I have been training now for over 37 years and teaching for over 25 years and in my time i have witnessed many amateurs posing as masters or trained professionals, when much of the time these people are what i call weekend warriors or part time professionals. its like many life coach i have met, they have never achieved anything of worth with the exception of doing a weekend course in life coaching. but when you look closely at them and their lives they don’t even have themselves in balance, or together and they expect you to pay them for a service need they can never meet.
Before you sign yourself over to paying money for a service, a teacher or a coach, be sure they have the history (not just a piece of paper) to support their position. i see suckers every day getting duped into learning (or believing they are learning) paying large sums of money, or cumulative amounts of money, to learn something from an unqualified teacher. This is where my term of UNQUALIFIED comes into play… when i say unqualified, i mean a 2 week course, an overnight professional or even worse someone who tried a little and then gave up and became a teacher… these people have never done the hard yards in what they are teaching. they have no idea about it takes to make it or what to look for if things are wrong, or how to correct it even if they can see it.
Time after time i have seen clips, as an example, of supposed martial artists or black belts who are almost devoid of technique and power, or schools that give away grades for no effort to people who are willing to pay for their rankings, thinking that the belt is the be all and end all. let me answer this for you… it isn’t! A belt is a simple piece of material that is meaningless if it isn’t earned.
I would prefer to have no rank at all and study from a true master who makes me work, toil and sweat, pushing me further through my pain barriers, refining my technique, and giving me the faith that one day i will earn through hard work, repetition and diligence, all the facets of my chosen art and truly become a master. We are all so hooked on the quick fix these days that we have lost the value of hard work towards a goal.
My efforts getting into the film industry went unrewarded for fifteen years, but i kept refining my technique, using the same theories and practices that got me through in sport until i made it happen. i was prepared to work in a job i disliked for ten hours a day, six days a week, then come home and stay up all night, every night, so that i could stay up all night working with integrity and passion towards my true dream. I did all this whilst all the time being rejected and told id never make it… but i just kept at it until one day i did make it.
I look at the greats of any sport, art, profession or industry, and i listen to all they have endured to make it. there is no easy road. nothing but persistence and a hell of a thick skin. In looking for a mentor or coach, these are the ones you should look to for guidance and teaching. They have trodden or forged the path. They didn’t run away, they stayed, and they are the ones you should follow. Not the ones who gave up and just became teachers or lecturers, or the weekend warriors who can’t get their own lives together.
So remember your sixth sense, you gut, listen to it in choosing a role model. Use your instincts of knowing what is real versus fake, research your topics so you know what makes a champion, a master or a great mentor, get to know them and their practices, and attach yourself to them. Then surround yourself with like minded people, not people who can’t see a bright future for you.
Doing the opposite is like asking for financial advice from a person who is completely broke… but i have seen this too… why do we do this? It is insane.
So take your time to find a true master who has real world experience, who has trodden to success through a myriad of failures, who knows the way to push forward and make it… and lastly, be prepared to fail, be ready to suffer from a lack of sleep, be ready for physical and mental suffering and pain… because its coming when you least expect it… but if you know its coming, you will be more able to deal with it when it comes. Through all this keep your goal in mind and regardless of the world around you and its adversities, always take another step towards your goal. GVB