Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One For The Boys

I'm super excited about an upcoming series of classes at Fit and Fearless.  Jason Fryer will be teaching a men-only series in January.  This is something we've talked about for years but haven't done before, and I think it's a great idea.  However, I've had some students tell me they don't think it's fair to exclude female students from the class…after all, women have had to fight for decades for the right to be fully included in sports - particularly combat sports - and some feel like a men-only class is a step in the wrong direction.  So I thought I'd put in my 2 cents on why I disagree:

1 - Fair is fair.  We've had female-only classes, taught by me, for years.  I've always kicked men out of the room entirely - they can come in if I invite them to play a particular role in the class, but then they're out.  Period.  I do this because having another gender in the room changes the dynamic.  We talk about things differently and train differently than in the co-ed classes, and I want the students to have the freedom to do that, so even male instructors are generally barred.  To say, "we can do it but you can't" is unfair.  Equality means equality for all.  The argument has been put to me that it is different because women are still fighting to be treated as equals - and then the question always comes, "What if a bunch of white people wanted to have their own group and wouldn't let any black people come in?  Would that be alright, too?"  

Well, it's not the same.  Race based groups who exclude others are generally saying, "We're awesome and everybody who is not us sucks".  That is not what's happening here.  This is not the beginning of the FnF He-Man Woman Hater's Club, any more than we disparage men in the women-only classes.

Even if there were no other reason than equal treatment for all students, I'd still support having the class.  However, the bigger reason is…

2 - Just as women have self-defense issues that are much more frequently faced by us (sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking) there are also issues that are much more frequently faced by men.  

The Monkey Dance and how to avoid it, questions of honor being challenged (and of courage and cowardice), different methods of de-escalation, protecting one's wife and child (if his wife trains in self-defense hurray, but most of our male students do not have that luxury).  The issues listed for both genders can obviously be faced by anyone, but the reality is that different genders are more likely to deal a few problems more than others.  As Drew put it to me recently, "You teach a lot about defending, then running away and calling the police.  But I spend most of my time with my wife and child, and if we're attacked I can't run.  I have to stay and fight to give them the opportunity to run."  Just as the female students are given the opportunity to focus their training once a week on just their issues, the males should be able to step outside the regular curriculum and really hone in on what they specifically face.

3 - If a woman has a question she won't normally bring up in a co-ed group, she'll generally ask it in the women's class.  The environment is intentionally created to encourage openness, and we sometimes toss the lesson plan aside and train techniques that will address certain questions or concerns brought up by a student.  And I'm hearing from the guys that they'll be able to be more open about certain types of questions or concerns in a single gender class as well.  Yes, it would be lovely if we all felt comfortable addressing every issue in front of everyone.  But I'm going to give my students the support they need in the way they need it in the moment, if at all possible.  Our job as instructors is to create an environment that meets each student's needs as an individual so that she or he can grow to become their own best self.  Because if you're attacked, you're probably going to be on your own.  We want to leave no stone unturned to make sure you have all the tools you need to survive.

4 - Lastly, having Jason teach this class is going to make it awesome.  He's put a great deal of thought and effort into creating a lesson arc that will let each man get the most out of this specific type of training.  Jason is cerebral guy, very calm but resolute.  His approachable, laid-back style creates a class where you can feel comfortable asking anything and can take the time to hone your technique, but when it's time to bring overwhelming ferocity he drops bombs and can help you do the same.

The class begins January 7, 2014 and runs for 4 weeks.  It's only $39, which is crazy but true.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In the women-only class we were practicing defending against being dragged off by our feet.  As a prelim I had them lay prone on the floor arranged with each defender a few feet ahead of their intended attacker.  On "GO" they jumped up and ran, the defender trying to reach the safe zone before the attacker could catch them and drag them back to the starting line.  

Some defenders were half-assing it because the knew their attacker wouldn't hurt them if they caught them.  So I told the attackers to drag them back by their hair.  Women generally hate being dragged around by their hair, so all of a sudden they were jumping up and running FAST.  

But I really gave them no true head start & sometimes the attackers were just faster & would catch them & drag them back.  So the question came,

"When should I run and when should I fight?"

I asked the class what they thought and as usual someone nailed it: 

"You run when you can and you fight when you must."  True!  

One thing I notice in running these types of drills is that the fleeing trainee generally waits until the attacker has a hand already grabbing them or is starting to bearhug them.  I personally think that's too late, because his momentum is going forward and he's already got the jump on you.  To turn and fight at that moment puts you at a disadvantage because you're changing the direction of your own momentum and responding to his attack defensively instead of taking charge of the whole event.  It's very difficult because you're making a decision in the blink of an eye within a frenzy of movement and being pursued by a predator tends to make people a bit panicky.  So, I think we're going to keep practicing making that decision in the moment.  

We did it again later out in the parking lot.  The chasee got a 1 second head start running toward the building to get into the front door - which I had rigged to not open on the first try, so unless they could force it open they'd have to make their stand and fight.  It was creepy!  And again, the attacker was always right on top of them before they made the decision to fight.  

So here's the rule we'll play by:  Run when you can, fight if you must - but fight before they're physically on you and do it with everything you have and then RUN again once it's safe to escape.  Get to safety.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Are You A Wet Cat?

No one is going to help you.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but it's true.  

This happened in my town this week, and possibly in your town, too.  I've talked about it before.  No one is going to help you, so you've got to fight like you're all you've got.  Because you probably are.  

It's fascinating really, the way the brain works to freeze us up and prevent us from helping someone who is obviously desperate.  I first learned about it in the book Opening Skinner's Box, many chapters of which I still think about years later.

On the other side of the coin, at work today I responded to an assistance call over the radio.  I ran into the hall as fast as I could, with every other available officer running in from every direction, and we physically stopped what was happening.  So what's different?  We are normal people like everybody else.  Why do we show up when the person on the street won't?  Here's what I came up with:

*We spend many hours every day in an environment where the assumption is that violence will break out at any moment.  It may be directed at someone else or at us, but it's going to happen, it's just a question of when.  Now happily, it usually doesn't, and things generally click along smoothly.  But it could turn on a dime.  I think people may assume I'm talking about murder when I say "violence", but it could be as simple as two guys suddenly in a shouting match or someone throwing a sucker punch.  Or maybe worse. Whatever the situation, my job is to stop it immediately.  This, I believe, is the most important thing:  We're mentally in a place that we understand it can happen, and it can happen now.

*We're trained to respond to different types of aggression or violence, and taught to use different methods to solve different "problems".  An hour after the incident I was in a small group talking to a person who could be quite dangerous if he wanted.  Instead of a show of aggression, we used banter to keep things going in the direction we wanted, and a dangerous situation was simply avoided.  Different problem, different solution.

*Every other person dressed like us is going to run to put out the "fire".  Do you want to be the only person standing there not helping?  I don't.

*If someone does not respond, or seems to respond weakly in an emergency, that person loses respect.  There is an expectation that you will be brave and you will give a competent response.  The expectations of one's group have a very powerful influence on one's behavior.

If you read the four points above you will see they are the opposite of normal society.  

*In normal life (at least in my normal life) there is no expectation that violence could suddenly explode into being.  That's why people are so shocked when it does.  

*Most people have little to no training, and if they do have training it is usually in a sports-type setting.  This can certainly help, but it's not the same.  

*Every other person, if there are more one, will probably stand there and stare at the situation.    This makes it less likely that you will respond.  

*If you're not a first responder, there is no realistic expectation that you will know what to do.  I think people really do hope they'll know what to do.  But once, "hey, what are you doing?" doesn't work, that's about all they've got.  Because once you're in the situation you suddenly learn it's not like it is in the movies.  And why would someone know how to respond to unexpected violence?  If you refer to the above points, there's really nothing in normal life that would prepare us - indeed, the whole thing is set up to insulate us from sudden violence.  Which I appreciate, because I like to be able to go to the mall without getting mugged.  But if you want to learn to be prepared, you're going to have to go out of your way to get that education.  

Oh, and another thing.  People under stress follow orders.  Big time.  Think about what the attacker and the victim each said to the witness.  The victim said, "he's going to kill me".  The attacker gave the witness a direct order & told him to go away.  He went away.

If you need help, say clearly and loudly, "Call 911!"  "Please help me!"  "Get me away from him!"  Notice I'm not saying 'get him away from me', which would require the witness to grab the bad guy.  Not many people want to grab the bad guy.  You can even say, "I don't know him!" as many people are reluctant to get involved in a 'lover's quarrell' but are willing to help a victim of a stranger.  It may not work, they may just stand there anyway, but it's worth a shot.  

But no matter what any witness does or does not do, you must fight like no one will help you.  Have you ever tried to give a cat a bath?  That's how you have to fight.  Like a wet cat.  Stay safe out there, y'all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do What You Can For Now

A friend & former student wrote to me and my friend Jennie, another Krav Maga instructor, asking about a scary situation she'd encountered.  She also wanted to know what, if anything, she can do to help herself stay sharp since she can't really train outside of the occasional seminar.  Here's what I think:  if you don't have time to train regularly, you can still help yourself learn to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.  Is it better to train?  Of course!  But life sometimes has other plans for us, so until then you can tread water by:

*One of the most important things you can do to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings.  Don't walk around endlessly texting and gabbing on your phone for extended periods.  Know who's around you and who is moving your way.  Be aware of the body language of those you're moving toward.  Do you have a creepy feeling in your stomach?  Get out of there.  This doesn't make you paranoid.  I watched some movie about criminals with Robert DeNiro (I think - this was years ago) and one of the things his character says is, "The only people paying attention are the criminals and the cops".  It's so true.
A way to make this interesting is to mentally play the part of a predator.  STOP RIGHT NOW...think about this...if you were someone else and you were going to attack the real you right now, how would you do it?  Okay, what's another way besides that?  Play that game when you're out somewhere...now switch it up, how would you attack that guy over there - and get away with it?  Who's vulnerable and why?  You don't necessarily have to kill them, just take their stuff and split.  It's shocking how vulnerable we are simply because we're not paying attention.  

*This is sort of part 2 of what's above - stay away from the 3 Stupids:  Stupid people, stupid places, stupid activities.  You don't need to stay sitting on your couch wearing a helmet murmuring, "no one can get me here", just understand that some places are more ripe for an unpleasant encounter than others.  You know that friend you have, the one who always seems to set people off?  Maybe do a cost-benefit analysis of hanging out with that person on weeknights.  Then if you choose to do it, at least you're going in with your eyes open.

*Stay fit.  You don't have time to train?  Fine.  Go to the gym, take a class, lift weights.  No time or money for that?  Run in your neighborhood, do some pushups in your living room.  We have t-shirts at our studio that say "Strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general".  I like this.  Reaching the goals that inherently come with fitness training breeds confidence.  I like this too.

*Learn to tell people no without making excuses.  I was going to say without feeling guilty, but I don't really care how you feel about it. However, making excuses can be used against you because it seems like you're not comfortable just drawing the line, and it's human nature to want to retreat into what's comfortable.   Learn to draw the line in small matters, the big ones will come more easily.  Make no mistake, it is often easier to strike back physically than it is to stand your ground socially.  Practice.

*And the opposite:  Learn to apologize when you didn't do anything wrong.  "Oh, I'm sorry if it seemed I was staring you, I was just lost in space for a minute there.  Sorry."  And leave alive.  Rory Miller writes about the whens-and-wheres of these tactics quite a bit.

*Take advantage of the folks who think about this stuff a lot.  You can get a lot for a little by reading blogs like this one.  I've already linked to Jennie Trower's site, here's a few more:

Those are the ones I follow, just for kicks I googled "self defense blog" and of course 93,700,000 came up.  There's bound to be one that strikes a chord with you.  Ok, rosstraining is mostly a workout blog, but the guy is a former boxer, and it's one of my favorite sites in the world.  And naturally, you can silly nonsense by keyboard warriors online as well.  Reader beware, and trust your gut.

*If you have kids, educate yourself about crimes against children (by adults and by other kids) then talk about this stuff with them.  It can be difficult, but you'll find some ideas here on how to go about it.  Thinking about how you can help your kids stay alive will make you creative quickly.

*If the worst happens, and you're prey, and they've laid hands on you, FIGHT.  However you can, as dirty and hard as you can, for as long as it takes to end the threat. Don't give them half and see if it's good enough.  Go nuclear until the threat is over.  Then RUN.  When you're safe THEN immediately call the cops.  And your lawyer, because it's probably going to get legal.  You don't necessarily need any fancy techniques.  This is the reason in level 1 Krav we keep trying to scare the crap out of you, then yell, GOOOOO!  (That's "go", not "goo".)

Doing these things will make you more prepared than you'd be if you didn't do them.  And ultimately, that's the best we can do, even when we are training.  The question is how far you're willing and able to pursue that end.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Really Bad.

Below I link to a horrible video of a person getting stabbed in the face.  If you've seen it you already know it's extremely tough to watch.  However, I'm posting it because of a few things I noticed.  Don't watch it if you don't want to, but if you choose to...watch for these things:

The attacker - clearly he isn't trying to kill her.  If he wanted to do that he easily could have.  I think he's trying to punish her, make her ugly...as in "oh, you're going to leave me?  Well no one will ever want you again!".  I don't know if that's correct, I don't know anything about the situation, I just notice he's not killing her, he's only stabbing her in the face.  Or maybe he's just crazy.

The victim - While she's trying to get her face out of the way by moving her head around & covering with her hands, that's about as far as she's taking her defense.  I'm not trying to criticize her, the poor woman is probably in shock and incapable of doing anything else.  I have to assume under the circumstances that if she could do more she would.  I wonder if she had some training if she'd be able to get her feet up close to her body to maneuver better, use her arms to deflect the weapon, buck, etc.?  

The bystanders - Here's where it actually gets interesting for me.  What fails: There are a couple of young men who make little pathetic useless kicks at the attacker's body, and I've heard lots of people criticize them for not doing more.  Personally, I feel those boys were very brave.  They tried to stop a guy with a knife who clearly has no problem slicing people up.  If he'd sliced out at them as they kicked and opened up an artery on the inside of their thigh, they'd be dead.  How many strangers are you willing to die for?  What I think is that they simply didn't know what to do to help her, so they tried as best they could.  Which of course, was sadly not helpful at all.  
What succeeds:  One guy finally sneaks up & grabs him from behind ...crap, maybe you haven't seen it yet.  

Watch it if you want to, I'm about to spoil the ending.

Don't look below this line unless you want to know what happens!!!

The man who grabs his hoodie from behind finally succeeds in pulling him off.  Then, kneeling on his neck, pins him.  

Do you notice the woman hops right up like she's merely tripped on the sidewalk?  Then a few moments later she slowly sinks to the ground.  Adrenaline is super powerful, but it doesn't last, and losing that much blood doesn't help, obviously. 

And a truly extraordinary thing, the bystanders, having gotten the attacker away from his victim, protect him from mob justice and don't permit the crowd to beat him, which frankly he has coming, the bastard.  Incredible self-control or ethics or I don't know what.  Very impressive.

It bothered me so much that only one guy on the scene knew what to do that we worked a bloodless version of this in 2 of my classes last week, to practice how and when to jump in in such a situation.  It was really interesting.  Knifing each other seemed to be out of the question so in one class we had the attacker beat the crap out of the victim with pads & lash out at anyone who came to help.  No, the real attacker never did that, but the "bystanders" needed to be somewhat afraid to move in, because they damn sure would be in real life.   In the second class we used a little Halloween party knife I had left over from my Psycho Ex-Girlfriend costume.
Don't you love me anymore?  

It wouldn't actually cut anyone, but it wouldn't feel good if it slammed into you either & I told the attacker to get wild with the knife to make the folks who tried to save the victim think twice before they moved in.  

After the dust settled I asked the class, "what failed?"  

They said, "being timid" "being slow" "hoping someone else would help"  "chasing the hand around to grab the knife, it's going too fast so you get cut"

"What succeeded?"  

"Being sneaky" "Attacking from behind" "Being aggressive" "Totally committing to your attack"  "Having someone else on your side attacking with you"

I'd like to point out these are the same things that fail and succeed in most all self-defense situations. And if you reeeaaally want to take that ball and run with it look at the list of qualities the students gave for a successful defense.  If you're ever attacked you should assume the attacker will strive to do most or all of these things, and defend accordingly.

Friday, March 22, 2013

One thing I like about the women-only classes is that we work on issues not strictly covered in the normal Krav Maga curriculum.  Kelly Campbell talked to me once about boundary setting - that if you can't stick up for yourself in life's small matters you won't stand your ground in the big ones either.  

I think that's very true, up to a point.  My only hesitation on that score is that it's socially acceptable for a person being beaten or robbed to defend themselves if they know how.  It is rarely socially acceptable for a woman to draw a line in the sand when everyone else is wearing the mask of playing nice.  Nor is it something we are taught how to do, which is why people go along when they want to say STOP.  Sometimes the consequences are disastrous, sometimes one is just left stewing about it & thinking, "I should have said..."

One of the most important attributes for a woman to have in American culture is for her to be compliant.  Nobody in class believes me when I say that, but then I tell them "Have you ever tried to set a lunch date with someone you don't know well?  Here's how the conversation goes:

                           Where would you like to go?
                        Oh, I don't care, where would you like to go?
                        Oh, anything.  What kind of food do you like to eat?
                        I like everything, really.  Let's just do whatever you like.
                        No, no, I'm happy with whatever you'd prefer....

This continues until one lady can't take it anymore & gives in and chooses a restaurant.  The one who chooses, loses the game.  Am I lyin'?  You know I'm not!

Since we generally aren't taught how to say what we want in social situations, that's what we practice sometimes in class.  It was awesome last week because a new student was an 18 year old girl about to go away to college, prime time for being taken advantage of for being too "nice".

Here's the exercise:  your partner, preferably someone you aren't friends with (so there will be some social stigma about being rude to them & therefore add tension to the game) crosses a social line with you.  Maybe they just stand uncomfortably close and stare at you.  Maybe they stand behind you and whisper in your ear (it doesn't even have to be inappropriate words.  In case I actually need to say it, people you don't know well shouldn't be creeping up on you and whispering.)  Maybe they don't stand very close, but they look you up and down and say, "That is one fine ass."  Whatever.

None of those actions is appropriate, but they don't necessarily earn 15 palm heel punches in the face either.  The student's job is simply to verbally tell the person their behavior is unwelcome, and to emphasize that with body language and voice.  It's one of the most tense classes we have.  People turn red, they sweat, they giggle, they stammer.  They almost never, in their first several tries, successfully tell their harasser to stop.  Usually they'll freeze, then they'll get upset that they're frozen, then once I insist they keep at it they ask their partner to stop in a small voice, THEN once they've exhausted all other possibilities they insist in no uncertain terms that they be left alone.  Then they're physically exhausted.  

I love this drill because I'm convinced it's so necessary, and we learn things about ourselves we would never have guessed.  Most of us think we're assertive.  Nope.  What's even cooler is the second time someone does the exercise she usually OWNS it.  From the very beginning.  

If you don't have anyone you can practice with (it's easy to tell your friends to get lost when you're "playing"), set yourself a goal.  Next time you want to say no or draw a boundary, do it.  If you find that you can't do it, figure out why.  Are you afraid they won't like you?  Are you afraid they'll hurt you?  Is your self image that of "the nice one"?   Once you figure that out, resolve to try again and then do it.

I'll tell you, I told someone no today and I think I hurt her feelings a little bit.  I feel a little badly about that, but I wanted to continue what I was doing and if I'd stopped for her I would have smiled about it on the outside but resented it on the inside.  I don't want to do that any more, so I said no.  And I don't regret it.  I'll pay extra attention to her later, and she'll get over it or she won't.  I can't control that.  But I do prefer to be in control of how I spend my time, so that's the choice I made.  

What choice will you make?

Monday, March 11, 2013

3 Seconds, 2 Observations

I first saw this video on my friend Jason's Facebook page, and it's come to mind several times since then as a quick illustration of a couple of the things we often refer to in Krav Maga.  Check it out:

The first thing that blew me away (ha ha, get it?) was that without thinking, the intended victim's physical reaction was to jerk his head away from the line of fire and to push the gun away with his hand.  In Krav we refer to the fact that an effective defense should generally be based on the body's instinctive reactions to a threat.  This makes the defense easy to learn, because your body wants to do that stuff anyway.  Once you start doing gun defenses in class you'll find that you'll be striving to immediately get yourself off the line of fire & redirect the gun (+ other stuff after that).  So seeing this guy do it automatically was pretty cool.  

The second thing you'll probably notice is that after he redirects the weapon and it fails to fire, both he & the gunman freeze & stare at each other.  I've heard some folks making fun of them for this, but but the truth is, that's the way these things usually play out.  That freeze is their brains realizing what they thought was going to happen that day is NOT going to happen and something else - something bad - IS happening.  Right now.  Their brains (and your brain, should you find yourself in sudden unexpected danger) needs that split second to figure out what's going on and what to do about it.  

All this life changing stuff is happening in under 3 seconds.  

Next everyone else in the room starts experiencing their own freeze, trying to comprehend what just happened.  Then, of course, mob justice.  Once one person strikes the gunman, it becomes a free for all.  It's hard for me to watch a bunch of people stomping, kicking and hitting a downed individual who is not fighting, in spite of the fact that I just watched him try to murder someone in cold blood (also hard to watch, btw).  I know this guy has it coming.  I can't say I wouldn't be in there with the mob myself, given the same circumstances.  But from the outside looking in it makes my stomach woozy to watch it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Working It Out

I've been absent from this blog for a while because I've been absent from my life for a while.  Working nights turned out to be my kryptonite - but I'm working days again!  I'm aliiiive!!

So a student wrote me recently & asked for some advice because her husband is becoming unhappy about her new dedication to training in Krav Maga.  This is something my husband & I briefly went through, and it's quite common.  It happens when either gender is a trainee, but it seems to be far more frequent when the trainee is female, because this sort of martial arts training is not "normal" for girls.  

Now that I've got a little distance from the situation as it relates to my own life, here's my take on it.

This is the trainee's point of view:  I can suddenly do things I never dreamed were possible!  I can be strong and fast, and I can fight through fear.  I get to go to a class full of people who like the same things I like, who support me when I want to quit - and let me support them.  I am so much stronger than I thought I was and it's an incredible rush.  I wish everyone could feel this.  I'm noticing how my new confidence is positively affecting every other area of my life and I want more.  

Their mate's point of view is different:  My mate used to act one way and now they are completely different.  They suddenly have a whole new set of friends that I don't know and can't relate to, since I'm not interested in all that "fighting" stuff.  My mate used to wear normal clothes & now they just wear sweaty workout clothes (or as my husband once dryly put it, "oh baby, I love that swishy sound you make when you wear your grandma track pants."  My partner used to talk about lots of different things and now its all about punching and kicking.  They're obsessed & they won't shut up about it!  They tell everyone ad nauseum.  And finally there is the undeniable intimacy of Krav Maga training.  (This, of course, applies to many other styles of training as well.  As my husband snapped at me, "you're rolling around on the ground with a bunch of guys who look like movie stars!"  I tried explaining to him "that guy is trying to punch me in the face.  That's not sexy."  But he wasn't buying it)  

Eventually something has to change or an agreement has to be reached between the partners.  Most people want their mate to come to class with them.  I got my husband to come once, just to see what it was like, and it helped.  But ultimately for us that was not a solution.  He knows how to defend himself and I really wanted this to be just for me.  He races mountain bikes and rides all kinds of bicycles many hours a week.  He doesn't want me around then.  It's just for him.  And I think that's awesome.  We all need a room of our own.

Here are some things I did that fixed our situation:  1 - I learned to shut up about what we did in class that night.  The truth is he was sick of it and didn't want to hear it.  It was hard because I felt like I was keeping a whole part of myself away from him and it hurt my feelings that he didn't want to hear about something that was so important to me.  But facts are facts: he was tired of hearing about it, so I needed to give him a break.  He still had to suck it up while I told every other human on the planet.
2 - He likes me to look nice & found Krav Maga outfits to be de-feminizing and unattractive.  I started taking ballet lessons a few months ago & took the opportunity to buy a bunch of ballet workout outfits.  Of course, any cute clothes would do. He loves it.  I get to wear athletic wear whenever I want & he gets to see me in cute clothes.  Win-win.  
3 - I told my closest guy friends/training partners that he was having a hard time with how we were always plastered onto each other and they understood completely and said they'd probably feel the same.  So because they are awesome they went out of their way to get to know my husband and to make him comfortable that they were good guys who would look out for me and not try to take advantage of me in any way, on the mat or off.  That was a huge help.  
4 - I got him to watch UFC fights with me.  At first he thought it was just about brutality and was repulsed, but since I insisted on continuing to watch he did, too.  As he learned about the incredible skill involved and came to respect the sport he ended up being an even bigger enthusiast than me.
5 - Finally, he came and watched part of my very first belt test.  He saw how hard I was working to overcome fear, frustration, exhaustion, and just the general desire to quit.  Those feelings never go away, by the way.  You just get better at overcoming them.  He saw the training itself had a complete lack of bullshit or baby sitting.  And he was really, really proud of me.  

He gets it now.  He likes my friends and know they have my back.  He likes how much stronger, happier, and more confident I am than I was before.  And I've learned how to take it down a notch and only tell him the stories that really matter the most.  

There are a few people reading this who might be offended.  They might think I should have just told him to zip it because I'm over at Krav class gettin' all empowered and he's holding me back.  But one of the things we learn in Krav Maga is you only fight when you have no other choice.  First try to solve a problem with your brain instead of your fists (or mean words).  If you can create a win-win, then why on earth would you not do that?