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When you have a belligerent student, you are faced with choices for how to deal with the situation. Your choice of how to deal with the student depends upon many factors such as:

·         Age of the student

·         How belligerent the student behaves

·         Parental interference

·         Medical or sociological reasons

Whichever, your desire should be to keep the student, not to expel them. Although this is the goal, sometimes there is no choice and the student will have to be expelled.

Given that we desire to keep the student in class, you could employ any of the following strategies:

·         Take the student aside for a talk

·         Take the student into the office for a talk

·         Bring in the parent for a talk

·         Give the student a time out (in class)

·         Give the student a time out (from x classes)

·         Temporarily move the student to the top spot to act as an example for the others (tell the student that they are now in the top spot and everyone will be watching them to see how to do it right)

·         Fight the student (not to punish but to humble)

·         Meet with the student outside of class

·         Other techniques that you might think of

Some of these techniques seem counter intuitive but they specifically apply to certain situations. For example, a belligerent adult who is angry because there is not enough fighting, might learn from a fight that they really do need to practice all of those basics. Or a young karate student who is mis-behaving in class can be convinced the he/she is (for today) setting the example for all of the other students to follow and can benefit from the attention. Time outs are effective but have the negative impact of singling out the student. Eliciting a parent’s assistance is worth gold especially if the student is warned that the continued behavior could lead to dismissal. Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for dealing with this problem. However, with practice and a will to solve the problem, diversity in the solution can be most beneficial. Be flexible but firm.

Sensei's Corner

Episode 005 The Belligerent Student
The Belligerent Student
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