Article submitted by Mark Hatfield
Why I Will NOT Study With TRAVIS HALEY.
I learned that he will be teaching in my area, I have the time and the opportunity to attend. I want to attend but I’m not. I asked for and received the application. The problem is, I read it.
Haley seems like a great guy. I have read about him. I have read interviews of him. I have seen portions of some of his videos. He seems to know what he is doing and more important, why he does as he does. Seems like someone I would really like to study under, however, there’s a catch, the waiver.
Now days everybody wants waivers in case something bad happens, shooting classes, martial arts seminars, parachuting, rafting, hot air ballooning, everybody wants waivers and that’s ok, I sign them, but not this one.
I’ve signed many waivers. I understand this in our ‘sue anyone for anything’ society. But this one has two words which makes this waiver different, ‘including negligence’.
Every reasonable person knows that ‘stuff happens’. Equipment can break, the unexpected can occur, malfunctions happen, even something as a persons feet slipping and their hand reflexively grips tighter on the gun in their hand leading to a shot being fired while they fall and the gun points any which way. Things can happen.
There’s also the ‘DUH’ moments, the mental slip, the ‘Oh, That’s what you meant’, and sometimes just what some people refer to as ‘brain farts’.
Perhaps an injury or accident is caused because a person did the wrong thing, could be due to lack of needed skill or knowledge, or it was the first response they could think of while under stress in a bad situation. Could even be due to a reflex movement without any conscious thought.
The ‘Reasonable Man’.
There is a concept in law known as the ‘Reasonable Man’, sometimes as the ‘Reasonable and Prudent Man’. This is a standard by which ones actions can be judged. The example is: Suppose you were in some situation and ‘really screwed it up’. The court would consider: What would a ‘reasonable’ person have done if they were in the same situation. If a person is injured because someone else did something which a reasonable person would not have done, that can be grounds for negligence. The waiver for class specifically includes that if you are injured due to negligence, you will take no legal action and hold Mister Haley and his agents harmless.
Think about it! This includes if some instructor or assistant willfully, knowingly, or even deliberately does or fails to do something which leads to a student being injured, you agree to do nothing and just accept it.
I have seen people get hurt in classes. I have been hurt in classes. I have hurt other people in classes. Luckily never anything serious. Accidents happen, especially in the various fighting skills. It is a risk which we understand and accept. However, the waiver for the Haley Strategic classes changes things so that even if an injury was not an accident, you will just accept it. Is this also a statement about their own level of care? Their forms do state that they will use their ‘…best efforts to provide a reasonably safe…’ and we students know and accept that there can be serious risks in classes of this type. But to demand that students must agree that if an instructor or staff screws up and you are hurt because of it, and it’s NOT an accident, you just accept it, that is not acceptable.
Is it possible this says something about what they consider to be an acceptable level of risk or quality of the instructors? Or did Haley just let his lawyers get carried away with the paperwork?