What the Warrior Can Learn from Dave Grohl

What the Warrior Can Learn from Dave Grohl

I’m a huge rock music fan, and one of my favorite rock bands is Foo Fighters. The lead singer, Dave Grohl, is a legend in the rock industry. He was the drummer for Nirvana, which is one of the biggest and most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and his current band Foo Fighters is also one of the most influential bands for young aspiring rock artists out there. I’ve been listening to Foo Fighters since I was in middle school and they are still churning out great songs today.

One thing that not a lot of people know is that the band we know as Foo Fighters was originally a one-man band that involved just Dave Grohl. The first Foo Fighters album consisted of songs written by Grohl, who played EVERY instrument for every song on the album. That’s right: EVERY INSTRUMENT. He wrote the songs, sang vocals, played guitar, bass, and drums. He is, without a doubt, a musical genius. While drummers fulfill an important role in the rock band hierarchy, they are often relegated to the background. My brother Matt Pana is the drummer of a very popular band on YouTube called Mitchell Grey (www.mitchellgreymusic.com) and he finds that being a drummer gives him somewhat of a low-profile. After hearing this, it’s amazing how the drummer of Nirvana branched out on his own and made a name for himself by writing every song and playing every instrument imaginable on his debut album, and eventually became one of the biggest legends in rock music history.

Now, I’m no rock star. I’m a full-time teacher in the Filipino martial arts, known as Kali (or Arnis or Escrima), and I am also the founder and chief instructor for Bayani Warrior (www.bayaniwarrior.com). My blog usually centers around martial arts, combatives, and the warrior-lifestyle. So you are probably asking yourself, “Why is Guro Mike talking about rock music and Dave Grohl?” Well, I feel that the modern-day warrior can learn a lot from Dave Grohl.

No, Dave Grohl is not a Navy SEAL, a black belt, or combatives expert, at least to my knowledge. However, his versatility as a musician and his ability to play various instruments is something a person truly interested in living a warrior-lifestyle can learn from.

We need to remember that to be a true warrior, one must not have a specialty in one or two skill sets. Rather, the aspiring warrior must have multiple skill sets, and must be able to perform these skills at a high level. To be a true warrior, you must have the ability to use firearms, blades (of every imaginable size), projectiles, impact weapons (of every imaginable size), and posses empty hand skills as well. However, it doesn’t stop there. The true warrior also needs knowledge of first aid, communications, tactical awareness, tactical driving, as well as knowledge of group dynamics and group leadership. 

The thing I notice about a lot of “combatives” programs is that they are only teaching one or two skills. Some of them only focus on firearms skills. Others focus on edged weapons fighting, while others focus on just empty hands. While having one or two skills can make a person a good combatant, it doesn’t necessarily make them a well-rounded warrior. Warriors are good at multiple skills. However, this doesn’t mean that they are the best at every skill set. Going back to Dave Grohl, I don’t think anyone has ever said he was the greatest singer, guitarist, bassist, or drummer in the world, but he does each of those things so well and is able to use those skills so harmoniously that he becomes a true well-rounded musician. Likewise, aspiring warriors need to learn their “instruments” (firearms, edged weapons, first aid, impact weapons, etc.) and should be able to perform so well and use each skill so harmoniously with the others that they can overcome any situation they may face.

If warriors are musicians, then weapons and skills are their instruments, and the battlefield is their stage. It’s imperative that aspiring warriors learn and expose themselves to every skill they can find so when it’s time for them to perform, they can fight well knowing they have knowledge of every skill they need. This also means that the warrior can transition from one skill set to the next. They should be able to transition from empty hands to edged weapons, then to firearms, then to first aid and communiciations, and back again.

In Bayani Warrior, we make sure that we are not only good with Filipino stick and blade work, but with every skill set we can find as well. I took a lot of this to heart after I began training in Atienza Kali, where skill with a blade was important but skills with firearms, projectiles, impact weapons, first aid, and tactical awareness were all part of the training as well. I myself embrace the idea of cross-training in multiple fields. I am good at a lot of things but I know that I have a lot to learn. Right now, the main skills I am focusing on developing in addition to my Filipino Kali and group leadership skills are firearms and first aid, and I am working hard to be able to transition from each skill harmoniously.

In conclusion, if you want to be a true warrior, don’t limit yourself by just learning one type of weapon, or by learning just one skill set. Learn and be proficient at as many skill sets as possible so you can prepared for anything that comes your way, and be able to use each skill harmoniously with the others. 

Oh and if Dave Grohl is reading this: hopefully you decide to pick up a stick and blade and train with us!

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