February 2, 2022, Delta Flight 2998, ATL - DAY
Micky the coach, and Rocky, the fighter.
We look at someone and we judge them, actually we pre-judge them.
Judging people is not a bad thing per se. Every time an individual walks in for a job interview, he knows he will be judged. I recall as a young man still in university I was given much advice; wear this kind of suit, that kind of tie, make sure you wear nice clean shoes, good socks, etc. We are always being judged. Every date is a judgement session, will this person make a good wife/husband. We are always being sized-up, or evaluated, that is the way of the world and so it must be.
The trouble is when we pre-judge, i.e. we form an opinion about someone without the correct information. We think someone must be a great martial artist because he has Asian features. A Jewish looking guy would make a great lawyer. Pre-judging is a mistake.
We at IKI have many different looking instructors, of different sizes, colors and nationalities. We are very diverse. Sometimes I will hear a comment....she/he does not really look like an instructor. And this troubles me.
I am on the flight, third flight of the day, and my mind wanders and wonders.
We have female instructors who are tiny, and some are very thin. We have some guys who are large, heavy. We have some who "look the part", and others, like myself, who look more like old rabbis. and then we have some who in fact, are rabbis.
Our instructors are short/tall, large/small, thin/heavy, dark/light, long-haired/bald. We have Jews, Christians of many denominations, Pagans, Muslims, Atheists and Agnostics. We are all together in this, one large family trying to make the world a safer place. We come in all shapes and sizes all colors and creeds.
So when you see a tiny female and wonder, how can she be a Krav Maga instructor? or a woman with thin arms, or a guy who is rather large, do not worry; if I certified them it means that they know their material and they know how to teach it. Sometimes they teach it better than I do.
I often refer back to the fictional but true characters of Rocky, the muscular young guy from the inner city Philadelphia, and Micky, the old Jewish guy who is his coach, trainer. You look at Rocky and say, now that is a fighter. But Mickey is the more skilled boxer, Micky is the one who takes a raw brute and turns him into a world champion. Micky is the teacher.
But often the teacher does not look the part, because we have an incorrect image of what a Krav Maga, Boxing, Karate, teacher should look like. Can we see knowledge? Can we see wisdom? No, we cannot. We can only see it in action, i.e. we need to experience the person and until then we cannot know their true worth. You cannot judge an instructor by his/her appearance, now that is prejudice. i.e. Pre Judging.