Your Greatest Investment

May 29, 2023, Israel


Training in Wing Chun Gung Fu, circa early 1990's, New York City. Practicing the Bong sao, a technique that I applied to IKI Krav Maga many years later.

Investments, that is a scary concept. All investment involves risk. I studied Economics for many years, earned advanced degrees, and worked in the field for several years. Risk equals reward, one must diversify one's investments, hedge your bets, probability and planning etc. When you think as a financial planner and analyst, everything takes on a different meaning; it will cost me $40 in gasoline, $30 dollars in parking and 3 hours of my time to meet this individual, is it worth it? What are my potential gains from this meaning? Everything becomes a calculated risk. Our time, our money, our health, we invest these, and we hope to get something in return. The return can be financial, emotional, spiritual.

When I worked in the field I would always begin with some simple questions; what are your goals, long-term or short-term? How averse are you to risk? How much money can you afford to lose? 

Based on these factors we design a plan. 

When considering a move people will often ask, what have you got to lose? They mean, give it a try, you have nothing to lose. But as Economist I look at that comment differently, indeed, consider, what in fact do you have to lose? There is always a risk, and there is always a cost. Meet that girl for coffee, (a date) what have you got to lose? Actually, quite a bit. You lose time, money, and the emotional pain of expectation which leads to disappointment. There is always a risk and there is always a cost. 

Now let us think in terms of Krav Maga self-defense training. But more specifically let us ask what kind of investment is involved and what kind of reward might be expected. 

The rewards are many; a better you, a stronger and more confident self. Over the years of teaching, I have seen these effects. I know weak, meek, children totally lacking in confidence and social skills become confident successful adults. I know people who overcame deep depression, the breakup of a marriage, the loss of a business. I have known people who attribute their marriage to the years of training. Many young men have told me that they study better in their rabbinical academies due to the inner strength that they gained via training in Krav Maga. None of these worthy goals were my intention when I began teaching, but yet I have discovered these manifold blessings, these Rewards for teaching. And of course, many have used our training to save their lives, to right off rapists, to disarm robbers, to defend their families. The rewards are many.  

But what kind of investment is required? The investment is of course your time, and some money. Yes, lessons cost money, instructors need to be paid. Training hall rent and electricity must be paid, etc. There are expenses. Personally, I spent a great deal of money on travel, to the USA, to attend seminars, to train with some great masters. I invested a great deal in my training.

But the key point I want to make here is this: You are investing in yourself. This is a key element we must take into account. When you spend time reading, self-educating yourself, when you spend time in meditation, you are making an investment in yourself. The risk is very low because it is you. What is the rist? The risk is you might quit, you might give up. So, if you invest your time, your money, in training, and then a year later totally drop it, you may feel it was all a waste of time and money, it was a bad investment. This may be true. I would argue that you still gained something from the experience, I would argue that it was still a learning experience, and that personal growth took place. 

The key for me is to look at these investments as long-term investments. I will not say, OK, so I am attending a seminar, "another seminar with so and so, what more will it give me? will I get a new rank?"

No, I never look at it that way. I look at as watering a plant, I may not see any growth yet, but I do know that the roots are growing stronger, deeper. I do know that if I keep watering this plant eventually I will see the rewards that I am seeking. It is not a matter of throwing a coin into a wishing well, making a wish, closing your eyes, opening them and expecting to find that your wish came true. Not, not at all. It is a matter of putting in your time, effort, blood sweat and tears, over a long period of time, with the understanding that you are growing but that the ultimate rewards will come later. There will be ups, there will be downs, but if you follow the course over a long period of time, and do not quit, you will be rewarded amply, often beyond your wildest dreams. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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?

All that and more in this unique book.

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