Horse Riding and Krav Maga
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

September 3, 2017, Los Angeles, USA

A little misunderstanding can go a long way. I asked my niece what she did in summer camp. I thought I heard "Riding horse" but she actually said, "Writing Course". But this got me thinking.

I thought of the connection between Krav Maga training and learning to ride a horse. There are some schools of Krav Maga that believe in hitting the students hard, putting them through boot-camp type training, "making them tough". Now while there is a place for this for some students at some point in their training, this will not appeal to most students. And thus they will never learn the life saving skills they need. 

Lets' analyze this. We can go by the Survival of the Fittest: Train tough, make 'em bleed and sweat, and those that are not tough enough will drop out. Only the warriors will remain.

Is this what we want? Is this what it is about?

Imagine the horse riding course. Kids come to learn how to ride a horse. So we start tough, go full speed, we can yell at the children. We can tell them no crying in horse riding training! We can tell them to be like Spartans or Romans. And then when they get on the horse we make the horse go as fast as possible. Many will fall off, no big deal, survival of the fittest. Some will be trampled to death, such is life. Some will have a leg caught in the stirrup as the horse speeds away. No problem, just tell the parents that the kid was a wimp and now he lost a leg. He has another leg; walk it off!

But if this was 1850 and you were heading out west,  every member of the family should/must learn how to ride a horse and how to handle a horse. Perhaps it would be better to start slow and easy? Perhaps it would be better to take it step by step. Eventually that kid would be riding the horse like the wind! That is how real warriors are built, not by the ludicrous macho crap we see today in so many Krav Maga schools. Those are nothing but insecure people who were not hugged enough as children. Even the tough as nails Native American hugged their kids, a lot!!

I do not want any instructor to let out his insecurities on me! He can work that out in therapy.

For me Krav Maga is a mission, to create a system that works for anyone and everyone. This is not the Survival of the Fittest. This is not Marines training. This is survival for all. 

Now let us think for a moment about this idea of survival of the fittest. Who has survived? Humans have grown more than any other creature. We are the weakest, the slowest, have the least natural weapons, no claws or sharp teeth but yet we have risen to the top of the food chain. How?

With our brains, not our brawn. 

Now lets' ask, which humans have risen to the top? Are the leaders in industry and politics men of great physical strength? Of course not, they are the brains, the clever ones. We have smart phones because of smart people. We are not spending our lives picking cotton or doing physical labor because some smart guys found a better way.

So why do we train as if the bigger the muscles the better the instructor? Why don't we try and find an intelligent system of self defense?

The African Zulus were tougher than the British, but who won? The ones who invented guns and cannons beat out the brave warriors. And when the White man came to America and fought the Natives, the Indians, who won? the brave or the advanced?

That is the survival of the fittest. The one who develops the greater technology wins, every time. 

Some martial artists say to me, C'mon, you know it is not the system that matters but the individual. Not True!

So keep pushing your body to the limit, that is terrific. 

I am all for that. Train harder, lift weights, get fit but remember that no army uses bows and arrows anymore, No army uses Elephants anymore. In the end the better system wins, no matter how tough you are.  So I teach Krav Maga in a gentle way, step by step, and when you are ready I can put you through hell. I can pad you up and surprise you with an ax, a meat clever and all your worst nightmares, and if you train will be ready.

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