“Excellent is an adjective earned, not given.” (Instructor Phil)
Today, I want to talk about the cost of training – the cost of knowing you can defend yourself. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t rank training as highly as they should, in their lives. Some others take the training they receive for granted. It’s a sad reality, but it is the reality nonetheless. Before we get into the cost of training, I want to discuss, shortly, the cost of not training.
People Who Don’t Train
People who don’t train run many risks. The greatest and most obvious is that they have a much slimmer chance of survival in a deadly attack. If someone were to approach them with a weapon and threaten their life, they would have no option but to submit, in hopes that they would be left alone. If they were to be jumped by a group of hostiles, like most civilians, they would likely turtle up and scream for help. If someone ‘this, that, or whatever.’ The point is that they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.
Well, let’s assume it’s not just them. What if they’re walking with a significant other and they get jumped. Do you think they would know how to defend the other person, let alone themselves? For that reason, at my school, FearLess Nation, I’m hosting a 3rd Party Protection seminar (02/12/2015) for Valentines Day. It may be called ‘Self Defense’, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare to defend our loved ones.
Truthfully, we can even break it down to a surface level and ask about their self esteem and confidence. People who don’t train, whether they admit it or not, are unsure of themselves in the question of violent encounters – or worse, falsely confident. I know I was. Before I was trained to defend myself, I was terrified of the idea of having to fight off an aggravated, violent, potentially deadly attacker. Now, don’t misunderstand me; I hope and pray that I never have to test my skills, but I am confident that I could now handle the situation placed in front of me. That’s what it’s all about!
People Who Train
Regarding people who train, there are three kinds:
- Recreational Practitioners
- Hipster Practitioners
- Serious Practitioners
Recreational Practitioners are the students who do it as a hobby. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that they likely don’t take their training very seriously. It usually serves as a social venue and an opportunity for a sweat. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, because they will at least be getting the exercise; they are also bound to pick up the training over time.
Hipster Practitioners are those who train because it’s cool to train. They train because they want to be involved in something unique. Again this isn’t a bad thing, because they will inevitably learn something and get a great workout in the process. The only reason it isn’t ideal is because their hearts are normally not in it. For good training, your heart needs to be completely in it.
Serious Practitioners are those who train for the possibility that they may need to use their training one day. They are those who train consistently, often, and eagerly. These are the people who you hear about – the ones who make names for themselves at the schools they train at. These students are the ones who attend every seminar, camp, and any other training opportunity possible.
Cost of Training
The cost of training is something not often calculated. No, I’m not just talking about the monetary value of a class or program; I am talking about the time, physical punishment, mental drain, etc. I’m talking about the cost of patience, knowing that you won’t get it over night. The cost of healing, when you go home at night, treating your sore and bruised body. The cost of doing it all over again, before your previous injuries or pains have subsided.
The greatest students eventually become those who give back to the students below them. Understand that I’m talking about the instructors at your schools. Take myself for example. I have always been and continue to be a student. The day that I stop training is the day that I will stop teaching. A teacher who does not continue to learn and grow is no teacher, because that is no lesson to teach your students: “Oh, I learned it a long time ago, so I don’t need to learn anything anymore. I know it all.”
That being said, the cost of being an instructor weighs greatly, because of the balance between training and teaching. Our job is to give our students what they need, when they need it. Sometimes this means we need to hold back some of the crazy and cool things that everyone wants to learn right away. This goes back to the Serious Students. Trusting that patience will get you where you want to be is a difficult thing. Just know, ladies and gentlemen, that you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. For those of you training at a serious school, you’ve only seen a piece to the puzzle. The rest is yet to come!
Always remember that it’s the Serious Students who stick around long enough that get to see what’s beneath the water’s surface.