Last Wednesday nights class was focused on using a small knife to keep an attacker off of you. As with most of the curriculum its mainly sourced from my mentor Craig Douglas aka southnarc , and its tough, demanding physically, and ultra-violent.
There is a eclectic group. I have a couple law enforcement officers, a fern loving ecologist, men, women, a father and son, some BJJ guys, and some very new folks. Most of them have done my class before, even if not this lesson. So I know that they know there will be some form of live training at the end. I know they see the pile of Fist Helmet's , boxing gloves, and Nok Knives at the side of the mat.
"The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony ans sweat and devotion ... and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself - ultimate price for perfect value."
-Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers
I gather the class and grab two of our most seasoned guys to start us off. Lay out the exercise. Gloves and helmet on one, training knife for the other. I stick the knife bearer in the corner of the cage with one direction, GET OUT. Its brutal training for a violent world.
And I am in awe.
I am filled up deeply with respect for anyone who does this work. Those that show up for it over and over again. It breaks down all my biases, all my first instincts about people when you see 7 foot muscle bound men back out of conflict and petite young women grin and rush into the breech go out the window. It sharpens me. Their questions, their feedback, their work and sweat and blood. I breathe their breath in the helmet , I feel the fear they have to tame, I know their path as my own. And I am honored they allow me to hold their hand and guide them down it. And over and over they push me further than I thought I could go. I owe them only my very best.