26 May What Did You Learn in 70 Days of Quarantine?
Dear Krav students
We are in the tenth week (70 days as of my writing today) of quarantine since the last class at Krav Maga Experts happened and we were ordered to shut down by order of the government in order to maintain the safety of the students and staff. Since then, we’ve been doing our best to continue the training online in order to help you maintain your health in the best way we can and to provide the teaching services we had before the Corona Virus.
I know that going through this isolation and doing training online has been difficult for many of us. It’s challenging to maintain consistency and self-discipline when training at home in our personal environment where we have many distractions that we don’t have in the studio. It’s harder to separate from family, work, and our phone. This is why I wrote the previous article in order to help you maximize and optimize your training by eliminating distractions and isolating that time only for yourself. I also understand that this can be very difficult as compared to when we had a set time and place designed for training, and that these are challenging times for all of us.
You aren’t the only one feeling alone. I really miss you all. I miss seeing your faces and seeing your smiles and having your energy around. I miss the great feeling of having all of you lined up on the mat together, working, and sweating together. I miss us all kicking together and punching together and learning together, united in a shared experience.
I know many of you have benefited so much from becoming students here. I’ve seen friendships form, and the encouragement and camaraderie you give to each other, and the joy of the community we created together. Losing that environment is painful. I also know many people feel like they are falling behind in their training, no matter how hard they try to do the online classes.
I want you to know that online, I see all of you on my screen and I can see almost the same spirit that I see when we trained on the mat. I want you to know although it seems disconnected and far apart, we are all still training together. We’re still a class, we’re still training hard, we’re just apart to maintain safety, which is number one in Krav Maga.
I’m impressed by how we have tried to maintain our community the best we can. We’re still cheering each other on, staying in touch and being ourselves. I’m proud of so many of you show up, despite all the distractions and obstacles and keep training. You all made my day when you worked together to surprise me with an amazing birthday present, and when you organized letters together to help me speak this week on Whistlekick Radio so I can share Krav Maga with more people. You support and encourage me, and I am very grateful to have such incredible and devoted students. Since I can’t thank you in person, I hope this and working you extra hard this week will show you how much I appreciate all of you.
These are the highlights, but there have also been bad days. I understand many people still feel lonely. I want to tell students that if these feelings persist, do what we always do and modify them so it can be useful to us.
The greatest teacher in Krav Maga is reality, and our training allows us to constantly learn how to best “walk in peace.” When we feel alone, it’s important to realize as Krav Maga fighters, we only have ourselves. As much as I wish I could be there to help each and every one of you in a time where you truly need it, my job isn’t to protect you from the world. My job is to teach you how not to rely on anyone, including myself, but to build yourself up so you are prepared for whatever life brings you. This means in class, sometimes pulling back and letting you struggle your way through so you can figure it out and learn for yourself, instead of spoon-feeding you information. My goal is to make you better, not teach you to rely on others. It can be a hard thing, and some students say it makes them feel abandoned.
I want them and all of you to know it’s actually my greatest compliment. I pull back with the full faith that you have what it takes to succeed without me having to do it for you. I trust you and I believe in you and most importantly, I respect you, and I want you to be strong.
So, now is the time where you have to walk this journey on your own, without having a teacher and community around you. I can guide you and teach you, but you have to make this who you are. That’s why the greatest compliment you can give me in return is to say that I’m teaching you to be strong and independent and able to apply what you learn to live your best life.
Right now, you are training at your most real. Relying on others is not a realistic plan. In life, when a contact combat situation happens, you will most likely be alone or protecting someone else. You will almost certainly be facing someone bigger and stronger than you. You will be under immense stress and fear and danger. You won’t have me or your classmates to help you. It will be up to you to face the challenge, and flip the switch to using the skills you have learned. This is a painful realization for many people to face.
Let go of your feeling of abandonment, your need for anyone else around you, or a sterile and comfortable gym. I believe that perception is reality. If you perceive this alone time as an incredible opportunity to grow to be more self-sufficient and determined, you will be amazed at how much you will improve your training.
I believe we’re going to come back on the mat sooner than we can imagine. We are going to come back to training better than ever. I want you to take this time to improve beyond what you were ten weeks ago. If you see this time as a rare and precious training opportunity and use it well, you will be amazed at the results once we can return to normal.
I want you to remember our intentions remain the same, whether we are on the mat or in front of the screen in our own homes. I want you not to be discouraged, but to remember that we all miss each other and are looking forward to seeing each other.
I also want to say on behalf of all the staff and instructors how eager we are to get back on the mats and continue our personal progression and connection together. I want us to have the advantages a gym and community can offer again. Personally, I can’t wait to have the Maga/contact with you again, so we can have the full sense of Krav Maga contact combat.
We all just need to have patience and commitment, some of the top qualities of a Krav Maga warrior. Let’s practice those qualities in these challenging times and continue our progression in our personal journey, so we come back stronger than ever.