September 20, 2016, Tennessee, USA
We need to work for a living, it has been this way since Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Some are born into great wealth and are exempt from working, I feel sorry for them, they are detached from this world. They live off the work of others.
But the lot of man is to work, the question is how: what ethics will guide you?
In Judaism the ethics of business are a key issue. Many conferences are held each year on topics such as "Judaism and Business Ethics". They are attended by rabbis, businessmen and laymen. Books are authored and questions are asked. It is a key issue in our lives.
Man is born to work, but how? Some labor without joy or satisfaction. Others are fortunate to be in professions where they feel great satisfaction and feel fulfilled. For some work becomes a calling and a life mission. Fortunate are those who feel joy and purpose in their work.
The Talmud speaks a great deal about business ethics; is it fair and legitimate to open a shoe store next to an existing shoe store? How much profit should one make? What kind of recourse does the buyer have? These issues are all discussed and debated at length.
One key issue is the law of trespassing.
לא תסיג גבול רעך אשר גבלו ראשונים
(דברים י"ט, י"ד)
You shall not trespass the border of your neighbor's landmark that those who came earlier had set. (Deuteronomy, Chapter 14)
Rabbi Eliezer of Worms, (Germany) (1176 - 1238) wrote in his book "Rokeach"
כל המקפח מחיתו של חברו הוא בכלל מסיג גבול רעהו
Whoever trespasses or harms the livelihood of his fellowman is included in this Biblical prohibition of trespassing.
Now let's apply that to Krav Maga organizations.
Let us assume you became a Krav Maga instructor out of a sincere desire to help others. Let us assume you truly want to help others get home safe, survive a potential violent attack, or fight off a rapist. Let us assume your intentions are honorable.
In the United States there are approximately 322 million people. Studies show that about 18 million Americans participated at some point or another in some form of martial arts training. It stands to reason that only a small percentage of those participated in martial arts that can be considered some form of self defense. Most of those 18 million are children having some fun. By any stretch of the imagination it is clear that only a tiny percentage of Americans are involved in any serious Krav Maga training or similar forms of self defense.
Thus, there are well over 300 million Americans who need self defense training. That means over 300 million potential Krav Maga students. But what are the Krav Maga federations doing?
Are they reaching out to those in need? Are they trying to reach those who are at risk?
No, they are reaching out to successful Krav Maga schools that are already affiliated with recognized Krav Maga associations, i.e. they are trying to recruit schools from their competitors. They search the internet for Krav Maga websites and Facebook pages and then reach out to them. One of our schools was recently contacted ten times by one very aggressive American association.
Lets' think about this for a moment. Rather then reaching out to those in need they are reaching out to those who are already actively engaged in training. They want to lure these schools away from their current affiliation and form a business alliance.
They are not thinking with their hearts, this is not about helping anyone, this is pure hard core business. This is head hunting at its worst. While over 300 million Americans in need of self defense are ignored the handful who are actively training, and happy with their current affiliation, are actively recruited and offered all sorts of incentives. (including ranks, sight unseen)
Thus when such an organization contacts you and invites you to a free seminar or conference, know this: They are not about self defense, they are about business and their Krav Maga will be a reflection of this. To them Krav Maga is a product, nothing more. Their business managers are not instructors and you are nothing more than a way to make more money.
They spend their time on marketing, not on developing better techniques. They study market trends and business cycles rather than crime and violence. They behave like major chains trying to swallow up small businesses, Mom and Pop stores, and I suspect they violate Biblical law.
Remember why you first started training in Krav Maga and...Keep the faith!
IKI: we do not recruit. If you are interested you can contact us.
We never approached any school or instructor in an attempt to recruit them.
I am proud of our IKI instructors; many offer free self defense seminars to the public and discounts to the needy. We are pure and true Krav Maga.