Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society. A Rant?


Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society.

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

I hope ya’ll are doing well. This is going to be a bit of a rant or me just bitc….g about a subject and some thoughts on the subject.

It’s no secret that I am training my self up again after a nasty collar bone injury. This goes for normal strength and conditioning and LC Escrima training. Speaking of which, thanks for a cool training session at the beach yesterday Niklas! This old fart could feel it afterwards. I’m glad that I stayed at the beach to just lay around for a while. I’m looking forward to next time we train together.

Any Hoo! Back to the subject. Some of us were training at the beach and doing our best to not feel the heat. It was a hot day! For myself, I was doing my best to not feel my hectic schedule and the lack of sleep. In short “old fart stuff”! I felt all the 8,10,& 20 kg boxes I lift all day long. ;) The inspiration for this blog entry came from the fact that there was a group training at the beach not far away, and the instructor and 2 group members seem to really not understand the idea of personal space when walking by. Some would call it just stupid where I come from in Texas and in some circles here in DK. Provoking people training escrima is just silly! Add to that they did it twice just to prove a point….?

Any Hoo!! Back to the subject. Personal space is different everywhere in the world. In crowded country/cities, where there is a true mix of poor and other economic groups, like some Philippine cities, you will find people walking up against you without thinking about it. The New York streets could be another example of many people packed together in a small space. Here in DK, there is an odd mix of an understanding of personal space and a general respect, and there is a blatant habit of just doing something like walking too close when there is A LOT of space all around. It’s something you expect from teenage boys learning to find boundaries not instructors with a t-shirt proclaiming instructor for a club in Hellerup / Copenhagen. You see it also in young children of 1-5 years old because they are so focused on an end goal ( or something they saw) that they forget the world around them. Think of a 3 yr. old at the beach with his/her bucket and shovel and they have to dig right there beside you because they saw something in the sand. You smile and giggle at it when there is no expectation of normal social codes and more. It’s cute in many ways. And yes, I wrote cute. Blackmail me. ;)

It does not belong in the realm of instructors of crossfit! (hint), personal trainers!, self-defense trainers! and other coaches or teachers! There is supposed to be an understanding of respect for personal space! This understanding of respect for others personal space transcends other subjects like other people’s feeling as well as their opinions. As a personal trainer/ instructor, you have to understand the type of person you are working with. Once again, another reason, that I had a hard time not just getting down right angry at the lack of respect the instructor showed. Many of the people ( in the area ) who were curious asked if they could sit down close by and watch or just showed some respect and walked around…. leaving  a decent amount of space between them self and us. There are always dumb teenage boy trying to prove something and provoke a response, but they don’t have a t-shirt on declaring “instructor……” and they are not responsible for a group. They are not paid to lead!

You could say that it was not worth getting worked up about. Forget it and move on. We have to remember, that instructors set a tone for the group in which they are a members of or teach in. It’s the same for higher grades in martial arts. This is getting back to the big brother / little brother idea. Sociologist have performed studies on behaviour in groups. It’s common knowledge that one person cheating seems to open the flood gate for the next few then the whole group. There is a cool video on the subject. The speaker uses the expression….  fudge factor. If someone, like an instructor, does not respect one groups personal space then the people he is teaching tend let themselves invade other people space. There were many families and groups at the beach who experience the same thing we did. This will not end here, btw. I am just cooling down before I talk with the local club responsible.

When I was running around in clubs in Texas, chasing women and dancing, there were places, where almost everyone was nice, because anyone was ready to fight for keeps, if pushed to far. A fight could get real ugly really fast! The very unprofessional instructors and his two groupies would not last long where I come from. Then we could look at the totally unprofessional behaviour of the person and the implications down the line….. economic, and moral. I can tell you there are several people at the beach that day who will never get close to the club in question.

One reason this angers me so, is because, I take teaching very seriously. Instructors are guides in life in many ways.  That’s why I like to be called coach. A coach sets an example while trying to give to those willing to listen. Yet another reason I like instructors like R. Latosa & Martin Rooney. One of the reason I took the job of training the ice skaters, was that I like to see the development of young people to a type of person with a life code not to mention the development of tools and abilities that might make them an olympic athlete. When I say/write life code, I am referring to a way of treating others as you would like to be treated, a way of living up to a higher moral way of treating others, & living as well as showing respect for one self.

Good instructors / coaches and other teaching professionals try to understand the people they train / coach so that they can help them as much as possible. They want to inspire not lead people down the wrong path of blatant disrespect. This leads to the student not respecting themselves in the end and the cycle starts all over again.

To see a Ted Talk video about the “fudge factor”  click here. It’s really cool.The Ted Site has a better video format. That was my rant! The next blog post will be about Latosa Concepts Escrima training. We might even put some video up.

BTW, excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes. There might be a few more than usual.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training.

CW

Self-reliance


I have gone a little extra redneck lately. My son and I ordered some para cord to make a few things with. He is a boy scout and self-reliance is part of what he is learning. Knots and general abilities to use a hatchet / knife as well as other abilities is part of the process. We have been talking about a day trip in which we will build a little shelter as well as an a-frame to cook from. This is all part of my ongoing plan to make sure my boy can take care of himself when he is older … Pop can’t be there for ever you know.

All this got me to thinking about my general direction lately and to a degree about my whole life. My boy learned early on to help me with building projects.  How self-reliant are you? What is self-reliance? The ability to rely on one self is the easy answer.

The next question is how reliant do we have to be? That is very different. That gets into the philosophical aspect of life. There are the redneck types who want to be able to fend for them self in almost any situations and there are the types that think the communal type societies are the only way to go. You see that a lot here in DK where I live. Don’t think both types don’t exist in all societies / groups / countries, they are everywhere.

I am also teaching my boy to use a two-handed wooden sword. He helped to shape it on a belt sander. The process itself helped to teach him that he has to work for what he wants from life. He is responsible for his happiness and his future … with a little help from dad of course ;) .  He is learning to defend himself in hand to hand situations when we train with the waisters (wooden swords) He is developing  body mechanics and balance as well as a mental strength. Teaching him more relevant self-dense will be much easier as time goes by. He is having fun as well as building up a feeling of self-reliance.

You should be able to see where I am going with all this. There are people who want to be able to to rely on the police and society for their safety and there are the totally self-reliant types. I like the idea of being somewhere in the middle. We need societies rules and norms to avoid anarchy and experience each other bests attributes. We have to be responsible for our own safety as well though! The police or the local security guard or just the bystander who has the balls to help can’t always be there. The last is really scary when you have been the only person to help when you are among hundreds of people. I can write about that another time. It’s a funny story in one way because the only two people who helped were an American and a Russian and we were in Denmark !

Any hoo,  back to self-reliance. Just as we have insurance for the unlikely event that we die and our family needs to be taken care of, we need to have an insurance policy that is called self-defense training / combative training. This idea has been pushed home for me in many ways. One was when a women came to us after a course for women and told us how she felt as if she could take care of herself after the effects of a long abusive relationship. The course we gave was worth the energy we spent on it just because of that one women! We need to feel empowered in order to get all we can out of life. I hope my son feels empowered and will grow to feel even more so in the future. That is what we want for our family and our selves after all. There are many degrees of self-reliance and many situations

I hope you like the pictures and as always, I hope I have made you think.

Be proactive in Life and Training

CW

Latosa Concepts, FMA. Why train with two sticks/weapons?


Latosa Concepts, FMA. Why train with two sticks/weapons?

To start with, I know this is not the eco-friendly list of places to buy food and more. The sun was shining and MA, my training partner, and I got to talking about some Filipino martial arts ideas that he had been reading about. We ended up recording a little video to help people become better at working on two stick training and why they should do it.

Depending on who you are teaching, there can be different ways to get some one to understand and use tools and concepts. Splitting a beat / rhythm and getting past the pattern that will trap you in the end is always one of those subjects that some students pick up and others don’t pick up easily. Double stick training is a good way to make people aware of the beat so they can split it. If your standard figure-8 is closed with out too many open windows your shoulders are going to have to roll with the strikes. Body flow working with footwork will help improve the power you generate.

Here comes the saddening part. There are some instructors, who teach a pattern as a secret weapon. If you are being told this, you are being tricked. The patterns ( be is traditional fig. 8, open 8, heavenly 6, etc. ) are there to teach you other concepts and ideas. Some could be general coordination, the ability to split timing, the ability to prepare the next attack quickly, or the ability to generate power via flow.  A case in point could be how your live hand becomes more effective  through training the traditional fig. 8 with 2 stick. If you are training your fig.-8 correctly, each strike starts as an attack. It may end up being nullified because of a counter strike from your opponent, but it should be performed as a powerful attack. It might be that strike which ends the conflict. When looking at a single weapon or self-defense tool  each counter strike or pre-emptive strike should give you the time to do what you have to, be it a tactical function or just getting the h… out of dodge before the attackers friends decide to assault you.

Any Hoo! Enough of that. We recorded this video to help you get started with your two stick training so you can really train with one stick. Ya’ll have a good day and I hope the sun is shining on you where ever you are.

Be Proactive in life and Training

CW