Martial Arts Crafts Maintenance
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

January 3, 2019, Israel

Each day is a new creation.

Have you met a guy who tells you that "back in the day" he was a champion fighter? Perhaps when you tell people that you train in martial arts there will be a guy who  tells you he earned his black belt many years ago, but today, well, he has not trained in a long time?

As they say, if you don't use it - you lose it. Having earned a black belt many years ago does not mean you currently possess any skills, even if you still have the belt and the diploma.

On the other hand, have you ever been to a museum and seen a work of art, arts and crafts, dating back to the Roman period, to the stone age? It is still perfectly maintained. It has not "lost its ability". We find potsherds, figurines and coins from thousands of year ago, still beautiful. 

There is a difference between martial arts and crafts. A work of art does not need to be updated. Once you made your wooden clock, other than cleaning it and varnishing it from time to time, it is done. A certain maintenance is required but the object itself is a finished product. The Mona Lisa is done, there will be no more paint added. 

Martial arts which are meant to be for self-protection, on the other hand, are never a finished product, they are a living ever changing, constantly evolving, art form. You are never done and there is no retirement date.

There are martial arts which do not change, but even they need constant maintenance. Perhaps Okinawan Karate is still the same as it was in the days of Gichin Funakoshi, I don't know, but if you are not training on a regular basis you will not maintain this art.

When it comes to our style of Krav Maga, not only is regular training required to maintain your skill, but the art itself is constantly evolving. We are always seeking to improve it, there are always new developments. 

We, the Jewish people, praise and thank God every day in our morning prayers. The form of the prayer is in the current tense, not the past. We thank God for bringing us the sunshine, and the rain, because we need these on a regular basis. We are not thanking God for having created rain thousands of years ago, we are thanking him today

In a sense this is "what have you done for me lately" thinking. Last year was successful, great, but I need you again this year.

Each morning we thank God that we woke up, because there are those who did not wake up, they passed in the night. Each day we thank God that we can stand erect, use our body properly, walk, sit and relieve ourselves as needed. When these no longer function, we are in great pain. 

Blessed are you God, King of the universe, who opens our eyes, giving sight to the blind,

Blessed are you God, King of the Universe, who clothes the naked,

Blessed are you God, King of the universe, who straightens the bent (so we can stand erect),

Blessed are you God, King of the universe, who has provided me with all my needs,

We believe that God is actively involved in the world, he is actively maintaining it, and us. Our praise and thanks are for what is happening now, not in the distant past. 

For example, we use the phrase in Hebrew HaMeir La Ares, He who gives light to the world, sunshine. The word Meir - Gives light, refers to a current action, we thank for the sun shining this morning. The Hebrew name Meir is taken from this, it means this individual named Meir is one who brings us light. 

Our Krav Maga must be the same, not just a black belt diploma hanging on the wall, not a faded photograph from years ago, but a current lifestyle being maintained and updated on a regular basis. 

Just as each day God renews the world, just as each day we must maintain our bodies with proper food and exercise, we must maintain our self-defense abilities. This is our share in making this world a better place. 

Wishing everyone a blessed day. 

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