How Deep is Your Krav?
IKI, Israeli Krav International, is made up of many great martial artists. Many have come from very rich and deep martial arts background and many have not. Each group has its advantages; those with no background can begin like one who is writing on a clean sheet of paper, there is no need to erase anything, there is plenty of room to write. Those who come from other styles may have to adjust and re-condition themselves but they also bring with them great experience and expertise, which is of great value.
This past experience and expertise is important on at least two levels; One – They can see the beauty of our style of Krav Maga; they can see the simplicity, the effectiveness, and the use of natural body movements. When they see it for the first time everything makes sense. It is like, "now that I see it why didn't I think of this myself?"
The point takes us back to one of the great innovators of our time, Lee Jun Fan, also known as Bruce Lee. Although Bruce Lee was not a Krav Maga practitioner I believe he would be very pleased with our approach. In fact students of his style, Jeet Kune Do, have remarked to me that our style is the closest thing they have seen to their own style. We embody the philosophy of Bruce Lee; Absorb what is usefull, reject what is useless, cultivate what is truly your own.
We have several principles in common with Lee's style.
Nearest Weapon Nearest Target – We employ this all the time; the closest weapon (leg, arm) will surprise the assailant by quickly striking the nearest target (body part). Often the technique is so simple that advanced practitioners have to be re-taught what they knew how to do as kids.
Economy of Motion - So much of traditional martial arts involves excess motion, wasting time and energy. Bruce Lee stressed directness, simplicity, and using as little motion as possible to get the job done. This is a guiding principle of our style of Krav Maga.
Constant Change - Bruce Lee stressed that he does not want to create a better "cage" but to be free of all cages, to be constantly reevaluating and changing. In IK Krav Maga we are constantly reviewing our techniques, evolving as time goes on. Bruce Lee did not want his system to remain frozen in time.
"Using No Way as The Way"- Lee stressed using many styles, taking the best of each and applying it in just the right way at just the right time. He stressed that each style has techniques that will be most effective in certain ranges and in certain circumstances. IKI Krav is drawn from many styles, taking and modifying techniques as needed.
Respond like an Echo - Too many styles involve a lot of thinking. They is no time to think in most self defense situations, we must condition ourselves to respond like an echo, without delay.
Back to our members with great martial arts experience, the second point for which their experience is valuable is closely related; the depth of their background. With IKI Krav Maga we are not like those who took a 3 week course in the IDF, moved to America and began marketing "Authentic Krav Maga". No, we the advanced members can draw on many different styles when the need arises.
Recently for one of our "Grab and Stab" techniques I drew on my Wing Chun Kung Fu background with Sifu Chun Kwok Chow. We have techniques that are based on ideas from Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Kyokushin Karate, Choy Lee Fut, Western Boxing, Submission Wrestling, Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo and other styles. This is where past experience comes in, it gives us depth; we have from where to draw new water.
We also learn something else from our vast cumulative experience; What not to do, what to avoid. Our depth gives us perspective. That is why the old usually have more wisdom than the young; experience. How deep is your Krav?