Salesmen, Cheats, and Liars

Discussion in 'Other Martial Arts Articles' started by Darren Laur, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. Darren Laur

    Darren Laur New Member

    Salesmen, Cheats, and Liars or,
    Everything You Need To Know About Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) Instructors

    Recently, I was reading a web page of a fairly well known RBSD instructor and author in the U.S., when flashing before my eyes, on his web site, was the following announcement/update:

    “ So and So (name withheld) is Vancouver Island’s First Reality Based Instructor”

    Being a person who calls Vancouver Island his home, I know of several individuals/instructors who have been teaching “Modern Combatives/ Self Protection” for many years, myself included, who have spent thousands of hours both researching and acid testing what it is that we teach and do. This new “Vancouver Island’s First Reality Based Instructor” got his credentials after attending a 20-hour program. Can anyone else see the irony here other than myself ?????? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm!!!!!!

    The term “Reality Based Self Defence” has become the catch phrase of choice in the new millennia amongst those who teach what they call street effective training. Just pick up the current issues of any of the better-known martial art magazines, and it seems that every page is littered with advertisements of Joe Schmuck’s RBSD School. Much like the Ninja craze in the early 1980’s, and the MMA craze of the late 1990’s; Reality Based Self Defence is the newest and the hottest thing in the market today. Using the term “RBSD” will guarantee you large financial rewards due to the fact that those who are seeking such training, are being attracted to those unscrupulous teachers, instructors, and schools who use the term RBSD as the bait to lure the unsuspecting and naïve student into their lair. Once lured, these charlatans play into the human desire and want of “flash”, and usually hook the student into nothing more than a watered down martial art program that has no place in the reality of the street while rolling around in the mud, the blood, and the beer. In fact, what these charlatans are teaching is not self-protection, but rather “self defeat” at the expense, and to the detriment of those who do not know any better, the uninformed student.

    Let’s look at the term “ Reality Based Self Defence”

    · “Reality Based”: If a teacher, instructor, or coach is teaching from what they believe to be their reality (no matter how divergent from “actual” reality their principals and beliefs are), then what they are teaching is, in their perception and belief, Reality Based Self Defence. Some of the training principals and techniques that I have seen passed off as RBSD would only be useful in the movie The Wizard Of Oz. But yet to these instructors, that is their reality when it comes to combatives.

    · “Self Defence”: I have always hated this term. Why ?, it paints the mental picture that one has to wait for the aggressor to do something to them first, before one can take protective measures. IMO, this term also creates the less desirable “defensive” mindset that we need to stay away from.

    Rather than Reality Based Self Defence, I consider the terms; Combatives, Self Protection, Self-Offence, and Fighting more desirable. Although these names are not as catchy as RBSD, they are more distinct and fitting to the topic IMO.

    On the street, “results” are what matters, and not a name or phrase. The purpose of this posting is to shed some light, IMO, on what to look out for when choosing a school or teacher so that you do not run into one of these “fly by night”, “one course wonder” RBSD instructors. You need to ensure that you choose a Self Protection instructor or school as you would your family doctor. In both cases you may be placing your life in their hands. Some questions that need to be answered when choosing a school or instructor; pick those questions that are important to you and make sure you ask them:

    · How long has the instructor been involved in teaching/studying combatives
    · What is the instructors credentials and where did they get them from and can they be verified by you
    · Does the instructor have lesson plans or course training standards that can be viewed by you
    · What is the instructors background
    · Is the instructor well known for their expertise
    · Does the instructor have references that can be easily checked by you
    · Does the instructor practice what they preaches, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor consider themselves a demi-God, and the students their flock, if so stay away
    · Does the instructor teach what he calls “SECRET” techniques, if so stay away because there are no secret techniques in combatives
    · Is the system taught, practiced, and applied by rote; if so stay away
    · Do students practice in street clothing rather than martial art garb
    · Are classes taught only in the closed environments of the dojo or training studio, or does the training take place in open environments under all kinds of conditions, if not stay away
    · Is sensory deprivation training utilized to replicate fighting with an injury or disability, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor give credit to others, or do they lay claim to everything being taught in combatives as theirs, if so stay away
    · Are techniques being taught, sport based, if so stay away
    · Are students required to memorize complicated techniques, if so stay away
    · Does the instructor talk about the emotional, biological, and physical effects of fear in combat from a modern rather than philosophical perspective, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor deal with survival stress inoculation training, if not stay away
    · Is class time dedicated to learning and practicing everything related to combatives, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor continually seek out new information from others, thus allowing themselves and their students to grow. If not stay away
    · Does the instructor allow students to adapt, overcome, and improvise in combat or is the instructor’s way the only way, if so stay away
    · Is there a heavy emphasis or reliance on pain compliance or joint manipulations, if so stay away
    · Does the instructor teach all ranges of combat (psychological, pre-contact, weapons; knife-club- gun, kicking, punching, standing clinch , ground) if not stay away
    · Does the instructor put more emphasis on the physical rather than the mental, if so stay away
    · Does the instructor/school utilize scenario based replication training on an ongoing basis, and are these session video taped for your own visual feed back, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor/school want you to sign a contract where you have to pay several months up front? What are the real costs ? Is it all about MONEY, if so stay away
    · Are questions permitted in classes, and does the instructor answer them to your satisfaction. If they don’t know the answer to a question will they research it and get back to you, if not stay away
    · Does the instructor understand and discuss the legal ramifications as it relates to self protection/Use Of Force , if not stay away
    · Are training materials available to the student, if not stay away
    · Is the training practical and realistic from “YOUR” perspective, if not walk away
    · Are private or semi private lessons available, if so how much
    · Does the instructor continually update and provide crime prevention awareness strategies, if not stay away
    · Are the use of and defence against weapons (gun, knife, impact weapons, oleoresin capsicum spray) offered, if not stay away
    · Are multiple opponent strategies discussed and practiced, if not stay away
    · Will the instructor/school allow you to watch several classes and speak to students, if not stay away
    · Do you feel comfortable with the instructor/school and other students, if not stay away

    These are but a few of the questions that should be asked and answered when seeking out those instructors and schools who approach the topic of combatives from a professional standpoint. If you, the reader of this posting, have other questions that should be asked, please post them if you see fit.

    Remember, do your homework, and ask the important questions. This industry is infested with those who say they are “certified” RBSD instructors, when in fact they are nothing more than salesmen, cheats, and liars. Two quotes that come to mind:

    1) Buyer beware

    2) There’s a sucker born every minute

    Strength and Honor

    Darren Laur
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Good article, Darren, but there are a couple of things there that I would disagree with - but then everyone's entitled to their opinions...

    The part where you would allow a potential student to sit in on a class and ask questions (both of the instructor and students) is a bit off putting and I don't allow it. But this is only during training itself, after the lesson this is fine.

    Use of weapons is a hot issue in our country (Oz) and recently an instructor who was advertising defence and use of was targeted by politicians as being a breeding ground for gang violence. Use of weaponry (modern) as an aid to 'know your enemy' would be fine IMO.

    'Secret techniques' from my point of view are techniques that I would consider unsafe to beginners and the only reason I teach them later is so that the students have more than a fair understanding of what's going on when using them.

    You have my approval for everything else :D
  3. Darren Laur

    Darren Laur New Member




    After class is when questions should be asked. I should have expanded on this one.


    Another example of how self protection training needs to be appropriate to location. Here in Canada we do not have the same issues surrounding weapons as you do in OZ. Having said this, the criminal element don't follow rules and thus knowing your enemy as you stated is very important

    Thanks for the feedback !!!!!!!

    Strength and Honor

    Darren Laur
  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Anytime... BTW, I make mean pancakes and custard, let me know if you want the recipe :D

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