Sunday, August 3, 2014

THAT GUY - the List

I think that my post introducing the THAT GUY series wasn't very clear, so I'm going to be more explicit with this one.

We are looking for your stories about stereotypical students we run across as we train in the martial arts.  These are people that when you are telling stories about one to a friend, the friend knows what you are talking about because he, too, has seen or met a similar person.

These are not always bad martial artists, or even bad people. Their quirks make them amusing and memorable.  Some of these are YOU (and me - I note which one I am right now below).
Yep, they're talking about YOU. 

Here's our planned set - if you can think of more, we want to know!:

  • King of the Dojo - this person usually is not in your school, but is visiting from another or you meet at a seminar.  This guy is there not to learn, but to prove or test himself.
  • UFC Fanboy - similar to Street Guy and Suburban Commando, this is the student who, when presented with a technique, will proceed to say either it won't work because he's never seen it used in a UFC fight, or it will work, because Anderson Silva did it in a fight.  He judges the worth of everything by what he sees in the UFC.
  • Streetz Guy - Similar to UFC Fanboy and Suburban Commando, however, he judges everything by how he believes it will work "in the streets", in a real fight.
  • Suburban Commando - Similar to UFC Fanboy and Street guy, but with a military bent.  She judges everything by how it will work in military combat and the potential for killing. She is not in the military.

Pictured - The Stick Chick on Fridays
  • The Full Cup - an experienced martial artist learning a new art, who can't (or won't) learn things as the new art does things, but insists on doing things the way the old art he used to practice does it. This is my tendency!
  • Captain "What If" - she will always immediately look for the inherent flaws in technique and ways to defeat it, instead of learning the technique being taught first.
  • The Scholar - similar to The Philosopher, this person studies video and reads more books about the martial arts far more than she actually trains.  He can name every technique in your art, but he can't do most of them.
  • The Philosopher - similar to to the Scholar, except this person is more focused on the philosophical (or even religious) foundations of your art, versus the techniques.  He can quote every maxim the founder of your art ever uttered, and susses out the deep philosophical meaning of each. 
  • The Bruce Lee Disciple - this person will take every opportunity to quote Bruce Lee, and to tie back whatever you are doing to him.  You are not actually doing Jeet Kune Do.
  • The Japanophile - more Japanese than the Japanese.  Learns the Japanese language, eats Japanese snacks and foods nearly exclusively, watches Japanese media, and takes every opportunity in martial arts training (in a JMA, obviously) to point out how things are done in Japan.  Lives in a place like Nebraska.
  • The Ninja - is obsessed with the romantic idea of the ninja as portrayed in popular media (versus the actual skill set and historical reality). She is not studying ninjutsu.
  • The Moocher - the person who wants to study the martial arts, but does not want to pay to do so.  He is always hoping to find someone to teach for free, or if he is in a school, looking for private training or to use the dojo outside of normal operations for free.



I just wanna train... really!

  • The Vulture - the person who trains in your school (or hangs around) with the purpose of poaching your students for his new school or program.
  • The Bad Uke - this comes in many variants. Generally, someone who is not helping his training partner learn because of his actions as uke.
  • Overly Macho Guy - the guy who will never admit to pain or injury, will never admit to being bested in sparring, won't allow anyone to successfully demonstrate a technique against him if he can avoid it. 
  • Overly Girly-Girl - the woman who comes to class with perfect hair and full makeup, and will avoid learning techniques properly in fear of messing those up (much less breaking a nail), or, when those things are do get messed up, will complain loudly about it.
  • Fears All Pain - a person who is just fine with inflicting pain, but will avoid receiving it as much as they can.

Partner up!
  • Noodle Arms - the person who will offer no resistance to a technique.  Also tends to kitten punch.
  • The Drill Sergeant - the person who is 100% focused on the mat, and will make sure there is no funny business going on, ever.  She will also enforce every written and unwritten rule of etiquette in your school.
  • Ranky McGee - the person who is very concerned about rank.  Who has it, who doesn't, what privileges exist and who can learn what based on rank.  She tends to only associate and train with same lever or higher ranked persons in your school if at all possible.
  • The Muscle-Through Guy - this person uses his superior strength or size to do the martial arts, versus learning and perfecting techniques.

Grab my wrist.
  • Bad Hygiene Guy - the person who has a dirty uniform, doesn't bathe before training, and has bad breath.  He may or may not be aware of the problem (some people choose to do this as an advantage vs. opponents).
  • The Jokester - the flip-side of the Drill Sergeant, the person who doesn't take anything seriously, will make lots of jokes on the floor, will ignore etiquette rules (to be funny).
  • The Schmoozer - the person who's there to socialize more than train.
  • The Douchebag - a variant of the Schmoozer, this person is there to pick up romantic partners and uses the training to get close to their intended targets.
  • The Coach - the person trying to "help" people training by offering advice.  If a parent, it's advice based on different (or antiquated) training.  If it's a fellow student, it might be wrong.
  • The Dilettante - this person goes from school to school, picking up bits and pieces of various martial arts.  It is not unusual to find this person as a Grand Master of her own system hybrid system within a few years of attending your school.
Did we miss any?  As I noted above, I tend to be a Full Cup (and I'm going to write about my struggles to overcome it in another post soon).

Share your stories!