Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Next One

Traditionally, I do a ton of writing in November. Just not here.
November is the National Novel Writing Month or Nanowrimo. The challenge is to finish 50,000 words in one month-- a month with a major holiday, family obligations and all of your regular work, too. Lots of my friends take the challenge and I try to finish something. It's not a novel, but I add 50,000 words to a project.
For the last 28 days, every spare minute has been spent on the IDC manual. IDC was our cop jargon for "Instructor Development Course." So a book on how to teach. Finished it today. Or, at least, thought I did. Then realized I needed to add a new section. No idea why these things always seem to pop into my head in the shower.

So, if anyone is still reading the blog, here's a taste. The Table of Contents:

Section 1: The Unique Problem of Self-Defense
Section 1.1: Rarity
Section 1.2 An Open, Not a Closed System 
Section 1.3 Surprise, Fear and Speed 
Section 1.4 The Problem is Longitudinal
Section 1.5 The Problem Exists in the Real World 
Section 1.6 You are Teaching Students, not Subject Matter
Section 2: Subject Matter Expertise
Section 2.1 Knowledge of the Problem
Section 2.1.1 The Ethical and Legal Implications of Using Force
Section 2.1.2 Violence Dynamics
Section 2.1.3 Avoidance; Escape and Evasion and De-Escalation
Section 2.1.4 Counter Assault
Section 2.1.5 Freezing
Section 2.1.6 The Fight
Section 2.1.7 Aftermath
Section 2.2 Applicable Solutions
Section 2.3 Experience Thresholds
Section 2.3.1 Sharing Experiences
Section 3 The Ability to Teach
Section 3.1 Adult Learning
Section 3.2 Assessment
Section 3.2.1 Reading Students
Section Creating Student Profiles
Section Troubleshooting Difficult Students 
Section 3.2.2 Reading a Class
Section 3.2.3 Assessing Sources of Information
Section 3.2.4 Assessing Drills
Section 3.2.5 Assessing Techniques
Section 3.3 The Transfer of Information
Section 3.4 Curriculum Development
Section 3.4.1 Curricula in General
Section 3.4.2 Curriculum Design for Long-Term Classes
Section 3.4.3 Curriculum Design for Short Classes
Section 3.4.4 Teaching Groups vs. Singles
Section 4: Principles-Based Teaching
Section 4.1 Background Concepts of Principles-Based Teaching
Section 4.1.1 Building Blocks
Section 4.1.2 Principles
Section 4.1.3 Concepts
Section 4.2 The Process of Principles-Based Teaching
Section 4.3 The Flaws of Principles-Based Teaching
Section 5: Teaching Professional (LEOs, Military and Specialty Teams)
Section 5.1 The Fundamental Fundamentals
Section 5.2 Before You teach, Know the Policies
Section 5.3 Teaching Professionals
Section 5.3.1 Class Structure
Section 5.3.2 Preparation
Section 5.3.3 Class Format
Section 5.3.4 Deciding What to Teach
Section 5.3.5 Setting up the Class
Section 5.3.6 Presentation
Section 5.3.7 Troubleshooting
Section 5.4 After the Class
Section 6: Instructor Ethics
Section 6.1 Ethics
Section 6.2 Student Empowerment
Section 6.3 Assumptions and Biases
Section 7 Business and Marketing, to be contributed by Randy King
Section 8 Tips and Tricks
Appendix 1 Building Blocks
Appendix 2 Principles
Appendix 3 Concepts
Appendix 4 Dracula’s Cape as an Example of Operant Conditioning
Appendix 5 Example Flexible Curriculum Template 
Appendix 6 Example Revolving Curriculum
Appendix 7 Example Professional Lesson Format

Appendix 8: Sample Safety Briefing 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

AAR- Europe and Japan

Well, if I count layovers it's been seven different countries since last I wrote. Nine border crossings, since I've been through Canada twice. One more border crossing in an hour or so and then I'll be home.

Processing lots. Taught "How to Run Scenarios" without being able to understand the native language well enough to really evaluate how well everyone was doing. I think there are some things I don't have the skills to do myself. In future, I will probably have to create a cadre of instructors who can create teams to work in their native language. Much as it hurts me to say that, it's time to think about the next generation.

Taught InFighting on the second visit to the Netherlands. Have to think about this carefully as well. To do InFighting safely requires pretty high-level distancing, ukemi, control and confidence. People panic. They always call it something else but it is definitely panic. The class went very well in Natick, but that was a jujutsu school with very similar core competencies to mine and it was my (fifth?) visit there. They were ready and they knew how to be safe. Not that Chris' men and women in the Netherlands were unsafe or not ready, but there were some minor injuries. And there was a weird time compression thing, because I got through almost all of the sixteen hour class in eight. Still can't figure out how that happened.

Japan was very strange for me on an emotional level. I always assumed my first visit there would be as a student, not an instructor. In my head I had just assumed that the expats were the people who were so into martial arts that they changed their entire lives and gave up everything to get closer to the source. I was expecting on a very deep level to be the itty-bitty bug in a roomful of martial gods. And I found out, like every other time I've been around the immensely talented or famous or whatever, that they were pretty much people. Just like me. And we all have tons to learn. And learning with good people is kind of fun.

And oh my god they can drink. Had whisky, beer, awamori, and habushu, and that was on the first day, just saying hello. The dinner after the seminar was epic.
Habushu. Snake wine. Tastes remarkably like alcohol.

Also fulfilled an obligation. Had to go to the hombu of Sosuishitsu, just to say thanks. One family preserved something that kept me alive in some rough times. There's an eternal debt there. It was a good place and I liked Shitama-sensei. He's solid. 

Met some good people, as always-- Quint, Peter, Joe, the Fearsome Foursome (Quint's kids) Iida, Shinya and James. Other names I don't remember.

And got to duel an entire generation of an ancient samurai clan simultaneously at their family shrine. Of course, the oldest was eight.
Good times. But time to head home.