Thursday, February 27, 2014

Master the Rules of Krav Maga by Moshe Katz

Fiumicino airport, Rome, January 8, 2014

Gucci, Fiumicino airport, Rome, Nothing says Italy like Gucci, quality known around the world, like IKI Krav Maga.

Arriving at Fiumicino airport in Rome on my way to my seminar in Sardegna I notice many interesting signs. I have always been a sign person. The catchy phrases, the play on words, the goal of capturing your attention and imagination; T shirts and advertisements grab my attention. Sadly for the advertisers this never convinces me to buy anything from them. I have a simple policy: I only buy what I need, plus gifts for a long list of family and friends...

Going up the escalator I see the following sign, "To break the rules you first must master them."

I cannot recall what it was they were trying to sell as my mind immediately realized the Krav Maga application.
To break the rules you first must master them

Krav Maga is a fluid style, practical and always evolving. Our style, IKI Krav Maga, is not based on memorization of techniques or forms but on concepts: concepts of movement, practicality, efficiency, simplicity, directness, and economy of motion.

Understand the concept and the techniques become simple and easy to apply.

It is based on concepts that must be studied and understood. These concepts, once understood, can be applied to an unlimited number of situations. They can and must be adapted for every body type, every age category, gender and level of health and physical fitness. The concepts allow the techniques to be modified to fit the individual, rather than the other way around.
Basically what we are doing is teaching people to break the rules. But here is the difference.

We encourage questions, we encourage challenges from our members, our students, our instructors, but...not from just anyone. You must first train humbly, you must first learn our techniques, understand the concepts, and learn the rules of how to apply them. Then, and only then, you learn to break the rules.

I do not expect every student to look like me. I do not want "master worship", I do not need to be imitated. I do not for you to understand what I am doing so you can apply it to your own life.

I am not a Roman general or emperor who needs a statute made of himself; my goal is not my own immortality but your survival.

Krav Maga is not a free-for-all, we have rules which must be learned, but then, as in all systems of law, you must find the exceptions; the rules are there to serve us, to make our lives better.

I do not want to see you standing in a horse stance for half an hour because that worked for someone in Japan long ago, I want you to understand our concepts and apply them to your life, today.

The rules of Krav Maga must be understood, but not followed blindly. Blind following of rules does not allow for growth.

You must not become a slave to the rules but a Master of the rules; learn them, respect them, apply them, and when necessary break them, but even then you are still applying the concepts of Krav Maga.

To fully understand what I am staying you must come train with us.

By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International, Israel

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Little Wave by Mitch Albom


This story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”, the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?”

The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”

The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not JUST one wave, you’re the entire ocean!”

By Mitch Albom in “Tuesdays with Morrie

(ok, ok, I took a bit of artistic liberty on that last paragraph...  =)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Training in the Elements by Jon Haas

Here is a great article written by a friend of mine, Jon Haas regarding training outdoors. Enjoy!


If you are a martial artist, it is essential to train your art outside in the elements.  Since most traditional arts were born outside, and not in a gym or dojo setting, it is important to every once in a while get back to the roots of your art.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know most wars have been fought outside in the elements, through all different types of weather conditions, and on changing terrain.  I think we have all become way too spoiled and comfortable by training in a sheltered and heated (or air conditioned) dojo, on a flat, mat covered surface all the time.  Get out of your comfort zone!  Start to get comfortable being uncomfortable!  Get a little wet and dirty.  Have some fun!

How Do You Know?

How do you know your footwork is correct if you’ve never tried it on ice?

How do you know how well your mental fortitude will hold up in a fight if you can’t even fight the cold and damp?

How well do you do when encumbered by layers of winter clothing and your freedom of movement is restricted?

How effective are your strikes when your opponent is similarly garbed?

How well can you move when there is gravel, mud, ice, or uneven terrain?

How does your movement need to change, or does it?

How does your body respond to the extreme cold or heat?

Can you handle the added stress when confronted by an opponent?


Training on ice, as we have been finding out this winter, reveals many small flaws in your kamae, structure, and balance.  Footwork cannot be sloppy or exaggerated; it must be precise!  It quickly becomes evident who is carrying themselves from their center and who is moving like Frankenstein!!


In addition to all the above points about training outside in all weather conditions there is one other quality developed that provides tremendous additional value.  That ineffable quality is the mental toughness developed through training in extreme conditions.  Mental toughness is defined as your resistance to failure.  This quality alone can carry you through the most difficult of situations, in or out of the dojo.


By Jon Haas ~

Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budō Taijutsu arts of the Bujinkan for more than 22 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidōshi.

Jon is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for VX Global and is a certified VX Sport Coach. He is the owner and founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Dark Side of the Moon by Moshe Katz


Welcome to the Dark Side of the moon.

Relaxing in my less than comfortable seat the old Pink Floyd song enters my mind. Perhaps it was the Tequila and Sangria this morning at the airport in Mexico.

Krav Maga, Martial, Arts, many styles, many systems, many teachers, many people trying to make big business out of self-defense. Many people fighting for a bigger piece of the Krav Maga/self-defense pie, many shady motivations.

Welcome my son to the machine, welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

Dark alley, late at night, suspicious figures lurking in the dark, what will work for you now?

We are no longer in Kansas, we are no longer in dojo land with bows and respect, welcome the Dark Side my friends, here it gets ugly.

I have heard the stories; rapes, muggings, hold ups, knife attacks, from Mexico, New York, South Africa, Puerto Rico. Violence rules, pacifists die. I have seen the scars, physical and emotional.

Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

I take a sip of my US Airways coffee and think.

Just now in Mexico, in Morelia, Cristian showed me his scar. He was attacked by a man with a knife, he had been training for many years in Krav Maga, with the "other guys". He holds many high ranks. He performed a technique perfectly; the attacker did exactly what I always demonstrate in class as the reason not to do this old style Krav Maga technique. The scar proves the story. Welcome to the Dark Side.

Business meetings, conference rooms, market strategy, new uniforms. Automated billing, Google ads, local billboards, changing market fads.  But real self-defense is hard to find, Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

Not all Self-defense has value.

Old Man Charlie Nelson said it best, in so few words, so many years ago. Small black and white advertisement in Black Belt magazine, 1980's, a knife to a man's throat, and the caption, "Do you know how to get out of this situation?"

Welcome to the Dark Side.

At IKI Krav Maga we live in the Dark Side, we embrace it and thrive in it. We understand Reality. We incorporate our history; millennium of persecution, inquisitions and Holocaust. We understand pain. We understand that violence cannot be ignored. We learn lessons of survival and lessons of heroism, all this is part of our training at IKI.

And we learn from the world, from the Gypsy attacks in Slovakia, the Stitching attacks in South Africa, the hold-ups in Rincon, and knife attacks in Mexico. We learn and we apply.

We find solutions for the Dark Side.

At IKI we welcome the Dark Side, it is our reality.

The images of our history never leave me; Warsaw Ghetto, a mother holding her dead baby as she walks the streets of the ghetto, half dazed, half crazed. The Dark Side of the moon.

We do not live in the Comfort Zone.

In the Old City of Jerusalem I walk with our Tour and Train group through the Armenian Quarter. You cannot go more than a few steps without seeing the posters: Remember! Remember the Armenian Holocaust. The Dark Side of the moon. Some wounds never heal, some pain is never in the past.

A knife comes out of nowhere, the pain is instant, a man is down. Three men are walking from their prayers at the Western Wall, our only relic from the Holy Temple, Beth HaKiqdash, as they walk the narrow streets of Jerusalem a man comes at them with a knife. Within minutes one man lays dead on the ground.  The Dark Side of the Moon.

In Milan, Italy I meet a woman from Holland. She is a teacher by profession. She tells me that she teaches at the school where our martyr Anne Frank studied. (May God avenge her innocent young blood). This young woman asks me what I do for a living. I show her some videos. She is stunned. She does not understand why I need to address such issues. Puzzled she says to me, "But who would do such a thing?"

Who? She teaches at the school of Anne Frank and he said learns nothing. Who?
Who indeed. She lives in a Fools Paradise, a world of sunshine. A world of denial.
But we live in the Dark Side of the Moon.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

A father and son are walking together. The vision is recorded by a gentile viewing them from just outside the Ghetto. Both Father and son are clearly identifiable as Orthodox Hasidic Jews. The year...early 1940's, the Dark Side.

A Nazi officer orders the father and son to be separated as the father is surely to be taken away. The boy is removed from his dear father, his papa. But he keeps escaping the Nazi officer and running back to his father.  He wants to hold his papa's hand.

Finally the Nazi gives up. He has had enough of this game. He points his rifle and kills both father and son on the spot. Uniting them forever in heaven.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine. Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon.

by Moshe Katz, IKI Krav Maga Instructor, Israel