Sunday, January 30, 2011

Frustrations and Knowledge

For January I offered several personal defense courses. A couple thru Great Basin College and a 3-session course in Wells. I had one person for the Wells class. A few others who said they were interested, didn't follow thru. This is one of the frustration each of us a personal defense instructors experience.

As for the GBC workshops, I showed up Saturday the 22 for the morning. But after waiting there until 9am and having no one show up I left. There were only 2 people signed up, but I was looking forward to the class. It turns out, that the two people were traveling from a near by town and came upon an accident on their way to my class. They are first responders, so they took care of the scene. Needless to say, I have rescheduled the class for this coming Saturday. I am looking very forward to meeting these ladies! Some press releases have been sent to hopefully get a couple of more people to sign up.

The frustration of having so few ladies take such a beneficial class can get to me sometimes. Often times I wonder why I continue to train and pursue the information and education I do, at my expense, to become more knowledgeable about defense and violence. Becoming the best, most accurate teacher I can be is of what use if there are no students? I am about to go off to yet another training in which day two is titled, Concrete, Dirt, & Barstools. Environmental fighting simulations at a real biker bar, rented specifically for training. What I know I will get from this training is yet another level of understanding of defensive situations, and violence.


What for?

I am going to drive to an area I have never been before, stepping into a training situation that is rather intimidating to think about. I have full confidence and faith in the trainers ability to train. He is diligent, well trained, and knowledgeable. It will be fun and exciting, and I will be meeting some great people. I always do when I venture into training.

So as I asked Travis once, "What are you going to do with all this 'knowledge?"

I too, ask myself, "What do I do with all this knowledge?"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Commitment and Action

I was watching Phil's lecture video on commitment and action and part of the lecture talked about the paths we take in our lives. As we journey though our lives, the easiest path to take is the one that others have forged and laid out for us. But that may not necessarily be the path we want to take.
A few things crossed my mind upon hearing this; arranged marriages, being forced into or away from a gender-specific occupations, attending a specific college because everyone else in the family had... so many things in our lives are pre-forged for us.

It is scary to wander off the beaten path to find a different way. Our own way.

I consider my life to be a journey, as many do. When I reflect upon this journey of mine, it has been remarkable. At least to me. I had never thought of some of the things I've done, participated in, or accomplished in a 'commitment' sense. But in retrospect, the commitments I made throughout my life has been chunks of commitments and actions to have brought me to where I am. I thought I was just having fun and doing what I enjoyed. I never considered my years of martial arts training as a commitment, but it most certainly was.

Being committed to something is easy when it is something we enjoy. The test of the character comes when we commit to something we may not have an exceedingly amount of passion for. Jogging for instance. Or just any consistent time focused upon a specific activity that is necessary, but may not be enjoyable. Like paying bills, laundry, cleaning, working out, etc.

Resolutions have a commitment factor. To make a resolution to do something is one thing, putting that resolution into action is another. Commitment without action is just empty words. We hear lots of those.

What actions have been taken towards 'commitments' you've expressed. I for one, have spent more time on the treadmill. I have also added to this blog every week since the 1st. It can be tough figuring out what to write about. It's constantly a thought at the back of my mind, 'what am I going to post this week?' And then finding the time to sit down and gather thoughts in a coherent manner to do it. Then I think, 'Well, who gives a shit, no one reads this any way. Missing one week won't be a big deal.' Which it really wouldn't make a difference to anyone, except me. So here I am putting the action in to my commitment.
Squeezing it in between other actions.

And most of the time I think that I am not doing enough. hmmmm

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Xperts R Us

Expert - Having a comprehensive knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
Knowing something in depth, is different than simply dabbling in wide arena and then developing an opinion. Sometimes tho, the knowledge we believe we have can be a figment our our imagination. Would that make it opinion?
It is a fact that the sun rises in the east. Or is it? The fact is that the sun is stationary and the planets are the ones that move. This fact refutes the 'rising' in the east statement, doesn't it?

In depth knowledge is a trait anyone can have. In depth knowledge makes one an 'expert'. I know people who have in-depth knowledge of dolls, engines, football, technology... whenever I converse with them it is always fascinating to me the passion they have for their subject of interest.

How does one become an expert? I think the first requirement is passion. A profound, deep passion for the particular subject. I would never be able to become an expert about auto mechanics. Not my cup of tea. I am however striving to gain expertise in personal defense. It is the subject matter that is my passion. How to be the best instructor possible, how to present information and education to those who need it in the most powerful, comprehensive way, finding other experts who have truly lived the experience. Drawing from those who have real life experience in this stuff is vital.

Anyone can be a self defense instructor, but not everyone has the capacity to truly comprehend what a self defense situation will actually feel and smell like. Violence is not what most people think it is. When a self defense instructor suggest that there is a 'safe' way to fight, or even to comply in your assault -then they are tossing their students to the wolves. Perpetuating myths, falsehoods and employing complicated unproductive mechanics creates a false sense of security. Which in turn, produces a freeze when what the skills and information they have been given fail.

Like any industry, there are great programs, mediocre programs, and lousy programs. How does one find a good, reputable, accurate program of personal defense? Research. There are things that a good program will have. That, will be left for another day....

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Negligent Instructors

As I was on the treadmill today, I was watching Kevin Dillon's DVD. Part one of Police Tactics Training or something of the sort. I have had the opportunity to train with Kevin. Funny guy. His program is really appealing to me. It is simple, and gets the job done. Nothing fancy, just effective.

While listening to him talk about warm ups and such, I began to wander into my own past training. My instructor was so hardcore and relentless when it came to doing things exactly as he said to. There was no questioning, no alterations allowed. All of it was in the name of training. The greatest part to that regimen was that he insisted things be done properly. Proper body alignment when we did all our warmups and exercises. Proper breathing as we executed movements. All of this, was important. It has become so much more apparent to me why he was so anal about not slacking and not altering.

I have been into other school's classes and watched as the lead instructors allow 'sloppy' skills to develop. No improper fists were ever corrected. I witnessed bent wrists, and yes, even thumbs tucked inside. In fact I was sparring a youngster, and caught his fist in mid-strike to correct his tucked thumb. Why in the world he was allowed to continually develop such a bad, detrimental habit is beyond me. I found it insulting.

I have witnessed so much of these unacceptable habits to be continuously allowed that I have a hard time when others telling me about how great their training is. Perhaps I have become overly skeptical... Nawwwww. It is just that I am frustrated that so many expert black belts literally sacrifice their student's health and well-being because they choose to take no responsibility to learn anatomy along with the how and why of training the body properly. A poor quality of instruction handed down from teacher to student, etc. on down the line

A good school is more than just bustin' out reps and learning bad-ass ways to be a bigger bad-ass. It is a great physical workout that is beneficial for health and fitness for years and years. Our school was full contact, worked out on concrete, and I usually had to spar bigger guys, (because everyone is bigger than me) my knees are still good, no arthritis, and no bad, back, hip, ankle, or any other part of me that suffered damage from improper training. Boxers break, chipped teeth, and a few broken bones... none of which were the result of a negligent instructor.

IDK.. what do you think?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year

New Years resolutions usually get broken. I resolve to contribute to my blog regularly for 2011. It has been created and has had only a few posts on it for quite some time. In reading for thru them, they weren't too bad, if I say so myself. I was nicely shocked about the 'fighting' post. All of it was written before reading 'Meditations on Violence'. It was great to have the documentation of my thoughts previous to reading that book.

I have always said both aloud and to myself that I would like to write. In order to be a writer, one must write. So that may be my goal, among others, for this year. I plan to actually schedule writing time into my week so that I may post weekly.

Content will vary, as there are often tidbits of stuff I read or find throughout the day that I find myself quietly bellowing about 'tis time to put that bellowing out there. Overcome the fears of publishing and at least publish on my blog site. Maybe, just maybe, something will come of it, be it outrage or insight.

So welcome to 2011. Keep checking in and see whats up.

Stay Safe.