I am staying at the Hilton and I am inspired. Not only is a good relaxing stay pretty much a guarantee of good training ahead, but in some cases it is simply inspirational. I have read the story of Conrad Hilton. I have read about his solid foundations in life, his early struggles and his family. I read about how this young man from New Mexico, USA, dared to dream, to dream "big dreams". Over the years he certainly had setbacks, challenges, and low points, but he never quit. He never gave up. He faced challenges that I would not wish on anyone. He saw his financial world collapse and he nearly hit rock bottom but he never gave up. The beautiful place I am enjoying right now is a testimony to his personal courage and strength. The funny thing is - I really feel inspired by him.
I sort of feel that IKI (Israeli Krav International) Krav Maga has something in common with the late Mr. Hilton. From the start our goal has been to provide a service; an above-average service at reasonable cost. Mr. Conrad Hilton was a businessman, and he certainly wanted to make money, but, his theme, his motto, his way of life and business throughout his career was something far beyond just "money making". Mr. Hilton was not just a businessman, he was a dreamer and a man with a vision, a goal.
First, Mr. Hilton truly believed in hospitality. He enjoyed hospitality. He was good at what he did because he enjoyed it so much, he truly wanted to treat every guest as his personal guest. The book which tells his story is aptly called, "Be My Guest".
He wanted his staff to share this vision of hospitality and he always felt that if you did not truly enjoy being hospitable then you should not work in this industry. To him being in the hospitality business was much more than a job.
During this Krav Maga tour I have stayed in three Hiltons, so far, and I truly feel his presence. I feel that each employee here is part of a family, the personnel treat me as their personal guest. I feel surrounded by happiness and smiles.
Mr. Hilton was not just out to "make as much money as possible" from each customer, he truly wanted to give each "guest" a feeling that he is a valued guest of Mr. Hilton. He took pleasure in being a host, in providing service above and beyond expectations, and doing it at a price that made people smile.
There are some important lessons here, lessons which I truly believe in and have always tried to incorporate into my life and into IKI Krav Maga.
Integrity - We are not building a "pansy scam", we are building something real, genuine, we are providing a service and a product that has real value. Always provide real value.
Personal Touch - Treat each person as you would want to be treated. Ask yourself, if he were my brother what would be a fair and honest price? that is the price you should charge.
Honesty - Always be fair in your financial dealings.
Over-Deliver - Give your clients more than they expected charge less than they expected to be charged.
Believe in What you Do - I think this is the most important point.
With IKI Krav Maga - Israeli Krav International, all these values are an integral part of everything we do. First, we are dealing with self-defense, with the goal that each and every one of us has the right to arrive home safely. With that goal in mind we must keep finding better ways to teach, simpler ways to defend ourselves, faster ways to learn.
Think of each student as your personal student, you have a responsiblity to give him the very best. He is your personal "guest" as Mr. Hilton would say. Think of him as such, treat him as an honored and valued guest. Treat him as you would want to be treated.
With IKI we try to always over-deliver, give more than his expected and be fair in our dealings.
Providing a wonderful stay at a hotel is certainly important, I know that staying at the Hilton does wonders for me! But with Krav Maga we have even more at stake; it is people's lives, their safety and well being. We must always remember that, we must never be content. We must always take good care of our "guests".
Mr. Hilton had a goal to "fill the world with light and hospitality", our goal at Israeli Krav International must be to fill the world with light and safety. People come to martial arts classes looking for tools to defend themselves and their loved ones, instead they get complicated sets of techniques that are pretty much guaranteed to get them hurt in a real life confrontation.
The vast majority of students will not devote decades or even years to martial arts training. Our goal is to provide as many people as possible with the tools to fight back and survive; training that is effective and efficient, practical and potent.
And a good nights' sleep always helps...