Crossing the Street
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

July 16, 2019, Auckland, New Zealand

Many of the basic and most important elements of self defense and self preservation were taught to us as children. One of them is look both ways before you cross the street. Another one is only cross at designated crossing areas. 

Let us think about that. What if someone told you the following: I will train you to run very fast. Stop this nonsense about looking both ways, if you are fast enough you do not have to worry. Looking both ways is for wimps, real men learn to run fast. 

But of course, this is nonsense. You cannot outrun a car, certainly not a car coming at from the side. Running fast will not help at all as there are cars at all parts of the road. Running into the street is a sure recipe for a rapid death. 

This analogy makes sense. Yet many Krav Maga instructors teach the opposite. They do not stress avoiding dangerous areas, that is for wimps, they stress being strong and hard. The logic is the same and it is inherently flawed. 

Crossing in the middle of the street, not at the designated crosswalk is the equivalent of going into an area known for trouble. It is best to simply avoid this. 

Being strong is great, being fast is great, but it is no substitute for being smart. 

In kindergarten we are awarded points for Playing well with others. In self defense terms we call this knowing how to navigate situations and avoid the unnecessary fights. Save your energy for the fights that can not be avoided. 

In kindergarten we learn to respond appropriately, not out of proportion. Hitting another child, beating him to a pulp because he took your toy is unacceptable. Of course, taking the toy was wrong, but extreme violence is not the appropriate response. The same is true in self defense. Words do not equal physical violence. Emotions are not facts and your feelings at being offended will not be a valid legal defense for your violent actions. 

Much of what we need to know about self defense was basic kindergarten education. We simply need to apply it. Stay safe, stay smart. 

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