Krav Maga Success

Krav Maga; what can be done and what cannot be done

In the Krav Maga business I am always hearing about what cannot be done. I am always hearing about difficulties and hurdles too impossible to overcome. I hear instructors tell me that they cannot organize successful seminars, or that a school cannot really prosper in their particular demographic area.

I am surprised to hear this in America, the land where a poor farm hand like Abraham Lincoln can become president and a poor illiterate immigrant can rise to own a multi national corporation.

During my recent tour of the USA and Canada I have met some inspirational individuals. There is a teenage girl in a small town in Illinois, her name is Rachel. She is home schooled, an only child, and lives two hours from the nearest IKI Krav Maga school.

With Rachel and Sheriff John Monnet, Effingham, Illinois

Yet she trains in Krav Maga and makes things happen. She travels two hours twice a month for private Krav lessons with Sensei Amy in Springfield. She attended several of my seminars during my tours last year and then decided she was going to organize some seminars in her home town. I did not think it would happen.

During this past trip she arranged four seminars for me. She lives in small town America, population 12,000. Not really the kind of place where one would think to hold an Israeli Krav Maga seminar. I do not know if there is a Jew in her town, certainly there are no Israelis or strong organizational ties to Israel. From a marketing point of me this is not the kind of place I would target for my Krav Maga seminars.

Did I mention she was 16 when she started organizing these seminars? Of the four seminars; three where with the Sheriffs dept and State Troopers, one was a community wide event that attracted over twenty five participants from near and far. Yes, she did involve her parents, her friends, her church; this is called networking. She worked with what she had. Her family even arranged for kosher food for me, not an easy task in a small town.

I have in my hands the proposal she presented to the Sheriff. Others might say, "How can this be done? How can I present this?" Well, I see in the proposal that she carefully read through the IKI website and copied sections that were relevant for the police. She put together a very professional looking proposal, which was accepted. Yet I have dealt with professionals who seemed to know nothing about what we do and kept asking me questions, they did not make the effort to actually look at the resources, the IKI website, that was right there on their computer!

Rachel wanted to have a seminar in her home town, and she made it happen. She did not focus on the obvious difficulties (challenges) that others might consider "insurmountable", she used her natural contacts, (friends, family, community members), and the resources that were available to her. She made it happen and it was a great success.

Sometimes I am surprised at martial arts instructors. To earn a black belt, that is a legitimate black belt, takes above average belief in yourself and determination. When you are a lower rank it is difficult to believe that someday you will wear a black belt. You have to be able to envision the future, imagine that which seems impossible, overcome many obstacles, and make it happen.

We must learn to use this same spirit to make other things happen in our lives. We must learn to overcome limits. When life says "It can't be done", we must say, "I have heard this before and I will not accept this answer, I will make it happen." When you have achieved your black belt you should realize that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

My brother Ethan served in an elite combat unit in the Israeli army. At the end of their training there is a long and grueling hike, only after successfully completing this hike does one earn the right to wear the beret of the unit.I recall him telling me, after not only completing the hike but excelling, "Now that I have accomplished this I know I can accomplish anything." This is the attitude we must have in order to succeed.

Now I am not a Pollyanna, of course there will be times when despite our best efforts we will not always get what we want, (You can't always get what you want, Rolling Stones). What I am saying is that there is much in life we can achieve, there is much that is within our reach, we just need the courage and the determination to go for it.

I have a friend, a martial arts instructor, one of the most successful in the business. He was not born to money. He worked very hard but despite all his hard work he was still so poor that he was living in his dojo. He told me that one day he just woke up and decided, "I don’t want to be poor anymore." He was fed up with being poor.

He had a change of attitude. All change begins with attitude. Today he has over 600 students in a town of only one million.

So lets not talk about what cannot be done, that is not for people like us. Lets only speak of what can be done, what will be done, and let's make it happen.