By Mikeal ‘Bear’ Smith ~ Is your school, system, or style in a state of emergency? It could be if some of the following rings true. The title, IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS, is in reference to what I like to call the “glass bubble” which some of the most competent Martial Artists live in.

When was the last time you honestly endorsed, to your students or friends, a seminar, tournament, etc.? I’m not talking about one in your own school or organization which benefits you directly in a financial or political way. I’m talking about the one which allows you and your students to grow through learning and observation from perhaps a different perspective. By breaking the glass you are showing your students that you care about their growth and that you are secure in what you do as an instructor and what your system or style has to offer.

Just open any Martial Arts publication and you’ll be buried by all the promotions of this system or that style, all professing to be the best or ultimate in whatever they are promoting. Anyone in the know, if they are honest with themselves, should acknowledge that while comparing all those systems, in apples to apples fashion, the core and or basics are pretty much the same.

That being said, why should you break the glass, take off the binders, or just open your mind? Well, maybe you might learn how to present something in better fashion. Maybe you may remember something you’ve forgotten over the years, through complacency which is important. Maybe you will actually see that something really doesn’t work if applied outside of the sterile classroom environment. Hey, maybe you’ll learn you were right about being all wise and knowing, with nothing left to learn, and everyone else is just clueless. Most importantly it will be a learning experience for your students and maybe even you if you go with an open mind in wanting to learn something new, learn something old in a new way, learn something that supplements what you already do, and even have some fun doing it.

There are also fringe benefits to getting outside your own box, benefits like that of making friends, networking, and supporting the Martial Arts community which you are part of; “what goes around comes around”.

So be willing to soul search, become the Martial Artist you claim to be, quit being insecure, stop worrying about the next guy making $10.00 more than you on the upcoming weekend, and break that glass.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance of anyone you know described herein is purely coincidental and is just the thoughts of the author.

Mikeal ‘Bear’ Smith
Reno, Nevada