Unnecessary Krav Maga
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

October 2, 2014

I read an article about a doctor, a cancer specialist, who is facing a sentence of life in prison. For years he abused his patients for the sake of greed and money. He falsely and deliberately diagnosed his patients with cancer, when in fact they did not have cancer, in order to make millions of dollars of medicare.

Cancer treatments involve dangerous poisons injected into the body to kill the cancer cells. With a healthy person this can kill the person and in fact in many cases it did.

The doctor pleaded guilty.

At the trial the bitter relatives of now deceased patients cried out, "But we trusted you! you were our doctor".

We are trained from our youth to place our trust in doctors, leaders and teachers. Sometimes that trust is misplaced.

Positions of power carry with them temptations, and "easy money" is difficult to turn down.

I have always compared Krav Maga instructors to doctors. We share the same responsibility, and we are trusted by our students. Our responsibility is indeed a great one, a matter of life and death.

People come to us because they fear for their lives and safety. They turn to us to help them cope with personal trauma.

And how do we respond? With long term contracts? confusing financial arrangements? complex techniques that take years to master and will never save your life on the streets?

Are we thinking of this person who came to us for help or are we thinking of our cash flow?

Is a student nothing more than an opportunity to make money?

Is there a price tag on each student? Or is this a human being who needs us?

Scott, Moshe, Carrie and Brianna in front; caring about our students in the first step in being a good instructor.

The Krav Maga world is built on image. Jennifer Lopez in "Enough", Anglina Joli in some other movie, Krav Maga "boot-camps" and the building of the tough guy/bad ass image.

Not only does this turn away the vast majority of regular people who need and can benefit from Krav Maga, but, in a way, the people are being sold a Krav Maga that they do not need, an unnecessary Krav Maga. This is similar to the doctor selling medical treatment that people not only do not need but which is actually harmful to them.

The "selling point" of Krav Maga is aggression and fierceness, but this is greatly misunderstood. We are shown videos of sexy blond haired Israeli female soldiers having their hair pulled and fighting back using basic boxing moves; Fantasy stuff but everyone gets excited.

Not only is this not Krav Maga but what is being overlooked is that there are IKI Krav Maga moves that deal with that situation in a much simpler and more effective way. It is not always a matter of aggression but a matter of understanding how the body works. Brain before brawn.

What we show is a simple turnaround using natural body motions, striking vital points and making a quick escape. We do it aggressively but we do not go "Bad ass" on the attacker. Simply put in a boxing match the aggressor will recover quickly and beat the crap out of the young blond. She will not stand a chance. Yes, size matters in such fights.

Aggression is not always the correct solution.

The aggressive image of Krav Maga sells. I will soon be in Germany for a seminar, a large international crowd is expected. I know that some of them will be expecting the Krav Maga they have seen in the movies. They will expect a bad ass from Israel showing them how to pulverize any attacker. But this is not true Krav Maga. And this is not what I will be teaching. Sometimes it is difficult for people to understand that there is more to Krav Maga than the image made popular by the marketing experts.

Krav Maga is about survival, just as with medicine. If you can save a patient by telling him to stop smoking and start exercising that is much better than an expensive and unnecessary series of treatments.

Sometimes Krav Maga is about avoiding a situation, sometimes it is about blocking and running, sometimes about hitting and running. And sometimes it is about going ballistic on our opponent. It takes wisdom to know which approach to use.

The idea of always advocating the movie style aggressive response is the same as always advocating surgery or expensive treatment; it is a money making scam. It is selling the image. It is false and deceptive.

When a young woman comes in, perhaps the victim of sexual assault, and she looks to you for guidance, that is what you must offer her; guidance. You must offer her guidance and wisdom and honesty.

Do not sell her a package deal, do not sell her an expensive treatment that she does not need. Krav Maga does teach explosive aggression as one of many options. Krav Maga has only one rule: Survival.

Someone recently wrote me about "Krav Maga techniques are always simultaneous attack and defense"; I never heard this, do not accept this and do not teach this. Sometimes we only defend and escape. Sometimes an army must retreat when facing an overwhelming force, regroup and counterattack another day.

We have no hard core doctrine's, no dogma, only survival.

Selling a student an approach that is not appropriate for them is the same as offering medical treatment that is inappropriate. Teaching a smaller person to always use aggressiveness will likely get them seriously hurt or killed in a real situation. Each student is an individual and their Krav Maga must be right for them.

Do not fall victim to the commercialization of Krav Maga.

At IKI we offer true Krav Maga for you as an individual. 

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