Friday, October 01, 2010

The Living Room

Sitting in the Living Room, a restaurant/bar in Boston. It's on the edge where the North End meets the waterfront. It's dead quiet this time of day, rocking at night. A good place to sit on a couch, drink coffee, and get some work done.

David sent me the galleys for "Facing Violence". Almost done today. Some quibbles with words and punctuation, realizing how much more I know about some of this stuff (especially legal articulation) than made it into the book... That's fine, in a way. Makes the seminars more valuable.

I very much like the section on avoidance and de-escalation, particularly dealing with dangerous ground and cultures or subcultures where you don't know the rules. One of the people who read an early draft shared the other day that the section turned out invaluable in a certain country in Africa where he was working. Book won't be out for seven months and it may have already saved a life. I'm pretty pumped. I did my happy finger dance.

Later tonight, meeting friends at a Narghila bar in the University District. All-day classes tomorrow and Sunday. The scenario day looks full. Right on the edge of too many. Hoping we don't get walk-ons, because I hate turning people away. Note to self: Scenario days shouldn't have the location posted.

Still plenty of space for tomorrow, however, the 'easy' day. Several are repeats as well, so I'll work in more of the advanced stuff I'd planned for Sunday. It should work out well.

K had a brilliant idea. Her belly-dancing classes have usually been set up as a limited days/weeks/hours class for a specific period and a specific purpose, e.g. a Monday and Wednesday nights from 1900-2000 for eight weeks (16 hours) to learn Algerian Tribal Dance Basics. Something like that.

It works around a lot of the issues I have with long-term training. It makes it easy to be modular: Eight hours for Conflict Communications. Four hours for violence dynamics. Menu of building-block classes at one hour per item. Specific immersion classes.

The idea deserves more thought, but it's something I could see doing as a regular thing. Take advantage of the good parts of dojo training while avoiding many of the problems.

Needs more thought.


Jason said...

That is honestly the general direction my brain has gone every time you bring up your lack of desire to teach "Regular Classes". I have never quite come up with more than some half formed notion of focused classes that work on specific angles, I think the addition of a defined terminus to each focused class is a missing piece! I am definitely going to have to think on that some more.

I have spent a ton of time thinking through various aspects of martial arts training over the years, trying to come up with better approaches for different aspects of it.

Reading your thoughts and experiences in this area has been a blast.

I said it before elsewhere, I owe you a beer the next time I am down in Portland. :)

Thanks Rory.

Rory said...

I'll be in Seattle the weekend of the 23rd...

Travis said...

I've been leaning towards a modular approach as well.

I actually have a concept of integrating it into a traditional belt structure for those who care about such things.

Travis said...

Don't think I put enough into that last comment.

One problem I see with a lot of martial arts training is that there is no real goal. Sure "black belt". Maybe even continous improvement but a key idea to the modular approach to me is that 'you will learn x and be able to accomplish y within z amount of time'. (which can feed back into a 'continous improvement' or not. It could simply be picking up skills and going with what you got)

I've got a place I train at that I enjoy but I've also got other things I want to develop. The focus this year has been getting back in shape supplemented with only low to moderate amounts of MA training. After that I figure the right couple of guys to train with, about a year of working through my personal modules with a 'training partner' focus rather then a 'teaching' focus.

Just my thoughts, maybe something will mesh with your thoughts, maybe not.Curious to hear what you come up with, even thought I'm not there to enjoy it.

jks9199 said...

I like setting things up in a modular way. Not my ongoing martial arts class... that's different, though it's cyclical. I do have performance goals as we change cycles... but that's really a different topic, though, so I'll leave that aside.

I'm working slowly on a proposal for a class on plain clothes operations. Our basic LE academy does a great job teaching people to be uniformed cops... then they get a detective assignment, or just tapped for some plainclothes detail, and it's "good luck, off you go..." I'm setting it up in a modular format because some things may not work out for one reason or another (like range days or surveillance practicals). That way -- the module on surveillance or planning a plainclothes op or whatever can be pulled out as a stand-alone if necessary. Or omitted if it can't be done for some reason.

sandiasands said...

Rory, please bring your seminars/classes to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Scott said...

"I did my happy finger dance."
We await the video!

Jason said...

I actually had forgotten that you had a training session up here this month. I had put it out of mind, because I didn't think I was going to be able to free up the time.

Now that I look at it though, maybe. Assuming you aren't full up. :)

Either way, consider yourself in possession of a coupon for one beer. You planning on catching a beer already either night?