By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

August 23, 2015, Israel

Cha cha cha..changes..

As a young man I was accused of being stubborn. Now I realize that I was simply determined, and ...I did not like being pushed around or told what to do. Just because I was small did not mean others could push me around. My determination has proven itself over time.

When I began my studies at Business school, to earn my MBA in Finance, I was told that more than 65% of all students drop out before completing their degree. I was working full-time. I was the national coordinator for a Zionist student movement. I was training five days per week at the Kyokushin dojo and studying part time at a Rabbinical college in Brooklyn. I finished my degree. It took four years of night school but I did it.

Stubborn, or determined?

Of the thousands of students who passed through the doors of Itay Gil's gym, none earned a 4th dan black belt, other than me. Stubborn or determined?

In 1973 when I was just a student in Junior high school our enemies attacked us on our holy day, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Our teacher asked us kids to write a composition, "Why do you think the Arabs are attacking us?"

I wrote my paper, I still hold those same exact views today. Stubborn or simply correct?

Today we have this idea that if you refuse to change you are stubborn. But not all change is good. Wisdom is to understand when to change and when to hold tight to the truth.

The truth is I have changed, when necessary. I am not stubborn, I am determined to find the truth, but when I find the truth I hold on to it stubbornly.

My martial arts training has changed to suit my reality. It was not easy. When the Karate Kid came out I was all Daniel San and Mr. Miyagi, the mystic of Karate, Japan, the Oriental wisdom.   

I still hold the martial arts of the Far East in the greatest respect. I respect all fighting systems that have proven themselves over time, from the Mongols to the Russians to the Japanese. But the nature of combat is always changing. You cannot fight World War Two with World War One methods and weapons.

I found that my training was lacking. It was too formal, it was difficult to see the end result, the actual self-defense. For a long time I followed the masters with the greatest of faith believing that my training would result n realistic self-defense. 

It was a rude awakening to gradually face the truth, I was not able to defend myself. You can toe the line only for so long.

Certainly as a teacher, I would look myself in the mirror and ask, will this really work? is this really good enough?

So as much as I am reluctant to change..I changed the way I trained.

I am not big on changes. I do not look for the latest style, (heck no!) or the latest iPhone or computer or car. I like the same old stuff. But when it comes to saving lives...our way, the Israeli way, is pure innovation. We must always be one step ahead.

We adapt, we survive.

So I trained and trained for many years, more than 3 decades. I studied fear, body movements, natural reactions. I studied street violence and analyzed terrorist attacks. I took the principles I was trained with and took them a step or two forward. I believe Krav Maga is for everyone, not only for IDF soldiers from 18 to 21 years of age. Krav Maga is not only for super athletes. Everyone....

Together with our team here in Israel, and around the world, we continue to test everything. The ultimate test is our survival and our techniques have proven themselves when it has been a matter of life and death.

Change. Do not try to sell me a new style of shoe or jeans, no thanks, I am wearing the same kind of stuff since the 1980's, but when it comes to Krav Maga, self-defense, survival, we make the necessary changes.

And yes...IKI has become a world leader in Krav Maga, and we ain't done yet.

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