January 2, 2020, Israel
Happy New Year! Everyone is wishing everyone else a Happy New Year. For us Jews this is not a new year. Our new year falls around September, (we use a different calendar) and the traditional western New Year is actually a time when traditionally Jews have been attacked and beaten.
So far this has not been a very good new year as attacks against Jews have escalated to levels that have shocked many.
I am not shocked. But let us focus not just on Jews but on all good people who do not wish to live in fear.
After the recent, and ongoing, attacks I have received inquiries and requests for Krav Maga training in the New York area. I live in Israel, we have Israeli Krav International branches all over the world, but we are not Starbucks or McDonalds, we don't have a training center in every neighborhood, and sadly, most American commercial Krav Maga centers are such that I cannot endorse them. They are mostly fitness centers plus some outdated techniques that will only make matters worse.
So how do I respond to these sincere requests for help. Truthfully there is not much I can do. I tell them we have an on line distance training program, I tell them I do have my international seminars and I am actually in New York twice each year, I tell them about our programs in Israel. But I know there will be few takers. I know very few will sign up for any classes and the few that do will most likely not stick with it. I am not being pessimistic, I am speaking from experience.
So this young women contacts me, several times, I would like to help. I suggest organizing a small group but I know...there will be very little interest. It takes a lot to get people moving.
I recall before my mother had her knee surgery. She suffered for years from pain. Others also suffered from hip pain and wondered; should I have surgery? The surgery is very painful, the recovery is painful. Watching a loved one in constant pain for weeks as they recover, is indeed difficult to handle. But the pain is part of the process to recovery. When one contemplates this surgery one must be prepared for the pain to come.
So what is the determining factor? The doctor gave wise advice: When the pain is too much to bear, when walking is so painful that you simply can't take it anymore, that is the point when you decide to go ahead with the surgery.
And so it is. We all know we need to learn to defend ourselves, no one will argue with that. But we will not actually begin to seriously consider it until we reach the point of "the pain is too much". For most that will be only after a series of violent attacks. For some it will be too late.
So after a series of attacks when the usual frantic calls begin, I may seem a little unsympathetic. I will respond with...yes, I have been here all along, waiting for you, calling out like the Hebrew prophets of old, a lone voice in the wilderness. I will not get all worked up anymore, I will not begin to organize new classes or make urgent travel plans, because I know that by the time my flight is booked you will change your mind, back out and return to your comfortable life, the pain will pass, for the moment, and your excitement will die down.
We offer proven effective training at reasonable prices, we are here to help, to serve to guide, but we can't force you. The decision is yours. Will you remain a victim? Will you continue to live in fear?
New year, new decisions, new you, new life.
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