Without Challenge There Can Be No Measureable Growth...

Discussion in 'Lameco' started by Guro Dave Gould, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. Guro Dave Gould


    This is one of the major areas which directly effects many of us who mature in our fighting discipline and as a direct result we may become overly complacent thinking that we have achieved all that we can in our particular field of expertise. Too many of us buy into the hype that once a Master always a Master and speaking frankly this could not be farther from the truth as we are all only as effective as we are today.

    When we reach a point in our combative development where few can keep us challenged we tend to become lazy in our training thinking that we have evolved into some sort of demi-god or to a lesser degree something simply amazing. At this point few if any will continue to challenge themselves in their training thinking that they have already reached the pinnacle. In doing so many falsely believe that they have firmly grasped the golden ring thereby directly resulting in them inadvertently decreasing productivity in their training environment as they shroud themselves in total complacency while motivating them to do nothing more than just going through the motions when they do actually take the time to train. When you only apply yourself just enough to maintain your current skills you will gain nothing but rather as was stated at most you will only maintain what you already have. The worst case scenario is that you will decrease in skill if anything but certainly you will not increase in skill without challenge paving the way to success and positive growth in both skill and capability.

    Just because your students or other people with whom you train can no longer offer a challenge to you does not mean that some one with little to lose can not shake the reality back into your world in a contest between life and death… Simply when we cease to challenge ourselves in training we will cease to grow. At best we will only maintain what we currently have but more than likely due to neglect in training we will decrease our combative effect as we fail to push ourselves in training and become complacent or worse lazy.

    Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite used to say to me: “Dabe, I am the highest rank that one could hope to achieve in Lameco Eskrima and I push myself in my training everyday. If I am the highest and I still see it necessary then there is no excuse for anyone below me to quit pushing themselves in training”. He would also say: “I have to train twice as hard as my students just to be able to stay better than they are, most are young and move well and unless I push myself in training everyday they will surpass me and become better than me”. Punong Guro Sulite practiced what he preached as evidenced by his daily training sessions in which he always pushed and challenged himself resulting in him being able to stay well ahead of all of his students and require more of them as a direct result of that action.

    When I train my students I always push them to respond in accordance with how a realistic situation would chaotically unfold and they are charged with the task of dealing with that chaos appropriately. They are always held accountable for their actions as well as any indecision or hesitation encountered by them as would be the case while confronting a real situation on the streets. I give them specific direction as what to I am expecting from them and then I feed an attack in real time, they are charged with the responsibility to recognize and respond to that attack and recover any vulnerabilities that they may expose as a result of that action. If at any time I see an opportunity exposed due to a mistake being made I will fire on target with intention forcing a response from the student. Depending on how he recovers or fails to recover will dictate my next course of action. I will always keep my student challenged to respond and react against the unexpected as fighting is not about knowing what your opponent will do, but rather it is about reacting to whatever he unexpectedly does at anytime and how you respond will dictate whether you will live or be left for dead.

    Fighting is not meant to be a comfortable thing to experience so why do we attempt to make our preparation for fighting to be so. The fact is that the longer that a knife fight is allowed to continue the better the chances are that you will die, so we are charged to react quickly with positive effect, contain or remove the threat faced and then get out of the area of operation post haste! I fight not for glory or reputation but rather for survival. If I train to develop as if my life is at risk than I will fight to deal with any realistic threat appropriately, if I fight for trophies and titles than my whole mindset will be different as life and death are taken out of the equation. Anytime that the risk of bodily harm is taken out of the combative equation, we are not challenged to perform or face the consequences for our failures but rather we are only required to participate in a demonstration of skill without being held accountable to realistic consequences for our actions or failure to act. I assure you that there is quite a difference between the two.

    I take my personal workouts very seriously and I demand as much or more from myself than did PG Sulite when he was training me. As I get old I have to move less as I minimize opportunity made available to my opponent but my effect has to be the same or more, less risk but more gain. Until I move at the speed of light and move silent as a shadow there is room for growth. Since both are just outside of being humanly possible there is no excuse for me to quit trying to reach that level of execution. I challenge myself to perform better as I engage every person who stands before me and I expect the same from those who would stand in front of me. Iron sharpens Iron whereas wood will dull Iron as it is relentlessly struck repetitively without positive recourse.

    Train as if it matters and only then will you fight as if it does as well. Ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould
  2. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    As usual, Guro Gould provides precious insigths and valuable information in his posts. I really feel we are fortunate to have him with us on this forum.
    Guro Dave, I must say that your articles are some of the most tought provoking, soul searching and hard training inspiring articles I have ever run across... Thanx!!!
  3. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Guro Gould......excellent article and oh so true!.....I think we have all from time to time gotten lazy in our training and in our lives due to burnout or what ever factor may be present. It is the wise and strong man who picks himself back up and gets back in the saddle......I find with age that training daily is a must...a smarter & harder continuum to be sure....Thanks for the article...I will be directing my lads to this forum to take a read of it. Thanks once again!

    PG Michael B
    BaHad ZuBu Eskrima
  4. still lurking

    still lurking New Member

    Haha! So bisaya!

    As for the rest of your post ,Keep em coming. By reverting back to what they once told you, You keep these great men alive and fresh in our minds . Even from the grave , we still learn from them through guys like you . Thanks.

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