“Randy F$%ked Up” A testimonial about trigger warnings

So this blog is a transcription of the video that I put up on October 9th 2018
Video is embedded at the bottom of this post.


What is up everybody? Randy King here, but you know that, because you’re on my Patreon right now. This is gonna be one of the videos I put on my Patreon page, and it is about a time I fucked up super bad while training people.


I literally just got a text right now from a person that I work with, about how I triggered somebody without knowing it, and it is affecting me adversely – I am not pumped, I’m really upset, I wanna vent here to you, and the Internet because I want other instructors to understand that this stuff happens all the time. I was lucky enough to get the feedback from it and I … it sucks, and I feel really really bad, and I don’t want to use a horrible coping mechanism to deal with it … but literally I went somewhere to try and make someone stronger and triggered a bunch of terrible memories, unintentionally, even though I thought I went through all the proper protocols to make sure everybody in the room was okay, I horribly failed at this. So please take this tale as a lesson that everybody’s fallible and hopefully you don’t make the same mistake I made. Please ignore any emotions that come out if you can, I am extremely upset by this, I … I don’t know what to do and I just think that this message needs to be shared while it’s raw, and hard, um …


So I got a message from somebody that I work with, and I just completed a seminar on a reserve a little while ago. I’m not going to use the date here, because I don’t want anyone to be picked out of the crowd, I don’t want anybody to know where I was or what place it was, but as you know, I work with the First Nations quite a bit, and the trauma level with a lot of people that I work with up there is, by most people’s standards, astronomical. In the group we were with there was three people who had suicides, there’s multiple people who were stabbed, there was … (three people who experienced suicides from close family members, obviously they didn’t kill themselves, then they weren’t there) there was bunch of trauma that happened there, obviously sexual assault etc. It was an age range of older than I usually work with out there. And so on this course normally they do this self esteem portion, and they get a bunch of stuff like how they’re supposed to speak out to people, etc. The person that came on, came on (sorry I’m a little fucked up here) the person came on a little late, and so they didn’t get all the training. I went through my regular Context of Violence talk, did the whole thing, it went really well, even in there I of course, like always, mentioned trigger warnings, and, like always recently, mentioned trigger warnings and if something pops up don’t forget that you can speak out and say the thing and that’s the whole point of the course, and I thought I went through all the protocols I normally went through.


And so then we went to the physical part. And the person, the person was quiet, and the person was large, and looked strong, and would not be a person you would assume would be vulnerable which is one of the major things I really want to talk about here is you can’t make assumptions on people’s size and strength and shape and appearance. Everybody’s suffering something, everybody’s fighting something, and sometimes you forget, and I forgot, and I was tired, and … I don’t know. There’s a bunch of … I don’t want to make excuses I just want you to learn from my mistake. It was awful.


So, during the physical portion I asked for somebody to come, I asked for somebody to come up and help me to do the physical portion of the course. I normally ask the group, like “hey does somebody want to come up” but the group was off, and I knew kind of who I didn’t want to work with, and if you’re an instructor of any sort you understand there’s certain people you don’t want to work with for the demo, and some people you do, and so I grabbed a person and I did use them for the demo, and I asked them at the beginning, like, “hey, do you mind me using you, you’re the biggest person in the room, it always looks best if I use the biggest person in the room. It looks stupid if I am pushing around smaller human beings, it doesn’t really sell the techniques”. And the person said, yep, sure. And then I asked again, like “are you sure that’s fine, no problem” he said yes. And so I worked with the person and he was quiet, but he was quiet the whole time. And we did the techniques and stuff and it was all great, and then a question came up about, especially where I was, about sexual assault/rape defense. And so I told them there’s not really a good answer to this, like, I can show you some stuff, but the situation depends on … etc, like let me give you an example. And so, we went to the ground, and I was using this person the entire time. And so I just grabbed him, like, “hey, come on down and do this rape defense”. I was so in the moment, I should have noticed he was very apprehensive, I thought he was being gentle because the person was so much larger than me and I thought he was just trying to be gentle and nice and not hurt me. He seemed, now that I look back on it, like, hindsight’s 20/20, he seemed very uncomfortable from the whole situation. But I didn’t see it there, I totally read it wrong, and … so we went through the defense etc, we did like, whatever, the shrimp and buck, like the wax on wax off, getting people away, like kicking etc, and so then anyways I thought the day went really well, I drive home and then I get a message from the person that I was working with saying that a student was lost. Not lost/dead, but lost/didn’t come to the course. And so I find out via text like five minutes ago that the person who was working with me for demo didn’t come back to the course because his sister was brutally murdered in a situation very similar to what we worked.  And so now I feel like crap. I really … I know I didn’t know, but I should have known and I should have asked and I should have said it more. I did mention at the beginning about the trigger warning and stuff but I should have mentioned it again when we stood up, and I should have really paid attention to everybody’s emotional well-being, and I should have paid more attention to just how vulnerable this person seemed to be and how timid and nice they were. From my experience – which failed me here – the bigger people are usually more timid because they have been told their whole life to be gentle and nice and not to hurt other people and I just thought he was being a really really good person but he was going through, I can only imagine, psychological hell while I am making him effectively relive what he did to me, or relive what happened to his sister, on me … I just …


Anyways .. this is a warning to everybody, like, don’t get so lost in your presentation that you’re not reading the room, and I thought I was really good at that but this is a horrible fail. Don’t get so lost in your own crap, that you just don’t pay attention, don’t make assumptions. I should’ve asked them again, like, are you comfortable doing this, do you want me to grab another volunteer, but it was the last thing we demoed, it was the end of the day, I was thinking about getting home, I wasn’t thinking about the client and that’s such a huge huge huge mistake that I will never ever make again but now I need to live with the fact that this poor gentle soul, this extremely nice person went through hell for at least fifteen minutes with me because I was showing cool ninja moves to answer a question.


Anyways I just, I think people need to know this, I said I was going to put it on Patreon, maybe I’m just gonna put it just kind of out there, I probably will just put it out there so people can see this. By the time you see this video, I will have talked through this and went through my support structure and been okay, I will have reached out to the person … well I’m not reaching out to the person, I have, the other person I work with is reaching out, hopefully we get to a good place – but I really wanted to get this on film raw. I really wanted you to understand, that, you’re not … this is why I am so passionate about self defense and why I really believe that if you’re just going out there to make a buck, you’re an asshole, you’re a fucking asshole, because the things you are doing to these people that are there to see you and to help you … I really feel that I’m coming at this from an altruistic position, I make almost no money going out to the reserves, I go up pretty much for the cost of gas and the hotel to help these people. It’s part of my passion project to work with the people – the people that fund the gym help me work with other people so I don’t have to make money off the people who truly need self defense. I feel like I am doing this altruistically, and I don’t know, I just … I fucked up, I fucked up bad, I wish I could hug this person and tell them I didn’t mean it … oh my god, just, to experience his … the situation of the murder and …


Anyways, if you’re fucking doing this for money and you’re just like running around and trying to be a big deal and just your whole deal is like your ego and everything you do is just about being awesome, etc., you can fucking don’t talk to me, go to hell, because I’m doing this for what I believe are all the right reasons, I left a gigantic job to do this, to help people, and I fucked up bad today. And if I didn’t get this text I would have never known and I would have walked forward. I’ve fucked up before, I made terrible jokes at times when I shouldn’t have made them, and I corrected that. This is just another step on the journey to try and be the best version that I can be. I’m not done yet, I’m trying to get better, I just … hopefully this video helps. I’m going to have to do some self processing, I’m gonna have to really think this through. I don’t know how to deal with this right now. I know it’s not detrimental, I know the person’s going to be okay, but, I hate, I hate, I hate the fact that I might have, while trying to make people safer and more educated, that I might have brought out something, and might have triggered something really really bad, like really bad in this person, all because I just didn’t ask one more question.


So, be aware, do your best, you’re going to fuck up, it’s going to happen. Do this for the right reason, don’t try to make … you can make money at this but, be the best instructor you can be, but remember it’s not about you, it’s not about going home, it’s not about the jokes or the presentation or the fame and the fortune … the fame and the whatever, it’s all about the client and you just don’t know what people have gone through, you can’t make assumptions, you can’t make off-colour jokes, which I learned also horribly two years ago when I was in London, Ontario – I got quite the email, and apologized and adjusted my presentation since but, yeah. Remember in this situation you can do more harm than good so be really aware of what you’re doing.


Thanks for watching this video, I know it’s not my normal fun self, I know it’s not the “Randy King, pew-pew-pew, hey what’s up, here’s a joke, here’s a joke”, but this is the reality of this, I do this for a living and sometimes I fuck up and I accidentally hurt people, not physically, like trigger horrible things. So please, please, please, learn from me. This was a terrible experience, I don’t want any instructor to feel this way, especially if you’re trying to do this for the right reasons, I just, I can’t fix it, I need to … it’s an important lesson to learn, and I’m going to go forward and hopefully never do it again and just be really really aware, like, even though I thought I put in all the safety parameters, the person didn’t speak up. And don’t go blaming the person, don’t be like, I could easily be like, “oh, well I asked them, I asked them multiple times, that’s no big deal, it’s not my fault” – it absolutely is my fault, I walked in as a person with authority into a group of vulnerable humans and I asked them to do something uncomfortable in a place where they are trying to learn self esteem. I should have been more aware of the group I was with, I should have paid more attention to what I was doing.


Anyways I’m going to beat myself up more about this, I am releasing this far away from the actual date of when this happened because I don’t want to break any privileges or rights to the person, but just … in a room where suicide, stabbings, and murder were common, maybe triple check your trigger warning.


The video is on our YouTube page and if you want to see the texts please jump onto my Pateron account.


Randy King



One Comment

  1. Dominic May 30, 2019 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing Randy. This was a really important lesson that we can all learn from. We all make mistakes even with the best of intentions and it is being reflective and open minded that helps us learn from these unfortunate experiences.

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