“I’ve been stabbed several times”
This was the opening line given by an instructor delivering a knife and edged weapons seminar I attended not too long ago.
From that moment on, the crowd pretty much accepted, without question, everything he had to say about knife defence.
I found myself wondering how that statement somehow qualified him as an expert. After all, isn’t getting stabbed what we’re trying to avoid? What made him more of an authority on the topic than someone else who’s managed not to get stabbed several times?
In pretty much every other area in life, this would disqualify someone as an expert.
Would you take swimming lessons from someone that proudly asserted that they’d nearly drowned pretty much every time they got in the water? Would you take driving lessons from someone that had been in a bunch of car accidents?
The other thing that occurred to me was how many similar assertions I had heard in the past. It seems pretty much every instructor putting on a new flashy course has been mauled, bitten, shot and stabbed repeatedly. Amazingly, most of them seemed unfazed by the experience. Now I’m not suggesting anyone is making anything up in order to sell their particular brand or product or anything, but…
Caveat emptor in all things, I guess.
Note: I should mention that the instructor in this case had actually been stabbed, and the experience had been the catalyst for him to question everything he thought he knew about knife and edged weapons training. As such, the seminar was great and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, this seems to the the exception, and not the rule at most of these events.