Kill or Be Killed

If you want to know the difference between “learning” and “training,” study martial arts.   All martial arts are rooted in developing lethal defenses against lethal attack — kill or be killed.  The modern study of martial arts may also include elements of self-discipline and cultural tradition.   For many, the value of personal growth supersedes the development of self defense skills.  In other words, many students don’t really care if “it works.”  For these student, the learning is the goal, in and of itself.  Frankly, these martial artists are probably not well prepared to defend themselve, but that’s ok. 

 Other martial artists, however, treat effectiveness as a litmus test.  If a technique won’t work in “real life,” then they don’t waste time practicing it.  These students are motivated by acquiring self-defense capabilities.  They know that they are preparing for an assault that may never happen, but they are still driven to prepare for the event.  These student are training.

 Learning is a function of interest, while training is a deliberate response to anticipated need.  The learner evaluates the learning experience with the question, “Is this interesting to me?”  The learner evaluates training with the question, “Is this preparing me?”

Most learning takes place outside of formal training.  The future of the training profession will be dominated by those who can add training value to those moments of informal learning that occur naturally.  It’s time to kill the traditional role of the trainer.  Any ideas on how to do that?


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2 Responses to “Kill or Be Killed”

  1. Kevin Jones Says:

    So if I have a need and want to “prepare” myself and I do a Google search and find the answer, have I been involved in training?

    What if you are asking both questions – interest and preparing? What is it then?

  2. dstev Says:

    If you Google “How to grill shrimp” just because you’re curious, then that isn’t training even if you do learn. If you Google “How to gril shrimp,” because you anticipate that you will be grilling shrimp, then that is training. All training involves learning, but not all learning involves training. Training anticipates need, or potential need. The presence of need creates interest.

    This perspective does not consider quality.

    A person who is experienced at grilling other foods will be in a a better position to take advantage of googled “training.” This kind of how-to reasearch is self-training, though the author of the content is engaged – by extension.

    So, if a person worried about being mugged reads some how-to self-defense literature, then he is training. Some type of simulation, however, would be much more effective.

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