Trainers…watch that ego!

“If ya gotta blow your own horn you’re probably the only one blowing the darned thing.” MS

I just got done leading black belt training and a level five test for an awesome group this past weekend. In this group we had pro and amateur MMA fighters, kickboxing champions, an Olympic gold medalist, several cops, swat team members, an Army Ranger and several masters of other arts. I can’t tell you how often, as we practiced a technique, I asked the group “anything to add?”. After teaching a kick I would say to one of the masters of a kicking art “Please come here and demo, yours is better than mine!”. After talking about a third party situation I would ask the Ranger or the law enforcement officers “How do you see this?”. The way I saw it, I had people who were experts in certain techniques and tactics at this training and if I want my people to be as good as possible and as safe as possible why wouldn’t I use the experts I had there?

When we were doing handgun scenarios with simunitions something stood out to me big time. We had several people who had done a lot of handgun training with big time, well known instructors who knew guns and could hit the eye out of a fly at thirty feet but who had never put anything they learned under stress. It was a whole new ballgame with someone shooting back! We all learned a lot and had some awesome training. During the training Brannon (the USKMA’s co-lead instructor and cop extraordinaire) made the statement that a lot of shooting courses compared to what we were doing that day are like martial arts vs. krav maga. Some instructors know the science, are very academic and add layers of complexity to justify their “new way” of shooting. What we were doing was simple stuff. Someone is shooting at you…it’s all about getting through the loop quickly and keeping the attacker in it. Complex doesn’t cut it. We had at least three guys in the room who had had to save their own butts with a handgun in the past. Guess who we asked a lot of questions? Instead of an academic bent and science we wanted to know how real people got out of crap situations in the real world!

As we talked about the other courses we attended in both the self defense and the shooting arenas Brannon made the statement “A lot of the guys who do that for a living are doing it because they have the ‘look at me’ type of personality. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just their personality. What ticks me off is if they are teaching a shooting course and they have several long time swat operators and the like attending and never ask them for their opinion, thoughts or stories. That is an instructor with a closed mind.”

I thought this was good advice. I attend a lot of other people’s training. I want my staff and students to do the same. If we can pick up one thing to make people safer it is worth the weekend’s training. When I attend other trainings it seems that generally I’ve seen 90% of it, 5% of it is bat $#!T what is he thinking crazy and 5% of it I can use…something new I had never thought of. The trainings I leave? The one’s with egotistical instructors. A big red flag is if they have to put down other systems or instructors. How do you build your house when you’re tearing down someone else’s. I had a friend walk out of a very expensive training put on by a very well known instructor when one of the first things out of his mouth was how much better what he does is than “krav m’gay”.

None of us know it all, nobody is always right. We change techniques often in our system, we want to stay cutting edge and keep people as safe as possible. We learn new techniques by scouring the internet, attending trainings, reading, watching videos and being open minded. Crap, it sounds like I’m blowing my own horn! The point is, nobody has all the answers. Learn from all but don’t look at any one instructor as THE authority. BE SAFE!

1 Comment

  1. well said ! well said ! It seems to be a common scene to put down others to elevate one’s own status in the Krav Maga world. sigh

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