Showing posts from 2010

The Ocean, The Wave & Krav Maga

Moshe is the gentleman wearing the beard 
Israeli Krav International founder Moshe Katz wrote a wonderful follow up piece regarding my latest blog post! Check it out: Moshe!All the best,~Craig

The New Year: Confidence Testing Your Limits & Letting Go

My knuckles were pure white as I pulled back on the yolk of the Cessna 150 airplane. All I could see was blue sky in front of me. My stomach was filled with both exhilaration and anxiety; kind of like being on a roller-coaster only I was the one driving this crazy thing and there was no guarantee that I would be rolling back into funland at the end of the ride!

The plane was pitched almost 90 degrees straight up from the ground. The emergency air whistle on the planes wings blew its eerie tone letting me and my flight instructor know that the craft was ready to stall out, loose it aerodynamic lift and drop like a rock back toward the earth!

Kris kept telling me to pull back more on the yolk, "she'll take more, keep pulling back." She told me that these Cessna's would pretty much fly themselves and besides she would take the controls if I froze or didn't know what to do during our simulated crash landing. I was both excited and terrified! What if I did freeze or …

Training, Injuries and Outlook

I have been hearing from a lot of you regarding healthy training. Some people are asking what should they dedicate their time to, others are concerned about their injuries, or about training as they get older. All great questions. I thought I would address injuries and some basic training attitudes from my perspective.

If you have been training for any length of time you have undoubtedly have been injured. It seems inevitable. So how can you prevent getting injured and what should you do if/when you get injured?

Lets look at injury prevention first. Many people say warming up and stretching is the basis of injury prevention. Although this is true, there is something even more basic than this: Your mindset! How you approach your training is really the thing that will set the stage for you. Now I don't know about you, but (#1) I am not getting any younger (#2) I'm not training to fight in the next UFC or Olympics (#3) Sustained training to help me not only perform when necessa…

Plank Holder

On September 10th - 11th & 12th I had the pleasure of both teaching and training at Jack Hoban's RGI Conflict Resolution Level I Course. What a wonderful experience! I am proud to be a part of such a dynamic group of people! The instructors were an impressive collection of seasoned professionals. Although everyone impressed me, I have to admit that I was moved the most by Lt. Col. Joe Shusko (in above pic front row on one knee glasses on his head).  He was a true inspiration. A true gentleman warrior. Capable, seasoned, experienced, yet humble & approachable, a true leader. Some people who serve in the military are (or were) soldiers, Joe is a true warrior. He doesn't demand respect, he inspires it. In my eyes, he is what all Marines should try to aspire to. The kind of guy that makes you proud to be an American! He is the kind of leader that brings out the best in those he leads, even if it is only for a weekend! 

I loved Joe's perspective, his teaching style is s…

The Summer, the Wolf and the Wolf Pack

A beautiful night on the oceanfront in Tel Aviv, Isreal, 2010.

Hey gang! It has been a while since I've written. It's been a busy summer: Teaching seminars and running regular Krav Maga classes at Westside Fitness; collaboration with, developing and teaching new workshops with Jack Hoban and RGI; radio interview on WMOM 107.2 FM's morning show; our usual work with Frontlines of Freedom radio show; completed upcoming article in Alpena Fifty-Two Magazine; innovated new LIFE Leadership & LIFE Skills program with Relationship Violence Prevention Expert Anne Parpas; promoting and presenting various programs to numerous organizations nationally; coordinating upcoming Krav Maga program and Her Survival Guide seminar at East Hills Athletic Club & Rockford Community Education; and looking forward to starting back up school at the end of the month (History of Michigan & Early Western European History 400 B.C.E. through 1400). ~ I'm ready for the ramp up this fall, it i…

Gathering of the Tribes

G of the T: Too many people to list... I'm in there somewhere (kinda like where's Waldo!)

Ok, before I get going with this blog let me briefly revisit my last. After receiving numerous comments on my last blog (thanks folks!) I thought I might clarify a couple things: ~ First I wanted to thank Andy Veen for covering some of the Wed. evening classes for me while I was/am gone. I do appreciate it and I hope the experience helps you on your journey as well. You always do a good job.

Second, I wrote the article to let you readers in on some of my process; some of the things that enter into my head if even for a brief moment, that's all...don't take things too seriously, no worries gang...really! :-)

Third, thanks for all of your feedback keep it coming!

Now for our regularly scheduled show:

Memorial Day weekend was the 10th Anniversary for The Gathering of the Tribes seminar held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many students and instructors from all over the U.S. came to train, share…

"No One" Perspective...

A beautiful Saturday... Arts festival raging downtown... There is a million other things that I would rather be doing today other than being here at the studio waiting for students to show up for class, but I know that once I get moving and people start to show up everything will be good! BUT... The catch is...NO ONE SHOWS UP! Not only does no one show up for group class, but no one shows up to the intro class either. WTF?! So I call a couple of people who scheduled their intro class with me Wednesday night. I hear the reasons (or excuses): "I would love to be there, but (insert "reason" here)... I reeeeeally wanted to be there, but I had things to do... people to see... Homework... Dog ate my car keys... Had to wash my hair... Oops, forgot... ...I'm broke (yet spent $50 on my bar tab last night), yadda, yadda, yadda..."

Needless to say I am a bit peeved by this time for blowing my entire morning and some of the afternoon on what feels like absolutely nothing! …

Krav Maga Tour and Train Day 6

Craig Gray, Fred Heins & Tim Hillis are promoted to Black Belt Phase Two Instructors.

Day six began with krav maga ground fighting with weapons. Unlike sports such as MMA or events like UFC, in reality there are no rules at all. It is very likely that in a ground fight someone might pull out a knife or a gun; in IKI Krav Maga we prepare for such an eventuality.

Moshe Katz demonstrates ground knife defense, controlling the knife hand and striking pressure points


Next we addressed the issue of the passenger in the back trying to strangle the driver with a rope.

Self defense outside the car, someone attacks you as you attempt to unlock your car.

As Friday is a short day we took no breaks. The kids arrived for their class at 1:30 and our international guests worked with the local Israeli kids, many of whom spoke two or three languages.

Our Krav Maga guests with kids of the Mitzpe Nevo dojo


Our seven guests recieve their diplomas for completing the intensive six day …

Krav Maga Tour and Train Day 5

Day five begins with coffee, some Hebrew, discussions about Israeli history and culture and how all this comes together in terms of how Krav Maga is practiced today. I feel the guys are really getting the picture, they are getting the feel of the country. The previous day some of the guys tried to visit a certain historic military site and found themselves being targeted by sinpers and shown the door, in Israel security always comes first.

We begin our training with Seated self defense What to do if you are attacked while seated, not a typical dojo situation but whent that can happen in real life.

We move on to Krav Maga Ground Defense. The difference between this and MMA type grappling is we keep it street practical; simple, good for all sizes, we do not look for locks or submissions, just get out of harms way.

On the way to lunch we spot a heard of sheep and goats

Greg enjoys a plate of Shakshuka while Justin has the humous.

Tim Hillis from Arizona finally gets to taste "Botz"…

Krav Maga Tour and Train Day 4

Day Four begins again with coffee, discussions about the previous day's visit to the Holocaust Memorial, and some basic Hebrew. We continue with defense against various types of kicks. Today we are joined by two instructors from Rehovot, Israel, Jill Shames and Naomi Milano Yitzhak.

Naomi takes a much needed water break

After a morning of training we head out to our favorite lunch spot, now this is how humous should be!

After lunch we view historic footage and documentation about the "Forgotten Refugees", the 750,000 Jews of Arab lands who were expelled by our Middle Eastern nieghbors and absorbed into Israel. We learn of their difficult history and brutal expulsion.

We go outside for "Self Defense in a Car", a topic often neglected in martial arts training but an important part of our program.

Naomi defends against a gun threat.

In Israel the modern the and ancient live side by side. As we are training for defense inside a car a local nomad rides by on his donkey, a…