Confidence Building
By Moshe Katz
CEO
Israeli Krav International 


February 19, 2020, California 101 North


There are different approaches to teaching martial arts, military arts, combatives. Some depend on the situation, others depend upon whom you are teaching or what your objectives are. 

One approach is what I call the Beat Down approach. You take a normal healthy individual, he enlists in the army, he is full of confidence. You slowly break him down, destroy him, make him feel like he is nothing at all and then, you slowly rebuild him as you wish

The logic here is that you are creating something new. You are heading off to combat, the soldier will face challenges that you are aware of but that he, as of now, has no clue. You need to crush his sense of confidence and teach him an entirely new way of thinking. 

Is this constructive or destructive? I cannot say. I do not make any claims of being an expert in these military matters. 

There is another approach, call it Confidence building. This is what I prefer, in particular with those students coming in with a lack of self confidence in their physical abilities or a lack of faith in the system which we teach. 

We take small confidence building measures. We begin with simple moves, simple body motions that people are already doing in other aspects of their lives. Everyone is using the hand shake, the box lift, the push, so we use these motions with which they are already familiar and we incorporate them into Krav Maga self defense techniques. Now is when I see the expressions of...Wow, of course I can do this, it is so simple. Laughter and smiles replace fear and anxiety. The beginner no longer feels like a timid child on the first day of school. Now they are part of a class, now they are Krav Maga students.

This is our approach, little by little build their confidence and then introduce new techniques that they can now face without fear. Offer criticism/corrections as they can handle it. Crushing their confidence will only cause them to backslide and erase weeks of progress. False praise is to be avoided by positive reinforcement will bear immediate results and greater motivation. 

We do not take a "soft" approach but we do take a logical approach. Teachers get frustrated when seeing poor performance, we must not let our own frustration damage the progress of the students. 

Confidence building; as the students performs better they will have more confidence.  Greater confidence will lead them to executing the techniques were greater force and fluidity. This in turn will produce better results, which...results in more confidence and so it grows. 


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