Break in Training
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 26, 2017, Israel

During my twenty years of teaching children I would often hear, "My child has decided to take a little break from martial arts and try something else." I came to realize that this was simply a polite way of saying, "My kid quit".

Why would one take a "break"? I can understand an occasional vacation, or a recovery period perhaps, but a "break"? Let's be honest, almost no one returns from a break, it is simply human nature. Even if you actually intended and believed it was only going to be a break most likely it will be an end.

Nearly two thousand years ago in the Jerusalem Talmud, also known among scholars as the "Palestinian Talmud" (written before Islam was created and before the Arab invasion of the Land of Israel thus the Arabs of today have no right to claim anything "Palestinian") it is written

יום תעזבִינִי ימים אעזבֵךְ ,בתלמוד הירושלמי (ברכות יד ד)

"Leave me for one day I will leave you for two days" (Jerusalem Talmud, Tractate Brachoth, 14, 4) (Oh, I nearly forgot, UNESCO determined that we have no historical connection to Jerusalem, and UN voted it "illegal" for the USA to have their embassy there.)

What this means is that if you "take a break" from something for one day, that activity will take a break from you for two days, i.e. it will run away from you. The break will always be longer than you thought. It will be more difficult to return to this activity that you had imagined. The point is don't fool yourself into thinking you are really taking a break, you are not, you are quitting but lying to yourself because you don't have the courage to admit it. You rather "take a break" and then gradually forget about it. This is true now, it was true 2,000 years ago. You are fooling no one.

I recall a martial artist who told his student, "If your right arm hurts, use your left, if you both arms hurt, use your legs. If you don't feel well enough to train, show up and watch." That student was my teacher Itay Gil. I too followed that advice my entire career as a student.

Bruce Lee was injured and could not train, but he did not take a break. He trained in his mind and wrote his classic book, The Tao of Jeet Kun Do.

A "break" is just a polite way of saying "I quit".

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