December 7, 2022, Business lounge, El Al, Israel
Full contact training helps delusions disappear.
There are many reasons for training in martial arts. We should not assume that all share the goal of personal self-defense. Some arts evolved from self-defense to art, or demonstration, or tradition, or fitness, or sporting competitions. But those however, which still claim to be about real-life self-defense, need to look in the mirror, for these are matters of life and death.
My training evolved a great deal over the years, I paid my dues, and I paid my hospital bills. Many lessons I learned the hard way. And eventually I found the smart way. We need to test everything full contact with resistance, but we also need to be Smart. I have seen too many bodies destroyed by training methods that can only be described as not-so-smart. I have seen too many young people with permanent injuries that will plague them for a lifetime. We need to find the balance between realistic training and our long-term goal of survival and good health. No one signs up for martial arts lessons to become an invalid for life. We must protect our students; we must guide them with wisdom. As Mr. Miyagi said, "no such thing as bad student, only bad teacher." We need to care for our students, their present and future.
We must be realistic about our martial arts. I recall the moment when my teacher told me that 95% of all martial arts training is useless for real-life self-defense. That was a bit of a downer to say the least. But it opened my eyes. It was a moment of enlightenment.
Sometimes we need to open our eyes and see the painful truth.
Many martial arts still teach techniques that simply defy the imagination. We all enjoy shows like Cobra Kai and Karate Kid, but we understand that it is entertainment, martial arts fiction, choreographed fight scenes. Real self-defense is a totally different story. At some point in our lives, we need to be brutally honest with ourselves, look ourselves in the mirror and ask, Will this really work? Will this work against a violent determined aggressor?
In most cases the answer is no. What we do is prepare ourselves as best as we can. This means not only physical training but also psychological training, scenario training. We work off real life cases which we study and analyze. We use your real abilities, not your imagined fantasy abilities. We train hard, but smart. You will experience some pain, but it will be worth it.
We test all our techniques with full resistance, all over the world. IKI has branches in over 40 countries worldwide. Many of our students are professionals in the law enforcement field. Some are executive guards, some are prison guards, some are military and police, some are doormen, bouncers, VIP guards. They use our techniques on a daily basis and relate to us their experiences. We build off their experience.
Over the years we have dropped many techniques; techniques that we loved, that we enjoyed, but that ultimately failed our rigorous testing, and so we laid them to rest in the Krav Maga museum, relics of past training. But we move forward. The techniques must work, for all our students, male, and female, the young and the old, the talented and athletic and those who are less so.
We cannot afford to be delusional, for us this is not a sport.
We learn, we listen, we grow.
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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