November 3, 2022 Vienna, Austria
Training in Israel, keeping it real when there is a lot at stake
I am in Vienna, just before a seminar, most of the students will be people I have never met before. This is always a challenge. How do I approach them? How do I convince them of my way of training?
When I teach Krav Maga, I like to keep it a certain way. I teach the way I believe. I explain techniques; why we do it this way and we do not do it another way. I welcome questions. I want everyone to feel the technique for themselves and I don't want to leave a technique until I know that everyone believes in it just as I do.
I am very meticulous; I like things a certain way.
In this day and age there is an attitude of ...everyone is OK, everyone is right, there is hardly anything that is considered wrong. When I was young, I was taught - this is how we do it and when you get older you will understand. I accepted that. In our way of life, we are meticulous about how we do things, you tie the right shoelace before the left, you wash your hands when you rise in the morning, there is a particular order to the day. As I was told by my teachers, the velt, the world, is not a Hefker velt, (Yiddish) i.e. the world we live is not a free for all with everyone doing whatever it is that pleases them.
When I do a job I want it done a certain way, I want to make sure it gets done right. And some might say I am a bit too meticulous. And then today I saw an interesting commercial. It was for a hotel. It shows an older gentleman, finely dressed, and he is speaking to us and says, I am a meticulous man.
We see him checking in to the hotel and as he does so he has a check list. He is grading the hotel on every little point. Reception, being shown to his room, the cleanliness of the room, the comfort of the bed, the breakfast, even the distance to the beach. and we the audience begin to become a little annoyed, what is wrong with this man! Why is every detail has to be just right!?
and then, we realize we have been a little premature in our judgement of this pedantic individual. He calls a woman and tells her she must join him here. She checks in. We see them in the dining room, he opens a little box, and looks at her in the eyes, will you marry me?
and now we understand why he was being so "demanding', now we understand why he was being so meticulous, now we understand why even the distance to the beach had to be measured. It was all for his bride, to make her day perfect, to make this engagement an unforgetablly perfect experience, everything had to be just so.
And of course, Krav Maga comes to mind, (at least to my mind), why am I so meticulous? Why do I insist the techniques must be "just so", because I am doing it for someone very special, for you, all of you. This is not your engagement, but it is your potential engagement with real violence. As such the "distance to the beach must be measured", or, the time it takes to block a punch. This is why the economy of motion of techniques is so important, the amount of force we need to employ, and so forth and so on, it all must be "just so". I am being meticulous because there is a great deal at stake, I am being meticulous because this is your engagement with real life.
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