Magic Krav Maga
A Magic Afternoon
By Athanassios "Thanassi" Stellatos

January 21, 2018, Vienna, Austria

The Magic of IKI. (for me)

After years of practicing different martial arts like Karate, Judo, Ju-Jitsu it can be a little shock when you get in touch with IKI. You will feel like a guy, who spent a lot of time and money to develop a high performance pen, that hopefully works in space. And than a friendly astronaut with beard and a big smile on his face taps you on your shoulder and hands you a stupid pencil. At least, that’s how I felt.

IKI is always a warm welcome to SIMPLICITY.

To be fair, every traditional martial art is aiming to be very simple and effective.But nowadays the "dojo reality" seems to forget about it. So you start to learn a bunch of techniques, different kicks and defense stances and so on. Then, after years of sweat, blood and bows you become a black belt and you try to confirm your rank by impressive techniques and outstanding katas and by teaching your own students sweat, blood and bows. You feel good with your black belt around your hips and you think, you are always ready for „x“. But you are not. 

Except, you have the honor to train with real grand masters and they are willing to introduce you in the essence of their art. Their moves and strikes are always short and simple. No Hollywood stuff. And what a wonder, their teaching is often soft and gentle. No military drill or Iron Man camp. But most of us don’t have the luck to meet this rare grand masters. And so the show and bow business goes on. 

Back to IKI and the magic of SIMPLICITY.

What is the „magic key“ of IKI for me?

In my eyes it is our "One Key for All“ defense technique. It represents the body and soul of IKI.
It directs us.
It gives us the direction of surviving. Forward. With our hands, with our knees, with our body and with our mind and spirit. 

And last but not least: It leads us to the eyes of our opponent. 
What do I mean?

In almost every hand-to-hand attack situation we raise our hands in front of us. No matter, if its a round strike, a hook or what ever, we immediately protect our body, neck and head. In a very natural way we are able to survive the first punch.

But also, In the same moment, by raising our hands we go into the inner (vulnerable) line of our attacker and our defense becomes an attack. Especially our hands and fingers come in front of the eyes of our attacker. It distracts him and destroys his attack mentally and physically. At least, it tones it down. In the meantime you go forward and serve him your hand palm, elbow and or knee. 

One of many special things I love about it:
With our defense technique you can increase the distracting of your opponent. Simply with forward going and pawing your hands in his face. Sticky hands in his face gives you the moment of Zen to neutralize the situation. However, what ever you develop with this defense, it brings you forward. It’s amazing.

Summarized: Moshe, I hope, I had not bored you. But I am still stunned how simple and effective „One Key for All" Defense is. A few days ago I fought with my 14-year old daughter Athina. She was damn good. And to „attack" my students has become a painful routine. Thanks for it. 

Before I end this, allow me to mention one thing for all what I wrote here. I had the luck to train with some of the best teachers in Karate. And I am still very grateful to them. But I have the impression, that it has become a huge business and for good teachers it’s hard to stay on the real thing. IKI brought me back to the roots of my Karate. Both have their legitimacy. IKI sharps my understanding of Martial Art and Self Defense.

Thanssi being promoted to Instructor in Israel, with Esther Lehman and Moshe Katz

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.