Training With Many Masters

It had been extremely busy the past few weeks.  We trained with Guro Dan Inosanto in JKD/Jun Fan, Kali, and Silat.  We hosted a weekend seminar with Alan Predolin, the U.S. Director of Krav Maga Global.  We also hosted a week-long seminar with Jeff Martone from Tactical Athlete.  A bit mind-boggling, to say the least.  For my part, it has put me into a state of reflection on how I do many things.  I also feel re-invigorated towards my own training, which is always a good thing.  Sometimes we get stuck in a vein and it is hard to deviate from it.  Seminars are good for breaking me out of that.  In addition, they remind me that I must be open and remain the lifelong student.

Guro Dan has been studying Balintawak style of Filipino Martial Arts.  I cannot honestly tell much more about it, but it was certainly interesting to play around with.  In addition to that, he continues on with his yoga practice, kettlebells, and jiu jitsu, among other things.  I always say this, but he remains my inspiration of how I want to become as I age: constantly learning and moving.  Moving is living, and he is proof of this at the age of 74 years young.  I guess what struck me the most about this seminar is how rusty I felt on my attributes.  I had sort of gotten away from the Bruce Lee methods of training and was focusing hard on strict Krav.  What I did not realize is that the JKD form of training had truly been enhancing me, and I needed to get back to it.  I was not as well-rounded as before.  An interesting realization, indeed, so we are re-incorporating it back into the reality-based training for the specific purpose of sharpening attributes.

Training with Alan Predolin was fantastic.  He is very detail-oriented, and he fine-tuned many of the techniques we are currently teaching and training.  He provided concrete reasons why techniques are done a certain way, which made a lot of sense for many things.  I am not certain he is very keen on practitioners cross-training, but coming from a JKD philosophy, it is hard for me not to, especially when it sharpens my abilities overall.  I understand the mindset of keeping things simple and remaining observant of Hick’s Law, for sure, but cross-training does broaden your perspective in many ways.  Having said all of that, it is good to give people something straight-forward that they can use on the street tomorrow.  I can see both sides of the issue.

Jeff Martone streamlined my kettlebell techniques, and I earned my Tactical Athlete instructor certification.  I am so excited about that.  What I realized after this particular seminar is this: even though I prefer to be random with my training, I still need to have a method to the madness.  I have finally seen the light on program design.  I have been on a plateau for a while and I am ready to make some serious gains.  Though life tends to be random with its demands, I am going to have to incorporate more structure into training and map it out better so I reach my goals.  Too much structure is stifling to me, but I need more than I have.  I also really enjoyed the joint mobility exercises he gave us.  Jeff has had more injuries than anyone should have to endure, and joint mobility keeps him running—he does it every day.  I had sort of gotten away from it even though I totally love Scott Sonnon’s Warrior Wellness routines.  I am going to get back to it!  In case you don’t know, Jeff also teaches the Crossfit Kettlebell Certifications, and this certification was really no different from that.  Tactical Athlete is his own company.

Well, as I move forward, I realize I have a lot to do.  That is perfectly okay with me.  Without something to improve, life would get pretty boring.  I really encourage all of you to train with different instructors as much as possible.  It shakes you up.  Sometimes it is scary because it challenges dearly held beliefs.  Other times it is a breath of fresh air.  Either way, it keeps you from getting stale and stuck in patterns.  Commit yourself to being a lifelong student and keeping a beginner’s mind about things; always be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to change things for the better.

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