I enjoy the Facebook photos where there are several photos side by side: How we see ourselves, how our friends see us, how the world sees us, etc.
A very good one can be made of martial artists, Black belts, Krav Maga guys.
How the world sees this group would probably be some Rambo type photo.
The big question for me is: How do we see ourselves? Are we honest or do we buy into the hype?
I recall a certain very well known Krav Maga instructor, the kind that inspires fear, admiration, adulation, the kind "Tough guy wanna bee's" look up to.
But I recall when I delivered some bad news to him. The man was a nervous wreck, quivering, filled with fear and anxiety. He was the picture of the timid worried type.
On the other hand there are those who do not have the "look" but if a crises breaks out - They are your man. They are the man of the hour.
Mexico City, training in a crowded parking lot. This is reality.
It is very easy to fall prey to your own image. It is very easy to think you are the image that you and your public relations team created. But you must never believe this. You must never believe your own lies for it will be your undoing.
The great Karate master Gichin Funakoshi said, "Always imagine your opponent in front of you". And yes, this is important. But there is more. I will add, Always see yourself, as you truly are, when facing that opponent.
You must train for reality. This does not mean what you think it means. The commercial "You Tube" schools will tell you that "Training for Reality" means doing hundreds of push-ups, climbing mountains and running for long distances. But all this has nothing to do with the reality of the situation you may face.
Self defense is not a test of strength or endurance. Your mindset is the biggest factor here. And if you freeze, if you become a quivering coward, all your fitness and tough guy training will not help at all.
We must see ourselves as we truly are, in that situation.
I will stop myself in the middle of ...anywhere. And I will look around. Perhaps I am in a rush, perhaps I am worried about missing a flight. And I will stop myself and suddenly imagine an attack. What if that guy over there, the big one, the huge one, what if he just came up to me know and started harassing me. What would I do? How would I react?
If I am in a bus station in Mexico, I will look around, imagine how I would react if approached. Prepare yourself mentally, have your tools ready.
This is part of our training. This is how we must think.
Imagine yourself in that situation. Imagine some bad ass jackass idiot coming up to you when you least expect it. Are you ready?
This is how we must train.
Reality is not about fighting in the ring, or training in the dojo. Reality is the mindset, the mental training, that will allow you to respond correctly, real time in a real situation.
You can fool the world, but please, do not fool yourself. Imagine yourself in your worst nightmare and prepare for that situation. Be ready.
I agree one hundred percent. Since we adapted our training to real life
situations using Krav Maga our students for the first time realised the
value of Krav Maga. We call it the application of Krav Maga in real
life threatening situations. When we started off it was a real disaster
from the dojo willing partner to reality attacks was an eye opener. But
with dedicated hardwork we gladly announce a huge difference in
application and attitude. Besides a belt grading we have now decided
that we would like to honour the students level of REAL Krav Maga
defense with a certificate of
successful application only when tested and can apply Krav Maga on the "street".
Barry Du Plessis., Krav Maga instructor, South Africa.