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Martial Arts Jealousy?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:03 pm
by Baffled
Ive never posted a problem online before but I stumbled on this forum. Everyone seems so helpful and friendly and frankly Im a bit stuck so I thought Id share and see what the general opinion is :)Apologies if this is the wrong area of the forum. Its not a massive life problem or anything, just a personal niggle thats keeping me up at night.

About a year ago, myself and my best bud decided we wanted to take up a martial art. Id dabbled in a few in the past but decided it would be more fun for us to start a new thing together as a team so we took up judo. We've been going quite religiously, although Ive missed a fair few more sessions than him due to work commitments. I enjoy martial arts and consider it to be 'my thing' but recently this has changed.

My judo club is very black belt heavy-that is to say that the number of blackbelts far outstrips the number of low grades. If you discount the juniors (under 16s) myself and my friend are pretty much it. Occasionally others show up but this is rare. This means that we are essentially bottom of the class. This in theory shouldnt be a bad thing as it should mean more blackbelts to learn from but in reality leaves me feeling a bit useless as all of the blackbelts give conflicting information and I end up more confused than I started. Ive tried mentioning this but after Ive failed a throw or a hold, I feel like Im making excuses for my own rubbish technique.

Particulary conflicting is the instruction of my sensei. Hes a nice enough chap and I dont doubt that he knows his stuff but he frequently comes accross as patronising. I could get over this fact if it was the only one. His instruction, however, seems to contradict itself-he will tell me to slow down a throw for example, which I will do, but he will then tell me Im not throwing fast enough, which is the exact opposite of what he has just told me to do and leaves me totally bewildered. He has also been doing judo for so long that I get the impression he cant really remember being a beginner and when ever I ask a question I end up feeling stupid.

Anothr factor is that, children aside, Im a good 25lb lighter than the others. They are all very nice but they all 'pull punches' on me, so to speak, in the same way they do the little kids. I appreciate they dont want to hurt me but its making me feel like a martial arts booby prize, a chore to be endured in between more fun opponants. The only time I get praised is when Im fighting the kids which stings because
a) I could beat up kids if I wanted a year ago and
b) makes me wonder if my technique is actually horrible and Im just winning due to superior strength and
c) kinda confirms that no one else wants to fight me and so they are fobbing me of on the youngsters.

Lastly, and it shames me to admit this, but I am finding myself increasingly jealous of my friend. Hes taken to judo really well and is constantly praised for his advancement. Hes taller than me, broader than me, stronger than me and treated as a star pupil. No one pulls punches on him. The black belts keep tutoring him. I want to be glad for him and I hate being so petty and jealous but I cant help thinking...well, hes bigger and stronger and better looking than me. Cant I be better for once? Or at least an equal? Part of the reason I started martial arts was to compensate for my smaller stature but all that seems to have been confirmed is that bigger stronger people will whip me regardless which is depressing because even if I become a real gym-monkey, Im never going to be a muscular giant. In comparison to him, Im the class dunce and Im ashamed to say that this bruises my ego more than is confortable. Its not my friends fault (though he occasionally patronises me a bit, he means well) but Im at real risk of taking out my frustrations on him. I dont want to wreck our friendship.

I have been considering quitting, which upsets me as Im not a quitter. If I give up, I will feel like a failure, like Ive quit because the goings got tough. I wont get better if I give up like a giant loser. On the flip, though, I feel worse than useless after every lesson and frankly I can feel bad about myself for free without being thrown and choked. Do I just need to man up and get on with it? How can I keep going and take setbacks as lessons rather than constantly feeling a bit rubbish and slightly hating my friend?

Thankyou for reading this.

Martial Arts Jealousy?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:22 pm
by Skarlet
Hi there,

I have some experience of Judo, (did it as a child) but will use my experience of other classes I have been to.

Have you considered trying a different school? It sounds like the teaching isn't suiting you rather then you are being stupid or rubbish at it. I spent around 8 months to find a teacher of pole dance that suited me, before I found my current teacher I felt rubbish and awkward.

If you want to stay with that school, is there any books you can get about judo that will help. Are you doing exercise outside of class?


Re: Martial Arts Jealousy?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:34 pm
by Baffled
Thanks for the reply Skarlet :) Outside of judo, I also do karate and occasionally jog or hike. Ive not considered trying a different school mainly because it just hasnt occoured to me, but its a good suggestion. Trouble is, Id feel disloyal to the club and to my buddy :s

Martial Arts Jealousy?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:54 pm
by Skarlet
Baffled wrote:Thanks for the reply Skarlet :) Outside of judo, I also do karate and occasionally jog or hike. Ive not considered trying a different school mainly because it just hasnt occoured to me, but its a good suggestion. Trouble is, Id feel disloyal to the club and to my buddy :s

If the club isn't working for you then there is nothing to feel disloyal. You don't have to keep going, but it would give you a chance to evaluate whether the teaching is right for you at your current place.

Do you think that your lessons in Karate could be hindering your judo?

What about a different form? Kungfu? Ninjutsu? Or MMA?

Re: Martial Arts Jealousy?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:06 pm
by Baffled
Thats a good idea. I will research other local clubs. Im keen to stick with the judo (Ive tried a fai few of other forms and loved them all but only so many hours in the day, lol!) but as you said, if its not working then Im doing no one any favours. Cheers! Its been great to get an opinion, things get a bit stagnant if you only talk them over with yourself. Really appreciated :)