January 25, 2010
This seems like a simple question and can be answered quite simply; all over the world these days Krav Maga is known as an incredible, no nonsense solution to self defense issues. This is true, but there is more.
Krav Maga is Israeli. Israelis are no nonsense people, and this makes all the difference.
When we begin our martial arts training it is all about getting our first belt; that coveted yellow belt. I know kids who slept in their first belt, I know adults who slept in their first black belt.
After this it is tournaments, trophies, special awards, being part of "societies" and recognized by our pears. Many people have homes or schools that look almost like shrines to themselves. This is the way things go these days in the martial arts world.
But let's go back, way back, to the beginning. Before there were ranks, before they were awards, before any of this.there was were people who wanted to survive. A plaque on the wall is nice but does nothing at all in times of trouble.
With IKI Krav Maga we are not concerned about what impression we make. I do not need to wear a cool T shirt or have someone think I am the baddest dude in town; I do not need to leave a trail of blood in the gym. Just as the techniques are designed to be simply effective, so does the whole lifestyle.
If I can avoid a problem, great, no need to beat anyone up. If I can talk my way out of it, buy my way out of it, run my way out of; great. This is not the movies, whom do I need to impress? I always say, check your ego at the door; ego will get you killed in real life.
Krav Maga is about being practical, my dad always said, "We are a practical people", we combine the spiritual with the physical, prayer with hard work. We are part angel and part animal.
The beauty about Israel is that the war hero who just destroyed a terrorist stronghold is also a university student who was busy studying for his biology midterm when he was called up for emergency reserves. He is not a Hulk like character; he is not covered with tattoos, he is not about posturing and ego.
When some mild mannered biology student with a kipa on his head (Jewish head covering for men) finishes his heroic task on the battlefield and quietly goes back to his studies, all the bad-ass looking types stand on the side in awe. While they are imitating some fantasy movie image he is the real deal; a lean, clean, quiet terrorist destroying machine.
Krav Maga is about reality; real people, real situations, real life.