Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rules of Engagement

Ordinarily, I'd not bother writing this sort of thing, but after today, it just needs to be said.

The Social Commandments of KBLA

1. If you come to train with me or my instructors' satellite groups, unless we already know you, get off your a$$ and introduce yourself politely. Don't stand off and expect that someone's going to come up, kiss up to you, and coddle you. Show at least the minimum of social grace. I could care less where you come from or what you've been through. You're in LA now, Dorothy. Get with the program.

2. I don't give a damn what rank of RKC, AKC, PhD, CSCS, ATC, PT, USMC, LAPD, NYFD, or whatever else you are. If you come to my class and screw up, I'm going to call you on it in a tactful manner, usually without embarrassing you. If you think you can sit back on your laurels and just take up space or be "impressive" with how much you think you know, you are nothing but SOL.

Go home and impress your mirror. We're here to learn and to practice improvement.

Remember too that the majority of the corrections I give are for the sole purpose of maximizing safety. If you're just out to lift a KB however, go train elsewhere far away from me. 99% of injuries arise from stupidity - either from carelessness, lack of awareness, or foolhardy daredevil crap. Do that stuff elsewhere and on your own time, not with my crew. And remember that KBs don't injure people. Stupid people injure people (oftentimes themselves). Stupid people who are trainers unfortunately injure the innocent, but not in my crew and not on my watch.

3. If you are spoken to or given direction to, answer in the affirmative if you have heard and understood the command. If you do not understand, ask for clarification. If you want to act like you couldn't be bothered to speak, go find a pasture to play in far away from my crew.

4. If you screw up either a social interaction or training technique, make EVERY effort to fix it either through a meaningful apology or a concerted effort to improve your technique. If you can't be bothered "just because", you're a sheep. KBLA's a gathering of sheepdogs.

5. Review #1-4, especially #4.

This is how we do it..... HARD STYLE!



Coach RJ said...

Yes Sir. I am clear. This morning was another excellent class that improved my/our form and safety. Thank you for your attention to detail which is constant without exception. See you next Sunday--for HARD Style!

Taikei Matsushita said...

Part of the reason I don't teach kettlebell to my non-KB friends for free.

They over look safety factors despite my guidance.

Students need to be very serious about what they're doing.

I got a few in my class who'd violate safety factors, but they're basically gone after one class and I didn't kick them out.

Anonymous said...

There is no suitable reason I can think of for a grown man needing to be told how to act in public. ESPECIALLY if you're in the RKC family. I think his attitude improved when he saw he could learn something from the class, but the fact is true learning happens only after the basics have been mastered and only with an open mind. Period.

Joe Chalakee said...

Being a RKC or not, when someone is visiting, or thinking of join the club like KBLA, one should Always, and I do mean Always introduce themselves to the head instructor!

If this was a martial arts class, would you just walk on the floor or mat without talking the instructor, Sensei, Sifu, or Guro? I don't think so! Kettlebells isn't a MA, but you should treat it in that manner, With Respect to the person teaching the class.

If your going to train be it kettlebells or a martial art keep an Open Mind no matter what your certification or rank is....You WILL learn something new or old, or even a better way of doing a technique you thought you knew how to do.

You might just find out there is someone out who knows more then you.

Unknown said...

Good post Mark.

It's unfortunate that we get a lot of big heads in class sometimes. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen some idiot interrupt the teacher in class, refuse to train because he/she did not believe a particular technique worked and God knows what else.....

It'd be great to see some more respect and courtesy out there more often.

maritz said...

i love this! even tho i'm not training with you (due solely to logistics), your rules rock! as one who trains seriously as an athlete, i love that you have no patience for cruising... the fact that you're there for your students 150% is a testament to your commitment to their fitness... no one should be wasting your time or theirs by showing up with anything less.

Anonymous said...

I love to hear the truth, and thats what this is. I can't stand people who lift wieghts (notice I didn't say train) with the mind set they do every thing right and know more about training than anybody.

Many of "Meat Heads" have come to my KB class and never come back due to the fact I stress form and teach my clients to respect the KB.

If I was in LA I would jump at the chance to meet and train with you.

Holder, KBK Tennessee

Unknown said...

Ladies & Gentlemen, each and every one of you is appreciated beyond measure. You are the reason why KBLA and its branches are the successes they are, and you are the reason why I will continue to press the hard line in Hard Style!

"The wise ruler understands that proper etiquette and rigorous discipline are the fundamental keys to a strong people with a vibrant culture."

- Chinese military proverb

Adam said...

Well said--funny i can see the wimpering faces in my mind as I read it.

All those know it alls!

Great stuff Mark!

Unknown said...

Herr Meister Doktor Cheng:

And a boisterous "Arrruuuughaa!" to you, sir; your Rules of Engagement plainly got me all fired up, Mark!
(The only reasonable excuse for rudeness is ignorance, and you can fix that, most assuredly.)

In Deutschland fragt man: "Alles klar?"


Unknown said...

Herr Meister Doktor Cheng:

And a boisterous "Arrruuuughaa!" to you, sir; your Rules of Engagement plainly got me all fired up, Mark!
(The only reasonable excuse for rudeness is ignorance, and you can fix that, most assuredly.)

In Deutschland fragt man: "Alles klar?"