Last night I chatted for a moment with an old student. It has been many years since I have seen her. She's grown up, is married, a mother of two, and has a great career stretched out in front of her.
She thanked me for Liz and I helping to shape who she is today.
That felt pretty good and it also got me thinking. We are always looking forward to what we want to do but realizing what we have done is sometimes helpful too. So I started thinking about who else I might have helped shape. The list grew long in my mind. I thought it might be good to get a bit of it down.
I have mentored hundreds of girls like her. Who, through learning to fight, realized not only that they were strong but also that they were worth fighting for. That theme has been a consistent one in girls and women alike. I don't understand the cause but in my experience most women will not fight for themselves. When they learn to do so they change. They literally become different people. It makes me smile when they become dangerous. This has led to many divorces. All from abusive relationships. It's led to a few abusers getting their ass handed to them. It's also led to many happy marriages. Strong girls have a hard time finding a mate but when they do it's a good one.
I'll never forget what one young lady wrote on her college admission essay. She listed as a skill being able to take my constant criticism and demands of her, not saying a word, and doing what she was told for 10 years, resulting in finally getting her black belt. I don't know if that skill set impressed but she got in, graduated, and is now travelling the oceans as a marine biologist.
A lot of the "nice guys" stand out to me too. Guys that go through life in a very non aggressive way. Many might be mistaken as soft. But when something happens they become very dangerous in an instant.
One kid, just days before graduating high school, in one punch, broke the school bullies jaw on both sides. Sending the guy through the air. The shop teacher who saw it said he's never seen anything so powerful in his life. The bully had just burned a kid with a hot metal poker and must student simply reacted in defense.
Awhile back I got a call from another guy who had trained under me decades ago. Also, a non aggressive fun loving guy. He called me from some town in the middle of nowhere after he had just blasted, with one punch, the town brawler. The guy was knocked out in the middle of the street. Same thing, bullying a friend. The locals vouched for what had happened. The cops laughed. He went on his way. His call was funny and like so many other calls. He couldn't believe it worked so well and after so many years. My grand master used to get those calls regularly. I made one myself. Now I get them now and again. They are hilarious.
I've trained at least one person who has stood bodyguard for the President of the United States.
I've trained WITH one guy who we are pretty sure is some kind of undercover CIA operative working in some dangerous situations.
In our online training we've trained over 40,000 people and here's some of them we have heard from.
A group of women training secretly in Iran
Numerous men in war torn countries just trying to survive.
Numerous people shut in by depression. People who gradually got stronger and more couragous. Finally making their way back into society.
Numerous veterans suffering from PTSD. Many of these guys were able to get off of meds. They were relieved of nightmares and other PTSD symptoms.
In person we have trained countless kids with learning struggles. Giving them the confidence and tools to work through their struggle.
We've trained cops
We've trained those going into the military
We've trained those going into the FBI
We've trained prison guards
We've trained a few animal control officers. Animal control officers can have very dangerous jobs. Unarmed yet going into dangerous scenarios often before having police backup.
Some stick out in my head but there are likely thousands that I have forgotten or never knew how they turned out.
And sadly, a few fails as well. One in jail for murder. We only had influence over him for a very short time. I often wonder if we could have changed that. One who is constantly back living on the streets. He trained with us extensively but his life only goes well when he is actually training. Which is another common theme.
What really affects me is the things that we may have caused to not happen. Violence, suicides, depression, etc. Of course we can never know, nd that's a good thing. But we can extrapolate from what we do know that we likely changed the course of lives in such a way that they did not do bad things they might have otherwise done. That is unmeasurable and only theoretical and best kept that way.
That "Thank You" I got last night sent my mind down this path. I've never mentally gone down this path before. It was a pleasure.
But more than anything I realize that in this regard I have not realized even one percent of my own potential. By concentrating my teaching efforts and by making them as publicly accessible as possible I have no doubt that I will multiply that good in the worlds by thousands of times. Empowering women, making stronger men.
At my Grand master's funeral over and over very strong men stood up crying. they told the same story. He had transformed them into good people. They were going down a bad path. He changed that. I stood up and told that story as well.
My Grand Master did not have the internet. He could only mentor those he could directly contact. And yet those he helped were many. I do have the internet. In a way, I think it would be irresponsible for me to not far surpass his numbers. And, in a way, I feel that he told me that in his last words.
At his funeral the church flowed over with people that were there just to say thank you. I'm making it my goal to far surpass him in that regard. I have the tools. I have the training. Not doing so would be a horrible fail.