Minimize Risk
By Moshe Katz
CEO Israeli Krav International

May 26, somewhere between New York and Israel, El Al flight 004

Airports are great for inspiration. People often ask me where I get my ideas for blogs. Well, inspiration is all around us.

I have never been a great customer in terms of what marketers are looking for in a customer. You might say I am old fashioned. I do not need advertisements. If I need something I go out and buy it. I do not care if it is on special. I do not care for "Sales".

When I was in college I recall an advertisement for a car. Next to the car holding a drink was a very attractive woman wearing a bikini. I asked the professor if the woman was included in the package deal. Of course the idea is to control the customer in a subliminal way. I.e. create an association between a beautiful woman and an expensive car. The man with the great car is worthy of an attractive woman.

But there is no logic to this. I realized at once that the expensive, often impractical, car is a compensation for a man with feelings of inadequacy.

To this day I have never invested in a fancy car.

I am actually a very good customer in the more traditional way. Treat me well, give me good honest service and a quality product and I will never leave you.

I have used the same T shirt factory for over twenty years. I have used the same two printers, Lesley K. and Annie K. for many years. I still buy my  sneakers at the same shop in Los Angeles that I have used for over a decade, yes, I wait until I am in LA to buy my sneakers.

Treat me well and you will never lose me. But don't try to trick me with "marketing gimmicks".

Back to the airport.

Being a former business student my attention is still drawn to anything to do with economics. So recently at the airport JFK I saw a sign that read Minimize Risk, it caught my attention and a blog entered my head. That's the the way it happens.  And then when the coffee is served on El Al my brain is activated and the ideas come out.

With Krav Maga we must be realistic, we must! We cannot let ego influence us. Too much is at stake. My teacher would always say, all we are trying to do is minimize risk. That is our goal.

We cannot eliminate risk. Even the best Counter-Terror specialist in Israel always stress to us during Tour and Train that we cannot eliminate the threat of terrorism. It is impossible to eliminate the threat. All we can do is prepare as best as possible.

That idea shapes the way we do Krav Maga.

In economics we say Risk = Reward.  The more we are willing to risk the more we can earn on our investments. Some people like high risk portfolios and some like low risk, but all have some risk.

The same is true with Krav Maga. Some instructors teach knife disarms. The potential reward is great; disarm the man and take away the threat and beat him up. But the risk is also great, equally great.

When you attempt to disarm him, you are seeking a great reward. But it is an economic truth that all rewards contain risk.

You want love and marriage? That involves the risk of rejection. Stay home and watch TV and you are safe of rejection.

You want a great job? So do others. There will be many applicants. There is a great risk of being turned down for the job, your ego will suffer.

The greater the sought after reward, the greater the risk.

Normally I would advocate taking that risk, but not in the case of knife threats or attacks.

With the blade, the knife, the risk is too great. You are risking your life. I say keep the reward lower, a simply block and escape. Lower reward = lower risk. Trust me, I have a masters degree in economics.

Keep the risk low. The reward of getting home safe is enough. Save the disarms for your acting career.