A lot of martial artists, self defense enthusiasts but especially the hardcore RBSD crowd (not all of them, I did specify which part) could do worse than to consider the methodology of how Kelly teaches his class. They might like to believe they have a killer-combat-tested-ultimate-fighting style and that may be true. Or it may be a case of self-delusion, who knows?
The point is they focus way too much on ripping the bad guy to shreds and not enough on other factors. In just a couple of minutes, Mr. McCann covers a truckload of solid teaching principles as well as training methodology. Here’s a quick list:
- He covers four basic positions and explains not only how but why you use them. The mechanics and details are important to learn them. Making sure the students know why they are used and in what circumstances is just as important, but so easily overlooked.
- At around 2.50 min. he mentions one of the crucial aspects of the positions: using them as a trigger. I wrote a chapter in Loren’s Solo Training 2 on how to use visualization to program them. It doesn’t help you one bit to have a lightning fast strike if your decision process to throw it is too slow. Implementing a trigger is what gives you the right timing to launch it. Kelly mentions this briefly but these are words to live by.
- At 3.30min. He corrects a mistake that several of his students made previously. He explains why it’s wrong, fits it into the context of that part of the instruction and explains why. So you get three for one: Instruction, correction and tactics. No wasted time.
- At 4min. A quick recap of the four positions so the students can remember it better. And then he immediately explains how these positions will be used during the class.
- Right after, drilling in once again the importance of safety regulations. Not just saying it but demonstrating as well. Compare that to some of the horsing around with knives and swords you see in many martial arts classes…
- Then you get a quick example of how the drill should look. From the four positions, strike, detach, draw, cover/assess.
- 5.20min. Again, safety first. When you goof off with guns, people get shot. So he explains once again how to do a safety check.
- 5.50min. Addressing a key issue: “Why can’t we just shoot the bastard?” When you teach, you always get those kind of remarks from the resident rocket scientist. Kelly pre-empts it by explaining how the justice system might want to have a word with you if you just cap the dude…
- To finish up, a quick check if everybody is on the same page. If a student has questions, he now has the opportunity to speak up. Personally, I would have waited a few seconds and looked them all in the eye to make sure the shy students get an extra chance to open their mouth.
There you have it. Good, quality instruction that covers many different aspects and layers of understanding in just a handful of minutes. It doesn’t really matter if you like Mr. McCann’s training techniques or not. The real issue is how he teaches them to his students. In this clip here, he does an awesome job.