Krav Maga Keep Reading
By Moshe Katz

May 2010

The Talmud is one of the pillars of Judaism. Comprising thirty six volumes written between the years 200 and 500, it is a mixture of medieval Hebrew, Aramaic, and other languages. There are no paragraphs, no commas or periods. In other words, it is one of the most difficult texts to study and even learned Jews will break their teeth on it for most of their lives.

Sometimes we get stuck on a difficult passage and the text does not seem to make sense. You can read it again and again, read the commentary, and still, nothing but frustration. You feel deadlocked. I recall one such incident. I asked the rabbi for help. He said, "Keep reading.", "But I don't understand this section, how can I proceed" I protested. He looked at me again and said, "Keep reading and the answer will appear."

What he was saying in actuality was this; you cannot get the answer now, you have to keep reading. If you read another paragraph or two the answer will be clear, the answer will reveal itself. The answer cannot be understood at this point; only by reading further will it make sense. No matter how hard you try you cannot get the answer by only looking at this small section, this is not the whole picture.

Now the Krav Maga analogy; often beginning students will question everything. They will not let me teach because they are so busy questioning everything. They have not "read further", i.e. they do not have much experience in this field of study. Things that do not make sense to them now will make sense later on if they just "read further", i.e. follow the training.

In Krav Maga we believe in questioning techniques, but to know how to ask a question takes some training. At the first stages of training we must follow the example of Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, "I teach, you learn, no questions."

Learn the technique, practice it a few hundred times, (that's right), give the technique a chance. You have to be able to see the big picture. When you first do a technique it might make no sense to you, you cannot imagine how this will work in real life, but once you learn the full technique, in conjunction with other techniques, and with full contact high speed drills, you will see it in an entirely different light.

Krav Maga is based on aggressiveness; it is based on the adrenaline you will feel in a real life situation. The first time you try the technique, learning it in slow motion, the full effectiveness of the technique might not yet be evident. It is at that point that you must remind yourself, to "read further", give it time and trust your instructor. He has been through this before and knows what he is doing. Later on you can challenge him, question him, and fully examine the technique to see how it works for you, but for now, read on, …