May 20, 2012, Israel
Krav Maga "Tough Guys"
I was at the T shirt factory making our IKI Krav Maga T shirts. It is always interesting to meet the other clients who come and go throughout the day. Some own T shirts shops, others work in flea markets, some represent large corporations, politicians and marketing firms and some work in Tel Aviv area pubs. One even owns a company called, "Katz Brothers". (I really want one of their T shirts but they are for employees only).
Just before I left two muscular guys walked in. I noticed a Krav Maga symbol on their T shirts and the name of their school. They walked in with a swagger that said, "We are here to be noticed."
They went up to one my favorite employees, a man as sweet as honey, and "jokingly" elbowed him in the face and kneed him in the groin. Of course all in " jest" but it was very telling. It is always fun to mock someone smaller than yourself.
This how I understood it: Those "Joking" blows were a way of saying – I am a tough guy, you are not. I can beat you up, you have no defense. What it also said to me was, "I am an immature Neanderthal, a high school bully who never grew up and I do not know how to relate to others in a mature adult fashion."
People often say to me that I don't look like a Krav Maga instructor. I see that as a good thing. Allow me to explain why.
Imagine a high school kid, thin, perhaps a bit of a nerd type, computer wiz. At school he is getting pushed around, bullied, maybe they are taking his lunch money. So he goes to a martial arts place to learn to stand up for himself and who is he greeted by? The same stupid high school bullies who abused him, only now they are grown up. So they will humiliate him, push him around, make him feel weak and stupid, and – take his money while doing this. (fantastic all around deal, for the "instructor" that is)
I believe the Krav Maga image should be that Krav Maga is for everyone the overweight kid, the thin kid, the computer hi tech guy, and the gym teacher. And in fact in my years of teaching I can tell you that those who excel are not necessarily the ones you would expect. Body type really has nothing to do with really learning to defend yourself. Some of the deadliest people I know look like grandpas, soccer moms, and rabbis. Looks are deceiving.
Back to our two "tough guys" at the T shirt factory, I found that they represented all that was wrong with Krav Maga, all the attributes that give martial arts a bad name in the public's eye. Whatever happened to a hand shake? Why an elbow strike.
Anyway, so their car was blocking mine. I politely requested them to move it, which they readily agreed to. But they first had to say, "Don't worry man, we will come to your rescue and get you out of the jam".
How immature! Just move your darn car and leave the high school bully act where it belongs, with puberty and acne.
There is no "Krav Maga image", or "Look". Krav Maga is for everyone. With attacks in Israel increasing all the time, with one out of every four college girls in America reporting a rape, with car-jackings, hijackings, armed robbery and murder, is there really room for this tough guy nonsense?
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