Messing with Your Mind
By Moshe Katz
CEO Israel Krav International

Can people believe things that are not true? Can people be convinced of something which is totally false?

C'mon! We all know the answer to that, of course they can. For centuries people "knew" that Jews poisoned the wells, caused the plagues, used children's blood to bake the Passover unleavened bread, and according to Borat were also responsible for killing off the dinosaurs.

On an individual level people also believe, and are convinced of, all sorts of nonsense; the government is out to get them, none of their personal failures are their responsibilities, someone else is to blame, etc.

The fact is the mind can easily be tricked into believing all sorts of things. In our Krav Maga training we use this to our advantage.

The old master Gichin Funakoshi (船越義珍) from Okinawa said, "Always imagine your opponent in front of you." What he was saying is that if you do not train as if it is real – then you are not really training. You must use your imagination to create that which is not really there at the moment. You must believe and see your opponent in front of you, even though of course he is not there, and at this point might not even exist.

Some styles of martial arts, and sadly even certain styles of Israeli Krav Maga, use techniques that are simply way too complex, or require too much strength, skill or speed, to work in real life.

Where is their mistake? Where are they falling short?

When I train I mess with my mind, and that of my students. I tell them you are not in the dojo surrounded by your friends, you are in a dark alley, alone, and facing your worst nightmare. Put yourself almost in a trance, "be" in the situation, and make it real.

You might start to sweat, you might get nervous, you will imagine someone is really out to get you, your body will react with nervousness and clumsiness. You will not be able to perform at your "dojo best". You might even yell as you defend yourself, you will loose your inhibition and react like an animal. This is how we must train you; you must be able to defend yourself when you are afraid, cold and tired.

Someone will walk up to you and put a gun in your belly. You must react with a movement that is natural, simple; gross motor moves that suit your body and frame of mind. Now you are doing Krav Maga, our way.

It is told that many of those who survived the tsunami were real film buffs. They had immersed themselves in action films and felt that they in fact had "been there, done that" so that when the situation was real their mind reacted with confidence, as if it were a familiar situation.

The mind did not distinguish between real situations and imagined situations. As far as it was concerned you were Bruce Willis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you knew exactly what to do.

Remember the old and true words of the master, imagine it is real, and hopefully, please God, it never will be.

Train hard, stay safe.

Read this blog in Spanish

Judando con tu Mente

Israel, a Nation of Warriors

With the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, the world saw a new Jew arise from the ashes of the Holocaust and from millennium of persecution in Arab lands. From the four corners of the earth, the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, returned home. The "Dry Bones" came to life creating a democratic state and a powerful military.

But this was not a new Jew at all. It was just the old Jew getting up from the ruins of his destroyed life in the exile, dusting himself off and returning home.

Much has been written about Jewish history but rarely has the Fighting History of the Jewish people been told. Known as the "People of the Book" few know the age-old fighting spirit of this nation.

From the first Hebrew warrior to the Israel Defense Forces of today, we trace the fighting heritage and history of the Hebrew warrior.

We examine the modern Israeli close quarter combat system; Krav Maga, analyze its components and attributes and why it is sought after by security forces worldwide.

"Israel, A Nation of Warriors" takes a look at the society that has produced a military, security system and everyday civilian/warrior heroes that have amazed the world.

available on Amazon

 or directly from the author

Books by Moshe Katz