Basics Basics Basics
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International 

April 12, 2019, Israel

Israel is not an easy country to immigrate to. We see Israel as a great ideal but we warn new-comers that there will be challenges. And here is a key secret to long-term success: when things get tough, and they will, you must go back in your mind to why you originally came here. You must remember our Jewish history and all that motivated you to make this decision to finally move to our true ancestral land. 

And it is the same with all things in life. Remember that original spark, remember when you quit your job and decided to start your own business. Remember why you became a Krav Maga instructor, or a doctor, or a lawyer.

You became a lawyer to fight for human rights, to right the wrongs of society but now you work for a big company and your main job is to protect them from lawsuits.

You became a doctor to heal the world, but now you "make compromises" to increase your profits, even at the cost of your patients health.

You became a Krav Maga instructor to protect those who needed protections but now.....

What have you become now?

I will speak openly.

I have had several students over the years who have left our organization to join another organizations. It started with; I admit you have better techniques but they have a better business plan. In the end these instructors became McDojo's and are no longer involved in protecting anyone but their bank accounts. They have lost their way.

I honestly believe I am teaching the best Krav Maga in the world, and yet we are constantly seeking ways to improve. Just the other night we dealt with a new angle on an old situation. A video was sent to me by one of our top and very respected instructors in Florida, a former police officer. We studied the video again and again, reenacted the scene with various possible variations, We filmed it for our Krav On-Line program. Soon we will share this with our members. We are still learning. We are still innovating.

But most importantly we are still working on the basics. 

I recall a day, decades ago, my teacher Itay Gil went to an instructors training with the late Gadi Skornick. The training was open only to instructors holding the rank of 5th dan and higher. Itay told me they worked for hours, on 4 basic judo techniques. These were the first four techniques that a Judo student learns before testing for yellow belt.

Did you hear what I said? Perhaps re read that paragraph.

Our top instructors, minimum level 5th dan black belt, training with their grandmaster, working on the first 4 most basic beginner judo moves. 

That, my friends, is how winning is done,

But what do I face?

Do not repeat the same techniques as last year's seminar. My students are tired of the same old stuff. Skip the IKI Universal block, we already know that. 

But what do I see? Time and time again people doing it wrong. It is a simple technique, pay attention and you can get it in minutes. But people are quick, too quick, they think they got it and they move on. 

Return to basics, get it right. 

I see instructors making basic mistakes, missing key points. But I know that if I travel half way across the world and teach "the same old stuff" people will be disappointed. 

My nephew was recently involved in a life and death situation. My theme in recent seminars has been Real Knife Attacks and their solutions. None of these cases involved advanced or new techniques, it was all simply a matter of returning to the basics, perfecting the basics, training again.

I see many seminars advertised around the world, I see the video clips of "instructors" running in towards a knife attack or stick attack, they grab the arm, they actually believe that they will be able to do this in a real situation. It looks great, on video, it looks cool. They feel powerful because they are being "aggressive" as compared to our defense position. They honestly are convinced that they can run in to a knife wielding attacker and catch his arm with a wrap-around. I am Horrified when I see this!

These instructors are of course not IKI but what upsets me is that some IKI members share these videos, this only confirms with me that they have not understood what I am teaching. 

The Talmud begins on page Two, not one, to show there is no beginning and no end, only continues study. The greatest honor for a scholar is to be called Talmid Hacham, a wise student.

We remain students, we work on the basics. 

About the author

the writer of this article holds numerous international awards and ranks, including a 7th dan black belt in Krav Maga. The point is he has a vast range of experience, inside and outside the dojo, all over the world. 

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