January 8, 2015, Israel
The past troubles me. The future troubles me. The present troubles me.
The world needs peace.
People need protection.
I grew up with the stories of persecution. Listening to my elders, looking at their faces, I would see the scars and traumas of the past. Reading our history I would discover the traumas of the more distant past, the past that no one alive has experienced, and looking at the young and not so young soldiers I could see the trauma of the present, the endless wars and terrorism.
As I grew older I had the feeling that the lessons of the past were finally being learned, that this generation was different. A Holocaust, to us or anyone else, could not happen again.
Today, much older, I realize it was only an illusion, the world moves in cycles. Today, as we all know, there is genocide against many nations around the world, there is a huge increase in hatred against the Jewish nation, and the once again Jews are fleeing certain parts of Europe.
In the 1960's who could have imagined that France, Hungary and other European states would become so dangerous that their remaining Jews are selling their property and fleeing?
And yet we had arrogantly criticized the Jews of Europe and asked in wonderment, "But why did they not see the writing on the wall? Couldn't they see the danger lurking?
Clearly we are no smarter.We too are suffering from poor vision.
And I wonder, what can I do?
What can Moshe Katz do?
Our belief is that each one of us must make an effort to make the world a better place. And yet none of us can complete this task, but we must start something, we must do something, that is our obligation.
Teaching Krav Maga is a way of honoring the heroes of the past, empowering and protecting the people of the present and setting an example for the future.
In my childhood dreams I would go back in time, to the ghetto, provide food, medicine and weapons. But that is only a child's fantasy, it was my nightly dream.
But we must do something with our own lives. We must make a difference.
So I teach Krav Maga.
But there is more.
Many students come from all over the world to train with us, some privately, some in small groups and some as participants in our now famous Tour and Train program. But the Tour and Train program has become much more than I had ever anticipated. It took on a life and calling of its own. It has a mission of peace. Warriors bring peace.
Our Tour and Train program has truly become an international gathering. United by Krav Maga, students and instructors come from all over the world and form a little community here in Maaleh Adumim.
Discussions take place in German, Spanish and English about Krav Maga, life in Israel, history and the wars. Participants learn about other countries, cultures and attitudes. A Japanese student and a Norwegian student discussed the US bombing of Hiroshima. A German student and a Polish student discuss aspects of the German occupation during World War Two. A Dutch student tells of his family's experience in Rotterdam.
We learn from each other.
Participants have commented that this international gathering is one of their most enjoyable parts of the trip, something they would never have experienced otherwise.
In addition Krav Maga instructors brainstorm; how best to organize seminars, teaching ideas and organizational questions.
I feel, that in some small way this international gathering is helping to bring at least peace into our troubled world. When people meet and talk there is always hope.