Common ground

In this endeavor we are driven to walk in a variety of circles that at times have seemingly little or no common ground. The objective is to find a way to holistically integrate everything we do by finding that common ground, the truisms that transcend the boundaries of each element. Thinking about this while looking through some pictures from last years Rangemaster Tactical Conference, I found one in which the legendary Mas Ayoob photo-bombed us. Seeing this photo reminded me of a few things that stuck with me from that training session and from the Rangemaster Tactical Conference.

  • 1) Be a student of the game, always. I watched legends in this field, guys I read about in the police academy, taking blocks of instruction alongside folks that had never taken a formal class. These living legends were there to learn first, and even when teaching they still have an inquiry mindset.
  • 2) Be genuine, humble, and have a sense of humor. If Tom Givens, John Farman, Mas Ayoob, Chuck Haggard, Craig Douglas, and Wayne Dobbs can crack jokes, ask questions of regular Janes and Joes, and freely give of their knowledge? You know where I’m going with this… Be cool. Don’t be an asshole.
  • 3) The little things we do mean a lot more to others than we think they do. Mas Ayoob took a good chunk of time to walk me through the history, the why’s and how’s of the Ayoob Wedge so that I would better understand it for my own use and to share with others. That had a ginormous impact on me as a student and coach/teacher.
  • 4) My dad used to say that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason; to listen twice as much as you talk. Having the opportunity to stand nearby and listen as legends in this endeavor discussed various aspects of this thing we do was priceless. Some things didn’t mean much to me at the time but a few months later it clicked. As Super Dave Harrington says, “Everything is important. Everything matters.” Even a conversation that at the time doesn’t make a lot of sense might later give you the insight you need to make a good decision. Don’t overlook the value of a seed planted. Be a sponge, particularly when in the company of folks that have been doing this as long or longer than you and I have been alive.

In summary, while this post is specific to my thoughts about the 2016 Rangemaster Tactical Conference, I could switch out some names and it could easily be about a SBG training camp or Shivworks Collective course. It’s really interesting to me that I keep finding the same common ground with everyone I’m privileged to train with or spend time around. If I were to make a Venn Diagram where the circles of the Shivworks Collective, the Straight Blast Gym, Rangemaster, The Site, and guy’s like Super Dave Harrington’s influence meet in my personal development there would be huge overlap in the areas stressing; training hard but intelligently, being cool, don’t be an asshole, and always be dangerous.