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Martial Habits

I tell my students that when they put on a martial arts uniform or a school t-shirt and call themselves a martial artist they take upon themselves a reputation to live up to. How someone behaves, stands, carries themselves hints at what kind of person they are, their state of mind and their intentions. The power and benefit of martial arts training comes from having the self-awareness of the body and of one’s mental attitude almost like being able to observe oneself through the lens of an external camera. One parent remarked recently that he no longer has to nag his son to do chores at home due to the discipline and change in attitude from my Taekwondo classes.

Of course Krav Maga students do not want to wade through hours of traditional forms, they want tactics and skills that make them feel immediately safer when returning home late at night, when getting into their car etc. I believe in the proactive approach having trained in Israel with security experts. It is important to observe and have acuity both of people and the surroundings. It is very difficult to mask intentions in body language. Ask yourself how you would walk or sit if you were carrying a million dollars; how would you walk, sit and move if you were carrying a bomb?

As an instructor often it is my role to help people conquer their fears, break personal barriers and develop confidence. When confronted by a sudden attack or threat rather than breaking down mentally thinking “why is this is happening to me?” and going into a victim state I give my students options so they are able to evaluate the situation and choose an apt response. That way even if they chose to capitulate to a robbery for example it’s through a cogent decision having evaluated all the options and risks.

Krav Maga is a system designed by those driven to the way of the warrior by necessity. The system was honed through persistent training, assimilation and innovation of defensive concepts and ideas. Most importantly it embodies the true Israeli spirit of using all resources and initiatives for combat and self-defence. In life many are in a reactive state often driven by their own feelings or circumstances. I believe the true power of being human comes from being able to choose our own internal response. One good way to awaken this greatness, energy and discipline is through martial arts training. What we are today is due to choices we made yesterday. The choices we can make in dealing with tomorrow’s antagonisms and violence comes from honing our skills in training today.

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