February 13, 2020, Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA
אֲשֶׁ֨ר קָרְךָ֜ בַּדֶּ֗רֶךְ וַיְזַנֵּ֤ב בְּךָ֙ כָּל־הַנֶּחֱשָׁלִ֣ים אַחֲרֶ֔יךָ וְאַתָּ֖ה עָיֵ֣ף וְיָגֵ֑עַ וְלֹ֥א יָרֵ֖א אֱלֹהִֽים:
(דברים פרק כה פסוק יח)
17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. 18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. (Deuteronomy, Chapter 25, verses 17 - 18)
Stereotypes are difficult to overcome. Talking with a friend yesterday about the way Jews are portrayed on a popular comedy these days, I think the Marvelous miss Maisel or something, it is clear that these stereotypes prevent us from seeing the truth.
It is the same with Krav Maga instructors, and training.
Now while it is highly upsetting to see Jews still being portrayed as whiny, cringy compliant servile individuals; godless, money hungry, neurotically fastidious, cranky, annoying individuals; that will not cause us too much harm. I do find it amazing that in the politically correct, culturally sensitive environment of today it is still considered OK to feature a show that is basically perpetuating classic antisemitism. That show certainly does not represent me, my community, or anyone I associate with but to many Americans that becomes the "face of the Jews". And yet when Jew hatred increases and Jews are openly attacked on the streets, somehow the Liberals find a way to blame President Donald J. Trump, the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House.
The truth is hard to find, but all this has been foretold.
Perhaps that is why many Israeli Krav Maga instructors choose to go to the opposite extreme and put on the facade of the Bad Ass Tough Guy In Your Face Krav Maga instructors.
This too is false and of no value.
Now here is where it gets tricky. The public has been led to believe that the "tougher" the work the better the training. Instead of focusing on survival skills the classes focuses on false bravado, acting tough, "taking it like a man" (even if you are a woman) and having the scars and bruises to show for it.
This too is false.
In all areas of life we know that safety and survival only rarely has anything to do with being tough. A great brave heroic pilot is a wonderful, but the key is the maintenance crew that carefully checks the plane before each flight. The key are the engineers who study the failures that caused accidents and find solutions to prevent future problems. It is in the research and development that survival emerges.
We love movies about war heroes but we are less turned on studying about the computer geeks behind the scenes who cracked the codes, developed the technology and provided the tools that ultimately won the war.
Now let us look at the reality of Reality Survival Training. Students come to class prepared, they are ready for a serious challenge, they expect a drill sergeant Krav Maga instructor. Reality is portrayed as you will be able to Spit nails, eat, eat lightening and crap thunder, you're gonna become a very dangerous person. (Rocky)
But is this truly reality training or Tough Guy training? Rocky is training for a boxing match against a serious opponent. We are preparing for survival in a hostile urban environment.
Some instructors like to create stress drills; do a bunch of push-ups, etc and then face a knife attack. These have their place but this does not mimic the reality we are training for. We are not training for a scenario where we are attacked after running the New York City marathon. The stress we must deal with is not physical, it is psychological.
It is not the stress of running on the treadmill, it is the dread mill; the fear that we experience when out of nowhere our life is in danger, a gun to the head, a knife to the throat. This is the fear, the shock, we must deal with. And this is the verse from Deuteronomy.
The great evil of the nation of Amalek, the reason they were singled out for destruction by God and the Nation of Israel, is not because they attacked. It is because they attacked when we were unprepared. We were physically and mentally exhausted, the Exodus, the long journey in the desert. Amalek attacked the stragglers, those who were lagging behind, and they did not fear God, i.e. they had no moral compassion upon the weak non-combatants.
This verse teaches us about reality survival training. it teaches us that not only do we need to be physically prepared but we must understand the fear that will possess us when we are mentally exhausted, when we are on our way home after a long day of work, when we are on a journey.
We must train for this scenario; we must understand how fear and shock affect us, we must understand the criminal who has no "fear of God".
This is what IKI Survival Training is about.
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