Krav Maga Ethics
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

Krav Maga and the Ethics of the Fathers

According to the Pain is the Reward

Krav Maga and the Ethics of the Fathers

"Ben He he said: lefum sa'ara agrah, (According to the effort is the reward)" (Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 5, 27)

As director of IKI I get many inquiries about certification, black belts, promotions, becoming regional directors etc. When the question precedes any actual effort I know there is a problem. When it comes to wisdom I turn to our ancient sources. The above quote is from the Talmud, composed between the years 0 – 500 and often containing wisdom and discussions from periods before that as well.

Lefum sa'ara agrah, is translated as "according to the effort is the reward". The above quote is in Aramaic and the word sa'ara actually means pain, suffering. What the scholar Ben He he is saying is – According to he pain is the reward; you work hard and suffer you will see results.

Now this fits in nicely with our Krav Maga approach, no coach potato can ever earn a black belt, you will have to suffer a bit, you will have to train hard, you will have to pay for it. Now when I say 'pay for it' I mean in many ways; blood, sweat tears and money.

For many years I flew to the USA to train with various high level instructors. I gave up many work opportunities in order to have time to train. I turned down jobs that would interfere with my training (this was before I ever thought of teaching martial arts for a living). And I paid handsomely for my training.

Yet some people feel they can sign up, pay very little, and expect to soon be certified master instructors. Remember, according to the pain is the reward.

Recently I promoted three of our instructors. Tim Hillis, Craig Gray and Fred Heins came to IKI with already impressive credentials. I believe each had already more than 20 plus years of training, were certified instructors in several styles, some had ranks of 4th dan black belt. After they joined I never heard another word about these previous ranks and training. They worked hard, they paid for it; they sponsored seminars even at their own cost, they flew to Israel to train, they worked hard on the techniques I sent them, they bought all the DVDs. Anything of value must be the result of a major effort.

I hope other members view them as role models. Please do not expect a free, effortless, ride. This is not the way. The correct way is the way Ben He he talked about so many years ago, according to the effort is the reward.