The Danger of Training MARTIAL ARTS

September 8, 2023, Los Angeles, California, USA

There is an old saying, a little bit of knowledge is more dangerous than none at all. Examples of this might include someone who knows a little about car repair, or home repair, he insists he can handle the job himself and he ends up causing massive damage. In the end he will have to hire a professional and pay much more. A person who knows a little about investments can be fooled into making some terrible mistakes that may cost him his life savings. Truly a little bit of knowledge can be very dangerous. 

It is the same when it comes to self-defense. While a short course on the basics of situational awareness can be very helpful and enlightening, a short course on actual fighting techniques can prove dangerous. A person might choose to fight rather than negotiate or escape as they think they have the skill to fight off a violent aggressor. It is better to have a realistic view of oneself rather than a false one.

Many human beings, male and female, are actually more concerned about their image then their safety. Their ego gets in the way of their safety and well-being. While common sense might say, apologize, diffuse the situation and get away, or pull some stunt and get away, the ego says make a stand and "fight like a man". It would be more correct in most situations to say, you have chosen to fight like a fool.

The problem is our ego causes us to overcome our natural survival instinct. 

All creatures are endowed with a survival instinct. This includes - Escape danger before it happens, or as soon as you know about it. In the Animal kingdom no animal is ashamed to run away. An animal evaluates a situation and decides to fight or flee. When an animal is outnumbered, it usually flees, even a tiger or a lion. They are worried about their image as a Bad Ass. 

Another danger of training is that martial artists want to test themselves. They want to prove themselves. They drank the proverbial cool aide and believed the hype. In most cases our expectations of our ability in a fight far exceed our real ability.

there is a time to run, but there is also a time to fight to the end (children being attacked), too often we fight when we should run, and we run when we should fight. 

There is another danger of training; people train to fight in a specific way, and they limit themselves to that style, to that limited approach. As Bruce Lee pointed out all styles are limited. Judo, Karate, wrestling etc. 

If you trained to wrestle, to take a guy to the ground, but you never trained to block and run, what will do in a real-life situation? you will wrestle. A guy has a knife, and you are wrestling? the knife will win. That is why we take a total approach, we cover the psychology of fear and fighting, we fight standing, on the ground, in a car, in a bar, in a plane, on a train, in the mud, in the crud, with a knife, with strife, as Senzo Tanaka is quoted as saying in Blood Sport, use any method that works. We never limit ourselves to one way. This is our way.

And as is quoted in Karate Kid, if you choose to train, then train! Do not do it halfway, if you walk on one side of the street you are safe, on the other side you are safe, in the middle - squash like grape. Commit to training and train consistently.


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


What is the cultural background of Krav Maga?  What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?

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