I guess one thing we here at UTKM do differently from everyone else is that we keep telling students “Don’t believe us or anyone until you have tried the moves yourself at full speed, power and under distress.“ I have fought, sparred and trained throughout my whole life in the ring and I have faced a couple of hairy situations on the situation. I can tell you what works for me and what works for most people; however, as a Krav Maga instructor I cannot guarantee you that this technique will work for you 100% under dangerous conditions. If I say that, I am lying.
01 . We are all different.
I recall that Avi Moyal, the man with the most influence on my Krav Maga training, always said that everyone is different and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. This is why many Krav Maga techniques will not seem compatible with you, but some Krav Maga techniques will seem custom designed just for you. Your body shape and mentality determine the best techniques for you in certain situation.
02. Cultural, Education and our Genes
We also have to consider the cultural differences. Do you know one major difference between a Japanese carpenter and an American carpenter when they use a saw? Japanese carpenters use their strength when they pull the saw back, and American carpenters use their strength when they push the saw forward. Many little things in our life will make us react to things differently. Small habits in our daily routine will determine how we react in dangerous situations. For example, I like to shuffle when I move my feet a short distance and I really don’t care about what any of the other Krav Maga instructors say about that. I can shuffle and still float like a butterfly and sting like bee, but would I require my students to do the same ? No! I would explain to them why I do it this way.
03. Your body is more honest than your mind
One question I get a lot from students is: “How do I know how I will react in a dangerous situation?“. Truth be told, none of us know how we will behave in a dangerous situation; however, our body will know before our mind does. An old Kung Fu saying is to practice to the point that you do not remember how to do the techniques. In modern English it means to let the techniques sink into your muscle memory. In my experience, when encountering dangerous or surprise situations my body tends to react before my mind has even gone through a thought process. Sometimes this is not the best because I have accidently acted against friends who tried to surprise me from behind or in a tactical situation; I acted before analyzing the situation. The plus side is that I know I will not freeze in a dangerous situation because my body already has the answer.
04. Because you feel the pain
Any techniques you learn in UTKM you also need to experience what it’s like to be on the receiving end. If you feel the pain (not injury) and it works on you, then I am pretty sure you will have faith in such techniques because at the end of day your attackers are made out of flesh and bones just like you.
At UTKM, we are firm believers in full force sparring and scenario play. Allow the students to counter – attack and defend against instructors and teacher assistants. Why do we do that? Not because we enjoy pain, but to let our students know how they will react in a bad situation. Honestly, that’s the true spirit of Krav Maga. We are here to help you learn, not to just instruct, and in this journey both the teacher and students will learn something new about themselves and Krav Maga.
Written By: Borhan J
Edited By: Warren C