Beloved Martial Arts Instructor's "Cancellation" Confuses Student - Ask Someone Else's Mom (2023)


Beloved Martial Arts Instructor's "Cancellation" Confuses Student

Beloved Martial Arts Instructor's "Cancellation" Confuses Student - Ask Someone Else's Mom (1)

by Susan Writer

Ask Someone Else's Mom |

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I have been going to the same dojo since I was eight years old. I have a real connection with my sensei and the students who have moved up with me through years of training and competitions. He treats us all like his own kids.

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Last month, one of the mothers of a new student found a blog written by my sensei about where he grew up in the early 1970s. It was a small Southern town where there was still segregation, even if it was unofficial. My sensei wrote about how he and his brothers were called the “N” word, which he spelled out, and how the kids he grew up with called the white people in the town “crackers.”

The whole point of the blog is that we should have moved past all this kind of racial hatred, and that once he got out of his small town and joined the army, my sensei learned that people are people, wherever they come from, and he has worked to treat people, all people, the way he wants to be treated.

All the mother saw was that he used the “N” word and “cracker,” and then she put out how racist this man is, and how he should not be teaching children, and it blew up into this whole stupid thing that led to his being asked not to return to the dojo, which he helped build!

How can one person make life so bad for someone, especially when she did not even take the time to read through the blog to see what the message was? --- HE’S NO RACIST

DEAR HE’S NO RACIST: Sadly, there have always been and will always be people who look for trouble where none exists. Some people are not inclined to explore a story beyond the headlines and specific trigger words.

It sounds like in the case of your sensei’s blog, he was aiming to inspire tolerance and forward movement, and his detractor got hung up on offensive terms, rather than the lessons being put forth.

If you and other like-minded students and their families stand up for your ousted sensei, perhaps that will be a valuable lesson in not allowing a superficial knowledge of a situation to serve as a guide for how to react to it, and your dojo will restore the man you respect and admire.


New Year Resolution Is to Dump Boyfriend

Beloved Martial Arts Instructor's "Cancellation" Confuses Student - Ask Someone Else's Mom (2)

by Susan Writer

Ask Someone Else's Mom |

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DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: This time last year I made a promise to myself to break up with my boyfriend if he continued to act like he has been acting, especially around other women. He laughs off what I say when I say it really bothers me, and flirts right in front of me when pretty women are around. When we are just the two of us, he says things that make me feel like he does not think I am very smart or educated.

When I told him I would end the relationship and find someone who treats me better, he got better for a little bit, and then by the end of the summer was right back to his old ways.

My sister says he is a classic misogynist, and the longer I stay with him, the more damage I am doing to my self-esteem.

What makes it hard for me to end things is this was the first guy I ever felt like I loved, and when we were first together, he made me feel special. That has not happened for a long time.

I worry I won’t find anyone who makes me feel like he did at first. I am okay looking, but not the kind who guys exactly fly to if more attractive women are around.

I guess I just want to feel like I’ll be okay when I get him out of my life. I want to make moving on my New Year Resolution, but what if I wind up more unhappy than I am now? --- NEED RESOLVE FOR MY RESOLUTION

DEAR NEED RESOLVE FOR MY RESOLUTION: Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of the devil you know, but if this man is incapable of permanently altering his behaviors that cause you pain or unhappiness, then I believe you owe it to yourself to get out of the relationship. His flirting with other women may just be an ego boost for him, but it’s at your expense, as is his criticisms of you in private.

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You’ve given him a year, now I think it’s time you give your resolution a chance. Believe in yourself and your ability to eventually find a more satisfying relationship with someone you feel is looking for an equal and respectful partnership.


Dad Feels Pressure of Being Son's Hero

Beloved Martial Arts Instructor's "Cancellation" Confuses Student - Ask Someone Else's Mom (3)

by Susan Writer

Ask Someone Else's Mom |

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My son is just turning six, and from things I have heard him saying to his mother and his friends, he has this idea that I am some kind of magical man, who can do everything and anything, and that just is not the truth. I have failed at some things, like anyone else.

One of my biggest problems is that I have a job that sometimes causes me to be late for or miss out on things, not because I want to be, but because I have to work. My son is still too little to be involved in a lot of after-school things, but he has already had a couple of school presentations that I missed, and I feel bad about having missed them.

Right now he still thinks I am like a superhero, but I am afraid he is going to find out the truth, that I am only human and have to put my work ahead of my family sometimes.

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How do I get him and me both ready for when he finds out I am far from a superhero? --- NOT A SUPERHERO

DEAR NOT A SUPERHERO: No, you’re not a superhero, but you are a VIP in your son’s mind and world, and that may never change, even when he gets to the stage of realizing nobody, not even the adults most central to his life, is perfect.

You, at least, are trying to be there for him as much as you’re able, and it sounds like you only miss special events through circumstances beyond your control.

By doing your best and letting your son know that’s all anyone can reasonably be expected to do, you’ll give him a realistic and achievable example of what it means to be an adult and a parent.

Chances are you’ll slip once in awhile both in your son’s eyes, and in your own. That’s when it wouldn’t hurt to explain to him making mistakes is all part of being human — at any age — and it’s what you do to make the situation better that often counts more than the mistakes.

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