Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

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I sit here writing this article in Surrey, BC. Considered by locals of metro Vancouver to be one of the more crime-ridden dangerous cities. The question I ask is how true is it actually? Recently in Richmond, BC in a local Tim Horton’s I heard what I can only presume to be an undercover officer, talking to two uniformed RCMP. While I only got the gist of the conversation, I think they were discussing the potential/Current transition in Surrey, From RCMP to a new Local Municipal Police force. The plain-clothed individual was discussing how dangerous it was in the Guildford area and how bad an idea it was to change to a local police force (A sentiment I do not agree with at all). The funny thing is I do not think its that dangerous as I can without much worry walk down the street late at night. I am not at all worried about being mugged or killed. The most likely cause I can think of me being seriously injured is a driver veering off into a curb that I happen to be on. Granted there are areas of Surrey with a higher crime rate. Or areas where there are mentally ill, homeless or drug-addicted individuals. Yet one of the major public transit areas, King George station happens to be in an area where many of these individuals spend their time. Yet day to day 10s of thousands of commuters travels without incident. Yes occasionally someone gets belligerent but I can’t recall the last time there was a homicide that wasn’t pre-meditated or targeted. No, it isn’t the neighborhood of the 50s with clean streets and white picket fences yet comparatively to a global standard it is still very safe.

It can be difficult to quantitively measure danger from one city to another, or from one country to another due to differences in data collection, the accuracy of data and what constitutes a specific crime, but it is clear some are far more dangerous than others. Lets for example sake compare the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world by homicide to the top 10 most dangerous cities in Canada by Homicide. As well as the U.S. and various Global Data from country to country.

Homicide was chosen as it is the most extreme example of Violence as usually recorded by Crime Statistics. Additionally, it would take considerably more research to compile the data for all areas of crime, and unlike Canada, it is not neatly organized for me to look at so, for now, Homicides it is. This is of course not to belittle other crimes, such as rape or theft or property damage.

Let’s look at and unpack the data surrounding homicide. Lets also for the sake of argument, that as the most extreme form of violent crime it is a relative measure of the overall crime or rather danger to life from one place to another. A more in-depth look at data might show differently but for the time being this comparison seems like a reasonable assumption.

Global top 10 most dangerous cities by Homicide (2018)

Rank City, Country Homicides per 100,000 Actual Homicides Population
1 Tijuana, Mexico 138 2640 1,909,424
2 Acapulco, Mexico 111 948 857,883
3 Caracas, Venezuela 100 2980 2,980,492
4 Ciudad Victoria, Mexico 86 314 365,089
5 Ciudad Juarez, Mexico 86 1251 1,462,133
6 Irapuato, Mexico 81 473 580,808
7 Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela 78 645 823, 722
8 Natal, Brazil 75 1,185 1,587,055
9 Fortaleza, Brazil 69 2724 3,939,460
10 Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela 69 264 382,095
     Total: 13,424 5,908,610

*date from 2018 numbers for publication in 2019 Source: https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/travel/news/2019/07/24/most-dangerous-cities-world-tijuana-caracas-cape-town/1813211001/

Canadian Rates

As this is a comparison, and I am in Canada, let’s use some Canadian data.

Top 10 most dangerous cities in Canada by Homicide (2018)

Rank City, Province Homicides per 100,000 Actual Homicides Population
1 Williams Lake, BC 28.03 3 10,704
2 Thompson, MB 20.64 3 14,535
3 Prince Rupert, BC 16.25 2 12,308
4 Wetaskiwin, AB 13.13 2 15,229
5 Penticton, BC 11.13 4 39,950
6 Oak Bay, BC 10.19 2 19,627
7 Marinville, AB 9.64 1 10,369
8 Langley, BC 7.12 2 28,076
9 West Nipissing, ON 6.83 1 14,633
10 Cold Lake, AB 6.73 1 14,848
     Total: 21 180,279

*date from 2018 numbers for publication in 2019

There is clearly a stark contrast between your likelihood to be murdered outside of Canada, Particularly in many people’s favourite tourist destination Mexico than in Canada. In fact, statistically, you are more likely to be murdered in small-town Canada, and Ironically most likely in Smalltown BC, than in the big cities.

Top 10 most dangerous cities in Canada by Homicide (Large Cities, 500,000 + Population 2018)

Rank Rank by Population City, Province Homicides per 100,000 Actual Homicides Population
23 6 Edmonton, AB 4.18 41 981,280
32 7 Winnipeg, MB 3.2 24 749,534
38 8 Vancouver, BC 2.81 19 676,904
42 10 Surrey, BC 2.31 12 518,467
44 4 Calgary, AB 2.17 29 1,336,274
45 1 Toronto, ON 2.15 63 2,929,886
59 9 Quebec City and area, QB 1.56 9 578,712
67 5 Ottawa, ON 1.41 14 994,837
74 2 Montreal and area, QB 1.23 25 2,033,189
79 3 Mississauga and Brampton 1.05 15 1,432,200
       TOTAL: 251 12,231,283

For reference, the Total Canadian Homicides in 2018, In Canada, was 651

US Rates

How does this far compare to our southern neighbors, the 3rd most populous country in the world has extremely comprehensive data collection which would take quite some time to look through but in general the US with a population of 327.2 Million in 2018 , had around 15,498 Homicides, with a rate per 100,000 of 5.0.

It should be noted that the per 100,000 homicide rate has been in decline for several years in the US.

Top 10 most dangerous cities by Homicide in the US. (2017)

Rank City, Province Homicides per 100,000 Actual Homicides Population
1 St. Louis, Missouri 66.07 2082.29 310,284
2 Baltimore, Maryland 55.77 2029.01 613,217
3 Detroit, Michigan 39.80 2056.67 670,792
4 New Orleans, Louisiana 39.50 1121.41 397,447
5 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 38.26 1026.81 227,403
6 Kansas City, Missouri 30.93 1724.31 484,948
7 Cleveland, Ohio 27.77 1556.76 385,391
8 Memphis, Tennessee 27.73 2003.32 652,765
9 Newark, NJ 27.14 896.45 283673
10 Chicago, IL 24.13 1098.86 2,706,171
      15595.89 6,732,091

*date is from 2017 FBI data as compiled by Wikipedia

The total 2017 number of homicides in the US is 17,284. This actually places the US 7th in the world by Homicide numbers globally. This is the data often cited as the issue with the US and violence, more particularly gun crime but of course this does not paint the whole picture. As you can see the total Homicide number is 17,284 but the top 10 cities in 2017 had a total Homicide number of 15,595.89 which accounts for 90% of the total homicides. This means that if the total country has a rate of 5.3 homicides per 1000, these 10 cities account for most of it. This means the entire rest of the country without these cities would have a rate much closer to other western countries. This suggests that it is less of a country problem and more to do with crime and other cultural issues specific to these cities.

Global Rates

Ok so we have done Canada, and the US, let’s take a look at the world by Country. It should be noted that global stats are definitely not 100% accurate as some countries have very poor data collection as well as what is determined a crime or homicide can vary but it can be assumed that generally anyone who was killed without wanting it would be if recorded, a homicide. Additionally, the data is not to date, as it seems the data is based on the last known accurate report. It is likely some countries are more, and some less but this gives an approximate idea.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries in the World by Homicide per 100,000

Rank Country Homicides per 100,000 Data Year Actual Homicides Population

(Data Year)

1 El Salvador 61.80 2017 3,942 6.378 Mil.
2 Jamaica 57 2017 1,647 2.89 Mil
3 Venezuela 56.33 2016 17,778 31.57 Mil.
4 US Virgin Islands 49.26 2012 52 108,191
5 Honduras 41.70 2017 3,864 9.265 Mil.
6 Lesotho 41.25 2015 897 2.175 Mil.
7 Belize 37.90 2017 142 274,681
8 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 36.46 2016 40 109, 643
9 South Africa 35.90 2017 20,336 56.72 Mil.
10 Saint Kitts and Nevis 34.23 2012 18 52,591
    45.18 (Average)   48,716(Sum) 109,543,106 (Approx. Sum)

 

For those who are wondering, Canada is 151st out of 230 countries with a per 100,000 rate of 1.80.

Top 10 most dangerous countries in the World by Actual Homicide numbers

Rank Country Homicides per 100,000 Data Year Actual Homicides Population

(Data Year)

1 Brazil 30.5 2017 63,895 209.3 Mil.
2 India 3.22 2016 42,678 1.324 Bil.
3 Mexico 24.80 2017 32,079 129.2 Mil.
4 South Africa 35.90 2017 20,336 56.72 Mil.
5 Nigeria 9.85 2015 17,843 181.2 Mil.
6 Venezuela 56.33 2016 17,778 31.57 Mil.
7 United States 5.30 2017 17,284 325.7 Mil
8 Russia 9.20 2017 13,293 144.5 Mil.
9 Columbia 24.90 2017 12,237 49.07 Mil
10 The Democratic Republic of the Congo 13.55 2015 10,322 76.2 Mil.
    21.36   247,745 (Sum) 2,527,460,000 (Aprox Sum)

Again if you are wondering Canada, is 66th out of 231 countries with a total homicide number of 660.

This means that the top 10 most dangerous countries by per 100,000 numbers in the world account for approximately 1.4% of the world population based on the 2017 number of 7.5 billion. Yet you are statistically more likely to be murdered in those 10 countries even though some of them have low population counts, with an average rate per 100,000 of 45.18 and a total number of 48,716 Murders.

Compared that to the top 10 most dangerous countries by actually homicide numbers accounts for approximately 33.6% of the world’s population with an average rater per 100,000 of 21.36 and a total number of murders of 247,745. The average is heavily skewed by 4 of the 10 countries as some of them like India only have a rate of 3.22 per 100,000.

Remember, especially for the global numbers these are approximate as the data years are not exactly the same and these are only recorded homicides and there may be many more thousands that go unrecorded in many of these countries.

So what does this all mean?

If you know anything about statistics, or if you even picked it up in the numbers. Depending on what numbers you use can dictate how you paint the picture if a place is more dangerous or safer. This is called manipulation. In this article, I am simply presenting what I found, how you choose to interpret it is up to you.

A question you could ask is why do some countries with a low general population of high homicide rates while other countries with large populations have low homicide rates. It could simply be that the statistical data is not entirely accurate, or a more probable cause is that there are specific things that are often regional that cause the populous to be more inclined to murder each other.

Some of these factors could be:

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Poor education
  • Gang Violence
  • War

Of course, there could be many other factors but these are generally some of the big ones. Take Mexico for example. Mexico is currently experiencing dramatically higher homicide rates to the constant violent confrontations between Cartels, Military and independent groups like the Mormons. This spike in violence is heavily related to the drug trade, corruption and a lust for power.

A few years Ago starting in 2009, Metro Vancouver saw a higher than normal homicide rate due to an ongoing Gang War between rival Gangs

This would have given the perception that Vancouver was more violent but statistically if you were not involved in these wars you were relatively safe, though several civilians were killed in several incidents which cause a severe crackdown on the violence. Since then things have only ever been safer.

In America, as mentioned there are 10 cities responsible for most of the homicide and without said cities, their per 100,000 would actually be fairly low. This topic could be looked into quite in-depth but for now let’s just say it is most likely due to low socio-economic status of certain regions in the cities, lower education rates and of course gang Violence. It is likely that if these issues were addressed their homicide rates would dramatically decrease.

Despite Wars or other spiking factors, I would seem that over the last 10-20-30 years there seem to be several cities in any country and several countries which consistently are at or hover near the top 10. This means the underlying issues fueling the homicide rates are clearly not being dealt with. Here is a lose break down over the last few years by country of per 100,000 homicide rates to paint the picture.

IS IT MORE DANGEROUS?

Here’s the thing, I live in the Metro Vancouver area of Canada, which both statistically and anecdotally is safer than many places in Canada. And Canada is considerably safer than many of the other countries listed. Yet every so often I get students coming in saying this city is very violent and not safe. Much like the officers I overheard earlier discussing how dangerous that area of the city is.

Sure relatively to other areas the petty crim is probably, measurably higher but does that make it more dangerous? I think not.

Our perceptions often deceive us. In the western world we are being fed a narrative that things are more dangerous than ever, but clearly just on numbers alone compared to other countries or places it simply is not true.

While statistically, Williams Lake is more dangerous by Homicide but its population is just over 10,000 people. In Winnipeg, at the same time they had 13 times more homicide but with a population is also about 90 times larger. The Williams Lake homicides, if a regular annual occurrence, could suggest an issue with the community it’s self, while the rates in Winnipeg may just indicate it is a city with a specific crime problem that is hard to manage. Both these questions could do with some in-depth analysis, but ask your self as a visitor would you feel safer in a small town compared to a large city? I personally might assume that it is safer in small towns but the statistics would say otherwise. Then I would remember it’s not so black and white and probably not worry too much about it either way as I am not in a Gang nor am I intentionally looking for trouble both of which would dramatically decrease my likelihood of being murdered.

One thing I think I could say for certain is that there is a good chance that someone living in El Salvador, or parts of Mexico would much rather be living in Canada, or, The US because for them it is 100% without a doubt safer. (This does not mean there should be open borders FYI, this is a silly ideologically driven idea that in practical application is beyond foolish. But a topic for another time perhaps)

Like everything though, it is all relative.

A student coming to me who perhaps was assaulted, or has a history of being assaulted will perceive things to be more dangerous not less. It is their personal experience changing their perception, which most likely includes mental damage from their traumas. This could be PTSD or other things.

Regardless of your personal opinions or perceptions, Fact; globally on average, Despite the increase in population, the general Crime Stats are heavily on the decline (A good thing). This is why population increase does not mean more violence in the modern world so clearly, those other factors mentioned may be the cause.

If you are not familiar with the Author Steven Pinker, you should start. He has looked into this topic heavily and the data shows that no, things are not getting more dangerous but quite the opposite. In his book Enlightenment Now, this topic is heavily discussed, and I highly recommend it.

So how dangerous is your city, country, or hemisphere? While yes, if you are in one of the top 10 most dangerous places (measure it however you like) then things might be quite dangerous and hard. But if you happen to grow up in Vancouver, or many other western countries. Guess what, you are doing just fine and trauma aside, and outside specific countries, it is likely that for you my friend, the world is actually safer than ever.

And remember, Facts do not care about your feelings.

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*This is not a sponsored review. This is a simple recount of Borhan Jiang’s experience at this BJJ school in Taiwan.

52852_160175370687660_2773181_oIn 2009, I was a member of a team of fighters that competed in the Bangkok BJJ International Open. We were made up of members from Taiwan BJJ Academy (台灣巴西柔術學院), Evolution MMA, and Tough MMA. The team did an excellent job, training with and coaching each other throughout the tournament, and I personally won bronze in my division. I had some great memories with this institution. This is one of the most well known and established BJJ schools in Taiwan, and it can be said that this academy has truly contributed to the development of BJJ in Taiwan.

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When I trained at the school, it was located near Taipei city hall. The gym had only the essentials – mats. It was small, and since it was on the upper level, it was potentially dangerous to train in if too many members were there at once.

Now they have a new space, which is located in a huge basement. It has plenty of space, lockers, a shower room, changing rooms, and a small shop. It also has full-time staff at the front counter, so you can talk to them instead of interrupting instructors who are teaching class.

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1426135_1809666515926976_7135114262649744218_nMokto sensei takes his BJJ craft very seriously. He is not a native Chinese, but can communicate fluently and teaches BJJ in Chinese. The students at Taiwan BJJ are precise with their movements, and seem more cautious than North American fighters. Some of them also have excellent stand-up game, which is not very common in BJJ.

Generally speaking, different BJJ schools apply their BJJ differently. Some cater to competition, some cater more to self-defense training. I’d say Taiwan BJJ’s grappling style caters more toward sports BJJ and competitions. Overall, I would recommend anyone who is visiting Taiwan to train at Taiwan BJJ Academy. It is professional and friendly, and in some ways, this school still has a pioneer spirit as the first serious BJJ school in Taiwan. Come here to find other people who like to roll and train.

 

Aussie Dan gets his assistant Instructor Certificate

Daniel Liu is UTKM’s newest Assistant Instructor. He has been doing martial arts for many years but when he moved to Vancouver he wanted to continue his Krav Maga Training. After shopping around he choose UTKM and never looked back. Daniel is interesting as he is an Engineer by day and a bohemian martial artist by night. Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, Martial arts and fixing bikes at a local bike shop are just some of the many things that keep him busy. Listen to this podcast and get to know Dan a little better.

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Recently I watched a show on youtube is called “ Warrior Quest “ by a Czech Krav Maga organization. The purpose of the show is to send several people to do their military Krav Maga instructor course. The show begins in Czech then proceeds to Israel. Most part of the show is about a series of harsh physical training to weed out the weak ……all the way down to 10 people. It is interesting to see the selection process but frankly I do not agree with the ideology and methods of the show.

The selection process of the show is harsh and all original candidates from Czech only one student made it to the end. I wonder what’s the purpose of this harsh selection. The majority of selection process is about harsh physical workout instead of Krav Maga training. What benefit do people get out of this process other than some bragging rights, ugly scars and huge medical bills. As a soldier, I have been though similar selection process from boot camp (ran by Airborne), wildness survival course, special force selection to mentally exhausting air force pilot and navigator selection course. I have suffered though similar injuries and physical exhaustion; however, the one difference is that “ I was covered by military. “ If I got injured during the selection process the military is obligated to take care of me both financially and medically that is. More than I can say about these candidates in this show.

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Krav Maga students are not soldiers. Some Krav Maga students are soldiers but most Krav Maga schools do not cater toward soldiers. The idea of Krav Maga is about teaching as many people as possible and to develop them with skills necessary for them to survive. One fellow spend several thousand Euro only to be washed out first day during the selection. I find that counter-productive for a person’s progress and personal safety. The institute that does the enrollment should assess the student’s physical abilities and deny enrollment if the guy clearly is not up for the challenge. Several thousand Euro is enough money for the guy to train full time in Israel or in Thailand for several months. I am unsure if the guy got a refund or exchange but the purpose of his trip lasted only one day. One thing I firmly believe is that everyone is at a different level. It is up to the school and the instructors to develop students where they at and then help them achieve their goal, instead of weeding them out like the military.

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Our students can be a warrior and fighter but our students are not soldiers. Our school also offers tactical shooting training and frankly, when in hand- to-hand combat our guys are higher level than average soldiers. ( we welcome any soldier to come and test it out ) but again our students are not soldiers. The reason is simple, they are not paid to do it full time 24/7 nor have the obligation to go though ridiculous and hurtful training that might killed the students in the process.

Modern military, like the Canadian Army has very high standard when it comes to training. Even with that in mind, I can count on both my hands and feet the times I would be dead or seriously injured because things could go horribly wrong. No civilian Krav Maga institute can accept the same level of risk in training as a government institute. Nor should the mandate be the same. The military is selecting the right people for the right type of the job but a civilian Krav Maga institute should be about teaching the right courses to the right people. If there are so many people got washed out from this course, then I firmly believe these courses were offered to the wrong group of people. Any Krav Maga institution should be about developing the right people with the right courses.

For those who want to have the military experience, I can only offer one advice, to join the military – reserve and National Guard are options for those who do not want to commit too long in the life of uniform. Training and skill sets are something that you can acquire at different civilian training school but the harsh, inhuman, rude, less fun, boring and ridiculous part of military experience can only be experienced though the real deal – why ? because military owns their people- literately.

 

WE ARE BACK!!!

Sorry for the long break on the podcasts and posts but it is all explained at the beginning of this episode!!

Josh Hensman

(We meant to have a photos of him receiving his certificate, but they were all blurry 🙁 )

Joshs Company Forge Fitness

Josh has had a passion for martial arts since seeing a video clip of Bruce Lee in action as a kid. He first studied Karate and then at University he began to explore Wing Chun Kung Fu and Capoeira.

After arriving in Canada in 2007 Josh moved to boxing and kickboxing, along with renewing his pursuit of Karate.

In 2014 he represented BC at the Canada Karate

Championships – a highlight in his sport martial arts career. As a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer he often found himself working in fitness and recreation environments where martial arts were occurring. This is where he first encountered Krav Maga. Josh was immediately captivated by the practical, easy to learn, and adaptable nature of Krav Maga. This was a martial art that was continually evolving! Josh continues to study Krav Maga through IKI and UTKM. Josh completed his UTKM Assistant Instructor training in Sept 2015 which nearly took him a year to achieve. Josh regularly teaches our kids classes as well as some of our white belt classes. He also is our head fitness trainer and instructor.

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I have the privilege to discuss used of force and self defense with a veteran police officer. She is also a very capable martial artist. We are discussing: would the law judged trained professionals more harshly than average citizens who are not trained and here are her responses. ( noted – this is only her perspective as a veteran police officer does not represent the full picture of the justice system of Canada’s Criminal Code system and we will have other experts’ articles up in the future )

  1. (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

        (a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

        (b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

        (c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

Bill C-26 Reforms to Self Defense and Defense of Property: Technical Guide for Practitioners

So the optimal wording that you need to get out of the criminal code here is what is reasonable.  That will be determined by what the person believes the threat to be, how they articulate it and also how they articulate what they did in response to the perceived threat. How a person perceives a situation will depend on their experience, skill set (how competent they are with that skill set), size, state of mind, location, what the threat is physically and how they interpret that threat….

So if I come across a person with a knife and they threaten me with it…if I believe that they will use that knife to harm me I am well within my rights to protect myself and if that means using deadly force then that is what it means.  If I am confident that I can disarm him and lock him up till help comes or so I can get away and in the meantime I break his arm or leg, then that is justified too. A smaller stature person may have to use tactics that someone of the same size, weight, strength etc as the attacker may not have to…or a larger, stronger person on the verge of blacking out because he or she is being knocked unconsciousness could use force that is potentially deadly on a smaller, physically weaker person.  Or a larger person facing a smaller person with a knife, pipe or another weapon…Yes/No?  Again, situational…

In a multiple assailant situation…the threat of grievous bodily harm or death has increased exponentially, so would you be justified in creating an unsustainable injury on the parties involved to create an opportunity to get away?  They all had 359 other directions they could have chosen to go but they came at you…so what are you to interpret regarding their mindset? If someone is going for my gun…that is a deadly force encounter.  There is only one thing I can deduct from that action.  They want to take my gun to harm me or someone else.  So can I use deadly force?  Or force that will cause grievous bodily harm?  Yes…but I will need to articulate the reasons…including how I felt during the incident.

There is no blanket answer…each situation will be different with all sorts of unique outliers.  The important thing to remember is the term reasonable force…was what you did reasonable given the circumstances, how you perceived the threat, what was happening to you etc…Beating someone who was trying to take your wallet into a state of unconsciousness could easily be viewed as unreasonable. In a similar scenario however, where you tossed your wallet to the side for them but they continued to come for you, may present a different set of circumstances.

When you are in a situation where the bar star is trying to posture in front of his buddies or girlfriends, you need to show you did everything you could to try and diffuse the situation, including trying to leave.  Then if that is ineffective whatever physical force you use has to be justified…why did you do what you did?  As trained fighters/instructors we have more tools to draw from but we should also be very skilled at articulating why we used what we used and when we used it; what the expected outcome of our actions was etc would also need to be articulated.  We are in a better position than the average person to explain and paint the picture clearly for the courts.  Whether it is an unskilled civilian smashing a brick against the side of the head of her assailant or a skilled fighter who delivers a back kick to the subject’s throat doesn’t really matter…the determining factor is why did you act?

Written by: Officer Y

Edited By: Josh Hensman

Sources:

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/rsddp-rlddp/index.html

If I were to tell you that I am a master of manipulation and deceiving you might laugh, but it is true. In my civilian life I have worked as a salesman for numerous companies ranging from a gym to the defense industry. During my service for my country I was trained to screw with the enemies’ minds and win over support of the indigenous population efficiently and effortlessly. I know the art of persuasion, charm and false promises and I can show the truth to people though only ” the point of view ” I want them to see.

Day to day our life is full of lies, marketing schemes, small talk and other bulls**t that makes our society civilized and polite on the surface. We constantly judge each other and are being judged at the workplace, school, Facebook, etc. We have to put on a “Game Face “ and be professional at the work place and in most aspects of our life.

However, there is one moment in which you cannot lie and your true essence and soul will be revealed no matter how hard you try to hide it, that is, when someone’s fist lands on your face.

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Someone once said that in the moment of death you can see the true essence of a person’s soul and combat is the easiest route to death. I believe there is some truth to it. While I was living in Israel and Serbia, both countries have had their share of war and deaths in recent years. I find Israelis and Serbians are a lot more honest towards each other compared to other people. Some would even say they are honest to the point of rudeness. Perhaps this is because when one is so close to death, one does not have the mood or time to hide one’s true emotions, feelings and opinions about others.

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Of course, a Krav Maga gym is not a war zone and it is not my job to try to kill my students, but it is my mission to bring them to their limit of exhaustion, fear and total chaos in the most realistic and safest manner I can. Why? Because that’s the state you will be in if someone puts a knife on your throat or rides on top of you and beats you mercilessly. Of course the feeling sucks but this is what a Krav Maga gym should be doing. You are not supposed to feel “good “ about yourself walking out of the gym for the first 3 months. You are supposed to walk out and feel horrible, weak and vulnerable. We, as instructors, just reveal what this world can be sometimes: mean, cruel and harsh, and you are not prepared for the dark part of the world………yet. However, perhaps 6 months or 12 months later, if you stay and work hard, you will find yourself changed. You will move more efficiently, scan more and you are ready and alert when your gut feeling tells you that something is wrong. You are no longer a sheep but a truly independent person who takes one’s own security seriously and responsibly. You do not pass your responsibility of guarding your own life to others. You are a Kravi (fighter) just like your ancestors.

As Krav Maga has become more popular, I have seen many Cardio Kickboxing & Crossfit Krav Maga Gyms show up in recent years. I believe in a good conditioning class as I used to do it religiously as a fighter, but mixing two different purposes together in order to gain customers is WRONG. If you are a Krav Maga instructor you should ask yourself what is your main goal of teaching Krav Maga? And how can I achieve my goal for these students? If it is to make money then go ahead, this is a free country, but if your goal is to help others so they can walk in peace then you should change your methods.

Students, remember this – true confidence are built upon numerous self-doubts, surprises, enlightenment, failures, bruises and maybe some medical bills. True confidence of a Kravi is not a cocky attitude but appreciation and acknowledgement of one’s own limitation and weakness; at the same time accept your own deadliness if the switch needs to be turn on.

The highest praise I ever received as a soldier was “I will go to battle with you any day.“ This is the same praise I will say to my senior students. Every time I train a new student I often ask myself “If we are going to fight against a Nazi mob like Imi did will I take this person with me? “ After all, after seeing what’s going on around the world it is a good question to ask. Canada will not always be safe. If history ever teaches us anything it is that violence will always come to those who are least prepared and no one is safe. Now students, please ask your instructors “Will you take me?“

Instructors, ask yourself “Will you?“

Written by: Borki Yony

Edited by : Warren C