shock effect krav maga

September 19, 2022, Delta airlines flight 624, México City - JFK, New York, USA

Violence happens faster than we realize. Most, or all, martial arts techniques will and have failed when attempted in real life violent encounters. Buyer beware. 

As the years go on and I gain experience I delve deeper into the non-physical aspects of Krav Maga/Self-Defense. I see more and more of the faults in the systems being practiced, faults that can lead directly to death or serious injury. 

I have never been out to create a new system and I have no desire to put down or criticize other methods, but I seek to find the best methods for survival, for all people, and this has been working. This is the path I am on, and the journey always feels new to me.

I begin my martial arts training around the time of the Karate Kid movie and our dojo was similar but much larger to the Cobra Kai dojo. It was run by hard core Japanese martial artists whom I hold in the highest esteem and still regard as my teachers. Much like Cobra Kai we were lined up, kicked and punched and shouted our Kias'. But my journey did not end there. There is so much that is not covered by traditional training. There is so much that is not covered by any sort of physical training, and these I believe are crucial to our survival.

No one believes anymore that wars are won solely by the physical virtues of the warriors on the field. No ancient army, no matter how strong and "Bad Ass" could ever compete against a modern army, armed with hi tech weapons. We need to move forward. We need to evolve. 

I am on the plane, on the way home, after a 26-day Krav Maga tour. I have met many people, I have heard their stories, of crime, violence, despair, and triumph. I have listened, I have learned.

One of the points I have learned that we need to focus on, is the effect of shock, and the effective use of shock by assailants. I shall explain. 

There is an old expression; all dressed up with no place to go. Much of martial arts training falls into this category; they are all dressed up with techniques, but they cannot use them. The shock effect erases our martial arts ability. 

How so? Sometimes even the most prepared martial artist, cop, detective, will lose focus due to a simple distraction. A gentle touch on the hand, a "friendly" tap or embrace, a causal conversation. Almost magically these little tactics disarm the alarm system and even the baddest, most prepared gangster, or black belt, or police officer, will be caught by surprise by the next move. The subtle handshake, or tap on the hand, or friendly touch, will "disarm" the defender and the next strike, punch, or stab, will catch him off guard. 

This has happened, this is reality. Therefore, we need to drill with these situations, we need to reenact these scenarios even if the defense is "the same old thing". i.e., the defense may be known to the students, but its application is totally different when the circumstances change. We need to incorporate these different circumstances into our training. We must drill in these "slightly" different situations because those subtle differences are what will bring down the great warriors. 

However, if we do not think about these situations, we cannot prepare for them. Thus, our training has to incorporate this psychological aspect. Punching the bad until your hands bleed, building up a sweat, training until you are ready to drop, is all find and dandy. But often, all that becomes irrelevant when a simple little trick distracts you, for just a moment, and that is the moment where the knife stabs you, the noose goes around your neck, or the bullet strikes the head. This is what we need to prepare for, we need to go beyond technique, beyond standing in a row and shouting Kia's, beyond fantasy movie scenes. Reality is a different world, our dojo, our training center, has to be in this real world. 

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