Tel Aviv Airport, December 18, 2013
Whenever I see the phrase Advanced Krav Maga, it irks me, it just totally upsets me.
It upsets me to see how far certain styles of Krav Maga have moved from the original idea, from the source. It upsets me how Krav Maga has lost its way and become another commercial martial art.
When I was asked to make a series of Krav Maga DVDs in Germany, several years ago, they said they wanted Basics and Advanced. This company is well known for their variety of martial arts DVDs and products, but how could I explain to them that there is no such thing as Advanced Krav Maga.
Now of course there are the stages, the steps to learning Krav Maga. You begin with basic movements and you build on those. Once you learn the techniques it is just a matter of learning them better, becoming more fluent and fluid, making the movements part of your body and mind. There are no advanced techniques, just improving on your basic techniques. The only aspect that can be called "Advanced" is your ability to apply these basics to a variety of different situations, sometimes unforeseen in training. Advanced is just a deeper understanding of the Basics and the ability to apply it in an ever changing world.
Kuda and Lee at a recent IKI Krav Maga seminar in Widdal, United Kingdom, always going back to the basics, stressing simplicity, because this is the only thing that will work in the real world.
I shall explain.
When I was a beginning student in the Kyokushin karate dojo in New York, there was a hierarchy and an order. First we the beginners did our kata, our pre-arranged martial arts forms. We did Kihon Sono Ich "Basics Number One", and so on. Eventually it was the turn of our black belts. I recall admiring their kata, long sequences that required great memorization, complex moves, jumps and high kicks. I dreamed of the day when I too would be performing the complex and advanced kata of our style. With each rank we moved to more complex and challenging techniques.
With Krav Maga, at least with our style, IKI Krav Maga, no such creature exists. As you learn more you return to simplicity. In fact the more you learn the more simple are your techniques, and fewer are the steps required to complete the job. The more you learn the more you realize that there are only a few simple moves, a few simple concepts that can be applied to the countless, infinite, violent situations that one might encounter in the real world. A great technique is like a great quote; it can be expressed in very few words, a technique in few motions.
We work on feeling the movement and allowing our bodies to react naturally, not based on forced memorization. The entire notion of "Advanced Krav Maga" offends me as it is contrary to the core of Krav Maga. Life experience always returns us to simplicity.
Brue Lee was of course not a Krav Maga practitioner, but he had reached the same conclusions, he had the right idea, "simply to simplify". At IKI we live by that statement. We are not tempted by the fancy and the flash.
The more we advance the simpler we get.
December 18 was always a special day for us, my father's birthday. May his wisdom, his lessons, and his love always guide us.
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