Wednesday, July 17, 2019

His Voice Shook as He Told Me...


A pic of some of the violence that broke out at the fireworks display in GR MI.


For most, bringing your family to see the fireworks is a fun family event that build memories of a lifetime!

But, I got a phone call yesterday where a man here in Grand Rapids who brought his family to the fireworks display had an experience of concern, fear and near panic, when violence broke out by him and his daughter during the firework show.


He left a message telling me of his entire experience. His voice shook as he recalled the frightening situation where he feared not only for his own safety, but the safety of his daughter as well.

Yes, he is looking for answers, but more to the point, the situation scared him and realizing how vulnerable he and his daughter were, he wants to feel safe again.

And he said...

"He Wants to Feel Like He Can Protect His Own Daughter"

I hear this all the time and I totally get it!

You see, when the rubber meets the road, we need to feel like we can protect not only ourselves, but those we love, those who rely on us for security.

Unfortunately many people wait until something happens (or in this case, almost happened), to do anything about it!

I just hope that the emotion of that event will be enough to drive him to stay the course to develop the perspective and skill to be the protector he wants to become!

WE ARE ALREADY PROTECTORS!  WE JUST NEED TO CLARIFY AND REFINE THIS DEEPEST INCLINATION TO BECOME MORE EFFECTIVE!



What's His Next Step!?



That depends!

Yes, he could come down to our Krav Academy to learn... Will he?! I don't know how much he's looking to put that much time into it... Not to sound harsh, but most aren't up for that journey...

However, it's not my place to judge. Rather, I try to provide an environment where people can grow and build a Protector's Lifestyle. The community of PeaceWalkers.


It's Goes Beyond Technique...


He may find relief from learning a technique or two, or getting a CPL.

But, that WON'T Solve his problem.

He needs a different Perspective! And an appropriate Skill Set! A clearer view of his True Identity.

I will make some suggestions for him. One of which is the FEARLESS in 5 DAY CHALLENGE where I'll share w/him the "Speed Pass" to fearing less and begin building a Protector's Lifestyle of Confidence & Clarity.

What he does with it is up to him!


Well, thanks for listening to my story...

It's a one I hear a lot!

It could be any one of our stories...

Maybe YOU have one like it... or know someone who does.

It's stories like this that reinforce to me that I'm doing the right thing with my life. It lends some perspective why I write these emails and blogs, shoot all of those videos, teach all of those classes...

And most of all why this community that YOU'RE apart of exists!

We have a mission that's bigger than all of us. 

One of being a Protector...

A PeaceWalker...

Not only do we make everyone a little safer where ever we go...

It's a better Life!




Keep Going,
~Craig



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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Controlling Everything vs. Nothing





I had an unavoidable SOS stop...

That's right, the shunned Secretary of State to renew my plates and drivers licence...

No 'renew by mail' for me this year, nope. I had to head on down for an eye test, new picture and to hook up one of those fancy new REAL ID licenses.

So I rounded up the proper documentation and went downtown...

Luckily the line went fast (only about 45 min)

SIDE NOTE:

Good thing the pics are digital now!

Remember when you had your picture taken and didn't know how bad it was until you received your licence in the mail a few weeks later!?

Yikes!!

'Modern Technology' does have a few advantages! =)


It Made Me Think...


Being at both the doctor and the SOS it made me think of some of the things that we CAN'T CONTROL...

Then I thought about politics, weather people and (you guessed it) CONFLICT.

So, here's the question..

What's Better?!



  1. Believing You Can Control EVERYTHING?
  2. ...Or Believing You Can Control NOTHING?

We can fall into either mentality without even knowing it, so...don't think of it as a blanket statement.

When we begin thinking like this we tend to be either:

Gung Ho...

Or...

Gun Shy!

Gung Ho can lead to bullying and thinking too much about control.

Gun Shy can lead to passive aggressive behavior & being taken advantage of by thinking you don't have any control or being afraid to assert yourself.

If you haven't guessed, you should strive to...


Strike a Balance...


Gung Ho & Gun Shy folks tend to end up in POWER STUGGLES...

And...

Power Struggles lead to CONFLICT!!

You have to learn to...


Pick Your Battles!


But in order to Pick Your Battles, you have to be CLEAR!!

Without Clarity it's easy to fall down a slippery slope leading to more conflict and violence!

What do you need to be clear on?!

Well, when it comes to Managing Conflict...

3 Questions to Ask Yourself...

1) Does this situation NEED to be managed? Is this really your fight??
2) What are you REALLY trying to protect? What outcome are you looking for?
3) What  is the worse case scenario if you ignore it or don't intervene?

By answering those three questions you will get a clearer idea whether or not you need to step in or step up... or ignore it and 'walk away.'


Never forget Viktor Frankl's quote:

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms: to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Strike the balance between...

  1. What you Can & Can't Control... 
  2. What you Should & Shouldn't Control... 
  3. When to Try Harder & When to Let Go! 


I know, easier said than done!

Remember, it's less about a single technique as it is...

Build a Protector's Lifestyle...

Being a PeaceWalker is a path we follow, not a destination we reach!


  
Keep Going,
~Craig




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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The #1 Question Regarding Conflict!





I'm keeping it short today...  

What's the #1 Question to Ask Yourself regarding Conflict?




Is it How Do You Avoid Conflict? 

Or... Pick Your Battles?

Maybe...

But what happens when conflict is unavoidable?!

Is it How to Always Win?!

As we know sometimes there is no "Winning."

What about, How to Compromise or How to Always Look on the Brighter Side?

Well, let's face it, some things cannot be compromised on and some times the brighter side doesn't do much for dealing with the situation at hand...

So what then? What is THE question?!
What are YOU going to do if things DON'T go the way you want?

That's right...

What's Your 'Plan B?'

You see, it's not so much about focusing on getting your way, as much as it is knowing what YOU are going to to if things go 'South'.

It's easy to get into the habit of trying to force your will, your influence, getting your way...

That's not to say that there's something wrong with getting your way.

But remember, somethings cannot be changed by you, sometimes...

It's MORE about your Plan "B"!


Keep Going!

~Craig



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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Training Blueprint for People w/No Time



Vintage 1980-81(ish) pic of yours truly training at home...
(Gotta love the red carpet & old school Curtis Mathis Console TV!) 



I hear it all the time...


"I'm really busy! I don't have time to train..."

I know! I know! Life's busy... Career, family, relationships, school, chores, kids, and when you get a second or two... Maybe some sleep!

You feel like you don't have time to train!!

I get it!

So, what's the answer!?

How do YOU fit it all in!?

How can you get all of the stuff done you have to AND get that essential training in too!?

How How HOW?!?

Well...


Here's How You Do It!

To start with you have to do TWO things:

(1) Start Where You're At!
(2) Change Your Perspective.




Just Do IT!

What I mean by this is START where you are and DO IT! NOW!!!! 

Start w/ONE thing! Make it little, something small and manageable.


A Training Blueprint...

Let's use your Krav Maga training (or any other martial arts) for an example.

Day 1: Do ONE THING TODAY that involves practicing something you are working on... It could be doing your 360 degree defense once after you wash your hands in the bathroom...

How long would that take you? 15 or 20 seconds?!

Day 2 - 7: Remember what you did yesterday?! Well... do THAT again! Only today you will practice something for a second or two EVERY TIME you wash your hands today...

WEEK 2: Aside for practicing for a couple seconds after every time you wash your hands, pick one other time during the day to practice something else.


EXAMPLE: Do 5 squats before you sit down and after you get up from watching the TV. 


WEEK 3: In addition to the habit you've been building the last two weeks,dedicate 10 minutes to train on your own 1x this week. (Before Work, As soon as you get home for work. Just before you go to bed. 10 minutes at lunch time).

*If you feel like training longer... go w/it, but promise yourself you'll do one solo training session this week!

WEEK 4: Same as above but make it 15 minutes.

WEEK 5: Same as above but dedicate 2x per week.

WEEK 6: Commit to yourself to raise ONE of those two training sessions to 20 minutes... Only one.

WEEK 7: Change it up a little by doing 3 - 10 minute training sessions on your own this week. (Don't forget that you have the weekends to train as well).

WEEK 8: Find a training buddy. Ask someone who's like you and newer at Krav to get together out side of class to train. Keep it someone about at your level, someone who started about the same time as you. (This can replace one of your solo training sessions).

WEEK 9: Buffer week to find your training partner.

WEEK 10: Set up a day/time to get together with this person weekly to train together


Academy Training...

If you are not currently going to group class, then...

Commit to finding and visiting a class this week!

Then sign up for a program!

Make it a priority!

If you are already going to classes 1x per week...

Then add One More Class this MONTH! (or go to a seminar!)

Or commit to go to class 2x per week...


Make it work for you...


But don't make excuses, because YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

Once you develop a habit out of it you won't NOT be able to do it! You'll feel like your day is lacking something if you DON'T go!


Keep going!
~Craig

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Instantly Take Down ANY Attacker?!


Matt Page as Master Ken


Can you spot the BIGGEST Defensive Tactics Misconceptions being peddled today?

They come in two forms...

#1- We can turn you into an instant invincible bad a$$. Just buy this course!

They sound like this...

1. Win a fight in 3 seconds flat!

2. Beat any attacker instantly! No matter your size or strength!

3. Learn the secret Death Blow move in a matter of hours and transform your hands into deadly weapons when the time comes to defend yourself in a life or death confrontation.

4. 15 ultra-vicious show stoppers designed to end any confrontation in 4-7 seconds. Simple moves that you can get by watching just once and yet have for the rest of your days.

5. A covert weapon so powerful it can take down any man of any size in an instant. Enough for multiple attackers too. (...Isn't that called a gun?!)

(Yes... sadly these are actual tag lines I just copied and pasted from the web.)

#2 - ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN... FEAR!

The media will spread the doctrine of fear and paint a picture that the world is on the verge of being totally consumed by terrorists, WW3 and the zombie apocalypse.

That every stranger wants to rape, rob or abduct and sell you into slavery...

(Whatever you do... DO NOT GO TO Target or Meijer... Facebook users tend to report that it seems to happen there quite a lot...).

Every cop is a raging racists that will likely shoot you if you're a minority as sure as they'll be at the corner donut shop.

All Muslims and immigrants are criminals, terrorist or people looking to take advantage of our social system.

The largest threat of conflict and violence in your School, Church and workplace is terrorism or an active shooting event...

We could go on and on...

Are some of these issues realistic?

Yes, of course.

Are there real baddies and threats out there?

Absolutely!

Should you train and be prepared?!

YES!

How bad are things really?

Not nearly as bad as our fears, the media and unscrupulous marketers would like us to believe.

Drama sells...

Fear sells...

As does programs that give us relief from those fears!

It's easier to capitalize on people who believe all of the lies and are 'all lathered up,' as my grandpa used to say.

Being Safe Doesn't Mean Losing Your Balance!

Actually, it's about just the opposite!
.
A realistic yet well balanced approach.
.
Training REAL People for REAL Threats in the REAL World!
.
Here's the deal... each week there is a new guru peddling a new tip, trick, or hack on the corner of the Facebook and internet world.
.
They all claim to give you some secret sauce that no one else is using for instant Bad A$$ness, invincibility and fixing all your problems.
.
NO Hack will solve all your or the world's problems.
.
You're NOT going to watch any video or buy any weapon to instantly become invincible... or keep your kids 100% safe.
.
The answer is SIMPLE, yet not necessarily easy... If you don't know what to look for.
.
But it's an ongoing process...
.
It's about developing a Protector's Lifestyle...

Having the Clarity Courage & Skill to deal with the conflicts inside and around of each of us.

We have to continually build on our:

Identity
Attitude
Awareness
Influence &
Actions 

As Protectors!

It's simple, but not easy!

Stick around as we explore more of these things in greater depth to continue to grow and lean in to this idea of being a PeaceWalker.

I'm glad your with us on this journey!

More on this later!                                                                     .


All the best,
~Craig


Learn more about developing a Protector's Lifestyle HERE! 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Violence Is a Transaction





When it comes to feeling vulnerable in the face of conflict and violence that we have to deal w/today, it's easy to LOSE our FOCUS!

That's right, we begin focusing on the WRONG THINGS!

Rather than focusing on things that will solve the problems, we focus too much on the problem, what we can't do and BLAME!

We can easily begin to look more closely on what we can't do and not enough on the things we CAN! And putting the blame on everything and anything but ourselves!

This builds frustration, which often leads to power struggles.

Why?!

Because in a world of almost limitless possibilities, sometimes it feel like the impossible is possible, even when it's not!

When this happens it is easier to begin to transfer responsibility and begin blaming other people or circumstances as to WHY this 'Perfect Solution' isn't happening.

When it comes to conflict there isn't always a 'Perfect' outcome...

Sucks or sucks worse, as I like to say!

See adversity rather than adversary!

If you can work toward compromise and putting your heads together to come up with a solution, it can be easier to shift the focus on solving the problem.

...Even if it is a potentially violent encounter!


WTF?!?

"What you talking about Willis?!"

How does this work in a potentially violent encounter?


Here's an example:

Someone is robbing you...

You could immediately go into 'physical resolution mode' and try Krav Maga-ing your way out of it (and under some select circumstances that IS an appropriate response... but not many!).

Or... In the 'Sucks or Sucks worse' world of violence, you could inquire what the assailant wants and try to resolve the situation as quickly and non-violently as possible.

SUCKS: Getting robbed!

SUCKS WORSE: Getting killed over your replaceable 'stuff'!!


It's a Transaction...

If someone gets close enough to threaten you w/a potentially lethal weapon, chances are they could have already killed you (or put in some serious effort toward it), so if you're not dead yet, they must WANT SOMETHING from you!

And if this is the case, then they have something to gain or lose by your interaction...

And as the creator of Verbal Judo, Doc Thompson said...

"If they have something to gain or lose, you have something to USE!!"


Stay On Point!!

Now is not the time to be thinking what "should" be happening or how they "shouldn't" be doing this or how this isn't "fair!"

You should be thinking about how you can get out of this as quickly as possible w/as little risk exposure.

The longer this 'Transaction' continues the more of a chance the cost will be higher!

...In some cases MUCH HIGHER!

Yes, every situation is different and the 'Transaction' isn't always the same... For instance an active shooting event or acts of terrorism, the 'Transaction' isn't monetary, like in a robbery, so you can't treat it like one!

NO, all situations cannot be negotiated out of... but MANY CAN BE!


How Do to Know the Difference

In our world of googling life's answers, it may fill you with anxiety to hear this...

Pay attention and listen to your gut...

You'll know!

If you want a little more insight on this read:

The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

And/or take one of my courses like the Fearless in 5 Day Challenge!


But, don't try to negotiate when it isn't appropriate or 'spring into violent action' when you could've talked your way out of it.

Most conflicts you are likely to run into are ones that involve verbal communication and although have a chance to escalate to a physical assault it is avoidable.

Others are 'violence on contact' type situations... but those are much more rare (thank goodness!).

Have tools to deal with BOTH!

And...

Know how to discern one from the other!


EXAMPLES:


#1 - Some one approaches you, pulls out a gun and threatens you to give them money.

Trying to physically take the gun away probably isn't the best option for surviving this circumstance here...

Rather, under most circumstances, calmly and quickly give them what they want, conclude the 'transaction' and get the heck out of there!

#2 - Same situation as above, but after you give them your money they demand you get in the car or try to take you somewhere...

The transaction just CHANGED! It is no longer only about money. You need to rethink your strategy here...

(A bit more of a sophisticated response... one that requires a email/blog itself... we also discuss this situation at length in some of our training's.)

#3 - You hear gunshots, than see someone walking toward you after just shooting multiple people (Active Shooting Event).

Most likely for your own survival, IMMEDIATE PHYSICAL ACTION is required... (Run, Hide, Fight).

#4 - Physical Example:




Keep Going,
~Craig


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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Protector That Does Krav Maga




I was thinking about one of the stories Jack Hoban told this past weekend when he was here teaching a seminar at our Grand Rapids Krav academy...

If you were there you might remember him telling the story where 20 or so years ago he and his teacher Dr. Hatsumi, were eating w/Jack's wife and (then) young son talking and Hatsumi yells at Jack...

 "Idiot! You don't know who you are... You must choose..."


"...Who Are You?!"

He went on to say, 

"You do a lot of things, you're a..."

Husband
Father
Son
Brother
Marine
Businessman
Musician
Martial artist
Landlord
Etc..

"Are you a Businessman doing martial arts?"

"A martial artist who works a day job?"

"A musician who practices martial arts?"

"A martial artist who plays music?!"

"WHO ARE YOU?!?"


What's Your Deepest Identity?!?


Let's Clarify...

I don't know for sure, but I believe the root of the conversation could be translated about being a "Warrior" and thus embracing the identity of that path...

...In our language we'd say...

"Protector"

If you replace the word Protector w/"Martial Artist" in the story it will make more sense...

I could just be projecting though...

Maybe Hatsumi DID mean 'just' Martial Artist!?!

I doubt it, but who knows!?

I do know that even though Hatsumi was an exceptional martial artist, his teacher Takamatsu chose him to carry on as "Soke" (one who is the leader of the lineage of that particular ryu [a school, or in this case 9] that he represented), more on his merit of his being a good human being and having the ability to share the heart of true Budo (the art of warriorship) than his abilities as a martial artist.

So, I can only surmise that this was the underlying sentiment of Jack's story as well.


"I'm a PROTECTOR Who Does Martial Arts..."


After the seminar I had correspondence w/a number of people who attended...

One of the people, Joe, who is a great guy and has a tremendous amount of experience in his own right, said...

"Craig I was thinking about it and...

"...I'm a PROTECTOR Who Does Martial Arts..."

"Joe," I said, "I couldn't agree more with you!!"

Being a protector is a deeper identity than that of being a martial artist...

AND as we both know, we don't need to be a martial artist (or anything else for that matter) in order to be a Protector!

We talk about that all the time at the academy!


We are Already Protector's...


We just have to Protect the Right Things!

We may never be the 'best' martial artists, shooters, or whatever...

We don't have to, to be a protector!

Nor do we have to be a police officer, special ops, counter terrorist, Krav Maga expert, cage fighter or Jason Borne, to stand up for yourself or someone else!

Yes, it helps to have some skill...

But it'll help more to be CLEAR and have a bit of COURAGE...


Keep Going,
~Craig


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