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Tight Shoulders -- Advice?

This is a story.

A Karate student tried really hard to do things right, but had a chronic problem -- his shoulders were too tight.  His tight shoulders affected all his movements and caused him a great deal of pain.  He even had to see the doctor and chiropractor about his shoulder problem.

His instructor would yell at him whenever he saw his tight shoulders.  Then he would command, "Lower you shoulders and drop and give me twenty!"  The student would obediently drop and do the pushups.  This went on for years and the problem only got worse.

Finally a visiting instructor came to the dojo.  He observed the student and mentioned to him that his shoulders were too tight.  The student dropped and started to do pushup.

"Stop, stop," said the instructor, "please get up."

So what do you think that the instructor said to the student?

"Relax and squeeze your lats."

The point is that yelling at the student and making him do pushups as punishment only made the problem worse (mentally and physically).  The solution was not to feed the problem but to have the student work positively on a solution.

"Relax and squeeze your lats" is not a punishment -- it is a positive solution to the problem.


Charles C. Goodin