Rick's Training Tips

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Tip: Leave Your Attitude at the Door

on APR. / 05 / 2011 | 0 comments

All too often things happen throughout our day that emotionally impact us. Life is full of emotional issues. Some make us mad, some make us sad, some just frustrate us. In any case, our day can very easily show up in the way we lead a class.  Our patience is shorter. Our voices are louder. Even when we think we have it under control, it doesn’t mean your class does not see it. Use your bad days as good training days for your other black and brown belts. Let them lead class or part of it. They need the practice, and it would not hurt for you to take a break. Use the time for you; concentrate on your skills and focus on your own martial arts needs. The physiological effects of the extra activity will also help you deal with your day.


And encourage your students to do this as well. Help them focus on Tae Kwon Do and forget the issues of the day.

Tip: Liability 103 – Martial Artists and State Law

on MAR. / 28 / 2011 | 0 comments

Make sure your students understand the law and how it can impact them. There are several different topics under liability that should be discussed and understood by your students. There are too many to share in just one post so I will share them over a few different posts. It is important your students understand the risks they face in both as a matter of civil law and criminal law.

Each state has its own laws regarding self-defense. Most commonly these laws apply to weapons, but many of them will also apply in cases involving martial artists. I am NOT going to speak about what the law says or means in each state. But I will say it is important that you know the laws in your state and that you should seek out law professionals with answers to your questions regarding the laws that apply to you. In my state, life comes before property so when it comes to defending your property, there is no provision for you to do so. Self-defense is limited to protecting yourself from physical harm only. And when it comes to things like the use of a weapon, you have to go the next step of demonstrating you believed your LIFE was in danger. Other states have different requirements. Some states might allow you to use a weapon to defend your property. If you get into a fight where you had to defend yourself, know the law that applies. In most cases, the safest approach is the least amount of force necessary to protect yourself from physical harm and escape the situation quickly.  Anything beyond that could lead to civil and criminal charges.

Tip: Liability 102 – The Curse of Skill

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

March 21, 2011

Make sure your students understand the law and how it can impact them. There are several different topics under liability that should be discussed and understood by your students. There are too many to share in just one post so I will share them over a few different posts. It is important your students understand the risks they face in both as a matter of civil law and criminal law.

I can guess many are wondering why I choose the title. Well, it is because there are issues that arise because you have skill, knowledge, and training. Insurance companies charge higher rates for each black belt a school promotes. They don’t do this just because they need a reason, but because they are experts in statistics, and they know the risks of a liability law suit go up with each black belt based on true collected facts. Let’s take the example where a black belt is in a fight and the other person is injured. Obviously, the first question is “was it self-defense or not?” but that is just one hurdle in a long process. The law may make the assumption that since they are a martial artist, they first know where to hit someone to seriously hurt them. Second, you have the skills and can actually control how hard and where you can hit a person to cause different levels of injury. So the next question they face is, “Was reasonable force used?” As a lay person without any martial arts skill you could claim you didn’t know or even you did not intend to do that, but as a skilled martial artist, that excuse goes away.

Tip: Liability 101 – Staying Out of Other People’s Business

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

March 14, 2011

Make sure your students understand the law and how it can impact them. There are several different topics under liability that should be discussed and understood by your students. There are too many to share in just one post so I will share them over a few different posts. It is important your students understand the risks they face in both as a matter of civil law and criminal law.
To start with, it is important the definition of “Self-Defense” is well understood. Too often it is perceived as defending yourself when someone takes a swing at you. But in many cases, this is not an accurate definition. A basic example comes from a story I heard where a woman was being harassed and another person stepped in to try and help. If a fight were to occur, the person stepping in can easily be considered liable regardless of who took the first swing. The law might see them as an instigator, because they had their chance to walk away but chose to get involved. And by them getting involved they played a role in getting the conflict to escalate into a fight. So if you are not a peace officer or a security professional hired to keep the peace, it is best you avoid involving yourself. Seek the people out who are responsible to keep the peace. Obviously, in a life or death situation, things are different. But those situations are rare, and the other is much more common. Don’t fall into an over confidence trap. Many students think since they have skill they can handle themselves, this may be true. But the question to ask is “would you get involved if you didn’t have the skill?” If the answer is no, it should also be no with the skill.

Tip: Teach Your Students to Show Humility

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

March 7, 2011

It is a great honor to earn a black belt. It demonstrates a lot of hard work and devotion. And all your students should be proud of that. Unfortunately, today we have a lot of individuals that feel they need to prove something. They tend to think the best way they could prove something is to beat up a black belt. They like to talk big and claim they should be in the MMA ring. In some environments, like a lounge (especially when alcohol is involved) or even at a high school, having people know you are a black belt, can lead to conflict. Remind your students that one of their best weapons when it comes to self-defense is the element of surprise. The less prepared the aggressor is, the better off you will be in defending yourself. There is more honor in privately knowing what you can do and have done, than there is in bragging about it.

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