January 5, 2019, Israel
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I was asked to view yet another martial arts video and offer my thoughts. This time I was pleasantly surprised, not with any of the techniques but with the two guys who put the video together.
Here is what is going on: two guys on a martial arts journey, not instructors, and openly declaring themselves to being non-experts on the techniques being demonstrated in the video, but clearly possessing extensive martial arts background, are putting knife defenses to the test.
They have attended some seminars, they have purchased DVDs, watched free on line videos and want to be able to survive a real life violent encounter. These are the regular guys who have some training and want to find solutions to common attacks they might face on the street. We have an obligation to these people to offer our best.
In another words, here is what happens when two fairly well trained young men are trying to learn knife defenses from other styles. This is not after years of training, as most people do not have years of training. This is a test of the techniques, as I always say, can a reasonable person learns this in a reasonable amount of time. The answer is a clear no.
Here is the point; at the opening of the video they make it clear that they are not claiming to be experts or instructors, or super athletes, they are trying to test if these techniques will work for the "average person". Here I am already impressed, here they have already surpassed the vast majority of self defense systems. They have come to the realization that the techniques must work for the average person, not for the five year Jujitsu man, not for the guy in perfect shape who trains daily, but for the "average person".
Further they state that they wish to demonstrate how difficult it is to defend against a knife attack and to dispel a lot of the underestimation of knives in modern society that comes primarily as result of Hollywood martial arts films.
They are already ahead of the game.
They also admit that as much as they would like to recreate a real situation it is impossible, because in training you are lacking the element of surprise. Thus in the video which they present they admit that they have an advantage over a real situation. And yet, as they demonstrate, all the defenses attempted left them potentially seriously hurt or dead.
They used some of the classic and popular knife defenses from leading styles including the standard Krav Maga, which is NOT what we teach.
One of the great benefits of this video is these guys have no interest other than survival. They have no dog in the fight. They are not trying to sell us anything and they are not testing for any belt.
These two guys are young and athletic, fairly well trained and at their peak years. Again, this is something that the "average person" will lack. Most guys my age have fairly impressive bellies and are far from their peak years. Today on the way home from synagogue I bumped into a friend who was seeking my advice. The first thing I noticed was his new fashion accessory, a walking cane.
He explained his background; he was a former tough guy. During his extensive military service he carried the heavy loads, something weighing 22 kilos. He, and now his son after him, served in elite combat units.
My friend keeps in shape and works out in the gym on a regular basis. The other day, in his words, a young hot sexy fitness instructor came in. All the "old guys", (my age category) wanted to impress her and went a little harder than usual. He tore out his knee and the other elders suffered a variety of similar injuries. He wanted my advice.
The point here is the "self defense" demonstrations you see on You BooB are not, I repeat NOT suitable for the "Average guy". The average guy will get hurt badly by trying to do that which is suitable only for only athletes. And I am referring here only to the training. In a real life violent encounter they will be killed trying these techniques.
At the end of this video the two young men offer their conclusions, sadly they never experienced our form of Krav Maga but their conclusions echo what I have been saying for years: This stuff will fail you in real life, chasing the knife will get you stabbed, trying to attack a man with a knife will get you stabbed, all the jujitsu stuff, sorry guys but you will be disappointed.
Again I warn, do not be taken in by the hype!
Do not be fooled by choreographed demonstrations from martial arts experts. These are highly trained professionals, like stunt men, training with partners they have worked with for years in a well planned and rehearsed script. This will not work for the "average person".
Our style is the Perfect system for imperfect people. When I work on developing new defenses we always assume the worst; We assume the highest ability from the attacker and the lowest ability from the defender. Our system is for the "average person". And as my friend pointed out today, while leaning on his cane in obvious pain, we are ALL going to be average people sooner or later. His son was rated the number one soldier in the Golani unit. Today, sadly, he is a shadow of his former self with multiple injuries.
In Israel we live the reality of life under constant threat. I live with no illusions and therefor our style, IKI Krav Maga, is designed for you, the average person.
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