June 26, 2017, Business Lounge, Ben Gurion airport, Israel
It is beyond words but I must express myself. Sitting in the El Al business lounge is one of my comfort zones. To be honest it is a feeling of success. I have come a long way since that first day at the Oyama dojo so many years ago. I walked in with hesitation but with conviction. I knew I was older than many, not as fast, not as strong but one thing I had, one thing no one could beat me at, was dedication. I recall my resolve: I will worker harder than anyone, I will earn their respect. And I did.
So today I am sitting in the lounge enjoying my coffee and checking my emails. A man writes me that he is "Super interested in intensive training". Great, a new student, perhaps someday a new IKI instructor.
I write him back, I take time to tell him about Tour and Train, our on line training program, our training in Israel. Turns out he is currently in Israel, very close by, just in Jerusalem. I can see Jerusalem from my window.
We exchange about 10 e mails until the penny drops and he writes me. I checked the map, turns out you are 50 minutes from me, forget it, I want something closer to my house.
What is amazing is this is the third time this has happened in a week. Just a few days ago a woman was equally enthusiastic...totally committed, she needs the best Krav Maga in the world. I told her she came to the correct place. I would guide her, teach her.
After many e mails she writes, Oh, I just checked the map, you are 43 minutes away from me. This is way too far away. Can you recommend something close.
Sure, why don't I recommend a style that I do not approve of. It does not really matter if it is effective as long as it does not involve too much effort or more than 43 minutes of travel.
I flew to California to train with Benny the Jet, I flew to Virginia USA year after year to train at Karate College. I trained with the Gracies, with Arthur Cohen, with the best of the best. I spared no expense. Back at the beginning I woke up every morning at 5 am, went out in the cold and took the train to Manhattan to train with the Big Mountain, Shigeru Oyama of blessed memory, it was hot, it was cold, it did not matter. I came to train.
And now I sit in the business lounge, having just enjoyed a massage and a good cup of coffee and I read e mails....50 minutes, 43 minutes! NO WAY, that is way too much time to invest in getting training that may save my life.
And it makes me wonder, it does.
To my teachers Arthur Cohen, Shigeru Oyama, who have passed into the world of truth, I hope to carry your message forward.
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