Posts Tagged ‘Krav Maga’

UTKM Krav Maga Stick FightingSticks or Stick like weapons have been around probably longer than anything else. Where once it was simply a matter of grabbing a branch or twig to keep an attacking animal at distance humans have now developed entire systems dedicated to stick fighting. The thing is, in most cases of self-defense it is unlikely you will actually be in a stick fight rather you will be unarmed and you are faced with an attack with a stick, cane, umbrella, baseball bat or another item that can be wielded like a stick and be considered a blunt force trauma weapon.

The main concern with a stick like a weapon is the impact area. If you get it in the abdomen it will certainly hurt and may do internal damage but will not necessarily stop you from defending your self. If you get hit in the head and if the stick has enough mass it can mean lights out for you. Block a stick with your forearm and you may find your self with a broken Ulna.

On the other hand, if you can get a hold of a stick, or stick-like weapon you may find your self with a great generally non-lethal option to defend your self. How lethal a stick weapon is will depend largely on its mass and what it is made of. Hit someone in the head with a rattan eskrima stick in the head and you will probably daze them. But take a metal crowbar with a hook on it and you could kill them. There is also a very big difference between dense and less dense materials. A truncheon made of ebony, for example, is going to hurt and do much more damage than one made of bamboo, though they would both be terrible to be hit with. The lethality of it would also depend on the intent of who is wielding it and how they wield it.

Either way for self-defense in most cases stick or stick-like objects are a far better choice in the 21st, mostly for legal reasons than a knife or a gun. Of course, if Knives or guns are legal where you live for self-defense then you better be ready to kill with them or else why even bother.

To Deal with Sticks you must understand a few things.

Committed vs Non-Committed as well as blender mode.

Although less important for sticks understanding Attack Types. can be very important is it may tell you how competent the attacker is with the stick.

Difficulty Levels of the Attack Pattern:

  • Committed is the easiest to deal with – Basic Techniques will work well, Running is the best option.
  • Non-Committed is more difficult – Basic techniques, combined with faster reaction time and good footwork will be needed. Running is the best option.
  • Blender Moder – Though far less problematic than a knife, blender mode with a stick usually means the individual is fairly proficient with it and will be harder to deal with. Remember, protect your head above all else.

Stick Like Weapons:

This is mentioned many times so what does it mean. It means anything that can be wielded like a Stick with one or two hands that does not have a blade on it. Items include but are not limited too:

  • Rattan Sticks
  • Short light tree branches
  • Bats
  • Buttons
  • Rolled up News Paper or Magazine
  • Umbrellas
  • Clubs

How each of these can be swung or handled will depend on its mass, Shape, and Size with some being easier to wield than others.

Disarming Sticks:

Unlike Guns or Knives, if you take away the advantage of a stick being medium to long-range and get in close how you choose to disarm it is a little more circumstantial. You can disarm it while the opponent is still standing or you can take them down in a controlled fashion and then take the stick. Really it’s up to your discretion, skill, and the situation.

How to deal with Stick Attacks:

Even though a stick is not as lethal as a gun or knife, it still can be. No matter what happens protect your head and other major hard parts of your body. Remember, soft on hard on soft. If you are going to take an impact or hit it is better on a softer part of your body, but remember, no one said it wouldn’t hurt. This is because if the stick is hard enough and hits with enough force on a hard part of your body it can easily break the bones in that area. If you get hit in the head, however, it can immediately incapacitate you rendering you unable to defend your self. Remember, when dealing with sticks considers the following.

  1. Run – This is always the best option if you are able to. You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Stick – If you are able to use a stick or stick-like weapon to counter. Though they may not always be available
  3. Use Weapons of opportunity – Use whatever you can around you to give you an advantage. Use sticks, bags, bricks, jackets, obstacles, and anything you can think of to increase your chances to survive.
  4. Use a Gun – We do not recommend this unless it is life and death. The reason in many places where it is legal to carry a firearm for self-defense this may be considered excessive force and may still mean jail time yourself so be careful and consider the following:
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  5. Use hand to hand Combatives – When all else fails, use your body as a weapon. This should always be the last resort when dealing with armed opponents.

Hand to Hand Combative Strategies

  1. Distance & Timing– Maintaining your Distance is key as the opponent with a stick can get you at a greater range, with greater impact than you can. You may have to jump back, sideways rapidly or bob and weave at speeds you didn’t think you were capable of. Thats why its better to just stay out of range until you are ready to strike. The timing is equally important especially if the opponent is hyper-aggressive and quick in nature. Mess this up and you are going to get hit. If you do though, close the distance rapidly without hesitation.
  2. Explode In – when you are ready to move you need to move fast, you need to move explosively and you need to move without hesitation all while protecting your head and face. A common method is the Universal shield. At UTKM we only advise this move when you are close and that is chambering the attack or if you are not sure what the weapon is exactly but it must be close or medium range only. Any other time or as we recommend in general the standard Krav Maga Dive defense. It keeps you aligned while allowing you the optimal position to explode forward all while protecting your head and neck.
  3. Control the weapon arm – once you are in, control one or both of the weapon arms. Now that you have taken away the advantage of the Stick Weapon, assert your dominance with Retzef while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting them.
  4. Standing Disarm – Either rapidly or after they are mildly subdued but still standing you may disarm the weapon using any reasonable method you know. If this fails you will need to apply more compliance techniques and move on. If you were able to take the stick you can now use it to defend your self.
  5. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  6. Controlled Disarm – Now they may be disarmed. Unlike a Knife you can focus more on controlling the assailant though controlling the weapon are will still be important. This is because it will be harder for them to do significant damage if they are not in a dominant position but do not forget they still have a weapon. The faster you can get it out of their hands the better. Do not forget you must still be aware of possible additional attackers and may need to rapidly disengage which is another reason to get the weapon. Once you disarm it, put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up.

How to Use a Stick Offensively

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to use a stick then this is not it. The UTKM Krav Maga approach is simple. For more in-depth stick fighting practice one of the many variations of the Philipino martial arts like Kali, Eskrima, Arnis.

For us it is simple. Target the head or hard surfaces like the clavicle, elbows and arms, ribs, or Knees. AstrixOur attack Pattens are simple, think an Astrix with six striking angles both forehand and back with a Jab or thrust. Just like any other style a flick of the wrist mixed with good footwork turns this into a formidable weapon indeed. It should be reminded once again though that while a stick-like weapon is preferred for general self-defense especially in the west due to their less-lethal nature they can of course still be lethal if you know how to use them and have the will to make them so. 

 

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This week’s Krav Maga curriculum: Jan 13th – 19th

Posted: January 13, 2020 by urbantacticskravmaga in Weekly Curriculum
Tags: ,

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UTKM Krav Maga Gun Disarms.jpgThe gun is the tool that changed the world. Where once only the wealthy and elite had the time to train for hand to hand combat while the rest were to busy just trying to survive when the firearm arrived it made it so that the everyman could more reasonably defend themselves. It also changed how we fight wars, as no longer could war be fought on the bravery of the full-on cavalry charge. It really changed the world and it many ways slowly led to the democracy we have today, as we consider them the great social equalizer.

From a fundamental self-defense perspective though, what is a firearm? It is a straight line attack that offers an attack range greater than that of our bodies’ normal capabilities.

From a technical standpoint disarming guns is easier than dealing with knives. However, it is rarely as easy as you think. What if the opponent resists or you miss the initial disarm. When things go wrong, which we should assume they should, you will need to revert to your fundamental hand to hand combat skills while gaining control of the weapon in question. This, despite what many Krav Maga organizations imply, makes firearms disarms more advanced in nature and should not be for beginners.

Disarming Guns:

You must remember that Guns are a long-range weapon, and thus, you will only be able to disarm them if the attacker has been foolish enough to get within arms reach and has failed to control you in a manner that would prevent you from moving to disarm. This would include both Pistols and Rifles.

Disarming rifles is actually far easier than disarming pistols due to the size difference. Pistols are meant for shorter range engagements than rifles which makes them more dangerous in the closer ranges we need to be to disarm them.

Disarming a gun unlike knives should always be done from the standing position and takedown attempts are strongly not advised as you may lose muzzle control in the process.

How to deal with Gun Attacks:

No matter the type of the gun the main thing to consider is your range from the attacker and what tools you have in your proverbial toolbox. Other things to consider are if the attacker is an active shooter or a static threat.

Active Shooter

  1. Run and find Cover – This is always the best option if you are able to and are unarmed. If they have a You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Gun and SHOOT BACK! – In Israel, this is a real knife defense. However, you need to ask your self the following.
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  3. Charge them – This does not mean charge them head-on, but this could be a possibility if they are a terrible shot particularly with a handgun. If they have a rifle then charging head-on is not advisable. BUT, the faster the threat is taken down the faster everyone is safe. If more than one person come from different angles and charge and jump on the attacker it is the fastest way to stop the threat. Just know, there is no guarantee you will not be hurt thus this is not a decision to take lightly. Fundamentally, you must overwhelm them by Causing pain, Off Balancing and disrupting all while getting control of the weapon.

Another thing to consider is other people. There is a belief in gun disarms that you must never point the gun at anyone but the attacker. While this is certainly preferably trying too hard not to point it at other people during the attempt may result in hesitation and failure. So long as you do not get shot you can stop the threat which is the main goal. If someone is an active shooter then their goal is to shoot as many people as possible. By going for them and the gun you will 100% reduce the overall casualties and if you think otherwise you may not understand the mentality of such people. If you do disarm a gun from an active attacker and in the process, someone else gets shot, just know it is NOT your fault and you did the right thing.

Static Threat: Disarming a Gun

If you are able to get close enough to actually get a hold of the gun or weapon in question then you are in luck, your attacker has failed to take advantage of their strategic advantage of range.

These scenarios may also be the time you regret not taking acting classes. This is because a person with a gun who is close may not be looking to actually shoot you, but they may also. You may need to act in a manner that allows you to get in range. Some times you have to feign weakness or play along with what they want.

With that being said, the ideology that “Just do what they want”, is always the correct decision is incorrect. It MAY be the correct decision, but it also may mean your death. Only you will know. Sometimes they may leave after you do what they want, sometimes they might just kill you because it’s easier not to have witnessed or sometimes they just might panic and shoot you accidentally. This is why in Krav Maga we must stop the threat before it becomes worse.

It is also important to remember the Gun as a weapon operates on the straight line which means you need to get off the centerline either by re-directing the gun or getting yourself off the centerline or both. One thing to remember is that fine motor movement is not preferred in Krav Maga, yet when it comes to guns you may need to grab the gun. It is important then to remember, you must first push it off the centerline and then grab it. At speed, it looks like one step but it must always be two distinct steps.

Regardless, at all points, you MUST control the Muzzle direction as it is the dangerous part.

  1. Get Off the Center Line by Re-Directing the gun– The first goal is to get off the center line while immediately controlling the weapon. If it is a modern pistol then and it is appropriate based on the range you should have no problem re-directing then grabbing the pistol as you will be grabbing the slide, not the barrel. If it is a revolver or certain long guns, then grabbing the barrel is strongly NOT advised in which case you may consider the next step as your first step. Many disarm, especially with rifles teach grabbing the barrel first. However, this is a deeply flawed strategy especially with a rifle, as grabbing the barrel will not stop the gun from functioning and even if you are off the centerline even after one shot it will be extremely hot which may cause you to let go prematurely. If you cannot safely get a part of the gun that is plastic, composite or wood then move to the next step.
  2. Get Off the Center Line by Re-Directing the Weapon Arm – If you are unable to get the gun in your first move, then you must re-direct the weapon arm. It is also even more important especially if it is a pistol then you get your head and body off the centerline as well. The reason’s this needs to happen is the gun its self is too close to safely re-direct and grab, or you missed the gun and had to go for the arm.
  3. Control the Weapon Arm(s) – Once you are safely off the centerline you must firmly control the weapon arm. While your goal is to disarm the gun as fast as possible against a strong or aggressive person this can be difficult thus it is imperative that you control the weapon arm so that you remain off the centerline.
  4. Disarm the Gun– This must be done as fast as possible as the quicker it is done the quicker the threat is reduced. The individual may still be a threat even without the gun but at least it is out of their hands. There are only a few positions you will end up in with either pistols or long guns so remember what they are so that no matter what happens in a disarm attempt you can identify the position and do the correct disarm. Either way, Control the Muzzle while you are doing it preferably pointed at the attacker when possible.
  5. Create Space and Assess – Once you have the weapon you must immediately create space. Remember the advantage of the gun is a range, if you stay close you could also be disarmed. Disarming a person does not stop them as a threat so you must be ready to deal with them appropriately.  This step can get a little complicated depending on your skillset and the scenario but here are a few:
    1. Back away with your nonshooting hand up in a defensive position, with the gun down. This is best for civilians. Remember, if you disarm the gun and then immediately point it at the attacker and then the police show up who do you think will be the problem? Prior to this keep the space and be verbally dominant.
      1. A. In a situation where you have disarmed the gun but didn’t create sufficient space, use the gun as a blunt force weapon. Metal, composite and wood hurt far more than a fist. This must be a step as the assumption you can always use the gun as intended is not always true. It may not be loaded, or even functioning thus this becomes a great option to do massive damage to the attacker.
    2. Create space and tap, rack and be prepared to use the gun. This is the standard advice often given. If the gun was loaded or had ammunition in it and is functioning this could be the answer. Tapping and “Racking” or chambering a round may act as a deterrent to the attacker. However, if they attempt to call your bluff then you must be prepared to use this option. If you are not, then you better be prepared to move back fast as you attempt to maintain space.
    3. If you have your own firearm after you disarm and create space. Draw your own firearm. It is preferable to use your own as you know what state it is in at all times (or should). This option can be slow especially if there is not a chambered round. It also means you might also only be shooting from one hand which will decrease your accuracy.

Regardless of which option you need to do it requires good assessment. This is a second by second decision-making process based on your skill, the attacker, the environment and many other factors. The correct decision is very relative and can be difficult to make. The one thing to remember is DO NOT hesitate. Make a decision fast, and hope your training if you have any kicks in.

These many reasons are why at UTKM we do not consider anything firearms related as beginner material and are limited to advanced students.

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Krav Maga 360 Knife Defense from BelowOften people think the most problematic weapon to deal with is the gun, yet ask most experts and they would say the knife is far worse. Knives are readily available, are easy to create from a variety of things and can be an effective and fatal tool in the hands of anyone.

On average a mass knife attack will see hight casualties than other types as they are silent and require little skill. When a gunshot goes off and there are screams people know to run. But when screams are heard and no one knows what to do, there is often a delayed sense of panic and by then it may be too late.

To deal with knives you must first understand Attack Patterns:

Committed vs Non-Committed as well as blender mode.

After this, the basic knife principles are based on the Attack Type. To Survive an attack know the following

Difficulty Levels of the Attack Pattern:

  • Committed is the easiest to deal with – Basic Techniques will work well, Running is the best option.
  • Non-Committed is more difficult – Basic techniques, combined with faster reaction time and good footwork will be needed. Running is the best option.
  • Blender Moder – Novice and Advance techniques may work if you are committed without hesitation. Running is still the best option.

Disarming Knives:

While many styles of Krav Maga and other Martial Arts will teach a knife to disarm while both parties are standing, UTKM does not teach this nor endorse this approach. A person with a knife may be faster, stronger or more aggressive and attempting to control at the wrist will preventing their advances and disarming the knife is more about luck.

We only teach and practice disarms when the attacker has been taken to the ground and reasonably been controlled. This is because they have now lost a vast majority of their explosive energy. It also makes it easier to run without them catching up as well as allows for control and arrest techniques all while keeping others safe.

How to deal with Knife Attacks:

No matter the attack pattern or type dealing with knives always starts with these options, If they are not an option in this order then you must use your hand to hand combat skills.

  1. Run – This is always the best option if you are able to. You may not be able to though or you may need to protect others
  2. Use a Gun – In Israel this is real knife defense. However, you need to ask your self the following.
    1. Is it legal where you are to have a gun on you for Self Defense
    2. Do you have a Legal gun on you?
    3. Do you have the required skills to operate the gun under duress
  3. Use Weapons of opportunity – Use whatever you can around you to give you an advantage. Use sticks, bags, bricks, jackets, obstacles, and anything you can think of to increase your chances to survive.

Attack Type: Straight Line

  1. Re-Direct the Attack – It is preferred that you re-direct so that you end up in Reference point 2 (Dead Side), but you can also redirect to reference point 1 (Live Side), but you must be quicker and add in an extra attack.
  2. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  3. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  4. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  5. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

Attack Type: Circular

  1. Block the attack – Block the Attack with good technique and structure (360). Ensuring that you are exploding in if it is high, and getting your lower parts out of the way if it is low.
  2. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  3. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  4. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  5. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

Attack Pattern: Blender Mode

At any point the attack type and pattern can switch to the hacking, slashing and stabbing that is blender mode. It also means you may have lost control. If the first 3 options have failed you have limited options as the attacker can switch the attack angle and speed to rapidly to try to control or stop the attack.

  1. Maintain your distance – You must manage the distance between you and the attacker, you often need more space than you think especially against an aggressive attacker.
  2. Cause Pain, Offbalance, Disrupt – You must do something to cause a brief delay in their attack for this is your chance. The UTKM preferred method is a low line side kick, but anything that gives you a chance without serious harm is acceptable.
  3. Explode in with hands up – You must decide to go and when you do you need to move without hesitation. It may look ugly but so long as you protected your vitals and got to the next step you did well.
  4. Control the weapon arm – Control the arm holding the knife while Causing Pain, Off Balancing and Disrupting your attacker.
  5. Disengage – Safety and forcefully push your opponents away ensuring it is not easy for them to slash back. Keep your hands up, create space and run.
  6. Takedown and Control – If you are unable to disengage due to the attacker, the environment or your Job then you must take them down. This must be done in a manner in which you maintain control of the weapon arm and take them to the ground while you are still on your feet and have put them into a control position.
  7. Disarm – Only now they may be disarmed. No matter what happens on the ground your focus is to get control of their weapon arm and get the weapon away from them. However, you must still be aware of possible additional attackers. Put the weapon somewhere on your persons that is safe. While throwing it away is an option, it may allow others to pick it up. It should also be remembered that the knife is evidence and should be easy to find after the fact.

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Cliche New Years Resolutions

These are all good goals, But are they objectively achievable and enjoyable in your life. If you really want them to be, they can be.

Another year has passed and its time for another cliche post about the new years and what to do. Cliches are annoying because they just remind us of things we know but often refuse to accept. Sometimes boring is boring because it works and though we love being creative as it makes us feel special we really should just stick to the cliche because then it would not only be easier but we might actually see more results.

As it is the end of the Christmas week, and moving into the new years its time for those cliche new years resolutions. So in the Cliche, Christmas and New Year spirit lets take a look at some cliches to help guide for the New Year.

The first cliche is to remind you of one of the UTKM Core Principles,

“We never stop learning and growing”

this means no matter what your goals, dreams or wishes for the new year are so long as you learn something and get value from the experience it was well worth it. So Empty your cup and start your journey.

It seems that the path to success is different for everyone. Yet one of the most consistent pieces of advice is to learn from your failures because it will only make you better. Refuse to learn and you might find things rarely go the way you want. And choosing not to do, for fear of failure is just as bad. So what are you waiting for? Have you made your new year’s resolution yet? Made your plans for life changes? Are you ready for personal growth?

If that wasn’t full of cliches hear is another one, though it is a valuable one so remember it well.

“Make realistic achievable and measurable goals”

Its a fairly straight forward one. If you make a new year’s resolution or set new goals and you rarely complete them its probably because they are unrealistic. A surefire way to fail is to set a goal that you cannot actually achieve. Either because it’s more than you can handle. You didn’t think it through completely or you were not being objectively realistic.

For example, if you are 200lbs overweight and you say you are going to lose it in 3 months then you have not just set an unreasonable goal but also an unhealthy one. A more realistic one might be to lose 100lbs per year for the next two years. A plan of action would include hiring a nutritionist and personal trainer to help you on your path. Or if the money is not there then the time to do the research on the internet is an alternative option. Though as we are social creatures it is often very important to know that sometimes we need that extra push from some external supportive source.

Easy so far? I hope so. Heres the last one,

“Make it enjoyable and make it a lifestyle”

If you hate every moment of your New Year’s transformation then it is not likely you will stick to it. If you don’t stick to it you will probably just make the same goal as next year. In relation to the previous point part of making something, a realistic goal is to ensure you can do it. Part of that is not torturing yourself over it.

For example if you know sugar is bad for you but you’ve had it most of your life, going cold turkey might be a miserable path to failure. Instead, curb your sweet tooth cravings with healthier alternatives like honey or maple syrup. This way you can still get your cravings but with a better alternative. Eventually, as you cut back your sugar intake you might find you can go days or even weeks without it.

My New Years Plans

So what am I planning for the new years? Nothing crazy or unrealistic. I Will be going at the end of April to some fairly intense training. So with the encouragement of my significant other, I will be doing an elimination diet with them to reset my system. I will also be getting back into a slightly more rigorous training regiment in order to prep for the training in April.

The goal is simply to get healthier and slightly back in shape so I can peak for the actual training without dying. So I have a realistic timeline to stick too, about 3 months.

The diet its self is meant as a re-set diet to curb any inflammation in my body. Starting with 2 weeks of a nordic Inspired diet, mostly fish and greens. Then 2 weeks, Keto and the 1-month paleo. Starting with the most restrictive diet and then moving towards the least restrictive. Often the hardest part of such diets is the social aspects. As I am doing it with my partner we can support each other and enjoy our meals together. This allows me to maintain the social aspect of eating without the strain of making two sets of food. It also helps us keep each other in check. The original plan we looked into is actually much longer but as we want it to stay enjoyable we figure the 2 months leading up to the training will be much more bearable.

The other thing with reset diets is despite the marking fads they are rarely meant to be long term. The last time I did a strict diet, was only about a month but I saw wonders as it completely reset my metabolism and has since then been fairly easy for me to control my weight and physique without to much work.

The other thing that makes this a reasonable goal is that it fits into my lifestyle already. It’s just a matter of being a bit more disciplined than normal. I usually work out or do martial arts every week, and I generally eat fairly well that combined with the timeline will make this a good experience indeed.

So thats my plan for the new years? What cliche resolution will you be making? Just remember, whatever it is. Learn from it, Make it objectively realistic and something that you will enjoy.

Happy Holidays and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

 

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Find your inner athlete, become the Lion over time what was impossible will be possible with consistency and dedication. Your inner Athlete Awaits.

When I was growing up, I was not much of an athlete. I was put in pre-hockey, soccer, baseball and probably more than I cannot even remember. What I do remember, is I was never picked first and was always on the worst teams. It did not inspire me much to try harder or put in the effort. Eventually, I stopped doing anything athletic and started putting on a bit more weight than I should have as a kid in elementary (grade) school.

At some point between grade 8 or 9, I was getting tired of being picked on. I on my own, cut out most sugar from my diet and started hitting the gym. I lost a lot of weight and got in better shape than I was before. I even when I had the option in Grade 10 opted to take the fitness-based gym class rather than the regular one. Despite this, however, I was far from the athletic prowess of the naturally talented athletes in my high school.

Despite this and despite not coming from an overly athletic home I was always drawn to some level of physical activity. Pre-Army (IDF), I trained a lot to get ready. As things didn’t go the way I had hoped I ended up in the regular Infantry and lost much of my motivation to stay in more shape than I should have been often choosing sleep over physical activity when free time was available.

Once again I watched as the naturally physically gifted soldiers made the rigorous training look easy from a physical perspective while I struggled. I did, however, learn as a consequence that if you are not physically as capable and you are pushed to your limits more often you may find yourself developing a mental strength you never thought you had. This strength that only the best of the naturally talented individuals will also develop while most of them did not because it was never really that hard for them anyways.

Later out of the army, I finally really started my Martial arts Journey. While I had trained Krav Maga prior to the army, and a little in the army it was after when I started to train more seriously as well as adding BJJ and a variety of other styles into my training.

Again, I was never an athlete capable of keeping pace with the best. But I enjoyed it and kept training. While I did start teaching Krav Maga this was not due to my athletic prowess or skill but rather my ability to teach its self and my understanding of Krav Maga and a more modern holistic approach.

Fast forward to today. With 11 years of Krav Maga training, 7 years of teaching and 7 years of BJJ (Almost 8). I find my self being told by individuals who are just starting out how impressive I am athletically.

That voice in my head always tells me that no I am not an athlete as to me if you are not training full time and doing it professionally than I am not an athlete. Yet to the new people who I can often run circles around in their eyes they see an athlete.

It is now only in this past year that I am starting to consider my self an athlete (A casual one, but still). While Life has not gone the way I would have liked where I can focus all my efforts on training I in many cases am finally starting to possess the skills and ability that many consider athletic.

This past year for a few months I was fortunate to be able to train with individuals who I would consider at the higher levels of skill and in many cases during training, I was able to keep up or and excel past what they were doing. This was the first twinkle I had internally that maybe I might just be an athlete.

In BJJ, I find my self outpacing and often beating people who I used to struggle against and whereas I used to have trouble against younger, larger athletic white belts I now can quite handly beat, much to theirs and my own amazement.

While I am still no genetically gifted individual, I am starting to see that yes, I am finally finding my inner athlete.

The thing is it is no secret, and you too can do it. It simply takes time and consistency.

It’s not so much that I am more athletic than I ever was it is simply a matter of my body has learned how to operate more efficiently. My mind has a firm grasp on the skills that I have learned enough that I can finally adapt and modify as I need, rather than waiting for the answers to be given. and that the hours are really started to add up.

The 10,000-hour rule is something I have often talked about and it is quite a lot of time to put into a specific subject. The thing is that it is for mastery. If on any given thing you only put in 3000 hours you will still be far better than someone who has put in only a few hours.

I have also talked about consistency in training. It is simply a matter of never letting to much time go in between training sessions. While many of us would love to train full time, the reality is for must of us making a good enough living off of it is very difficult and in some cases unrealistic. BUT!, those hours do add up and if you never quit and always did some training one day you may realize you have developed your own inner athlete.

So you weren’t born a natural athlete?

That’s ok. Many coaches would prefer to have someone that is mediocre but puts in the time than have a natural athlete that is lazy. Because over time its the person with more practice that usually comes out on top.

If it takes a year, 5 years or 10 years. If you train enough, even if only once a week you too may find your self looking in the mirror and saying. “Hmm, I guess I am an athlete”

Find your inner athlete, keep training, have fun and you too will become that thing you always wanted to be.

And remember, at UTKM, our motto is Turning Lambs into Lions, so if you stick too it long enough you may find a Lion inside.

By: Jonathan Fader (UTKM Lead Instructor)

 

This week’s Krav Maga curriculum: Dec 16th-22nd

Posted: December 16, 2019 by urbantacticskravmaga in Weekly Curriculum
Tags: ,

20191216

Canadian Guns.jpgIt no secret that I am pro firearm ownership. I am also pro-science. No I am not some crazy gun-toting lunatic or even someone who hits the range every weekend to enjoy legal shooting practices. I support gun rights as to me they are the great equalizer. Also as there are now in the world so many guns, as well as the technology to have guns I believe that any law-abiding citizen should be able to access them so long as they are reasonably trained in their safe use and are not mentally unstable.

As a self-defense instructor, I understand that there are many situations where those who use guns in an illegal or violent manner care little for those who do the opposite. Thus I believe it’s fair that law-abiding citizens be able to use and understand them especially in they even they are required for self-defense.

In Canada, while there are some very specific cases where a gun can legally be used in self-defense I generally tell people they are not allowed to be used in self-defense as the answer as to when they can is very complicated, very legal and very subjective. That does not mean, however, someone cannot try to use one against you in which case if you get a hold of it you better know how to safely use it lest you end up injuring your self. Therefore, in order to prepare for those who would ignore the law, I think it is very reasonable for those who respect the law to have the opportunity to use and train with firearms for the purpose of at least knowledge. I also hunt so there is also that.

Yet there are many out there, who believe that no one should have guns and that the exclusive right to such tools and the right to use of force should only be those in the government. This, by the way, sounds very close to behaviors one might see in a country with a dictator. There is a reason that in America, for example, they have the right, to have guns. It was understood that governments or at that time kings, often overreach their power and do things because of the “because I said so” rule.

People often seem to think this isn’t the case anymore yet individual rights and freedoms have slowly been eroding in western countries in the last 30 years and not enough people seem to care.

In Canada, we once again have a government hell-bent on restricting and limiting gun access and use. This despite having fairly strict and controlling rules in place already. Recently the current Minister of public safety Bill Blair, said that they may be using an OIC do change the gun laws. This if you do not know what it is, means they basically are pulling the “because we say so” rule, which is usually reserved for very specific matters like serious public unrest for example. This allows them to bypass any democratic processes that would normally be required to make such changes.

To me, this very much seems like the actions of a government that doesn’t care what most of the people or experts want. This is very political as it is a response to the unchecked gang violence in Canadas largest cities Toronto, and Montreal. Which also happens to be strategic voting blocks for federal elections. This seems to be the policy come hell or high water that the current government, as well as past governments under the Liberal brand, seem to want to push. This despite the fact that RCMP and other police chiefs, including Toronto, as well as the police unions have said that banning guns or restricting things further will not hamper an increase in gun violence, usually related to gangs.

So why, despite what the experts say, and despite what the data says do people in such a position of power insist on making such changes? Probably because the cause of the problem is complicated and hard to deal with. But changing the laws at the stroke of a pen is easy and buys votes in areas who might be wavering in strategic areas.

So what is the problem? It’s not guns its self but rather those who would use them illegally. Here is a short documentary from the CBC, highlighting gang violence and guns.

(For those of you reading outside of Canada, it should be noted that the CBC is the government-funded broadcaster. The current government recently re enstated them a large budget that was cut by the previous government. They are generally considered biased leaning in support of the Canadain Liberal party and are generally disliked by those who support full gun rights in Canada. However, they still are more objective in their news that most American news outlets. They have most of the sources I have posted regarding the general lack of support for a gun ban. This suggests that if even they present the case a gun ban is not really the solution then perhaps it might be true.)

Why people choose to join gangs is a complicated one, just like the factors determining homicide rates as loosely discussed in my last blog post. It is no one answer fixes all but usually a combination. Regardless, such people, often obtain guns illegally as in Canada at least if they are violent criminals or have a history of violence it is not likely they will be able to obtain a Canadian Firearms License or (PAL). So how do they get them? It’s easy, they are smuggled in from elsewhere, usually across the border. But don’t take my word for it, again here is a short video from the CBC discussing this problem.

Essentially, it is black market illegal guns responsible for the majority of homicides related to gang violence. As a certified PAL instructor I also know, that of deaths related to guns in Canada at least at any given point 70-80% of gun-related deaths are unfortunately actually suicide. 15-20% are classified as a ‘Misuse of a firearm’, which includes homicide, and the rest are usually accidents. Of these, most of the ones that are what we we consider violent homicides are again with illegally obtained firearms.

This means, that once again be careful of the stats. If stats are presented to you saying 15-20% of gun deaths are with guns, its a lot scarier than saying, yes but most of them that were violent used illegal guns…

This means that definitely in Canada, and I would make the argument also for the US, that guns themselves are not inherently the problem. But rather a failure to manage our societies to control gang violence, failure of governments and their respective agencies from curbing the illegal stream of illegal guns, or other illegal goods across the borders.

But what government in their right might would ever take responsibility for the issues? Likely not as then they would be hard press for re-election.

The Data and the experts who are objective all know guns are not the real problem. Using fear-mongering and misinformation to ban guns just to make it look like you did something is just wrong no matter which side of the political aisle you are on.

(I would like to point out that anti-gun politics sounds very similar to anti-climate change deniers, both groups ignore the data and the collective expertise on the subject matter. This is also another complicated topic which I could write about but I feel is maybe not the best topic for this blog.)

So once again, I say be objective, be honest, and leave the guns alone. At the very least learn your current gun laws (Ask an expert, like me) before you spout your opinion. And if you are in government and you dont know your own un laws before your make all sorts of falls claims like our current Prime Minister has done multiple times I say shame on you.

So please, be objective, stop trying to ban guns just because you do not understand them, or the actual issues that cause the violence in the first place.