June 15, 2021, Israel
I was driving home today from the hospital with my dear mother. It had been a long and stressful today and I was tired, emotionally drained. I was anxious to get home as soon as possible. There was traffic. Sitting and waiting for the red light to turn to green I carefully watched the first driver in the row, the lead elephant, the one first on line to cross over once the light changed to green.
To my frustration I noticed that many times the first driver was slow to react. He knew he would make the light of course, so there was no need to rush, but his delay would cause the fifth or sixth car down the line to miss the opportunity, and, have to wait for the next light, rather frustrating.
But I noticed something. I watched carefully. When the light changed from Red to Green, from Stop to Go, the driver often did not respond at once. There was a delay, a delay long enough to suggest that he was not fully paying attention to the light. I could see that the lead driver was not a Crouching Tiger waiting to pounce on his prey. He was not a runner poised for the Go signal. He, or She, was a distracted driver. They were probably bored waiting for the light and their minds, and eyes, began to wonder.
Perhaps they were chatting with someone in the car, listening to a radio talk show, or even worse, texting (totally illegal here). Or perhaps they were just day dreaming, whatever it was, they were certainly not focused, they were not looking at the light and saying, C'mon, Change! (as I often do). They were not ready for the fight. Their mind was elsewhere and that accounted for a delay of a few valuable seconds.
Now how does this relate to Krav Maga?
In just a moment.
Flash back, Moshe as a child, sitting in the back seat, family trip. My father is driving and my mother holds the tour guide book in her hands. Look to the left there is a Civil War cannon, look to the right there is ...whatever. And then I hear her saying to my father, "not you Paul!! You look at the road!"
That I remember more than anything, other than the cool cannons. But that had an impact on me. Now when I drive and someone points something out, I hear my mother's voice, and I say, no thank you. I am driving, all I need to see is the road ahead of me.
The lesson is: Focus on the task at hand, only one task.
So now for Krav Maga.
Most people are distracted. We covered that in the previous blog, Distractions and Self Defense. Now if they behave on the street the way they behave when driving, i.e. in la la land, they will never be ready for an attack, no matter what style they study!
For an Impressive Self Defense system is of no value if you cannot deploy it.
On the road I am focused, when walking the streets I am focused. Look out for danger and for opportunities. If you are not prepared to respond to the changed light, you are also not prepared to respond to an unannounced street attack.
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