Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Mission Statement

In the ConCom model, every tribe has mores, which are more about how things are done than what is done.  Mores are the collection of beliefs and protocols that separate groups from each other.  We both hunt in the jungle, but I wear black feathers and you wear white.  We both think people should be polite, but my culture teaches eye contact is a sign of respect and yours teaches it is a challenge.  The how of doing something becomes very important.  Sometimes more important than the what.

Businesses use mission statement as a short hand.  All of the employees come from different groups with different values and protocols.  The mission statements and vision statements that organizations come up with are (subconsciously) trying to get their members to realize that when they are on the job, they are in a different tribe and these are the tribe's values.  "Duty, Honor, Respect" at work... but "Love" should be in your home mores.  You get the idea.

Yesterday, I wrote:


in this place and time and for my purposes and definition of best, etc*.



This might be the bones of a mission statement.  Might help explain the important differences.  So here's a stab at explaining those thirteen words.

In this place and time:  Dealing with the threat and environment that exists.  For civilians, training with respect to current law, who the student is (as a victim profile), weapons availability and actual criminal predation patterns.
          This is, for me, one of the big differences between SD and MA.  Martial arts is partially about preserving a method, a set of mores.  Many instructors start by teaching escapes from a wrist grab--- because 130 years ago, in Japan, it was the most important self-defense technique for one strata of society.  The koryu mindfully preserve cultural artifacts.  Far too often the gendai arts preserve artifacts mindlessly.
           And place and time changes.  The situation is different in the jail, at home, traveling, in Iraq or competing.  Competition is the easiest because it has the fewest variables.  Not the easiest to do--grasp that.  Because you can set the variables you can set competition right at the edge of what the contestants can handle.  But by far the simplest to train for.

For my purposes:  Changes by student profile.  But the essence is this: I don't want the three a.m. phone call that Officer D is dead, and I hate visiting people in hospital.
          For pure SD students with no experience, I want them to be able to recognize and avoid a situation if possible; if not have the tools to survive an ambush; and get a leg up on dealing with the chaos of a bad situation.  I need them to be adaptable enough to deal with a situation where they cannot know the parameters in advance.
           For experienced martial artists studying violence, they already have good physical skills.  Any athlete has good physical skills.  They need to know where those skills fit, what they will face, where their training has created false expectations.  They need to know context.  This is my biggest group.
            For force professionals, they need to be able to adapt to situations where they cannot know the parameters in advance and they must be able to integrate all of their resources (and know when, due to space or time, their options are limited) and adapt.  And that has to be taught in very limited amounts of time.  This is the group that is most precious to me.

My definition of best: The most important metric is maximum adaptability with minimum training time.
            Measuring anything this chaotic is tricky, but that's the best I can do.  And it works when you set it as a goal.  Best example is the lock training.  I consistently get untrained people improvising joint locks under light pressure in an hour.  They don't know the name of a single lock and couldn't pass the lock portion of a traditional JJ yellow belt test, but they can find a lock, including some exotic ones, in a brawl, something many blackbelts can't do.  I think that's more important, hence 'my definition of best.'
            And the biggest gains in efficiency don't seem to come from adding skill, bur from removing constraints.  Still working on the implications of that.

6 comments:

Josh K. said...

"For my purposes..."

I was being unfair the other day. I just realized your purposes & my purpose are different or at lest the emphasis is different in what we find important or choose to focus on.  

If I want companion book to "Force Decisions", which is from an officers point of view, a book from the average citizens point of view; a guide if you will, I'm going to need to write it myself.

There are a lot of books out there focusing individual pieces of the puzzle. Having not read ConCom, yet, and assuming it pulls all the known pieces together, what is the next step? (But I still see three pieces: ConCom, Scaling Force /Morality of Violence*, Physical Application.)

"In this place and time..."

In "Facing Violence" the first Chapter is Legal and Ethical. The first hurdle and the one most Civilians/Citizens trip over, because the law and [beliefs, values, morals, ethics] have nothing to do with each other. There are quite a few laws that I find moraly objectionable.

What happens when our laws & our ethics conflict? The default seems to be fallback onto the law, working on changing the law to fit or come closer to our ethics. 

*I know that each persons ethics and where they draw their individual lines are different. How much of the 'stay with in the law' mantra is a crutch so we don't have to deal with the ethical questions; i.e., the hard stuff?

Rory thanks for the reminder that your goals for teaching this and my goals for learning this are not going to line up exactly nor do they need to.  

So, what is my mision statement or purpose in learning SD? I need to work on this to be come clearer in my own mind & focus. I do know that mine is more focused on how we the non-professionals accomplish this.

Mores? Is there a common framework that we need to be teaching our children, so as society we are better able to deal with conflict in life, and is ConCom that frame?

Thanks,
Josh

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

"And the biggest gains in efficiency don't seem to come from adding skill, but from removing constraints."

This is a great summation of the problem as I have come to see it. Once one can cut away all the BS, fantasy, self opinions and misdirected approaches to "learning" people generally as you make the gains faster and more effectively... the hard part is to get through all that as soon as possible...

Jake said...

I like this, a lot.

I still contend that the major problem with a lot of martial artists is that they've got systems built on well...in these terms, someone else's mission statement.

Systems meant for hardened warriors in the hands of desk-jockeys.

I wish more people thought the way you're thinking.

Jake said...

"And the biggest gains in efficiency don't seem to come from adding skill, bur from removing constraints. Still working on the implications of that. "

Random thought: I don't know if this connects directly...it's late, and I'm tired, but I want this on paper before I forget it.

One implication might be that in striving to shorten learning curves, you're also creating a model that runs counter to the way most martial artists run their business.

When you need to acquire skill, there's always more skill to acquire. You can never been skilled enough--there's always someone better.

If it's just about removing constraints, if you can get people functional in hours, or days, not months or years, then they stop coming back, and stop paying you.

Skill lets you keep the curriculum, and the payments, going.

(That's not a condemnation, or at least, it's not meant to be. Just an observation)

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

Rory for one has made that observation here in the past...
It is also an aspect of human nature IMO on the part of the learner as much as it is an manipulation or oversight of the instructor. Many people don't want something they can get fast or more simply. There is a cache in something that takes time (the wise master spends years developing the skill) to acquire. If it is quick, it sounds like anyone can do it. It's like people buying expensive stuff because it's expensive, a way to boost the ego and show off, even just to yourself. More is better, and then that links back to the "more "effort" I put in the better the result" and the other mistruths we attach to learning etc.
It also ties in with necessity. If people aren't about to use something they either get lazy or start finding other reasons for taking part, social, fun etc. however when the need is apparent people get focused even though they should have been all along and perhaps they are going to suffer through the lack of ground work. As Johnson said "when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
IMO the instructors job is to structure the material so that the learner gets what they need while also feeling like they are getting what they want, then hopefully they start to want what they actually need.
best

Marc said...

My answer for your issue, Jake, which I think we all face is: That there are always different facets to it that can be improved upon. We should try to get a base level functionality so that someone has a good chance of defending themselves asap. Then they can leave with some base level skill that might deteriorate without practice but at least you did your job right in training them. For students to stay on, I think enjoyment of the training and the personalities involved in training is paramount. Always different angles to work imo.