The Fan Boy moment: Taking off from PDX, it occurred to me that I was flying out to team-teach with Marc "Animal" MacYoung the guy who actually raised his hand and said, "Real life isn't exactly like that" and started a lot of people thinking. It was like going to meet a trail blazer in your field of interest...as a colleague.
Some times life demands balance, and the childish fun of the Fan Boy moment got balanced with discovering another character flaw. We were practicing defenses against close-range knife assassinations, and Marc pointed out that I wasn't treating it as a lethal threat. It wasn't because of training habit. Or lack of understanding about what kind of threat someone grabbing you and pulling you into a knife was. Or even inclination-- I have a pretty good idea what it takes for me to turn people into meat.
It was simply arrogance. A bone-deep visceral belief that I had handled so many level five and level six situations at level four* or lower that no ordinary person would require higher; That the person attacking me with lethal intent wasn't worthy of a commensurate response.
A flaw, and a potentially suicidal flaw. More work.
The training has been intense and wonderful.
One day of Conflict Communications. It went well, but in after action there are many things we could do better-- a little time management, some videos-- but most of it is simply polish and practice. The reviews were nice. It rocked. There was one negative review, and I kind of reveled in it: the people who could get the most will have the most resistance. We need to open future classes by asking who was ordered to there and talking about why that happens and how to use the dynamic.
One day, seven hours on the mat, teaching in series with new friend Kasey and Marc. Kasey is the complete package- traditional martial artist, history with competitive martial sports, enforcement and tactical officer. And a hell of a nice guy, who surrounds himself with extraordinary people. We played their basics (so long since I have been in a traditional dojo environment, it felt like coming home after being away for years, wonderful and a little weird) then the visitors (us) worked our stuff, our priorities.
Later today, a short class with the SWAT operators.
Commo, brawling, tactics... hard to get a better three days. Good friends, good new friends and a solid kick-off to the new business...
Sore, tired happy. Three things that often come together.
* Level four: Physical control-- pain compliance, locks, takedowns and control moves.
Level Five: Serious physical control-- Impact and impact weapons.
Level six: Deadly force.