2009 - 2018
I wrote the original short blog about a decade ago. Since then I am proud to say that we have stuck to our principles. IKI Krav Maga has continued to evolve. I am proud that our methods have been adopted by many police and security teams throughout the world.
Since this blog was written we have moved from a collection of techniques borrowed and adapted from other martial arts that I studied, to one simple unified method with a single thread running through all the techniques. I feel our style is not only evolutionary but revolutionary.
Many styles of Krav Maga depend upon speed, strength and precision. While those are all great qualities, we cannot have techniques that depend on those qualities.
What if you are caught off guard? What if the opponent is stronger than you? Your own strength will not be sufficient. Your precision will fail you. We must take the effect of shock and stress into account.
I have seen many techniques that require quickly grabbing an opponents' wrist. That may work fine in the training hall. That may work fine when you are ready and you are an experienced athlete. But it will most likely fail for the average person in a real life situation. As such we have dropped all grabbing techniques.
Many Krav Maga instructors look impressive but they are actually using their aggressiveness to compensate for lack of proper technique. Anyone can charge in and do knee kicks, looks great, but when you analyze these aggressive moves you see the flaws. Power and speed try to cover up for rather poor techniques.
Shouting may gather more attention but it does not mean that you actually know what you are talking about. It is the same with Krav Maga. Aggressiveness in training does not mean you are actually a good instructor or practitioner. It is not our students we wish to hurt. The enemy is not in your school.
Our techniques have been tested in real life violent encounters all over the world. Perfection does not exist, we strive for perfection and reach excellence. I am proud that our methods have saved many lives. Daily we continue to evolve and improve. I am proud of our achievements and of our instructors all over the world who continue to contribute to our progress.
Does Krav Maga evolve? Do you believe in evolution?
After the Second Lebanon War military analysts put their noses to the grind to figure out what went wrong and what went right. You might call it the "Post game analysis".
If you want to win you must analyze your game and learn from your mistakes. Otherwise, you are history.
In combat and in training we must always evolve.
Yet most martial arts are exactly that – history, fossils. "Master so and so did it this way." So what! Who cares? That was then, this is now. Time changes, circumstances change. And change we must if we wish to adapt and survive.
The ancient Hebrew prophets railed against idol worship, yet it continues today, in a different form. People worship Master so and so and want to dress like him, talk like him and train like him. Bruce Lee, one of the great innovators of our times, said, Don’t' imitate the master; imitate the creative process that made him a master.
In Krav Maga we adapt techniques from other styles to form a practical system of self-defense. The founder was not Moses delivering the Ten Commandments. The style is not written in stone, it must continue to evolve. We are not creating a museum to this style or to that of anybody else's. We carry forward the concept of real self defense.
We use what we know. We borrow from styles that we have trained in and adapt them to the needs of the Israeli soldiers of our era. Many did not have guns, so we trained them in the use of sticks. Over the years many instructors joined Krav Maga, they added techniques from styles they had studied; Krav Maga grew, it was not stagnant.
Over the years I have changed some techniques; I have seen that some techniques take too long to learn or do not work on a stronger, resisting, opponent. So we modify them to make them work. Sometimes it means dropping a favorite technique that we have used for years, how sad.
Often I will come home to Israel from trips abroad and show Itay Gil techniques that are being taught in Krav Maga schools in America, or in other related Israeli styles. He will say, "Yes, I learned those techniques many years ago, they used to teach it that way, but good men died while using those techniques. So they were dropped and replaced with better techniques."
Discontinued techniques must be dropped. Sometimes there are financial reasons not to drop them. You spent $5,000 making a DVD, you have 10,000 copies in your warehouse. You produced expensive manuals. Now if you change a technique – what are you going to do with all this outdated stuff? Just toss it? So you keep it, and you keep teaching old outdated stuff; you stopped evolving, you become a dinosaur.
Therefore I decided never to spend a lot of money on making DVD's. Keep 'them cheap, update them often. So they will be less polished, who cares. A true student will not care if the lighting is not so good, he will still see the technique, and the whole thing will only cost him just a few dollars.
Over the years we have changed some techniques, dropped some techniques totally, fine-tuned others and have continued to evolve. This is the true martial arts way. This is what Bruce Lee believed in and this is our policy at IKI.
In Krav Maga techniques and strategies evolve. One approach we no longer use is Side Stepping Defense
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