How many times do I hear that statement directed at my method of teaching my system of combatives.
Usually I am told I am not sensitive enough or too military/RSM-ish when I teach. I appreciate the feedback and I know some of it comes from well intentioned people who believe, if I just made this major migration to my ‘method of instruction’ I would open up the training to a broader clientele.
However, it’s usually from people who come from styles or systems that use ‘shall we say a more ‘soft warrior’ approach’ to their training. The comment generally comes because they have not responded well to my method of training. Perhaps a little too direct for them from what they are use to. Under my course load their system’s approach to training failed them while trying to execute my drills. They were not able to pull off what they had learned and have a hard time coming to terms with that.
You would think that should have been enough of a wake-up call but it seems it’s not! It seems my harsh approach was not what they were expecting and of course this means they clearly did not research me before attending the training! This is the part I’ve learned over the years where ‘excuses are reasons for failure’ as is personal denial. Excuses seem to create the need to save face, perhaps ego kicks in, or they just think I am outdated telling me all I need to do is drop the harsh side of my character in training and follow the others they trained with who offered that, you know; soft flow no pressure training they go on about…
…they go on to tell me how everyday life stress is already too much to handle ie: Shopping with toddlers, loosing a parking spot, late for a meeting etc… and that in training you don’t need to add to that level. You only need to approach training with soft stress free energy flow. Blah, blah, blah…WHAT THE F—K! I ask. What business am I in again?
Experience has taught me you can’t be everything to everybody and nor do I want to be; but the instructor or student mentality that tells me don’t pressure test is just flaky. That is not real training. And what they really want is mystical make believe nonsense. And you know there are a lot of flaky systems and training out there. Why, because clearly it sells! And I am all over that…I am serious, because in my opinion it’s just more BS. Again, why? Have you ever been in a real street confrontation, because if you have not then how can I explain it to you, the stress, the pressure and the violence. There is ‘NO SAFE ZONE’ your body and mind will go through a very specific pattern of physical and psychological change. It’s instantaneous and everyone goes through it regardless of their level of training.
Some would consider that rather stressful and there are consequences associated with violence. And from my operational years of experience as both a soldier and a cop if you are not trained and put through the pressure cooker then there is a high probability your training will fail you when you need it. That is the first consequence I call the ‘terrible risk trio’ – system failure.
But, and here’s the big but, too many people don’t get. The trained and pressure tested combatives practitioner defeats that ‘terrible risk trio’ and ‘battle drills’ are a big part of that success. Therefore, my training is adequate and proper for the threat level on the street today because you are pressured in and through drills I design for that specific purpose. Yes they fatigue you and mental cracks will appear in your training and that attacks your stress level. This allows us to recognize it and deal with it right then and there …before anything happens on the street that might test it.
(The bonus from that kind of proper combative training is that the rest of your normal day, like screaming toddlers toppling the stroller, computer meltdowns, puny parking stalls and all those creating mini stressors throughout the day will roll off your shoulder easier) They’re not a big deal… you cannot let that shit build up and not release it.
Pressure in training let’s you release pressure and you’re not going to be doing a whole bunch of ridiculous breathing exercises and internal meditation. Yes, you’ll use ‘tactical breathing and tactical awareness’ because I teach it to you…the stuff that works. It’s a military mental/spiritual training void of unrelated topical mystical or religious agendas often put forward by some martial arts guru. I am not one of those guys, I have too much real world experience for such bull and that includes more than a half century of Eastern based martial arts study to know nonsense when I hear it or see it.
I cannot imagine not pressure testing your training. Every skill technique adaptation must be learned, pressure tested, then tweaked and learned again. It’s the only way to have it become second nature and NOT fail you in the midst of battle (or street altercation). Can you imagine sending a soldier to war or a cop on the street without first testing them fully in training, gut checking their mind/body connection…do they not carry the power of God (a gun that can take a life). Have we not seen huge news stories, where in my opinion (and this is again backed up by my own experience, because I actually did the job) where their training has clearly failed them. Those various forms of pressure waves come in and hit them way before anything physical has even happened causing them to give over to their emotional side and lose it! I believe staying focused is a matter of hard realistic training because you cannot control the environment, only you and too many ‘masters’ would have you believe what you do in the school is the same as the street! I believe in my training approach simply because having been pressure tested to that level of interaction in combat preparedness has saved my life on several occasions. It’s put the bad guys down and saved some victims lives as well, because I was a ‘door kicker’ first before becoming a master’s master. Frankly I believe that is why serious people seek my training instead of the vast network of other training available to them today.
But some of you still want me to ‘soft flow’ my training and not use battle drills or get in your face. Violence has taught me you cannot always step back and take a second to build up your magic energy flow and/or de-accelerate the violent action about to be released upon you. No one attacks verbally or physically in slow motion. Train like that and you’ll get your head handed to you in a heartbeat because your training is make believe, using scenarios that do not happen in the real world. That’s what happened to you when you trained with me…system failure! Don’t blame me because your little ‘bubble’ burst. Blame your instructor he sold it to you. You should be thankful that you found out now rather than later when you needed it. I take my responsibility as a trainer, martial art master, soldier, cop seriously and therefore you pay me the big bucks to pass on that real training so you have the edge TODAY not in 10 or 20 years. And if that means bursting a few bubbles you’re just going to have to suck it up. You’re going to learn the real way and it just might be a little on the hard side, physically and mentally, therefore emotionally as well. I will yell at you for giving up, tell you your technique is stupid and will never work in a month of Sundays. And oh yah, you’ll feel some pressure and stress training with me because I will tell you, ‘you will be ‘f%*^%*d up’ on the street if you try that un-tested nonsense. Those participants who like to have that ‘edge’ in their training. Remember, nothing that works ever looks pretty instead is stealth in nature quick and out. You learn more from the mistakes. So we do pressure testing and you will love it! You will miss it once it’s over…
See you at Battleschool…there’s training – then there’s Battleschool!