April 28, 2019, Israel
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וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת קוֹל הַנַּעַר וַיִּקְרָא מַלְאַךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶל הָגָר מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַה לָּךְ הָגָר אַל תִּירְאִי כִּי שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶל קוֹל הַנַּעַר בַּאֲשֶׁר הוּא שָׁם
בראשית כא יז
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her: 'What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad from where he is. (Genesis, Chapter 21, verse 17)
A doctor at a mental health facility in Israel, or in other words a closed psychiatric ward, describes the difference between people he meets on the "Inside" and those he meets on the "outside". The people are on the inside are real, you meet the real person. The people are the outside present a façade, a fake image, what they want you to see. The doctor prefers the people on the inside.
It is the same when I compare our Krav Maga with what I see in other schools or associations. Here, on the "inside" I encourage people to be real. I am real. I present myself as I am, with all my many faults, shortcomings, injuries and age related challenges. I encourage my students, my friends, to do the same. And then we began our honest training.
We begin "from where you are".
I take this phrase from the story of Yishmael the son of Hagar and Abraham. We ask, knowing that so much evil and hatred would come from the offspring of Yishmael, so much harm to the Nation of Israel, why did God save him? And the answer is that at the moment, at that particular moment when Yishmael called out to God, he was pure and sincere. We do not ask what will happen later, we only view him as he is at that moment, good and pure, and we hope for the best later on. We do not Pre-judge.
This is the advice of the doctor in the psychiatric ward, do not think too far ahead, work with the patient as he is now, and take little steps. Take joy in each day of small progress, take it "From where he is now".
We take the same approach with IKI Krav Maga. We begin with total honesty, no fake news, no fake appearances, that will not help us. We need to assess our real abilities, not the one's we imagine that we have. This is not the movies and we are not actors.
We begin "From where we are" and then we move forward. We begin with realistic expectations and we develop realistic approaches that can work for us, as we are now.
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Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz