University of Virginia Krav Maga

Krav Maga UVA

Teaching at colleges is like a pot luck dinner; you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes very serious students show up; ROTC, students training in another martial art, and others who have been waiting for a long time to try a serious form of self defense. Then some come just for fun; these students frustrate me; they arrive late, they ask silly questions, they are busy snacking and talking, they fool around and leave early because they have something more important to do.

And then someone gets killed. And I wonder, what was more important?

A couple of years ago my friend Diane invited me to conduct a Krav Maga seminar at her school, UVA, University of Virginia. It is an old and distinguished school, founded I believe by none other than Thomas Jefferson. It was an honor to teach there. The event was co sponsored by the David Project and several other campus organizations. It was a huge success; over fifty students participated including the jujitsu club.

This morning I read somewhere that a UVA student, a beautiful young woman, an athlete on the lacrosse team, was murdered by her former boyfriend. They described the blows; how he grabbed her neck and banged her head against the wall repeatedly. Now Lacrosse is great, it is only a sport though. I could not help but think; had she studied Krav Maga she would have known what to do. This sounded to me like a classic scenario we work on, we have simple, easy to learn, solutions for this problem. If only, if only…

Some people look at Krav Maga and think it unimpressive, some people look at our organization, IKI – Israeli Krav International, and feel we charge too little to be taken seriously. But I look at the bottom line; how many people can we help? How many rapes, murders, can we prevent?

My heart goes out to this young woman. I think of the wonderful young students I met when I was there, they took me out to Ben and Jerry's (kosher by the way, turns out my cousin in Holland is the rabbi who supervises this yummy product), and I ask; Why?

Why don't people see how important this is? Why don't parents send their kids to self defense classes? Why wait until it is too late?

Even learning a few simple moves can, and has, saved lives. Even one seminar can make a difference, but yet it is not a priority for most.

People have free choice. So when I see them leaving early and I look at them, they respond with, "Hey it was great but you know, sorority meeting. Got to go."

No, I don't know, and you don't have to go. You choose to go, and I believe this is not a wise choice. (reminds me of a student who tattooed on his arm "Make the Wise Choice", I felt it would have been a wise choice not to tattoo that on his body.) So I think of this poor victim at UVA, and I just hope that someone will learn a lesson from this. Make a wise choice, prepare yourself with some basic training, luck favors those who are prepared.