Posts Tagged ‘Community’


Florian Garel is an old friend and training partner of mine.  He is a seasoned Muay Thai, grappling, karate practitioner, instructor and active MMA fighter signed under “One FC“.  Before you step into the dojo you can see the classes though the clear glass. You can see either a bunch of little kids doing kicks and punches alone with Florian in a Zendoaki Karate gi, or you will see a bunch of MMA fighters boxing each other and doing take downs.

In truth, I have rarely seen any dojo  has such an open view to the outside world as Florian’s gym. Many times people will stop and just watch the practice in amazement, especially in Taiwan, a society that values harmony and peace over aggression and prowess of fighting. Children were often taught not to be physical with each other and keep their hands to themselves. Wrestling with friends in mud is an image that only exists in Hollywood movies, but the society is changing. More and more of these audiences are jumping into the practice of MMA and Full Contact Karate.


The dojo is not big and is about 1000 square feet. There is no lavish equipment but only the necessary gear such as mats, punching pads and other important stuff. It reminds me of the old school MMA gym, and people are here to train and to fight.  Florian’s regular MMA class is not big, generally 5 to 8 people, but many local Taiwanese Pro and Amateur MMA fighters train there with Florian. This speaks to the quality of Florian’s teaching. I participated in several of Florian’s MMA classes and I have to say that Florian has excellent instruction when comes to takedowns. This might surprise you, but the first time Florian and I fought was in 2008, and I was the one taking him down with my superb Judo skill. Now, after years of Sambo and pro-MMA fights, I am the one who can benefit from Florian’s teachings.


Florian’s take down and grappling style is based more on Sambo and wrestling instead of grappling. It is more active and focuses on getting on top of the opponent. It is also a very MMA focused type of grappling instead of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I practice and see. The tempo is much faster and techniques are less refining but brutal – Russian style. This is the beauty of Taiwan. It seems to attract styles from around the world instead of limiting to one style.

The teaching style of Florian’s class is considered as Linear Teaching. Florian would teach one technique and then the modification, defense, and so on and so on. From my experience this is the best method of teaching, and Royce Gracie used the same teaching method at the seminar where I was his assistant. Students spar and perform takedowns against each other using the right amount of force and technique and no one has an ego there. Students’ behaviors in sparring reflect the instructor’s attitude and ego, and I have to say Florian does a better job than me.

It is a true United Nations at Florian’s school. You will spar with Pilipino migrant workers in boxing, roll with Canadian MMA fighters, and do ground-and-pound with local Taiwanese students. Martial Arts truly bring people together and bridge the gap of language.


Zendokai Karate Association in Japan was founded in 1999 by a great Karate Master Mr. Takashi Ozawa. Zendokai Karate is a type of sophisticated Multi-Martial Art based on Japanese Karate that includes punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, and joint locking techniques, while standing and fighting on the ground.  The easiest way to describe Zendoaki Karate is that it is MMA in a gi with some karate moves.

1147749_613530242023622_1767328248_oAt every Saturday Open Mat you will see guests from other dojos coming to train at Florian’s school and he would train with other gyms as well. This is Taiwan. It has a small population when it comes to Martial Arts and even a smaller population when comes to MMA and grappling, but the people are really close and there is a brotherhood among everyone and seldom will you will see rivalry between gyms as you sometimes see in North America. When the community is this small people need each other to survive. For Taiwanese people, it is a far cry from “don’t make physical contact with others”, to rolling on the ground trying to tap each other out. A lot of things have changed and, in my opinion, for the better. I hope…no,I know Florian’s MMA and Karate dojo will prosper in Taiwan because this is what we need.

Written By: Borki Yony

Photo By: Zendokai Karate ( Taiwan ) & Florian Garel

Zendokai’s website & facebook :

If I say Urban Tactics Krav Maga is one of the most diversified and dynamic Krav Maga schools in North America, I think there would be very little dispute. Other than having been certified under 4 International Krav Maga Federations, one of our specialties is firearm training and Krav Maga techniques related to firearms, from firearm disarms, tactical shooting to military Krav Maga. We are privileged to have extensive knowledge from our military background as combat arms soldiers and shooting instructors in the Defense Industry.


50 cal, the author’s favorite gun during his service with CDN Army

However, sometimes when we ask our civilian students at our Krav Maga school here in Vancouver if they would like to participate in some of Krav Maga seminars related to firearms or Firearm Possession Course, some of them ask “Why? What’s the point to learn about guns ? I will never use it.“  ” what’s the point of using guns as cold steel weapon? I will just shoot the guy. ”  Many Vancouverites do not own firearms nor have an interest in it. I was amazed with these students’ response that they do not want to participate because they think any form of firearm training is not useful in a real life threat.

Let us be clear about something:

  1. Armed robbers or other bad guys do not attack their targets with their bare hands. They always want to achieve superiority by having either a knife or a gun; only honorable people fight in equal amount of forces and let their skill determine who the winner is. Bad guys are not looking for a fair fight; they are looking for an easy pay day. If, unfortunately, you end up at the end of barrel and you faint at the first sight of a gun, the chance of you acting calmly is pretty slim. Knowledge is key to calmness and being collective under pressure. To know what type of firearm and the condition of the firearm is vital to survival in dealing with an armed assailant.
  1. If you disarm someone‘s firearm you need to know how to use it, even if you want to disable the gun to prevent the bad guy from using it again. You need to know how to do so fluidly and accurately under stress. Over and over again I see Krav Maga schools or other Krav Maga instructors teach people how to disarm attackers with a gun, but their immediate actions after the disarm makes my heart skip a beat.  Most of them clearly do not know how a real firearm functions, different functionality between a revolver and semi-automatic pistol, nor how to point the gun at the person if they chose to take lethal action. Just because you point a gun at an attacker does not magically make this person stop from taking the gun back or to attack you again. Do you have the will and skill to fire a gun if you chose to and, if you can hit accurately the bad guy, without hurting the bystanders or yourself? If you do not wish to shoot someone, how do you use guns as cold steel weapon and combine with Krav Maga moves ?
  1. Since almost most Israelis have served in the IDF; firearms have always been part of general Krav Maga curriculum from Day One in Israel. After all, almost every 18, 19 old Israeli youth can take apart, put it back a M-16 and be confident with it on the range. Most North American Krav Maga students and instructors cannot rival Israeli Krav Maga student and instructors’ firearm experience. Nonetheless, In order to learn the full system of Krav Maga, you better be good at firearms. You need to learn how to shoot it, disassemble it, then finally disarm it if you have to. Firearm training is a serious issue and takes lots of training time; more so than any other aspects in Krav Maga. People generally need lots of range time with guns to eliminate the fear of the “Boom Stick“, but also be confident that guns are merely tools and be comfortable with them as extension of their limbs.

Are you Ash or Villagers ?

Last but not least, we do Krav Maga for a reason. We do it not for fitness or completion but to protect our lives. My friend, you want to ask yourself: Is there ever enough training when it comes to protecting your lives, especially about the most efficient killing tool created by man?

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

In this video there are four of my buddies from Military Krav Maga Instructor course. I have to say this is probably one of the best demo video I ever seen. The quality is superb.

You guys can read about my Serbian adventurous at here.

By: Borhan Jiang

to stop a theif

Recently, a purse was snatch from a woman in one of the many crowded malls in Metro Vancouver (see above video). This occurrence may seem fairly common, but what is clearly demonstrated is that despite the fact she’s asking for help, not a single person does.

This is called the Bystander Effect.

The Bystander Effect means that the more people are around, the less likely a person is to act when someone else is in need of help. This could also be considered an offshoot of the Mob Mentality. Statistically, if someone has their purse snatched and there are only one or two people nearby, the bystander is more likely to do something than if there had been a crowd of people. It’s easy for you to sit there and say, “Oh, but if I was there I would do something”, but the reality is that study after study shows that if you are in a crowd you most likely will just sit, or stand and do nothing. Why is this? It’s simply because everyone always thinks that somebody else will do something, but as this collective thinking passes from person to person, in the end, nobody helps.

This had me thinking, does this always have to be the case? Is it simply a cultural phenomenon, or is it universal. What does this have to do with Krav Maga or Self Defense? Well, a lot. A part of self-defense is safety in numbers and, as an extension of this, community safety. This means “How will the community as a whole react in the event that there is an issue?”

In Israel, though it is slowly on the rise, in general, petty crime rates are relatively low despite what you might think from depictions of Israel in the media. On a personal note, I can say without a doubt, that I feel safer walking around in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem at 2 AM than I would walking around in parts of Downtown Vancouver at the same time. Why is this? Israel is a country with a history of war and conflict and yet, on a day-to-day basis, it is relatively safe.

In Canada, I often hear the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) or other city police forces like the VPD (Vancouver Police Department) say that, if there is a problem, to please call the police and let the professionals deal with the situation. Though I know their hearts are in the right place, this is a statement that I struggle with. They often say they are trained and they know how to handle the situations, but as someone who has dedicated his life to teaching people self-defense and, as someone who travels the world to get additional training, I can say that the police in Canada and North America, in general, lack proper training. So, is waiting for a “trained” professional the correct decision? Well, it may be for more serious situations, but for things like petty crime (such as purse snatching) I really do not think it is the correct message to give.

So why is petty crime relatively low in Israel? It could be because there are soldiers, police, and security officers with guns everywhere, or it could be that if petty crime occurs, it does not matter who is around, the crowd will help out. If there’s a bomb explosion in Israel you will often find people running towards the area to help rather than run away in fear.

I remember a story my uncle once told me during the first intifada in the early 2000’s. A suicide bomber walked into his place of work. There were no soldiers, no police officers and no armed security. He and another employee noticed the suicide bomber and, instead of calling and waiting for help to arrive, they acted by jumping on the bomber and prevented him from blowing up the market. My uncle is a man of tiny stature, maybe 5’ tall and 130 pounds, with numerous health ailments, and yet he and his co-worker knew that had they not acted, not only would the market have been blown up but they probably would have also been killed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means advocating jumping in the way of a bullet or in any way risking your life. Whether you act or not in such a situation is your call, and if you think you can do something it’s up to you. However, if there are 100 people watching, and the act is something petty, like a purse snatching, it can be easy to do something. Contrary to your belief, the risk is relatively low. The moment one person acts, the more likely it is that others will also help out. Sometimes acting does not need special training as the police would have you think, it simply requires you to do something. If criminals who commit petty crimes, regardless of the reason for doing it, knew that people would stop them should they commit the crime, I suspect that they would be less likely to commit it.

Safety does not just come from one person, it also comes from a community’s willingness to prevent crime and unsafe situations as a whole. As a Krav Maga practitioner, on average, you actually have more hand-to-hand combat training than the majority of police. So, when they say leave it to the trained professionals, guess what? While you may not be a professional, you certainly are trained. On top of this, police can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to arrive and by then it’s already too late. That purse has already been taken, the person had already been stabbed, or the store has already been blown up.

Again, while the decision to act or not act is completely up to you, based on the circumstances, I simply pose the question to you. Why be simply another bystander when you can do something and make a difference?

Written by: Jonathan Fader

Edited by: Warren Chow

In the past week I got into 2 conversations about more or less the same thing. I’ll admit one may have been more of a heated argument than a conversation, but it did manage to cement my views further on the matter.

The topic that seems to be confusing for some people is, what is self defense?

Doing a quick Google search on the definition, I got this.


  1. the defense of one’s person or interests, esp. through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime.

  2. “he claimed self-defense in the attempted murder charge”

What people, at least it seems in Vancouver, seem to be getting it confused with is the definition for conflict resolution which in a similar search results in this definition.

“Conflict resolution, otherwise known as Reconciliation, is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution

The clear difference is one is expecting physical contact resulting in possible physical harm and the other is attempting to resolve possible violence using words.

To me at least, the difference is quite clear cut, and as I teach, conflict resolution is absolutely the first step to any self defense strategy. A lot of the time situations can easily be avoided by either:

         A. Walking away

         B. De-escalating the situation using verbal conflict resolution

This is why in Krav Maga, we have the semi passive stance. This is a stance that a person takes that is not threatening yet allows the individual to protect themselves should the other person choose to instigate physical violence. In the law enforcement community this might be referred to as an interview stance.

Here are some images to show what that might look like :

The individual wants to resolve the situation with conflict resolution but at the same time is prepared to defend themselves physically without appearing overly threatening.

Again, up until this point it seems fairly straightforward what the difference between self defence and conflict resolution. But apparently it isn’t clear otherwise those two conversations I had may not have happened.

The first Conversation

I was at a local leadership conference as both a participant and presenter and in the main atrium of the building they had various tables set up to show the merits of volunteering in the community. One of the tables set up was the local volunteer community policing program. The particular city in question for those of you wondering is the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. Many of you reading this may not know, but Surrey is actually larger in size and population than Vancouver and as such ,is having problems associated with rapid growth. A current concern is violence in the community and an outcry was sparked after this event:

Naturally, I asked the volunteers at the booth did they have any self defense training. Her answer was:

“We used to have a “verbal Judo” course, but they stopped it from some reason. Really they encourage us not to get involved in anything and stay away”

In my head I wanted to explode, but I politely handed her my card and said if she could pass it on to her superiors if they were ever interested in starting a proper program.

My first question is, what is “verbal judo” and second, how can that possibly be considered self defense?

Here are individuals who want to make a difference in the community and are quite visible by the bright neon yellow high visibility vests they wear.

“Verbal Judo” sounds like a good start, but really it sounds like conflict resolution to me. The fact is that even if they took a quick verbal Judo course, does this make these volunteers experts at dealing with aggressive, disturbed or otherwise threatening people? I think not. What happens if someone decided to violently and maliciously attack these good samaritans, what then?

Too often people take a reactive stance to situations rather than a proactive one. Proactive self defense would recognize that this potentially puts them at risk for physical violence and would teach them both verbal and physical skills in order to deal with the possibilities.

On that note, I often hear ” just call the police” or wait until the police officer who is 100 meters away to come and help. The fact is an individual within 10-20 meters who has an intent to cause physical harm will achieve their objective far faster than that police officer can react.

The second conversation

While this one started off harmlessly, as can quite often happen, it escalated into something more heated that may have required ironically, conflict resolution. The end result was me being called an A-hole by the individual and their friend. Also ironic because of the nature of the conversation.

This one took place at a private residence where everyone knew I taught self defense, in fact several individuals had recently asked me to start up a program in their community. This means that everyone knew I was a professional and I take self defense very seriously.

The individual in question told me that they taught self defense to teens as part of a program they were involved in. Naturally, this peaked my interest and I began to inquire as to the nature of their program.

Though, I am paraphrasing the conversation, it went something like this.

       Q: What does your program teach?

       A: We teach them self defense.

       Q: But what do you actually teach them?

       A: We teach them the vulnerable points on the body.

       Q. That’s good, but do you practice any of the techniques?

      A. No, we teach non physical self defense.

My answer to this of course was, I am sorry but you are not teaching self defense. From here the conversation spiraled into an argument which ended in the result as mentioned above.

This being the second time this kind of conversation came up in a week really made me mad. Not because I got called an A-hole, as I have been called that many times in my life, and it really doesn’t matter to me. It was because people in general, do not know what self defense is. Here I was, what I would consider a professional on the subject and I ended up the bad guy, go figure.


Conflict resolution is NOT self defense. It is a precursor in an attempt to avoid a self defense situation. This is of course if there was even any time to have a conversation and no surprise attacks were involved which would require self defense.

In my opinion, it is extremely naive of people to think that one does not need to learn physical methods for defending themselves if someone has intent on causing bodily harm. Not only is it naive but potentially dangerous. Giving a person a false sense of security to their personal defense can only get them injured or killed.

People who know me may have also heard me say this is why I am not a fan of one time “self defense” seminars. Learning a move once, does not mean you know how to defend yourself or use that move effectively.

The only way to defend yourself against physical violence is with physical violence. If you are the type to take a peaceful perspective and prefer to take a trip to the hospital because you didn’t think it necessary to know self defense then by all means, that is your choice.

However, I plan on doing everything I can to teach people what I know so that they can all go home safely no matter what the circumstances.

I want to be perfectly clear, though I am a proponent for Krav Maga and it is what I believe in, your chosen self defense system can be whatever you like. However if it is not physical and you do not practice it regularly, I am sorry but you are NOT learning self defense and you most likely will not be safe. At the end of the day people need to face reality, Conflict Resolution is NOT self defense.

Written By: Jonathan F