Like the IDF, Krav Maga brings together many people from different backgrounds, some of whom may not normally have come into contact with each other. My school has no contract agreement or hefty fees, most students pay me as they go. Sometimes the payment is simply an agreement to transfer some money or to pay me next time. I run my classes on a word of honor the same way as my mentor, Moshe Katz, has done with me many times in the past. This is business the Israeli way.
Israelis are a stark contrast to refugees fleeing their war-torn countries in the Middle East. Times when war has broken out in Israel, despite overwhelming danger El Al flights have been filled with Israelis wanting to get home to contribute and to help their nation whichever way they can. The holy temple has been destroyed first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE then the Romans in 70 CE, but the Israelite can never be silenced. To the secular Israelis the nation of Israel is the third temple.
At the end of last month four of my students demonstrated a myriad of defences for countless situations involving holds, chokes, ground techniques, weapon defence and combatives in a grueling one and a half hour testing session. At IKI we always look for simplicity and effectiveness. Our style is authentic because rapid instinctive response and effectiveness is at the heart and soul of the nation of Israel.
As civil war rages in Syria, a missile fired inside her border can strike anywhere in Israel. An evaluation must be made within a matter of seconds followed by a rapid response if lives are to be saved. Since the dismantling of Jewish settlements, forced evictions and military withdrawal from Gaza tens of thousands of missiles have been launched at Israel as Gaza became a huge launching pad; the result of a peace agreement. Lebanon to the north is host to Hezbollah who boast a missile arsenal larger than all of NATO. These are some of the problems faced by our brothers and sisters.
In order to effectively deal with aggression Israel’s military not only has to operate more efficiently than their counterparts, but also be innovative both in ideas and technology. Although no wars have ever been won with fists, an individual’s ability to fight and defend themselves says a lot about that person’s character. I believe that Krav Maga training nurtures the will to survive and to never give up but always to look for ways to overcome adversity.
When visiting the military museum on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, I remember hearing a combat veteran recount the assault against the Jordanian bunkers. The balance of many critical battles lay in daring, wit and subterfuge. A good example comes from the battles of Israel’s War of independence which saw the Davidka, a mortar with a deafening boom but which had no practical value as a weapon. The Davidka caused panic amongst Arabs helping turn the tide of battles. In keeping true to the Israeli tradition IKI is also constantly evolving with new ideas making our tactics and principles more efficient.