September 14, 2022, Morelia, Michoacán , Mexico
Violence happens faster than we realize. Most, or all, martial arts techniques will and have failed when attempted in real life violent encounters. Buyer beware.
While teaching new students here in Mexico, or anywhere for that matter, I often encounter some resistance; but why can't we do it this way? or, I learned it differently with some other instructor!
It is always difficult at first to explain, I know I will encounter resistance, or even disbelief, but I too had this awakening years ago. It started with my teacher of many years, Itay Gil, saying to me, "Moshe, 95% of all martial arts techniques are useless and will not work in a real situation". This statement was on line with another shocker when I was a graduate student and my professor said that all of what we are learning is pretty much useless for the real world. These types of statements, coming from your teachers, gets you thinking. In a very real sense it shakes your foundation. If you are open minded it leads to a reevaluation of everything you have been learning. If you are closed minded, you just walk away.
I learned to question everything, and test everything as best as I could. These days our techniques are not only tested all over in the world but have been used to save lives in countless situations. This increases my confidence in what I am teaching.
But there are still scoffers and non-believers, and there are many charlatans out there. At every seminar I allow my techniques to be questioned and tested.
At a recent class I took out a martial arts comedy routine that is making the rounds these days. It is meant to be funny, and it is, (even among non-martial artists) but as my dear mother of blessed memory would often say, many a true word is spoken in jest.
In the above-mentioned comedy, a martial arts instructor of Arab descent is demonstrating a technique. It begins with, what if your mother comes at you with her sandal. Of course, if the demonstrators were not Arab this would be considered racist these days. But they are American Arabs. The idea is that the mother will rebuke her children by taking off her sandal and smacking the child, a time proven method of education. The young American Arab teaches his self-defense technique. It looks pretty standard for martial arts. He is an educated man and uses terms like trajectory and similar concepts. He is not an immigrant. His brother is dressed up as an Arab woman and is playing the part of the mother, who is an immigrant. Suddenly his mother walks in and sees what is going on. He says, Oh, here is my actual mother. She then proceeds to remove her sandal and quickly smack the disrespectful son across the face. Her promptly falls to the ground. End of demonstration.
While this is funny, there is much we can learn from this. The "martial arts, jujitsu" type of defense looks wonderful on video, the demonstration is beautiful and is classic martial arts. This is in fact very similar to what many Krav Maga instructors teach today. I too learned all this many years ago but rejected it over the years as impractical. We follow a different path and these sorts of techniques do not meet our requirements and standards, but this is taught all over the world and advertised as Krav Maga self defense.
Daily I see seminars advertised with photos of tough looking men, muscular and angry, and they are teaching exactly these types of techniques. They advertise it as Krav Maga but it would be more correct to call it Judo or Jujitsu. What this comedy video truly demonstrates it the falsehood of what many teach as Krav Maga. It all looks fine and dandy until you are attacked. These techniques do not stand the test of real violence.
When the attack comes, it is like the Arab mother smacking this disrespectful son; it is sudden, it is explosive, and it is unexpected. And the result is the fallen son. His beautiful techniques landed him on his rear end.
Our approach is different, every technique must be Easy to Learn, Easy to Apply, Easy to Remember. For the situation in the comic/true video our IKI Universal Block would have done the trick, when applied correctly. This is what we spent 4 hours working on yesterday here in Morelia, Mexico.
On Monday I taught a seminar at a state penitentiary, most of the guards had no clue how to defend themselves and had difficulty learning, as they had developed bad aggressive habits. Our methods are simple and effective, you only need an open mind and a willingness to learn.
The video is a powerful reminder of all that is false in the martial arts world, as my mother said. ...many a true word is spoken in jest.
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