Thursday, September 17, 2009

How do you tell?

We had a visitor to the dojo the other day. Without having seen him do anything but talk, I'm strongly inclined to write him off as a poseur - you know, the kind of dude who's convinced he's death on the hoof, but can be demolished by a 12-year old orange belt?

As it happens, there's some reasons I can pin down why I think that this time. The offers to show my sensei "some stuff he can probably use", when Sensei has been a black belt about five times longer than this guy has been in martial arts. The excessive, and somewhat random qualifications of the dude he claims as his teacher. And the fact that the last student from this particular teacher we had show up of an evening was exactly that sort of dude.

He's supposed to be coming by again, and we'll see if he lives down to my expectations, but I'm wondering why I'm quite so certain. Certainly there are teachers who have both good and bad students. Some of the cocky people convinced of their own deadliness are actually reasonably skilled - if not as skilled as they think they are, because nobody could be.

So, I guess my question of the evening (or early morning as the case may be) is this: Have you run into this sort of martial arts guy? What signs and symptoms did you notice?


Felicia said...

One of my senseis tells a story of a guy who decided to train a few years back. A Marine or a Navy SEAL (forgot which), he was kind of "yeah, I know all that" when techniques were explained. But when then 15-yr-old K, who had been training for about five years demonstrated a sweep by dropping him on his butt, he got up, bowed out, grabbed his gear bag and left. And he never came back. K is now a 30-yr-old 3rd dan who also trains in Krav Maga as well. Posers are everywhere :-)

Perpetual Beginner said...

It's often the most macho guys who are the worst posers. I think they get so wrapped up in the posturing that they don't know what to do when it gets punctured, or when the person they're dealing with doesn't have any investment in a macho pose.