Posts Tagged ‘School’

Ancient bas-relief of Khmer martial arts training (at their school?) in Cambodia.

We are nearing the point in our collective COVID-19 journey where, legally or otherwise, businesses are starting to re-open. You can believe whatever you want, but I feel that, while the virus was terrible globally, the general populous and governments overreacted by shutting everything down.

However, no matter what I think, the damage has already been done. Now it’s about how can we grow and re-build from the metaphorical rubble.

Some martial arts schools are re-opening even though they are legally not allowed to; because if they don’t they will not be able to re-open, ever. Many businesses operate month-to-month financially, and I can say from experience that this is more often than not the case with regard to the martial arts community. This is why re-opening soon is essential for our type of business to succeed.

In other industries getting back to business within the context of rules requiring social distancing, group size limitations, and personal protective equipment (PPE), is a manageable constraint. Martial arts schools, by the very nature of physical, combative training, are going to have an issue. A temporary solution was/is to offer virtual classes, which is better than nothing and also serves to keep students in shape and in the learning mindset. However, in many cases (except, perhaps, for global brands) students may choose not to participate, for a plethora of reasons given our current circumstances, which makes it very difficult for the schools to stay afloat in an already challenging market.

With all this said, let’s assume that the school you train at is going to re-open in the near future, either legally or not. When it does, how should you proceed?

  1. Show Up – Now, more than ever, your school needs support. So show up! Even if you have to work out a modified payment plan for your school, due to job loss or other. SHOW UP! What this does is motivates your school’s instructors to build the school up with out worrying that the clientele won’t be there. It also motivates other students to come and train. There may be a group of people who might not want to start training when it comes time to open, but if other people are training and see that it is relatively safe (it is martial arts after all) they will feel more comfortable coming in. Additionally, if there is a great deal of community support, then it may be more difficult for local authorities to be to harsh on struggling schools; if there is one thing politicians hate, it’s public backlash. So, if you like your school, support your school. Make it a priority to show up even if schedules have changed or things are different at your school. Show up and support your school.
  2. Advertise For Your School – If you were not already, make social media posts. Talk to your friends and followers about your training. Make lots of posts and be public about it. The more your school is known the more people will want to come train. Even if you don’t feel comfortable training yet, you may have friends who have always wanted to try it and who do want(need!) to train. Now’s the chance for these people; it’s a win-win.

That’s it, it’s really just that easy. Show up and be loud about it! Remember, talk is cheap. Saying you want to train or saying you support your school is not the same as actually doing it. Talk all you want but if you don’t show up, and do so regularly, and help market your school, even schools that are able to re-open may not be able to continue if no one is there to pay the bills.

So, what are you going to do about your school re-opening? Will you support it or will you stay at home forever, while that thing you once loved fades to dust.

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Though many of you may not know it, I have given a presentation on stress management. Why? Well what is more stressful than being in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantryman and sniper? Especially when I’ve been told that my platoon during that time was one of the most active in the entire army. On top of that my squad was the busiest in the entire platoon. So I think I learned a little about stress. But this is not the only reason I give talks about stress management. Many of you may not know this but I have battled depression for most of my life. One Manic depressive episode later I learned that stress management comes from within.

In my quest to improve myself I have learned many things about how to manage stress.

Here I want to talk about a few, two in particular. One is managing realistic expectations of your self and others, and two is managing priorities correctly.
I always run into the same problems when I am teaching students. They are usually along the lines of “I cannot come to class because I have to study for my school, my education is more important.”

Don’t get my wrong, education is extremely important. I am after all going to university for the second time. However, too often people mix up education and traditional academia.
Really, education comes from every where and every one at any time, you just have to pay attention and learn. Academia is extremely structured and rigid and tells you what it thinks you need to know to succeed.

Unfortunately, times are changing. I cannot tell you how many people I know who went to school out of high school, got their BA, and now do not work in their field, but instead have a menial, low paying job or are still in school.

I am not sure about your definition of success, but I am not so sure that’s it.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Krav Maga?

I say everything. Perhaps it’s my own fault for having unrealistic expectations of students but the reality is that Krav Maga, or rather learning your own personal safety strategies, is probably one of the most important bits of education you will ever get.

I hope you are never placed in a situation where you will have to use it, but it is a skill set that can, and will, benefit you far greater than any degree. Yet, when it comes to students I always hear the same excuses. They all want to come to the class but they are too busy with studying, their life is too stressful, or they don’t have time. To that I say, Bullshit.
Most students I have taught, do not have a clue what stress is, don’t know how to manage their time properly, and cannot fathom what real priorities even look like.
I am not saying your traditional education is not a priority, but your own personal safety should NEVER take a back seat to a midterm, final or paper.

Let’s say you decide not to come to Krav Maga because of one of these reasons. You need a break and you decide to go to the bar with your friends. On the way you are attacked. Guess, what? The class in Krav Maga that you missed was exactly what you needed to know to survive. But you chose different priorities, you did not learn it and now well.. I dare not to think.

Yes I am being a bit melodramatic, and yes, I understand I am very passionate about what I do and the safety of others. But I still find it frustrating when people choose other priorities rather than come to class.

I know life happens, and this is totally ok. But frankly, giving at least an hour of your time once a week is not that difficult to achieve.

I hope my words have inspired you and if not then, oh well. But remember, your personal safety is in your own hands. Other people will not always be there to protect you.

So I ask you. What are your priorities?

Written By: Jonathan F