June 10, 2022, Israel
Teaching a seminar in Australia, 2015
My goal is to help people protect themselves. My goal is for people to arrive home safely. And for this reason my path is often the path less taken. The well trodden path is easier and is more socially accepted. When you choose your own path you often walk alone. But those who follow will be true.
I teach, and then I receive feedback. Nothing is sacred in self-defense other than your life. No technique is beyond question, no concept so hallowed that it cannot be questioned. Life is a process of adjustment.
There are times when I receive a report of a student, or the student of a student, who has used one of our defenses in a real life situation, exactly as it was taught. A Classic gun hold-up, a classic punch or knife attack, and our student has used the technique exactly as I had taught it. But then there are other cases.
I just received such a letter from a police officer in the USA. He reports how in the past couple of years he has used IKI techniques 4 times, all successfully, against armed criminals. In the most recent case, using the IKI Universal Block, he took down a criminal who later it turned out was in possession of a .45 Caliber handgun.
The fascinating part for me is the various original ways in which these techniques are applied. As I read these stories from around the world I find myself thinking; that is not the way I taught it. And yet they did exactly what I taught them, they took concepts, principles and drills and they applied them as needed to a real-life violent situation. This is how it should be.
There is a Midrash, a Hebrew legend recorded in the Talmud, that Moshe/Moses is sitting with God on Mount Sinai as God is giving him the Torah, the Bible, the Guide to Life, and God shows Moshe the future. Together they look 1,600 years in the future and they see a rabbi interpreting the Bible and applying it in ways that Moshe had never imagined. Moshe appears sad as he find is difficult to follow. But God reassures him and says, that is Rabbi Akiva son of Yosef and he is applying the words we are speaking today. Moshe finds himself as a student in the study hall of Rabbi Akiva and has difficulty following. At one point a student asks a question as to the source of a particular law, Rabbi Akiva answers, this is a tradition handed down to us from Moshe/Moses our Teacher. And then Moshe is no longer sad. (Talmud Tractate Menahoth page 29B)
Moshe was at first saddened as he could not follow or understand the lesson. But soon he understood that as a guide book to life the Torah must be applied to changing circumstances, each generation with its challenges. All future insights and applications are based on the law which Moshe taught us.
And so it is with Krav Maga. I read the descriptions of violent encounters in which our students around the world have used their IKI techniques, and I feel...how did they manage to do that? and yet, I understand, as did the first Moshe, that they are applying what I have taught them, and there can be no greater reward than this.
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