Krav Love
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

August 17, 2014

When people ask me what it takes to be a great Krav Maga instructor my answer often surprises them. It catches them off guard. I say the first ingredient is Love. You must love mankind; you must love your students.

Some are taken aback, they think I must be some flower child from the 1960'a, perhaps a left-over Hippie. They expected to hear stories about body building, weight lifting and bad guy stuff.

But love?

What's love got to do with it?


And if you are not getting it, stop reading it, you are not right for IKI Krav Maga.

Krav Maga must begin with love because otherwise you will be a terrible teacher. To be a teacher means to give. Otherwise you are teaching for all the wrong reasons.

During my instructor course at Wingate we were told "There is a certain point in your career where you must decide if you are a teacher or a competitor".

I understood; you cannot be both.

To be a competitor is to focus on yourself; To be a teacher is to focus your energy and attention on others. You cannot do both.

Yesterday in the synagogue we were reading, as is our custom, Menorath HaMaor by Rabbi Yishak Abuhav. I saw this same message, stated hundreds of years before I was born.

It was stated in reference to Biblical studies. He wrote that your study of the Torah, the Bible, must begin with love. Your studying must have the correct attitude and motivation for otherwise it will surely fail.

He states, if one studies so that he should be called "honored rabbi", or "great scholar" or that people should admire him as he walks the streets, or that he should sit on the Council of Elders, his studies will never succeed.

He writes; He who chases honor, that honor will run away from him. But he who studies for the correct reasons, out of love, all those good things shall come to him.

The words of the rabbis apply perfectly to Krav Maga. If only the Krav Maga world would pay heed. And it should!

After all Krav Maga comes from Israel and if you want to be a good Krav Maga instructor you must understand Israel and our culture. So much so that Alan Mann of IKI South Africa believes every IKI black belt candidate must make a trip to Israel, to understand the true roots of Krav Maga.

If one chooses to become a doctor because it is a "good profession", it will provide a lifetime of good income, it will attract a "high quality woman from a good family", I do not wish to be treated by such a doctor. I will never trust him.

A doctor should begin his studies out of a deep passion for mankind, a deep desire to help, to cure.

It is the same with Krav Maga.

What are your reasons for training? Why do you want to become an instructor?

Today many young people look at us veterans and think, "Hey, I served in the army, I have cool photos in uniform, I can do this!"

And they start yet another fly by night Krav Maga association, become an instant grand master and offer their services around the globe. And "a fool and his money are quickly separated".

The ancient rabbis got it right. Study for the correct reason and you will be an asset to the community and to yourself. Study to satisfy your own ego...and you will ultimately achieve nothing.

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