July 11, 2018, Israel
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I recall the days when I still believed.
I believed in the magic. I took it in, hook, line and sinker.
Yes, if I only trained hard enough and learned the ancient secrets of the masters I too would perform martial arts feats that will dazzle all.
Now we all like fantasy. Two Jewish kids in Cleveland wanted the Messiah to come, but he was not even within calling distance, so they created him. They called this Messiah Superman, (created 1933, same year Hitler came to power, coincidence?) but the difference is, they knew it was fantasy. There are those who create fantasy and those who believe it, and those who actually think they are the cartoon super hero. (this is called delusional behavior).
But we must separate Fantasy from Reality or else we build false expectations and this can have tragic consequences.
The antics in those late night Kung Fu films are pure fantasy, Martial Fantasy I no longer believe in. I chose to live in the real world, even though many argue that it is a more depressing existence. We like the beauty of the Escape World, the Silver Screen.
One would think that gradually all would see this truth, and yet they persist. On Social Media people post videos of Martial Athletes. Yes, I call them martial athletes. They can do amazing splits and raise their legs high in the air. They can jump and spin and kick and land perfectly. Give them a perfect score of 10. They are super talented and very impressive but this actually has nothing to do with real self defense.
And then there are the "real" videos from elevators in Japan where young women in mini skirts and school girl outfits do the Suplex on big guys and flip them all over. And these videos get a thousands "Likes" and the Fantasy continues.
But I no longer believe.
I choose to view depressing video documentaries, about real crime. They warn us ...you are about to view real crime, you will see terrible violence, bodies cut up and hear unpleasant language. Yes, we have been warned.
And we see the gang members, covered with tattoos, and we hear how they beat a boy to death over his leather jacket, and how they shot a man in front of his mother. We see the blood and hear the screams. We see and hear about real violence, brutal killings..
and then, I am asked about knife disarms, and beating up the attacker rather than making a "cowardly" escape and I think to myself, the Fantasy Lives!
I hear that "in our country things are different, we need to FIGHT", and I wonder, what do they think I have been taking about all this time? Do they think I am a foolish day dreamer, a "Pollyanna" ?
Let me tell you something. Violence is violence and it exits all over the world. There are some cultural differences but there are only a certain number of ways of stabbing, of shooting, of beating someone over the head with a club.
I have seen videos of people having their arms chopped off with Machetes. I have seen knives go into people's throats, and I have devised my best answers/solutions to those situations, using intelligent rather than false macho approaches. I am not naïve. I have seen these things. I have friends who were victims of this inhuman brutality.
And I am always learning.
I have had the privilege of traveling the world and hearing first hand reports about violent crime; from those attacked, from police and from security guards. Thus I find it "interesting" when someone tries to tell me that their country is different, and don't forget where I live, the Middle East, the Nation of Israel that has suffered horrific violence over the past 2,000 years and longer.
I am always eager to learn more, but sadly, while there are always new methods of torture, human nature remains the same. I have seen the original tools of the Vikings, sharp swords of Samurai from Japan and Machetes from Haiti and Brazil. I used to ride around New York with Prof. Arthur Cohen of Blessed Memory and he would point out the gang areas, and describe what violent crimes took place in each area.
So I have learned to separate Reality from Fantasy, I have learned not to create False Expectations. I do not teach how to takedown an opponent, because most of us will not be able to take down a seasoned gang member high on crack or heroin. I work within the realm of the realistic. I am not trying to impress you. I am only trying to keep you alive.
For those who want to learn: I am here. Come to Israel, invite me to your country and I will teach you what I have learned. I will save you time and just possibly save your life.
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