November 20, 2017
Probably one of the most frequently asked questions is...
What do I need to do for Black Belt
1. What does it cost?
The cost of the first dan black belt and all other ranks, are clearly listed on the website in several places. Please pay Before you test. You can pay on the membership page. I also prefer that you look up the fees yourself rather than write me asking this question, it makes me feel like a used car salesman or a boy working in a grocery store. You can easily find all the fees, or ask me for the link.
2. Why have I chose this price?
My teacher Itay Gil taught me that one must be hungry for the black belt, one must really want it and be willing to work for it. One must work very hard for the black belt, and one must sacrifice for the black belt. This is a lesson I have internalized.
Believe it or not there are those who think they can receive an honorary black belt for free, or for some symbolic price: that is not happening here!
If I were a billionaire I would still charge for the black belt; Because You need to pay. This is for you, not me. This is actually not about the money.
I wanted an Ibanez guitar. I was a student. I did not have the money. But I wanted it! What did I do? Beg for a discount? Do "Go fund me?! No way, I worked hard. I went looking for a job and found a job working in a school. I worked evenings and weekends. I started as a cleaner, they gave me the worst jobs, I cleaned the toilets, I washed the kids sticky desks. I was at the bottom of the totem pole: When it matters to you then you make every effort. I still have this guitar and it remains a symbol of my hard work.
When we train we always says, Do not give yourself discounts, i.e. do not allow yourself the easy way out, the easy way will not bring you any honor or self-respect. As Van Halen wrote, "If you want it you have to bleed for it.! I bled for all my ranks, in every sense of the word.
I want you to pay for the black belt, with your time, with your blood, sweat and tears and cash. You have to pay for it. You have to make a sacrifice in order for it to mean something. If not, you do not really want, you are not really black belt material.
3. What are the requirements?
You must view the IKI DVDs, the Vimeos' are also very helpful. The material you need is on those DVDs. Can you take a college course without buying the books? I think not. Every semester I dread the cost of buying text boos but I never questioned the need for the books. Why can't I just take notes in class? Isn't that enough? Do you want to 'just get by' or do you really want to know the material?
You must be a member of IKI on line and receive the daily clips. But why? Because you need to stay up to date, if you wear the IKI Black Belt you represent IKI and your represent your IKI instructor, and you represent me personally! So you better not mess up. You must stay up to date on the latest IKI developments. We are always improving and updating our material. If you doctor graduated in 1967 but has not read a medical book since, you you let him perform brain surgery on you?
4. What is the procedure?
I want you to send me videos of yourself. This way I can evaluate them and let you know if you are on the correct path or need more time.
Before you send me the videos of yourself I want you to view the video of me doing the technique and then view the video of yourself, and ask yourself - Are these two videos the same? Have an objective friend watch the videos and ask him, Do my techniques resemble that of my teacher, yes or no? Sometimes I receive video clips and I just cannot figure out what the student was thinking. Make sure you do not waste my time and yours.
5. Make sure you are testing with IKI techniques. This should be obvious but often people come to IKI and believe that their previous experience in other styles of Krav Maga will give them a quick Black Belt. I do not want to see techniques from other styles of Krav Maga. We are unique. Do not tell me " we are all the same!, that is an automatic failure!!
If you have not figured out yet that IKI is a unique style of Krav Maga then you are NOT ready to test for IKI Black Belt.
Show it SLOW - Anything can look impressive when you do it fast and strong. I want to see it first slow and only later fast. I want to see that you understand what you are doing. There is an expression my dear father used to use, "If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance then baffle them with bullshit.! (and he was a rabbi) When I see someone using speed and muscle I understand that they are trying to baffle me with bullshit, but you can't fool me. As we say in Israel I am an old war fox, I have been around too long to be fooled. Show it slow and I will know; I want to know that you understand the technique, then you can show it fast and smooth.
My teacher never gave any sort of discounts, in fact he tried to make it as hard as possible, as he knew that I would be awarding ranks. Friends give each other gifts, not ranks. He stressed you have to show how badly you want this. You have to sacrifice something for it. If you want to buy a black belt you can easily do this on line, but that is not us. In fact I raised the price of all our black belts in order to DISCOURAGE people from applying for Black Belt. Yes, I raised the price in order to have less black belt applicants, to weed out the rank seekers. I do not want applicants who are looking for the "cheep and easy" black belt.
"If you want it, you have to bleed baby" (Van Halen)
6. You should read the book "Israel: A Nation of Warriors", (not to be confused with "Nation of Worriers". ) I purchased every book any of my teachers ever wrote, or recommended. If you want to understand the style you are training in you also understand the culture that produced this style.
7. Highly recommended - Attend Tour and Train in Israel. Live Krav Maga for two weeks. This is the fastest way to progress towards skill and ranks, including instructor ranks.
My goal is to raise the threshold so that only serious students will apply for black belt, not "weekend players". You can buy a black belt in a store and print your own certificate (as many have done), I want our black belts to mean something.
Find out who they are, their background and dedication.
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