Man Made Problems
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

March 6, 2018, Israel

Just to be clear I use gender neutral terms, as I always have, always will and as I have heard since I was born more than half a century ago: Man Made, Mankind, Mailman, Manchester and Manhattan. OK? It refers to all of us. So let's not have any of this gender confusion nonsense. 

Let's divide our problems into two kinds: man made, and out of our hands. I have a friend battling cancer; he never smoked, he eat what they gave him, he needs to breath in the polluted air that we have today, he did not cause his own illness. 

But there are many problems that are man made, either by us or those we associate with.

Man made problems are very frustrating to me because, yes, you guessed it, they are entirely avoidable. 

Let's take a look at a few:

A member is upset with me. Why? Because he never bothered reading the website, did not take the time to learn the IKI rules and regulations, and now is frustrated that he cannot have what he wants. 


There is a misunderstanding: Two options, deal with it, contact the person and talk it out, or, keep it inside, tell no one, let it fester until you create a huge problem that you can't get out of anymore.

We continue.

You send out an e mail, to a colleague, a work associate, a supplier, but they don't bother answering. Why? How the heck should I know, perhaps they went fishing at the aquarium. Answering your e mails on time is a sure way to stay on top of things and avoid trouble.  

Another favorite: 

Reaching your own conclusions and making decisions based on that: I have members who "decided" that if they do not currently have many students they are automatically exempt from paying their agreed upon IKI membership dues. How on earth they reached this conclusion is beyond my understanding.

I recall a lesson from Itay Gil whom I trained with for longer than anyone else. When you buy a monthly pass for the bus, it does not matter one little hoot how often you rode the bus that month. You cannot and will not receive a refund. And no one at the bus company cares that your grandmother, may she rest in peace, died that month. You still must pay.

We Jews have a tradition, as the holy Sabbath comes to an end we say, May our seed/off spring and our money increase like the sands of the earth. And no we are not greedy (despite years of anti semites saying this) we are a practical people. I recall well my dear father saying this to me, the Sabbath is over, now we return to work, and we pray that it will be a week with lots of money because we live in the real world where you need money to eat. We are not monks who live on charity or donations, we must work. 

My father stressed that we must always be practical. We must not let our emotions overcome our logical needs. Itay expressed this same thought to me many times: you must not support the dojo, the dojo must support you. This is not a soup kitchen. He in fact was quite hard on me on this point, he always felt I was too kind and that people take advantage of me. Trust me, no one walks away from Itay without paying. 

My father called this the School of Hard Knocks, the school of life and reality. When you make a mistake yes, you must pay for it. When you made a commitment you must honor it, otherwise you are not a man of honor. If you agreed to pay membership dues you must pay them.

Misunderstandings can be resolved when people agree to actually communicate and not hide. Unpleasant situations can be avoided if we honor that which we committed to do. Verbal bullying and anger does not change the fact, that in fact, you are wrong. 

I get frustrated with people, but then perhaps they did not have the role models I had. And sadly they cannot become those role models themselves. 

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about the author

Moshe Katz