For those of you who don’t know, May 15th is Peace Officer Memorial Day. The week following that memorial day is National Police Week. In my work with law enforcement and civilians, I’ve been able to work with some really incredible teachers, instructors, and coworkers. However, one of the things I’ve noticed is that some of the people in most dire need of life saving skills are also some of the people who haven’t had access to really outstanding training. So I’ve decided to dedicate that National Police Week at the academy to offering free training to any law enforcement personnel who want to come. My hope is that we can share some of the great things we’ve learned from so many excellent instructors, and just maybe make everyone a little more capable, more confident, and safer. Sounds great doesn’t it?! Honestly, I have no idea how it’s going to go. We could have 5 officers show up that week and it wouldn’t surprise me. Conversely, we could have 50 officers show up for training, and that wouldn’t surprise me either! So why do I mention that event? Outside of attempting one last promotion. (Seriously, tell everyone you know about it, it’s going to be awesome!) I mention it because candidly I’m a little nervous. Since I conceived the idea, we’ve had a lot of people that have helped us out and invested time and effort into the project—and it could be a total flop. If I waste my own time I don’t mind. I think it’s an idea worthy of trying and failing. But as soon as others got involved I got nervous. I don’t want to see the efforts of others all for naught. So I knew it could be a total loss from the beginning, and yet we’re doing it anyway. I think that is where so many people fail. Emerson said “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” I agree, I believe people talk themselves into not trying. The first time I taught a class I was nervous. The first time I spoke to over 1,000 people I was nervous. The first time I was the officer to handle someone’s 911 call I was nervous. The first time I was assigned to a high level protection detail I was nervous. And yet I did them all (Thankfully most of them turned out pretty well!) And for the record, I will take no credit for courage, most everything I developed in my life has come from great teachers and martial arts. But I can’t state it enough, try something! Is fear holding you back? Face it! Fears get increasing smaller the more you face them. This past weekend we had 20 students punch, kick, grapple, and fight their way though the final stages of black belt testing. All of them performed admirably. I know some of them were afraid, and those were the ones I was most proud of. Hopefully they took home a powerful lesson in facing fear. But hopefully you the reader don’t need to get punched in the face to learn that lesson. But if you do, you know where to find us!