Posts Tagged ‘military’

This video has been circling my Facebook feed for a while. There is much wrong with this scenario and I would like to discuss it, but first, watch and contemplate.

Here are a few things that come to mind:

  1. Never draw a weapon you are not willing to use –

    The police officer had already given the man numerous warnings. The man had already attempted to physically steal something from someone indicating he may be violent. When he drew his taser he gave several warnings and was almost in arms reach. Yet he hesitated. Why he did so I can only guess but the reality is from the moment you draw any weapon lethal or not you must do so knowing that you may have to use it in a matter of seconds. I always teach that hesitation can mean death with it comes to life or death situations. This perhaps is one of the reasons I dislike indecision. In Canada when it comes to firearms safety there is a rule that you should never point a gun at something you are not willing to shoot and the same goes in this case. The officer gave far too many warning for my liking and got far too close to a man who had his hands in his pockets and a history. Thus if you aren’t willing to use the weapon no matter its lethality then drawing it will only make things worse.

  2. Always assume they have a weapon –

    This is one of the basic concepts I teach. Along with assuming they have friends. In this case, a police officer should assume this 100% especially when they refuse to take their hands out of the pocket after so many warnings. Even if it had been a knife the individual would still have been close enough to launch forward with it, remember the 21-foot rule. In failing to make the decision that this individual had a weapon it could have delayed the response of the officer who could have clearly shot the taser in time to at least stun the attacker prior to pulling the trigger (though this would not be a guarantee.)

  3. The proximity is concerning –

    The officer got very close. Drawing the taser means he could have shot from a farther distance, again I bring up the knife scenario. Being this close, however, and with a free hand (not on the taser. The officer could have if he knew how used his free hand to re-direct the firearm or the assailant’s arm just long enough to avoid a shot and deploy his own weapon. It is, however, quite common for police officers to be lacking such skills. Which is especially dangerous the closer to someone you are as with this case. Had he been farther away also it is possibly more shots would have missed due to the fact pistols are hard to shoot and the nature in which the assailant was holding the pistol.

  4. Luck had every thing to do with survival –

    Luck had every thing to do with survival – This officer clearly misread this situation and was extremely lucky. As mentioned above pistols are difficult to be accurate with out training but at point-blank range which this was can be deadly. THe officer is lucky that he turned in time to avoid any fatal shots. Sometimes when you make the wrong decision, or even if you make the right one the difference is only ever luck and nothing more. Never forget this.

 

If you have more videos you would like me to analyze or comment on sent the links to info@urbantacticscanada.com

 

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Locked ‘n’ loaded in Tel Aviv

Posted: September 27, 2016 by urbantacticskravmaga in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

 

I have traveled around the world, encountered and observed many places, and from my experience, there is no country like Israel. Once, I was sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv’s central bus station on a Sunday morning, and looking out I can see uniform-clad young men and women carrying weapons returning to their bases. Tourists watch in awe at the sheer amount of weapons being carried on the streets. Residents pass by without even seeing it.

It is a normal part of their lives.

Taking a closer look, I see that not every weapon is the same, nor are their owners. Each weapon is different. Some have carrying handles, some have flashlights, some are old, some are new, some are made out of plastic and some are made out of metal. Each soldier is also different. Their colorful unit shoulder tags, strings and berets tell people which unit they belong to and what kind of specialty they possess. Some soldiers wear their uniform like pajamas and others iron their shirt straight and tight.

A soldier’s personality is shown through his or her rifle

Throughout history, soldiers everywhere have put effort into decorating their swords, bows, knives and other weapons. It is not just for the sake of art, but to make a statement and show one’s character. However, none of these warriors of the past could have imagined that in today’s Israel, weapons would be part of the youth culture. In Israel, weapons take the place of the backpacks and sneakers worn in North America.

Soldiers with an antique model belong to either an armor or artillery unit, but in battle they use tanks or cannons, not their rifles. They are saying, “I only carry this rifle around because I have to, I do not think I will have to use this old piece of junk.” Soldiers with newer models are saying, “I am a first-line combat soldier and this is my pride and joy. I am cool because my rifle is the newest.” Additional gadgets, such as sights or an extra tactical foregrip, become a statement telling everyone, “Look! I am different from rest of you guys.”

It’s just like taking your phone with you

These young troops don’t just carry their weapons to and from the bases. They also have it on them while performing their ordinary daily routines: shopping, walking on the street, sitting down for lunch, or even kissing loved ones. I once saw a young soldier at a cafe using a laptop – she held her rifle between her legs to protect it, while drinking coffee and surfing the internet. Another intriguing sight was a young male soldier wearing a sleeveless tee, sandals, a backpack, and his rifle. The whole picture was an oxymoron. Is he relaxing? Or is he getting ready to fight? His outfit tells me he could be merely taking a stroll, heading to the beach, or waiting for a train, but his loaded weapon tells me otherwise.

In a country like Israel, carrying a weapon is a statement of youth. Rifles are often a statement of toughness and machismo, but in a place where being dauntless and courageous is everything, the warrior ethos is unisexual. Even before the creation of this nation, both men and women fought side-by-side here, protecting their homeland.

Once, I asked a young Israeli woman who had her rifle slung across one shoulder and her purse on the other, what was inside her purse. She said, “You know, the usual girl stuff: make-up, lipstick, tissues, and my extra M16 magazine.” In that moment, I realized that the Israeli saying was true, “If you are going to break a girl’s heart, make sure to do it when she is not carrying her rifle.”

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via GIPHY

Gun culture is a normal part of growing up in Israel

Seeing these young soldiers with their duffle bags, rucksacks and weapons, I was violently awakened from the peaceful illusion of Tel Aviv. This country is at war. After a few days of comfort in their homes, these youth – barely old enough to buy a beer in Canada – are going back to their posts, checkpoints, tank turrets, jeeps, or the streets of Gaza. In contrast, most Canadian youth know nothing about self-sacrifice and giving some of their best years to serving their nation.

I know for sure that these young Israeli soldiers would prefer not to spend those three years of service in khaki uniforms, receiving less than $40 a month, and dealing with dangerous terrorists or boring paper work. They would rather use that time to do whatever they want, like travelling, working, or studying as young Canadians do. However, despite the hardship and dangers, every Israeli I have encountered tells me that he or she would do it again for their country.

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

Never Again

Krav Maga is a system meant for individuals to know that they can walk safely because they know how to defend themselves. When talking about why Krav Maga was created, Imi Lichtenfeld once said, “so one may walk in peace.”

Whether you are a Jew, Christian, Muslim, American, Israeli, Serbian or a person from any other religion or culture practicing Krav Maga, you must never forget the reason why Krav Maga was created. Imi originally began to develop the system prior to WWII to help himself, his friends and other Jews find a way to fight Nazi thugs and Anti-Semitic aggressors. Why? Because unfortunately for Jews, we have always faced great hatred and animosity no matter what we do.

It is July 2014 and you would pretty much have to be living under a rock to not be aware of Operation Protective Edge by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Or, in layman’s terms, the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Current Conflict

I say very specifically Israel vs. Hamas, because this time it is NOT Israel vs. the Palestinians; if this was true, there would also be massive military operations in the West Bank and not just Gaza. In order to understand the difference, let’s look at a map.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE-WEB-MAP

 

As you can see, the West Bank, (called that because it is on the west bank of the Jordan River) and Gaza are completely separated by land. Internationally speaking, they are usually recognized as the same entity, but now unfortunately they are not. What is the difference?

First, we must discuss a little history in this regard. In 2000 a conflict known as the second Intifada (1) began. This was a period of extreme violence and terrorism in Israel which led to two things.

Firstly, Israel decided to completely and unilaterally move out of the Gaza strip (2). Prior to 2005 the IDF did in fact, have a presence in both Gaza and the West Bank. However, all military, Israeli and Jewish Civilians were removed during the same year. Yes, that’s right. Israel physically removed Jews from the Gaza strip in order to hand it all back to the Palestinians. Secondly, Israel began to build a security barrier that now runs along the borders of the West Bank only about 4% is an actual wall, the rest is simply a fence (3) . This fence actually reduced, theft and terrorism by as much as 90%, though you will rarely hear that part in the media.

After this occurred, a power struggle arose between two factions in the Palestinian authority, those being Hamas and Fatah. This escalated into a semi-civil war between the two parties, with the result that Hamas completely took over the Gaza strip and, as such, was pushed out of the West Bank by Fatah. (4)

What is the single biggest difference between these groups? Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization (5)(6)whose sole purpose is to destroy Israel and not the protection or governance of its people.

Hamas quickly realized it was now isolated in the Gaza strip with no means to easily leave, or to commit acts of terror in Israel. In order to perpetrate new terrorists acts in Israel it needed to develop a new strategy. I will call it “The Missile Strategy”.  Hamas periodically fires rockets, and now missiles, into Israel which bypasses the security walls (7). These rockets are made in Gaza or supplied by other countries like Iran.

This recent conflict started like the last few years with Hamas launching missiles indiscriminately into Israel. This time, the difference is that Israel has the Iron Dome, a system which intercepts and destroys perhaps 80% of them while they are still in the air. However, it is not a perfect system and thus some still get through. If Israel did not have the Iron Dome the damage incurred would be catastrophic.

On July 17th, Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge”, which was a ground offensive whose mission was to dismantle Hamas’ terror network of tunnels and missile launch sites, which had been proven to be located in schools, hospitals and civilian households.

The Shameful Global behavior

As usual, the media and the global community are obsessed with this conflict. Let us not forget that there is practically a civil war in the Ukraine that has resulted in the death of 300+ individuals travelling on a civilian air carrier that was tragically shot down. But to the world, that conflict, or any other conflict is not at all important any more, just the one in the Middle East. This obsession with Israel is Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic, and it only demonstrates the fact that history tends to repeat itself.

The fact is, Israel is fighting a terrorist organization (Hamas) that is not only attacking Israeli civilians but it is also oppressing its own people, using them as human shields (See video below) and as cannon fodder in order to achieve their goals. Israel is acting defensively because it is their right to do so, and freeing Gaza from the tyranny of this terrorist organization is in line with their objective.

The reality is that everyone seems to focus on the plight of those in Gaza. However, nobody seems to care about the facts. Yes, it is awful that civilians are dying, but they are dying in the numbers that they are because of Hamas. To me, if you have not been in the military, have not been in a conflict, or have no idea about strategy then you really have no right to criticize, as any military strategist will tell you that Israel is doing a brilliant job at reducing the civilian casualties. But again, no one considers that fact.

Why do I consider the global outcry shameful? Simply, the amount of global outcry in the form of Pro-Palestinian, or rather Anti-Israel rallies, is disgusting. Peaceful protests are fine, but unfortunately Anti-Israel rallies are turning out to be anything but peaceful. Normally peaceful countries like my own Canada are having problems with these violent rallies from Calgary to Toronto, much to the disgust of other Canadians.

In France the protests got so bad and violent that France has BANNED Pro-Palestinian/Anti-Israel rallies or protests.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2697194/Outrage-France-country-world-ban-pro-Palestine-demos.html

In Denmark, there are shops that have posted signs saying “No Jews Allowed”. If you know anything about history, this is exactly the kind of behavior that led up to the Holocaust in WWII.

These events remind me a lot of Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass. For those of you who do not know, It was November 9-10, 1938 where the German SA and civilians terrorized the Jewish populous of Germany and Austria. The results: Up to 100 Jews were killed on the spot and over 30,000 were arrested and taken to the infamous concentration camps where most of them died, or were forced into hard labour. (8)

I have always thought that WWIII will start somewhere in Europe because of Islamic extremism. If extraterrestrials were to look at history documents and then watch the current news, it is likely they may come to the same conclusion.

Extremism Is the Real Enemy

So who is the real enemy in all of this? The uneducated on either side will say Israel, or the Palestinians. In this case, and in reality, it is Hamas. Or more to the point, fundamental extremists. Extremism, no matter what the cause, is the real enemy of humanity of the 21st century. It does not matter if they are Muslim, Jewish, European, White, Black, Chinese or purple, extremism is a sickness that must be cured. It is often the complaint of many Muslims that they are always the ones labeled as terrorists and while it is discriminatory and wrong, I would like to question this complaint with some basic numbers.

Currently there are approximately 7.5 billion people on this planet or, to give you a better idea, 7,500,000,000. Of that number, 1.6 billion are Muslim. Yes, that’s right, the latest estimates are that of 1,600,000.000. That’s approximately 21% of the world’s population. In contrast, there are only about 13.5 million Jews in the world; that’s 13,500,000. This is a number of which still has not recovered from the Holocaust where, prior to it taking place, the Jewish population was an estimated 16,000,000.

For you more visual people, here  is a graph:

Population of world by religion comparison

Or, let’s think of this another way. If only 1% of Muslims globally are extremists or terrorists, that is still 16 million people. That is a number that is larger than the combined forces of the world’s 10 largest armies. Now again, in contrast, if only 1% of Jews are extremists (yes, there are Jewish extremists), that’s only 135,000.

speculative comparison of 1% of population

On top of that, Jewish extremists are relatively limited in region to Israel and perhaps New York or Los Angeles. While in comparison, Islamic extremism since 9/11 has become a global problem.

Don’t, get me wrong, I have many Muslims friends, and have never had a problem with most of them. But my question is, if these are the numbers that they are, where are the moderate Muslims in all of this? why are they silent? why are they not standing up against those who wish nothing more to cause death and destruction and give your people a bad name?

It would be a shame if global outcry against extremism turned against Muslims.

Conclusion

The Jewish saying “Never Again” is a reference to the Holocaust. It should not however, just be exclusive to Jews. Never Again should mean that no person, no matter their colour or nation, should ever again face such hate and genocide. Yet it seems people’s memories are short and history forever repeats itself. Since the Holocaust there have been numerous unanswered genocides from Kosovo to Sudan. Once again, like pre-WWII, the world seems to be going mad with an Anti-Semitic fever and to that of before Hitler started one of the most at destructive, devastating and horrific wars of the modern era.

To you I say, are you going to let history repeat itself, are you going to let extremists win? Or are you, the moderate masses, going to stand up and do what’s right no matter what your culture. As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This is why Israel has the right to defend itself. This is why the world should be against Hamas, not Israel. This is why the global riots are disgusting and this is why you need to properly educate your children. And this is why Krav Maga was created. Remember that, at least for the Jews, Never Again means NEVER again and this should be the same for you…

 

Author: Jonathan Fader

 

1. Suicide Bombing as Strategy and Interaction: The Case of the Second Intifada Robert J. Brym and Bader Araj Page [1969] of 1969-1986

2. Ideological Change and Israel’s Disengagement from Gaza Jonathan Rynhold and Dov Waxman Page 11 of 11-37

3. Dershowitz, Alan (2003). The Case for Israel. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-46502-X.

4.  Power or Justice? Rule and Law in the Palestinian Authority Hillel Frisch and Menachem Hofnung Page 335 of 331-348

5. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx (Accessed 23-07-2014)

6. http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm (Accessed 23-07-2014)

7. http://www.idfblog.com/facts-figures/rocket-attacks-toward-israel/ (Accessed 23-07-14)

8.  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/323626/Kristallnacht (Accessed 23-07-1014)

 

Pat-Morita_(Karate_Kid)

If you asked me in high school if I would have my own Krav Maga studios I would have told you; “What have you been smoking?” (Remember I live in Vancouver).

In traditional martial arts the Sensei, Shihan etc… is God. You do what they tell you and do not ask questions. While this may work in some cultures it doesn’t work in all cultures.

Personally any time I walk into a dojo and I see this attitude towards the head sensei I usually don’t stay there long. Don’t ask me why, but it just creeps me out. Maybe it’s because I am Jewish and I was taught to always ask questions and not to follow blindly.

This mentality was certainly not lost from me being in the Israeli Defense Force. I can remember numerous times where I told my lieutenants to F*** off. To those of you who come from more traditional armies, this is unheard of. And no, I was not punished for saying such things; it was just the nature of things. I suspect this free thinking attitude is the reason that Israelis are so innovative in general. Why is this important? It is important because Krav Maga is from Israel and as such, the mentalities associated with it often follow suite.

For our students in our regular classes, this might explain why we are so casual. Neither myself nor Borhan like being put up on a pedestal like traditional instructors. We are simply there to teach you the knowledge we have. Though we are instructors, we ourselves are still young and we know that we have a lot to learn. While we expect a certain level of respect from our students we also consider our students our friends and teachers for so for many of our students have taught as just as much as we have taught them.

I would also like to point out that no instructor, no master, and no leader is infallible. At the end of the day we are all human and to put your instructors blindly on a pedestal without question may lead to disaster. I myself am not perfect, many of my students know I like to drink and have fun, and I am not ashamed of this. I am human, and I am what I am. Does this detract from who I am as a person and instructor? I don’t think so. I would rather my students and friends see me for who I am than to put on some false face like many of the people in power out there do. I would rather be judged for who I am than someone I am not.

Instructors or leaders that are ok with themselves being put up on the pedestal are often detached from reality. A famous internet example of this is below:

The video is fairly clear. It shows that this master has evidently created a cult-like aura around himself. His belief that he can control others without even touching them is not based on reality. For his belief to be valid it requires pure obedience from his students who play the role as the unquestioning student and perhaps have been brainwashed into believing their master has powers that do not really exist.

When the master faces reality, it is obvious he was not prepared, both physically and mentally.

Of course, I acknowledge that this is an extreme example. However, it serves the purpose of proving my point.

When I sit and reflect on the situation I have put myself in, one which I never expected to be in, I am in awe. Here I am, merely 26 years old, teaching people of all ages, some twice my age, and yet they still come back to learn what I have to offer. I find this both rewarding and crazy at the same time. I know for a fact that if you ask people I went to high school with if they thought this is where I would be now, I am sure they would give you looks of shock far greater than I could imagine.

Yet this is where I am, sitting on the edge of the pedestal. I have always considered myself someone who likes to operate behind the scene and yet here I am up front and center. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I should just jump, but then I remember I have a responsibility to my friends and to my students to continue doing what I am doing.

I just want my students and myself to always remember, I am only human, I have messed up, I have flaws and I am not perfect. Please do not look at me as something I am not, and as long as we have that understanding, I wish to continue to teach you everything that I know, everything that I will know, and I hope that you can all do the same.

Humbly yours,

Written By: Jonathan Fader

So far, 2014 seems to be a year of injuries for me.  In January I broke my nose while sparring with a Muay Thai fighter, and on February 9th, the day of my birthday, I was rear-ended by a mini-van in an intersection.  As a 30 year old I fully understand how fragile the human body is, but as a fighter and Krav Maga instructor this was a very, very foreign idea.

Since my teenage years I knew I had incredible physical prowess and athletic abilities.  I competed in Judo and Tae Kwon Do at the Provincial level, and in my mid-20s I trained in Mixed Martial Arts at the professional level and competed in any national and international tournaments I could possibly enter.  While serving in the military I underwent tough physical training, ranging from marching in -40′ temperature for 20 km in Ontario to passing the fitness selection for a spec-op unit that specialized in field intelligence gathering and undercover work behind enemy lines.  I recovered from every injury with ease ranging from dislocating my shoulder to having a broken ear drum.  I felt that I was Apollo himself:  Strong, Athletic, Powerful and Indestructible.

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In Canada forces, you are huskies. ” Wolv “

Slowly, I realize how fragile our life and body can be.  In the world of Krav Maga, we learn to deal with the deadliest attacks from knife to firearms; any wrong move and we then go to see our creators instead of our loved ones. (or go directly to your next life depending on your belief.)

We train hard in Krav Maga but we do not want you to push to the limit that your body breaks, because your mind can always go further than your body.  A human’s mind is limitless yet the human body is very honest about its limitation. There are moments in life when we have to fight though the obstacles despite our pain and injuries, but everyone will be broken if we go to the extreme in every training session. You push it overboard too many times, and it will break. When you spar and do your conditioning, it is ok to stop and not participate for the right reason. Pain is good injury is bad, some pain are signals to prevent you from injuries some pain are just signal weakness leaving the body. Listen to your instructors. We can tell when you are pushing yourself too hard when you are not. We do not become Krav Maga instructor by just reading books, taking classes and write fancy articles. My Krav Maga mentor Avi Moyal once said Krav Maga is ” Experience + Science. ” What you are learning in the class of Urban Tactics Krav Maga is based upon knowledge, experience and medical bill. You are only human and don’t make the mistake I made.

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nose vs knee. Knee wins…………..this time

Written by: Borhan J

 

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Borhan’s Military Krav Maga Instructor Course

My time in Serbia must have been one of the most interesting and intense Krav Maga trainings I have ever experienced. I have always had strong interest in the military aspect of Krav Maga since I started my Krav Maga training in 2007 in Israel. Then, I was under the guidance of Master Zeev Cohen, one of the best Krav Maga instructors in Israel. The aggression and toughness in Zeev’s class left a strong impression on me. As I continued my Krav Maga training in North America and Asia, Krav Maga seemed to be less combative and aggressive. Almost all Krav Maga schools that I know now focus more on the self defense aspect, with very little focus on Krav Maga’s original purpose “ Contact Combat.” I decided to find the missing link between Imi’s original Krav Maga and today’s civilian Krav Maga. I enrolled myself in a military Krav Maga instructor course run by Krav Maga Global in Serbia. With a bit of nervousness, I arrived in Belgrade, Serbia. The last time I heard about this country, NATO ( including Canada ) was giving this city a new real-estate upgrade. The ruins of the bombings can still be seen in some parts of the city. Belgrade and its sub city Zeumn is a bit rundown. Though not the prettiest streets in Europe, the streets are always clean, and although the occupants are not the richest, they always carry themselves with pride.

I showed up three days prior to the actual course start. The course is 15 days for any military personnel with no prior Krav Maga experience and 10 days for Krav Maga instructors who already passed Krav Maga Global’s instructor course ( GIC ). I did my instructor course in 2008 and I desperately needed a refresher. The training took place in a police training base in the suburb called Zemun. My course consisted of 5 foreigners, 4 Serbian Emergency Response Team Police Officers and 6 local Serbian KMG instructors. Out of the 5 foreigners, we had a formal British Army Artillery Staff Sergeant, a Formal East German Paratrooper, one German and one UK KMG civilian instructors. Our Serbian KMG instructors groups consisted of three active Serbian Army soldiers, one fire marshal and one police officer. Knowing that I came from Canada and had done my service there, some of these Serbians jokingly said “Oh ! Canada, your country exported some special gifts along with America back in the day” Their tone seemed to be friendly…..at least for now.

The first five days of the course were conducted by KMG instructor Moran Laskow, who was a Krav Maga instructor during his service in the IDF and later served as a shooting instructor for Israel’s Military Industry. Moran is the perfect example of what a Krav Maga instructor ought to be; fit, keen, good looking, knowledgeable and personable. In fact, I believe there is a secret fan club for Moran within the Krav Maga community. In class, we each got issued an AK-47 ( Yugo Version ), a pistol, duty belt with holster, a helmet and a vest.

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Everyday from 8 am – 6 pm, we would be in the gym or range learning how to be proficient with our AK-47 S, with or without bullets. We practiced using our rifle as a cold weapon doing attacks such as Magazine thrust, Rifle Butt strike, and downward cut, etc, and to be able to do these attacks in different combinations. There is also a series of defenses against people trying to grab your weapon from the rear, front or side, or people swinging a stick at you from above, from the side or from underneath. We would practice theses techniques slowly in the air in the beginning and then later attack with all our might against a bag or each other. I can tell you that wielding a heavy AK-47 S for hours is a hard work out. If they were not prohibited in Canada I would create a work out called AK-47 Fit.

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During one of the mock attacks, I accidentally hit my partner Neja’s face with the foresight of my pistol. Blood poured out of his face and he needed several stitches to get the deep cut fixed up. I kind of felt bad after the instance especially since Neja is one of the toughest Serbian ERT members. After that the thought occurred to me that I am far too pretty to end up in a Serbian prison.

On top of using a rifle as a cold weapon, we also spent many hours learning basic shooting, reloading, tactical reloads, combat reloads and instinctive shooting with our rifles and pistols. My poor marksmanship earned me the nickname “Beneli.” I am pretty sure I did not earn it because of the damage I had done to the target but more to do with the grouping on my target. At the range, Moran pointed out that “We are Krav Maga instructors, not shooting instructors, and any Krav Maga training that might involve in shooting, it is best to have shooting instructor on the side for technical support and guidance.”  In military Krav Maga, we have many Krav Maga drills that combines the use of Krav Maga, shooting and tactical movements. Israelis believe that in modern CQB stoppage or reload leaves soldiers or police officers vulnerable, and trying to clear stoppage or reload within close range of an attacker is very unwise. The American Law Enforcement also concluded the same theory which is called the 21 Feet rule. Maron would put us through a lot of mock attacks in which we would have to decide to clear our weapon or strike our attackers with our weapons.

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I can tell you that even in an open gym with excellent lighting, having someone charging at you with full force will make reloading or clearing stoppage difficult to achieve. Later we would have multiple attackers with stick and knives and also receive surprise attacks with our eyes closed. Like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan before they get punched in the face.” In every drill, we relied solely on our training and instincts to survive. In one of the drills we called Zombie drill, four attackers with sticks, knives, pads and fists will attack you in slow speed. I tended to get paired up with those Serbian ERT members and the idea of slow speed usually does not register with them. I recall the stress was so overwhelming and tiring all I can do is simply raise my rifle to defend my head and run for my life.

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Other than rifle, we also received training on how to use a pistol as a striking method. Although a pistol is more within the realm of Law Enforcement, it is still not a bad idea to learn how to use a pistol in close range. When pistols were first introduced, they were designed for one hand usage only; however, in modern doctrine, most military and LE focus most pistol training with two hands in order to increase accuracy. Because of the possibility to deal with surprise attacks, in Krav Maga we tried to use one hand to operate the pistol in close range. This way, we could use the other hand to strike and block attacks from the enemies. Other than our free hand, we could also use the pistol to strike from above, right, downward, left ( turn the pistol 180 horizontally ), and front thrust. It is very important to know how to strike with a pistol. Swing it the wrong way, and you might disarm yourself. One of the course mates ERT member Constable A shared with us his personal experience about striking with a pistol.

Two armed robbers went into a shop and committed robbery.

Off duty officer Constable A was shopping with his girlfriend at the same store. After sending his girlfriend to safety, officer A announced to the robbers that he is a police officer, presented his duty pistol and demanded them to drop their weapons. The robbers refused and approach officer A with pistols. Officer A was afraid to shoot at the robbers worrying about collateral damage. After one of robbers was in close range with officer A he struck one of the robbers with the bottom of his pistol ( magazine ). When officer A strucks the robber, he accidentally discharge his firearm near the robber’s head. The robber ran off to the exit.

The 2nd robber approached officer A, officer A was worried to discharge his weapon again so he struck the robber with his left fist and the muzzle of his pistol. During the process, officer A’s index finger naturally grab the trigger of his pistol ( his natural reaction is to make a fist when he strike with his hand ) and he worried the firearm would go off at any moment.

One of the most tiring exercises we did throughout the course was a mixed obstacle course combined with Krav Maga. Doing military obstacle courses is hard enough on its own. Now we were combining it with people attacking after each stage. This brought it to the whole new level. However, just like real life, your enemies are not going to pick the time when you are fresh and energetic to attack you. Think about it! When would you choose to attack your opponents?

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The second part of the course was conducted by Eyal. It is a true privilege to meet Eyal, not to mention to train under him. After all, Eyal was responsible for creating IKMF ( International Krav Maga Federation ) and building the foundation of the modern day Krav Maga syllabus. Some would say that he is the main person who spread Krav Maga around the world. The man is a living library of Krav Maga. Physically, the course by now became less intensive compared to the first six days but mentally we were being challenged every single second. We were learning the proper procedure and methods on how to teach a military unit and how to conduct CQB Drills and live Shooting Drills with Krav Maga.

Most countries have their own CQB techniques ( Close Quarter Battle ) on how to clear a room, cut corners or enter a room. It is not our job as Krav Maga instructors to suggest to them how to conduct room clearing but we can add many scenarios that can enhance their ability in a close range situation. I have to say this was probably the most fun we had throughout the entire course,  because we are put everything we learnt together into practice it was a chance for us to create all kinds of mayhem to our fellow course mates.

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The students were separated into two groups. One group of people were the soldiers and the other group of people were the “enemy”. One by one we had to go inside the CQB Training house and complete a mission, and this was usually done after grueling and harsh physical Krav Maga exercises wearing full gear. After the physical exercise, I was tired and my adrenaline was as high as a kite. I burst into the door and those bastards even put traps above the door. After I got into the door, all kinds of situations came up. These situations ranged from preventing a suicide attack to full out knife attacks with numerous attackers. I literally had to put all my Krav Maga skills into use. Of course, payback is a bitch, and the other team did not like me at all when I played as a stick whaling maniac hidden inside a dust cover for their turn.

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Another exciting Krav Maga drill is combining tactical shooting with Krav Maga. Anyone can stand in a range and take a nice shot but let’s see how well one can control his or her breathing and still operate a rifle accordingly after a full-on Krav Maga fight. Again on the range, I proved that the nickname “Beneli” suits me very well. This drill showed the reality of shooting under stress. Anyone can get a good grouping sitting on the bench and taking his or her sweet time to pull the trigger but to shoot under pressure is a whole new different story. In order to run this drill safely and precisely, many details need to be taking care of. It is very likely to have disaster if one is not being safe or knowledgeable in both Krav Maga and shooting. You need at least one Krav Maga instructor and a shooting instructor to accompany each student during the whole course.

One of the shooting exercises we had was conducted by world renowned IPSC shooter, Major Ljubisa Momcilovic, who came in 8th in the IPSC European Championship ( Factory Division ). He is also a team member of CZ IPSC team. Other than his IPSC experience, Major Momcilovic also served many years in an elite close protection unit in Serbia Police and is an official shooting instructor for Serbian Police forces. Having worked in the firearm industry and attended numerous shooting courses in the military and civilian side, Mr. Momcilovic’s shooting and movements are probably one of the best, if not the best, I ever seen. Even with all these experiences, Major Momcilovic was very friendly and approachable. His lecture was straight to the point. Here are a few important points I took away from Major Momcilovic’s class.

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World Top shooter Major Momcilovic

  • A shooter who performs with 80% -90% accuracy on the range means he or she probably can only have 60% accuracy in real life under a real threat.
  • In real life shooting it is usually “ reaction of you“ after “ action of enemies. “
  • Find the Balance between Speed & Accuracy. Speed without accuracy is nothing, but accuracy without speed means you are dead.
  • There are all different theories on stance; waver, isolate, modified waver, no matter what stance you choose, your shooting stance should be a position in which you can stand on your feet for a long period of time and be comfortable.
  • There is no need to change your shooting position for accuracy shooting and combat shooting.
  •  Maximum Speed = how fast you can put your sight on target.

Prior to Major Momcilovic’s lecture, I had a very negative view on IPSC. I thought it was unrealistic in real life. Major Momcilovic points out that IPSC is an excellent shooting training. Shooting and tactics combined together produce a good soldier or police officer. In essence, shooting supports tactics.

The last couple of techniques we learned at the course were dealing with a terrorist holding a grenade. We had to quickly disarm the terrorist from all angles. For me, this was probably the hardest technique I had to master. Because with my tiny girly hands it was difficult for me to cover the terrorist’s hand with mine. Luckily, in a security team it is usually the big guy who does the disarming. The threat of a terrorist holding a grenade is very real. The recent terror attacks involving grenades are:

  •  Liege attack, Belgian: 13 December 13, 2011.
  •  Ram Janmabhoomi Attack, India: 05 July, 2005.
  •  Rome & Vienna Airport attack, Italy: 27 December, 1985.

Although dangerous, dealing with a hand grenade is not a death sentence. Unlike hand grenades with big explosions in movies, in real life hand grenades use fragments to kill, not explosions. There is a good chance for people around the hand grenade to survive if you can find a way to cover it in time. The latest British Victoria Cross Winner saved his mates this way by laying over a grenade with the small of his back.
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The second part of the course consisted of a lot of classroom lectures. We had more classes on Krav Maga theories and military organization structure. In general, Krav Maga is separated into Offensive Combat and Self Defense. The two portions have a very different approach when comes to dealing against threats. Offensive Combat means Maximum damage to the enemy in minimum time with minimum damage to yourself, yet Self Defense means not to get into a fight. Soldiers seek enemies ( danger ), civilians avoid enemies ( danger ).

In most civilian Krav Maga School they only focus on the Self Defense portion of Krav Maga because of legality issues. In combat, a soldier has to turn on his kill switch and fight like a lion within seconds. There is no personal hatred or anger involved when comes to killing your enemy: “A lion does not hate a lamb, a lion is just hungry”, and vice versa “ A soldier is just doing his job.” It is like the famous line in Full Metal Jacket when Joker graduated from boot camp: “Marine Corp does not need a robot, it needs a killer.“ Unlike most attacks in the civilian world, most attacks in battle are nothing personal. We try not to educate the civilians to act the same because that might get them in jail. After all, War is simple, civilian society is complex; a soldier doing the one thing in war can make him a hero, doing the exact same thing in peace time will get him in jail.

The Self Defense portion of Krav Maga came about when IDF paratroopers would punch MPs who tried to give them tickets for dress deficiency. A method of self defense is needed so those poor MPs do not get crushed like hamburger in front of those paratroopers. The Self Defense portion of Krav Maga really came to age during the Intifida (Palestinians uprising) – Israelis are facing more and more attacks ranging from stone, sticks, knives to guns from the Palestinian terrorists.

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Since the maturing of modern firearms, most military’s doctrine is about killing your enemy as far away as possible; the further the better. However, as warfare becomes more complex, soldiers have to operate in urban settings acting not just a warrior but sometimes police officers and diplomats. They have to be able to conduct peace keeping or humanitarian operation yet maintain their abilities to fight wars. If a soldier only has a hammer he can only solve problems by hitting really hard, but with Krav Maga he can solve problems with all kinds of tools. As many instances tell us, the need for a good hand-to-hand combat program is more dire every day.

It was a privilege for me to be able to enroll in Krav Maga Global’s Military Krav Maga instructor course in Serbia. Other than the instructors from Israeli HQ being one of the reasons, the course was so enjoyable because of our Serbian hosts. Serbians have the right Krav Maga mentality. They train hard but also technically. Very much like Middle East, the Balkan is a troubled region. I believe in some way many Serbians are training Krav Maga because they know they might have to use it one day to defend their loved one and home. After the course, I am a firm believer that Military Krav Maga is the missing link in today’s Krav Maga world. Anyone who wants to get the full picture of Krav Maga and become a complete Krav Maga fighter should attend this course.

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Written By: Borki Yoni

Edited By: Warren C & Jonathan F

Krav Maga Global: http://krav-maga.com/

Krav Maga Global Serbia: http://krav-maga.rs/

Major Momcilovic Tactical Training Agency: http://www.loadmakeready.com/

Urban Tactics Krav Maga currently offer Military Hand to Hand Combat Course to

Military and LE personnel. This is a very specialize course and is not open to civilians.

The course will cover using rifles and pistols as cold weapon, weapon retention, disarm

Techniques and weapon transition drills.

Please contact us if you would like to have more information.

Urban Tactics HQ

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In two short months I’ll have reached my 1-year anniversary in learning Krav Maga with Urban Tactics.  It has been an interesting journey so far, and I expect that it will continue to remain so.  As with any journeys there are experiences and observations that one faces along the way so I’m now sharing a few of mine.

First of all, the overall class has less of a formal dojo-type feel and more of a casual collegial group-training type of atmosphere.  It could be due to the fact that the room is quite small in comparison to the number of students that often show up for class, but I suspect that it has more to do with the style of teaching that the instructors convey.  It is a welcome change from the previous places in which I trained, because although the atmospheres there were also casual they were almost too much so, and bordered on the instructors being lackadaisical in their instruction.  In contrast, the instructors in this Krav Maga class try to make it more fun, but also will impart a serious message that what the students are learning can be deadly and will carry serious consequences if applied inappropriately or improperly.  They will speak of their own experiences in conflict situations with the objective of driving home the message to make the teachings more relevant.  It is clear from the class that the instructors are passionate about what they know, and they are motivated to build this passion onto the students.

Secondly, the students themselves have made the journey unique.  Given that the tools and techniques that we’re learning are violent and intense, one would think that this would invite a breed of students who also carry this attitude, and want nothing more than to fuel their testosterone-filled egos.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised that this couldn’t be further from the truth and that the students are friendly, supportive, and are there to learn how to fight for the proper reasons of defending themselves and/or their friends/family, and not just so they can go out gang-banging on an alcohol and drugged-fueled Saturday night.  It hasn’t been explicitly mentioned, but I suspect that if a potential student were to come to the class with this type of attitude, they would be filtered out and refused training by the instructors.  In short, the collegial attitude of the students makes for the learning a very positive experience, which is not to be taken for granted given the seriousness of the subject.

Lastly, incorporating sparring into the class is an experience unto itself.  I have taken martial arts in the past where I have participated in tournaments, but they are very controlled environments and rules abound to keep things safe and within specific application of the techniques.  The sparring sessions in these classes is raw and brutal, and more closely parallel what one would find in the street where there is no honour and no rules.  With wearing the protective gear the sparring is still safe, but it’s as close to the high level of intensity and adrenalin-filled scrap that one would experience without facing the risk of serious injury.  Personally, I find the sparring sessions to be the most intimidating, but also ultimately most rewarding, part of the lesson and an appropriate way to end the class.

Life changes, schedules change, and businesses come and go, so I know that taking Krav Maga will eventually be a period in my life in which I will look back and remember what it was like to learn one of the deadliest martial arts on the planet and, hopefully, be good at it.  However, that time is in the future and until that day comes, I will continue to attend classes each week and build on the journey.

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Written By: Warren C

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An Army marches on its stomach is probably Napoleon Bonaparte’ most famous quote. It is hard to put into perspective for the average person but this is a phenomenon that I personally witness during my service in the IDF. During one particularly difficult section/battalion exercise they decided to stop supplying food. This was suppose to simulate what had happened during the second Lebonan war when the supply lines completely broke down. This was an unpleasant experience as we were expected to perform without sleep, without food and continue the same functionality. Without the basics such as sleep and food the focus of almost all the soldiers began to diminish. All thoughts were on food and sleep and without these basic it consumed everyone to the point of animalistic behavior. Lets break this down. Food is a basic aspect of life and without it we are forced to with draw to our more basic instincts in order to survive. The need for food can overwhelm even the most civilized individual. Abraham Maslow a psychologist conceptualized this in his theory of the hierarchy of needs :A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943

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In his theory he suggested that in order for a person to evolve to be their most productive self they must first go through the basics of survival before they can realize their full potential. In this case, basic physiological needs are the base without them we cannot function to the point we can learn and evolve. At this point, you are probably sitting there scratching your head saying, “OK great, now what the hell does this have to do with Krav Maga! “Its simple, we crawl before we walk and we walk before we run. Like survival in order to properly learn Krav Maga or any other martial art for that matter, we must first learn and master the basics.When anyone thinks of Krav Maga they usually think Gun and Knife defense/survival. The reality is, these are not basics. Far too many schools spend more time on these aspects of self defense than the basics rather than first developing the fundamentals of Krav Maga. These schools or “McDojos” are far too common and are making people think they know how to properly defend themselves but they are more likely to get hurt than anything.Depending on where you are learning Krav Maga, the chance of you running into a knife or gun may be high or low. Schools should know what dangers are more specific to their region and focus slightly more time on those aspects as students will see greater benefit and are more likely to successfully defend themselves should they be required to.Below is a comparative pyramid to Maslow’s but with a focus on Krav Maga. Krav Maga Heirarchy

While this is not exact representation of basic to advance it is a basic representation of how I feel a Krav maga curriculum should be built. Just like a soldier needs food, water and other basic provisions to properly focus on their task at hand. A Krav Maga practioner needs to have a strong understanding of the basics before they can really deal with more complex situations.Krav Maga gives you all the tools to deal with any situations. Students ask always what if this, or what if that. The fact is so long as they have been coming fairly regularly they usually already have the answer.Knowing how to disarm a weapon means nothing if you do not know what to do afterwards, this knowledge comes from the basics. Everything you do in life starts with the basics. If you want to do advanced math but don’t have a very good understanding of order of operations then it will be all greek to you. If you do not feed your solders their focus is gone. If you do not understand your striking range, natural speed and situational awareness then knowing how to disarm a knife will mean nothing if you cannot confidently close the distance with out being severally injured.Fundamentals are key. Even though it may be “cool” to skip ahead and say you know how to disarm weapons your fate will be the same as an untrained individual if your fundamentals are not strong.This is true for Krav Maga and it is True for life. Whatever gym you train at make sure its not another Mc Dojo, if it is you are just wasting your money. Build a strong base and you will succeed in anything that builds off of it

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Written By: Jonathan F

Sources

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs