January 19, 2020, Israel
I have a lot of respect for rock stars. As someone who travels quite a bit, different countries, different time zones, different climates, overnights in airports, I can appreciate how tiring it is. I also understand how difficult it is to be "on" all the time. People paid good money for tickets for your show and they expect and deserve a good show. No matter how tired you may feel, the show must go on!
I was also in the music business for a while and heard stories of "overnight successes"; no such thing, every artist toiled for years in horrible clubs until being discovered and moving up. I met the guy who handled Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and many big-name California artists, all worked very hard to reach their fame. They have my respect.
When I was younger, in a band, composing music, playing guitar, some referred to me as the Jewish Jimi Hendrix, but it was not to be. And yet now I have achieved that in the Krav Maga world and sometimes I hear people say...Sensei, you are a rock star.
But I am not.
I am a teacher, I am an educator, like my mother before me, like my late father, like my grandfather Rabbi Isaac Klein; I am a teacher, and there is no greater profession in the world.
We must remember that our task is a holy one, to teach, to protect, to prepare people to deal with the harsh reality of this world we live in. We are not entertainers. Sometimes I admit, I do feel like a big star, but then I remind myself, Moshe, you are a teacher, remain true to that.
There are "instructors" who think otherwise. Just this evening I was shocked as I heard of a very mediocre (at best) female instructor from Israel who charges upwards of $4,000 per seminar, first class flight seats, an entourage of at least 2 instructors, and five-star hotels. To hear such things makes me livid.
Most of my "Krav time" is devoted to answering questions, developing techniques, improving teaching methods, and helping students and instructors grow. I am constantly being told I should run IKI a little more like a business, after all we all need to eat and pay our bills.
A word of advice, when you hear those kind of Rockstar demands, and fees, well, you are probably dealing with a showman, or woman. If it is a rock show you want, or the Rocky Horror picture show, that is what you will get, but if you want a real teacher, keep looking.
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