January 31, February 1, 2021, North Hollywood, Ca, USA
Perhaps the most ignored part of training is the fear factor. We begin our martial arts training with a punch, a kick, a block, but only decades later do I realize how useless this all is. Our training is all wrong. We are learning techniques that most of us will never be able to use. I refer to those as great tools locked away in our tool box. When the need arises for these tools we find that we simply cannot find the key to unlock our tool box. So of what value are our tools? of no value whatsoever. That is the sad but honest truth.
A great source of truth for me is the eternal Holy Bible, which I take as the word of God. For me it is not only a historical text of the word of the Almighty Eternal but as God speaking to me personally as I need guidance. Yes, I see it as having this power.
So yesterday I was sitting in my favorite synagogue in the Valley here in North Hollywood, California. The Yemenite synagogue, Maor Haim, which means the Source of Life. And behold I heard God's word.
The Children of Israel were leaving Egypt, they have been slaves for many years. God was concerned about their slave mentality, as such he delayed them, he rerouted them, "Lest they have a change of heart when they see war and decide to return to Egypt." (Exodus, Chapter 13, verse 17). God had reason for concern. So he re-routed them through the desert. God prepared them for a possible encounter with a violent determined enemy. First we had the Ten Plagues; the Children of Israel saw first-hand the power of God Almighty. He saw the damage God inflicted upon Egypt. Then they experienced the miracle of the Exodus. and it is written the they left Egypt armed with weapons. Thus we can presume that they were trained in the use of those weapons just as Father Abraham trained his household in the art of the weapons. We are a Nation of Warriors!
So they were prepared and armed and God Himself was leading them on this journey, for He led them during the day with a cloud and at night with a pillar of fire. But now the real test comes, the test of fear. Every black belt knows this fear, we face it in our black belt test. You are prepared, you are armed, you know what to expect, you have your weapons, your martial arts tools, and then you must face the fear factor, the well-rested opponents who are out to beat you to a pulp. I recall my tests, Itay Gil said to me, I am not testing your skills, I am testing your will to live, to survive. And now the Children of Israel are going to face the might of Pharaoh and Egypt!
But what happens? Fear takes hold of them. They are not quite ready, and they begin to cry to Moshe. Now imagine the scene; you have no real life combat experience, and suddenly you see facing you, approaching rapidly, the might of the nation of Egypt, all the chariots of Egypt with the finest commanders chosen to lead the battle. (Chapter 14)
But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi hahiroth, before Baalzephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
Can you imagine the sight? Who would not be afraid? and now we hear the voices of doubt. We hear that many do not wish to fight. We also are told that in fact there was a large faction of the Hebrews who were opposed to this idea of Liberation from the very start, as it is written, Behold, is this not what we told you back in Egypt, as we said, Let us be, leave us alone and let us serve as slaves to the Egyptians, that is better than taking us out on his folly of a journey to die in the desert, in the wilderness.
There will always be those who do not believe in the dream, who will tell you; stay an employee, serve the master, give up the idea of starting your own business. Give up your idea of becoming a black belt. There will always be those who doubt. Moshe, Moses, is speaking of national liberation but we now realize that many opposed his leadership, they opposed his mission, they doubted him. And at the first sign of failure those doubts came back, and they were ready to turn back on the Big Dream.
Martial arts is a life lesson, martial arts, Krav Maga, are a means to an end; that end is a better life. We believe in the dream, we will not turn back on our dream. There will always be doubters, and some of those doubts will come from within you yourself.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of coming full circle, I began training in the Valley many years ago, today I return as an instructor. I return to the home where I lived with my parents, I return to the school where I earned my university degrees. Yesterday I was reunited with some old friends, colleagues and instructors. We shall the dream, the passion, the vision, never turn back!
This is our story as a fighting nation, a nation of warriors, the untold and largely unknown story of the Jewish people. Known at first as the Children of Israel, the Hebrews, and later on as Judeans and then Jews, this is our story. From The very first Krav Maga instructor, the Patriarch Abraham to the modern Israel Defense Force, this is our history. We discuss Biblical fighting methods and Biblical weapons.
We have many Biblical fighting Heroes, from the first Wrestler Jacob, to Samson the fearless one man army, Deborah the war strategist and Ehud the Judge, creator of a new weapon.
Join us for this fascinating adventure back in time and the development of what has become perhaps the most popular reality based martial art and self-defense system in the world today; Krav Maga.
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