June 13, 2021, Israel
This is how I look while in the Old City, focused, aware, I will not carry on any conversations, my attention, my thoughts are 100% on self-defense. Every passerby is a potential attacker.
Often we forget what real Krav Maga is about. While every association and every instructor will say...we are all about real life self defense, Smart Self Defense, Instinctive, Tactical etc, most are far from it. Most, despite their claims, live on Fantasy Island, and I will prove it.
When you attend their classes, even just looking at their posts and advertisements, what do you see? Pay attention!!
Do you see an individual discussing the nature of crime and violence, the nature of human physiological responses, how to avoid the fight in the first place, how to reduce your odds of being targeted as a victim, etc. NO. Here is what you see, Bad Ass, Tough Guys (and this includes girls who look more like men than women). They are showing their muscles and acting as tough as one can act. They are growling at you! They are showing their teeth and their claws.
But you know something, animals are smarter than us. Their self-defense is based on situational awareness, experience and instinct (which we lack, we have lost these qualities), they learn to sense fear and danger. They work as a team, they understand that it is a life and death conflict. We treat it like a TV show or gladiator movie.
In our style we train hard, never doubt that, but over the years I have learned that that is not enough, not nearly enough, for survival. I trained under the "baddest" toughest instructors and I rose to the top. I will never forget the compliments from men such as Saiko Shihan Shigeru Oyama and Sensei Benny (the Jet), David James, Phil Nurse, Itay Gil of course. But tough, is not enough to survive. For the attack will happen so fast that before your "Moment of Recognition" comes, it will be too late. So we must train differently. We must learn correct situational positioning. We must learn the culture of the street violence. We must change our entire perspective. Fighting is not self-defense. They are too very different things.
So here is a street lesson
Life is full of distractions. When I am on the road, a Krav Maga seminar tour, I try as much as possible to disconnect from everything else in my life. I do not want disturbing e mails or phone calls when I am about to enter a seminar, that will drain my energy. I do not want any distractions, my goal is to have great Krav Maga seminars and have everyone get the most out of that. No one is interested in my personal problems.
It is the same on the street. What do people do? (everyone, including Krav Maga instructors, and I know many), they are busy, they are texting, they are concerned about 101 different things. They are processing so many things at once. And they are forgetting the task at hand. Anyone who has joined IKI for Tour and Train has seen me in the Old City of Jerusalem, I am 100% focused on all possible angles of attack. Do not chat with me, I will not listen, do not tell me about your new dog or computer, I will not hear you. I am watching the people around me. I am looking for openings where a person might emerge. I will not allow you to wander off on your own, no matter how old or "tough" you are.
We are all distracted, nearly every minute of every day. We are rarely "Present, or Pre-Sent", we are scattered all over creation with our thoughts. The enemy can see this. Your first self-defense is...More Pushups! (Huh, that was a joke, I hope you laughed).
No, your first self-defense is eliminate those distractions. As we said earlier, your impressive self defense system will never be deployed. You will miss the starting gun (perhaps literally). You first act of defense on the street is: Tell yourself - I am on a mission now, I must eliminate all extraneous thoughts from my mind, I am focused now on self defense, I must look for all potential attackers and all potential attacks, if my mind is elsewhere, my body is of no use.
Just as when you walk into the room at the university for an exam, and you eliminate all distractions and useless thoughts, so must you do in any public area where there is potential danger: Understand, the game has begun!! You will not get another warning.
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