Friday, August 12, 2011

Too Simple

Teaching new material tonight. That always feels weird going in. Not so much worrying about whether people will like it or not, or the usual bullshit stagefright thing. It's mostly when people ask for something or I see an obvious hole, the program always feels too simple to teach.

"Facing Violence" is doing pretty well and getting good reviews... but did anybody NOT know that self-defense has ethical and legal dimensions? That avoidance was a skill that needs to be practiced? That bad guys attack differently than training partners? Seriously?

In almost every class I'm almost embarrassed to point out that it is easier to beat people up from behind. There are giggles, but always several who have not really practiced it, who don't even realize how their learned strategy is derived from dominance displays (which kind of require fighting eye-to-eye.)

Logic of Violence is merely an exercise in examining a problem from the viewpoint that drives it. We all do this every day. There are nuances and details that people who don't spend time with criminals might miss, but humans think like humans. Apply your mental tools to the threat's problems and you will come up with some things very close to the threat's solutions.

I'm proud of ConCom, but on at least one level it is just a taxonomy, just putting labels on things that every person sees every day. We have made important connections. Just as an example, in every long-term relationship I've seen, the couple have at least one argument that they have word for word periodically. That one observation leads to some pretty cool inferences. But once the program is laid out, it's just stuff that every person does and sees every day. Once you see it, you can act with far more skill and intention... but I wonder why people don't see.

Self-defense is what happens when you are losing. Everybody knows or should know what losing feels like, should know that part of losing is not having access to the resources you rely on when you are winning or even. Anyone who has spent thirty seconds thinking about this grasps it. Anyone who has a background in any kind of movement art and gives a little effort to understanding bad guys can start coming up with some solutions. What feels to me like ten minutes of correlating known data will be two hours of class tonight.

So I keep expecting every last student to look up and say, "Well, duh."


Charles James said...

"So I keep expecting every last student to look up and say, "Well, duh."

Perspective, after your class ... any other class they attend you will hear, "Well, duh!"

You may even see a light in the eyes cause they get it now.

No exposure, real or academic, gives the brain nothing to access ... you provide data, physical and mental, for the brain to access.

This is good, yes?

Josh Kruschke said...

Rory you 'live' in a scary scary world. Most people can't deal with the world as you see it. They would rather live in a fantasy world. In one that they feel that they have the power to control. They want that feeling that all their training means something and will guaranty they make it home.

You're scary. You don't try to give them false hope or a guaranty of success. Not everyone feels comfortable in the maelstrom of uncertainty that is conflict.

They are looking for guaranties in life, and the only one I've found is I'm not going to make it out of it a live.


Andy said...

Everything is obvious after the fact. You should have people fill out surveys before hand, it may be interesting

Kai Jones said...

I wonder whether you have a block about integrating this information into your thinking, because it keeps coming up.

matt h said...

I agree with the two gentlemen above. It seems even people in law enforcement and military need reminders of the basics again and again. The fantasy life is a hard drug to walk away from. Mmmmm, fantasy comfortable, warm, don't have to work, instant gradification, everyone else is doing it, procrastination,and it doesnt hurt until hit/cut/shot. Look at people who put up different reminders such as quotes and pics who are high speed individuals. I too struggle with teaching concepts and techniques that should be easy to understand and apply. I am always searching for something that will help me to help others to get the point that can be used when needed. Some people get it. Some people you look in their eyes and you see the glazed look of fantasy. I kinda expect to see a hyperdermic needle sticking out of some appendage.

Mike H. said...

In the company I work for we do annual performance reviews with "peer quotes". One of mine a few years back said "Mike sometimes seems to think that because he knows something, everybody knows it." It was not the first time I've heard something like that. It's true. I feel like everything I do, everything I know, is just mundane. In some sense it is, but for some reason the people I work with seem to think I'm almost uniquely valuable at what I do.

Don't sell yourself or your hard work short, my friend. Everybody else, the ones who appreciate what you have to say, probably have the right of it.

Mike H. said...

That last sentence is more general-sounding that I intended. You'd have to be pretty daft not to realize how much people appreciate what you have to say in general. What I meant to say was "Everybody else, the ones who appreciate what you have to say even when you think it you think it is obvious, probably have the right of it.

Josh Kruschke said...

You might have come across this book before, but if not you might find this really illuminating, or not. If nothing else it should make you smile.

Obvious Adams the Story of a Successful Business Man By Robert R. Updegraff (1916)

You're so an Obvious Adams.


Mike H. said...

"You're so an Obvious Adams."

Just read that myself. Perfect!

damkrantz said...

Sometimes the real beauty is in how simple something is. It is very easy to see all the options that can come from something very simple and we can lose sight of the simplicity of the original idea. (I need to stop right there or I am going to rehash all of MOV and what I have learned from your blog).
From my point of view, you have a talent not only for your physical training but your articulation of strategy and tactics that a lot of people neglect. What is old hat to do you is something I have never experienced myself.
Heh, not as simple a comment as I originally intended to leave.
Good luck with your class!