February 5, 2016, American Airlines, Chicago - Traverse City, Michigan
A mild winter for Traverse City, Michigan, a different reality.
Reality, how it has a way of ruining everything, unless you chose to embrace it.
My dear friend, teacher and mentor, Prof. Arthur Cohen helped opened my eyes and all my senses to reality. It was a rude awakening. Most people never wake up.
I loved the traditional martial arts world, that is where most of us grew up, it gave us a strong solid foundation, and then we took it a step further. I loved the uniforms, the forms, the decorations, and the sense of camaraderie.
In those days martial arts schools only competed, for the most part, against their own style. There were few "Open tournaments". Outsiders were not allowed in. We did not fight/compete against other styles.
When I came back to Israel and visited a traditional school I was asked to fight against all their top students. When things did not go as they had planned the instructor dismissed me as a "street fighter". Thus their false sense of "Reality" could continue. Dismiss anything and everything that does fit in with our sense of reality. Lets' control reality, less our delusions be shattered.
We create a controlled environment, we accept no challenges. If a challenge comes our way we find a way to dismiss or discredit it. Nothing is allowed to interfere with our predetermined sense of reality and truth.
We create our own truth and refuse to have it challenged. No logic or argument can change our minds.
Instead of dealing with differing points of view, we shut them out. We create an insular society and block out all that troubles us. We will not allow the sun to shine in.
When we train we do not adapt ourselves to the truth rather we adapt our environment to our established reality. We adapt the reality to suit our training, rather than the other way around.
I live in the desert, it is dry, hot and arid. But I train students in Michigan, where it can be very cold, icy and snowy. The environment is different. Prof. Cohen said, what if an assailant is wearing a heavy winter jacket? Can you do jujitsu joint locks? What if you are on icy surface, can you do a Taekwondo back spinning kick?
Yes, Prof. Cohen made me rethink much of what I had believed until then. We must be flexible in our way of thinking. We must have techniques for all terrain and all environments. Reality has a way of changing everything.
We can control our training environment. We can create the perfect boxing ring. We can create perfect conditions for every type of martial art/sport. For MMA we can have just the right texture of mats. For wrestling we can have a different sort of mat. For each martial sport we can have professional companies develop the perfect surface to suit our needs.
Thus we can do our takedowns, judo throws, and jumping moves. We can wear whatever uniforms suit our martial sport. We can wear clothing that breathes, is flexible and suits our needs. For Judo we can have thick uniforms so we can grab the outfit without worrying that it might tear. For styles with kicks we have light clothing that allows our high kicks. This is a controlled environment. This is a controlled reality. However this is not reality.
The questions we ask is; Do we adapt our martial art to reality, or do we adapt our reality to our chosen martial art, which then really becomes a martial sport.
As I travel the world teaching IKI Krav Maga I am exposed to many cultures and many people. Each group has their unique questions, as such our style becomes global.
We take our Israeli experience, our long history of persecution, our experience in combating terrorism, and we adapt it to the world. We learn from the world and seek practical solutions. Like the classic mailman, neither sun nor snow, sleet or rain will stop us.
My grandfathers' brother Moishe lived in Brooklyn. He was of poor health and the doctor told him to move to Arizona where the climate, the reality, was better suited for him. But Uncle Moishe refused. Leave Brooklyn?! Move to where??
Are there Jews in such places? (this was many years ago). So Uncle Moishe refused to leave Brooklyn, he refused to change reality, so he changed himself. He became a mailman, and thus spent many hours outdoors, got plenty of fresh air and exercise and lived a good long healthy life.
We believe in embracing reality, accepting the truth. We adapt our lives and our training to the truth of reality, no matter how painful it may be. We do not block out the sun, or the rain, we do not build walls. We find solutions. We cope and we adapt.
IKI Krav Maga is constantly evolving. Training DVDs are constantly being updated and replaced. With our On Line program our members receive up to date techniques, not historical relics or museum pieces.
Reality, it just has a way of changing everything.
Training environment in Israel, reflecting reality as it is, not as we wish it to be.
Jamie and Carlton from Georgia, students of Hal Herndon, in Israel for Tour and Train, a dose of real reality.
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