…the work continues without pause, unabated.
We train and teach violence as a survival tool constantly, never off the mats for more than two days in a row.
We are in classes three days a week, with six-hour Saturdays every month (seventeen in a row so far). We continue to hold multi-day seminars, both public and private, and do private specialty training for people and groups who, for many reasons, cannot attend regular classes—and appreciate our discretion.
We just completed our 54th biannual testing cycle, and as a result we have four more instructor candidates on track to join the other 50 instructors this summer.
Last week I put the finishing touches on the 2018 compendium of the basic lesson books (more than a thousand lessons to train people from absolute beginner to instructor) and distributed it to the instructor staff—so no matter where we are in the world, we’re all pulling from the same page. And that doesn’t include the advanced lessons that take an instructor all the way to Master… I’ll be updating those on an ongoing basis.
To further support our instructors and students we’ve captured more than 400 of the basic lessons on video for our online program. While that’s something like only one-fourth of the total number of lessons, it’s a good start. The visual encyclopedia is growing.
Why didn’t we document all of this on social media, in real time, with breathless hashtags and yet another post of someone kicking a downed man in the groin? Because none of that dopamine-drip thumb-swiping has anything to do with doing the work. It takes an obscene amount of time to shoot, curate, edit, and post the junk mail of our era—time that could have been spent rewriting another lesson, taking another turn on the mats, helping a student get that neck break just right—you know, the stuff that actually matters. Our social media policy is that we’ll say something when we have something to say, and not just shout to hear our own voices go into the black hole of atrophied attention. We do not spam.
In addition, we refuse to trade on the reputations of the people and groups we train. What they’ve done is theirs and theirs alone, and we have not done those things. We are scholars and technicians keeping the information sharp, viable, and easily trained. We simply make it available.
Of course, this makes marketing a challenge—but that’s fine. We’re not here to talk about the thing—we’re here to do the thing. This means we rely on word of mouth—a far more difficult tack—but the results create a better experience for everyone involved. The people we’ve trained know what we do, and they tend to share it with the people they care about. That’s enough for us.
Actually training is everything, because we are only as good as the last course we taught, and the information is only as good as the last person who used it. By both counts we’re pretty damn good at what we do.
WE REMAIN STEADY
Come train with us!
— Chris Ranck-Buhr