If you clicked on this article, you might be a little confused. You might be thinking “What is he on about?”
Let me explain.
This article is all about promises, and self-defence is completely based on the ability for people to keep their promise.
Now I will pre warn you; this article is going to be deep. If you are looking for ‘5 ways to beat people up’ this will not be for you.
However, if you want to have a deeper self-defence experience, then this will be right up your street.
Let’s do this!
I went online the other day to purchase a microphone and got it via Amazon.
A few short years ago Amazon did not exist yet now it is in everyday life, why? They made a promise.
The promise was that they would send you goods quickly and at low cost.
It has revolutionised the way we shop now, and the high street has suffered.
The promise was there from the high street shops and book sellers as well. They ‘promised’ that they would give you the best range, the best price and the best service.
But they lied, Amazon showed us their ‘margins’. It showed us where their profits were, and ultimately it showed how the high street book sellers (and now other shops) were lying to us.
Their promise was ‘we promise to give you goods as long as we make a good profit on every sale.’
The high street shops had the monopoly because we could not buy from anywhere else.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said: “Your margin is my opportunity.” He made a promise, and this has changed the fundamental way we shop
Years ago if a person wanted to learn how to protect themselves, they would either need to buy a book, a video or go to a martial arts class.
Now you can choose to learn via an online university, DVD, books, ebooks, blogs, YouTube and of course classes.
In every one of these formats, there is an implied promise.
That promise is ‘learn from me, and you will be able to protect yourself and your loved ones’.
That is a compelling promise to make.
The safety of your family is paramount, and we all want to be the hero in our own and their eyes. They look to us for safety, and we want to feel safe ourselves.
This is the promise that is being made.
The Rise Of The Self-Defence Frauds
Whenever there is money to be made people will make false promises.
I was in Greece recently and came across this toy.
The promise was that this toy is real, it is genuine, and my son would have hours of fun playing with it.
I know that promise is false, it is not genuine. The toy will likely break, and it is not the real toy.
In self-defence, people make false promises all the time.
You are shown videos of techniques working on compliant partners, books and online courses that promise if you read, view them or train with that system you will be able to protect yourself.
But just like the toy, the system will break under pressure.
But a toy that breaks is one thing, a self-defence system that breaks when you need it is a serious issue.
Imagine yourself fighting only to find out your blocks did not work, your punches were ineffective and all those years of study are worthless.
Trading Standards In Self-Defence
Trading standards (in the UK) is an agency that polices the ‘promises’ of companies that sell goods.
They would, of course, have stopped the sale of that toy in the UK if they saw it.
But they cannot stop the sale and promotion of poor quality self-defence training. It is an industry that is not regulated in any way.
But even if they could, how would they know what works and doesn’t?
Go to almost any self-defence system, and you will see ‘cops endorse it’, testimonials from people who say they used the training in real life and students.
This is what we call ‘social proof’.
Social proof is a simple way for our brains to make decisions, so we look at what others are doing and saying.
We eat at the restaurant that is busy, and we buy the phone that others have.
Tripadvisor is a website that we use to look for ‘social proof’ before we book a holiday.
So social proof in self-defence is key for our decision making when it comes to choosing systems.
BJJ and Krav Maga are recent examples of how a self defence system can explode from nothing into a global phenom due to self defence social proof.
These systems have made a promise ‘train with us, and you will get fitter and be able to protect yourself and your loved ones’, and the social proof encourages us to believe that promise.
The issue in self defence is that social proof is no indication of quality or truth.
To know if a system is any good requires people to be honest around the promises they are making.
Self-defence training needs this honesty.
The Self-Defence Student Promise (why systems fail)
This article has all been about promises, but there are two sides to the self-defence promise.
The first is that the system delivers the training that will keep you safe.
The second promise that is made by the students.
When you join a martial arts class, watch videos or join an online programme you make a promise also.
You agree that you are going to train hard and train regularly.
Despite this, there are hundreds of students who never last a few lessons, more that only last a few months and a lot that give up just before they reach their black belts.
Students break their promises all the time.
This leads to people saying ‘that system wasn’t any good’ ‘I didn’t think it would work’ ‘I got bored’ etc. etc.
Checking Your Own Promises
If you have made it to the end of the article, you will be a person with a deep interest in self-defence, if so it is great to have you here.
Right now you need to check your promises.
If you are an instructor, you need to be sure that the promise you are making to students is real. You need to ask yourself ‘how do I know that my promise is true?’
If you are a student, you must ask ‘are they delivering on their promise and am I keeping mine also?’
These are critical questions.
But how do you really know beyond social proof?
For instructors you must do this;
Go to the mirror and look at yourself in the face and say this;
‘I know that what I teach will work and keep my students safe.’
Look in your own eyes as you say this.
If you have doubts or concerns, you need to have a sit-down and consider that teaching this system to others might not be the best idea.
You should never teach what you do not 1000% agree will work.
As a student, you promised to learn self-defence. You promised to come to training and work hard. You promised to log in each week and view the new online material.
Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself ‘Am I keeping my promise.’
The Defence Lab Promise
I have been writing about Defence Lab since it was formed and I have trained in their system.
It is the system I teach my son and daughter. It is the system I advise others to learn.
My promise to you as a writer is that I will tell you the truth. Defence Lab delivers on everything it promises.
I know that not all martial arts and self-defence systems do because I used them for real.
For example, I was once taught some blocks from a self-defence system. I trained them weekly under expert tuition.
Yet when the time came, they failed me.
The instructor’s promise was false; the systems promise was broken.
Defence Lab keeps the promise it makes.
Now you have a task today.
You need to go away and ask yourself these questions. You need to have a look inside your system of self-defence and inside yourself.
If you are not keeping your promises, you need to change right now!
Why? Because one day your life might depend on it or possibly the life of another human being.
Self-defence training is serious, take it seriously!