I see blogs, Facebook posts and other internet “posts” where martial artists are espousing their “macho-ism” and likely trying to impress potential and current students with their ability and/or willingness to run 20 miles every day in 120 degree heat, run up and down bleachers or other significantly difficult (for normal or mortal people) in similar conditions.
As a point of departure for this post please take note that I totally respect, admire and envy (In a way) anyone who can do this on a consistent basis. These folks set a great role model image for those of us who are less inclined to spend our lives emulating their achievements.
All of this “extreme?” conditioning is great and certainly productive if your approach to training is geared to enable you to fight and/or defend yourself on a regular basis, such as MMA or UFC or similar endeavors.
Active military personnel who will be logically going into combat zones need all of this and more to survive and hopefully that is a “given” to most of the readers of this post.
Then we come to the “average person” who simply wants to learn how to deal with a potentially life threatening situation or a situation which may end up with either the defender or his/her aggressor in a hospital in intensive care, etc.
In the U.S. our society is without question deteriorating into a situation whereby most of us may well need to learn how to stop an attacker. The current and devolving economic situation dictates that a number of people are destined to do things that they would, in other (i.e., more normal or perhaps more hopeful) situations, would never previously even considered doing…..Home invasions, muggings, random carjackings and just plain killings of innocent people are becoming more and more normal in our environment and are becoming all but rampant in some areas.
At the same time, extreme liberal thought tends to excuse virtually any act of violence and blame same on anything that the general (and generally uneducated) public will accept as “a given” and that we have to accept it as a part of our politically correct environment….
All of this as a ‘given’ point of departure, I have to admit that I tend to defer to the old testament concept of “an eye for an eye” , etc. Unfortunately our continually devolving legal and political system is not conducive to this concept so (within the current politically correct parameters of behavior we must “forgive” anyone who does something wrong (regardless of the severity of those actions) and permit them to continue (in perpetuity, so it seems) to continue to repeat that ‘wrong’ in spite of the fact that many (actually most) of them cannot be “rehabilitated”.
After all of the above banter and a sort of rant we absolutely have to consider alternatives….
Consider the typical (i.e., ‘normal’) person in the U.S….Let’s call him/her “Joe” or “Jane” USA and for the sake of simplicity let’s just refer to him/her as “PV” (for potential victim).
Without further qualification, PV is not at all interested in learning how to fight, how to win an MMA or UFC contest or even spending the time and effort (and, in some cases, money) to learn and become proficient at a traditional martial arts system.
In reality, PV simply wants to learn how he/she might have a better than average or better than ‘normal’ chance of surviving what may be a life threatening confrontation.
This brings me to IKI/Krav Maga. This is what we do and what we (GMKM/IKI Krav Maga) teach……I have had a number of people come to me and say they want to learn how to fight. I tell them that we (I) do not teach people how to fight…..((Rest assured that we can, but we (I) choose not to do that)). We teach people how to avoid fighting. I have had others who seem to relate the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) “Systems” to a means of learning how to “kill people”. My personal response (based on well over two decades of training) is simply this: “I can teach your how to kill somebody but I will not ever do that…..If you are a good and dedicated student I will give you options which, with good judgment and awareness can result in more or less damage to an attacker or aggressor but how, where, IF and when you opt to implement these options becomes your responsibility.
What a lot of people fail to understand is that the Israelis respect the life of any individual (even a defined and committed enemy) much, much more than most of ”us” do. This (killing people) is NOT Krav Maga…..Krav Maga is purely simplified and totally effective self defense and personal survival which, in the vast majority of instances, does not involve killing or even seriously hurting anyone.
Note that by any standards or definitions of survival the best possible self defense of self protection tactic is simply “Don’t Be There”…..((Easier said than done in some circumstances and in some communities but regardless it is always the best alternative)).
Unfortunately some of the people who have broached this subject are beyond baffled at my response. Indeed I am capable of showing someone how to kill and/or maim…..I do not promote either unless there is no option available at the time and that is and should be, frankly very rare. It is important to remember that we must live with the consequences of our decisions, even if those decisions are forced upon us under great pressure.
Passing thought or comment…..Death is permanent…..Survival is momentary and satisfying…..There may come a time when you have no choice but to neutralize (or otherwise permanently disable) an aggressor……Only you can decide in that scenario.
We (IKI/KM/GMKM) promote individual survival no matter what it takes. That is who we are and what we do.
hal herndon 2013