Friday, May 23, 2014

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery (Pt. 2) The Conclusion!

I know you all have been on the edge of your seats thinking about what happened regarding my last post Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery! (Riiiiight) Regardless, I do have a conclusion to my story:

After I wrote the company who had pirated my logo and tagline, I didn't really expect a reply, however, I did actually receive a response from the owner! Here's what he said:

Hi Craig,

Thanks for this, let me look into it.

When this project started, we commissioned all designs externally, for which we have a disclaimer document... Irrespective, I apologize.

At the same time, with this being a personal project, I no longer have the time to dedicate to this so if you know anyone that wants to buy this ready-to-use online t shirt store focused on combat and martial arts let me know.


My response:

Thank you for your response. I appreciate you getting back with me regarding this situation. I understand that your designers randomly choose things to reproduce, but if you could discontinue the use of both my logo and the Live - Protect - Inspire tag line I would appreciate it.

I'll keep my ears open regarding anyone who might be interested in your (side) t-shirt company and have them contact you.

~Craig Gray
Ronin Krav Maga

His response to me 

I have actually instructed the agency to take the site down. Its been a while, let me check...


I'll be honest: I was surprised to hear from him at all and although he seemed nice enough, I was still somewhat skeptical whether or not he would actually take the site down, but after checking the site a few days later he did do what he said he would! Amazing!

So friends and followers, the lesson here is this: I know that this type of story doesn't always have this happy of an ending, but it DID this time. The point is that the situation may not have had as good of an ending if I would have been rude, unprofessional and emotional. Losing my baseline and becoming part of the problem would have wasted time, energy and money (if I would have chosen to get my attorney involved immediately). By not over reacting and choosing to manage the conflict by first managing myself was the first step. To build a foundation of positive conflict resolution it is more beneficial attempting to create an ally rather than an enemy. Making sure you have a plan if the person doesn't respect your request will help to give you focus, flexibility and confidence when dealing with the situation. It also helps you to not get into a power struggle over the details, rather let go of trying to control the other person and simply give them options. Finally, have a plan if your (hopefully reasonable) boundaries are not respected. These simple yet not so easy guidelines can help us navigate situations like this more respectfully and gracefully for everyone.

It's all training!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

Keep going!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

"Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery."
~Charles Caleb Colton

After Krav class a few weeks ago a fellow who trains with us asks when I started selling my t-shirts on line? 

"What?" I asked. 

"Yea, I saw our logo on a t-shirt being sold by some place in Europe. One of the shirts said LIVE - PROTECT - INSPIRE as well."

"Interesting..." I said.

Well folks it looks as though I must have "arrived" so to speak. Exactly where I arrived I don't know exactly, but somehow I've made enough impact to have my logo, words and philosophies pirated!

Yeah me!

As ego feeding as it may be, I must admit it feels a bit strange. Yes, I find myself feeling flattered, but somewhat misrepresented and possibly a bit exploited & violated.

Could I chase after them through legal channels to have them stop?! Possibly, however I chose to first write them a brief email communicating my feelings.

Here's what it said:

It is flattering that you would choose to use the symbol that I created (Krav Maga t shirt #13) and my Live - Protect - Inspire tagline (Krav Maga t shirt #14) to put on your shirts, however it would have been nice for your company to have first asked permission before you did such a thing. Not to mention the Live - Respect - Inspire tagline has nothing to do with the person who you have in the middle of the logo (Alain Cohen). It is one thing placing these images on one's website or using them on your material, it is yet another attempting to profit off from them with no regard for the creator.

The ethical thing for you to do would be to ask for permission before you manufactured, sold and profited from using my material.


~Craig Gray

Ronin Krav Maga

For the record, here is the beginning of the Ronin Logo. A water color painting brushed by my own hand in 1994 then later digitized and used as my logo in numerous ways.

The Ocean & The Wave
1994 by Craig Gray 

Now if this was a friend or colleague who was asking to use something I did, that would be a different story. Heck I don't even know these people and this company pilfered the logo and tagline verbatim without changing it one smidgen. They didn't give so much as a link or even a hint on where it came from. Not to mention, they are not using it to help people, their using it for profit pure and simple.

Famous Tai Chi Instructor T.T. Lang was quoted as telling his students to, "Steal his art," meaning to embrace it and make it their own. Well guys this isn't an example of that! (Just sayin')

Enough spending time on this one. Being that I'm on a quote kick, I'll end with one as well:

I don't know who said, "There's no such thing as bad publicity," but I think I may take their advice when it comes to this situation.

Enjoying the journey.

All the best,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Learn Today Use Tonight

Me (bald guy on your left) and the Crew at Pound Buddies Animal Shelter.
Diana is the gal in the blue hoodie w/longer hair pictured second from right.

You have heard me say that sometimes we teach things that are learned today & used tonight, well here is a recent story of just that:

At a recent seminar I had a group of staff members from an animal shelter/adoption agency in Muskegon Michigan training with us. For most of them it was their first time exploring this idea of being an Professional Ethical Protector and training in defensive tactics. Although they have a strong protector spirit, they were looking for greater ethical clarification and some tools that they could use when dealing with conflict on the job.

You see due to the nature of their profession at the animal shelter people sometimes are very emotional and upset when they come into the shelter. Sometimes these emotionally charged people can be verbally and even physically abusive, so in effort to be even more professional than they already are Pound Buddies staff were shown some of the foundational elements of being more effective protectors.

1) How to use Conflict as an Opportunity.
2) Understanding how to apply Dr. Robert Humphrey's Universal Life Value concept during conflict.
3) Working toward Most Good / Least Harm.
4) Setting the Pace - How to Not Be a Part of the Problem.

Some of the physical elements that they learned were:

1) Recognizing Pre-Contact Indicators (PCI's) - Basically being able to see when people may become violent.
2) Understand the relationship between tactical space, movement and verbal communication.
3) Using tactical manuvering during a potentially physical engagement:

Fence Position > Interview Stance > Movement
Separations and 3rd Party Shielding Tactics

But enough of the lead in, here's their story:

Thanks for the great seminar Sunday. It was really interesting to do techniques that I've done with you in the other seminars and while I was in class! Very challenging!  

What I wanted most from the seminar was for my coworkers to be exposed to the protector perspective and get the empowerment buzz that comes with your classes. They all loved it and want more. 

Animal rescue has a reputation for sometimes attracting people with a proclivity for tribalism, moral value misfires & ethical passivity, turning people on to what you are teaching makes me feel pretty optimistic about us evolving as an organization. 

I went in today for a couple hours and Diana found me right away and said " we used it!!!! "  

Diana had a very unhappy and verbally aggressive couple in earlier today yelling, swearing, threatening to harm staff members, the whole nine yards. She stayed calm, wasn't part of the problem, had John call the police, pressed our panic button for staff to get up front. At some point when one of them stepped towards her she moved into interview stance. I think she got the guy who was being pretty threatening to sit in his car and she talked calmly to the woman, offered options and solutions and de-escalated the whole thing!  The woman was able to come back a little later while I was there and calmly get her issue worked out because Diana stopped the fighting, separated her actions from her life value and protected her ' enemy ' so to speak! She was a quick learner! 

So thank you Craig! You are officially - by association a k-9 protector as well! 

~ John Robinson 
   Pound Buddies Employee

Great job Diana! That is a great real life example of how keeping a cool head and applying some good training helped to protect everyone during a potentially physically violent situation!

If you are looking for training in this unique way of being an Ethical Warrior, please join me in New Jersey for the upcoming Resolution Group International Ethical Protector Seminar:  

Or if you are in the area here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we run regular classes and seminars:

Thanks again for the good words John and Diana, I appreciate you letting me share your story!

All the best,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Law of the Garbage Truck by David J. Pollay


One day I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just one inch from the other car’s back-end.

I couldn’t believe it. But then I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And he even threw in a one finger salute! I couldn’t believe it!

But here’s what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that!? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” He said:

“Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.

So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people.”

by David J. Pollay

Like this short story? Click HERE to get David's book.