August 20, 2014 Israel
Holistic. The idea that you can not separate between parts. Your mind and your body, your heart and your soul. Your Krav Maga and your history.
When did my Krav Maga begin?
Did it begin the day I walked into my first Karate class in Jerusalem with Sensei Chaim Jaffe? Did it begin when I walked into Itay's gym in Jerusalem? Or did it begin earlier, much earlier.
Perhaps it began the day my dad of blessed memory said to me, "Son, you will have to learn to stand up for yourself".
Perhaps it began when my dad told us the story of Abraham the Hebrew. In Hebrew the word Hebrew is Ivri, which is similar to the word Ever, which means the other side. And my dad said, "Abraham was a moral majority of one. Abraham stood on one side and said there is one God while everyone else stood on the other side and said there are many gods".
Abraham was ridiculed.
My father taught me, Never be afraid to be alone, never be afraid to be a majority of one. You are the son of Abraham. Be strong enough to stand on one side and say "I am correct" even if the entire world says you are wrong.
My father's words accompany me every day of my life.
Or maybe the roots of my Krav Maga began in first grade when our teachers dragged us to dark auditoriums where we watched black and white films of skinny people, little more than skeletons and we were told this is how the world treats Jews and that is why we must come to Israel. Because no one else wants us. Perhaps my Krav began then.
But no matter where it began, and I do not know when, the key to understand is that my Krav Maga, which is now the Krav Maga of thousands around the world, began with my emotional response to the persecution of my people, the Jewish people.
When I began the IKI website I had many critics. People wrote me, some nasty but some offering sincere advice, "Krav Maga is a great martial art, why mess it up with politics? Why include a 'political agenda' in your website, it will turn people off".
I appreciated the sincere care. And I understand that not everyone who studies Judo or Jujitsu necessarily wants to learn about Japanese history and culture.
But for me it is important to stress that if you want to learn Krav Maga from me you will get it with all my passion, and my passion comes from my heritage. This is not a sport for me. It is part of who I am. And I am a holistic person. I cannot separate my Krav from who I am.
My Krav Maga comes from that little boy on the way to summer camp who saw a bombed out house, an Israeli home attacked by terrorists.
My Krav Maga comes from hearing the news that our athletes in Munich, Germany were murdered by Arabs terrorists, and Holocaust survivors shouting out "It is happening again in Germany".
My Krav Maga comes from my father charging into my room in the middle of the night and saying, "They killed him, they killed him!" referring to Israeli soldier Nachshon Waxman, taken hostage and murdered by "Arab freedom fighters".
My Krav Maga comes from my mother calling me on the phone just recently and saying "They are all dead", referring to the three teens taken hostage, Eyal, Naftali and Gilad of blessed memory.
So no, you will not get my Krav Maga without the passion, without the history, without our history as a people. I will make my stand known and I will never apologize, because I am the moral majority, even if I stand alone.
But I am not alone, and I know that thousands, perhaps millions all over the world stand today with Israel. And they stand with great passion; friends all over the world stand with us.
I will never compromise even if I have to stand alone, but it is good to know that we are not alone.
Do not be afraid to speak up for the truth. Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Stand up for what is right.