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..."

Martial artist

"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?!"


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...


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,

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

EVERYONE'S Welcome Around the Campfire!

I got home Saturday afternoon, and I had the chance to catch up w/an old friend of mine...

We ended up sitting around the camp fire, had a few adult beverages and shot the sh*t for a few hours...

It was just what the doctor ordered!

We talked about everything! No Political Correctness here! Nothing was off the table.

And it got me to thinking...

Take a Seat...

Yes, we have our differences and NO we may not always agree or accept some of the things each other does or says...

I don't really care about your gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views, profession, how much money you make (or don't), where you live, what you drive or wear, your background or affiliations...

Just don't be an A$$ Hole!

...And leave your drama at home!

We don't insult one another with being 'Politically Correct'...

Because we see one another beyond our relative differences, so we can be REAL and have Respect for each other as human beings even if we don't always agree, understand, or even like each other...

So we can breathe a sigh of relief that neither of us has to force anyone (or everyone) to like us or be like like us!

This leaves room to be confident in our own individual uniqueness...

So, quit trying to convince everyone (Especially yourself) that your story is the best or only 'right' story. Just LIVE IT and Lead By Example! Let your actions set the pace for others to follow!

Quit all the bitching and pushing agendas.

Don't demonize everyone who isn't YOU!

Grow a pair! (Balls or Ovaries)

Get Over Yourself!

Find your sense of humor and quit taking everything so seriously! Life's short, it goes fast! We'll ALL be gone sooner than we think, so don't waste it on drama, over sensitivity, and negativity disguised as a righteous cause.

No this doesn't mean that there aren't things to fight for... Because you're RIGHT, we do have a long way to go in the face of fairness, inequality, and non-violence...

So, if you want to do something about something...


And then Move the fk on...

Do the best you can, then let it go...

Understand that everything in life can't be changed. (Yes, even the bad sh*t!)

Don't give up on what you're fighting for. Just learn to let go of all that internal (and external) drama that surrounds not getting your way (yet!).

Thicken your skin and lean in to your resiliency because around this fire of friends we are known for bust'n each others chops a bit... (we wouldn't do it if we didn't like you...) AND we expect the same in return!

We have a darker sense of humor, because we know life isn't always fair or easy. Not to mention, we all have our crosses to bare.


Leave your sh*t where you found it, grab a drink and sit your a$$ down around the fire with us!

Let's talk, laugh, disagree, argue, b*tch, love, share, appreciate, learn, grow and LIVE!


I got your back because even with our differences, we're not THAT different and... Somehow we are ALL on this crazy ride together!

Keep Going,

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Failure is an Investment

I see it all the time, people are excited to begin something new. They are all gung ho and enthusiastic...

Until they hit their first obstacle...

It seems that when people even get a whiff of a challenge or... Heaven forbid something that resembles FAILURE...

They take the path of least resistance faster than you can say "Shiny Object!"

No, this isn't something new...

AND it's not necessarily the end of the world as we know it either...

We just have to change our mindset, manage our expectation and (you got it...) KEEP GOING!

Failing Forward!?

If you want to get down to the 'brass tax' (whatever the hell that means!)...

If you're not failing, you're not progressing!

You see, we HAVE TO FAIL to succeed at the things that are out of our reach!

If you aren't willing to fail multiple times, you aren't really investing in your success!

But HERE'S the Catch...

(Yes, there's always a catch...)

You can only turn your failures into success IF you do these 2 things:

1) Learn from your mistakes.
2) Keep going.


A failure is only failing if you STOP!!

But if you Keep Going, those experiences are what will bring you to the successes you are looking for!

So Embrace the Suck!

Know that it's coming and get over it!

You can take it!

The adversity make us stronger and brings us together! It binds us!

For You Leaders Out There...

Here are some tips to deal w/this if you are in a leadership position (formally or otherwise).

If you're in a position to influence others, try to help people fail fast and fail forward, by balancing out performance, while allowing for failure.

Tell "War Stories" of how people turned Conflict Into Opportunity... How people got through bad times. How failures are the seeds of fantastic!

Encourage them to try new things and fall on their face.

Yes, yes, you want them to succeed, but help them see a bigger picture through the failures.

Help them to see the small successes. They may not have gotten everything right, but they may have gotten another PART of it closer to correct!

Some times you have to follow Nike's advice and...

Just Do It!

Keep Going,

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Monday, May 6, 2019

Breathe Easy

A great question came up last night after a student realized that she held her breath during one of the physical defense drills we were doing.

Afterward she asked.

"How do I remember to breathe?"

As usual, my answer was simple... Yet, not easy!

You just train and when you notice you're holding your breath... Breathe!

Keep doing this until you train yourself out of holding your breath during exertion and stress!

It can also help if your training partner (and coach) reminds you too, when they see you holding your breath.

How Important Is It Anyway!?

As you know, breathing is essential for our survival...


It makes a huge difference in your performance of everything from controlling stress, verbal communication, coordination, physical exertion, even cognitive functions.

Once you stop controlling your breath everything else suffers as well!

Breathing Basics...

There are many many ways to breath, Compression Breath, Tactical Breathing, Ujjayi Breath, Buteyko Breathing, Restorative Breathing, etc.

But lets just begin w/natural breathing...

Just like the comment made last night in our Krav Class...

When you notice you have stopped breathing or are holding your breath, just tell yourself to resume breathing.

Here is a quick 3 step method:

1) Relax.
2) Straighten up your posture.
3) Breathe from your belly, then chest. In through your nose / Out though your mouth at a measured slow(ish) pace.

Keep going!


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