August 22, 2017, Ben Gurion airport lounge
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When you are ask for directions what are you hoping for or expecting? Do you want an explanation by the city planner on how the town was designed, what it looked like a century ago, how it was in Roman times when there were aqueducts? Do you want an elaborate dissertation on how traffic changes based on the time of day or season? Do you want a professor type who will get lost and distracted? No, you want clear and simple directions.
It is the same with self defense.
And yet sadly, most styles of "Martial Arts" have gone and made a very complicated mess out of what was once quite simple.
Our task is to take what others have made complicated and distill it down to a few simple concepts and techniques that we can all follow and achieve success.
We begin with realistic expectations. This means
1. Our real physical abilities as compared to our imagined physical abilities. (Let's be honest)
2. The amount of time we can realistically devote to training, as compared to the amount of time we believe we have at the first moment of enthusiasm.
3. Taking into account what we can realistically remember and call into action when the S..t hits the fan and we are stressed out. Remember this is not a calm situation.
4. The element of surprise, the element of the physical environment, (may not be the same as your dojo/training hall), the element of being tired, dressed in the wrong outfit (a suit and a tie as compared to your judo gi), and the element of poor lighting.
Now you understand why we want simplicity, why we must drop the fancy joint locks and throws and moves that will "dazzle your friends and impress your neighbors". Freedom discovers the man the moment he no longer cares about what impression he is making or about to make (Bruce Lee).
What we need is something we can follow. That means Success. If it is not easy to follow, then most people will not follow, they will give up. Our system is designed for simplicity, something we can all learn quickly.
I am still amazed when people present "the latest fighting system" and we are shown beautifully choreographed moves presented as "Special Forces" training. To fall for that you really are in a "Special" class.
Keep our training real, keep the fancy stuff for the movies.
As a dear friend, a movie screen writer recently told me, the difference between a delusional martial artist and a movie director/writer is that the movie people understand they are writing fiction, while the delusional "masters" actually believe their own stories.
Moshe Katz has published several books; Israel, A Nation of Warriors, the blogs, and Footsteps from Judea, (collected writings)
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