There’s this new girl in our dojo who has been with us for the past 6 months. I’m going to call her Yoriko to respect her privacy here.
Despite being new, she’s a bulldozer when it comes to learning; she’s an extremely hungry student when it comes to techniques, often staying in for the advance class and asking the black belts to demonstrate advance techniques such as Koshiange (throw from the hip) even though I believe she’s a 4th kyu.
But there’s just something about Yoriko that just rubs off the wrong way. Understand that the vast majority of people that I know in my life I make a point to be benign towards. “You don’t bug me, I don’t bug you” sort of policy. But this one has proven to be quite…annoying
To be honest I did flirt with her once, but it was then that I realized that she didn’t like my humor very much nor my advance (don’t worry I stopped). I also noticed that she didn’t think too much other than training, which prevented a lot social interaction (between me at least).
That would have been the end of it, except for several incidents, including a recent one this past Monday that was particularly telling of our relationship.
Our mat relationship is really, really strained – like really strained. Like avoiding each other on the mat strained. Before I go into what happened, here’s a list of some of the things that happen whenever I’m paired up with her:
- She tends to be ultra serious about learning and dissecting the technique. She rarely if ever (even before our “incident”) talks about anything else. (Loads of people do this, myself included. So not a real biggie).
- Just remembered this: while she extremely curious to learn new techniques and learn from the black belts. It seems that she does not talk to anybody except the black belts. Like when she has a problem in a technique (or whatever), she would only ask a black belt, even as a 4th kyu – or whatever. (Weird, but nothing big)
- She often likes to state that I’m doing something wrong. Like the example I’m going to tell you guys, she’d often point out things that I’m going off the side when I’m meeting her, etc. (it’s to avoid hitting her). Now, everyone does something wrong regular and shit happens – but it seems that this woman just come out and points it out on a regular basis.
However, this all maybe because her personality reminds me of a lot of my aunts in my family. Often these aunties would criticize me (or whatever cousins might be visiting) and they would state how we’re fat, slow, lazy, not working, “why are you changing jobs again”, etc. It’s often an “Asian expression of love” of relatives critiquing your every move and decision. Often this expression “of love” is mistaken by American ears as negativity.
Negativity, even in the name of “critique” is starting to become one of my worst pet peeves. During a recent incident with Yoriko this pet peeve really reared its ugly head.
Was it appropriate that my newly recognized pet peeve got the better of me? Maybe, Perhaps not, I tend to deflect harsh criticism especially when it feels unwarranted – its proven to be quite good especially when I’m surprised by something.
Anyway, the incident was this past Monday when I was doing atemi for a kotegeishi. She stated that I was veering off the side whenever I was getting to her some of the time. I guess something in the way she said it that ticked me off and I just casually brushed it aside, stating something along the lines of “I’m trying not to hit you”. The only thing I remember was that I was trying my best not to blame her (which I never directly stated anything like that) and stating “Well, you can always grab or move me”. What later transpired was she crossed her arms and walked off to another group that was training. Never before had I ever had anyone walk off on me because of my behavior.
She took to complaining about my lack of performance to a 4th dan on the mat after class. I overheard she saying to him “…an atemi is meant to be straight, unlike some people.” (throws me a piercing look). I didn’t raise my voice – I continued walking out of the dojo.
I suppose there’s a first time for everything. This is another example of my “smartass” ways coming out. As I was driving back home after the recent incident that prompt this post, I realized that I could have been more present in my atemi. Also the reason why I veer off to the side inside of punching straight on was because I was going so fast that I couldn’t brake in time to avoid crashing into her. Basically the lesson here is: Be more present, and keep my “smartassness” to a minimal.
I’m thinking of letting Sensei know about this personal rift between Yoriko and I, it might become something big so I might as well let me know ahead of time.