Krav Maga and the Insect
By Moshe Katz

July 21, 2010

The Talmud is our book of law, discussion, folklore, history, culture and faith. It is basically 500 years of discussion on every topic of importance to our people. In connection with the story of creation our rabbis write, "An insect preceded you in the story of creation."(Talmud, Tractate Sanherin, page 38 A)

יתוש קדמך במעשה בראשית (סנהדרין ל"ח א')

This is a reference to the six days of creation mentioned in the Torah, the Bible. Mankind was the final creature created; all other life forms preceded man. This quote from the Talmud is meant to instill humility in man. Always remember an insect preceded you in the story of creation, the insect was here before you, do not think you are so special; show some humility to your elders.

Humility; it is an integral, essential, ingredient in life success. Without it you are doomed to tragedy and self destruction.

Remember that insect; not only that it preceded you; it can destroy you, easily. How many big strong man came down with some disease caused by an insect, how we become paralyzed and bed ridden, rendered helpless; all from a little insect. This is God's way of reminding us to be humble; as the Talmud says, "An insect preceded you in the story of creation." And it will probably outlast you as well.

It is wise to remember this in all aspects of our lives, and certainly in Krav Maga training. With IKI Krav Maga one might say we use an historical perspective in our training, our past is part of our future. I always say that your ego can get your killed.

A true martial artist, a real man, or woman, will not allow another person to drag them into an unnecessary fight. As my kung fu teacher, Sifu Chun Kwok Chow would say, "I will not let you dictate the fight, I will fight my fight" i.e. on my terms. My rabbi says, "I choose my friends and I choose my enemies, I have not chosen you as an enemy." As such, he has just totally dismissed, and defeated, the belligerent, without a single blow.

Do not allow your ego to draw you into a fight, do not allow your ego to cause you to lose your center, your balance, you emotional and physical stability.

By allowing a Neanderthal at a bar to draw you into a fight, even if you win, does this make you a better man? You have lost your cool, you have allowed him to decide your course of action, (after all you didn't come into the bar planning on a fight night), you have lost your self control. Unless you or one of your party is actually at risk there is very rarely any reason to engage this unfortunate individual whose idea of entertainment is getting drunk and getting into a fight and spending the night in a prison cell.

Ego, learn to control it, remember the insect, he was here first and will probably outlive you, he has no ego. A wise man learns from all of God's creatures.