Krav Maga What Price?
By Moshe Katz

The $5,000 dollar Question


$5,000 for a Weekend of Training

A few years back I saw an advertisement in Black Belt magazine that caught my eye. It was another video set that promised to the best, the most deadly techniques that will instantly transform you into the world's best fighter, defeat any opponent large or small, etc. etc. Now Black Belt Magazine is filled with these; "Underground systems", "Secret methods", "ancient styles" etc and although they were always tempting, I generally managed to overcome the urge, put back my credit card, and hide my wallet someplace where I could not find it until this urge passed.

Richard and Leo joking around, but if this were real? What would you do?

But this advertisement got me. It was a six part video set, not cheap, the highlights from a weekend seminar that cost the participants $5,000 each. "Wow", I thought, "people paid $5,000 to train from Friday morning until Sunday night, this must be good, I certainly cannot afford to be without it, and, there is a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied." So I bought it.

Utter and complete disappointment.

I sat through six entire videos, waiting, hoping, and praying, to see something that justified my enormous expenditure of time and money, not to mention that of the participants who left $5,000 poorer than when they arrived. But alas, much like the Rolling Stones, "I can't get no satisfaction".

I pondered this question, why did they pay so much money? I looked through the written material, as I packed it all up to send back and get my refund (although I did not get refunded the $60 I paid for shipping and handling), and finally, the answer came to me at last.

I read about the people who participated in this costly seminar. Over 70% of them had either been victims of violent crimes or someone they loved had been such a victim. I got it.

Is it just that they wanted to pick up some useful techniques? No.

Is it that suddenly they realized that martial arts, and self defense are important for everyone? Again, the answer is no. For this people do not pay $5,000, no siree. But there is something that they will pay not only $5,000 for but much more, and this clever businessman, sorry, instructor, tapped into it.

So I got to thinking, what can I do to get some of this easy cash from victims of violent crimes? No, seriously, I got to thinking, what is it that motivates ordinary people to finally get off their butts and train, and pay $5,000 for 3 days of mediocre training.  

Here is the answer.

Imagine, God forbid, that your daughter was raped, not only date raped, but violently raped. What will her life be like now? I will tell you. Loss of interest in life, loss of self esteem, constant therapy (time consuming and costly), years of trauma treatment, perhaps she will fear men, perhaps she will fear intimacy, perhaps she will never marry.

The pain will last for years, you will spend all the money you can to help her. You will drive her from one therapist to another. You will stay up all night listening to her tears, but coming up with no good answers.

Now what if I came up to you and I said, "For a certain fee I can turn back the clock. I can make it the day before she was raped." How much money would you offer me?

I will tell you, in a minute.

Another scenario. It is your anniversary, or birthday. You are out with your wife and kids. Walking to the car from your favorite restaurant an armed hoodlum comes up to you. He pulls out a knife and threatens your family. You panic, you don't know what to do or say. You feel you are about to make in your pants. Your little children look to their daddy for guidance but you have nothing to offer but fear. Your wife turns to you but all she sees is a confused little boy. You are anything but her knight in shining armor. You are then robbed and humiliated. You whimper as he takes your wallet, your watch, the wife's jewelry, her wedding ring, (and your dignity); even the kids have to empty their pockets.

Now what happens tomorrow? I will tell you, you look at your wife and kids and you know they will never look at you the same way. You have failed them, you have failed as a husband, a father, and a man.

Again, I say to you, what would you pay me if I could turn back the clock to the day before that incident? What would you pay me to bring back your dignity, the respect and admiration of your wife and kids? Or in the first case, what would you pay me to bring back your sweet innocent, pre-rape, daughter? What would you pay me!!

Now I will tell you.

You will be willing to pay me every last cent you have. Yes, you will. To restore your life, your self esteem, your manhood, you will pay me whatever I demand, and you won't even put up a fight.

Would you pay $5,000? You would pay 5 million dollars if you had it, yes you would! So is $5,000 a lot now? It is the bargain of a lifetime. To restore some of your self esteem, to restore your honor, you will pay, and you, a top executive who bosses people around all day long will submit to some boot camp sergeant who will boss you around all weekend long, and you will do as he says.

Now this is not an article for martial arts instructors on how to make more money. No, certainly not. It is about how to understand motivation, perhaps how to motivate people a little. Sadly, for most people, it takes a personal violent experience until they wake up.

"Who is wise? He who sees the future" (our sages of blessed memory)

Krav Maga training only seems expensive when you fail to understand what it is that you are protecting. Are your children worth $195 a year? (IKI  Membership), is your family worth $95 a month (local classes, give or take).

You know the answer. Nothing more I can say. 

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