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



For more information and resources on being a PeaceWalker, subscribe here - www.peacewalkersubscribe.com

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