January 17, 2020, Israel
As Krav Maga self defense instructors we become quite fluent and comfortable with our techniques. The gun disarms, the knife defenses, we have done them thousands of times and we feel quite confident with them. Now and then a new situation may emerge that is particularly concerning; dangerous, difficult, challenging. We learn it, we develop a response and this too, in time, becomes part of our routine.
But if you watch a video, even one of those commercialized promotional videos, and you truly imagine yourself in that situation, if you are capable of empathy, of visualization, then everything changes, for the worse.
It is enough to shatter everything you think you know.
It is time to think like the beginner who just walked in the door.
Teacher, take a step back, you are once again a new student.
You are on a date, or with your wife, you are sitting in an outdoor café, enjoying good coffee, good company, the sun is shining. Life is smiling at you. What a wonderful world.
And then it happens, he walks up to you, confidently, puts a gun against the side of your head, and says, both of you, now! empty your pockets, I want the cash, the credit cards, the girls jewelry, everything, or I will blow your fenning head off now. Do it dog!
If you are playing it real you will have to admit this is terrifying. There is no other way to put it if you are being honest. Unless you are a professional hitman or a man who has faced death a thousand times I imagine we should all find this situation terrifying. Let's be honest.
So what do we do, as instructors and as students?
1. Never underestimate how intimidating this is for a student. When teaching the technique never ignore the psychological aspects of the situation.
2. While we aim to train in a happy, friendly, atmosphere. (I reject the drill sergeant cursing yelling type of Krav Maga Bad Ass teaching approach), now and then, we must visualize that this is real. Make it real in your mind. The guy with the gun is no longer your training partner, you have to believe in your mind that he is really coming to hurt you. Make it real and take your training to the next level. Feel the fear.
3. Practice the technique so much that it becomes instinctive. Once, twice, ten times, ten thousand times! and as your teacher watches you he can pick up subtle but important corrections that need to be made. Never, ever, ever, even suggest to your instructor that he is teaching "the same old stuff as last seminar". We don't need such students.
We do out best to keep it real, and to keep you real safe.
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