May 19, 2016, Israel
Flashback, a few decades ago, I am working so hard on improving my back spinning kick. Hundreds of repetitions, I want to pass my test with Itay Gil and get the next belt.
Back to the Present: What was that all about?
Teaching self-defense today I would tell you that the time and effort required to master that kick, in terms of self defense, was a total waste of time. The stretching, the training, the constant kicking. Yes it was fun but what does it contribute to real self defense? Nothing that I know of.
So now, after more than thirty years in the martial arts, teaching and developing Krav Maga and taking it to the next level, I will give you some advice, for free.
For this you will not be required to lift weights, stretch, or even change your clothing.
1. Have your keys handy - Have your keys in a place you can readily access them. This can literally be the difference between life and death. When an assailant is running after you, you must be able to reach for your keys and open the door. This may be the door to your car, or your home. Failure to do so can result in severe injury or death.
I myself was in this situation years ago. I had my keys out immediately but still the nervousness of the situation, someone firing upon me, made it extremely difficult to open the door. If I had to search for my keys I might not be here today.
If you need to start looking through your personal bag for your keys, or searching through a key chain with 12 different keys, all of which look alike, you are wasting valuable time. That time can be the difference between a narrow escape and life, or God forbid..serious injury or death.
Some people find this strange but we must adjust our habits and our clothing for practical self defense.
If you have ever been robbed at the airport or train station, of your passport, your cash, your credit cards, your phone, if you have been stranded without a phone, ID or money, you will think nothing of ordering a pair of pants with special hidden pockets for these vital items.
How much training does that take? None.
How many push ups are required for this to work? None.
What does it cost? Far less than you will lose when you are robbed.
But how many of you will heed this advice? My guess, estimated, Zero.
Only after it happens does it become real enough for us to give a damn and make an effort.
So for women, choose a handbag where your phone and keys are easily accessible. I say even better, have your keys and phone ON YOU, not in your bag. It is easier to snatch a bag then it is to grab something out of your pockets.
You don't have that kind of clothing? then buy it. Or, and here is a great marketing idea, design this clothing, call it self defense clothing.
And again, you will only hear this message after you have been robbed, shot, raped etc.
2. Have your phone handy - Re read the above, same message, simple. How many pushups required for this? What level of fitness and flexibility required? You know the answer.
3. Pay attention to where you parked your car - Failure to quickly reach your car can result in serious injury or death, not to mention a waste of time. I cannot tell you how many times people picked me for Krav Maga seminars and then when we returned to the parking lot they had no clue where the car was. At best this is a total anxiety producing waste of time, at worst this can result in death. Yes, you are looking for your car while someone is chasing you with a knife, or trying to abduct you or your kids. Think about it.
4. Tell someone where you are going - If you disappear at least they have a starting point for the police to start searching for you.
5. Make sure your phone battery is fully charged - A group of Israeli teenage hikers were facing terrorists gun fire. They remained calm, found a safe hiding place under the protection of large rocks. One of the girls called the police and accurately described the situation and the circumstances. Under her guidance the Israeli soldiers were able to quickly pinpoint the location of the terrorists and offer the "proper solution" to the problem.
Now what if the girl had forgotten to charge her phone? What if she had a substandard battery? What if she had used up her batteries frivolously chatting with her friends? The answer: She and her friends would have been killed by the terrorists.
Now, quick test, what level of fitness was required for this success story? How many push ups and back spinning kicks were required?
And how many Krav Maga associations teach this sort of self defense? We do!
During Tour and Train we teach "Defense in and around a car", this is vital for your survival in the modern world.
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