The Chief Finds His Words
This letter is long overdue, and I’ve been stunned by the events of the past few months. So much so, that I’ve had trouble finding the right words to fully convey my deep appreciation to those who have made these past few months so memorable.
I suppose, at some point, we all realize as instructors that we have the opportunity to touch people’s lives. My revelation and commitment to this idea has grown through the years and become stronger – so much so, that I see my role as a steward of the good things that can come from being a Krav Maga instructor here in Houston, Texas.
I suppose, at times, we all question whether our contribution to the world around us has any real impact or importance. I’m no different. I’ve often wondered if those around me care, as I do, about the immense responsibility we take on as Krav Maga instructors – that is, as teachers, encouragers, mental health advocates, mentors, and reality checkers. Deep down, I suppose I wondered, at times, if this ethos I hold fast to was just false – a figment of my imagination.
The truth is, through the many years, I’ve come to know some amazing people. And, I’ve had both the privilege and responsibility to train people in very real need of self-defense skills. After nearly 20 years on this quest, I’ve taught tens of thousands of people, and in that same time, I’ve trained seven Krav Maga Black Belt instructors. To say my standards are high is an understatement.
I’ve also had the privilege of training people who simply won’t let whatever issue they face be the defining issue of their lives. I’ve seen people become much stronger. I’ve witnessed reclamation after years of struggle and commitment to the task. I’ve seen old dogs learn new tricks, and I’ve found a brotherhood (ladies included) that I’m certain will continue to pass the test of time. I’ve even forged a bond and friendship which has led to an instructor becoming the God Father of my children.
I’ve been blessed, and it seems that the more I pour into Krav Maga, the more comes pouring out. The crescendo came this past December. Those closest to me presented me with a book entitled, A Tribute to The Chief. The opening letter was from my mentor, Darren Levine. Several letters followed from my black belt instructors, stalwarts of the program, and some from people who I’ve been close to in times of need. The truth is, I needed that book. The letters contained therein confirmed my belief in our school, in my view of what I do, and of the immense importance my role as Chief Instructor can play if I simply allow it.
My sincerest thank you to those who wrote such deeply personal notes in the hopes that you might encourage me in some way. You did. You know who you are, and importantly, I know who you are as well. Many thanks…a thousand times over.