I hope my letter finds U well.
Apologies for lack of good English, I do hope my letter will be read the way I wrote it.
I can truly say that all the last writing as well as actions and manipulations done lately by several instructors in the UK (some left IKMF) left me amazed at the boldness and the ungentlemanly ways things has been done/performed/led.
To make myself little clearer:
We started IKMF in the UK in 95.
It almost led myself and others (the Dixon family) into bankruptcy, as we were investing and spending much and had very difficult times to get funds back via seminars and courses.
Instructors did their things, i.e. – those who wanted were teaching. Some support was given.
It became impossible for me (economically) to come and teach for a couple of years, as there were no funds to be generated to cover expenses of flights, advertising, travel and accommodation
Then the knowledge about KM started to spread more and more, also due to more work that was done in the EU, Australia and the USA. The interest in the public grew, critical mass started to be accumulated.
I appointed John A. to be the director; this made a significant change in the progress in the UK.
Several people wanted this position, I found John to be the best person for the job, under the current conditions.
Some instructors started coming with complaints, unfortunately not directly to me, but on the net and between each other.
It was sometimes pathetic. It looked like the agenda was personal as well as childish and inferior.
People were bitching between each other like old ladies, having sent emails that were basically private in NATO disperse (in Israel it means – sending your letter/memo to half the world) , using ugly words, definitely not in a respected way.
I may be wrong, but I can not remember any one coming up to me with constructive criticism. No one put a hand up saying specific things, or showing problems, or making suggestions, or offering assistance or solutions.
In one extreme case, a person understood completely the opposite that what I said.
The case was with Mr. Tony B. who was selling KM equipment and clothing with permission He did this important job with my blessing/approval. Before he started, I distinctly remember telling him that the IKMF will be (in the future) doing merchandising, and he will need to be taking this into consideration and we will need to come into agreement about this matter. BTW – till then and now it is possible for instructors to do most merchandising material by themselves, but in instructors' agreement with us there is a specific paragraph that say that people will buy from central place, it is relevant the moment the is one. Couple of years later and not long ago, Tony learned that we intend to start with import and production. We (Tony and I) had a conversation about the matter, I repeated that what I said at the first stage. I did not say that he will not be able to do or sell clothing/equipment. I was clear that he and his actions will be taken into consideration and he will continue to be a part. At the time there was no decision about the matter, but it was made clear by myself that we will not stab him in the back. Later I learned that he understood or pretended to understand the opposite. He slammed the door of IKMF behind, with the excuse that we are not letting him do business.
To make it clear –
·To spread IKMF and KM in the UK we need to treat it also from a business perspective.
·I always have and will put the profession, the KM system, above the business. I wish to take KM as high as possible and bring the business aspects as closer to the professional level.
·We will fail with the mission of teaching best self-defence to the public and the professionals if we will not treat it as business. Imi went to the extreme and said that if there is an excellent teacher with no students, this instructor is worth nothing.
Those who are teaching as a profession (part time or full time) will need to treat it that way too, to be able to continue in this mission's path. We are truly trying to make an infrastructure to support these instructors.
I know that we still have a way to go. I was and am very patient (as I wrote: over 10 years in the UK, and almost went bankrupt) coming and working, teaching and investing much to see the KM in the UK grow. Now there is a group of instructors from the last 2-3 courses who can work and get from us knowledge, support and be part of what we (or at least me) dream of.
It seems that some wish to destroy this or only just do not understand the extent of the work that is needed to be done with an organization like ours. John A. has been doing much. But he is only one person. He gets much grief from many. It is better to channel your energies to a more constructive and less "look at me I am miserable/pissed/non-agreeable/sarcastic" attitude.
I do wish that U will treat KM first of all as a profession. I believe all other KM organizations and instructors that did not learn from me/IKMF are much less knowledgeable, with less capability and are less true to the way of KM and Imi.
Instructors that finished the last courses still have a long way to go, we can take U there.
(For example, we learned that one of our ex-instructor in the UK, who also went through one of our law-enforcement courses, went to teach/demonstrate KM to a police department near London, and that it was a big shame and major failure.
This is probably true as it came from a reliable source). There is much to learn, there is much to do. We all have to continue learning and developing. The IKMF with my professional guidance, is definitely the leading org. with the knowledge and the profession. No other can match us. It is the organization ways and skills that we are taking care of now. To value the water U drink, sometimes U need to go to the desert for few days. No problem, on my behalf, that U go and see other KM org./teachers.
I have no problem to start fresh with a completely new group of instructors. I do not seek that.
I have no problem with the wrong people leaving us for the right reasons, I definitely do not wish to loose good people for the wrong reasons. The way the later instructors behaved lately was truly pathetic and ridiculous in my point of view.
I wish that if U have problems, U will also come and talk to me, or send me a specific email, and then if U care about this then follow up see that I got and understood U. My phone is (deleted due to privacy reasons) If U have a problem to pay for the call I will be more that glad to call U back (once I am in Israel).
My user name in SKYPE is (deleted due to privacy reasons)
It is a very good way to communicate too.
Except of this I do come to the UK from time to time. Lately I was 3-4 times. I saw a very small number of instructors who came to train.
I a probably the #1 KM person/instructor in the world,and if I come to work with U in your country and take no money for this, it may worth nothing to U. Maybe I / we should charge like in the KM assn. in L.A., USA, that is - 5000 $ or more for an instructors course, as well as 400$ (about 250 GBP) in EVERY month as licensing fee. And also 150-250 $ for a private lesson. Maybe then I /we will be valued more.
Now we also see the organization of KM as a business. If U make money from teaching and promoting KM – so do we.
U make money from your students and the service U provide them, as well as from the merchandising U sell them. So we make money from the services and the teaching we provide to U and to students. We also promote KM and the IKMF branding and logo. Instructors are asked to pay 25 GBP per month (see yourself as a student of the federation). It is a very low price. Naturally I understand that U need to get your money's worth. We are in a progress to supply more and more. We are on the right track. At least I believe so.
If U have ideas and constructive criticism, pls write, call or see me when am next in the UK (n March).
If things are not clear about the way of operation, pls do the same.
Rome was not built in one day, London or Warsaw (or Berlin) were not destroyed in one day too.
All the best,