Back in my twenties I had a student who was in his mid-40s. He came to classes sporadically, trained hard, but didn’t seem to be nearly as driven as I thought he ought to be. After all, this was great training I was offering, why didn’t he just show up more often?
So one day I asked him why he only showed up from time to time. His answer confused me. “Well, my family’s got other things going on, and I like doing those things with them.” It was a simple statement with zero malice or defensiveness.
Now, since I’m now in my mid-40s as I write this, having lived partially outside of the martial arts world for the past decade or so, I understand this much more clearly than my mid-20s self did. Over the past fifteen years I’ve been in an occupation, in addition to teaching self-protection to particular clients, where I was teaching on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.
As a seminary-trained ordained minister I've spent much of my time learning how to teach, understanding learning styles, and applying profound lessons in simple ways that people can understand.
That's largely the nature of vocational, pastoral ministry; developing lesson plans, coursework, and executing blocks of instruction, including preparing and delivering sermons. I’m much more comfortable teaching now than I was back then, to say the least.
But I can tell you that back then, when I heard that answer, I thought that everyone wanted to train as much as me, learn as much as me, basically eat, sleep, and breathe the martial life. It boggled my mind that so few people thought like me so I gravitated towards those people who thought like me.
Because of this I missed out on many things because I could not see beyond my own limited perspective. You see, I’d fallen into the trap of becoming engrossed in the martial arts world to the exclusion of, and ultimately the ignorance of, the thinking and priorities of people in the “outside world.”
And it was my fault, 100%, back then. And it would still be my fault now if I did not recognize it and refused to change my thinking.
It’s not surprising, I suppose, but the sad fact is that many instructors, out of their love for their art and a desire to have quality students, hobble themselves because of a lack of experience reaching out to potential students who might not have the zeal that they possess.
I'm going to lay out, in the following articles, the teaching "ethos" of Lacy Products and Services. My goal is to describe just how we plan to reach out to and equip our clients. It matters to me how you, my potential client, understand the why and how of my desires and goals, as much as I want to understand the why and how of your desires and goals. We're walking through this process together, after all.
So stick around and read the articles to follow. I appreciate you being here.
Until next time,
PS- I'm the man on the far right in the picture below; I spoke at the ordination service for the minister in the tan jacket.. I thought it might be wise to show you that I'm a real person and not just some imaginary figure on the internet!