December 24, 2014
"And God sent me before you to preserve you a remnant in the earth and to save your lives" (Genesis 45, verse 7)
Often I am asked by Christian friends and students if I have received a calling to be a Krav Maga instructor.
I explain that we do not have the same "calling" concept as the Christians do. Our rabbis have chosen their career and profession the same as a dentist or a doctor; a matter of interest and ability.
Certainly a rabbi has a "calling" in the sense that he wants to make a contribution to our people. A doctor hopefully has a calling too, that he wants to heal the sick.
Perhaps some choose their careers only for financial gain but certainly many teachers, rabbis and doctors genuinely want to help society.
So in a sense all our careers are a calling but not in the Biblical sense.
Isaiah is recorded as having been called directly by God, Samuel was called by God as child, but since those days we do not believe God calls us directly.
But there is always the indirect call.
In Genesis chapter 45 Joseph/Yosef has an amazing encounter with his brothers. He wants to assure them that even though the brothers sold him into slavery it was all part of a divine plane and God had it all worked out. There was a purpose to all the troubles.
In Japanese martial arts we call our instructors Sensei, but it does not mean teacher and it is not only a martial arts term. Sensei is in fact two words, Sen -sei and it means "One who has come before you."
The meaning is that a teacher is a guide, he has come before you, has preceded you in the study of this art and therefore has more experience than you, he can guide you.
Yosef/Joseph is saying that there is a great danger ahead, of which his brothers are totally unaware. But he has preceded them to Egypt and he has "inside information" from God; there is a great famine coming.
Joseph does have a mission, a calling. God has sent him before the rest to guide them with wisdom. "to preserve you a remnant in the earth and to save your lives"
This is indeed a matter of life and death and a holy mission. It is a calling.
Our job as martial arts/self-defense/Krav Maga instructors, is the same.
We have been selected, chosen, or self-selected to "be sent" before the others and issue the warning, "to preserve you a remnant in the earth and to save your lives".
We are not warning about a famine but we are warning about violent attacks with guns, sticks, crow bars, machetes, rifles and other forms of violence.
We have been sent before others to warn you and train you and to save your lives.
We, Krav Maga instructors, may not have been woken up in the middle of the night with a "Bath Kol", a heavenly voice, but we do have a calling.
Most of the community is deaf, dumb and blind. They watch the news, they "know" what is going on but yet they remain unaffected. Perhaps, sitting on the couch, a man will say to his wife; dear, you know perhaps we should look into some of those Krav Maga classes being offered?
Perhaps. But nine times out of ten nothing comes of it. And the one time out of ten rarely amounts to anything, perhaps a phone call, perhaps a trial lesson, perhaps a few lessons.
When someone does actually, really, walk in the door, we must do everything possible to persuade them to stay. Not by words, not by scaring them but by showing them how easy it is to defend themselves.
And here is the point: It cannot be a gimmick. It cannot be a "selling device" as the big expensive organizations teach.
On a side note, many instructors tell me that they chose the big commercial Krav Maga organizations because they offer "better marketing".
That may be true. We do not have salesmen teach you how to "close the deal". But we are offering better training. We are offering real training. We are not just trying to sell them something they do not need.
When someone walks in the door they have already taken a big step. This was not easy for them. We must respect them for their courage.
Yes, you heard me right. The very act of walking into our schools deserves our respect. For many people that was not easy at all.
And now it is our job to show them that we can help them.
For this reason our Krav Maga must be simple. It MUST be simple. It must be simple.
Recently I met with a group of police officers, they need this for their jobs yet the thought of actually devoting some time to Krav Maga training ...scared them off a little bit.
I offered to train them for free! and yet I heard..."We already did this in the army". This from guys who finished their military service twenty years ago.
And these are tough police officers and veterans of combat units who need this for their daily jobs. So what can be said about the average Dave and Jane?
That is why with IKI Krav Maga we take years of martial arts training and distill it down to what can be learned effectively in a short amount of time.
I have had thousands of students over the years but only a handful have stayed with me twenty or more years. What about the rest?
Even if you come here for only three days of training I have to make sure those three days count. It is a matter of life and death.
For I have been sent before you to ..save your lives.
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