One of the most important things that we often need to be reminded of is that no matter how much work we’ve put out, we’re not done.
What I’m getting at is that if you mean to call yourself a student who plans to reach and then maintain a certain level of competence, in most anything, you’re going to have to embrace the fact that you’ll never be done learning about that thing.
An example would be that I’ve centered most of my hobbies around personal defense for nearly a decade now. I’ve got several hundred hours of instruction under my belt, and I still don’t believe myself to be an “expert” by any definition of the word. I’ve still got so much to learn, that I feel like a beginner at just about every class that I sign up for. I’ve met the experts, and I’m nowhere near their level. The inverse of that is that I could talk for hours on things that most folks who’ve never sought out this training have even began to consider, and they might call me an expert. All things relative, I guess.
Most skills, and seemingly more so those that are physical, are temporary. They’re rented.
If you’ve ever rented anything, you know what happens when you don’t make that rent payment. Those skills are quietly, sneakily repo’d in such a gentle manner that we don’t even realize that it’s happening until we make an attempt to call them up and put them to use. Often, we fumble awkwardly at the thing that we once had great relative proficiency in. Now we get embarrassed and start saying “Use’ta could…” and unfortunately “use’ta could” doesn’t really count for much. Particularly when there’s skin on the line.
Don’t take this post as me saying that I don’t fall to the Siren’s songs of complacency. I surely do. I hate the feeling that I’ve lost 6 months worth of work after only having missed a week. I can only imagine how much a person’s game has dropped off after years of inactivity. What’s worse is that they think they’ll pick up right where they left off.
I also totally understand the fact that they may have simply lost interest and moved on, and that’s perfectly fine…IF…they stay honest with themselves and the rest of the world in regard to their capabilities.
Pictured in the top image is me accidentally (really, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time) in a picture surrounded by some guys that are way better than I am at almost all things personal defense and the bottom image is of Darryl Bolke giving a lecture on gear selection. Both taken in March of 2019 at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference in New Orleans. I took 14 pages of notes over 3 days. Like drinking from a fire hose.