Blog Archive

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bowing Out

This is the end, my friend.

Actually, the end was a little over a year ago, but it's taken me that long to write this. With the year about to close out, it seems like as a good a time as any to put to the final bow on this, tie it off, and move on.


Long story short: I had an epiphany about a year ago, in November, and decided to go to law school. I took tests, applied, and now am a student at Northeastern University School of Law. It's wonderful, and I'm loving it. It's also incredibly time consuming, and leaves me little or no time for much else. Certainly not for coaching, or for writing about coaching. Which honestly, is ok.


In keeping with the theme of this blog (or at least, its title), I must be honest: one of the things that stepping away from the martial arts has allowed me to do is to face up to some truths. One of those truths is that I have a lot of bitter feelings about the martial arts "community". I won't get into all of it, because it's not worth sharing, but I will say there is vast gulf between what most martial artists profess to do, and what they actually do. And I'm tired of a lot of it, and happy to have it out of my life. I do miss training, and will get back into more of it some day, but it will likely be as a student, and not as a coach. It will certainly not be as a profession.

I've deleted my Facebook account. It was originally created for professional reasons (I felt like I needed it to grow my business), and once it stopped serving that function, I found it really had little use to me. More importantly, it's a toxic environment that mostly served to lessen my respect for a number of people I called friends, and I don't need that in my life.

I have a lot of great memories of teaching and training, and some of my closest friends are those I've met through the martial arts. They are still a small part of my life, and will likely to continue to be...but it will be on my own terms, and on my own path.

Final Thoughts

I'm not sure what will happen to this blog. I won't be adding to it. I may leave it up, but I make no promises. If there is valuable information here that you want to keep, print it, copy it, or whatever, because if I take it down, this is your only warning.

It's all mine, for the record. Please don't take it and claim it as your own.

And...that's it, I guess. Any wisdom I might have is already on this blog. Go read it if you want it.

I'm bowing out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Everything Is Voluntary

Whenever I teach a PDR/SPEAR Seminar, I always lay out three ground rules. They are all embedded in the PDR/SPEAR curriculum, but I like explicating them so my students know.

1. We are options facilitators. 
2. Ask Questions. 
3. Everything Is Voluntary. 

That last one is what this is about.

I will not make a student do a drill, exercise, or activity they are not mentally or emotionally ready to do.

If a student does not want to do something, I won’t make them. I don’t make them give reasons, and I don’t punish them. This is non-negotiable, and I believe it’s an ethical consideration.

First—as an instructor, I am my students’ servant, not the other way around. My job is to make my students’ better.

Second—if my job as an instructor is to empower my students, particularly to empower them to take care of their bodies and minds, I can’t do that by forcing them to do things with their bodies they don’t want to do. If a student says “I’d like to sit this one out”, then I let them.

Note: there is a difference between “I am not doing this” and “I am afraid to do this, but still kind of want to.” One is an invitation to explore a challenge. The other is a full stop statement. I’m happy to help people face their challenges. I’m not going to force people into things they don’t want to do. If you’re an instructor, you shouldn’t either. If you’re a student, your instructor shouldn’t do that.