April 4, 2023, Israel
Bruce Lee, a martial arts innovator, innovative thinking.
Chinatown, New York City, where I used to spend a great deal of time. I trained in Wing Chun and Tai Chi.
Not all Krav Maga is the same.
Growing up my father taught me to think for myself and to question, to delve deep into the sources and to reach a true understanding, and still be open to change. I have done that in all aspects of my life, including martial arts. My journey in martial arts is a long one.
I have gone through several traditionel systems and have gained from each. Our Krav Maga is a product of this long journey, which is not over yet. It is not the product of a 3-week military course, it is evolutionary and revolutionary.
To me it seems that many Krav Maga styles are borrowing a great deal from other systems. The kicking is karate, the strikes are boxing, the takedowns are Judo, and the ground techniques are Jujitsu. With us that is not the case. Everything is Krav Maga. We have one thread, one concept that runs through all our techniques, whether they be standing, sitting, or on the ground. What you learn standing will be applicable on the ground, one idea, one philosophy, not a hodgepodge of techniques collected from other systems.
Today I would like to talk about striking techniques, in particular hand strikes. What I see in other styles is boxing. They put on boxing gloves, boxing shorts, hit the bag, hit each other. Now, what is the point of that? Boxing is a sport, there are weight classes. In Boxing even the winner will get hit a great deal, and boxing is not nearly as easy as it looks.
We follow a different approach, we use a great many more forearm and palm strikes. We use all parts of the arm and the hand for offensive strikes and one of the key points is we don't waste time pulling the punch back and resetting up. I have always followed Bruce Lee's concept of Economy of Motion.
As a martial arts student I read everything Bruce Lee wrote. I studied his style, his attitude, his philosophy. I find that his approach fits in perfectly with Krav Maga, as we practice it. I have meet Jeet Kune Do partitioners who agree with me. Recently, I pulled out my old, well worn, copy of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. I recall purchasing this in Chinatown, New York, many years ago. I can still hear the Chinese gentleman saying to me, "This is the Bruce Lee classic, his great ideas are in this book, you must have it." Today I read a section that resonates exactly with our approach to striking. I see that over 20 years ago I even underline this section. I guess it became imprinted in my mind. In fact, that that is the way it should be, the wisdom becomes part of you, not an accessory.
"The important point is not to have any classical "get-set"posture or preparatory movement prior to delivering the straight punch - or any punch for that matter. The leading straight punch is delivered from your ready stance without any added motions like drawing your hand back to your hip or shoulder, pulling back your shoulder etc. Practice your lead punch from the read stance and finish again in the read stance. Later on, you should be able to strike from wherever the hand happens to be at the moment. Remember, punching in this manner will give you added speed (no wasted motions) and deception (no give-away movements preceding the punch)."
I feel we have put this into practice as the core of our striking system. We are not boxers. We are not entering a boxing match or a tournament of any sort. We are training for life. Use no way as the way. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” (Bruce Lee, or Lee Jun Fan)
With my Wing Chun instructor, Sifu Chun Kwok Chow, New York City.
Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.
What is the cultural background of Krav Maga? What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?
What are the Biblical origins of Krav Maga and who was the first Krav Maga instructor?
What weapons and military strategies did our Biblical ancestors use?
How has Krav Maga developed in Israel and what are its goals?
All that and more in this unique book.
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