, and you should find another gym that is interested in the mutual welfare and benefit of its members. If there are other gyms, it shouldn't be too hard, as I've never seen an instructor that is OK with a guy consistently going nuts.
posted by ignignokt at 1:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe one of the benefits of finding a new gym would be finding other people your size to spar with. Just a thought.
posted by BrashTech at 2:14 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


This bully gave you a concussion and a broken toe? Do the coaches know about these injuries? And are they still putting you with him/her anyway? Yeow. I'm surprised you're not threatening legal action. (Actually, I'm not surprised, because the "you gotta be tough and take it" attitude is common, plus they probably had you sign a waiver.)

Size is important in a good sparring partner, but nowhere near as important as communication and going at an intensity that works for you both. If you don't feel comfortable telling this person to ease up, or if they don't listen when you do, that's not going to be a good training experience for you.

You may want to befriend some of the more understanding competitors and instructors, and see if they can spar with you once or twice. Maybe you'll find a better match. You'll probably learn more.

I am afraid of speaking up to the person again because I don't want to look weak, scared, or whiny, and because I don't want them to go to the coach and say, she's not ready for this, don't get her an opponent.

I can sympathize with not wanting to admit weakness in front of a bully. But a good coach will understand if you sometimes feel weak or afraid. They've seen all levels of experience and skill, and fighting is both mentally and physically demanding, after all. Talk to your coaches; tell them you're not learning, you're getting injured repeatedly, and you're not a good match. If they're dismissive, leave and find a new gym. Respect is a crucial part of martial arts; without it, it's just bullies beating the shit out of each other.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:18 PM on February 28, 2012


Also, just clock him one time. If he says anything, say back what he said to you.

PLEASE ignore this advice.

Really and truly, put it to your coach just as you have here. Managing this is kind of situation is one of his main jobs as a teacher. (Also, bad management in situation like these probably contributes to a lot of people dropping/switching schools, so if he doesn't help you, consider it fair warning).
posted by hermitosis at 2:56 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be honest, to me, this sounds like a terrible gym/dojo etc etc. Just terrible. I'm hardly Mr Martial Arts, but someone who is getting broken bones and concussions in sparring, for shit's sake and being told to step it up and be more aggressive.... Ye gods, it's like the antithesis of every professional martial arts training place I've ever been in. No one should be taking that level of damage in training/sparring bar the very occasional accident, in my opinion. I'm honestly kind of floored your "coach" is putting you with someone who is potentially permamently maiming you every week, and that he has a reputation for doing it. Christ. A concussion is brain damage, and much closer to tipping over into very very serious injury than most people realise.

You may love this place, my advice is to get the hell out before you get knocked down so hard you don't get up again or end up with a limp for the rest of your life, or unable to raise your arm above your shoulder, or brain-damaged and unable to speak properly. There are plenty of other martial art fish in the sea that will treat you and your body with the _minimum_ respect deserved.
posted by smoke at 3:21 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The person sounds like an ass, no doubt. But full contact is full contact. If you want light contact -- and that's what you DO want, and that's what any intelligent instructor should be calling it -- it's no longer full contact.

When I used to spar, I'd have no problem stopping and saying, "It's LIGHT contact, asshole."

I'd say your coach is to blame -- they should be mandating light contact. No one should get hurt outside of competition, and part of proper coaching is injury avoidance.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:03 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm not sure what possessed the people running the show there to put this clown with you, but it was a bad idea. This person needs to go with someone whose skill level is such that they can soak up anything he's throwing at them with their internal intensity knob set on 6 or 7 and if bruiser really insist on being roughed up, yeah, they can provide that service too.

I read a great quote once about the martial arts world being full of people who wanted to take the elevator to the fourth floor but not the stairs to the tenth floor. Look for someone taking those stairs!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:22 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This guy sounds like an asshole, and your coach sounds incompetent. Find a new place to train. One of the tenets of Shotokan Karate is "refrain from violent behavior," and clearly this guy has a hard-on for it. What are you learning from being put at risk like this? How do injuries perfect your technique? You need practice, not pain.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:02 PM on February 28, 2012


(sorry, take that with a grain of salt, I assumed that you had spoken with both individuals about this)
posted by oceanjesse at 6:04 PM on February 28, 2012


You need to tell your coach just exactly what you told us here. Your coach has the responsibility of monitoring the sparring sessions and making sure they are at an appropriate level of intensity so that you aren't getting injured before you ever get to the competition.

If your sparring partner is going too hard, then your coach should be telling them to back off. If the problem is that you aren't ready for the level of contact that the competition would require, then your coach needs to tell you that and let you spend more time developing your skills and conditioning before you join the team. If your coach isn't willing to take that responsibility, then you need to find a different gym.

(The above is based on my experience training and competing in BJJ, judo, and muay thai. I am an amateur. The professional fighters in my gym do train harder, but even they aren't trying to injure each other.)
posted by tdismukes at 6:24 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


You've got to talk to your coach. This is unacceptable. There was a guy at a gym I used to train with who didn't understand 50% and injured someone almost every night. His technique sucked but he was big and a lot of mass moving in a spastic fashion is dangerous. I'd been warned about him but hadn't rolled with him before; he did mostly night classes and I did mornings. So when I did roll, and he predictably spazzed out. When we were done, I yelled at him. "I'm an adult. I'm here to practice, not get hurt. I can't go to work with a black eye. Stop being an idiot." or words to that effects. I think you've got to go after a bully with your words and beat him publicly, with words. And set a boundary about rolling with this guy.

A meek written message is not how I would handle it. I would definitely look at other gyms too. I spent two years at one place because I liked the coach personally, not because I was learning huge amounts. But I did find a gym that suited me better with far fewer knuckleheads.
posted by mearls at 6:54 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nthing you need to talk to your coach. I'm a woman – I've done, variously, baseball on a male team, street football with guy friends bigger and stronger than me (but not faster *grin*), taekwondo, and more recently a Tai Chi course, including its combat aspects, with a professor who's also studied karate, jujitsu, aikido, viet vo dao and... ninjutsu. In Japan, with a Japanese instructor. The dude is, like, a real live ninja.

Even in street football games, we had a rule we respected: Do Not Injure Others. You are being injured in practice. This is completely unacceptable; you haven't even fully joined yet!?! "...an active competitive team, which I am trying to join."

You say this is a martial art; I'm assuming from Korea/Japan/China/Vietnam here but could be wrong: normally, in these martial arts, outside of competition and direct training for a competition (not "maybe some day" especially not "if I'm able to join"), you train in order to perfect technique, which implies self-control. Out-of-control martial arts students are not good martial artists no matter how much ass they kick. We had this drilled into us by our taekwondo professor (he too was a 6th dan black belt, native Korean, had immigrated to the US later in life). It does not matter how strong or violent you are if you cannot control your actions. Repeat that last sentence several times, it's that important.

A good coach would have told you this or made it so abundantly clear in practice that people wouldn't even be getting near the level of violence you describe from your opponent. In our Tai Chi class, our prof has never once said we need to control ourselves – everyone does. Third-year students spar with newbies to show them the ropes. The worst "injury" I've had so far has been cramps in my feet. The closest I've gotten to an actual sparring injury came when I fell onto my partner's arm instead of gently shoulder-bumping his chest.

In case you need more convincing still: this ninja-Tai Chi prof will sometimes show us how effective a calm, relaxed attack on an experienced opponent is. He'll call up the best student, tell him what he's going to do, then calmly collect himself and do an attack that looks like it wouldn't push over a two-year-old. Without fail, his opponent is incapacitated in the sense that the prof manages to push him in such a way that he loses balance and cannot effectively react. And the opponent KNEW what was going to happen.

That's the power of self-control. I seriously question the true expertise of your dojo if you haven't been told or shown that yet. Talk to your coaches as others have suggested; if they don't take you seriously, run, don't walk, to a different dojo. Ask the new dojo about their training philosophy: how important is self-control? It should be extremely important.
posted by fraula at 5:32 AM on February 29, 2012


OP, although Fraula's main point is great, you are going to run into more issues with self-control in full-contact martial arts than you would in Tai Chi. It's not as effortless to maintain total control in sparring with a relatively unrestrictive rule set (strikes to the head especially) than it is with the kind of scripted partner practice that goes on in most traditional martial arts. So, you and people you practice with will have to work a bit here and there to maintain self-control. It's not innate, and that is normal.

But of course, they should always be working at it, and the coach should be calling them out on it when they don't make the grade.

(Also, I'd just like to note: The national origin of a martial arts instructor is of no consequence and lends no extra credence to them.)
posted by ignignokt at 6:24 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Out-of-control martial arts students are not good martial artists

This applies to Western-style boxing as well.
posted by latkes at 6:35 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hard spars hurt, but are the best way to pressure test your game. It doesnt sound like you're good enough to take a fight. You know it wont be any easier in the ring, aye?

Your sparring partner has done you a favour here.

Forget about fighting for now. Switch camps, get better and with luck you'll meet your this sparring partner in the ring. Dish best served cold etc.
posted by the cuban at 7:09 AM on February 29, 2012


^^^ This is great advice if you are a character in a martial arts movie, but probably not if you are actually training in real life.
posted by hermitosis at 8:31 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just thought I'd expand a bit on my earlier answer ...

Sparring in full-contact arts does tend to be rather rougher than what you might experience in arts which don't include full-contact competition. The level of contact you might find in a relaxed, easy-going boxing sparring session could be enough to get you kicked out of a point karate school.

That said, the intensity of regular sparring is normally quite a bit below what you expect to encounter in full-contact competition, both to avoid injuries and allow focus on technique. This is relative, however. High-level professional fighters may sometimes spar with a degree of contact equal to what a beginning amateur might encounter in a real fight. This reflects both the fact that professional fights can be that much more damaging and the expectation that a professional will be able to handle the level of contact.

A good coach may sometimes push a prospective fighter into sparring at a intensity level beyond the trainee's comfort level. In part, this may be a test to see what he or she does under the pressure. Does he/she fold? Does he/she lose their temper? Does he/she forget their technique? The other part is mentally conditioning the trainee to react appropriately under the pressure and not freak out.

That said, a good coach should actually be watching these sparring sessions - particularly if they are beyond your comfort zone. If he feels that your sparring partner is out of control or going too rough, then he should be telling that person to back off. If he feels that the contact level is appropriate and that you have the capacity to handle the intensity, then he should be coaching you to do so. ("You can do this! Stay calm, tuck your chin, every time he throws that right hand hit him with your left hook, etc") If he thinks that the level of intensity is appropriate and necessary for a competition team member but perceives that you aren't ready to handle it even with coaching, then he needs to tell you that and let you go back to working your skills in a safer setting until such time are you are ready to safely try out for the team.

That said, there are plenty of bad coaches out there. Signs of a bad coach:
Doesn't observe what's happening in the training.
Doesn't have the experience to tell what an individual trainee needs.
Doesn't care enough to make sure the training is appropriate for the individual. *

*(As a sub-type of this, there are coaches who only care about competitors who are tough enough to handle high-level training and competition already and take a "sink-or-swim" outlook towards those who try out for the team. This sort of person might be a good coach for someone who is ready to make it as a pro fighter, but not not so good for someone in your shoes.)

Good luck! Speak to your coach about your concerns, have him watch some of your sparring sessions, and see what he says and does. If the response doesn't fit your needs, then you may have to find a new gym.
posted by tdismukes at 9:23 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


BTW - I checked out the website for your gym. It looks like you have a reasonably large stable of competitors and an experienced coach. This means that a) you should be able to find other folks to spar safely with (even if they aren't exactly your same size) and b) your coach should be able to make his own judgment about whether you are ready for the ring. You shouldn't have to worry about whether this individual will blackball you from the team.
posted by tdismukes at 9:42 AM on February 29, 2012


^^^ This is great advice if you are a character in a martial arts movie, but probably not if you are actually training in real life.

Do you train Muay Thai?
posted by the cuban at 11:05 AM on February 29, 2012


@ everyone who responded, thanks for your advice.

i have an "interview"/trial set up at another gym and will be meeting with their owner to see if that would be an option. will also be talking to my coach soon.

if i have to leave this gym, i'll miss teaching and i'll miss the community, but my goal is to compete so i act in pursuit of that goal.

@ the cuban, yes, i do muay thai under wka rules. for some reason, no one else who competes for our camp trains like the person i wrote this question about. i know this because i sparred with other new amateurs before their fights, including 3 of them before their first amateur fights -- like three weeks out when you're mentally ready to kill someone, as you well should be -- and still they were showing more control and precision than this person does at any old time. are they "good enough to take it," to use your words? i thought so. and one is up for a title this month.

@ tdismukes until someone else our size shows up i will have to spar with this person over and over to get ready, and i would happy to do that if it didn't mean more injuries, which have been functioning as setbacks. so either i sort it out with them or i don't get ready/i get ready elsewhere.
posted by zdravo at 2:01 PM on February 29, 2012


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