December 21, 2014, Maaleh Adumim, Israel
Part One of this story - Too Late
The police were just here again, two visits first thing in the morning. With all the terrible pain of having my home broken into, of being robbed there is a light coming through. Friends, family and students from all over the world have been offering emotional help and support, and our Maaleh Adumim police has been amazing.
They truly care. They are doing all they can. This is not just a case of filing a police report and then all is forgotten. They are fully investigating the case and doing all they can. I am touched by their deep concern.
As Ronen said this morning, "My home when I lived in Herzliya was broken in to. I know the feeling. We in the police, we all know it."
It was from here that the thieves came. A long climb uphill.
Maaleh Adumim, Israel
Today is "The Day After", and the pain is still there but I am recovering. Last night my dear friend Esther and my (god) daughters Michal and Avital came over with Chanuka doughnuts, they are my comfort.
IKI members have been offering to send me money, I say...just order a few DVDs and T shirts, this way we all benefit. I am so deeply touched.
I look at all this kindness, I look at the police officers and it feels strange to be on the "other side." I love my students and I teach with a full heart. I want my students to know how much I care about them, their safety, their lives. And I hope that it comes through.
Now that I am the victim I can say with absolute certainty that the deep concern of the police comes through loud and clear. I am proud of our police department, I am proud to be a resident of Maaleh Adumim, I am proud to bring our students here from all over the world. From bitter comes sweet, from pain will come strength.
This is a learning experience on many levels. I am a strong man, I have been through a lot, but still the shock and pain of this incident is very great. And yet, I was not hurt, my loved ones were not hurt, my home was not damaged.
And I stop and wonder; How do the people in the south of Israel cope when their homes get hit by a Katusha rocket coming from Gaza? How does it feel for a family to come home and find their home destroyed by enemy fire?
I no longer feel safe in my home, how can they feel safe in theirs? How long will it take these people to recover?
And how about a victim of a violent crime? My home was violated but my body was not, I can only begin to imagine how awful it must be. As I said to police officer Shlomi this morning, this incident will make me a better teacher as now I can have a better idea how it feels, how it hurts, to be the victim.
I want to help.
I do not want anyone to suffer, to be a victim, to be violated. But I need your help. We need more instructors.
Even as I demonstrated some techniques today for our police force I could see the look in their eyes; it was one of ...we don't really have a lot of time and patience. It is like in the music industry, for a song to be a hit you must get to the good part within the first few seconds. If your intro lasts too long you will lose your listener. They will never hear the great refrain.
It is the same exact situation with Krav Maga. Thus our Krav Maga must be as simple as possible!!
It is our goal at IKI to teach a form of Krav Maga that people can use. Yes, even busy police officers. The fact is that very few people have the time, discipline and inclination for long years of martial arts training.
It took me a long time to learn this truth.
When I was a young black belt my friend Gadi Buimsohn, a high ranking black belt in Goju ryu karate, said to me, "Moshe, you are one in a thousand." I thought it was a compliment but it was not, it was a warning, words of wisdom from someone older and more experienced than myself.
What he meant was 999 out of a thousand lack the discipline and motivation that I have. So we have two choices; make our martial art an elite art that is suitable only for the pure martial artist or distill it down to a simple yet effective art that will be...
East to learn
Easy to apply in many situations
Easy to remember.
And that is what we are after here. This is what we are spreading.
I looked at the police officers and I knew that anything too time consuming or complicated will be lost at once. Forget about it, don't even bother.
Recently I saw...a "new and simple way to get out of the mount", a Jujitsu move. OK, I spent many years training in Jujitsu, including BJJ. I was awarded a 5th dan in Jujitsu, and a second dan in Kenpo Jitsu. Lets take a look.
After the first 5 or 6 steps I said "forget it". Move your body this way, turn your leg that way, grab his arm here...forget it. You already lost me, I switched channels. I can't teach this to anyone, this is not simple and there is way too much to remember. The technique which was touted as "simple, easy, new and improved" was suitable and understandable only to masters of jujitsu, such as the woman who was demonstrating it. She lives on the mat, that is her life, so for her this was a great new move. But for the rest of the world, for the housewife trying to get a rapist off of her this technique has no value.
Such moves are not included in our training.
So today is the day after, no money has been recovered, the feeling of safety in my home is still gone, and I am trying to derive the maximum benefit from this terrible experience.
I want this to make me a better Krav Maga instructor, I want all of IKI to grow from this. Now I am feeling it "on my own body". I am feeling what it means to be violated and I want to help others.
I want to help others gain or regain control of their lives. I want people to live in peace. Imagine a world where each individual had Krav Maga training, the ability to fight back. Lets face it, some populations have a tougher reputation than others. Some neighborhoods are considered "soft" while others are "dangerous".
My dad of blessed memory was a great fan of the Jewish gangster era, my mom was not, not at all!
They disagreed about this a lot.
My mom feels, plain and simple, that a gangster is a criminal. Pure and simple. My dad, however, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, felt that the Jewish gangsters were a source of pride; no one would "mess" with them. Growing up in an era where Jew meant Victim, along came Tough Jews who could not be pushed around. It made a lot of Jews feel safe.
We do not want to be criminals, we do not want the gangster life. But we do want to be tough, we need to be trained. We do not want to be a soft target.
My friends, I am about to call the guy to put in new shutters, bars around my house, I do not really have the budget for this but I will find a way. And we must also do this with Krav Maga. Home security is part of the equation and Krav Maga is another part of the equation.
Lets' do it!