I have been teaching Krav Maga seminars all over the world for many years now. My students include everyone from little children to Special Forces. With each seminar, as I look at the participants, I try to teach what is most suited to their needs.
I am not here to entertain. Sometimes a participant might fee he is ready for something "More advanced", but it is my job to guide him at the correct pace, not to satisfy his curiosity.
With a mixed group of participants, beginners and instructors, police officers and housewives, it is not easy to find the balance. I do my very best and I feel I have been successful.
Recently one of our members posed a question, which he repeated verbatim from a student. Later I discovered that the source of this question was a former student who was trying to "dampen enthusiasm" for my seminars in order to promote his own, but be that as it may, the question raised many important issues.
I will present the question and my reply. After receiving this question I sent out an e mail to our members and asked for their honest evaluation. Their responses will follow mine. None have been edited.
Something I heard last year and again this week. I am repeating verbatim,
“Moshe’s seminars are all the same, the training is and was the same as the previous visit.”
And their comments were “why go to the seminar if we are going to do the same thing again?”
Actually, this is the exact opposite of the truth.
My first thought is....someone has not been paying attention. If they think every seminar is the same they must have day dreaming or checking their phone messages during the seminar. In have so much material to cover that I must pick and choose what to cover in any given seminar, even during our two week Tour and Train program I must painfully decide what to eliminate from our curriculum in order to squeeze it into two weeks.
In terms of our seminar material; With all due modesty, I am probably one of the most innovate Krav Maga/Self-Defense instructors in the world.
As I prepare now for my next round of seminars I just complied a 4 page list of techniques and situations that were never covered in any previous seminars. I do this before every seminar trip.
Recently we filmed a full DVD of new solutions to the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, the DVD "Defeat Hamas", is filled with new and innovative solutions. In fact I am reading your e mail during a short break while working on some very new situations that we have never covered before and I have never seen covered by any school before. Very challenging material indeed.
In addition to the new techniques/applications, there are always minor changes and improvement over previous years.
In addition to the new techniques and the new applications of those techniques, And, this is a Key point; each year when I look at the students I find many are lacking in their performance of these techniques. In all honestly there is hardly a need for new techniques as the "old" have not yet been mastered. This is quality control! Even among advanced practitioners I find, to my disappointment, that often the students are not doing the techniques as I do them. I am here to help you improve, to fix the little mistakes and the bad habits that have kept in since my last visit.
I provide an unusual service by sending out hundreds of video clips per year, on our On Line program, of new and innovative self defense solutions, and yet, when I arrive to do a seminar I discover that the vast majority of students have not come to mastering these techniques. Thus you need the in-person training.
South Africa (2014-5) was a very positive experience in that I have felt that my techniques were fully appreciated. Even Des Brown pointed out every hour or so that what I as teaching was remarkable and innovative and a significant improvement over what I had taught previously.
All I can say is that those who feel "it is all the same from year to year" are simply not getting it.
"Why Go to the Seminar?" The answer is: Because you are no where near where you need to be, and you are in desperate need of guidance and instruction, and this is your opportunity. I have traveled a long distance to come to your town.
Actually my yearly visit is in fact hardly enough for what the students truly need.
Students who are "in the know" notice the changes/improvement from year to year and in fact I have noticed countless times that each and every seminar offers something new and different. And that is also the reason why we have to redo all our DVDs, because the material from just a few years ago has become outdated.
The students who are making these (negative) statements are not purchasing the DVDs and are truly unaware of the recent developments.
Those who make these statements clearly do not feel they have a need to improve and they do not feel I have anything to more to teach them. They cannot be my students.
This shows a clear lack of understanding; they are not "getting it".
I will send this out as a group e mail and ask for responses.
If the majority felt this way I would have been out of business long ago. Deeply sorry to hear this but I appreciate you sharing this with me.
More from Moshe:
Of course some review is required and there will always be some repetition, by necessity. Why?
1. Even the most advanced instructors need review. As they teach during the year there is no one to correct them, to guide them, to point out little habits that have crept in to compromise the techniques. We all need someone supervising us. As the Talmud says, "Find yourself a teacher."
2. There are always beginners at the seminars. They are no less important than the advanced students. The only solution is to have special instructor training sessions where less time is spent on the basics and more time on advanced training.
3. Even the most advanced instructor need review of the basics, even if there are no mistakes to correct. I recall years ago my instructor was invited to a special instructors training day in Tel Aviv, one had to be at least a 4th dan black belt to attend. They spent the entire day reviewing the four most basic Judo moves. He said it was a great experience.
One last comment from one of my mentors, the dear and amazing Professor Arthur Cohen (please read his books, "Become Street Wise; A Woman's Guide to Personal Safety" and "Surviving a Massacre, Rampage, or Spree Killing".
Years ago he said to me, "If I attend a three day seminar, spend $260, and walk away having improved on one technique that I had previously know, I consider that time and money well spent."
Now that is a serious martial artist. That is why he is one of my role models.
Moshe: I apologize for the length and probably the rambling of this but I was "on a roll", so here you go. This is, of course, in response to your email about the seminar comments. You can excerpt, quote, use, trash, or otherwise use any way you like.
Far too many people want every seminar and every class to be different, new and exciting. HKD (Hapkido) offers (somewhat legitimately depending on how you count variations) upwards of 3,000 techniques. In that situation it would be easy for a legitimate master to have seminars every year for decades and never repeat anything (at least on the surface). Conversely, how could a student actually learn all of this when the master has spend decades doing so and the seminar participants, for the most part have only a few years of involvement (if that)?
Students who want to see different, new and exciting things every time they come to class or go to a seminar are either not serious about learning or at least the reality of what is necessary to be able to perform the technique or follow the principles of them under even moderate pressure and resistance has not been explained to them.
As for you, Moshe, my good friend and mentor, you know that unlike many instructors and most students I not only look AT but FOR the 'little things' that make techniques actually work with minimal effort and maximum results. Every time I have seen you teach a technique you have demonstrated at previous seminars I see something ‘new’ or ‘different’ or at least that I had not noticed previously. Sometimes this is due to a change you have made (on some occasions without even realizing it) and sometimes it is just something that did not register last time. I got over the "flash and trash" mentality of movie and TV martial arts years ago. I can do some really cool demo techniques that can get a really good response from an uninformed audience but more often than not they will be worthless in a real life confrontation. Been there, done that, etc.
Here is my take on seminars...I feel that I personally have an obligation to my students to offer them the best and most comprehensive self defense information and training I am able to provide. That is not possible without ongoing "continuing education". While it is (in my opinion) necessary to re-review basics, explain things that perhaps some or many participants may "already know" you have ALWAYS, without exception, offered new solutions to new situations and new solutions to previously addressed situations.
You are one of only two instructors I have ever met who is totally open to “off the wall” “what-ifs” and does not just sluff them off as unimportant or “nobody would ever do that”, etc. I suspect that this is because you have seen first hand that virtually any situation anyone can hypothesize is one that somebody else may well come up with.
Frankly, if I or any of our students attends one of your IKI seminars and only comes away with three or four things they can implement that they have not gotten before it is time and money well spent. One or a combination of those three of four things could easily save a great deal of pain and suffering and perhaps a life.
We both know that GMKM could easily get by and remain an IKI member in good standing offering only one one-day seminar a year. Since I joined IKI we have had two 2-day seminars every year. Frankly I do this as much for my own training and education and that of our assistant instructors as for our students.
Here's the key question regarding the above comment: Why in the heck would we go to the trouble and expense (and there IS a good bit of trouble and a good bit of expense) involved in having two 2-day (sometimes 3-day) seminars EVERY YEAR if Moshe did the same thing at every one.
Bottom line here here is that whomever said your seminars are the same every time is simply not paying attention. How one solves THAT problem is beyond me but odds are that the student quoted will not stick around very long anyhow. That being the case all one can hope for is that he/she learned enough to help if the proverbial excrement hits the fan.
At virtually every seminar there are new or not so well trained students and visitors from other styles and/or other schools. This suggests that reviewing basics would be not only necessary but interesting to those participants.
Reality in training dictates that performing a technique or responding to a situation a few times in class and doing so very well (according to your instructor) IS NOT indicative of "knowing" the technique or even remotely being able to execute it under real life pressure. This takes developing innate instincts so you can react/respond and simultaneously look for options, targets, other aggressors or ways out of the situation. How does this "instinctive response" come about? Exactly the same way you learned the multiplication tables in school (for those who took basic match before 'common core' and the 'new math' screwed around with it)....Repetition. They say "practice makes perfect"....Not really, folks, ....only "perfect practice makes perfect."
Only repetition will allow one to really, fully and innately understand what is going on. This is one of the many reasons we insist on going slowly and methodically when first learning any technique.
Once a person really learns a technique and studies how and why it works (and, of course, why it does not if that is the case) he/she can then understand how important a seemingly minor modification might become. Modifications occur (through the insight of good instructors) to solve problems encountered unexpectedly when performing the technique AND to help specific individuals adapt their particular abilities, assets, talents and experience to a given situation via the technique. Obviously a 5' tall 95# students trying to elbow a 6'13", 250 # student in the face is a futile effort. The elbow strike is only part of the technique so a good instructor will never force the student to jump up and elbow strike. He will, instead, offer other strikes which can easily be done by the smaller student...This is just one example where a technique may well have many, many, variations while the principle or concept remains in tact.
Nobody (I repeat, NOBODY) ever got proficient in martial arts or fighting without regular training. Granted, some people simply "get lucky" and think it was skill. "Luck only comes along in life threatening situations once in a great while and it rarely lasts.
Moshe: As you well know (not including IKI DVDs), I have spent a huge amount of money over the years on DVDs, VHS tapes, etc. from all sorts of sources. Some are simply crap, some are really good and others are a a mix. One or two situations cost me in the $300 range for a 4 or 5 DVD set. Of those 4 or 5DVDs, typically there may be 2 to 5 "techniques" or principles (I look for principles much more than for specific techniques) that I found useful. At that point I felt that it was a good investment. I would likely have never been exposed to those particular things without the DVD expense. In other situations, during my HKD career, I purchased many sets of DVDs (and, at the time, tapes) of other masters and other HKD styles. Yes, much of the was same as or similar to that which I was learning. HOWEVER, in every instance, there was something new, different, etc., or a variant I could use while executing the technique I was being taught to to make its result better. Some call that "tweaking"....
"There is no failure.....There is only Feedback"-Richard Grannon
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill
Hal Herndon, Chief Instructor Georgia Mountain Krav Maga
Dayton Krav Maga is proud to be part of the IKI. We have always learned a lot from your seminars. Keep up the good work Moshe!
Timothy A. Tharp
Dayton Krav Maga LLC
Disagree with this teacher, every year I learn and innovate in the work of Krav Maga and thanks to Moshe. the other associations remained stuck in very old things, thanks to moshe my krav maga to improved considerably. but you have to train and follow the lessons of the master to get it.
IKI Morelia, Mexico
But as an Military and High School Teacher for over 20 years so what if it was true?
taught teenagers and trained/qualified Military Instructors in my
career. People cannot be proficient in ANYTHING with one training
session per year. Even if you "have the technique down" there is some
atrophy that occurs over time and we all can use refreshing or
Re-Certification of a technique or task on a periodic basis. You have to
maintain your CPR status and that is the same training every time. You
have to re-qualify at the range if you carry a weapon for your job, also
same exact training for the most part. There are multiple situations
where you receive the same training. This is important I think Maestro,
because of all your Instructors and members only a few of us are IKI
purists. We don't teach or study other disciplines because you've done
all the work for us. There is never an ingredient added to the IKI
recipe/technique because it "works better if I did it my way" thinking.
We do and teach the exact way you show us in person to the best of our
physical ability and we teach the exact thing. All skills degrade if you
don't practice plain and simple. But you know that. Maybe the people
who ask this question need that pure dose of IKI Krav Maga to "refresh"
them. Sorry I ranted...that way of thinking gets me irate.
Now to the truth...I have been to 8 seminars in the past 3 years in Georgia of course, Tennessee, South Carolina and in Orlando. Each one has been different and I've learned more than my brain could process efficiently at each and everyone. As a teacher I know that information overload is taken negatively... but I use the term to reflect a positive "technique" saturation. Very comprehensive and never a "too Much information I don't get it" situation. That has never been the case. Your teaching style is one I recognize both personally and professionally to be very effective. Your ability to effectively train in multiple languages and in certain scenarios, sign language is enviable and ALL of your instructors should emulate you. You are good Maestro. I know I'm not a multiple Dan martial arts killer and my opinion may not mean as much to some. I recognize outstanding instruction because I am confident in my instructional skills both as a teacher and as an Instructor of Instructors. You are a better Teacher sick than the rest of us are healthy.
Have a great day!
Rob Wallace, Georgia, USA
I have heard or seen this somewhere but it has never been of much relevance or fact to me.
This nonsense was spread around when XYZ ( Editors note: name omitted in order to keep with IKI policy of not saying anything negative about anyone on this site, no matter how much deserved) was justifying not having the Seminar.
Besides all of that, you need to see if the techniques are being applied correctly and just a quick ‘brush’ through them will tell you everything.
I think he didn’t want it to happen and this did slightly dampen the enthusiasm for the event.
I have always told my Students that EVERY time I go to Israel I learn something new even if it is in an older technique.
Never have I been disappointed and that is why I will always be returning.
You have shown that there is always something new you bring to us in your Seminars every year.
This was borne out at the Seminar at Anthony’s place and all the Students saw that.
Your latest videos show the massive growth in techniques and their applications.
From IKI SA You do not need to worry on those old rumours and I will talk to the others on this on Sunday.
IKI Black Belt Instructor, South Africa
Again, I don't like to be involved in the "talking" aspect of things, I' m more of a "doer", but this has provoked a response from me.
I don't want to be mean to a person that may be speaking to a genuine question they may have, but this is silly. I don't mean to offend, but that is the way I feel. I agree with everything you said in rebuttal to this question expect, that I hope you are not disappointed with my personal performance year to year as you expressed here.
I do not see how a serious student who has attended more than a couple of seminars would have this question. It seems to come from ignorance. I mean this in the true sense of the word and not as an insult.
I would like to add that in my experience the seminars are almost overwhelming and I find myself scrambling to make notes and hoping I can remember all the changes and new techniques.
As you have said sometimes you do go over old techniques to show updates or to correct systemic problems you have noticed.
I also would add that in the last seminar I attended you let the instructors request techniques, and ask scenario based questions. I was quite impressed with your ability to do this on the fly. It seemed that we were actually able to set the agenda of the seminar and tell you what we needed.
Lastly, I would like to point out that much like the Torah, we should review the entire system once a year. it think most students will be astonished by how productive this is. I was discussing this with my students just last night. I tell them not to get too frustrated with anything because it will come around again. When it does come around again they are always surprised at how much they have improved in their understanding in the meantime. I think, more importantly, they are also always surprised to see how much they missed the last time and how much more the technique have to offer that they did not see before. Krav, like the Torah, or any great truth, does not change, yet it grow with us and our understanding.
IKI Instructor, Illinois, USA
Here in Norway we have held 6 or 7 seminares with Moshe. There is a reason for this :) We Just recent discussed how pleased we always are with Moshe's seminares. We are doing all we can to get Moshe over here as fast as we can. Again! :)
Remember this!: It is also the seminar holder's responsibility to tell what They want to practice at the Seminares. If not I think Moshe have to expect a lot of newcommers, and then of course he can not Make the seminares to advanced?
This is our thoughts here in Norway. Always a lot's of new stuff every seminar!
Morten (IKI Norway)
Someone told me,
"tell him that he doesn't repeat the same techniques of previous
You know what? F... them! Why you want something different if you don't master the basics?
Keep doing what your doing. If they don't "get it" it's their problem.
You said it clear; "Those who make these statements clearly do not feel
they have a need to improve and they do not feel I have anything more
to teach them. "
Repetition is fundamental in all Martial arts.
Jorge, Puerto Rico
Good morning Moshe,
I thoroughly enjoyed my first seminar with you.
I am a strong believer in repetition and more so of repetition in basics, memory and muscle memory cannot be developed without repetition.
I am a national and international referee and I have often seen in Kata (Karate), locally and internationally how instructors, at the highest level, teach their students differently to that of the chief instructor’s methods and we as referees have to award points to a brilliant participant for doing something wrong that was taught incorrectly by the instructor.
Seminars are like diamonds, first of all they are precious, secondly they are rare, we do not often get internationally renowned instructors visiting us and not all students can afford to travel the world for top class training. These seminars are there cut and polish the student and instructor.
Regarding repetition: I have attended many Karate seminars, in one of these our Visiting Japanese Instructor had us do a specific white belt basic punch for ½ an hour, some of my senior Sensei’s even told us of times where you could be doing one basic movement for more than 2 hours. The more you practise basics the better you get at techniques, as a black belt karate practitioner I often attended the junior classes so that I could repeat and make sure that my basics where done correctly, I teach karate to young and old, the correct execution of basics makes a great student.
My first seminar was tough and incredibly informative, it made me understand that there is simplicity in IKI self-defence and that IKI Krav Maga knowledge can be transferred to everybody, young and old, male and female. I cannot speak for the ones that are saying that you are teaching them the same thing every time, my opinion is that repeating the basics will ensure a good student with great form.
In conclusion, my wish would be to train full time with my senior instructor and in if that is not possible; to at least be able to see him and train with him at least once a year as to improve my basics and to correct my form.
I wish you well in your seminars.
Deon Smit, South Africa
I was just telling our students that I have been attending Moshe's
seminars twice a year for 4 years now and I learn something new EVERY
time. I told them he welcomes questions and demonstrates various
scenarios. I've been telling them about how Moshe simply ensures that
everyone there (who wants to anyway) learns something new.
If someone stands in back, does not participate or ask any questions then it might seem they are doing "same old thing."
Your techniques are ever changing as are our threats around the world. This is one of the reasons we chose Israeli Krav International. Looking forward to our continuous learning.
IKI Black Belt instructor
Core Martial Arts Florida
Your techniques are some of the most practical in the WORLD! You bring a real world perspective that mammoths other organizations. People go home with more confidence now more than ever because of your teachings. Screw the critics, they aren't figuring out the BIG picture like you have and continue to do. YOU were hand in hand with A WORLD CLASS ANTI TERRORISM UNIT. That alone is a testament to what MY teacher Moshe Katz does. And please forward this to ALL IKI members because you can quote me on this.
Keep evolving and doing what you do Moshe.
With highest respect,
IKI Instructor, Central Florida Krav Maga
On the contrary. In my territory everybody is looking forward for Moshes next seminars. And we do appreciate when he go over old techniques for review.
IKI Instructor, San Juan, Puerto Rico
I don't think you need to worry about comments like that. Annually, I attend a good number of seminars and that is a question raised by students every time. I find that it stems from a lack of desire by the students to develop "skill-sets". While it is annoying to seminar presenters who take the time to share knowledge and myself as an instructor, every student isn't taking a martial art to master it. Some just want to feel like they are learning something new EVERY time they step on the mat for more money than they usually pay. Some just do it to hang out. Those student will stop going to seminars and fall behind and most likely quit training altogether. But the ones that do want to build skill-sets understand that repetition and review are a part of the journey. Luckily those individuals aren't your direct students and local instructors have to deal with them haha.
Shelton Jefferson ,
IKI Black Belt Instructor, Virginia, USA
I might share my impression based only on T&T experience and not the seminar.
T&T and seminars may differ in amount of training time but the core IKI methodology, to my modest opinion, is the same and pursues quality and individual dedication and I think it is up each student to decide where he/she wants to be. Achieved belt or rank with techniques trained does not mean that 'this is it' and there is nothing more to learn. On the contrary, it should motivate everyone to keep going, and perfecting everything learned, even already known.
I recall when been told that there are hundreds of knife defense techniques out there but IKI curriculum will focus on very few, refined, tested and applicable. How many seminar participants can demonstrate proficiency in all of them, and even if each was tried and adopted, does that mean there is nothing more to learn, or change or improve?
For as long as I was participating Tour and Train I recall each training being different: plenty of time was dedicated to techniques already known from before but also entirely new technique would be introduced or 'older' one improved, made even simpler to perform, easier to understand and apply - each time!
My experience was that both new or improved techniques were always added with 'right measure' so that students, regardless on their skill level, could easily adapt, gradually advance and benefit from constantly evolving IKI trainings.
Srdjan M, Croatia
Again all negative energy this.
I would not react but you do not deserve this, but when he think it is always the same - stay home.
When I was 3 years old, my judo teacher (my father) learnt me the O-Soto-Gari. After 42 years I still are doing the same O-Soto-Gari. The same
with my Krav Maga techniques I have to train them to make them well in every situation.
Sometimes the aggression on the streets is changing, a few years ago they were fighting with the hands now with knifes or guns so you have
find other techniques. But a gun defense against a .22 mm or 9 mm. is the same so why changing it.
You can’t expect that you have every time new techniques. Be glad your head instructor is travelling to you and teach you the techniques again because you will never succeed 100%.
Besides during the seminar you can always ask about situations you or your students were in and how to solve this.
With kind regards
IKI The Netherlands
Estimado moré! (Teacher)
En realidad cada que usted a venido, el entrenamiento ha sido interesante y muy bueno.
Además el repetir las técnicas nunca esta demás.
Como instructores entendemos, que las técnicas se deben mecanizar y muchas, muchas repeticiones, para que no solo se queden gravadas en nuestra cabeza, si no en nuestra memoria muscular.
No nos sirven de mucho gran cantidad de técnicas que no dominemos, que no sean parte de nosotros.
Es preferible pocas técnicas pero con muchas horas, días, meses, etc. de trabajo en ellas.
Así que no entiendo, el que alguno de los alumnos y menos si es instructor, haga tal comentario.
Me parece falto de criterio y profesionalismo de parte de quien lo vertió.
Filemón Almaraz Morales
IKI Black Belt first dan
Hello Sir ...seminars are continuing education for the people who enjoy learning and want to grow in martial arts. All the seminars I took with you were diferents.
Also we learn a lot. Thanks for your teaching.
William Sánchez Cardona
IKI Instructor Puerto Rico
I would like to offer a comment or two...
I think it important for people to evaluate why they are involved in Krav Maga. If an individual wants to do something "new and different" every time we get together I would liken them to more of a collector of techniques than one interested in pragmatic safe self defense.
This is one of the things that I share with people all the time when they ask how IKI is different than other popular Americanized versions. Your heart and your ambition come out in your style Moshe. You desire to be unmoved by the pressure to produce Hollywood exhibition martial arts and you stick to simple stuff that will work. Fundamentals will fights.
I think we need to remember what the roots of Krav Maga are all about. This system was created out of the against all odds need to survive. Krav Maga became popular worldwide with the police and military community because it works. So should we really be trying to morph it into something that looks cooler? Should we follow the path of other martial arts in building the system around belt ranking and competition only so we can continue to bring in a steady stream of money?
There is always something else we can learn from techniques. If we have the arm movements down focus on the tactical movement. If we feel we have a handle on both of those begin to imagine what your follow up could be or how you would respond to multiple threats. It is so important to always be teachable at every level of ability. All of us can learn something better in even the most basic techniques if we allow ourselves.
I would certainly validate that we need to morph with the ever changing criminal strategies, but the concepts will always remain the same.
I think Krav is fun, but should never become entertainment. I want
my students to enjoy class and return, but will not let anything but the
desire to protect life determine my curriculum. It is fun to learn new
techniques, but it is more fun to not be hurt or killed and be safe at
home with your family. New techniques should be a part of our system as
we ever evolve to overcome the threats to righteous living. However
they should never be introduced simply to upstage the other styles or
Faithfully, Colby Taylor, IKI Black Belt
Lamento. Que tenham dito isso, mas todos são livres dizer o que pensam, ate os ignorantes. Quem o escreveu não é seu aluno, quem o escreveu não sabe o que é a ideia da IKI, quem o escreveu não acompanha os videus novos. As palavras que o Mestre escreveu é suficiente como resposta, é claramente o pensamento de toda a IKI no mundo. Pelo caminho haverá sempre pequenas ervas que teremos de ir tirando. Um abraço a toda a família IKI.
Luis Osorio Instructor, IKI Portugal.
The statement made is based on a quick fix mindset, a low attention span often needs new and brightly coloured trinkets to occupy the mind for short bursts. Then when the the sheen has worn away and the hard work is required to put the long hours of repetition in and the muscle memory has to be won, often then the tendency is to complain of boredom.
My dear Moshe please do not worry about these minority views as they are but shifting sands that will blow to and fro on the whim of the wind.
The chief instructor visiting from Israel should be seen as an opportunity not to be missed.
I have come to realize that your dedication and life commitment to improving KM and serving people is unique.
Concrete foundation Moshe as the great warrior Miyomoto Musashi said fear not the man who knows 10,000 techniques moreover fear the man who practices one technique 10,000 times.
IKI instructor, England
Well, this is NOT what I see when I visit your Seminars.
Each seminar will bring me new technices new friends ..and for me absolutly important:
More expiriance!! all under the eyes of my Master/Instructor/Sensei.
I will not see a new gun disarm at each seminar! I will see Technics which
are working in real life! And if the gun disarm technic is the same as last year
I remember last Year – Car defense ... Knife from behind to the throat ...
you changed the technic to a “old” one.
Well IKI Krav Maga is a living Krav Maga stile ... IKI whatches what will work and what will not, IKI improves new attacks ... just as the new Hamas attacks ... well, there is no other Krav Maga Stile which gives an answer to the hamas instructional Knife video on youtube!!!!!
I am looking foreward to train with you in March in Holland, June in Israel and in September in Germany. And I am sure – I will learn a lot new tactics and technics.
all the best
IKI Black Belt Instructor, Germany
When a new student walks into my dojo and looks at the karate syllabus for white belt to black belt they often get excited because it is made up of mostly (3/4) basics. They ask "if I master these basics then I'll get a black belt pretty quick then huh?" I am entertained by this ignorance and usually smile and reply "yes that's right, 5-6 years of repetition and you just might get it..."lol.
Actually your seminars are quite inviting. I did a technique with John one time and he "updated" me on it. He advised that I was "doing the old technique-there's a better way" he sad. I was surprised and refreshed. Even Funakoshi said that Shotokan should be ever evolving. Grow with the times and situations
Grand Master Cayer
New IKI instructor and forever the student
I think another component of this misconception might actually be one of the reasons your most loyal students respect your techniques so much. Your effort to keep the moves simple and re-use techniques whenever possible might lead an amateur to just "see the same old boring moves over again". In my experience, only the beginners complain about these things. After working at these techniques for years in your dojo, sometimes slowly and carefully and at other times at full speed and strength, I can testify that in the chaos of combat, "variety is not the spice of life". Based on the questions that come in from your advanced students (most of them teachers in their own schools) from all over the world and your effort to use existing techniques to solve them proves that these solutions are only obvious after you demonstrate them. This is just how it goes when dealing with laymen, show them something effective that they can easily learn and they won't be impressed, even though it is revolutionary and they would have never come upon it on there own. It reminds me of the expression "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit", I guess some people just outright prefer the latter to the former.
Laizer R., IKI Black Belt Instructor, Israel
In the proverbial nutshell, whomever stated this, in my considered opinion, is not paying attention!
My thoughts are that you would have to do everything until its grained in hardwired to be correct and instinctive any less then this can get you killed. Why would anyone want to learn new techniques if can't master the ones they have.. Would you put a baseball player in the big leagues if he can't run or know how to swing a bat. So if you cannot do the techniques as thought then why would you learn a new one. I look at this also as would you send a grade 5 student to grade six if he doesn't know the material covered in grade 5. If they can't pass grade 5 how can they possible pass grade 6.. Same applies here except here you can get killed!!!!! My thoughts anyways..
Gary Bishop. , Canada
As the old Zen saying goes. "You cannot step in the same river twice." The same holds true for training. However Many people are looking to be entertained, not necessarily to train. Although they may think they are searching for training they are not.
They often treat techniques like a check list that once they've been introduced to something they want to see something new that peaks their interest. Again emphasizing the desire to be inter rained rather than to train.
Here are a few methods that I have implemented to help address this:
I am very mindful how I communicate to students about training
methodology and how they view the "basics" in order to frame this part
of learning in the right way (I know you do this). Doing things such as
asking them if someone new coming in performs a technique the same as
someone who has been training for a long time? Or working on small
nuances of each basic technique as to add depth to their understanding
of the method. Always emphasizing developing a habit through smooth
2) Create drills that incorporate
one or more basic moves within them, so the person is excited to work on
the new drill even though it incorporates a basic technique.
(of many) simple example(s) of this is to have students get in groups
of three and choose two basic techniques. One student is the defender
and the the other two are attackers. The defender closes their eyes,
then one of the attackers attacks the defender. Once the defender feels
the attacker touch them, they open their eyes, take a deep breath and
respond appropriately to the attack.
You can make the drill more interesting by adding calisthenics in between the movements. Something like everyone does 5 push ups in between attacks and then rotates.
3) Create a more complicated situation where the student has to use a basic technique in a more dynamic way.
Some examples: A) during a multiple attacker scenario. B) Involving a 3rd party protection situation. C) Within the confines of a different or more challenging environment. D) Having to utilize numerous basic techniques to deal with the training situation. E) Ect.
4) Begin with one basic technique and then give various ways to follow up with that same basic: Student performs basic and then either: 1) Escape 2) takes the person down and make sure they are incapacitated 3) restrains the person and/or puts them in hand cuffing position. 4) performing basic technique while protecting a 3rd party.
5) Practice basic techniques while using verbal tactics and positional movement to deal with the situation.
The above are just a few ways how I "hide" training the basics techniques while teaching students so it captures their attention while they are gaining a deeper understanding about the basics.
...and that's my 2 cents worth...
As always, Keep going!
Craig Gray, IKI Black Belt Instructor
When I started learning Krav Maga back in '07 I did not know anything about the art of self-defence and went in with an open mind.
I attended 2-3 days per week, 2-3 hours per session, and all we did was basic movements, like blocking a attack while striking back at the same time from different angles, this is now my automatic response, too cover my head or body from a blow and launch a direct attack.
After about 3 months me and a friend of mine got invited into the advanced class and got to learn more techniques that are based on the same basic movements where we also attended every sessions for hours and all we did was training the same movements over and over again, and did so till we moved onto a new technique.
And still, there is a lot of things to learn as the threat expands, more advanced actions on harming people will be invented where We need to find new ways of handling those threats, so You can never be fully taught, ever.
Also, a lot of people seems to lose the grasp of what Krav Maga is about and I've met instructors who uses their martial arts instead of actual Krav Maga, just to make it look fancy for others, "developing new content" as they call it, but the things I learn still stick with me (no kicks higher then groin, ground fights is always last resort and so on)
Yes, Krav Maga is about repeating, repeating, repeating and more repeating till you have the technique flowing in your veins, because in the end it will save your life, speaking of personal experience.
My views of seminars is this;
A seminar is a great platform for a head instructor to meet his student face to face and update them on how to handle new threats while polishing the old basic techniques, because you will find a basic technique in 90% of the content, block and strike.
It's the instructors at the different gyms that are in charge of updating themself and measure if the class is ready for any advance techniques, why learn an advanced move if the student can't do the basics.
And also, seems to me that a lot of people have seen Jason Bourne and those fancy Krav Maga clips and gets dissapointed when they realise that fiction is far from reality without proper training.
So I stand behind you Moshe, there is no point in teaching new content when the students are not mastering the basic techniques, maybe a yearly revisiting of every instructor is needed to review that they can the basics? Just a small idea, but again will take a lot of time.
Looking forward to meet you again Moshe,
As always, stay safe
We would like to give you our point of view about this.
We are more than 10 years busy in Krav Maga and more than 5 years with IKI.
In those years we have trained with a lot of different instructors and joined several seminars from different famous and also less famous instructors in the world. We have hosted or attended more than 16 IKI seminars by Moshe Katz, March 2015 will be our next IKI seminar.
We are not teenagers who will join the same movie several times because we are fan of a movie star, we are experienced people who took a look at several Krav Maga Instructors, we saw a lot of seminars where we have seen a lot of brutal violence, hard beating and you have to be well trained in fitness and in a good shape and condition to hit on a pillow for about one hour and kick and hit each other on the face or the trainer will hit you on your face to learn you to accept pain. On some of those seminars we have learned to hit hard, get a lot of bruises and learnt about three not of the best Krav Maga techniques. There were also a few good seminars of course. Our experience with IKI Krav Maga and Moshe Katz is, he teaches techniques who work with everyone which condition, shape, fitness training, age or what so ever.
No seminar of Moshe is the same and of course some techniques are basic and you see them coming by as an aspect of a new technique.
Thereby there is hardly someone to find who can reproduce all the techniques of a previous seminar in perfection so our point of view is that repeating techniques will do no harm but will improve you. Think about other martial arts were you have to train the same techniques over and over again for maybe about hundreds of times to make them as a second nature but that is a sport. Krav Maga is to protect yourself, your family and others so why not training one technique until it’s as a second nature to you! It’s sometimes good to train one technique a thousand times than thousand techniques one time.
Why we did choose for IKI and Moshe Katz is because he’s always improving techniques, he’s always responding on new kind of attacks all over the world. If you have a question about a technique or an attack you will get an answer within 24 hours (if there is Wi-Fi). Which instructor who is so busy would do that?
Moshe doesn’t only take care of his instructors but also tells them to take good care of their students and tread them as if they were your own children because you only want the best of the best for your children. He also want’s everybody to respect their body so that you can do Krav Maga for a whole lifetime and not to train only for 10 years in a way that your body will become like a battlefield. So he’s one of the best instructors of the world and we are proud that Moshe Katz is our sensei.
Servé and Armanda Honée
IKI Krav Maga Black Belts, instructors, The Netherlands
Parts of your e mail reflect a troublesome trend I have been observing. I do not know if some, as you say, "...feel they have no need to improve.", or simply feel complacent and comfortable with the "...old ways". I truly appreciate how you utilize the instant global communication techniques available today to share the most effective techniques. Your DVD pricing must be the lowest in the Krav Maga 'industry' (for lack of a better word), and yet either so many do not get them or do not watch and absorb. They are 'missing the boat'.
If there is anything worth quoting here, please leave my name out. Those I refer to will instantly recognize that they fall into this category without seeing their students name, and I count them as friends and would not want them to feel I 'betrayed' them.
Keep up the great work,
On a personal level, I think that anyone who does IKI KM or any KM in fact, is a fool to think that they cannot benefit from your seminars. I feel that these seminars are crucial to any persons advancement in training and will help them to better understand the principle and techniques of your training.
It is disturbing though to hear that people say negative things about your seminars as they are in my opinion the pinnacle and highlight of my own training and other IKI KM students in SA which can be seen on the faces of all the students that attended the 2014 seminar.
The following comment…“why go to the seminar if we are going to do the same thing again?” is ridiculous! I distinctly remember you telling us before we ended your 2014 leg in JHB that we must take notes on any specific techniques we would of liked you to cover. You did mention that you have a standardized form that you used as a platform to get thing started until you gauged what it was that the students wanted to learn specifically.
The comment you received from the member is uncalled for and out of line and quite possibly the opinion of the individual them self, in which case I feel they of opened their mouth and respectfully approach you and request training on specific terms. At the end of the day you can't please everyone. We have such a vast amount of "What if's" that time doesn't always favour us on your short visits. Maybe the way forward is then to request beforehand what the host would like you to cover??
Executive Committee Member (IKISA)
Black Belt (Level 2) Instructor (IKI)
Your seminars have not only been unique each time, but I would have no issue if they did repeat.
You have already produced a life time of training, blogs, dvd's, etc. that people can benefit from and should be trained daily for muscle memory / recall. It is exciting to see new stuff during a seminar, but also an important opportunity to review, enhance, correct, etc. the existing curriculum. Not to mention a chance to see "teaching methods", hear your interesting stories (often humorous) that can be shared to help students learn and socialize in general with like minded people who teach and take their students safety very seriously.
I didn't tell my boxing coach that I learned an upper, straight, hook and jab so after a month I was perfect at it. I got to do those 4 strikes for years and little else. I actually get a bit more excited to see a new attack scenario that can be addressed by an "existing technique", over a new one. So my perspective varies greatly over the comments made and I am not sure how someone could come to that conclusion.
Please keep up the great work and see you soon.
IKI Black Belt Instructor, Vancouver, Canada
I know this is a bit late but I wanted you to know my opinion on your seminars. I have been to almost all of your seminars east of the Mississippi River (with the exception of Florida) and at every seminar I have learned a great deal. I have seen the IKI techniques develop and change over time as you have found better and more efficient/effective ways to defend. I have not seen this in any other organization. You remain humble and ready to change because the goal is not to improve your ego but to improve the safety of those you/we teach. That sounds like common sense but these days it seems that nothing is so uncommon as common sense.
I, personally, am glad to "relearn" any techniques that are the same and to make any adjustments you see I need from your extensive experience. To me (and I think, what you have taught us) the essence of IKI Krav Maga is not in being complicated but in doing the basic techniques over and over until we don't have to think. As you have taught us "there is no advanced Krav Maga." So repetition is great under an experienced eye, and you mix it well with innovative techniques and principles along with your great knowledge of the world and Krav's history.
Thanks Moshe. I'm very proud to be an IKI instructor, to have you as my teacher and to call you my friend.
IKI Black Belt Instructor, Michigan, USA
There will always be those who are looking for the "Flash Technique" the 21 blows of the dragon ! there are those that sometimes feel if it is too simple, then it is not good defense
your seminars are always filled with lots of variety, and no two have ever been the same, but I see the types there, the same ones that do the technique three times, thinks I have it, and stops training and waits for the next move, I saw this last time with several individuals
some look for flash, some look for the jump kicks hey will never master, some can not grasp simple is effective, there are always skeptics out there and then there will always be the ones to compare their style or system thinking that my way is better then your way,
I learned after many years of trying that you can not please everyone know matter how hard you try, but to answer your question no, no two seminars are ever the same
like they say in the new testament, if they will not receive you or your word, shake the dust from your sandals and move on ! loose translation, my version, lol
John Liptak, IKI Black Belt instructor, Florida, USA
Moshe, Greetings my friend and instructor. I would have responded earlier but wanted to put some thought into it. I don’t even know where to begin. Honestly speaking, 80% or so of the material is the same motion applied to a different situation. I would think most of the material should be very familiar motions based on the same principles you have taught or we have learned previously. It seems to be one of the points of Krav Maga and your philosophy of easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to apply in many situations. If every time we attend a seminar or receive a clip we must start over completely that would not be effective. Of course there are slight adaptations, innovations, and new situations. These changes are welcome changes and improvements that help us become more effective. Since 2009 I have been to about a dozen seminars and it seems almost every time I see some improvement of a technique or a new situation. However, perception is dependent on the personality, level and maturity of the martial artist. Now that said, there is a large responsibility on the instructors part to give you direction on what they want to be taught. If the instructor asks you to teach the same thing every time then so be it. Anyway, I always appreciate and benefit from your seminars and feedback. Keep on keeping on my friend and if that doesn’t work then punch them in the throat…lol… jk jk.
IKI Black Belt Instructor, Tennessee, USA
My response is two fold:
1. Yes, we do at times cover some things that have been covered before, but with good reasons. First, there are always people at Moshe's seminars who have never attended one before, so they need to see these techniques as well. Second, reviewing these techniques with Moshe is valuable beyond description. It's easy to think that you've mastered a technique, when in fact some errors have slipped in without you even realizing it. Having Moshe there to watch you and correct these "hidden" errors lets you improve the techniques in your future practice. Third, Moshe is constantly updating and improving the system, so we might do a technique that has been covered before, but between the two seminars, Moshe discovered a subtle difference that makes the technique vastly improved. We might not even notice the significance of the change, making it feel like we're doing the same thing again when in fact there is a subtle but significant improvement to the technique.
2. I think that because these techniques are so innovative in their simplicity, that it feels like we're doing the same things when in fact we aren't. I think I remember Moshe saying something like, "I would rather have 1 technique that works for 3,000 different attacks than have 3,000 different techniques for 1 attack." What makes Moshe's Krav so innovative is that the techniques are principle based, and those principles are universal, which means that we can have one technique that works for multiple attacks. So it may feel that we're doing the same thing when in fact it's a version of the same technique, but it's being applied to a completely new attack or scenario.
Anyway, that's been my experience. I've never felt for one second that I was wasting my time when working out with Moshe.
IKI Instructor, Colorado, USA
This is what I believe about your seminars and IKI Technical training:
Your IKI teaching are valuable information that cover simple defensive techniques that even kids can master easily. In the past I train with some people from other Krav Maga organizations, and I found their techniques to be somehow effective, but required some physical and technical training to be mastered. But your techniques are simple and easy.
If you remember in the past (2010-2011) I already have had experience in self defense and Krav Maga, training with instructors from other Krav Maga organizations.
But when I was attending your IKI seminars in Arizona (at Tim Hills) training with some "tough guys" from the US/Mexico police border patrol, I was impressed by your simplicity and efficiency in performing self defense IKI techniques.
This is why I followed you to the next IKI seminar in Long Beach California, where I have had the privilege to train with some "experienced" and self defense instructors from the US Military Special Unit. Some of them extremely fit and with extensive fighting experiences in Bosnia, Kosovo and mostly in Afghanistan.
And their self defense training was not related only to shutting with a rifle from distance but close quarter combat involving surprised attacks with guns and knifes, while on patrol. Some of them (as they recorded) get even stabbed while patrolling, but at the end they survived the fight.
And I found out that with all their knowledge and experience in close quarter combat, it was easy for me to overcome their simulated full force attacks, by using IKI techniques learned from you. They were also amazed by the simplicity and effectiveness of your instructions.
Moshe, one thing you have to remember: If those highly trained military self defense instructors were impressed, (including myself) no matter what other people say or think.
And if some people try to imply that you are "slow" in movements, remind them that you are a technical instructor and not a super fit solder.
But your techniques can be extremely efficient and up to date, and can be used by almost everyone.
And after mastered, those techniques if are performed in full force and speed, they can be devastating and life savings.
I have a DVD with some training in Long Beach and a short interview about the difference between military training and self defense for civilians. And I remember you saying that if you work in an office and you go one day at work with a black eye, without a teeth and a broken finger this is not the Krav Maga way for civilians. Maybe somehow is applied for aggression in military, but this is just a limited part of the best.
Sometimes I watch this training to remember myself that with the simplicity of your IKI techniques (performed with some speed) I easily overcome those strong, young and fit US military instructors.
You should ask Nick Israel (their lieutenant) to get a review directly from those instructors under his command. And in this case nobody will complain again. (or not?)
So go ahead and continue what you do, and keep the good job as you always did.
Take care Moshe.
Your Health is Your Wealth
Sorry, I know I'm seeing this late, but I'll just say that I believe these people are not trying to be petty or insulting, or even lazy, but that they are simply inexperienced. Something a lot of people don't seem to understand is the awesome simplicity of Krav Maga...it's the same core concepts, over and over, no matter where it's taught, the same basic concepts are reused. Even more so for IKI - someone who can't visualize the subtle or obvious difference in attacks will not be able to recognize the difference in defenses because the general focus or movement might be similar to that of others. And those things that are 'repeated' are done as such because...they work. Not that I have to explain any of that to you, you would know better than any of us. It's a pity if they can't recognize that, but I guess that's their loss. Perhaps if they trained more they'd understand how very diverse it really is...
Sylvia Towler, Israel
Two answer to them.
1st - If he is not doing better than the master, has no right to open his mouth.
2nd - Repetition leads to the master, no use technical know 1000 shoddy, will end up dying!
Master, not heard, these pessaos not add, only hinder.
Mestre Giovani Borghetti
I had such a good seminar with you. Thank you so much for your kind understand, knowledge you shared and patience and support you demonstrated to me.
Lou Iggleden, Australia
How much this unqualified testimony must have offended you.
And yet it only says something about the original author (of the source).
At best, he is a victim of today's flood of media-controlled time
(the average attention span today is 6 seconds),
without the ability to focus on something,
without the ability to work consistently on a technique,
to refine it, and, if necessary, to renew it.
And in the worst case this statement was made for low motives,
to put himself in the foreground.
But one thing is quite clear: This statement is miles away from the truth!!!
No seminar of yours was like a previous one.
No tour and train was like a previous one.
No 5 days training was the same, how could this be at all?
This statement contradicts itself.
How could even one seminar be equal to another?
You pick people up where they are in your seminars.
And even if they would be exactly the same people who attended your seminar,
they would still be at a different point in their training progress than the last time.
And something else this guy should be thinking about:
Children are eager for knowledge,
they learn day by day, but how do they learn?
The secret is consistent repetition, again and again.
If a child has learned to walk a step, it doesn't say: walking is boring now,
I want to learn something else now. No, it repeats this until it can run without effort,
a long process, it always gets up when it falls and continues.
And everyone knows that repetition is an award.
Which books can be read again and again? Only the most important, significant books.
Which films can be repeated again and again? The really good ones.
Which songs can't you get enough of? Only the qualitatively great ones.
We can learn this from the children: a child loves to have a story read out again and again.
They immerse themselves in it and discover something new again and again.
And even the wisest scholars discover something hidden in their repeated studies.
You have decades of experience, a bright mind and the will to make this world a better place.
You have a compassionate heart and a great inner strength.
You are filled in every sense with the knowledge of your outstanding teachers.
You're the best teacher anyone could ever wish for!!!
Thank you so much!!!
Note: Update from 2020
This blog was written five years ago, back in 2015, it was true then as it is true now. However since 2015 we have progressed so far that I view what I taught then as just a prelude to what we have today. We have totally revamped and revised so many techniques, covered so many more challenging situations, that it can only be compared to the cell phone of the early years vs. the current iPhone 11 pro!
One of our great advantages is two fold: We are open minded and we learn from situations from all over the world. One day I will receive a video clip of a crime in Oaxaca, Mexico and the next a CCTV clip of a member of ours being held up in South Africa. We learn from all these cases, we have input from the four corners of the world; the gangs of New Zealand, the prisons of South Africa, the streets of New York, Los Angeles and San Juan. We are truly international.
North Carolina, USA