Neither Victim nor Killer

February 24, 2023, Morelia, Mexico

Sitting with Sensei Sarah and her husband Sensei Pedro of the Bujinkan system, we are discussing the ailments that plague the martial arts world today. Sarah is a Krav Maga instructor, her husband is a master in the Bujinkan ninjutsu system. We are all in the same mindset, we are here to save lives. The Bujinkan is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi. Their dojo here in Morelia teaches both systems and many students study both arts. I am proud to know and be associated with such fine people.

We were discussing the curse of the ego; how many otherwise fine martial artists are so caught up with ranks, status and ego that they miss the boat on the true purpose of martial arts. We discussed how ego creates the Bad Ass Killer image, how everyone tries to invent victories on the battlefield, on the street and in the ring to give themselves a movie-like image of Tough Guy Terminator. Now while I love the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, and enjoy that entire genre, I am able to separate fact from fiction, Fantasy from Reality and true self-defense from Action Movies. 

In discussing the issues that plague the martial arts world today, my friend Pedro offered some wise insights, which he humbly takes no credit for, as he credits his own instructor with this wisdom. A father brings his son in for self-defense classes and asks the sensei to train his boy so that he will no longer be bullied in school. But, he also does not want his son to become the bully (as is well illustrated for example in the Cobra Kai series). He says, I wish for my son to be neither victim nor a bully. 

True words of wisdom. 

Let us ponder this for a moment; often the reason we do things changes with time. One may have chosen to be an actor because they wished to make me happy, make them laugh and forget their troubles for a while. While in high school they may have noticed they have this talent, this ability to make people smile and let their troubles melt away. This became a career. But then agents got involved, movie contracts, competition with other actors, the desire to be on the cover of magazines and have starring roles in movies. Soon the "Make people happy" attitude is forgotten. It is replaced by ego and greed. It is the same in the martial arts; the desire to help people is replaced by ego and greed. Many have lost their way. The true practitioners of martial arts are few and far between. Recently I was invited to teach a class, and join in training, with students of my dear friend and teacher, Prof. Arthur Cohen of blessed memory. Here I was reunited with true martial artists. I was so honored to be among them. There was no ego, and no greed, just sharing of knowledge and wisdom. 

Success ruins friendships, ego tears apart relationships. Here in Morelia I am sitting with some true martial artists, and it feels right. 

"Algunos maestros se recuerdan con admiración por su forma de enseñar, otros maestros se recuerdan con cariño y gratitud por su forma de tocar los corazones de sus alumnos. La huella que has dejado, quedará en nuestra mente y corazón. Nos impulsará en el camino de la vida y nuestros pasos siempre estarán guiados por tus enseñanzas muchas gracias de todo corazón maestro Moshe Katz y mil gracias profesor Alfredo Cesar Gomez por guiar nuestros pasos en el krav maga, gracias Estela Ivonne Ramón Gómez, por la paciencia y gracias Javier Gutierrez Vargas por el compañerismo se a echo en gran equipo vamos pasó a paso pero firmes"  (Brenda, Morelia)


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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What are the Biblical origins of Krav Maga and who was the first Krav Maga instructor?

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