Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Music a Tool to change mood: A Personal History – Part 1

It’s actually because of Matisyahu and his music that helped convince me at the right time to drop everything, move to Israel and join the IDF. Specifically, two songs. Jerusalem and Warrior which also happen to be two of his earlier songs. But with all music, words alone cannot do them justice so here are the songs, assuming It doesn’t get pulled.

Jerusalem:

 

At one point I considered getting the lyric

“Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.”

tattooed on me, in Hebrew as it is a biblical verse. I am glad the tattoo artist convinced Jerislam hebrew.jpgme out of it as it is a bit too religious for my liking now. Instead, I got the Hebrew word for life tattooed on me, to symbolise that I chose life, which I put in the centre of my black and white star of David. It not only expressed my identity, as I am a proud Jew even if I have great disdain for religion but also that the universe demands unity of everything. Male and female, right and wrong, and good and evil.tattooed on me, in Hebrew as it is a biblical verse.

However, the second verse of Jerusalem, in particular, spoke to me, which goes as follows:

“Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they’re trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don’t you know that’s not the way to be”

It references the Holocaust and how history has attempted to destroy the Jews as a people, uproot us and destroy our lineage. Did I mention I am a proud Jew?

I decided to accept my identity of as a Jew not because I care about the Torah, not because I am religious, not because I like the holidays but because of history. In the end, it does not matter what I think, whether I accept myself as a cultural Jew, a religious Jew, or a genetic Jew. Those around will always see me as a Jew.

Hitler determined that if you had two grandparents that were Jewish, even if you weren’t a practising Jew you would be considered a Jew and thus subject to the atrocities that were committed under his orders. This was even used in the construction of Israels Right to Return Laws.

Despite claims that there is no anti-Semitism in this world, it is a false narrative. Even when there are mass protests, like the misguided love trumps hate rallies, many of those who claim to operate in the name of love still hate Jews. For antisemitism is real and strong as ever. As such, no matter what I think those who would hate Jews will always see me as one no matter what I think.

This song, as well as the hate of others (irony), made me realise I must accept who I am and be proud of my heritage even if I don’t plan to continue the Jewish practices. This song helps me solidify who I am as a person. It helped me know who I am and accept it. It helped me understand the meaning of the Term Never Again, when referring to the Jewish People in particular with that second verse and come 2008/2009 when I decided to move to Israel to join the IDF this was one of the reasons I convinced my self to go.

The second of Matisyahu’s two songs that helped me decide to go to Israel was Warrior

With this song, the line in the chorus,

“You’re a warrior, Fighting for your soul”

spoke to me.

For I am a warrior, fighting for my soul. Lost and unhappy and looking for a purpose.

For I am the Lion, The Wolf and the Fox, and I will fight for me because no one else will. Though I add the animal analogy as I write this, the three animals which I think embody UTKM, the rest was true at the time. I decided, yes I am a warrior. I don’t care if others look down at me, berate me, hate me, or deny my talents and potential. I will do it for me.

I even thought of my Grandfather who was a proud veteran of the Canadian Forces and a proud supporter of Israel. Outside of my Israeli Cousins, I would be the only of his children or grandchildren in North America closer to him that would continue the military tradition. I know he would have been proud of me, though unfortunately, he passed before my service, the memory of him and his dedication along with the song and what it means to be a warrior further pushed my decision to join the Military.

Music a Tool to change mood: A Personal History – Part 3

Advertisements

daveyoung2In any martial art, there is always the risk of getting injured. I think most martial art and self-defense students have experienced at least one mild injury during their training. This is the trade-off. Training that is meant to prevent violence requires violence, so it must be imbued with an inherent risk. Yet,being trained allows you to reduce risk in a real fight.

How can you avoid injury in training and avoid injury in a real situation?

As a musician, my hands and my brain are the two more important things that allow me to write, record, and perform. Thus, throwing punches and getting hit in the head may seem counterintuitive towards preserving these body parts. There is a balance between avoiding injury to maintain my ability to work, and taking the risk of injury to be able to defend myself and my family.

First of all, I am NOT a fan of being punched in the face or hit in the head in any manner.  Many studies show that repeated blows to the head, even those that don’t cause concussions, can cause long-term changes in the brain and have lasting neurological effects. That being said, it is very important from a Krav Maga perspective to experience high pressure real world situations and be able to react appropriately.

In a fight, you are going to get hit, so experiencing the real thing in a simulation-type environment is invaluable as a learning tool.  At UTKM, we spar in a very controlled manner, and this is great for safety.  Even so, accidents happen. Everyone is at a different point in learning to control their strikes (and their emotions) so the best way to avoid getting hit and protect your brain is to train hard and improve your technique.

The best way to avoid getting hit and protect your brain is to train hard and improve your technique.

When it comes to protecting my hands, the same idea applies: technique.  I work hard on improving my technique so that I retain thorough muscle memory of the proper movements and positions, whether I’m punching a bag, focus mitts, or sparring with one or many opponents. This reduces my chances of getting injured — remembering to keep my hands up, fist at 45°, elbow slightly bent, and so on. When I ingrain this into my muscle memory, I won’t need to remember to do it in a distressing situation, my body will know it and do it.

Better hurt in the gym, than killed on the street

Perhaps, I will never be required to fight for my life or to protect my family physically. Nevertheless, in the end, I would rather train hard and perhaps break my hands defending myself successfully, than be overly worried about hurting myself in training and ending up seriously injured in a real confrontation.

In a fight, you are going to get hit, so experiencing the real thing in a simulation-type environment is invaluable as a learning tool.

daveyoung2

Hi, I’m #Dangerous Dave! Photo from http://www.hevydevy.com/dtp/dave-young/

I am a musician and a Kravist

For as long as I can remember, I’ve related or equated the things I experience in my life to music.  The ups and down are dynamics.  The quiets, the louds, the transitions in between, and definitely the moments of silence all make up a grand piece of music that plays throughout life.

If this over-arching “music-of-life” concept is like an album, individual events  or ideas or philosophies are like singles. As I got into Krav Maga, I  began thinking of what kind of music it would be.  Many other martial arts have a specific genre that springs to mind, but Krav Maga seems a little harder to pin down.

 

As I got into Krav Maga, I  began thinking of what kind of music it would be.

When I was younger I studied Tae Kwon Do. Similar to many other traditional martial arts, like Kung Fu or Karate, Tae Kwon Do has a distinct classical music feel.  While they have a great dynamic range and power, they are filled with and steeped in tradition and can sometimes seem rigid or inflexible.  Tai Chi has a flow to it, but also a very relaxed feel that reminds me very much of ambient music.  Boxing is like hip hop with the swagger and the attitude.  It can have finesse, but also rawness and aggression. And of course, the world of MMA is rock and metal.  Being mixed, this sport contains a large amount of different techniques from karate, muay thai, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, and so on.  It is a very deep genre.  It draws on many influences and histories.  There is also a lot of aggression and posturing, and the gladiatorial beating of another person in front of a cheering crowd (like a mosh pit).  Of course, there is technical ability involved, but that can easily be overshadowed by egotism (or the “meat-head” attitude).

So then, what genre is Krav Maga?

It contains elements of all other martial arts: the technique, the history, and certainly the aggression.  It has a rich and traceable lineage.  It can be anywhere from smooth and subtle to harsh and aggressive.  I think Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.  Jazz involves a great deal of technique and knowledge.  It also involves the ability to improvise, which is a key point.  In jazz, every situation in different. In Krav Maga, every encounter with every person is different.  You need to have the ability to assess each unique situation and react, just like jazz.  Every time you play a piece, the individual parts may be familiar but the song a different version.  Knowing the technique, the moves, the history and the philosophy is very important.  As well, you have to know when to break the rules and improvise.  In Krav Maga, you must know how to fluidly move between attackers. In jazz, you must know how to transition between chord changes.

Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.

Finally, in both Krav Maga and jazz music, regardless of whether you execute perfectly or make a mistake, you have to keep moving forward and turn difficult situations to your advantage.

daveyoung1

Dave Young (far left) is a member of the Devin Townsend Project. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend

Warriors Den Podcast

Download on iTunes Today! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/urban-tactics-krav-maga-warriors/id969549693?mt=2

Dave Young is a UTKM Student and assistant instructor, Juno Award winning musician and all around badass. He started his journey nearly 2 years ago with Urban Tactics Krav Maga and is currently an Orange Belt getting ready for his Green belt test and newly certified UTKM Instructor. While he is passionate about Krav Maga his real passion is music as he is currently the guitarist for the devin Townsend project and is also in his own personal band regal. Dave has also contributed his musical talents to UTKM in created both out Youtube Channel theme song and our new Podcast intro. If you want to follow Dave as a Musician you can like his proffessional Facebook Page Dave Young Music. or follow him on twitter @davetheyoung

Tarn Mann, a friend of UT, asked us if we can assist on fight choreography and training for his music video. UT provided trainings for Mr. Mann for about two months in Krav Maga and our students assis the film as stunt actors for his MTV. After several days of shooting this is our result. Hope you enjoy it.

Borhan J: Fight choreographer & Stunt

Jonathan F: Fight choreographer & Stunt

Doug V : Stunt

Adam Y : Stunt

Bruce K : Stunt

Written By: Urban Tactics HQ

Video Produced By: ST Production