When I grow up, I want to be a Paper Tiger – said no one ever. Yet, there are some – at least within the Houston area – that are on track to be exactly that.

I recently received a report written from one of my newer instructors – after he had gone off and done some “mystery” shopping. He had taken it upon himself to visit two other schools that offered Krav Maga in Houston – that are certified through another school in Tennessee.

In short, he was horrified. His report detailed how the instructors could not give complete answers to his questions regarding the defenses they were actually teaching. And, he further reported that these instructors moved more like orange belts in the Krav Maga Houston schools. Ironically, I’ve seen this before. This is not unusual or extraordinary – it’s just plain “par for the course.”

Profit motive has taken priority over safety in many cases, and in others, I’ve surmised that those being “certified” simply don’t know any better. Regardless, once an instructor starts teaching, he or she quickly realizes whether or not the defenses being made are viable (or are being performed and taught viably). And, yet the charade goes on. How cynical must someone be to recognize their own deficiencies and yet step forward to teach others in a realm where being wrong can cost them everything?

What really struck me as harmful was the schools explicit promise that a three-year program – starting from scratch – would result in a black belt. Nope – no way, paper tiger. You’ve got to decide if you want to be more effective in securing your safety or do you only care about a diploma hung on your wall built on pure fantasy. Self-defense is hard. Violence is sudden, powerful and scary, and the only way to prepare is to train with very knowledgeable people who have your best interests in mind.

Don’t be a paper tiger…train at a school that promises you nothing but hard work, knowledge and insight. Anything less is a con.

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  1. Cary Cox