June 27, 2014
I do not do Krav Maga, I live Krav Maga.
It is a way of life based on my concern for my fellow man, my Jewish tradition and my Israeli nationality. My Krav Maga is a direct result of my worldview as I expressed it in my book, Israel: A Nation of Warriors.
Sometimes I find it frustrating that others do not take Krav Maga as seriously as I do. Sometimes I do not understand how such a serious matter can be seen as a "past time" activity. But then on the other hand I see those that take to it in a brutal "boot camp" type of way.
But finally I got it.
In Israel Krav Maga is not for the "military wannabe" types. Everyone went through the military and got over it. No one is walking around in military style fatigues and cut off T shirts trying to look tough. When you are tough you do not need to look tough.
No one dresses up as a soldier for a costume party because...it is not a costume, it is our reality. We are not weekend warriors, we are real warriors. It is simply our way of life, a way of life that has been imposed upon us.
I finally get it. For me Krav Maga is a tool for survival and I teach it as such. For others it is a cool adventure, something exciting and exotic.
People go to seminars and come back covered with bruises, aches and pains. And they love it! For them the weekend was a chance to prove how tough they are. They trained in Israeli Krav Maga and took a beating. They come home and tell "war stories".
My seminars are not like that. The purpose is not to prove how tough we are, my purpose is quite simple: To give you tools that you can use to survive, tools that will allow you to return home safely to your family, that's it, nothing more.
There are Strong Man competitions, they have their place. There are full contact No Holds Barred fights, they have their place. There are "Fight Clubs" and they too serve a purpose. But that is not what Krav Maga is about and that is not what I am teaching.
This is not Fight Club. This is not about proving you are a man. This is about learning techniques that can save your life and the life of your family.
I finally get it, I saw an advertisement for a Krav Maga seminar where they warned and challenged potential participants that they would face a "challenge that many can not meet", that "this is going to be tougher than you think".
And I realized this is not my market. My dear friend Prof. Arthur Cohen warned that rule number of teaching a seminar is "No one gets hurt". No one can here to get hurt, you cannot send anyone home with a broken arm.
Thus at seminars I am much more careful than at home with my own students. The seminar participants are mostly not my own students, but rather students of my students. I am here to teach; you can practice harder back at your home gym.
These days in Israel we are all dealing with the recent abduction of three young men. As such my classes have been focused on techniques to avoid being taken as a hostage. Sometimes it gets a little rough, and we train with reasonable resistance, progressing as the level improves. Our goal is to save people, to improve our daily lives, not to create weekend warriors out to prove how tough they are.
I understand the weekend warrior, and there is nothing wrong with it. A man spends 10 hours a day in front of a computer, or doing accounting or law. And then comes the weekend and he wants to get physical, he wants to hit and be hit, he wants that manly part of him to come out. No problem, but that is not Krav Maga. Krav Maga serves a completely different purpose.
IKI Krav Maga is designed to find solutions to the problems that we encounter, whether it be knife attacks in Israel, car jacking in South Africa, or rape in America, we need to find solutions, so you can go home safely to your family, any day of the week.
"Israel; a Nation of Warriors" 250 pages,
What makes Israel Unique? Analysis of the Reserve system, history of a warrior nation
$9.99 on Kindle