October 12, 2023, Israel
We have experienced some terrible times recently here in Israel. But we have also learned valuable lessons. In my many years of martial arts training I have often heard arguments against devoting time to training...
Why devote so much time for self-defense training when it is highly unlikely that I will ever really be attacked?
In the event of an actual attack, do you really think you can defend yourself against a man with a gun, or a knife!?
I have a full-time job, a wife, a family etc, I really do not have the time to devote to this. At the end of a long day I am really wiped out, exhausted.
OK, it is time to respond. It is of course your choice to train, or not. But I will explain my choice.
I have chosen not to be a victim, I have chosen not to be an easy target but rather to be a hard target, I have chosen to empower myself with training and tools. I have chosen not to be humiliated or watch others be humiliated, and I have chosen to pay the price for this.
Way back in my early days I was a yeshiva student, that meant I was up at the crack of dawn each and every morning to pray to the One above. There was no skipping prayer, I was up at sunrise and joined my fellow students. We studied the Talmud all day, every day with small breaks for food and prayer and a short afternoon rest.
At the end of the day I was tired, very tired, but a few times a week I walked, I saved money but not splurging on a bus ride, I walked to the dojo and trained in Isshin Rye Karate with Sensei Chaim Jaffee.
When I lived in Brooklyn, I had a full schedule. Again, I was up early each morning, first for prayer and then to take the train to Manhattan to train at the Oyama dojo, and then to work for a full day on Wall Street, and then back to the dojo in the evening for more training. I wanted to train; this was no hobby.
Back in Israel I had a full-time job in the loan and mortgage departement. Again, up early each morning for prayer, and then a drive to Jerusalem and a full day of work. At the end of the day, 3 days per week, I knew where I had to go and what I had to do, go to Itay's dojo and train in full-contact Kickboxing and Krav Maga. I was too tired though; I was simply too tired to train. I would get in my car and tell myself, take today off, you are simply too tired to train, there will be other opportunities. But I knew better and automatically my hands steered the wheel in the direction of Romema Street and do the dojo. I arrived before class started. I sat down against the wall and leaned against it, just for a moment. Usually, I fell fast asleep. And then I woke up and joined the class, and then the next class, and then the next. and then I went home. Often I would go lift some weights or do push-ups.
There is no compromise. I remember the words of Sensei Romero back at the Oyama dojo, "Our students pay their dojo dues before they pay their rent". That is how winning is done, and I chose to be a winner.
I am tired now, but soon we start another Krav Maga class. Tired? As my dear Uncle Jack told me years ago, rest when you are 65, that age is now fast approaching but I am still going strong. I am a young man and I will train.
Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.
What is the cultural background of Krav Maga? What makes it unique? What makes the Israeli military so effective? Why are Israeli security systems used all over the world?
What are the Biblical origins of Krav Maga and who was the first Krav Maga instructor?
What weapons and military strategies did our Biblical ancestors use?
How has Krav Maga developed in Israel and what are its goals?
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