Like most shortcuts, it was an ill-chosen route. Washington Irving
During one week in October of this year, we received two interesting and very similar inquiries about our self-defense training.
The first question, via email, asked if someone could master Krav Maga in 5 sessions. My immediate reply was no. You cannot master anything in 5 hours, I told him, but you can learn some basics that will lead you in the right direction.
He did not like my answer and I never heard from him again.
The same week a person tried a class and asked if Krav Maga was something you could learn in a workshop. I told them they could learn some useful things but not be proficient. Proficiency, I explained, required sustained practice over an extended period.
She did not like my answer. It was her last class.
There have been many similar experiences over the years.
Approximately 10 years ago I taught one student privately who was moderately skilled. His partner joined us for a session. They informed me that an organization would certify them as full instructors over a weekend. Could I, they asked, do the same? Without hesitation, I answered no. It would be irresponsible of me to certify someone who has not reached a certain level of technical and teaching proficiency. We are, after all, talking about teaching people to protect and preserve their physical well-being!
It was their last class.
Similarly, with level testing. Some students, after a few weeks, have stated with great conviction, that they are ready for the next testing level. When they perform a technique, especially under stress, there are flaws. Not small flaws but fundamental flaws that would not be effective in real-life scenarios. Fundamental mistakes can lead to serious injury or worse. Keep practicing!
There are many more examples, but you get the point.
What can we master in hours, days, or weeks? Every high-level athlete I know has practiced countless hours. Accomplished writers toil at their craft for years before being published. Engineers spend years studying and learning on the job. Would you want to cross the bridge built by an engineer who was recently certified after a weekend course or a workshop? I will walk around (or swim) thank you!
Process and patience.
More than ever, we live in an age of instant gratification.
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