November 25, 2020, Israel
Ever see those advertisements for workout programs, diets, that guarantee that you will look amazing in a short while, if only you buy their products? Sure you have, unless you live in a cave or an isolated community, you have seen them. And yet very few people succeed with these programs. And the question is why?
The answer is simple. The people advertising these programs are supported by your dollars and they can afford to basically live in the gym. They live their lives around their exercise program, their diet plan, when to eat, when to sleep, when to exercise. They can also afford the special foods on this time plan and the supplements. For this is a full time life style, but wait there is more.
They are also fired up about this, this is their passion in life. And to their credit they have been able to turn their passion into their career. It is truly wonderful when you avocation becomes your vocation, when your hobby becomes your job, when you can do full time what you truly want to do.
Sadly this not a realistic plan for most people. Allow me to offer an example based on my community.
Late at night I see many couples walking. This is wonderful, this is their time together and their "fitness" workout. Yes, we all want to stay young looking and healthy. But what is the average day like for the average man in my community? The average man wakes up very early, he goes to the prayer service in the synagogue. He comes home for a quick light breakfast and then takes a bus to work. This bus ride might be an hour or so. He works all day and comes home towards evening. Then he spends a little time with his children, perhaps helping them with their homework and listening to how their day was. And then he has dinner with this family and once again off to the synagogue for evening prayers. When he comes home he might spend some time with his older children. He is now tired but he takes his walk with his wife, perhaps 30 - 45 minutes around the neighborhood. And then it is time to sleep.
Years ago I purchased a book, discounted to $1.95, Businessman's Guide to Fitness in minutes a day, or something like that. I purchased it because I had a full time job at a bank and did not have a lot of free time for exercise, as I had when I was younger. I found the program useless, the "minutes a day" referred to in the title of the book were in fact about 120 minutes per day, or about a 2 hour daily workout with weights, such as a bench press and pulling machine etc. This was false advertising. If I had 2 hours a day to work out plus the travel time to and from the gym, (plus shower, dressing time etc) I would not have purchased this book.
You may see where I am going with this idea. The book, the program, were irrelevant to my lifestyle. As good as the program may be, it was useless to me. And now we shall discuss why most exercise diet programs fail and how that is relevant to our style of Krav Maga and self defense.
There was an interesting advertisement and the guy sounded very convincing and showed the before and after photos of some of his clients. He asked all the correct questions to perk our interest; Are you interesting in toning up, losing those last few pounds of annoying fat? Do you want to look like you did twenty years ago? and do all this while eating everything you want? Click on my link etc..
So I looked into it a little and found the unhappy customers. That is the beauty of the internet and social media, you get to hear other perspectives. I found an Asian girl who said, Great program if you can stick with it, but it did not suit my lifestyle. I cannot attend a family dinner and refuse to eat half the foods, my family will be offended. I cannot avoid eating during the Chinese New Year celebrations because it "interferes" with my diet plan. And I don't want to feel that I am doing "homework" every night that I don't enjoy, I don't want to feel guilty that I am not keeping up with the scheduled program, so I quit.
This is a the problem with most programs. The people selling them are A. Highly motivated, B. Highly passionate about this project, and C. Have the time and the money to do it. For the most part the people purchasing the program will not be able to follow through. I cannot tell you how many fancy multi purpose exercise machines I have seen in people's houses. When I asked about them, I was told, very expensive clothing hanger, basically.
What we need is a program that is realistically sustainable with our current lifestyle. If you have 45 minutes free time per day you will not succeed with these programs. And now we apply this to Krav Maga.
Most martial arts involve years of focused discipline to attain any results what so ever. That is why the black belt is so esteemed, for very few earn it. And yet our goal is simply self-defense, for all, at any age, with any body type, with any lifestyle. As such we have spent decades, and continue on going research, to find shortcuts to your brain, faster ways to learn and integrate into your lifestyle, the self-defense moves that can save your life.
Our ongoing goal is always simply to simplify, as Bruce Lee said.
We do not require you to train for hours every day, because most cannot do this.
We do not require you to memorize complex techniques with 17 components, this is too much to ask of anyone but a professional dancer.
We do not expect you to achieve super human fitness and look like a fitness model.
We do not expect you to have the stamina of a professional ring fighter who does this for a living.
We do not expect you to change your lifestyle, give up your family life, your religious obligations, your work.
So we find simple concepts, a thread that runs through all our techniques, that unites them into idea that you can remember and apply. We want a Krav Maga that suits your body, that suites your lifestyle, that suits your personality.
We want to fit into your lifestyle, not change it. Help us spread the word, simple self-defense for all.
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