this is going to be long. Sorry for your RSS feeds.
If you remember, when I started getting the Self Defense class together, I didn't really think I was the right person to teach it. Part of me still feels that way. While I have 20+ years experience in martial arts, I don't have a black belt. I'm close, but meh. I've worked as a bouncer, and a contract body guard / crowd control / security (granted it was 2 weekends a year, for the most part, and I only did it for a couple of years).
Recently I decided to axe the women only class. Because no one shows up for it. I wasn't told I had to yet, no body had hinted that I needed to start thinking about it, etc. I'm going to slide the co-ed class down to that slot, and maybe expand it, maybe not.
Tonight, a lady showed up for the women's class. I'm carrying a box, I juggled it and the blocker to get in the door, she stood at the top of the stairs, and didn't move even when I said excuse me. Granted she had no idea what was in the box, and it wasn't heavy, but I think it's common curiosity to at the very least move. She just looked, and then turned back and waited for the person at the sign in desk who wasn't there.
So I walked around her, hard to do, considering I'm a decent size guy, and I had a box in my hand. (The kind offices get paper in), with a foam blocker on top of it. I went into the room we train in, put the equipment down, and walked back out.
Snooty like, she asked if I was one of the self defense instructors, I said yes. She asked me if I knew who was working the sign in desk. I said no, but I was going to find out. I came back with the desk worker. The lady told me that she was there to watch the class. I said you have to play. My rules are you come to the class, you train. I don't like people sitting watching. (I can adjust the class for new people). I started cleaning the room, because the group in it before us, left mud all over the floor. At 7:33 she comes over and asks, don't you think you should get the class started? I said I would, if she was ready, other wise I have to wait for someone to show up. Her response was "Maybe the problem is the instructor". The two co-ed students how had just arrived heard her say it, the security guard / desk person heard her stay it. The security guard wanted to ask her to leave at that point but isn't allowed to (apartment complex clubhouse, can't kick out residents unless they're being destructive).
She asked what made me qualified to teach, I said I've been doing martial arts for 24 years (this is my 24th year), I've worked as a bouncer and a body guard. She didn't like my reason for not allowing shoes or jewlery (safety for yourself and others, even shown how a kick could be bad, and told her my brother broke his leg kicking recently). She didn't like that I had a guy and girl training together. Told her, it had the same safety rules as the martial arts school I go to. She kept insisting that women and men fight differently, I disagree (and have years of MA to teach me that). She asked me the type of people I body guarded for, I told her, tv and movie stars. She asked me about and your way protected them, then got up, said she came for a self defense class not a dance class.
Needless to say, it left me in a bad place. I've never felt like I should be teaching the class to begin with, my masters said I could, and my students (the 2 that keep coming back) think I do a great job. I wonder if I'm teaching them the right things and the right ways (there is no wrong on either), and if I should be teaching them other things than what I am (I do need to cover ground more, but want to wait for mats, which I don't want the complex to order if I only have 2 students).
So half the class the T and E were trying to get me to blow off the lady's criticism. But I guess they liked the later stuff. I showed a little ground stuff tonight. How to get an attacker off you. E didn't think it would work against a big guy. I'm 240 (she was talking bigger). Had her try it, and I went flying, and it was all her.
The security guard told me I'm a good teacher from what she's seen (she wants to take the class, but ends up having to work). She also said the lady was in the day before causing problems too. But it's still enough to bother me. I know I should let it go, but when you already wonder if you're doing the right thing, and get comments like she left tonight, it doesn't make you happy.