Finishing Moves
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

October 24, 2017, Israel and Ukraine

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Teaching a seminar in Kyiv, (Kiev) Ukraine the question came up: what to do next?

In other words, someone, God forbid, has a knife at your throat. I teach how to get out of this situation with the least possible damage and the student wants to know what comes next. She wants the follow up, the cool finishing blows, just like in the movies.

We do not live in the movies and we must adjust to reality.

Lets' analyze the problem here. A knife is on your throat, your concern should be simply - Get away from this situation. But we watch too many movies and many students are thinking ahead; what shall I do after I disarm him, hit him etc.

Well first we never attempt disarms, that is simply foolishly unrealistic and dangerous. Next, if you manage to get away from the knife unscathed consider yourself lucky and blessed. Beating the guy up is not really part of the equation.

The key point here is the fallacy that you will have the calm presence of mind to actually contemplate what to do next, this is not the reality and you should not make such future plans.

The reality of combat/conflict is that nothing goes according to plan.

We take now a slight detour and then return to address this issue. When I trained at the Oyama Kyokushin dojo I would watch the advanced students doing their kata. We would sit uncomfortably in our Seiza position on our knees and watch the black belts work through their long kata.

I imagined that these advanced practitioners would use these kata in their self defense and in their fights. Nothing could be further from the truth. These kata are drills, intended to instill certain techniques, certain tools in the toolbox of the black belt. No fight will ever look like a kata. (other than in the movies).

The kata is a drill containing many useful techniques, it is not a realistic expectation of how a real fight will look.

We are developing, as Bruce Lee called them, are tools.

The Israeli army, certainly one of the most effective military in the world, uses this concept. Yes, plans and strategies are developed at the highest level but we know that on the field level anything can happen. As such commanders and "ordinary" soldiers are trained to take command, think on their feet and use their "tools".

Conclusion: In any real confrontation anything can happen. It is highly unlikely for anything to go as planned. So we train our tools and as Bruce Lee said, "Our tools will strike at the correct moment". As to the followup, the finishing moves, here is the truth: After it happens you will not even remember it. The police will ask what happened? You will say, Sir, it was all a blur, it happened so quickly. There can be no plan, only training.

Your mind will go into automatic pilot, if you trained well now is the time it will show. Your tools will strike at the correct time. The idea of planning this step by step in advance against an opponent you have never met is simply not only unrealistic but shows a complete lack of understanding of the reality of combat.

I have lived long enough to know, plans...we make them, we adjust them, but nothing goes as planned. Be prepared to be surprised! Train the way you are going to fight, in the chaos of reality.

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