Ian didn’t have a good Secondary One, the transition was rough as the primary school years were kind of rough. and you wanted to put all that behinds and start afresh, eager for a clean slate. a bit too eager I’d say.
As your parents we remembered your Sec One form teacher telling us on your first Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) that you are great, assimilating well into secondary school life, but a bit too fast to raise your hands, and perhaps working a bit too hard to try and fit in and get accepted.
Poor judge of character
In the early months of your Sec 1, you were grouped into a team to do some work, and you told us about these few boys whom we singled out a particular individual- let’s call him Johnny. I told you to be wary of Johnny as he don’t look like someone I’d consider decent, based on your account of him and his behavior.
You decided to go ahead with his group and true to our opinions, you didn’t have a good time.
Bad to Worse
It turns out this Johnny was of all sorts of wayward character, making things difficult in class, and turns out to be the kind of delinquent we warned our kids to not become and warn our kids of. Unfortunately, he decided to pick on you, since you’ve sort of worked with him earlier in a project, and looked like you can be pushed around for being amiable and nice.
Over the school term, we keep hearing you coming home to tell us about the things Johnny did in class, and things got so bad he was caned in class. That was his problem but he also decided to embarrass you by ‘pants-ing*’ and gets physical through rough play.
No use going to the teachers
We mentioned this to the school but it was no helpful, despite of the school telling him not to come near you, he still continues to harassed you. It looks like there was little that could be done to deal with him.
One evening while you were talking about him, again. and we got quite agitated because Johnny is really getting on my nerve, and yet I cannot do anything about him. In exasperation, I asked:” Why is he still messing with you!?” Something like that.
You finally blurted out, with tears in your eyes “Because I’m scared of him!”
The Truth is Out
That revelation puts things in perspective. Now we know we need you to deal with your fear, otherwise you will never overcome this bad experience and it will haunt you for a long time to come.
We also knew that the establishments will not be able to help you anymore, so we need to take matters into our own hands.
Towards the end of Term 4, you came back and told us that Johnny started another antics of trying to hug you from behind, and tried to be ‘friendly’ in this way towards you. We knew you didn’t like it and he is not at all that friendly, so he’s just being him.
I told you this- take the fight to him.
You have my full blessings to beat the living daylights out of him, and apply necessary violence to send the message, not to trifle with you anymore. Our rules of engagements is simple: ‘Don’t start a fight, and if you found yourself in one, you need to end it with you standing.’
So I give you my blessings, Take Him Out. I would expect a call from your principal informing your parents that you are involved in a gnarly fight and I have to go to the school to sort this out.
So the next day I came home and asked you about it, you nonchalantly told us that you knocked him out.
We were like “YOU WHAT!?”
You proceeded to tell us that Johnny was up to his usual nonsense and tried to hug you again, from the front this time, you saw that coming and pushed him away once, and warned him not to do it.
Johnny ignored you (no surprise there) and came at you again. You did the same thing pushed him away and then swung your small bag, with a half filled water bottle in it at him. It caught him at the side of his head and he went down, lights out.
He wasn’t out for long and got to his feet groggily. It happened so quickly no one has got a chance to even register what happened. According to you, some other naughty kids saw you did that as well, but no one said a thing.
Training paid off
While your dad is an Aikidoka by training, I’ve never taught you boys anything martial arts, instead I teach ‘dirty fighting’ getting you boys to punch, kick and deal with a larger opponent, getting pinned to the ground and fighting your way out and up. Fighting is very physical and overwhelming and I’ve always prepare you both to fight someone larger faster and better than you. The only way to prevail in such a situation is to throw the rule book out, and fight like hell.
Of course part of these trainings is about timing and distancing, which paid off when Ian took out Johnny. While I never wanted any of you boys to get into a fight, I’m glad you could get out of one, quickly and expeditiously without being hurt.
After that event, Johnny learned to stay away from you, thankfully that was the only year you were in the same class with him and it did helped to minimize interactions. I think the other confidence builder is that you know you can stand up for yourself, and people has seen you done that, and the rest of your secondary school says, no one decided to pick on you anymore.
That fight, thankfully didn’t change you for worse, you’re still that good natured, often goofy, aloof boy, but I think word would have spread that you can do what is needed to protect yourself.
*Pants-ing is a trend back then where kids tries to pull down each other’s pants in a bid to embarrass them