Though many of you may not know it, I have given a presentation on stress management. Why? Well what is more stressful than being in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantryman and sniper? Especially when I’ve been told that my platoon during that time was one of the most active in the entire army. On top of that my squad was the busiest in the entire platoon. So I think I learned a little about stress. But this is not the only reason I give talks about stress management. Many of you may not know this but I have battled depression for most of my life. One Manic depressive episode later I learned that stress management comes from within.

In my quest to improve myself I have learned many things about how to manage stress.

Here I want to talk about a few, two in particular. One is managing realistic expectations of your self and others, and two is managing priorities correctly.
I always run into the same problems when I am teaching students. They are usually along the lines of “I cannot come to class because I have to study for my school, my education is more important.”

Don’t get my wrong, education is extremely important. I am after all going to university for the second time. However, too often people mix up education and traditional academia.
Really, education comes from every where and every one at any time, you just have to pay attention and learn. Academia is extremely structured and rigid and tells you what it thinks you need to know to succeed.

Unfortunately, times are changing. I cannot tell you how many people I know who went to school out of high school, got their BA, and now do not work in their field, but instead have a menial, low paying job or are still in school.

I am not sure about your definition of success, but I am not so sure that’s it.

You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Krav Maga?

I say everything. Perhaps it’s my own fault for having unrealistic expectations of students but the reality is that Krav Maga, or rather learning your own personal safety strategies, is probably one of the most important bits of education you will ever get.

I hope you are never placed in a situation where you will have to use it, but it is a skill set that can, and will, benefit you far greater than any degree. Yet, when it comes to students I always hear the same excuses. They all want to come to the class but they are too busy with studying, their life is too stressful, or they don’t have time. To that I say, Bullshit.
Most students I have taught, do not have a clue what stress is, don’t know how to manage their time properly, and cannot fathom what real priorities even look like.
I am not saying your traditional education is not a priority, but your own personal safety should NEVER take a back seat to a midterm, final or paper.

Let’s say you decide not to come to Krav Maga because of one of these reasons. You need a break and you decide to go to the bar with your friends. On the way you are attacked. Guess, what? The class in Krav Maga that you missed was exactly what you needed to know to survive. But you chose different priorities, you did not learn it and now well.. I dare not to think.

Yes I am being a bit melodramatic, and yes, I understand I am very passionate about what I do and the safety of others. But I still find it frustrating when people choose other priorities rather than come to class.

I know life happens, and this is totally ok. But frankly, giving at least an hour of your time once a week is not that difficult to achieve.

I hope my words have inspired you and if not then, oh well. But remember, your personal safety is in your own hands. Other people will not always be there to protect you.

So I ask you. What are your priorities?

Written By: Jonathan F