Ever encountered a student crying in your martial arts class? If not, it is wise to know that it’s not an uncommon occurrence, especially with younger students.
Let’s admit it martial arts is not always easy for everyone, and some students find the going tougher than others. Whether it is due to the tough martial arts routine or personal reasons, students shedding a few tears during class can occur at times.
As a martial arts instructor, it is important to be able to deal with students crying in a way that is respectful and reassuring while also maintaining the structure of the class.
This article covers tips on how to deal with students crying in martial arts classes.
Why do students cry in martial arts class
The first step to handling a student crying in your class is to understand the reasons behind it. There can be several reasons why a student may cry during a martial arts session. Here are the most common ones.
Martial art is a full-body workout. You use muscles that you didn’t even know existed. And because you use those muscles so much, they get sore really easily.
A lot of times, students may cry because they can’t take the pain anymore, even though the pain is usually temporary and it will go away eventually.
Accidents happen, even in martial arts. It is not uncommon for students to get injured during sparring sessions or while trying to execute a complicated move.
The student may cry out of pain or frustration from the injury.
Crying in martial arts class can also be a way to release emotional stress.
Students might cry because they’re frustrated with their progress, or they might be feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of the class.
For some, crying is a way to release all of that built-up emotion so that they can focus on what’s important: becoming a better martial artist.
The feeling of not being good enough
When students see everyone else doing things that they can’t do yet, it may feel like an impossible goal to ever reach their level of proficiency. This can lead to a feeling of inadequacy and result in students crying.
Fear of the new environment
Sometimes new martial arts students, especially kids, can feel scared or intimidated in the new environment. The loud noises, unfamiliar faces, and strange surroundings can all be overwhelming for some students.
This feeling of being out of place can lead to tears as they try to cope with the new situation.
If a student is not prepared for an assessment or a test, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress. This can cause students to cry, especially if they feel like they’re not meeting the expectations of their instructors.
Sometimes even facing strong opponents as a part of their assessment can be a cause of fear which can lead to crying.
How do you handle a crying student
Dealing with a crying student can be a delicate situation. Understanding the cause of why the student is crying will allow you to better handle the situation.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when dealing with a student who is crying in your class.
Understand the reason
It is important to determine the reason for the tears. If it’s something minor like a paper cut, see if you can quickly resolve the issue without disrupting the rest of the class. If it’s something more serious, like an injured limb, you’ll need to take action accordingly.
- If the reason for the tears is something minor, see if you can quickly resolve the issue without disrupting the rest of the class. For example, if a student has a paper cut, see if you can stop the bleeding and bandage it up quickly.
- If the student is upset about something that happened outside of class, see if you can talk to them after class or during your office hours.
- If the reason for the tears is something more serious, like an injured limb, you’ll need to take action accordingly. In this case, you’ll need to contact emergency medical personnel and/or the school nurse as soon as possible.
Try to remain calm and keep your emotions in check. Your students will look to you for guidance on how to react in this situation. If you remain calm and collected, chances are they will too.
When you become angry or act out of frustration, it will only escalate the situation and make it more difficult to deal with.
Let the student know that everything is going to be alright. Reassure them that you’re there to help and that you’ll do everything you can to resolve the issue.
This will help to calm them down and make them feel more comfortable.
Encourage them to take a break
If the student is feeling overwhelmed, see if they would like to take a break. This will give them time to calm down and collect themselves.
It’s important to let the student know that it’s okay to take a break and that you’re not going to be mad at them for doing so.
Listen to them
If the student is upset about something, see if you can talk to them after class or during your office hours. This will give them a chance to vent their frustrations and explain what’s going on.
It’s important to listen to what they have to say and not.
See if someone else can help
You also see if there are any other students in the class who can help. For example, maybe there’s a student who is trained in first aid or has experience working with children. Utilizing other students as resources can be helpful in diffusing the situation and keeping everyone calm.
Remember crying is normal
Remember that crying is normal and natural! It’s okay if a student cries in class; just try your best to handle the situation in a way that is respectful and considerate of everyone involved.
While it may be tempting to ignore a crying student or tell them to “toughen up,” it’s important to remember that tears are normal and natural—and sometimes even necessary! By remaining calm and collected, assessing the situation, and utilizing other students as resources when necessary, you can successfully diffuse any emotional outbursts in your classroom—and hopefully prevent them from happening altogether.