This weekend I was biased. This weekend I forgot the root of why I started Healthy Buffalo in the first place. This weekend that reason was reminded to me gently by a gentleman, but not so gentle man. This weekend I felt shame. This weekend the lesson I learned will not be forgotten nor ever repeated due to the now seared brand on my brain.
My EIR’s (Ego Injury Reports) started out as a joke towards AAR (After Action Reports). Tactical-ish describes me better and I am constantly getting my ego trashed in the combatives world. Normally it hovers on the physical side, this weekend was no different. I could write ten other articles on how many different ways I fudged up a drill or evolution, however I want to point out that even when you think you do, you never seem to quite have it in the bag. Basically something I thought I knew and knew well, I managed to fail miserably and let my irritation take over.
I started Healthy Buffalo because I wanted to meet people where they are at, women especially. I understand how intimidating it can be to just take a self-defense course or walk into a gym to learn. I want to bridge that gap. I want to bring awareness to the need/priority of personal protection, and I want to be an encouragement to start training and to keep going.
Saturday I forgot. I was wrapped up in my own goals for the weekend. I saw only what I wanted to accomplish, and I failed to take in just how alarming these courses can be to those who haven’t attended anything like this before. What was worse is that it was also geared in bias.
ECQC is literally a pistol fighting course. You learn how to draw, retain, talk, and fight your way out of a potentially dangerous situation. It is three days of drinking from a firehose mentally and physically. I am a fairly active person and yet I still found myself on Saturday afternoon having to take a break for a round because I was feeling my beef jerky trying to work its way back up my esophagus. I work out four days a week, three of those days are in some form of combatives/boxing/punching and kicky things coming at your face and this course still had me winded and tired. It was, like most, heavily male laden and I made an assumption that would later need correction. Women are not the only ones intimidated.
I have watched countless scenario drills being ran in many classes and it’s the same for everyone; when you put in real world context, everyone gets amped up. I watched a man capable of a 20-mile ruck get gassed inside of 2 minutes during his evolution. If you have never done this before, your anxiety will totally get the better of you. Your body can’t throw another punch. The helmet feels suffocating, hell it is hard to just put the damn thing on. When you are in scene it can feel real, people are watching. You have seen the others get physical. You are wondering if you can hack it. The violence is essentially pushed directly in your face and the weight of carrying that pistol and your own ability to survive is thrust like a neon sign to the forefront of your psyche exposed for all of Thunderdome to see.
Craig is the master of MUC/Managing Unknown Contacts. He created it. When I run my clinics it is a female version of this geared more towards a woman’s perspective, but the foundation of MUC is very much there. This course I was taking notes leaning more towards improvement of how I teach. I wanted to bring back and trim down my own curriculum and you don’t really get a better example of that than Craig; that is not just me fangirling. What I was able to witness more in depth was his ability to read students and apply the correct pressure accordingly. He wants you uncomfortable; he purposefully creates drills for this. I unfortunately focused on someone’s inability to do the drills at the correct intensity, never mind that they had never actually drilled, at all. The correct level of fervor could not be understood or applied. Then when you throw that in with their adrenaline rolling all weekend, you get quite the cocktail that is hard for any person to overcome. Sadly, because this person was a man, I held him to a different standard. I would not have thought twice had he been a woman. I would have talked to her and explained what was going on if she asked a question.
Now to be fair, I dance on a razorblade in the tactical world. I cannot tell you how times I have been in a class, the directions have been given for a drill, we all partner up, only to have a man explain it to me as if I wasn’t there for the instruction. I try to brush it off because I know of the biases that permeate this industry and their heart is usually in the right spot. They see the women in their lives through me and just want to help, but it can get frustrating. Sometimes I let self-control get the better of me and I just shut it down with, “Please don’t coach me.” That usually ends with their ego slightly bruised and they likely will not follow Healthy Buffalo later on…. #razorbladedancing
During the debrief everyone was given a chance to speak about what they absorbed from the course and three men said they were “scared $h*tless” before and during the weekend. I hated that I was floored. The day before when I had let my frustration get the better of me and I whined to Craig not so subtly, he basically told me I wasn’t reading the situation correctly. It was humbling. I knew better than to pop off, hell I just got done writing a blog on something similar a few months back. I needed to give grace as a fellow human being who had been there before. I needed to be understanding and my first reaction was anything but. That was my deficit, it was shaming.
I have seen large and in charge, ego driven men “from the Tactical Local Yokal,” (Craig’s words) who quit this class because they couldn’t hack it. They let their pride get in the way of a stellar education. The men in my course didn’t, they absorbed. I normally write from a female’s perspective and this time I am trying to level out my head correctly. These guys had seen videos online, were way out of their comfort zone, paid a good amount of money, brought their ammo and guns, checked their ego at the door, and never once quit. They never stopped hustling. I am humbled by them. They had good attitudes, persisted, and didn’t whine which, sadly, I myself cannot say of the weekend. These are the types of men that are driven to make themselves and those around them safer. They are putting in the time and effort and emotions to become better and I was privileged to be a fellow student with them.
My ego was successfully injured and in true fashion I wrote it up for you to read. I am sure I will do some sort of video poking at myself as well. To the men and women who have persevered through these classes and those that will take them; you are a small percentage of people that will take this step. You have beaten the odds by signing up. You are doing what most will not by pushing through and you will walk away safer for it; your family will be that much safer for it. You are an inspiration, and I am privileged to be counted in the same category as you.
#ECQC #EIR #egocrush #MPShield #pewpew #evolutions #intimidation #pistolfighting #shivworks #hugsandpunches #tacticallocalyocal #dothedrills #newfriends #oldfriends #realfriendspuncheachother #whiskeyandtears #thereiscryingintraining #healthybuffalo #bruises #simrounds
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Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal