Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I'd Never Do THAT!?!






What I want to share today has to do with limits of perspective when it comes to having an open mind about different ways of doing things...

When I'm training people to deal with conflict or violence, I sometime hear them say...

"I'd never do THAT!"

...or

"We/I do it THIS way..."

When the hard chargers see a way of dealing w/conflict or violence that is a bit of a 'softer' approach they often think, "I'd never do THAT!" and then proceed to create a worse case, no win scenario that is typically void of any of the aftermath ethically, emotionally or legally.

Conversely...

When the gun shy crew (who aren't so much into the physical nature of protecting) are introduced to a physically 'assertive' tactic, they believe "I'd never do THAT!" and then shut down or white wash the situation, trying to keep it in the area that they are comfortable with... Which may be anything but physical.

They often site legalities, ethics or...

Create a 'one and done' solution by calling on the 'proper' organization, department or policy to deal with the situation in attempt to isolate themselves from having to deal with the situation at the level that it actually is at, rather than the level they are comfortable with.

(It's not to say that calling for someone's help is inherently bad, because it's not... However, if you are learning a new skill or approach you have to entertain activities and ways of thinking that you may not be comfortable with!)

So, with that said...

Here's a different way of approaching learning something new...

Rather than saying,

"I'd never do THAT!"

...or

"We/I do it THIS way..."

Say...

When Would I Do That?!

As someone once said...

"Minds are like parachutes, they only work when they're OPEN!"

When you are introduced to a new method of doing something...

Think to yourself...

"Under What Circumstance Might that work or be appropriate?"


Don't Limit Yourself...


When you start saying...

"I'd never do THAT..."

You start closing off your mind and tactical options!

Yes, you may still CHOOSE not to do something, or to do things differently...

But, if you start closing off your thoughts off to other options, you often begin to discount other ways of doing things as an option at all, which will limit your tactical perspective as a whole.

This will also stunt your growth to learning new ways of thinking and/or doing things...

When you start limiting your options and shortening your view, you begin setting yourself up for failure in your approach to self defense, conflict management, your relationships, career, and Life!


Like Communication Skills...


Remember that Verbal Communication Skills should also be a part of your Self Defense Training.

Believe it or not, I get a lot of push back on this...

I get it!

Training the verbal stuff just isn't that easy or fun to train (unless you train w/a good instructor and program...)

HOWEVER...

You'll find that when you open your mind (and training) up, you'll start to see really BIG things begin to happen for you in not only your training, but in your Life!


...You just have to get started!


Keep going,
~Craig



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Monday, April 22, 2019

I'm No Superhero!





Every superhero has an Origin Story. Their 'Why'...

Although I'm no superhero, I DO have my own Origin story as to why I started this journey, why I teach Krav Maga and why I created the PeaceWalker approach.

For me, it started as a kid with my older brother....

Like many siblings, I loved my brother, but let's just say that because of his largely un-diagnosed psychological conditions, alcohol and drug abuse problem and uncontrollable anger issues, they made him an 'Overachiever' in the physical and emotional violence department.

(He was probably bipolar and had impulse control issues w/fits of rage... both of which went largely undiagnosed at the time in the 70's.)

This resulted in more than one visit to the hospital for me and a distrust in people that I managed with what I'll call 'creative independence'... others might say that although I was social, I was emotionally distant.

No, I don't cry myself to sleep over it, nor do I need a puppy or 'safe space'; That was then and it was what it was. I had parents that loved me and overall a great childhood that taught me many life lessons that I still benefit from today.


Nice Childhood Story Craig... So What?!

Well...

Getting my a$$ handed to me by my brother for so long resulted in me wanting to learn how to protect and stand up for myself...

So, my dad did what most fathers who grew up in the Marine Corps would do... He taught me how to fight... That lead me to formally take up martial arts. One day I got big enough and good enough to stand up to my brother...

So when that fateful day arrived when I was to finally face my fears and stand up for myself...

It looked liked that scene from the now classic 'A Christmas Story' movie where little Ralphie beat up the school bully while yelling profanities he didn't even know he was capable of saying...

What happened on the OUTSIDE was I finally learned how to Physically Defend myself and stop my brother from physically abusing me ever again!

However, what happened to me on the INSIDE was Even MORE Profound:

I had to make two decisions:

#1 Who Was I going to Choose to BE?

I was done being the victim. Tired of feeling like $hit. Worrying and living in fear. I was sick of feeling humiliated. I wanted my dignity back. I wanted to feel good about myself again... I wanted to be treated with respectfully. And that began with respecting myself!

I had to decide... Was I going to live my life like a victim or a PROTECTOR?

Was I going to embrace my Protector Identity and Start Living a Protector's Life, or was I going to fully fall into this victim mentality?

Seize the day or continue to be a doormat!?

Even though I doubted myself... and was terrified...

Far from fearless, I called on all of the Courage I had...

Then took a breath and a leap of faith...

That decision to embrace my Protector Identity Forever Changed the Course of My Life.

But that's NOT ALL!!

I had another less obvious decision to make...

#2 What Was I Going to Choose to SEE in Others?

The other decision I made on that day was equally, if not more important than the first...

I can't account for the reason why I came to this unspoken conclusion other than my upbringing and that he was my brother and although he was abusive, I still loved him...

Although I hated what my brother did, I didn't hate him! I actually loved him, but just didn't want to be treated badly, bullied or hurt any more...

Yes, I needed to learn how to protect myself...

But not be fueled or consumed with hate and anger to do it...

Somehow was able to separate his Life Value from his Behavior...

Dealing appropriately with his actions while still respecting his value as a human being...

And...


It Didn't Stop There...

I didn't even realize it, but I was able to do that with everyone...

Which made all the difference when dealing with conflict and violence...

Later, after more training, I began teaching martial arts, because I figured since I didn't like being victimized, other people didn't either. I felt good teaching others to be empowered and defend themselves.

However...

I Found Something Else Amazing...

Early on I went to work in what I'll call 'Protective Services,' which included...

Process serving, surveillance, evictions, security at nightclubs and executive protection (bodyguard), etc.

I also started getting hired to train people from police, teachers and medical professionals, to the general public. Mainly for assault prevention.

I started to do ride alongs with cops and EMT's, shadowing teachers, managers and healthcare professionals...

What I experienced was profound...

There was a WALL!

A HUGE PROBLEM!

Over and over I saw people who were tough and/or only trained in martial arts (including Krav Maga) and defensive tactics respond HORRIBLY in real conditions...

Many of them made the situation worse or even created the violent encounter by the way they were trained!

BUT they didn't even realize that they had a problem...

They blamed it on everything else except their incomplete training or disposition.


And That's When I Had This Epiphany!

To really be good at protecting yourself and being a leader you need the Right Recipe!

That recipe is made up MORE than just physical defense (or lack there of!).

It's made up of these 5 elements:

I.  Attitude
II.  Identity
III. Awareness
IV. Influence
V.  Action

Clarity of who you are and what you are really protecting...

Being able to separate someones 'Life Value' from their behavior...

Knowing how to keep a cool head...

The ability to see the Red Flags of risk & opportunity...

Skills of Influence including:

a. Presence
b. Conflict Communications
c. Leadership (Social Engineering)

Of course, our favorite...

Physical tactics:

Where to stand, what to say, how to move. How to gain an advantage. How to disengage. How to engage.

All of these things are necessary to really be good at protecting yourself and others.

But There Was a Problem...

The problem was although those who needed that "Secret Recipe" to managing real world conflict the most didn't see the whole picture and they certainly didn't know how to replicate success predictably, and/or teach others how to do it too!

As a matter of fact...

The hard chargers were typically only interested in the physical tactics and the professionals or academics thought learning physical techniques were either uncomfortable, barbaric or worse, that learning them put them at greater risk physically and for a lawsuit.

Both parties failed to see that their own colleagues who did the best at handling the full spectrum of conflict ranging from verbal disagreement to full blown violent encounters were the same ones who had unconsciously balanced the full recipe of being what I call a PeaceWalker.

Those people who were unconsciously using that recipe, were more effective and successful when dealing with conflict. Whereas those who didn't stick to that formula weren't nearly as effective.

And to add even more confusion to an already complex subject...

They sometimes won the battle only to lose the war, by creating more conflict later.

They also experienced more indecision, second thoughts, regret, burn out and PTSD, which, of course, dramatically affected other areas of their life and career...

What You Can Achieve?!

When someone has all of these 5 elements they gain the most amount of effectiveness and success when dealing with conflict and violence.

And let face it, the one thing we ALL have in common is that we all have to deal with people everyday...

The safest, most successful people are those who can deal with difficult, disrespectful and dangerous people effectively...

Consistently.

In their personal, professional and public lives.


Transformation!

That's why I do what I do...

I want to see more people Transformed...

I want to see people stop living small and realize that each one of us has more potential than we think, but  in order to capitalize on it, we have to not just feel safe and powerful...

We Have to BE Safe and Powerful!

But in the right way...

Not at someone else's expense.

Feeling big by trying to make someone else feel small isn't working...

It creates more conflict.

But...

When we have the right balance, we become confident enough to protect the right things. To learn how to protect ourselves and have each others back as well!


That's Why I Am on this Journey

That's why I have spent my entire Life creating and teaching this...

So You Can Have Better Tools to Deal with the Difficult and Dangerous People in Your World... 
.
At Home, at Work and in Public...

The transformation is not only being able to defend yourself physically, but it is the ability to deal with the full spectrum of conflict, so you will be able to confidently walk in Peace.

That only comes from having the right identity and skills.

Living the right lifestyle.

Safer...

Healthier...

Happier...

As Imi Lichtenfeld said,

'One trains so you can walk in peace...'

Or...

What I call, become a PeaceWalker.



Keep Going,
~Craig



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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Stories We Tell





The other day I was reading yet another post of someone who was telling a story about their 'people'.
Before you think I'm some bigoted racist, let me explain what I mean when I say 'Their People?' When I say that, I mean any group that someone sees themselves as being a part of.

It could be:

Man - Woman - Black - White - Hispanic - Asian - American - Conservative
Liberal - Republican - Democrat - LGBT - Straight - Jewish - Christian - Buddhist - Atheist - Old - Young - Millennial - Non-Millennial - Gen X - Baby Boomers - Rich - Poor - Middle Class - Pro-Life - Pro-Choice - For Guns - Against Guns -Geek - Gamer - Kravist -  Martial Artist - Survivalist - Environmentalist - Vegan - Capitalist - Cop - Teacher - Mother - Father - Single...

We have no shortage of groups to identify with, but that's NOT the problem. It's when we begin to disrespect others value as human beings outside of our group...or when we judge, devalue and disrespect someone's value as a human being because they belong to a group that we don't agree with or dislike.
  
Don't Get Me Wrong...

You DON'T have to agree, like or condone what the other group believes or does. You may even have / choose to confront a person in the other group to the point of violence (hopefully as a last resort). However, it has nothing to do with the VALUE of that person as a HUMAN BEING!

It may have to do with the values & behavior of the group and/or identity that those folks hang on to, but it's not because your Life Value is somehow worth more. That's not to say that someone may have Clearer Beliefs and BETTER BEHAVIOR... that's saying something entirely different...


Remember My $20 Bill Analogy?


You and I both have a $20 bill.

You give yours to charity.

I buy some crack cocaine.

Most would agree that your money was more wisely spent.

However, no one would question the value of the $20...

Only HOW each of us spent it!

What we're talking about with separating someone's Life Value from their beliefs and behavior is the same. Why is This Such an Important Distinction?

Consider these points...

#1 - If you start treating people as if you are a better human being than they are, do you think that will increase or decrease the amount of conflict and violence that will result in the moment & future between you?

#2 - What stories will you begin/continue to tell yourself (and others) to keep believing that you and your group are worth more (as human beings) than others?

#3 - How would you handle things differently by believing that someone's value as a human is valueless vs. of equal value as your own? How would the level of dignity and respect change your actions toward that person even if you became locked in a confrontation that may result in violence?
How Do You Train For THAT!?

I get it!

Believe it or not, these ideas aren't about hugging the thug, believing that everyone is a good person or that all ideas and behavior are equal...

It's about being able to separate value from beliefs and behavior.

You may still end up in the same place, but it's how you get there.

That's why you have to train so that you have the proper:

Clarity
Courage
Skill

CLARITY - So that you protect the right things. So you can consistently separate the Value from the Beliefs and Behavior.

COURAGE - It often takes courage to protect the right things. Especially when others don't clearly see the difference between Value, Belief & Behavior.

SKILL - Because human conflict has a broad spectrum. Protecting the Value of Life and working toward Most Good / Least Harm is often messy!

Keep going,
~Craig


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Friday, April 5, 2019

Ferriss Reveals How to Make It Look Easy




I came across this good article by Tim Ferriss (Author of 4 Hour Work Week). He said that he changed his life by asking himself this 9 word question...

What was this transformative sentence?!

"What would it look like if it were easy?"

When I read that I immediately thought of another one of my favorite Ferris'

Ferris Bueller!

He too had a knack for making things look easy!

However...

Not to detract from the wisdom of the Ferriss', but I think the bigger, more impactful question to ask yourself is...

How do I have to TRAIN to make it look easy?

When you compare people who make things look easy ranging from Navy SEALS to soccer Mom's, Special Ops to sales people, Counter terrorism experts to IT professionals... Krav Maga baddies to every day Daddy's...

The ones who make things look REALLY EASY are the ones who TRAIN to make it look easy...

They Train their...

Mind
Body
Habits
and LIfestyle

...So when the time comes to perform they have their sh*t together!

Rather than not preparing, not training, not practicing and hoping that things come together in the moment of need!

Hope is NOT a strategy...

At least not a good one!

So What Are You Doing?!

To make it look easy in your...

~ Relationships
~ Profession
~ Self Image
~ Krav Training
~ Shooting Skills
~ Ability to Communicate

...LIFE?!



Keep going,
~Craig


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