In the classic film The Karate Kid , Mr. Miyagi, who plays the part of the building super/repairman, walks into the apartment to fix the sink and finds Daniel learning karate from a book. He says, "Oh, learn karate from book?" The look on Miyagi's face is, "Good luck with that!"
The message is that you cannot learn karate from a book. This is very true on my levels. First, the art of karate is not only about self defense, it is about character growth, discipline, values. As such you really need a mentor. During the Karate Kids films we see just that, Mr. Miyagi becomes the mentor, the father Daniel did not have, the wise guide in the journey of life. You certainly cannot get this from a book. Daniel ends up learning not only karate fighting skills but interpersonal skills, life skills, coping skills.
Similarly you cannot learn parenting from a magazine, you need a real live parent, a role model, to guide you, to correct you, to support you. Somethings must be learned in person.
So our question for today is; can, and should, you learn Krav Maga from a DVD, an On-Line course or must you train in person.
The answer is as follows; the best is a combination of the two. allow me to explain.
When I was in the "moving up the ranks" stage, and training at the Krav Maga center in Jerusalem, I always found that I did not get enough. I did not see the technique often enough or well enough.
The teacher would show it, once or twice and that was it. Sometimes you got a good view and sometimes you did not. Often you would not see that technique for some time to come. This was not good enough for me. I wanted to really know the technique.
As soon as I would get home I would write down the technique as best as I could. I would try to draw a picture. Often, however, when I came back to it a few days later I found that my drawings and notes were not enough, I could not recreate the technique. If only I could see it again, in slow motion, at my own pace, in the privacy of my own home, and, in slow motion.
This led to me being frustrated. There had to be a better way.
Now, many years later, as a teacher, I know what this better way is, record the technique on film. As the old Chinese saying goes, 'The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory", or lets update this, the poorest quality film is better than the strongest ink.
Thus we started recording techniques, we can always refer back to them and remember the technique. This has proven incredibly effective and an essential supplement to our training.
So now the question is; of what value is on line training, or DVD training? If I live far from a Krav Maga training center is there any point in starting the on line training?
The answer is it depends on your situation. The ideal situation is a combination of both, training in person and using the video clips as an aid, or, training at a distance using the clips and every now and then training in person.
This is the model that I use with many of my international students, and it has worked very well. They join IKI, (Israeli Krav International), get the clips and the DVD's, train with a partner and learn the techniques. Some will send me clips of themselves for evaluation. When I am on tour, or if they travel to Israel, I can make minor adjustments in their form, and bring them to an even higher level.
Thus the combination of in person training and video training works great.
But what if at the moment this is not a possibility? What if you in an area that I do not frequent and you do not plan on coming to Israel any time soon? The answer is, it still works and is worth doing.
There are a great many advantages Certainly if you;
A. Are already a trained martial artist in another style
B. Already have a training partner to work with.
C. Have police or military experience.
Than you have a huge advantage already. But even if you are a beginner you could do very well. The clips are easy to follow and although I was skeptical at first I found that beginners too are able to catch on quickly. I have truly been amazed by the clips people have sent it.
The bottom line is you can learn Krav Maga on line, if you are willing to put in the time, watch the clips many times, and you have a good training partner. There are many benefits to training with video clips; You can train when and where it suits you, you can view it as many times as you like, as often as you like, you can see it in slow motion. If you do not understand something, write to me or call me, I will explain it to you.
As for the spiritual connection, believe it or not, even this part has been developing, via the blog, our e mail correspondences and in person visits. The ancient Budo martial spirit lives on with the modern reality street tactics of Israeli Krav International.
Hope you are well. Thank you so much for the regular video clips that you email. They are invaluable lessons and reminders – and they time and time again confirm to me that this is the right system for anyone serious about self-defence.
with your material, I've learned more in six months than in the year plus of Krav Maga (with an American Krav school) I took a few years ago.
It's been my experience that the larger the organization the more watered down the message is and the less accountability there is. This goes for government, church, business' and sporting associations. All of the latter have no problem taking your money with grand promises with diminishing returns. Even with no instructor in my area, IKI has given me more than my monies worth. Thanks Moshe,
Dave Cox, USA