police krav maga myth 

February 12, 2014

American Airlines, flight 148, MIA - IAD (Miami to Washington Dulles)
Java coffee served...

Despite all my efforts and numerous blogs my attempt to debunk the myth of "Military Krav Maga" and "Police Krav Maga", have only been partially successful.

Even among schools affiliated with IKI Krav Maga there are some instructors who, despite all logic, cling to the belief that there is a special Israeli Military or Police Krav Maga; powerful and deadly, only taught to police and military. Of course it is only natural, and yet sad, that many young Israelis capitalize on this false belief and "give the people what they want".

Sadly this has spread to other forms of martial arts, now there is police judo, police jujitsu. It would the same as advertising, "special energy drinks for police!" and then offering to the general public as a special opportunity. The art of advertising, Madison Avenue trickery, lives on. I had once hope that the martial arts would remain above this, but it is not. 

You want Military Krav Maga? Then we shall deliver, even if we have to make it up ourselves.

You want "Israeli Combat Fitness"?  We can do the same, whatever you are willing to pay for.

At nearly all my seminars on the current tour there have been active police officers and military veterans among our participants. All of them have real life experience, police academy training, etc, etc. 

But guess what? No disrespect intended but their ability (before coming to train with us) is no better than the average beginner. In fact, with all due respect their ability is often below average. Pure beginners often grasp the techniques better and more easily.  Police often do not allow themselves the opportunity to learn the techniques in a more relaxed less pressured way. Just today Gary in Florida pointed out that often women and girls pick up technique much faster than the "Tough Guys", they put less pressure on themselves. 

I find that police officers often lack coordination, use too much muscle in trying to force a technique and often do not see the "easy" way to make a technique work. 

Police officers contribute a great deal to IKI Krav Maga

Police officers contribute a great deal to IKI Krav Maga. Questions derived from their real-life experience, their successes and failures on the job, add immensely to our training. Their real life experience, knowledge of the street and descriptions of real life events add greatly to our experience. From this we gain precious and valuable information.

Allow me to clarify a point about our training, designed to save us in real life situations. 

Aggressiveness - Although this is an essential aspect of Krav Maga, it is not an essential part of learning a technique. Yes, on the street in a foreign country you want to speak the language rapidly and in an flowing manner but when first learning the words we go very slowly. We want to pronounce the word correctly, this cannot be done quickly. 

Za - me -chate - tel - ny(Wonderful, excellent, in Russian)

Say it slowly, one section at a time, and in time  you will say it smoothly and with confidence, you will be able to use it on the street and be understood.

It is the same with learning Krav Maga. 

Doing a gun disarm technique aggressively while you are still just learning it will only guarantee  that you will do it poorly and never learn to do it correctly. (Trust me, I have been a teacher for a long time).  As a student you will never impress me by going hard and fast. To learn you must let go of your ego. You did not come to the class or seminar to impress me, you came to learn! (I hope).

A relaxed student leans much faster. At a recent seminar in Colorado Springs, two cousins, Hope and Christy, amazed me by how much they mastered in just two days. They had no previous Krav Maga training. I have no doubt that they other instructors would be convinced that these two have been training for several years.

Their secret? They were happy and relaxed, nothing was forced. Throughout the training  the smiles never left their faces.

Guess what? You can learn a lot faster with a smile. 

A final point on police training. Some may argue that police have different needs than ordinary Civilians. Other than learning a hand cuffing technique or how to escort a suspect into a car, this is not true. The only difference might be that police require more restraining techniques, although non-police also learn this in our system. You could have poor Uncle Freddy who gets drunk at the Christmas party and needs to be restrained, or Uncle Sam who has a flashback to Vietnam and pulls out a knife on the Fourth of July, etc. So we all need some restraining techniques. But the gun disarms, the knife defenses etc, are all the same; police, military, non-combatant, the Krav Maga, the self-defense, is the same. Whether you are wearing green or blue or whatever, you are still a human being who must react quickly and decisively. 

While police may encounter some situations that non-police may not, the same can be sad of bar owners, fire fighters, lawyers, prison guards, nurses, bus drivers. But the base is the same, the only difference is the application. And we train for all possible applications, that is the core of our method; basics applied to a wide variety of diverse situations. 

Hope, in the blue sweatshirt, prepares to do a "Third Party Disarm" and rescue her cousin Christy. Colorado Springs, USA

As my dear mother pointed out years ago there is nothing to match that feeling when you see that a student "got it". Their eyes light up in a special way, a relaxed proud smile comes across their face. Confidence fills their heart. And as she said, when you see that, and you get that warm feeling in your heart, you know you were born to be a teacher. 

It runs in our family.

This group in San Juan, Puerto Rico, includes several experienced police officers. I admire police officers who take the time to come and train in Krav Maga. Sadly this training is not provided by their departments.

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