April 19, 2015, Judean Desert, Israel
A sip of coffee and reflecting on life and ...Krav Maga.
For many years I ran a local dojo. I was inspired by my Japanese teachers and I modeled myself after them and their schools.
But sometimes reality sinks in.
New England home
I always dreamed of a New England style home, the kind I lived in as a child in the Boston area. I dreamed of a huge yard, a pond and lots and lots of green.
But my life choice, my destiny, is to live in Israel. As such I eventually had to realize that my dream home would never be. It was supplanted by a more important dream, the return to Zion.
Growing New England style trees and planting grass...in the Judean desert, well, it was simply not a good idea. So I had to adjust to reality. Herod the Great had worried about the water situation back in the year 37 B.C.E. and so do I, this is our reality.
One must work with reality.
The same became true of my martial arts.
I live in Israel, and all of us live in an increasingly violent and dangerous world, as hard as some of us try we cannot escape this realty.
I travel to many countries to teach Krav Maga seminars and everywhere I go I find some form of danger and violence. (See below if you wish to host a seminar)
Today is a beautiful day and it is to forget. It is easy to forget that danger lurks everywhere, that just a few days ago a young Israeli man lost his life to terrorism while his female companion is still in the hospital.
I take another sip of coffee and reflect on your style of Krav Maga; IKI Krav Maga.
This too has undergone major changes.
All those years that I ran a successful dojo I looked to America for business inspiration. I read the martial arts professional business magazines and tried to follow their model. But it did not suit me. Luring kids with pizza and ice cream parties did not seem like the right way to fill my school.
I think back now and I realize how totally irrelevant all that information was, how totally disconnected from my reality and my goals. I use those magazines for the upcoming bonfires to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba'Omer.
Lets take a look...
Who and Why?
I read the business model of the Martial Arts professionals. So when
Tae Bo came out I was all ears. I traveled to America and I attended
classes. I studied all the latest martial arts fads. People were making
money, a LOT of money. There were filling classes and bringing in new business.
Moshe while training at Bodies in Motion in Los Angeles, with Fitness Kickboxing friend. Looong time ago...
The advertisements generally ran something like this..."Add a Kickboxing Fitness class to your program and bring in many new students each month."
Lets analyze the goal: Bring more students in, make money money. Fair enough.
But is that what Krav Maga is about?
We all need to make a living, no doubt about that, but lets dig a little bit deeper.
Our Krav Maga will be a reflection of our goals.
Let me repeat that.
Do you want to know what your Krav Maga will look like?
Your Krav Maga will be a reflection of your goals.
My Krav Maga is not the same as others, because their heart is not the same as mine, their goal is not the same as mine.
I know many American instructors who have added Krav Maga to their program because..."adding a popular style will bring in more bodies, more students, more money." Many traditional Karate dojos have added Krav Maga as a "side program" simply because it is the latest fad. (those who have added it in order to provide simple, realistic, self-defense;a blessing on your head).
Yesterday it was Tae Bo and today it is Krav Maga, and tomorrow??
Whatever brings in money.
But that is not us, that is not me.
I also want students in here but for the opposite reasons.
I am looking at from the Outside In, not from the Inside Out.
Inside Out means I am on the inside and I want to bring students in for my benefit, for my success.
From the Outside In means I am looking at those people outside, I am looking at Shelly Dadon, I am looking at Gilad, Eyal and Naftali, I am looking at all the future victims of terror, God forbid, and I am saying you need to get in for training.
So if my school is full, and my bank account is full, that is not a factor. We will not close registration. We are looking at it from the Outside and as long as there are people out there who need our training we must keep going. We must open more schools, we must certify more teachers, we must reach more people before they are added to the list of victims.
This is not a "add a program" gimmick to bring in more money. This is a Save a Life program. And there are no gimmicks.
You see the difference now?
When it is a matter of business it does not matter who comes in our doors, or why they come, as long as they are here and paying.
I.e again, their idea is from the Inside: Fill up the place with whatever sells; you are living inside and trying to bring people in. You are not looking at it from the perspective of those outside.
But for us the Who and Why have a different meaning. We are looking at those people outside, we are looking at those three young guys just trying to get home and we say - we want these people in our classes because we want to help them.
Who do we want? The most vulnerable, those at greatest risk.
Why do we want them? - Because we care about them.
IKI Krav Maga is not a quickie program to "add money to your existing dojo". We do not offer rank recognition or other fraudulent methods of attracting clients. We do not offer "weekend certification".
If you see any of these types of advertisements know that you are engaged in fraud.
You are fooling yourself and your "students", (i.e. business clients).
Lines such as "..your rank in another recognized organization will be recognized by us." Is a sure indicator that you are dealing with a marketing pyramid or a similar scam operation. (I.e. if you recognize a rank from another organization then that means you are offering nothing unique. So why do you exist?)
Remember what I said: Your Krav Maga will be a reflection of your heart, your goal.
Two people can study the same style. One sees dollars signs and dreams of market shares, advertisements etc. The other wakes up in pain thinking of the latest victim of terror, gang violence, rape.
In two years from now will their Krav Maga look the same?
It will not!
Your motivation will be reflected in the evolution, or lack thereof, of your style. The "Krav Maga Professional" will stagnate while the Pure Krav Maga practitioner will never stop growing.
The Israeli military and counter terror groups continue to improve, because it is not a business. We grow because we care about the people. Every new situation demands more thinking, more innovation, we are never content. What we do it is never good enough. Our stolen is "Not good enough."
But if you "take a course" , and "get certified" and then flash your certificate all over the place in order to make money, trust me, you will only embarrass yourself, and you will never be a true reflection of Israel, just another foreigner out to make money.
Please note the difference.
There are many ways to train. You can train with us in person but these days you can also begin your training long distance, with DVDs and step by step videos.
Host an IKI Krav Maga seminar in your country. Bring up to date authentic Krav Maga to your hometown.
Practical Krav Maga, in and around a car.
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