Now or Later

January 5, 2024, Israel


Often in life we need to choose what we prefer: now or later. When you speak with your investment banker, he will ask what you are looking for, a long-term investment or short-term returns? Do we want to receive quarterly distributions or a larger return at the end of a Five-year period?

This is the case in many aspects of life. A person wants to lose weight, but now they are offered a piece of chocolate cheesecake, what a dilemma! You must choose between your long-term goal of losing weight or your short-term desire to enjoy life. You receive a financial gift, should you deprive yourself now and deposit the money in the bank in an interest-bearing account, or go to Cancun and live the good life, La Dolce Vita! Should you live a frugal life now so you can secure a comfortable retirement, or live life to the fullest while you are young and healthy?

There is no easy answer to these questions, and there is no correct answer, it is a personal choice. We each need to find our balance. 

Now let us relate this to Krav Maga/Karate. I will make it personal. It is 1988, Brooklyn, NY, I set my alarm for 5 am. I want to train, I want to be a black belt, but my body is saying, Hey Moshe, it is cold outside, your bed is nice and warm. You don't have to get up so early. You are still in pain from the last karate class, give yourself a break, go back to sleep. Tomorrow is another day; you can train then. That is your short-term thinking. But then another part of me was doing the long-term thinking. Hey Lazy Boy, get out of bed, you said you wanted to be a black belt, didn't you? How the hell you going to be a black belt if you stay in bed. Get your butt out of bed and start moving. Now! Do it!

Most of the time I listened to my long-term voice, the result was a feeling of accomplishment, but there were times when I gave in to the lazy voice and stayed in bed. On those days, when the day came to an end, I felt empty, depleted, ashamed of my laziness. When the day ended, I was always tired, the only difference was some days I trained and some days I didn't. Some days I came closer to my goal, and some days I didn't. The day ended just the same, so better to train and feel good at the end of the day. 

It was the same in Israel with Krav Maga. Class started after work was over. I was tired, wanted to go home already, short-term thinking, but the long-term thinking prevailed, that is what it takes to become a black belt. There is always a reason to stay home. Those who stay home will never become black belts. 

You decide that you want to have the skills to defend yourself. You decide that you are tired of being a punk, a loser, a person that is pushed around by life. You are going to train; you are going to earn your black belt. But then, cheesecake comes along, or whatever it is that distracts you. It is at that moment that you need to remember your long-term goals. The cheesecake is only an analogy of course, I personally love cheesecake with coffee, and I still earned my ranks. You get the point. 

We need to learn to sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term goals, if we want that change in our lives. Earning a black belt is not only about self-defense, but also about becoming the kind of person you want to become. You are in charge of your life. You are in control.


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


What is the cultural background of Krav Maga?  What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?

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

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How has Krav Maga developed in Israel and what are its goals?

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