Posts Tagged ‘cross training’

If you are a regular UTKM Blog follower or active member in the Krav Maga or self-defense community, then you’ve probably figured out that there is a lot of politics in the Krav Maga world. Since I started Krav Maga, I’ve become familiar with some of the more active and larger organizations through training directly with them or their students and instructors. Some I follow on Facebook. Just to give you an idea, let’s list off some of the major recognized Krav Maga organizations, and even some smaller ones:

IKMA – Israeli Krav Maga Association
KMF – Krav Maga Federation
IKMF – International Krav Maga Federation
KMG – Krav Maga Global
KMW – Krav Maga Worldwide
KMA – Krav Maga Alliance
CT707 – Israeli Special Forces Krav Maga
CKMI – Combat Krav Maga International
IMKM – Israeli Military Krav Maga
KMIL – Krav Maga Israel
IKI – Israeli Krav International

Of course, there are many others legitimate organizations, but nowadays the Krav Maga community is fraught with liars and fakers. (I am not intentionally forgetting anyone, but I think my point is made by listing the above.) From a business perspective, I disprove of some of the ways these organizations operate or teach things that are impractical or unrealistic or stray from the fundamental Krav Maga principles. Many seem to have developed a more sports martial arts mentality. Yet, given the opportunity, I would like to train with each and every one of these organizations at one point or another (minus the obvious frauds).

Many people ask, “What’s the point?” Why train with other Krav Maga organizations when you’re already an expert? Many people have the stance that they already know everything there is to know about Krav Maga. So why put in the effort to train more?

Perspective

One simple rationale. Perspective is everything in the world. Even time itself is simply the perspective of one point to another, from where it was before to where it is now.

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For this reason, I welcome and pursue training with other organizations and bring instructors from other organizations to train my students, even if I may not agree with or teach their curriculum. Our goal is to provide all of our students with the best possible ability to defend themselves. Thus, introducing them to other perspectives affirms what we have taught them or offers another method that works for them. The reason being that in the end, it is about them not me.

Personally, I have issues with all of these organizations, but I also see valuable lessons from all of them, just as how they view me and other smaller organizations or schools I am sure.

If a student trains with another organization and makes the decision to leave me, I truly hope it is for the right reason of giving themselves the best possible training that suits them. The goal is that they can defend themselves to the best of their ability in a dangerous situation.

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Ego aside…

I know people of all martial arts who only train with one organization, their organization, and never reach out to others. I commend their sense of loyalty, yet criticize their close-mindedness. For all they know, their instructors could be garbage or fraud. You are not getting the best training you can if you are limiting yourself to one source.

You are not getting the best training you can if you are limiting yourself to one source. Don’t limit your perspective and, in turn, limit your personal growth by restricting yourself to one organization, school, and style.

Sure, training with all of the organizations is unrealistic, not to mention expensive and impractical. However, now you know the benefits of branching out and experiencing more than one perspective throughout your Krav Maga or self-defense journey. At least, try to train with more than one organization. If not, how do you really know that you truly have the ability to defend yourself? Challenge yourself by learning and training with new people. Limiting yourself would limit your perspective. In the end, it could be catastrophic if you’re blindsided by a situation for which you are totally unprepared.

Perspective is everything. Don’t stop challenging yourself. Don’t stop learning. Keep searching for different perspectives.

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Recently, I had an impromptu personal trip to New York. Being the person that I am, I thought, how can I make this into a business trip as well, and where should I train?

It is very easy when travelling to put martial arts training and physical fitness on hold for other endeavors, but I think this is a mistake. When you travel it is the perfect opportunity to either cross train in other styles or go to the best of the best locally in a style you are already used to train in.

In marcelo201304_jr0149a.0my case, as I also train BJJ, there was only one option. Of course that option was to go to Marcelo Garcia’s BJJ Gym in the Chelsea area in New York. Why Marcelo’s place? Aside from the fact he is a 5 time world champion and 4 time ADCC Champion among other numerous awards.

Marcelo is largely considered to be one of, if not, the top grappler on the planet. On first appearance he does not look like much, as my travelling companion said “How is he the head guy, he is so short”. There is not a man on the planet who has grappled with him who will now not underestimate him. He has produced some very high level black belts and other award winning grappler’s from his gym.

This is not the first time that I have trained at Marcelo’s .career_bioThe difference between this time and last time is I am now a blue belt. If you are a white belt and decide to go train at this gym then you will be disappointed .You can only attend maybe a third or a half of the classes. This is largely for safety reasons as it is a destination to go to for many grapplers. They do not want any hot head white belt to come in and train with them. They would like to make sure that you have the fundamentals and that you are not a douche bag before they let you take the higher classes.

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This time, as a blue belt I could attend all the classes that were listed. Arriving on a Friday afternoon I was able to do 3 and a half hours of straight training. The first two hours were an Advanced 1 and A beginners 2 class taught by second dan Black Belt Paul (If you know his full name please let me know as I do not know it) and the last hour and a half class Advanced 2 was taught by Marcelo himself.

When you go to schools like this you never know who might be teaching. The last time I was at Marcelo’s the legendary Bernardo Faria (The number 1 ranked IBJJF black belt by points) taught the class and when I went to Cobrinhas in LA Black Belt Michael Langhi was teaching. Regardless of who is teaching,  when you go to a high level school like Marcelo’s you know that it does not matter as it will be usually be one of the highest calibre guys around.

The one thing I noticed about learning at Marcelo’s is the fluidity of the teaching. Every class focuses on a specific scenario and they usually teach 2-4 options to deal with it in progression. What that means is, they will start with something and say if they do this here is what you do (Offensive option 1). Of course in an action/reaction scenario it is likely they will defend thus after showing an initial technique (Offensive option 1) the next one is always what to do when your opponent blocks with the most common block. So if offensive option 1 doesn’t work because they block like A then do offensive option 2 from the same position. Then if you do the technique to deal with block A but then they block with B then you do offensive option 3 in the same sequence. Now the fluidity part comes from the fact from the given position they are showing you can simply cycle through all the options until one works or the position changes.

This may sound rather confusing but if you do BJJ then I am sure you can follow. This fluidity in teaching methodology is so important in any martial art because of the action/reaction nature of a real conflict. I have learned at various schools for BJJ and I find that no one teaches better than the high level Brazilians. I couldn’t tell you why because any high level BJJ practitioner should be able to instruct in the same fashion, but I have always found there to be a lack of fluidity in how they teach when learning from a High-level BJJ practitioner who is not Brazilian.

For example, in most of the BJJ classes I have taken, they will often show 3 different attacks to do from the same position. However they rarely match up in a fluid continuous attack pattern. They are often 3 different attacks in the same position that are not always sequentially following the same attack but rather are 3 different attacks that can be done but a break in the flow of the attack must occur.Safety Net

For example, say we are in top/full mount. Options for the offence could be a Kimura. Another option could be an Arm bar transition or it could be a mounted cross collar choke. While yes, all three of these are top/full mount attacks they are attacks that are not fluid together in one continuous high pressure altercation.

This may sound all rather confusing, but fluidity of attack pattern is super important in BJJ and even more important in Krav Maga. A person will rarely do A and then stick with A. They will do A and you block A then they will do B and you block B and then they will do C and then you block C. However, if you are not constantly attacking with the goal of progression without releasing pressure, then this will just continue to be a back and forth scenario going nowhere. Fluidity is important because it cuts down your reaction time and does not give your opponent time to counter your next move. Keep the attack pattern simple by rotating through the 3 options rapidly, until one works, increasing your proficiency in your attack.

Simplicity, fluidity and efficiency are the 3 things that any high level practitioner usually follows. While, there are styles that are complex with lots of options in both Krav Maga and BJJ the best fighters come from camps that focus on these three things. So far, in BJJ of all the super high level practitioners I have taken lessons from (Bernardo Faria, Marcelo Garcia, Michael Langhi, Wellington “Megaton” Diaz and Luanna Alzuguir). They all have one thing it common- these three factors. While there are moves in BJJ that are effective but complicated, in my opinion the best practitioners keep things simple.

This concept is clearly why Marcelo and his chosen instructors make his school the best in New York. Why not learn from the absolute best!

Of course Marcelo’s school is not just all about competition like many others, they teach a more traditional version of BJJ as well that includes a self defense aspect. Mind you, as a Krav Maga practitioner I find the self defense applications outdated and unrealistic for the average person but it is always nice to see how other martial arts approach self defense so I can be prepared to deal with it on the street once I have recognized their style.

Regardless even if you do not practice BJJ or are simply a beginner I highly recommend going to Marcelo’s academy in NY even if you just want to pick up their fluid teaching style (instructors). It has a very positive atmosphere and you can expect only the best to be training there regularly. I myself personally plan to drop by every time I manage to make it out to NY.

So, if you are a Martial arts who continually wants to better themselves, if you Travel, you should train and you should always seek out the best and the brightest in any style at your chosen travel destination.

By: Jonathan Fader

Greg F fighting Josh Hensman in Krav Maga sparing

During the past year and a half that I have been practicing Krav Maga, I’ve invested my time to learn the proper techniques and apply the principles that we learn practicing Krav Maga at UTKM. While I feel that Krav Maga is a complete system, overall I realized that there are more styles and methods to learn that could benefit my development. This idea led me to pursue training at Contenders boxing in Vancouver. Lucky for me at the time they offered a 2-week trial program, perfect for entry-level boxing. boxing-3 While boxing and Krav Maga are totally different practices in their respect, I felt the training I have done thus far with UTKM made the movements and techniques of boxing easier to understand and adjust to. By no means was it easy, training in Krav Maga allowed me to understand and follow instructions properly. That being said, I was humbled by how intensely my body was beat up after that first day! The intensity of boxing, even at this level, definitely proves just how athletic and agile boxers have to be in order to excel. Over the course of the two weeks I adjusted to the progression and each day felt like a new technique was taught. One of the key points emphasized is how important footwork and stance is in fighting. Krav Maga applies this principle in a similar way. Both styles emphasize being light on the feet, allowing a fighter to make quick movements without sacrificing balance. Having a solid stance with the ability to move around gives the fighter many options to overtake an attacker or opponent and push forward. Boxing technique focuses more on moving in on an opponent while delivering a series of combinations and resetting. This forces the fighter to be aware of their body positioning in and around the opponent. The area I observed which differentiated boxing from my Krav Maga training was the endurance factor. Drill time was highly focused on fighting endurance during many of the boxing sessions. I didn’t leave one training session without feeling like I had been pushed to the limit… At UTKM, we focus mainly on technique rather than fighting endurance. The difference here is that boxers are built to endure multiple 3-minute rounds of boxing, whereas Krav Maga is designed to maximize movements and finish the job in as little time as possible. The takeaway from my experiment was that proficiency in one fighting system does not guarantee the same level in another. It may be easier to make adjustments and refine movements, but it definitely takes more than a couple of weeks to fully understand what you are learning. For those of you interested in building a solid foundation to supplement your Krav Maga, I would highly recommend cross training with another fighting system. Being well balanced will definitely improve your abilities as a kravist. There are so many martial arts in the world that your possibilities are endless, do some research and take the next step towards developing your talents.

Written by: Greg F

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 : https://www.facebook.com/taiwan.zendokai?pnref=lhc

This is a topic that is always on my mind because for the average Krav Maga practitioner the ground can be a confusing topic. Most good, instructors and schools should be teaching to never intentionally go to the ground. On the street, or in self defense applications the ground is one of the worst places you can possibly end up. It is one of the worst places because, the ground is hard and can be used as a weapon, your attacker/opponent may have a weapon or may have friends. This means, that by being on the ground you have limited mobility and thus reduce the chances of successfully avoiding a weapon attack or an attack from multiple assailants. Not to mention, the extremely complex and detailed nature of ground fighting makes staying on the ground, simply, a bad idea.

I often hear, follow the 5 second rule, which says that you should never spend more than 5 seconds on the ground. This is an excellent rule to follow. However what if you cannot get up from the ground in 5 seconds? What then?

I often hear, even very high level Krav Maga practitioners saying things like this, “well it doesn’t matter what he knows if I cannot get up, I will bite, scratch, kick, hit and do whatever it takes. I will go for his groin, his eyes and his throat and he will let go and I will get up.” While the mentality of this is absolutely true, as in Krav Maga, when in doubt be more aggressive, hit harder and do more than your opponent so that you increase your chances of escape, the reality is this may not always work.

To people like this, I often ask. How much do you spend on ground training? All too often the answer is not that much, because we don’t want to stay on the ground. This means, that many, even high level Krav Maga practitioners, instructors and school owners are not experts in ground fighting and honestly, do not always know what they are talking about.

I often follow this up with the question, have you ever rolled, or done ground sparring with a BJJ black belt or world champion? Usually the answer is no. My response is always, “Well I have! And let me tell you, if you have 0 ground game, trust me, they WILL rag doll you and do whatever they want with you!”

The response I  usually get is, “well I can just strike, and they do not train in that do they?” This is a very true statement, but guess what, they can strike too on the street. In addition, who’s to say they do not also train some formed of striking. If they even have a base, in striking, their ability to put you were ever they want may simply be too overwhelming for someone with little to no ground training. In fact, you may not even get a chance to strike because they might have already broken your arm, leg or choked you out.

From what I have seen out there, the lack of ground training for Krav Maga practitioners, is shameful. I say this, because whenever the ground portion of even Instructor courses comes up, I see maybe one or two individuals actually look like they know what they are doing, while the rest look like fish out of water. Not even understanding how to properly bridge, or Shrimp as a Krav Maga instructor tells me a lot about the quality of your instruction.

The intention behind this, “we do not go to the ground, so we do not need to train the ground” is a good one. But it is ignoring the reality that the grappling arts, wrestling, BJJ and now Judo again, because of Ronda Rousey are ever more popular. Which mean, more and more people are trained in these styles which in turn increases the chances of you having to deal with such an individual in a self defense scenario.

So what does this mean for Krav Maga?

Recently, I went on a five day training camp in Hawaii for BJJ, with West Coast Martial Arts under BJJ black belt Don Whitefield. He arranged the camp and brought arguably, the top BJJ black belt woman Luanna Alziguir to come teach us. Let me tell you this was quite the experience, and Luanna’s skill as a grappler is out of this world. She is currently 29 and has been training since she was 9. She has numerous world titles at almost all the major grappling tournaments.

Jonathan Fader observing Luanna Alzuguir and Scott Scott Boudreau demonstrate the fine points of BJJ

Jonathan Fader observing Luanna Alzuguir and Scott Boudreau demonstrate the fine points of BJJ

Here is a woman that regularly trains with some of the biggest and best male grapplers in the world and can hold her own against them even though they are much bigger, stronger and faster.

As a Krav Maga practitioner I came to the camp with a different perspective than most. While yes, I wanted to improve my BJJ skills, I also wanted to know how the best in the world practice BJJ so that I can take that and apply it to Krav Maga.

So what did I learn?

Control your body positioning, Control your opponent through pressure and use pain compliance to get them to do what you want!

For me, whether Luanna realizes it or not, she is applying Krav principles to her BJJ.

That last one, Pain compliance was a big one. In Krav Maga, when we fight we must constantly disrupt their mental processing (Pressure), we must constantly off balance our opponents (Controlling the opponents positioning) and we must cause pain!

This is how she successful beats individuals bigger and stronger than her. And believe me she can do it and make it look beautiful. I watched her easily toss around male black belts who out weight her by as much as 50-100 pounds.

So when I say, there are individuals out there who’s ground skills are so good that you might not have a chance to hit them in the goin or eyes, I mean it!

So how do we take this knowledge and apply it to teaching Krav Maga?

This came up as one of my students, who had been training in another country asked me. At my old school we started to train ground fighting right away, so how come you do not teach it until later on?

The answer is simple, you must first fear and respect the ground before you can properly learn it.

We have noticed that if you teach ground stuff to early, people have a tendency to get to comfortable. I have personally seen this when students start to take BJJ and then when sparring pull guard because they do not like getting hit in the face. (A reason fights often go to the ground on the street.)

Of course, when this happens we immediately tell everyone to dog pile the individual who pulled guard because in Krav Maga, WE DO NOT INTENTIONALLY GO TO THE GROUND!!!

But, once our students have had it drilled into their heads DO NOT go to the ground, then we begin to teach them ground techniques and takedowns.

The argument against this, is, I need to know everything now so you should teach it all from the beginning. To this I say, if you want to really become proficient at ground fighting, you MUST supplement your Krav Maga training with BJJ, Judo or wrestling.

The reason for the separation is very important to understand, and that reason is mentality.

When teaching ground material in a Krav Maga class, the focus always is and will be, get to a better position, do damage to your opponent, get up and escape as fast as possible. So when we teach in a Krav Maga class that is our focus. We also teach the non Krav Maga take downs, not with the intention that our students will ever attempt them, but so they understand the nature of the attacks so they can properly defend against them should someone ever attempt them against them. However, any class where we are teaching non-Krav Maga techniques for the purpose of education, we constantly say, “Remember, this is not Krav Maga but you must understand the techniques that can be used against you.” This is done, so there is no confusion from the students. (It happens)

Due to this mentality difference, as in grappling it is usually about position and points, it can be difficult to teach ground fighting properly.

In our opinion if you want to be proficient at both Krav Maga and ground fighting, there really must be a separation. Because if you think you are taking Krav Maga, but really you spend an entire week working on guard escapes, then you are actually learning BJJ and it is easy for individuals to forget that their goal is to get out and up, and not to simply pass their guard.

How do I know when my grappling training is good enough to apply to Krav Maga?

When I first started training BJJ to supplement my Krav Maga, I started taking an open matt class. This meant that there wasn’t so much a curriculum, more like a gauntlet of Purple, Brown and Black belts showing me how pathetic I was on the ground.

We would do 5 minute rounds, where each individual would take turns submitting me, 5-10 and sometimes even 15 times in each round. After a few months of this, I quickly learned what NOT TO DO! Where not to put my hands, where not put my hips. I also learned better body awareness than ever before. I could feel what attack they were trying to do and how I needed to move to stop them. I got to the point where, if these fights had been tournaments they would have won, because they out positioned me but the fact was they could no longer easily submit me.

For me this is a skill I kept and to this day am often complemented by high level practitioners for my ability to block attacks. This is how you should think, for grappling training when you are supplementing for Krav Maga.

It is not about, how good a point fighter you are, how good you are at maintaining position or how good you are at submitting your opponents. But rather, do you know enough, to block their attacks so that you can successfully apply Krav Maga to get out of this situation.

Even to this day, if I roll with a world champion or a black belt and they cannot submit me in the allotted time then to me as a Krav Maga practitioner, teacher and school owner,  I am happy. This tells me, that so long as I can stop them for 10 seconds, 30 seconds a minute, I will have the time I need to apply my Krav Maga and escape to safety. But I only know I can, because I have trained. Had I ever gotten into a self defense scenario against one of these individuals previously, they would have taken me down, passed my guard, controlled me and beat my face in.

This is why it is important to train and understand the ground. This is why you must understand the appropriate mentality to ground training. And this is why you must also train in a manner and with a mentality that only benefits you as a Krav Maga practitioner.

Train with the best, not so you can beat them but so you can defend against them long enough to survive!

So to summarize everything:

  • Do not think that because, as Krav Maga Practitioners, we should not learn ground techniques because we avoid the ground
  • When learning ground techniques in Krav Maga, you must understand the Krav Maga mentality and application. You must have it drilled in your head, prior to getting comfortable, that we do not ever go to the ground if we can help it. And remember, Get into a better position, cause them pain, and get up as fast as you can creating distance for the escape.
  • It is a good idea, to separate ground only classes and NOT call them Krav Maga
  • Learning proper, and modern ground techniques is best done from a qualified GROUND expert (A Krav Maga Expert does not always mean a Ground expert)
  • You should at least once in your life, roll with a Black Belt, or Champion level grappler to understand what can really happen
  • When training grappling to supplement Krav Maga, enter with the mentality that you want to learn to defend yourself and IF you happen to get good offensively then consider it a bonus!
  • NEVER EVER EVER underestimate an opponent because of their size, because they might be a grappling champion and no matter how good you’re striking, may choke you out before you even have a chance to blink!

Written by: Jonathan Fader

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.

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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.
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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

Ottawa Shooting 20141022For those who do not live in Canada, last week there were two separate attacks against Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec. The one in Ottawa especially hit home for me. The death of Cpl Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton upset me deeply.

I have worked in a similar position as Cpl Cirillo at Parliament Hill from 2005 – 2007 as I was a member of the Capital Ceremony Gun Detachment. We provided ceremony gun salutes for diplomatic occasions and important events such as Police Memorial day on the right side of Parliament Hill.  For three years, I did that about twice or three times a month on top of my regular army duty as an army reservist. All of the soldiers who work at the Parliament were unarmed and the most dangerous thing to us was the chilly wind of Ottawa during the winter, or the hot sun during the summer. Life was good and peaceful. You felt pride and sense of duty wearing your uniform representing Canada. The dying and pain of our brethren in Afghanistan seemed very far away from where we stood.

The death of Cpl Cirillo changes all that.  A terrorist hits home and we were not prepared; not at our home, not at our nation’s capital. Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Except for the War of 1812, almost all of our military operations were launched on foreign soil instead of against foreign invaders on our soil. We Canadians do not know what the meaning of being scared is. We do not worry if the bus is going to blow up or if there will be a rocket landing on our roof. We are naive and innocents We live our lives not worrying if someone will deprive us of our lives in the next few seconds. Canadians who dare to venture outside of our comfortable nation know that we Canadians are fortunate and blessed. We live in Elysium.

Everything has changed now, and I have to admit that I am scared. We are facing a new type of enemy who do not wear uniforms and they live among us. They are not criminal. They are not cowards and they have very little regard for other people’s lives. How do you combat that?

 By not giving in, we can be fearful of the events but we do not fear those who wish us harm. If we are fearful of the event then we are aware of the situation. Emotion is normal and those who say they have no fear are either ill-informed or lying. As living creatures we fear death, but that makes us more careful or  allows us to cherish our time on Earth more. Those who train will train even harder and be thankful for everyday we have on Earth. Now we have a purpose for why we train Krav Maga. We do not rely others to protect us and we are the guardians of our safety and captains of our fate. We are not lambs but lions. We fear for our lives but fear will only drive us to move faster, scan wider and punch harder. We want to live, and we want to save lives. That is why we will triumph over terrorism by doing exactly what terrorists expect us not to do; to live under the sun with our chin high. 

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.

http://urbantacticskravmaga.com/2013/09/17/from-serbia-with-love-military-krav-maga-instructor-course-in-belgrade/

By: Borhan Jiang

Cross Training in Krav Maga

Posted: January 5, 2014 by urbantacticskravmaga in Krav Maga Philosophy
Tags: , , , , ,

cross-training

I want to start with a story about an instructor I once knew.

As is the case with many instructors starting out they rented space at a local fitness gym chain. During one of the introductory classes someone stood up and said krav maga is not as good as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Naturally the instructor wanted to prove himself. It was on!

As they engaged the opponent immediately jumped on his back and choked him out.

Furious he got up and said lets go again. This time the instructor engaged full force and broke the opponents nose.

The result; 2 bruised egos, a broken nose and the instructor being kicked out of the gym thus giving him no place to teach once again.

This instructor happened to be one of the best strikers I have ever seen on top of being accomplished Krav Maga practitioner and instructor however, his lack of knowledge about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and their style put him in a situation that had it been on the street he would not have had a second chance.

This brings the question, in a world filled with martial arts all claiming to be the best and the rise in popularity of MMA because of the UFC how does a Krav Maga Practitioner deal with situations like this?

The first thing to remember is that Krav Maga is a mentality and a strategy for survival as well as as simple and effective solutions to various problems.

The second answer to this problem is simple, train in other systems as it will only make you a stronger more effective Krav Maga Practitioner.

This does not mean however that your Krav Maga class or training should become an MMA or JiuJitsu class like so many schools who want to cater to the whims of the public. It does mean that you should supplement your training by taking other classes.

For example, ground game in Krav Maga usually means DO NOT go to the ground and if you do how can you get up within five seconds. This mentality has its place rightfully as once on the ground its much easier to get stabbed or have your head kicked in by an over zealous friend of your opponent.

With this being said, after attending numerous Krav Maga lessons and instructor courses I have always made the same observation. When it comes to the ground sections the majority of people look like fish out of water. The few people who are comfortable and fluid on the ground are always those like myself who also train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I have personally rolled with many Black Belt BJJ practitioners and let me tell if you cannot knock them out quickly and they get a hold of you and they do not give you a chance to access their eyes, throat or groin you may be in serious trouble.

The same could also be said if you ever find yourself in a situation against an accomplished striker. Their footwork and punching speed may simply be too much for you. This may or may not be the case but I have seen many Krav Maga gyms that spend far too much time on gun and knife disarms and not enough time developing their students striking ability.

As great military strategist and Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu said:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Stick to a Krav Maga Strategy and techniques but the better you are at other styles the easier it will be for you to recognize this in your opponent(s) and thus making survival easier.

If you take Krav Maga and want to punch harder and faster, take a boxing class.

If you take Krav Maga and want to kick harder and faster try a Muay thai or kickboxing class

If you take Krav Maga and do not want to not fear the ground take brazilian Jiu jitsu

The more you train and the more you know the more your survival is guaranteed.

Happy New Years and Happy training.

By: Jonathan Fader

this is krav maga

”My system is better than his system! No, mine is the best! He does not know what he is talking about. I wouldn’t be caught dead teaching it like that” Don’t even get me started on (Insert system or instructor).

Does any of this sound familiar? I think so.

It doesn’t matter where I have learned krav maga, I hear the same things from every different branch of krav maga that I have trained with.

While yes, there are certain well known krav maga fraudsters out there and countless numbers of belt factories that are more akin to cardio kick boxing than krav maga, the majority of the major krav maga organizations all have something good to offer.

When I say major,I am talking about the larger more established organizations: ISFKM, IKI, IKMA, IKMF, KMG, KMF, KMWW, KMA. Some which I have trained with, some which I have not.

But first let’s backtrack a little. Often, Bruce Lee is credited with being the father of mixed martial arts. I hate to tell you, but a Mr. Imi Lichtenfield pre -dated him by 20-30 years. Imi recognized that there were serious flaws in any one system and used his background in boxing and wrestling to begin formulating krav maga. When he started however, and probably for the first 20 years of development it wasn’t even called krav maga, it was just what the army used for close combat. It wasn’t until after he left the army and started the civilian branch IKMA that it really became known as krav maga.

Why are there so many discrepancies in the krav maga community? I suspect in order to understand this, you will need to understand Israeli politics. Currently there are 12 political parties with seats in the Israeli parliament as well as at least another 15 parties without seats.

Have you ever heard the one that says ”If you have 2 Jews there will be 4 opinions.” Maybe now you have some idea why there is so much infighting amongst the legitimate krav maga organizations.

So let’s think about this for a second. No ONE system has all the answers nor is it perfect, that is why krav maga is meant to be an evolving system rather than something rigid with preformed Katas that never changed.

Let’s take this one step further. What is krav maga? While literally, it means close combat, what it really means is self defense. This means that you will do whatever it takes to survive so that you can go home safely to your friends and family.

With that said, How many of you have actually seen Israeli special forces and regular forces train krav maga?

Not only have I seen it, but I have personally spent time at an Israeli Counter Terrorist base. The fact is that the majority of their training focuses on physical and mental toughness. Krav maga is not meant to be a technique based system. It is meant to develop people’s mental and physical capabilities so that they can fight and survive any situation that is thrown at them.

Techniques help an individual survive as they offer tools to solve specific problems. However, if a person goes to a “self defense” seminar or even a Krav Maga class and learns some techniques, Does this mean they will be at defending themselves?

The answer: Maybe, maybe not. I couldn’t tell you without assessing the individual’s capabilities.

Techniques do not win a fight but speed, aggression and will to act do.In the end it’s all about balance.

A krav maga organization or school that focuses only on techniques is not doing it’s students justice as there students most likely will not have the physical and mental strength to apply the techniques.

Of course, the other end of the spectrum is no good either. A school that only focuses on aggression without explaining a strategy and proper applications of technique will also leave its students doomed to fail.

It also does not help students when certain legitimate krav maga organizations routinely produce instructors after only a few months of learning krav maga. I can’t think of any other system where a person can teach after only a few months.

I suspect this belt/instructor factory model that many of the organizations have chosen is why many schools such as we are at Urban Tactics have chosen to be independent as we wish to maintain our standards without being questioned by a bloated bureaucracy that has lost its way.

There is a rule called the 10000 hour rule that was thought up by Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers. That is, to achieve true mastery of anything one must commit that many hours to learning the specific topic or skill.

Think about it, 10000 hours is a lot. That’s approximately 5.2 years of 12 months a year of 40 hours a week. How many of you actually work that much? Not many, I’d guess. So if you are practicing something 2-3 times a week for 3 or 4 months how can you possibly understand everything to be capable of teaching.

So what does this all mean? Most of the major krav maga organizations all have a solution to a problem yet they all say theirs is more effective than the other. In the end of the day, if the technique works in a real life application and the individuals survived to go home then it works regardless of your opinion.

This does not of course include the fraudsters out there who clearly are teaching things that not only are not krav maga but can easily be proven not to work.

So does it matter which major organization you side with? Perhaps, perhaps not. Each one of them has numerous stories of students who successfully applied their knowledge to defend themselves on the street. So is it the system or organization that matters, I think, not as much as each thinks it is.

While they all have something good to offer, I still think some are better than others. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which ones they are. What I think matters more, is not so much the organization but the instructor and the specific school.

If your instructor did three months of krav maga and then got his instructor’s certification and has no police or military experience, chances are they really do not understand what they are teaching. However, if your instructor has a wealth of knowledge in martial arts but no military experience and understands self defense then they may be a good instructor or may not be. Same goes for someone who has military experience but limited martial arts background they may or may not be a good instructor. I would say for any 10 instructors in any discipline maybe only 1 or 2 of them are truly great. I wish this was more but it seems to just be the way it is.

It is far better to find a truly great instructor no matter what the system than to go with an organization that is well established and be taught by a mediocre or poor instructor.

In krav maga at least, a good instructor should know that krav maga is more than just how to disarm a gun or a knife or how to throw a punch. They should know that krav maga is a mentality and way of thinking that is oriented to survival.

I forgot who originally said it but it’s a great quote. “You win 100% of fights you are not in.”

So at the end of the day, do the specific techniques matter as much as having the right kind of mentality? I don’t think so.

Agree or disagree it’s up to you. But I personally am tired of all the infighting. Our goal as krav maga instructors should be to insure that all of our students make it home safely at the end of the day.

By: Jonathan Fader