Prepare to be Surprised
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

February 20, 2015, Peachtree City, Georgia, USA

Mother and daughter training in IKI Krav Maga, Dogwood Church, Georgia, USA 

They say luck favors the prepared. Most martial arts train you to be prepared for a fight, at IKI Krav Maga we prepare you to be surprised.

For surprised you will be.

No one truly expects to be attacked. Somehow we always believe that "it can't happen to me". But even if you are aware of the possibility of attack I contend that the actual blow will catch you by surprise, this is reality.

I say that either you are caught somewhat by surprise or you are an idiot.


If you anticipate an attack and you a somewhat sane person, you will do everything in your power to avoid this attack. You will try and talk your way out of it, or simply get away. As the wise Mr. Miyagi says, "Best defense - Not be there".

If you know at attack is coming and you are still there, I have no words for you. Thus I say when the actual blow comes you and I will be caught, somewhat, by surprise.

And this is where we begin at IKI Krav Maga. We assume a surprise.

This is nothing short of a Krav Maga revolution. For this is not the way I was taught and it is an issue that is rarely addressed. 

A police officer who came to one of my recent seminars said that police studies show that we do not even see the first third of the punch as it is happening. Thus a third of the way into the initial attack we have no idea what is going on. How then are we supposed to perform our fancy blocks, bob and weave, step aside Tai Sabaki move etc?


I contend we cannot. We will be caught by surprise.

So we teach you how to use that surprised to your advantage, how to turn it around.

We begin with the assumption that the attack will be a surprise and we take if from there.

We say Prepare to be Surprised!

The result is that the surprise will actually cause your response time to be greatly improved. The surprise will help you defend better, when trained properly the surprise will trigger an immediate and powerful response that will actually ....catch you by surprise.

We are turning the tables on traditional training. We accept our weakness, we will be caught by surprise. We take our instinctive responses and hone and refine them into effective blocks and counters. We strike fast to vulnerable areas and end the confrontation quickly.

We are not looking for a fight. We are seeking to end it as soon as possible.

The way we train the surprise triggers our instinctive response. This response is trained repeatedly so that it will work to our advantage. The fear and surprise will make our reaction stronger and faster. It will trigger our most aggressive nature and overwhelm our opponent.

There is no guess work involved. We are not anticipating any particular attack, we detect movement and that triggers our trained but instinctive response. Our inbuilt motion detector is part of our nature, all creatures have it, that is why a cat responses so quickly, he is not analyzing the attack but responding instinctively.

This is our approach. It is designed not to overcome fear but to channel that energy and that instinctive response into the most effective self defense possible.

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