Great Piece on Adaptability by Brian Willis: The Dinosaur versus The Cockroach Training Model

Over the next few weeks I am going to share some of the lessons I took away from Georges St-Pierre's book GSP: The Way of the Fight. St-Pierre is the current UFC Welterweight Champion and is considered by some as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, and just happens to be a fellow Canadian.

In the book GSP shares his fascination with dinosaurs, which started as a child when his mother bought him a children's encyclopedia of dinosaurs. GSP is fascinated by the fact that dinosaurs, who were the biggest, and most physically powerful creatures on earth ruling the planet for 150 million years, became extinct. He compares dinosaurs to cockroaches, a creature most people find repulsive. Cockroaches however have been been able to survive for 280 million years without becoming extinct. According to GSP it comes down to one key factor, "...the big difference between dinosaurs and cockroaches is adaptability: one is able to adjust while the other, apparently, couldn't. Dinosaurs didn't make adjustments, either because they didn't feel they needed to, or couldn't understand why they needed to." He goes on to compare this to fighting and other sports and states, "It is not always the strong that survive. It takes brains, guys, tolerance and forward thinking."

How does this apply to you and to law enforcement training? Ask yourself if your programs and teaching style are based on the dinosaur model where you are the biggest badass around but are failing to adapt, or the cockroach model where you are continually adapting to an ever changing environment. You may not find it flattering to think in terms of cockroaches so just take away the lessons of the importance of adaptability, flexibility, brains, guts, tolerance and forward thinking. Are these part of your personal philosophy as a trainer? Are they part of your programs? Do you teach these traits to your officers so they improvise, adapt and overcome any threat, challenge or obstacle?

Ensure that you and your programs do not become extinct because you failed to adapt. Your officers lives depend on you taking lessons from the cockroach.

Take care.

Excellence in Training is a philosophy which embraces adaptability and flexibility. Check out the dates and locations for the upcoming Excellence in Training Courses or contact us at to find out about hosting a course.

Brian Willis,

Thought Leader, Catalyst for Change, Speaker, Author and a Man With Many Questions

Winning Mind Training - Leading the fight against mediocrity through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

To book Brian to speak at your event or to your officers contact him at

Excellence in Training is a philosophy as well as a professional development course focused on helping good trainers become great trainers and great trainers deliver exceptional training. Go to and check out the dates and locations for upcoming seminars and courses.