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Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, believe or wish life just doesn’t go according to plan and the path to where we want to be is full of discomfort and possibly pain and hurt and yet if we wish to achieve or goal we have to take that path.

Sometimes the answer is just to embrace the suck!

A few weeks ago I went on a hike with someone. Now we had planned to do this hike weeks before. It was a long weekend of which sat and Sunday I was doing 18 hour days both teaching and at an event. This left the Monday. We woke up later than we wanted to because well I was a little burnt out. Then we found out there was a leak in a property that we had to check out. This delayed us heavily.

Normally when you do these kinds of hikes in BC you want to get there no later than 10am. Unfortunately, we didn’t even leave until noon or 1ish. Start the 1.5 hour-ish drive to the hike start.

Of course, the place we went to Garibaldi Park in BC is a very popular destination so our first struggle was to find a spot. Eventually, we found one, a good walk away from the trailhead.

My plan had been to test out the new and mildly expensive backpack that I plan to use when I start hunting. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that, Oh shit…where are my hiking boots….

You see its summer and I like flip-flops. Normally my boots are always in the truck, along with running shoes. But due to the event, the day before I had taken everything out and I guess…shit happens.

I dont know about you but I am not doing a 20km hike in flip flops because I feel like that’s asking to break an ankle.

Now the person I was with was not thrilled. The suggestion was to drive back to the nearest town, Squamish or Whistler and get shoes. However, if we did this by the time we started the hike we would not have time to come down before sundown which was not an option.

Again, they were not thrilled….

To avoid catasrtophy I made the snap decision. Ok not to worry, I won’t take my backpack, Ill just take my light jacket with water pouch and do it barefoot.

“Wait what? No, you cant do that. I won’t let you.” is what I was told or something like that. At first, they were reluctant.

“Not to worry I said, I’ve done barefoot hikes before.” I am fairly sure I claimed confidently. Though the truth is the last time I did it, it was on a soft moss covered path that was well actually not very long at all, maybe only 15 minutes. They, of course, didn’t know this at the time and after I told them,

“If you dont come I guess I’m doing a barefoot hike by myself.” they reluctantly decided ok we can do this.

Mild stretching of the truth aside I made this decision to make someone else happy. I knew it was going to suck, and it kinda did. But I also knew that it would be worth it in the end, which it was.

It for sure took us longer than we wanted to and several fairly in shape elderly individuals with hiking polls passed us on many occasions but we made it. 3 hours up, and surprisingly 3 hours down.

Down is always harder and was actually worse on the feet than up. Not to mention my bad knees.

Anyways, I Often try to teach my students that what you think is difficult may actually not be as hard as you think. The truth is you dont know until you try. The other thing is even if you were right, at least you know your baseline so you can grow.

Also, people have a hard time breaking social norms. Doing a hike barefoot is not normal and may seem crazy but really wasn’t that bad. Though the number of comments made by people passing us was quite high. Because I mean who else would willingly do this barefoot?

But the moral is, that sometimes you have to make hard choices or take harder paths because it is the right thing to do. Too often nowadays, we always want to take the easy path but this is not always the right thing to do.

Just like in Krav Maga. Sure you can take that Krav seminar once in a while and say you know Krav Maga, but really that’s just bullshit. If you want to learn it properly you must, like anything, come often and train with the serious intent of getting better.

Of course it will be uncomfortable and of course, you will be challenged, but if you can never overcome what is uncomfortable or hard you will never truly earn anything worth earning.

So, learn to embrace the suck and be a better person for it.

With out a tough journey the reward will not be quite as sweet.

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When in doubt: Head or Groin

Posted: July 10, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles, UTKM Principles

So you’ve been practising Krav Maga, self defense or another style for a while and you are starting to realize that sometimes under distress you cannot get the technique to work. Sometimes, it’s because the technique you are being taught works for most people but not you. Other times it is a matter of a physical size difference. And other times its because in the end of the day under distress techniques can fail.

It is not that they are bad techniques, they are good high percentage techniques but the truth is techniques can and do fail even if they are more likely to work than not.

A key thing to remember is that Techniques in themselves are the last step to any good Krav Maga or self defense approach. Before you have to actually use techniques you should have practices things like critical thinking and the stages of self defense.

But if you ever find your self either in practice or in the street struggling to do the technique you were taught. Don’t worry just remember this simple principle.

When in doubt hit the groin or the head.

Football in groin.gif

No matter where you are even if you are dazed and confused orient your self-based on which is easiest to access. If you are going for the head, punches, palm strikes and hammer fists are all good options. Remember that go for the eyes in particular.

If you are going for the groin punches, palm strikes and you guessed it hammer strikes are also appropriate. If you can you can also grab hard but just know this may cause a panic response from the person where they try to end you, rather than a hit and release response.

Either way, if everything goes wrong, remember techniques are at the bottom of the self-defense totem pole and they can fail so always fall back to simple principles like this one.

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Warriors Den Graphic I tunes

Amit Himelstein with the UTKM Instructor Crew.jpg“Amit has been part of the martial arts world since the age of 8. Started his journey in Karate, and progressed from there into the full contact world. As a teenager, Amit represented the Israeli National Team in competitions in Israel and around the world.  At the age of 18  he joined the IDF Special Forces and served as a Krav Maga instructor. The military experience gave him the best “training” ground for CQB.
After his army service, Amit moved to China and joined a training team of traditional Kung fu, Sanshou and Shuai jiao. He trained and compete there for 3 years.

After returned to Israel Amit opened the “Israel Sanshou academy ”, a martial arts academy for Sanshou, shuai jiao and tactical training. Chose Sanshou as the main focus. Sanshou is a fighting system that is used in the training program of the Chinese police and as the main combat sport in China. Sanshou combines striking and wrestling skills. The academy and Amit himself  keep computing in sanshou, grappling , traditional wrestling and MMA.

In addition, Amit is working with police and army units on kapap and CQB training.

The IKF- Israel Kapap Federation: In 2010 Amit  joined the federation. He added his experience in martial arts and Army CQB to the Kapap methods.

The IKF is working on a variety of projects and seminars around the world.  Special units, police, anti-bulling programs for teenagers and children and self defence programs for civilians.”

Source – http://www.ikf-cqb.com/about

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Simultanous Defend & Attack

Posted: June 12, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Principles
Andrew does 360

360 defense in action

Defending and attacking is not a concept to specific to Krav Maga but it is something that one should try to do when possible. The reason is simple. Efficiency.

The quicker you can overwhelm your opponent by off-balancing, causing pain and disrupting while applying Retzev and protecting yourself from the initial attack the more successful you will be.

Of course, it is not always possible to do both for if you were not paying attention and were in condition white it is likely you may only be able to defend initially until you can fully “activate” and enter into full Krav (“Fight”) Mode.

The concept of defending and attacking simultaneously is the ideal scenario and can often be seen in such techniques as the 360 defence where we try to both block, burst and strike as closely together as we can.

Whether you can or cannot totally depend on your readiness level, skill level and general physical response times. The more techniques you can apply simultaneously (or close to) defence and attack principles the more likely you are to survive a given situation.

It should be remembered, however, that if you are applying this concept you are at stage four self-defence, Reactive, meaning you failed or were unable to apply the previous stages.

Like many of the Krav concepts or principles this is a guideline and while it should be applied where possible you still must be able to adapt when circumstances change. At the end of the day what you do in a violent confrontation will be considered a success if you managed to make it to safety with minimal damage.

**Topics under any principle category (EX. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time so always check in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.

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