August 13, 2015, Israel
I do not watch many movies these days, but when I do it is usually on an EL AL flight. On a recent flight to South Africa the lovely flight attendant recommended I watch "The Cobbler" staring Adam Sandler. I am glad I took her up on it.
The movie begins surprisingly in Yiddish, always a heartwarming sound, in the Lower East Side of New York, 1903. My family arrived there a little bit later, in 1905 from Poland. My grandmother was one of the first in her family to be born in America, in 1908. Her father and uncle owned "Levine Brothers' Hardware".
The opening scenes bring back memories of my visits to the to the Lower East Side with my cousin Ephraim, retracing the footsteps of our early American immigrant families. I know they worked very hard, lived on little, spoke Yiddish and learned English.
Back to the movie...After the initial scene in Yiddish the movie jumps to the current times, and Max Simkin (played by Adam Sandler, a Jew from Brooklyn) is the fourth generation descendant of Pinchas Simkin who was in the 1903 scene. Without going into the plot of the movie, Max is a simple guy. A good guy, a nice guy. The kind of guy that most women do not get overly excited about. He works in his father's shop, repairing shoes, making a modest living and living at home with his elderly dear mother. He lovingly takes care of his mother.
He has Coke Cola with his lunch, coffee for this break, reads the Daily News and chats with his neighbor, Jimmy the barber. (Steve Buscemi)
Women come into his shop all the time but never take notice of Max...until a magical change takes place. Due to circumstances beyond this blog, Max discovers the ability to change bodies as he wears the shoes of different people. Soon he can experience what it is like to be white, black, Asian, female etc. (There is no racism here whatsoever and just to be on the safe side the main villain in this movie is a Jewish woman who controls a mob of blacks and Italians, very likely of course!).
As Max experiences living in other peoples' bodies he of course has interesting encounters. In the body of a famous DJ (considered good looking by women), women come up to him at a bar and invite him over for the night. (which does not work out because once he takes off his shoes he goes back to being just Max the Cobbler). But suddenly he is sought after, only because he looks different, but yet the real Max, a good honest man from a good family, cannot get a date.
Alone and lonely Max spends time with Jimmy during the day and with his dear mother, who is suffering from the onset of dementia, during the evenings.
At the end of the movie, after getting to know Max through a bizarre series of circumstances, one of the local women finally realizes that all along she has been with a remarkable guy, a truly good man. She finally appreciates what other women have overlooked. The film ends as she invites him over for dinner.
Max and Jimmy, and a cup of coffee. Two regular hard working guys.
The moral of the story
So how does all this fit in with a Krav Maga blog? Really simple. Most of what I see today in the commercial Krav Maga world are like some of the characters played by Sandler when he puts on their shoes; the cool guys, the gangster types, the pretty boy DJ that the women want for a quick relationship. All the shallow and worthless types. But Max, the real Max, the true Max, is just a decent sort of guy, the kind that most women these days overlook, the kind of guy who makes a good husband and father.
Max is a shoemaker in the Lower East Side. He is not a "professional", he works with his hands at the same profession as his father Abraham, his grandfather Hershel, and his great grandfather Pinchas who came to this country as an immigrant. He is real. He works hard. He provides a valuable service at a fair price. We all needs shoes.
We all need self-defense. IKI Krav Maga is not flashy. We do not act like gangster or pretty boys. We do no have Hollywood celebrities on our website. We do not train people to do Movie Style Krav Maga. Like Max we are simple, hard working, real and really effective. In forty countries and in many police and military circles our style has proven itself where it matters, in the lives of real people. We are real, without wearing magic shoes.
Real Krav Maga, no glamour, no fuss, just real. And Simple, and effective like an old reliable sewing machine....
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