time cost action

 September 2021

Bruce Lee spoke of the "Economy of Motion", the idea being to daily eliminate unnecessary moves. He spoke of a sculpture and how it is not a matter of daily addition but daily subtraction until the beautiful work of art emerges,

But how many martial artists really understood this message? How much unnecessary motion do we have in our techniques? and what is the impact on this wasted motion when fighting for your life or dignity?

I see many styles of Krav Maga, which is supposed to be a no nonsense style of survivor, falling into the trap of other more traditional martial arts. Bruce Lee warned about this and called it the classical mess.

We are here to save lives, not to create a beautiful martial art, we have no time to waste.

I earned two degrees in economics. I have a masters degree in Finance and earned a perfect score on the Econometrics exam, so I have some background in economics. So here is one of the most powerful lessons I have ever learned, it came from Prof. Nuremberg. He held up a quarter, 25 cents and asked the class of brilliant graduate students what this was and what it was worth, no one gave the correct answer. The answer was that this 25 cents represented everything in the world that one could purchase with this amount of money. This meant that when you purchased a candy bar for 25 cents you have vulantarily give up everything else on this planet that could be purchased for those 25 cents. 

Now the picture looks entirely different. The candy bar is no longer 25 cents, a quarter of a dollar, it is now everything else that cost that amount, that you gave up. 

Wow, this blew my mind. that was 1988...While I was training full contact Karate in the Oyama Kyokushin system I did not yet understand the implications of this concept in terms of self defense. Today in our Krav Maga I feel it and understand it fully. Many styles jump to add a punch to every technique, there is something in us that wants to hit, that wants to punish the bad guy. That is ego speaking, it is not logic. Could you have walked away but chose to stay at fight, that was ego, that was not wisdom. You chose to throw one more punch when you could have controlled that knife, that was ego, it was not wisdom.

We must learn to defend ourselves with Wisdom, not Ego, and these too are often at odds. A little humility will help us make the correct decision and put Ego on hold. Wisdom dictates keep your technique to the bare minimum, no frills. 

Often we went to add a punch but we must look at the cost of that punch. You might say, why not? add another punch, another little punishment for the bad guy. But the cost of that extra punch is time, and time is limited. Even a split second can create a window of opportunity for our opponent. While we let go of him, let go of that knife arm, in order to strike him, we have given him what he has prayed for; a split second to pull out his arm that was entangled in a fight. Now he is free to fight. 

Every second counts in real life, use your time wisely, in life and in a fight. 

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