Coincidental Connection
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

January 21, 2015, El Al flight 007

I do not get to watch very much television these days. International flights are pretty much the only opportunity I have for such activities. I have my favorite shows; "Ramzor", "HaParliament", and "Polishook".

If you have not heard of these it is because they are Israeli shows. I can relate to them and enjoy them because they laugh at our own silly lives. There are taken out of our daily lives and highlight how absurd we are. Thus we can laugh at the characters on TV for a little while, when in fact, we are laughing at ourselves. 

So I watched part of an episode of "Polishook" and laughed quite a bit. It is a political comedy and deals with all the backroom deals and the changing alliances and coalitions and how politicians keep changing their stance based on where they wish to sit. The right-winger embraces the Left, the secular joins with the religious in prayer; anything to stay in power.

Of course it is exactly like real life politics in Israel, only without the lying to the public. Here we see the backroom dealings, the guys who write the phony speeches that move the masses, and the real sources of power.

The veil is opened and we see the truth, and we either laugh or cry or both. 

And the end of the show a written statement appears, much like what we see after episodes of "Law and Order" in America.

The preceding events and characters are entirely fictitious, any resemblance between them and real life events and personalities is entirely coincidental etc etc..

Now to be honest I really do not know if this was meant as part of the comedy or to legally protect the show. Clearly all the events and characters exactly resemble known parties and politicians.

So was that statement intended to be funny or just legal protection?

I do not know.

But it made me think.

It made my think of all the martial arts movies I used to enjoy. Movies that in their time actually inspired me. I wanted those abilities like the stars of the show, I believed in all that.

But over time I realized that it is all fake - fake, fake, fake; just as fake as the politicians.

I really think that at the end of every martial arts movie there should be such a statement; All techniques are fake, this is a comedy or a drama, do not confuse these actors with real martial artists, do not confuse these techniques with real moves that can save your lives. Any resemblance between the techniques on the show and real life self-defense is purely coincidental.

These shows create totally unrealistic expectations. Students come to believe that the antics they see on TV are real and that perhaps someday they too can use such techniques to save their lives.

They see "Ziva David" from NCIS, the Israeli woman who routinely defeats larger men, and they believe this is what all Israeli women are like after their basic IDF training. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Fake, fake, fake.

Ziva is not Israeli, not even Jewish, she is Catholic, South American. Neither her character nor the real person have anything in common with Israelis and her martial arts are fancy Hollywood style moves that have no resemblance to Krav Maga or real life saving skills.

Fake, but where is the written warning at the end of the show..any resemblance is purely coincidental, only a "coincidental connection".

On the TV and movie screens we see: flips and throws, size does not matter. We see fancy flashy moves, but all this choreographed and edited and there are many "takes" until the perfect move is filmed.

None of this is true in reality. 

In reality we get one chance, no warning, no choreography. In the real world there is no second chance.

We have an expression in Israel. When people are acting in a delusional way, or believe in nonsense (like in a negotiated peace with Arab terrorists) we say..."Ata chai be seret" - You are living in a movie.

When it comes to self-defense, please do not live in the movies.

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