By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts
The holidays are here and I want to wish everyone the very best of times. As always, the Phillips Clan gathers as often as possible and never misses out on the family get-togethers over the holidays. I often find myself just sitting back and watching the family enjoy themselves and the company of those that they love. I am often amazed at the group of people who I helped bring together and the absolute happiness that runs through the entire group. As usual, I think about where I came from and how far I have come. This naturally leads into the ever-present reminder of why I do what I do and who I am to my very core.
I have written about being “A Dad” before and it seemed to resonate with many Dads, that see things very much as I see things. I strongly believe that the article carved me out a niche as a Self Defense Instructor, but that niche could and should be much larger than a niche of just Dads. What I am talking about is the very large group of people out there that see themselves as the protectors of those that they love.
As an Instructor I have traveled the country and met the most amazing people, people from all walks of life. Meeting and training these people is the ultimate of honors, because the one over-riding trait, that the vast majority them possess is the fact that they are the self-appointed protectors of those that they love. When you feel and live at such a level of dedication and resolve, seeing it in others, just as strong as you see it in yourself, is the ultimate of honors. Such an honor can only be met with the highest levels of respect, integrity,and pride.
I have told my story on why I teach. The undeniable honor of teaching people, the very best material that I can find, is something that can never be taken lightly. Matters of “life and death” are one thing, matters of “life and death” for those that you love is a whole other thing. When the protectors among us come to be taught the skills that they need, to be as deadly as they can be for their loved ones, there can be no compromises. There can be nothing given, but the very best effort put forth by the Instructor. The protectors came for a reason and nothing should get in the way from the Instructor teaching the very best course that they can.
In all of my years as a student, nothing disgusts me more than an Instructor that obviously holds back information for business or money-making reasons. The reason that so many protectors/students state that taking a class from me is “like drinking from a fire hose” is because I feel that I have a moral obligation to give as much quality information to the student/protector as I can fit into the purchased amount of time.
We all know the answer to that question as the student. We want as much information as the Instructor can teach, within the purchased amount of time, because we are looking at this from the perspective of the self-appointed protector of those that we love. We have dedicated the time and the money and we want to feel as if the Instructor cares about the value that we received for our sacrifices.
Unfortunately, just as it is with many of the Martial Arts, information and knowledge is dealt out in small increments to assure that the student has to come back for more. But, there is a big difference between training in a typical Martial Art Dojo and taking a Firearms course………and that difference comes down to the cost of the courses.
I may not be the smartest business man in the world, but it would seem to me that giving a protector/student a very good value would increase their customer loyalty. Call me stupid, but it would seem that an Instructor that is, first and foremost, loyal to the protector/student would receive loyalty in return, due to his obvious understanding of the paramount importance of training the best protectors that he can possibly train.
This is about “life and death,” this is about “family”, this is about “loved ones”, this is about “the protectors” among us being as ready as they can possibly be, just in case they are called on to use their hard-earned knowledge and skills to do the most important thing that they can possibly do.
“It’s who we are, it’s what we do!”
If it is “who we are”, then it is the Instructors moral obligation to try to make “who we are” as deadly as we can possibly be. If it is “what we do” then it is the Instructors moral obligation to make the “what we do” as high quality as he possibly can.
The day this becomes more about money, than about the importance of teaching the protectors among us, is the day that you should close up shop and move on to another line of work.