If that Luggage was Yours

February 14, 2023, Delta Airlines, New York - Detroit, USA

Sitting on the plane I happened to look out the window and noticed a young lady loading the last pieces of luggage before our departure. Now I have a special issue with luggage, an on-going troubled relationship. Traveling a lot for Krav Maga seminars I have become keenly aware of the importance of good quality luggage, and the damage that airlines can cause to your luggage. I tend to have to purchase a new piece of luggage every 6 months. 

Sometimes they tear off the zipper. Sometimes they will knock off a wheel or two. Sometimes the bag will get caught in the conveyer belt and the material will rip the bag right open. Sometimes the handle will be torn. All of these will necessitate a new bag. Sometimes they will compensate you with a bag on the spot but it will never be the same size or suit my needs like the bag I purchased. I end up having to purchase many suitcases and hand luggage on the road.

As such I watched this young woman carefully. I wish I could have shouted out to her, Hey You! Be careful, those bags are important to someone. She tossed them around. She clearly was not strong enough to lift the bags so she...did the best she could. She lifted them, dropped them on the belt rather than placing them gently. Small bags were just thrown. She was in a hurry. 

Thus, when people are told they must check their hand luggage because the airline did not plan ahead and did not build the plane with appropriate storage, those pieces of luggage are now being tossed around like a bag of rotten apples. A mug carefully chosen and placed in the bag, will break. A wheel will come off. Who cares? After all it is not her luggage, she is not traveling, and she might even feel some resentment towards those who are traveling. 

Simply put the feeling I got from watching her was that she was not fully capable of doing this job correctly, and no one really cared. 

And I felt sad, for I have been the victim of this careless behavior many times. A gift carefully chosen for a loved one was broken. A souvenir from a seminar, destroyed. 

And it made me think; if this luggage belonged to this young women who worked for the airline, would she tossed it around this way? Would she just dropped it on the conveyer belt because it was too diffcult to place properly and carefully? I am sure she would not. 

And now let's apply this lesson to Krav Maga Self-Defense. 

Many styles hold on to techniques that have become "sacred". Some have been passed down for many generations, they are not questioned or challenged. A legendary founder may have created these techniques, perhaps long ago in a far away land. Some techniques are crowd pleasers, they bring in new clients, as such these techniques are also mainstays and will not be changed. 

But now I ask the question; what if it were your luggage? or, what if it were your daughter? If it were your luggage you would try to test the luggage and make sure it is the best for your journey. You want sturdy luggage that will survive the rigors of the the travel, that is easy to use, easy to handle, has good wheels. And the same is true for the Krav Maga self defense techniques that you want for your daughter. Nothing is sacred, nothing is beyond questioning. We don't care who created these techniques, we only care that they work. 

Teach and train like it matters. Train like your life depends upon it. Settle for nothing but the best. Never think of "clients" but only of family. Your students deserve to be treated as family, with the same love, care and concern. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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