July 12, 2023, Israel
Looking the truth in the eye can be painful, or eye opening. IKI Tour and Train Israel Experience, an eye opener, even for veteran instructors.
Where to begin? We live in a world of lies and falsehood. I study crime, of all sorts. For even non-violent crime will have violent repercussions. The bastards who manipulated the stock market in the 1920's in the USA where after personal gain. They felt they were better than others and deserved more. They "only" intended to cheat and rob, but the stock market crash led to World War Two. Those Wall Street Bastards have 65 million lives on their greedy hands. And of course, millions of Americans suffered locally; poverty, hardship, humiliation. Another consequence of this unbridled greed was the McCarthy era where suspected Communists were black-listed and prevented from working. With the collapse of the America economy many sought a different way, Socialism and Communism seemed like a good idea. An old Jewish former Communist, sitting in his modest apartment in Brooklyn many years later, recalled, when I saw a man in a suit and tie searching through a garbage can for some food, I said to myself there must be a better way. And then the Soviets came along and duped us all. That is why Julius (Rosenberg) decided to cooperate with them.
I was studying the case of convicted criminal mastermind, fraudster Elizabeth Holmes. She dreamed of being a billionaire like her assimilated Jewish great-great grandfather was. But she did not pursue the honest path. Whether she ever tried to be honest, we will probably never know as she is a pathological lier. What we do know is she conned the world and stole millions of dollars, perhaps even a billion dollars, from investors. As bad as that is, what is worse is that she was playing with people's lives. She created a system of rapid blood tests that people trusted. Sadly, these did not work and gave false results which resulted in people receiving incorrect diagnoses. Her company, Theranos (Therapy Diagnoses) was finally exposed. Hundreds lost their jobs.
What was her claim and her crime?
With a few drops of blood, Theranos promised that its Edison test could detect conditions such as cancer and diabetes quickly without the hassle of needles. Bigwigs from Henry Kissinger to general James Mattis sat on the board.
But by 2015, the seams were coming apart, and within a year, Holmes was exposed as a fake. The technology she touted didn't work at all, and by 2018 the company she founded had collapsed. She was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison. (sadly this seems to have been slightly reduced, probably by an older man).
As part of her scam, she managed to manipulate many older men into endorsing her company. Sadly, these old over the hill guys fell like patsies to her young female charms and her blonde her. She did not succeed in recruiting women; they were not so easily manipulated.
Prosecutors said she knowingly misled patients about the tests and vastly exaggerated the firm's performance to financial backers. She even tried to squash an expose in the Wall Street Journal. When the truth came out, she simply called everyone liers, and people believed her. She was doing a great job at "Fakin it" since she was incapable of "Makin it".
Throughout this entire period, she has never apologized, never came clean, and now is creating an image of herself as a wonderful mother and a victim of society. (it was all an anti-women plot). Thankfully, people have wizened up and almost no one seems to believe her anymore. One might say she comes by this naturally as her father was Christian Holmes IV, a vice president in Enron, a business that collapsed due to financial accounting fraud. Amazing enough after the collapse of Enron he eventually found a job in the government. Hmm...
And now the Krav Maga self-defense connection and relevance.
When Elizabeth was convicted and her many crimes came to light, one journalist wrote that now the full weight of the truth will come down upon her. The truth that she so desperately tried to hide, that her magical blood tests did not actually work, that patients, clients, and investors were being deceived, the truth that she was harming so many good people, would fully come out. She would now have to finally face the full weight of the truth.
When I heard this, I thought of self-defense. There is much out there that is being taught that is...perhaps not fraudulent but truly "magical". Perhaps those teaching it actually believe that it will work. I would say that most are good honest people who truly believe that their "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" movie and tradition inspired martial arts actually work. Many believed that Elizabeth Holmes blood tests actually worked, and never bothered truly investigating the matter. I believe Rupert Murdoch lost something like 150 million dollars.
The attitude in Silicon Valley at the time was "Fake it until you Make it", meaning, even if you don't have the product you claim to have, or your product has not yet been proven, "pretend" that it does, and later on when you are successful, everything will fall into place.
Now that is bad enough, and immoral enough, when it comes to financial dealings. And as I pointed out earlier, these non-violent crimes will ultimately have very violent consequences, somebody will turn to violence to get what he needs, but when this "fakin it" attitude is carried over to martial arts, or self-defense, we are in serious trouble.
There are many instructors out there, big strong guys, or girls who act like big strong guys, who sadly parade awful techniques. There is no supervision, there is no governing body controlling what is being taught. It is, sadly, a case of Buyer Beware. And it is very difficult for the non-expert martial artist to know what is good self-defense and what is terrible, likely to get you killed "self-defense".
And here, unlike with those big corporations, there are no "whistle blowers", it all boils down to opinion, I think my style is best, you think your style is best, end of story, no right, no wrong. Only there is a truth, there is a right and a wrong, and when someone actually faces a violent criminal, the full wight of the truth will come down upon them. But it will be too late.
When I heard this expression, that is what came to mind, the full weight of the truth will be exposed, but too late.
I do see a movement in the right direction. I see many videos coming out, about knife defense in particular, where the whistle blowers are saying that the traditional Krav Maga/karate/jujitsu etc. approach is not working, is not realistic and is very dangerous. They declare "The king is dead, long live the king", and they crown a new king, who is very much like the old king. They offer techniques that make me scratch my head and make my hair fall out. The full weight of the truth will expose these techniques, when it is too late.
So, you might ask, what makes me think that I know better? Why should you even listen to me? The answer is you should not. But given my experience you should check it out. When I teach a technique, I demonstrate it, I break it down, I explain the logic behind it, I explain how this technique developed over time. I demonstrate full force with resistance, and then I say, Now you try it. Now you see how it works for yourself, and I will help you.
You will be the final judge, because in a moment of truth, when the full weight of the truth is exposed, I want you to be ready, that is all that matters.
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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