December 23, 2013
As kids growing up we heard this line a lot in the movies, "Your money or your life, this is a hold up!"
We played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, Germans and Americans, Romans and Jews, and "Your money or your life".
In our Jewish tradition our holy book says, "Love thy God with your entire soul, heart and might" and the rabbis explain that this refers to your spiritual self, you physical self and your financial self. Many times we have had to sacrifice all of these for the sake of our faith.
But why, they ask, does it need to say Your financial self? If you are willing to give your soul and your body for God, then of course you would be willing to give your money. Why is there a need to also mention, "Your money"?
The answer is that some people love their money more than their soul and more than their body. Yes, it is true. We all know this. Therefore the verse had to add "your might, your money" as otherwise some would be unwilling to part with this.
Now lets take martial arts, Krav Maga; "Your ego or your life".
What do I mean by this.
Krav Maga is about survival, period. I am always willing to entertain any questions, I am willing to look at any techniques, and my members frequently send in techniques for me to view. If a question is raised we shall explore it and answer it and often this leads to new techniques or adaptations of old techniques. That is why IKI Krav Maga is always evolving, always on the cutting edge of the Krav Maga world. We make waves.
Now many people do not like change. I should know as I am one of those. I wear the same "style" I wore twenty, thirty years ago. I am reluctant to get a new phone. I do not care for upgrades, I like the old and familiar.
But when it comes to safety and security I am a different creature. I remember the lessons learned from the first Jewish-Roman war (66 - 74 C.E.), lessons learned and applied for the Bar Kochva revolt (Third Jewish-Roman war, 132- 135 C.E.) I remember the lessons learned from thousands of years of fighting for survival.
We must "draw conclusions", "learn lessons" and apply these. In Israel we learn from the past but look to the future. While some security agencies are searching for a repeat of yesterday's terrorist attack we are thinking of what is in the terrorists' plans for tomorrow. We are thinking ahead.
"Your ego or your life". If I offer you a better way, a better and more effective form of Krav Maga, will you take it?
Perhaps not. Perhaps you are too committed to your current form of Krav Maga. Perhaps your ego will not allow to accept that perhaps a better method has come along.
I have heard stories that in old Japan if a challenger defeated the teacher, even a very respected one, the old master would bow down and humbly say, "Kindly accept me as your student". This is the true spirit of the martial arts.
So I ask you, your ego or your life. Most choose their ego, they want to stay with the system they have come to "believe in".
Martial arts have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Leave faith were it belongs. Leave ego where it belongs, at the door of the training hall. Come in and accept the challenge. It just might mean the difference between life and death.
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