The dark side of the moon
By moshe katz, krav maga instructor and musician

January 23, 2014 

US Airways flight 506, Phoenix, Arizona to Vancouver, Canada. Coffee is served, the mind awakens. 

Welcome to the Dark Side of the moon.

Relaxing in my less than comfortable seat the old Pink Floyd song enters my mind. Perhaps it was the complementary Tequila and Sangria served this morning by lovely young ladies at the airport in Mexico.

Krav Maga, Martial Arts, many styles, many systems, many teachers, many people trying to make a big business out of self-defense. Many people fighting for a bigger piece of the Krav Maga/self-defense pie, many shady motivations.

Welcome my son to the machine, welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon. 

Dark alley, late at night, suspicious figures lurking in the dark; what will work for you now? What technique will save you, now?

We are no longer in Kansas, we are no longer in dojo land with bows, and respect: Welcome to the Dark Side my friends, here it gets real, here it gets ugly. Welcome to fear and pain. Welcome my son. Have I prepared you? 

I have heard the stories; rapes, muggings, hold-ups, knife attacks, from Mexico, New York, South Africa, Brazil, Puerto Rico. Violence rules, pacifists die on the street. I have met them, I have seen the scars, physical and emotional. Welcome my son, welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

I take a sip of my US Airways coffee, and think.

Just the other day, in Morelia, Mexico, Cristian showed me his scar. He was attacked by a man with a knife, he had been training in Krav Maga, with "the other guys" for many years. He holds many high ranks. He performed a technique perfectly: the attacker did exactly what I always demonstrate in class as the reason not to do this old style Krav Maga technique. The scars prove the story, the pain proves what I teach. Welcome to the Dark Side.

Business meetings, conference rooms, market strategy, new uniforms. Automated billing, Google ads, local billboards, changing market fads. But real self-defense is hard to find, Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon, welcome my son.

Not all self-defense has value.

Old Man Charlie Nelson said it best, in so few words, as was his way, so many years ago. Small black and white advertisement in Black Belt magazine, 1980's, a knife to a man's throat, pushed against the wall, and the caption, "Do you know how to get out of this situation?"  

Welcome to the Dark Side of life.

At IKI Krav Maga we live in the Dark Side, we embrace it and thrive in it. We understand Reality. We incorporate our history; millennium of persecution, inquisitions and Holocaust. We understand pain. We understand that violence cannot be ignored. We learn lessons of survival and lessons of heroism, all this is part of our training at IKI.

And we learn from the world; from the Gypsy attacks in Slovakia, from the Stitching attacks in South Africa, the hold-ups in Rincon, Puerto Rico and knife attacks in Mexico. We learn and we apply. 

We find solutions for the Dark Side.

At IKI we welcome the Dark Side, it is our reality.  The images of our history never leave me; Warsaw Ghetto, a mother holding her dead baby as she walks the streets of the Jewish ghetto, half dazed, half crazed. The baby was starved to death as part of hte policy of genocide. The Dark Side of the Moon.   

We do not live in the Comfort Zone. 

In the Old City of Jerusalem I walk with our  Tour and Train group through the Armenian Quarter. You cannot go more than a few steps without seeing the posters: Remember! Remember the Armenian Holocaust. Remember how more than 1.5 million innocent people were murdered. The Dark Side of the moon. Some wounds never heal, some pain is never in the past.   

A knife comes out of nowhere, the pain is instant, a man is down. Three men are walking home from their prayers at the Western Wall, our only relic of the ancient Holy Temple of Jerusalem, Beth HaMiqdash. As they walk the narrow streets of Jerusalem a man comes at them with a knife. Within minutes one man lays dead on the ground. The Dark Side of the Moon. 

In Milan, Italy, I meet  a woman from Holland. She is a teacher by profession. She teaches at the school where our martyr Anne Frank of blessed memory studied. (May God avenge her innocent young blood). This young teacher asks me what I do for a living. I show her some videos of what I teach. She is stunned. She does not understand why I need to address such issues, guns, knifes! Puzzled, she says to me, "But who would do such a thing?"

Who? She teaches at the school of Anne Frank and yet she learns nothing. Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis for being born Jewish and yet this "teacher" wonders "who would do just a thing", Who? 

Who indeed! She lives in a Fools Paradise, a world of sunshine, a world of denial.

But we live in the Dark Side of the Moon.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Is it disturbing? I am sorry I have disturbed your peace. 

A father and son are walking together. The vision is recorded by a Gentile viewing them from just outside the Warsaw Ghetto. Both Father and son are cleary identifiable as Orthodox Hasidic Jews. The year...early 1940's, the Dark Side.  A Nazi officer orders the father and son to be separated as the father is surely to be taken away.

The boy is removed from his dear father, his papa. But the little boy keeps escaping the grip of the Nazi officer and running back to his father. He wants to hold his papa's hand, to be together. Finally the Nazi gives up. He has had enough of this game. He points his rifle and kills both father and son on the spot, uniting them forever in heaven.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine, welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

My coffee is done, the song is over, thought I had something more to say. Welcome my son, welcome to this life. 

israel: a nation of warriors 
 Book by Moshe Katz

From the ashes of the Holocaust, from the depths of destruction, our people rise again.

Understand the Israeli mindset and how it is connected to our long history.

Biblical fighting, what was it like? What weapons did they use? What kind of tactics? 

Who were the great Hebrew warriors and how is their tradition being carried on today?

Israeli - Hebrew fighting throughout the ages: Abraham, Moshe (Moses), Joshua, Samson, their mindset and their fighting skills. 

Over 300 pages, the history of Israel and the Jewish people as a fighting nation from the days of Abraham to our own times. The book covers the history and roots of Krav Maga and the modern Israeli Defense Forces. The book analyzes what makes Israeli security the best in the world.

(cover by Arie Katz)

$9.99 on Kindle

Israel, A Nation of Warriors on Kindle

or from the author, signed copy  Books by Moshe Katz

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