May 10, 2021, Israel
Walk into any martial arts studio. You will be very impressed with the training. You will see the Body being trained. You will see pushups, kicking, punching. You will see strong fit people training their bodies, you will see them overcoming the threshold of pain.
I recall my early days, becoming a lean, mean, fighting machine. We may have talked about Mind, Body, Spirit, but truthfully it was all about the Body. You will rarely walk into a martial arts studio and see a discussion taking place, what you will see is fit people kicking and punching.
The unfortunate thing is that in a real-life violent situation, all this training will amount to very little. If your Mind is not ready, if your Mind is not in the moment, your body is not likely to be of any consequence. Let us elaborate.
The Mind controls the Body. The Mind controls the hands, arms, legs. I recall my dear brother lying in the hospital after surgery. His body was fine, but his mind and his body were not able to communicate. As such, half his body lay helpless, totally unable to move. This is true for all of us. And therefore we must not neglect the Mind as a critical aspect of our Self-Defense training.
The mind is a tricky thing. Our Mind travels, to the past, to the future, to ideas, to places we would like to visit, to conversations we had in the past and to conversations we imagine we might have. But in order to defend ourselves our Mind must be right here, in the present moment. That is why the ancient masters linked Zen with martial arts. I have devoted much time to reading and understanding Zen.
Your body might be a fined tuned machine but when the attack comes, where is your Mind? Is your Mind ready to assume command of your Body? Is you Mind right here on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 33rd Street or is it off in the Himalayas? or Perhaps the beaches of Hawaii?
You must be Here, in the Moment. This means you must be fully alert to the Here and Now. We believe in not only having Situational Awareness but in going far beyond that, we believe in Visualization Training.
In many conversations with Israelis who have been stabbed, despite being well trained soldiers, the one point that comes up most is visualization; the soldier needs to look at each and every bystander in terms of the damage they can potentially inflict, in terms of how they can attack. We need to train ourselves to look for the earliest signs of possible danger; a motion, a word, a sound, any sign of an impending attack. This must be part of our training. With IKI Krav Maga, it is part of our training. For if your Mind is not fully in the Moment, your Body, despite being a marvel to behold, will be of little consequence.
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