Without Warning
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

May 7, 2019, Israel

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Attacks can be sudden and brutal. Once this happens there is no defense, but there are always warnings.

"I was attacked without warning". We have heard this before, but I do believe that is quite rare than any individual or nation was ever attacked without warning. It is just that we ignored the warnings.

World War Two is a great study case. Warning were all over the place. People often say that Hitler was irrational and unpredictable, but yet he wrote down his philosophy, attitude and objectives quite clearly in his book Mein Kampf, My Struggle. When he came to power every couple married in Germany received this book as a mandatory wedding gift. The book was there for all the world to see, and yet wise and brilliant world leaders claim that they were attacked "Without Warning". 

Stalin of the USSR was also attacked without warning by the German forces. The results were devastating. But yet if you examine the Russian records it was clear they never trusted the Germans and they did expect an attack, in fact they distrusted everyone so much they expected Germany to join with her natural ally, Great Britain, and together attack the Soviet Union. And yet the USSR was indeed caught in total surprise.

The trick is we need to learn to see, register, analyze and comprehend the warnings we are given. Once this has been done we can know our appropriate response.

Some Krav Maga schools teach one approach to all attacks; respond with total aggression and pummel the alleged attacker until he is "finished". Not only is this unwise and immoral but it may lead you to being "treated" by the friends of this individual, or you may end up in jail. Often the results are; Hospital, morgue, or jail. 

This leads us to our next rule; know the rules. You must understand the verbal and non verbal cues. You must study the local culture. What does a hand gesture mean? What does "flipping some off" mean? Do words mean the same thing in New York and in London, or in Kiev? What may be meant is a "friendly" insult might be taken by the visitor as a prelude to a fight.

You also need to understand how your gestures or words might be understood, or misunderstood. What may be casual talk to an inner city New Yorker might be understood as a challenge to someone from a different street culture. As Daniel says in the film Karate Kid, "I don't know the rules here, I want to go back to New Jersey where I know the rules!"  This comes after being repeatedly beaten up by the local high schoolers in California, a place where he does not know "The rules". 

Walk into any martial arts school, what will you find? You will see people kicking and punching, jumping and spinning, etc. But will you hear a lecture on how to avoid a fight, or how to understand the use of force? All these lessons are as clear as day, again, let's go back to Karate Kid, wise Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel San about how not to fight. "When have full respect for self, full respect for others, that answer come. Understand Daniel San?"

Do we understand?

We must learn the rules, we must be able to know when to fight and when not to fight. And if to fight, than how much, we must know the rules of the use of force. 

There are always warnings, but we must pay attention. This is the approach of IKI, at a seminar you may hear we talking a bit. and I will notice some people fidgeting: are they bored? are they missing the point? Did they think this will be an "Aerobic Kickboxing" workout?

We are about real world survival. And we are looking for more instructors to spread this message around the world. 

During Tour and Train we visit the grave of Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky. Unlike most Jews he saw the clear warning signs. He talked about the Nazi Holocaust long before it happened. He spoke many languages and he traveled the length and breadth of Europe warning the Jewish people. He was dismissed as a delusional mad man. The warnings were ignored.

At IKI we are about safety, survival, reading the warnings correctly. Be part of the solution. 

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