August 24, 2022, London Business Lounge
Training with British Thai Boxing/ Muay Thai champion, Kru Phil Nurse.
My goal is to help people protect themselves. As such it truly bothers me when I see all sorts of sports martial arts, or watered down system being paraded around on social media, and advertised, as self-defense. In particular it is upsetting when the term they use is Krav Maga, a term and concept that once meant something. Over the years this term has been so misused and abused that we must clarify, we teach IKI Krav Maga. And pleases don't confuse that with any other system by a similar name.
What prompted this little blog was a video a proud new Krav Maga black belt shared on-line. He spoke about his "long period" of training and how demanding the test was. He spoke of how many push-ups he needed to do, the fitness level he needed to achieve and so forth. Now of course that has nothing to do with understanding Krav Maga. There was no discussion of understanding the psychology of criminals, there was no discussion about real life violent cases or understanding situation awareness. There was no talk about scenario training. There was not talk about how the body and mind react to stress. But push ups, sure...
and it makes me wonder.
The new black belt kindly, and proudly, shared some of the exciting footage. Basically it was very mediocre karate with some boxing drills. During the boxing drills one of the instructors was holding the pads, the student did several punches and then the instructor swung at him with the pads, the student dipped, and came back and struck the pads again. The crowd cheered and the candidate was awarded his black belt.
Now I am not a professional boxer but I do know a thing or do about the topic. I trained with the Luxemburg brothers from Russia, three world champions with actual real world fighting experience, I trained with the legendary Benny the Jet Urquidez, a truly great man. And I trained with British Muay Thai boxing champion Kru Phil Nurse, a kind and gentle but deadly man. I also trained at some boxing institutions on Chambers street downtown New York City where decent folk dare not to go, and with the famed David James, a true gentleman.
The drill in question is well known, it is called bobbing and weaving. It is a good drill to develop skills for ...the boxing ring, for sport. It is highly dangerous to use on the street. It involves using excellent timing, which is not easy, to dodge the punch by going down and getting around the punch. Of course when you are lowering your head you are exposing yourself to a potential knee kick to the face. You are also a good target for kicks. In the sport of boxing leg strikes are not part of the game, so this is fine. Clearly these drills have no place in Krav Maga training.
Many people teaching Krav Maga today are not actually Krav Maga instructors. It is easy to tell. You watch their videos and you see a lot of boxing, a lot of bag work, and a lot of fitness. That is all great, and I myself have trained in fitness martial arts. It is a good way to lose weight and become fit, but it is not self-defense. I have chosen to focus my career on self-defense.
My goal is for people to arrive home safely. This does not involve becoming a body builder or looking like an Adonis. We simply don't have the time for that.
I devote myself to developing an understanding of violence and to developing simple gross motor moves that will work for the average person under the most stressful situations. For me, this is Krav Maga. This is my chosen path. All who wish may join me.
Over the years I have received many testimonials thanking me for what we have created. Some of them I have kept, but all in are in my soul. I read the descriptions of violent encounters in which our students around the world have used their IKI applying what I have taught them, and there can be no greater reward than this.
Training with David James in New York City. (he is on my left, right side of the photo)
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