January 8, 2015, Israel
More and more we hear about people creating their own systems of martial arts.
Usually from what I hear, the individual has some training, a little here, a little there.
He never became a fully certified instructor in any system. These days many many Krav Maga associations are offering quickie instructor courses.
We do not offer any instructor courses. We do it the old fashioned way.
With these instructor courses, you pay a large fee, and you train for a weekend, or perhaps a little longer and you receive your diploma. Generally speaking, everyone passes.
I even heard cases where someone was hurt and had to stop in the middle of the course. He still received his diploma, for "watching the training".
Naturally this dilutes the training and the quality of "instructors". Many use their military background as part of their credentials, but unless you were a Krav Maga or Combatives instructor in the military there is really no connection.
Saying Captain or Major Moshe Katz would be as relevant to Krav Maga as saying Dr. Moshe Katz, or Moshe Katz, MBA. What does it have to do with Krav Maga?
Many of these new instructors have taken a bit from here, a bit from there, a bit from YouTube and a bit from Facebook, put it all together with a military title and voila, they are the next Bruce Lee.
Now lets remember that Bruce Lee was not out to create a new system. Now lets remember that Bruce Lee grew up training in martial arts.
Lets Remember that Bruce Lee studied for many years with his instructor. Only when he saw shortcomings in his Wing Chun training did he seek to try and find solutions.
He studied many styles, never content until he found what truly worked for him. That is not what these new instructors are doing.
We at IKI issue our newest instructors the title of "Apprentice Instructor". This means they can teach, much like the traditional title Sempai.
Before earning the title Apprentice Instructor one must prove to a team of instructors that he/she not only knows our techniques but knows how to
1. Explain them,
2. Explain why we use these and not other techniques.
3. Explain the difference between out techniques and those of other styles.
4. Answer students' questions.
We believe that the teaching process will help our Apprentice instructors grow. Teaching is the best way to develop. To earn the next rank, Assistant Instructor, the instructor must show the ability to understand the connection between techniques, the thread that flows through all the techniques and binds them together. He must understand our system.
What we often hear from those who create their own style is...Military training, a blend of many styles, and "multiple instructors".
And I ask, why multiple instructors?
Why did you leave so many instructors?
I have trained with many instructors, fighters, and champions but I have not had multiple instructors.
Basically after settling on Krav Maga I stayed with the same instructor for more than 18 years, day in day out. During vacations I had the privilege of training with other instructors in other styles.
I did not create a new system. A new evolution of Krav Maga evolved over time from the concepts I learned and with 30 years of training. IKI is not a "blend of different techniques from multiple instructors" but one simple thread that runs through everything we do. We have unity of training.
I have never had a falling out with any of my instructors. I am still in touch with them. And I did not begin teaching until I had their approval and blessing.
In all my years of teaching I have yet to promote anyone to Full Instructor. None of my members/students/instructors can promote their students to instructor level. Those who have tried to do so are no longer part of IKI.
As the Talmud says, "They have not served the teacher sufficiently".
We train Apprentice instructors to go out and serve the public by teaching the basics of Krav Maga. They are still instructors-in-training. They can teach but cannot promote others to instructor level. That will take many years.
I have had students who felt they were ready to be grandmasters. They have pretty much failed and fallen. One instructor in Eastern Europe has a reputation of being an "instructor factory". No respect among serious martial artists. The same happened in South Africa.
We want to serve the public with the best, the most efficient, the most effective, the most practical Krav Maga known to man. We are seeking quality people to teach our system, the world needs it.
But we must have quality control. We cannot have people attend a seminar, watch YouTube, train for a few years here and there, drop one teacher, try something else for a while, put it all together and then emerge as a founder of a new system.
It does not work that way. May the buyer beware.