NLB EXPERIENCE: Breaking through one’s Limitations
Limitation, like fear, is only an illusion – Michael Jordan
As the train leaves Plymouth, I sit reflecting on everything that transpired during the three day NLB UK CIVILIAN INSTRUCTORS COURSE. Oh man! The course was a good kick in the backside! My backside that is 🙂 Physically, psychologically, and mentally challenging. It has been one of the most enlightening and reassuring course I have ever been on in years. The whole course revolves around the best marking training tool available in the market – the No Lie Blade.
Enlightening. Through the evolutions, the course managed to reveal a lot of vital information to each participant that forms a valid reality check to ones skills and mindset. Every experience that we encounter as we immerse ourselves in each evolution opens up our mindset to improve our skills in order to eventually keep our white shirts “clean” from the lipstick marks from the NLB training blade.
Reassuring. Through Hank’s unique teaching formula and the reliable training team of GM Anton St’James, each participant was exposed to the correct stimulus in order to make the necessary changes of mindset and eventually adopt the NLB system of responding to an aggressive knife attack. The training was relentlessly carried on until everybody changed their MO, let go of their current skill sets, and embrace the NLB system.
Everybody has a story. Here’s mine.
I wasn’t born like a little Hercules. I had weak lungs, sickly and small compared to my cousins. Growing up in Tondo Manila has its upsides and downsides, being one of the smaller kids was tough. Fights, mostly involving weapons of some sort are often just around the corner, mostly involving gangs, plus your daily dose of street assault and mugging.
If you are thinking of shiny sharp knives, think again. It’s pretty much anything they can be modified and used against you. If it doesn’t kill you when it hits you, it can get you in the hospital whilst fighting for your life because of infection.
When you get into a fight, survival is the name of the game. It’s where I first learned about fighting dirty, assessing your location and situation, and constantly watching your back whenever you are going somewhere. I had my share of fights from confrontations to assaults, and I have seen them up close too.
I accepted my physical limitations and I worked around it as I started my journey in the martial arts. I have trained in Japanese and Filipino Martial Arts for nearly 3 decades now. Although I stayed teaching both, I tried and learned other arts too enhance my skills and improve my understanding on the dynamics of movement. Got into sports, lifted weights, and did mile swim programs to increase my fitness level. BUT being pinned down to the ground or attacked by bigger guys are still my worst nightmares, so for me ending the upright position is my end game.
Knowing that Hank has been highly successful in introducing the NLB system to the military and LEO I can see that NLB has more to offer in terms of skill set and training. These men in uniform need a system that is easy to learn, easy to recall and is designed to bring their home back to their loved ones.
7 years ago I developed asthma, sometimes I pass out during coughing fits. My fitness and health plummeted down to the ground. Then, two years ago my plantar fasciitis came back with a vengeance after 25 years. I needed a minor medical procedure to treat it. I missed last year’s NLB training course due to these conditions. However, this year I decided not to give this course a miss. I know my conditions will stay with me and I will struggle at certain points and I am struggling to get back into my full level of fitness. I came with the hopes that the NLB course will give me the skill set to face the odds even if I’m stripped down to my weaknesses. And at the back of my mind, I would like to transfer these skill sets to people who might be physically less able too. And I wasn’t wrong about it, Many thanks Hank for the knowledge you passed on to us.
“When you enter the training hall, leave your ego behind” and “empty your cup”
These are two phrases I always tell any student who comes to seek tutelage under me. I myself adhere to these words when I immerse myself in another style or in learning a new skill. It’s the only way one can learn a new skill set better. So, over the three days of the Civilian Instructor Course, I left my ego behind, emptied my cup, confronted my weaknesses and limitations, and immersed myself in the NLB experience. And I have to thank my course mates in helping me work on these limitations. Many thanks also to GM Anton for all his support and for being relentless in making me attend this course.
I’m not new to combatives, self-defence, street survival, or martial arts. I have embraced and have taught them at different levels to various groups over the years. I do respect people’s uniqueness, differences in abilities, belief, attitude, and character, and it is because of this that I have never stopped learning new things, trying new systems, immersing in new experiences.
Always at the back of my mind is it might work for others as it worked for me, or what might not work for me might for work for others. And it is my responsibility as a teacher to guide them through their learning. Furthermore, training military, LEO or security personnel is different from training civilians. They have different needs and situations, so much so that the approach, skill set to be taught and the end game focus will have differences. And certainly for me, I need to be able to teach skill sets that will suite what the clients needs.
Change of Mindset
Our mind is a powerful tool. It can make us respond to a situation or react to it. It can allow us to change our game for the better or stick to a plan that stays rigid and sometimes ineffective in a situation.. With the correct stimulus, the mind gets prompted to adjust and use a different option. But if your body doesn’t recognise another path way to resolve an issue we shut down and use ineffective responses or just keep on reacting to it in the wrong way. This is where I found the NLB evolutions did an amazing job in changing and upping everybody’s game. Over the years I have done many types of edged weapons defensive training, but they way it was presented just allowed our neuromuscular connection rewire naturally.