Los Angeles, June 26, 2015
Breakfast at the Midado Hotel, music playing, people are relaxed, enjoying a nice breakfast and a good cup of coffee. Families eating together, people smiling at each other.
What more can anyone ask for?
This is why we train in Krav Maga - to protect all this, to protect all that we hold dear.
But we must train correctly.
Every instructor faces these problems: Student retention and student improvement, and often these two goals are at odds.
On one hand we care about our students deeply. We want them to have the best training, we want them to be able to defend themselves. But on the other hand if they lose interest they will walk out the door and not learn anything more.
A student who is not in your school is not training, and is not learning to protect themselves.
If the student is not having "fun", if the student does not feel that he is learning new and interesting things, he may walk out the door.
Thus every instructor also becomes an entertainer and a public relations expert.
It is the same on the seminar circuit. Often I show up only to be disappointed by the performance of the students. I wonder what they have been training on since my last visit but there is little or no discernible improvement. Sometimes this is due to them trying to blend two many different styles. Instead of doing one style well they are doing several styles and getting them all confused, they have no clear direction and therefore are making no real progress.
They are not developing any real self-defense ability.
And yet the instructor faces a dilemma: They have flown you in from far away, they want something new and exciting, some Pizaz and glitz but sometimes they are not ready for the next level.
The instructor certainly does not want to face the old line "every seminar is the same" and yet our overriding concern must be the improvement of the students. The bottom line must be the ability to defend ourselves.
To many people are out there selling false promises, to many people giving the people "what they want". We must be different, we must teach real Krav Maga, we must provide real solutions.
The music is playing, everyone looks happy and I remember, this is why I am teaching Krav Maga, not for violence, not for tournaments, not for gory Tough Guy nonsense, but so that a family can enjoy their breakfast and smile at each other.