August 3, 2013
RRA – Rapid Rank Advancement
"How long will it take me to "get" a Krav Maga black belt?" Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, or $400, wouldn't that be nice!
The answer I always give to that question is the same answer Ezekiel gave to God, "Oh God, thou knowest".
The answer is not in my hands, it is not mine to give. It is in your hands; as the Talmud says, "The one who asked is the one who can answer."
What does your advancement depend on?
· The quality of your previous training and how it relates to Krav Maga training.
· Your natural ability.
· Your dedication; how much time you are willing to spend on your Krav Maga training, how much effort are you going to put into it, do you have a training partner?
· Travel; Will you attend or host seminars? Will you come to Israel for Tour and Train?
The answer comes from these topics above. I cannot give you rank, all I can give you is a piece of paper acknowledging the rank you have earned. If I give you the piece of paper for a rank you did not earn, well then….no words necessary.
Mike Fat being promoted to Brown belt after years of hard training and dedication.
Let's take some real life scenarios as way of example.
The following has occurred many times;
The local instructor wants to be tested for a high rank. OK, lets get started. "What do you want to see?" he asks. And I am thinking, why is this question necessary? If you have been watching the clips and studying the DVDs than you should know exactly what I want to see! You should know what I have been working on during this past year and that is what I want to see.
Yet, nothing. They need to ask.
So I ask for a gun with a push to the stomach, or a grab with a gun shove to the throat. The applicant has no idea what I am asking for, so I show them. "Wow, amazing, great technique", they say. But I am wondering; why have they not seen this before? As I have already sent out this clip I expect the IKI member to have viewed it and trained on it, extensively.
Allow me a story I have told before, but I shall tell it again as it is worth telling again and again. Before a trip to the USA and Canada I sent out an email; if you are interested in testing, please let me know. Two of our members from Canada were interested in testing for Black Belt. My answer to them was, sorry guys, but it is highly unlikely.
"Fine", they said,
they accept my verdict but they would like a chance. Fair enough. Now please
note; before joining IKI both were high ranking black belts in several styles,
both were featured on TV, radio and newspapers, both had won championships in
various martial arts, yet they joined IKI with no rank and understood that none
would be awarded until the proper time.
When I arrived at Tactix gym in Vancouver, (owned and operated by IKI Instructor Laurian Lapadatu) I was warmly greeted by IKI members James Chartier and Louisa Wizemann. James said to me, "I would recognize your face if I saw you in crowded market place in China." (Hm, strange.)
I did not understand and did not reply. I guess he sensed that I had no idea what he intended to say.
"Louisa and I know your every expression, laugh, smile." (Again, hmm, why?)
And finally he explained,
"We spend 5 hours every day viewing
and training on your techniques, your clips, your DVDs, we know them all by
OK, show me.
James went first. I did not tell him what to do. He did not ask me. He went into all the techniques I have been sending out over the past year. (He had counted them and it was something like 221, I don't recall).
He flowed from one technique to the other. I was amazed. It was like watching myself in a Canadian body. He had my movements, my twist, my turn, my grab, my bend. This man was a black belt. All that was left for me to do was sign the diploma and shake his hand.
Louisa followed in the exact same fashion, although by now I was not shocked, just pleased.
We went out for dinner and celebrated. It was an honest celebration.
So if you are interested in a high rank, please reread the above. Make sure you have every DVD, every clip, every blog (yes, that is part of your training), and then you will have your Black Belt answer.
Very well presented. Far, far too many people are too focused on rank. The belt and/or certificate will not save your life or prevent you from being injured....Nor will it enable you to teach someone else properly or effectively. Only training seriously, strong focus on learning and an intense amount of effort will do that. At some point the rank and/or belt is less than secondary. Thank you for addressing this much ignored topic.
Hal Herndon, Krav Maga instructor, Georgia, USA
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