February 3, 2018, San Jose, Costa Rica
Many seek Krav Maga certification and international recognition. The request usually begins with; What do you require or expect of a Krav Maga instructor?
I know what they are anticipating as a reply. Their anticipated reply is based on the propaganda we see on the internet from the more commercial and well known associations; top level of fitness and fierceness, youth and the "look"and a neanderthal approach to life, Bad Ass, tough guy etc.
The other day Ryan in Illinois was telling me how he describes me to his students. He shows them a photo of me and two well known martial arts experts. The two others are in a fierce fighting pose while I am looking like, C'mon let's get over with this silly photo, the guy with nothing to prove.
I like that. And it is accurate.
My reply to the question of what I am looking for in a Krav Maga instructor is a little different than anticipated. I respond that I am looking for love.
Sometimes the students look surprised, "We know you were born in the 60's but really?!"
But yes, I am looking for love. When you teach you must love your students. You must look at them as your own children. Do not teach them popular commercial crap, teach them what you would teach your own children, look at them as your own children.
The other day I saw something else, something beautiful which inspired this blog. I was introducing a new sequence of training, it was based on a horrific video send to me, an incident that took place in Bangalore, India. The young woman who was attacked survived but with her nose cut off, a cracked skull and paralyzed in half her body. As I was telling this story to Amy Jo Giles and her students I saw her eyes tear up. She became overcome with emotion and said that is why she is so motivated to teach Krav Maga and how sad it is that there were only perhaps 15- 20 people in the room rather than hundreds lined up outside waiting to get in.
When I saw that I realized what a true instructor she is; she feels the pain of others. After all these years of training and teaching she has not lost the passion and the original true reason for wanting to teach Krav Maga.
She holds many advanced degrees in martial arts and fitness and yet, when I teach a new technique, or a new adaption or minor improvement, I see her running to her notes to write it down. That is the sign of a true teacher; the desire to learn and improve never ends.
To be true Krav Maga instructors we must feel love, and pain, and hope. We must have hope for mankind despite a rather poor record up until now.
As my dear mother says, Hope Springs Eternal.
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