Becoming a Krav Maga Expert Instructor Who Is a Role Model
Invest in Yourself in Order to Invest in Others
By Eyal Yanilov
You and I Got a Problem
Occasionally, we hear instructors saying they can’t attend an update or another higher level certification, such as an Instructor course or even for a Krav Maga experts camp in Israel.
Why can’t they?
The main reason, or excuse (if I may), would be that they can’t close their school for training purposes during a whole week. As an instructor it looks like they had a reasonable argument – the students are expecting you to attend every session, and thus they need you to stay and teach them.
However, as an instructor, are you good only for giving and investing in others? what about those reservoirs for your own sake?
What about those club members and trainees? Should their instructors (you guys) be really worried they might be unhappy, upset or even leave the club if they miss a week?3
Emptying the reservoirs
As instructors we are teaching, passing on large amounts of valuable knowledge, supporting, monitoring and correcting our students. Moreover, we also serve as role models, and not only with our technical abilities in Krav Maga, but with the way we handle ourselves in general and how we behave during conflicts and stress in particular.
Krav Maga expert Instructors will need resources and major skills to stand in front of a large group which consists of more than a few trainees more than usual. Instructors need to prove themselves constantly, manage the lesson and lead the participants, watch the training session so no one is hurt or injure their partners.
They deal dilemmas like this on regular basis, while presenting real life demonstrations of KMG techniques and tactics, and explaining their efficiency and the right ways of dealing with stress and high demands.
As Krav Maga instructors, we also project our personality, “aura” and values, while showing the inside qualities during the training as well as the outside.
Who trains more, the instructor or the student? Who is progressing, the trainee or the teacher? Is it possible that the student will progress and the instructor won’t?
It is important that our KMG instructors, and Krav Maga expert instructors in general, would become role models first of all for that section in which function appears in the lives of their trainees, meaning as a KMG authority.
When students see instructors training before their session or after it, when they look at instructors who are investing time in own fitness, technical, tactical and mental skills, this “picture” or “video clip” is absorbed and serves as an example.
Instructor should spend time and train too. It can be done with a colleague or an advanced student, and naturally a significant part of the practice can be done as dry drilling, or training on the punching/heavy bug or with shadow sparring. That way, the professional instructors, show that they take their mission & job seriously.
What is the mission? Helping people to protect themselves and their dear ones.
What is the job? The same as the hobby, a professional KMG instructor.
Then when instructor says to own students “I am going to leave for a week to train with my instructor/s” the immediate
message is – It is time for me to invest in myself. Practically it is a simple statement “You, my dear students, invest time and money in yourself through our interactions. You pay me for my time, the knowledge I give you and for the attention I provide. I, your instructor, have to do exactly the same thing. I need to invest in myself, it’s my time to go and spend time with my instructor who will progress me like I am progressing you guys”.
The beginner students need guidance in every training session, this is clear. However, the higher level instructors such as experts, need less attention from their teachers but yet they need this attention at least two three times a year. Thus, recharging themselves at a G or E camp in Israel, might give them as well what is required by KMG – around minimum of 40-50 training hours under supervision of higher Krav Maga expert level instructors and the G.I.T (Global and International Teams) instructors.
In addition to that, when instructors wish to learn and be more proficient in others sections of KMG, like VIP and 3rd Party Protection (CPP), Combat and Fighting Skills, Mental Conditioning, or Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics, then they have to get in longer period and designated instructors further education.
And again, they might need to consider arriving to the camps in order to gain more functionality, new educational structures and perspectives and updated techniques and tactics for passing it on back to their students.
Should we compensate the student because we were absent?
What should we do for the students not to feel that they were “cheated”, as they were charged for a whole month and were given a week less?
Should we reimburse the students? Should we compensate them?
There are several alternatives; We can have another instructor teaching them or even a friend who is a boxing coach, which will improve their striking skills; or a fitness instructor who can widen their horizon in that segment. A Krav Maga expert instructor should even be able to do both – have a substitute and also add several sessions after returning from the “vacation” with his own teachers.
In some cultures it’s very clear that something like an instructor’s absence is natural and there is no need for any kind of compensation. In many other cultures, it is valued or even a must for the instructor to give some sessions back.
Personally, I believe that the best option is to add specific training, in addition to the regular training hours. For example, it can be a free of charge, 2 or 3-hour workshop during the weekend, or a several sessions of extended training (as an additional hour after the lesson). The subject of the additional training session can be related to the course and preparation that the instructor just had, or simply relevant to the usual curriculum of the trainees. If possible, such an event can take place outdoors, away from the comfort zone, for example, training in the park, the parking area, or on the beach, especially for those clubs who mostly train indoors.
We need our students to become Krav Maga instructors eventually, and so we need them to invest time and dedication in order to reach a higher level than their instructors, myself included.
In Hebrew we have a saying – “a person does not envy his son or his student”.
If we wish that our KMG (Krav Maga system and way) will exist forever, we need each one of you, student and instructor, to progress to the highest level possible. Some will surpass their teachers. To reach this the instructors must train with people who can progress them technically, mentally, tactically and physically as well as businesswise and the way to conduct better training sessions, improve the way they deal with people, conflicts and problems.
Was I better than my teacher, Imi, the founder of KM? Well, he made KM, I could have never done it. He was the one who set the direction and made the main techniques, a genius in giving the optimal, specific solution for a defined problem. When we met he was 64 years old and I was 15. I trained and studied with him for 24 years, until he left this world. Eventually, in some ways, I was indeed better than him, in creating an integrated technical and tactical system from what he had made, improving it a bit and spreading it around the world.
To “invent” it, to make this child called Krav Maga was his mission in life. Then he took KM through kinder-garden and elementary school. My role was to further progress the self-defense, fighting tactics and 3rd party protection, to take this child through high school and university.
Naturally I also learned a lot from my students (from their questions, mistakes and also ideas and experience). I learned from other people around me and other teachers of other schools, disciplines and walks of life. Like each and every one of us, I learned from others as well, especially from my parents and grandparents who were very unique in their missions in life. They left their sheltered homes in far-away-lands, came to deserted and swamp covered Israel to build it.
We are all similar in that, we learn from the parents and close family members, from the teachers and instructors, occasionally we learn from the experiences we have with our enemies too. We gain knowledge and powers and then deliver them onward, we assist others to progress.
We should be thankful for those who directed and taught us. We should push ourselves as well as our teachers and instructors to progress. By doing so we can reach extraordinary heights because we climb on the shoulders of giants.