Terminal Krav
By Moshe Katz

How to end the fight

Sitting at a coffee shop at the airport terminal in Eziza airport, Buenos Aires, my thoughts turn to my trip/adventure which is not yet complete.

It is still difficult to believe that I am actually in South America, as the seminar poster reads, "Moshe Katz, primera vez in Sud America".

My coffee is served; as is the custom here it is served with a small cup of water. I am not sure of the significance of this custom but I have seen it in a dozen coffee houses here in Argentina. I like it, seems like – balance your coffee with a healthy glass of water, yin yang, a balance of life.

Tools of the trade, coffee, pen and paper

Terminals make me think, contemplate, perhaps it is all the waiting time on my hands, perhaps the thought that as we fly we are closer to heaven, truly in the hands of God; "Estamos en manos de Dios."

The coffee is good, the people kind and helpful. I am pleased that I am able to get by in simple Spanish. Last chance to spend a few pesos "Ultima oportunidad" before flying to France.

I think of the wonderful seminar here and the great Krav Maga practitioners I had the privilege to train. It was a mixed group; police officers, soldiers, martial artists of various backgrounds, Krav Maga teachers from several organizations and even two instructors who came all the way from Chile.

Yuriko and Ramon traveled 14 hours by bus from Chile, after 3 technqieus they said it was already worth the bus ride.

Sometimes during our training the question came up – how do we end the fight? How do we terminate the fight? In other words – what combination of techniques, what exact steps, do I advocate as the finishing moves in a particular confrontation or attack?

My answer is that I do not provide that answer. I leave it to you, the practitioner, the person who actually must face this situation. What I do provide are the tools – both mental and physical. I provide the physical tools; the techniques to neutralize an assailant. I provide the strikes, kicks, elbows and forearms to rapidly disable an opponent.

These techniques are covered in our DVD; "IKI Krav Maga Street Combatives".

The exact tools and combination you use will be determined by the circumstances and by your own personal martial arts background. If before coming to Krav you trained in Muay Thai then you might naturally resort to an elbow strike to the face. If you have a Judo background you might resort to O Soto Garei

The mental tools are the judgment necessary to decided what level of force is required in each situation. Some altercations require destructive force while others require only minimal force. It takes maturity to understand this point.

I do not provide a "step by step" series of moves to terminate the assailant. Why not? Because it would probably never work that way.

You see, in a kata (traditional prearranged set of moves), of which I spent years learning, there is a step by step process. Now I realize that even the most diehard karate traditionalists realize that a kata is only a drill, but it does develop this mindset that every situation can have, and should have, a step by step termination.

But in real life, (en la vida real) this is not true.

By now you should have noticed that people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A blow (punch, kick, etc) that will knock out one person will have almost no effect on another. A strike might cause one person to move just a little while another person might be spun around. Therefore you cannot count on all opponents reacting the same way and you cannot be sure where exactly they will be after your first blow. Now if you do not know exactly where they will be then how can you possibly plan your next move?

Therefore I teach improvisation; responding to the changing situation with a variety of tools at your disposal. We are all different, we are all individuals and you can never be certain how a cookie will crumble or how an individual body will react.

I was sitting with Jose and Gustavo at a restaurant in Tucuman. While waiting for our order we saw on the news, "Otra mujer atacada", another woman was attacked. And yet, when people should be flocking to Krav Maga classes and seminars, the numbers are always few. All over Argentina I see photos with the words, "Missing persons", perhaps if more people trained in Krav Maga there would be less of such photos.

There is a sign here at the coffee shop, "Solo piense cuando, ya sabe donde", If I understand correctly, you only need to think when, you already know where. The where is IKI Krav Maga, the "Cuando – When", is up to you.

Krav Maga Training - Tucuman, Argentina