Don’t Question The Self Defence Expert? But a Confident Self-Defence “Expert” Wants To Be Questioned
Throughout my extensive career of teaching violence prevention and self-defence for over three decades, three distinct incidents made me reflect upon my position within this industry. By no means have I always made the best choices, but here is one I have consciously avoided regarding asking the self-defence “expert” questions.
Don’t Ask Questions – Over the years, even when teaching extensively, I have kept and still do a curious and open mind, continuously seeking to further my education, always to provide my clients with the best possible education. If I find something better, I will change my “curriculum” immediately. I continued to seek education, including other certifications.
In one instance, I participated in a well-known certification. When we got to one defence against an attack, it did not make sense. I was respectful and asked for an honest reply, hoping I might understand something I was missing. My question was along the lines of, “Why do you teach A, B, and C instead of an alternative I provided?” To my surprise, the reply I received was swift, “Because that is what we teach.”
I quickly realized I should not question the teacher’s decisions and did not ask another question after that.
Interestingly enough, the head of this organization asked me why I didn’t teach his program instead of mine, despite knowing how busy I already was. While politely, I replied, “What I am teaching seems to be working well, but I am always looking for ways to improve.” His immediate response to my answer was, “Well, wouldn’t you want to teach something better than what you are teaching now?”
Again, I respectfully said, “Thank you, but you do not even know what I teach, so let’s continue with the training.”
After that, there was a definite contrast in how I was treated, and I have never forgotten that swearing to myself that no questions would ever be dismissed from my clients.
Some might ask why I did not leave, but again, I would have been thrilled if I just found one nugget of value that I could extend to my clients.
My philosophy is I expect to be peppered with questions when I teach. Through those meaningful discussions, everyone benefits and learns, which is particularly important when teaching a topic with life-saving implications.
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