Krav Maga True Colors

When I was a child growing up in Israel the trip to Jerusalem was always a highlight and a thrill. (Today it is still exciting but Jerusalem is a parking nightmare). On class trips our teachers would tell us stories about the days when the Arabs would not allow us up to Jerusalem, and how cars bringing supplies and food to the beleaguered Jews under siege would be fired upon.

On the side of the road we would see the remains of those holy convoys, a reminder of our bitter struggle, as Yafa Yarkoni would sing the song, "Bab al Wad, (the gate to the city) forever remember our names, convoys bursting into the city, on the side of the road lie our dead, the metal skeletons (of the cars) are silent".

Those metal skeletons, the remains of the semi armored vehicles trying to get to Jerusalem, were seen along the road. They were always a rustic red. Today they have been moved and grouped together further up the road, a result of Arabs stealing all metal they can get their hands on and selling it for scrap metal.

So today I saw those old vehicles but they are no longer rustic red, they are now a sort of green. Odd, I thought, how could they change this? They have always been rustic red, it is 'anti tradition' to change them. I found it rather disturbing. But then I got to thinking; what was the original color? It was certainly not red. They did not drive red trucks through Arab controlled areas trying to sneak into Jerusalem. No, the red was painted on much later, a way of preventing rust from destroying the historic vehicles. The current green is probably much closer to the real, original color. And yet, the whole thing was kind of….confusing. After all they had always been rustic red.

This got me thinking some more. We say true colors are beautiful but do we really see things that way? Do we really want to see the true colors or the colors we have become accustomed to?

Let's take a look at the martial arts. We have many traditionalists among us. A judo man will stick to judo, he will not dilute his judo with kicks or punches; he is a purist. A karate man will not go to the ground, nor will he put on boxing gloves and train with a boxer. A wrestler will not kick. Bruce Lee came along and said, really there is only one martial art. What you are seeing are just many different parts of one whole, it is time to put them all back together again. Real life self defense is not only kicking, or punching, or takedowns, or wrestling. Real life is all of the above.

When man first started fighting it was everything goes. That was the original "color". As time went on one school specialized in ground work while another perfected boxing or kicking. Yet another dealt with the art of pressure points. But in reality Lee said, they are all only parts of one original puzzle. That is the true color. The problem was that for so long we became accustomed to the red paint that was not real. It was just a way of preventing rust, and now that the real color has been restored it seems out of place, unnatural.

Bruce Lee, the UFC, Krav Maga, are all hitting on the same theme. The real color is the totality of fighting. Each martial art is but one school preserving and perfecting one limited aspect of this totality. It is time to reunite the pieces and recreate the whole.

We are very limited in our vision and in our perception. We are conditioned to see things as we are used to seeing them, even if it is not real, even if the color we are seeing is merely a preservative. True colors confuse us, they upset the apple cart. In life and in martial arts we need to be open to seeing real colors, even if they are sometimes confusing.