August 24, 2013
It is written in the Talmud, "You have grabbed much, you have not grabbed anything, if you grabbed a little - you have grabbed successfully." (Tractate Sukkah, page 5B)
The meaning is clear; Do not be overly ambitious in your self-defense technique. Do not attempt more than you can reasonable pull off when you are fatigued, stressed, out-muscled and caught by surprise. Do not over estimate your own ability in a real life situation. Be humble; if you try for too much you will end up with nothing, or in this case, hurt or dead.
OK, we have just eliminated nearly 100% of all martial arts. Yes, sad but true. ( I come from that background, see Moshe Katz story).
Allison from the United States using simple gross motor moves vs. her "attacker" Alex from South Africa. In real life this is a very dangerous situation and not a time to be trying sport style jujitsu or UFC moves.
(Tour and Train Experience, Israel, 2010)
The fact that some styles even make a passing reference to being a self-defense system, offends me. They are lying to the public, they are lying to you, perhaps they are lying to themselves.
To be a decent self-defense system is not easy, not at all.
Lets start with a few points
1. Check your ego at the door. Do not think so highly of yourself, do not think that because you have a belt of some color that you are immune from the street thugs and terrorists. You are not. These guys are not your friends from the dojo, dojang or kwoon. They are worthless crap with nothing to lose. They have no respect for anyone.
2. What you knew yesterday is not relevant. You must keep your ears and eyes open and attuned to the public. I thought I knew it all, but then I was asked by Tibor Sklut from Slovakia about the "Gypsy Attack"(Never heard of it). I was asked in South Africa about "Zulu Stitching" (had no clue). I was asked by guys in Brazil about a machete attack, (had never thought of that), I was asked by Jacques in Cape Town about someone sitting on you and pointing a gun or knife at you...I have been asked how to defend oneself while wearing 4.5 inch heels (never tried that). Every week I learn about some new situation.
3. Keep everything simple, it is your only chance of survival. Forget everything you ever saw in a movie. The only thing you can learn from movies are "situations", by this I mean you can see an interesting situation in a movie and wonder how to get out of that. But please do not be fooled by the techniques used in the movies. Remember, movies are for entertainment.
4. Test everything against many people. Test everything by using defenders of different sizes and gender. I do not care if it works for you when you stand 6 feet four and full of muscle. I do not care if it works for a professional martial arts instructor. I want to see if it works for a petite female with two weeks training. If it works for her it will also work for you. One Technique for all!
5. Try your best to be surprised, i.e. mimic a real life situation, Mess with your mind.
If you train only when you are anticipating the technique - you are not training for the streets, you are only training for a sports tournament or exhibition. (one of the many reasons why I am opposed to martial arts exhibitions, they create a false sense of reality).
Back to the Talmud; If you grab a lot...you have grabbed nothing. A guy has a knife to your throat, if you can get out of this, you can get home alive - Consider yourself the luckiest man alive today! Be satisficed with this.
No!? You want to also strike him hard and punish him and then do the "Zohan" on him and tie him up like a pretzel!? Then please, live in the movies. This is pure fantasy.
However , if you have grabbed a little, small basic gross motor moves, if you have grabbed a little, modest goals - Survival - then you have grabbed a lot. You have grabbed your future, your ticket for tomorrow.
Now read this again and live by these words. This is your mental training for today. You can do your 3,000 finger pushups later, now think!
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