November 7, 2023, Israel
I am in pain, I am sad, devastated and angry. A young woman who had every virtue we could hope for, was killed. Her name was Rose. She was a beautiful rose and was only 20 years old. This will not be a blog about her, of that I am certain others will write a great deal. I will say she was raised a Jew in the United States of America. Her family lost many members in the Holocaust. She learned her lessons well. She chose to leave a life of comfort and move to Israel alone. She fought hard, trained hard and joined one of the most elite units of the Israeli armed forced, the prestigious Border Police. Her full story will be told by others. She was brave, fearless I am told, and she patrolled the most difficult areas of Israel. She was stabbed to death this morning in the Old City of Jerusalem by a 16-year-old Arab.
I am sure she fought like a lioness. And here begins our lesson. Yes, once again Moshe will speak about knife defenses. Yes, once again Moshe will repeat himself and make the same points, blah blah blah yada yada yada. But I will do it, as Jan Karski said, I will speak as long as I have breath in my lungs, I will not be silent. I cannot be silent.
There is nothing that upsets me more than a student who says, "That again! We already covered that!" Or, "Dont' teach the same things you did at last year's seminar, it is boring. People will not pay to come and learn the same techniques as last year."
Indeed. I would like to see how well such students would do in the Old City against a determined knife attacker, someone who comes to kill or be killed. The claim that "we did this already" is as hollow as any claim ever made. Do you really think you can face a man with a knife? (Or a woman). Do you really think this is easy? Are you tougher than those Israeli border police who were killed by Arab teenagers? I think you should rethink this. I never want to hear those words, "We learned this last year, it is boring". Those are the words of someone who should really contact a lawyer and prepare a will.
I have never been to a seminar where everyone had the techniques down perfectly. I have never been to a seminar where I was not able to improve on what the students, and instructors, were doing. Never! The wise instructors are the ones who ask me questions. The unwise ones think they know it all.
We, IKI Israel, are always working on these techniques. Here I never hear those hollow words "we did this before". We are always analyzing real life cases, what went wrong and what was done correctly, how will the body respond under physical and emotional stress. I cannot imagine the thinking of a person who says, "I will not attend a seminar because there is probably nothing that I need to improve."
Are you married? In a relationship? Is it perfect? There are two answers, No, (telling the truth), and Yes, (lying). No relationship is perfect, all could be improved. So if you can attend a workshop on how to make your relationship better, do so. It is the same with knife defense.
I think of this sweet Rose, plucked too early in her life, she was only 20, had a boyfriend, a full life ahead of her. She was stabbed because others are filled with baseless hatred and do not want to live with us in peace. The young man who killed her, is now himself dead. So in his eyes he is a "Martyr", but really he was just a fool. But for us, all we can do is learn to protect ourselves. Train, train hard, and then train some more. We are never finished training. No level of training is enough. Tomorrow we have class, and we will train to protect ourselves against knife attacks. The wise will join us for training, the unwise will stay home and watch cartoons or eat ice cream, and the blood of our sister cries out from the earth to the heavens. When will this stop?
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?
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