Thursday, October 20, 2011


Many people, especially women have a tendency to apologize if they make a mistake - does not matter if the opponent gets hit or not, if it's an error in a drill or in sparring.
I do it, but nowadays only if I ding someone accidentally hard through an error on my part. I don't apologize if it's their error, or it's what I intended, but martially even this is a bad habit, I know that, but decades of polite upbringing are hard to break.

Today at workout it came up during a Palakaw exercise - One of the students - 'Oops'. 'Sorry. Oops. Oops. Hell. Sorry. Oops'!
Gotta stop saying Oops

Sensei MikeE has a solution to this problem. I think it's inspired so I thought I would share for all those afflicted with this same politeness virus.
His advice - "When you f*#k up, don't say 'Oops', say 'I will haunt you'!
How cool is that?

Thanks to Liat for passing that on.


Anonymous said...

I've used this after tasing a guy who beat both his dogs and his wife, throwing her naked into the street and then going to a local coffee shop and ordering a latte. When he went rigid from the electrical current running through his body and fell down and hit his widdle noggin, I told him, post-handcuffing, "oops, sorry."

Jake said...

I've seen this a lot with women too, especially in Muay Thai. Sometimes see it with guys too, though not as often.

At some point, I started telling my clients "Don't apologize. I'm the trainer. It's MY job to tell you when you're fucking up."

"I will haunt you" is pretty interesting too.

Maija said...

Mac - Yeah, I guess 'oops' does have it's appropriate place. :-)

Jake - The point of the phrase is of course to substitute apologizing with something more pro-active to hopefully keep a better mental attitude and focus, but also to make sure that if things go south, that your last words are not 'Oops'.

I like 'I will haunt you' as it is a superstitious mindfrack whether you are still in the game or done for.

"I'll take you with me you piece of ...!" may or may not end up being true ... but who knows about haunting ... ;-)

Scott said...

You want to get students to stop appologizing? One day George Xu was wearing an all white uniform and it had recently rained so the ground was muddy. Anyway, I kicked him with the whole bottom of my foot on his upper thigh (qua) and left a huge mud splat. "Sorry" I said. He took a step back and did a double chop down either side, looked straight at me with his killer Yi and said, "No Problem."

If you are subordinate to the art and the art is fighting, than it won't occur to you to appologize. If you are subordinate to the person or even their image (in white) it will.
Also, Mac, I think in that situation you were appologizing to our system of justice, which you agree with...but in this case wish was a little harsher and faster.

Scott said...

Also, if you want to go Samurai, in stead of saying 'sorry' say, 'thank you!' The subtext being, 'Better to die by the hand of another warrior than to be put down by old age.'

Josh Kruschke said...

How about, "See your not so bad Ass." ?