Posts Tagged ‘Nir Maman’

Mark Messare is a colleague of Jonathan Fader. They met several years ago at a Nir Maman CT707 Instructor course and have kept in touch. Recently on a trip to New York, Jonathan stopped by Marks Head quarters in Burnt Hills, NY just outside of Albany and they sat down for a chat.

Mark has been doing Wing Chung since a teenager, has served in the US Air Force and more recently has discovered Krav Maga. Since then he has adapted his programs to be more self-defense oriented. Mark is the Co-Founder of APLEA to which has numerous affiliates all up the east coast. Jonathan and Mark have much in common as they both wish to better teach people how to defend themselves as well as constantly bettering themselves in the process.

ApleaMark Messare and Nir Maman Mark Messare practicing Wing Chung Mark Messare demonstrating Krav Maga

Wing Chun Kung Fu – Since 1993 under Sifu Don Green
Krav Maga – 2009 w/ Mike Lee Kanarek , 2011 w/ Sgt Maj Nir Maman , Also have trained with Moshe Katz, Certified INstructor under Boaz Aviram and have attended seminar with Darren Levine
Military since August 2000-Oct 2012
Armed Peace Officer – 2007-2013
Security work since 2002.

APLEA Association Website


APLEA Main Facebook Page

Going into my orange belt test, I had very little idea of what it was going to be like. I had
only had a handful of dedicated coloured belt classes beforehand in addition to a few private
tutoring sessions, though I had also been going to every defence and warrior class that I could
make it to. I felt that the techniques were still very fresh for me, but felt that my fitness and
basic techniques were in a good place.

‘There’s a written test’ was the first thing I remember hearing. I had no idea what a
written test would even consist of, but I think it was pretty straightforward material. Things that
Jonathan and BorHan are always going over in class. Things you might not always have on
your mind, but when faced with the question, you can answer from it being drilled into you so
often. And then the physical test began with a review of every technique I had learned from
white belt up until that point, and I felt very similarly to how I had felt with the written portion.
Perhaps the reasons for pursuing a certain course of action or for using a certain technique
were not always in my mind at the time of it’s use, but having been drilled so often in punches
and kicks and 360 and choke defences, when asked to reflect on the situation or why a certain
technique should be used and for what, I found that the answers came to me fairly quickly.
Perhaps the goal is to eventually align your perception and cognition of an event with your
reaction to it so that you realize in the moment why it is and what it is that you’re doing and what
the next step is as you move forward with a focused state of mind.

Anyway, after going through all the techniques, we spent some time going through basic
multi attacker defences, and then I was placed in the middle of a large group of ‘helpers’ (thank
you guys) who attacked me incessantly with punches and knives and chokes and grabs. It was
very intense, and there was very little time between attacks. I think this portion lasted for quite a
while (it felt like a long time), and I definitely learned the lesson that you cannot perform under
pressure the way you perform in a class practicing techniques, and why it’s good to strive for
perfection in practice, so that when you don’t have time to think, you can still perform the moves

My technique was sloppy. Some of my defences failed and I had to try again to defend
myself. A couple times, I felt like I took too long to react, and a few times, I definitely got
stabbed. But at the end of it, I realized that the reactions to these attacks were slowly being
ingrained upon my brain. That though I wasn’t necessarily as aware as ‘this is an ice pick attack
with a knife so use a 360 defence and strike the opponent’, I responded with the appropriate
moves the more often than not. I understood the importance of practice and drilling, and I
realized that when put in a very intense situation, I am able to react. Even if I might not pull off
picture perfect technique, I am still able to defend myself.

After this portion, I sparred with four or five opponents in succession. The fitness I had
though was in a good place was a little lacking to say the least. To continue to fight so many
people for so long in the middle of attackers and in sparring was very difficult, and I was
definitely gassed (I also got a vicious leg cramp during the sparring: don’t drink coffee right
before your test). But I continued, and I think that that is the important lesson to be distilled from
the experience.

Having had some time to reflect upon the experience, I feel that it has made me grow beyond
where I was as a yellow belt by pushing my limitations and my ability to function under pressure.
It was a very difficult test. Not insurmountable, but a significant challenge. I think it has shown
me areas in which I need to improve, but at the same time, given me the confidence to move
forward with training.


Dave Young

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


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

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

Let us be clear about something:

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

Are you Ash or Villagers ?

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

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

Gaza Flotilla Raid on May 2010, is a good example of a failed military operation and it also shows the limitation of Krav Maga ( hand to hand combat ).

Footage of the instance

Footage of the IDF Krav Maga training


On May 31, 2010, Shayetet 13 took part in Operation Sea Breeze or Operation Sky Winds against a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza. The commandos, armed with non-lethal weaponry and 9mm pistols as sidearms, abseiled from helicopters and boarded from speedboats, and apprehended five ships with mostly passive resistance. Aboard the MV Mavi Marmara, the commandos were attacked by dozens of activists armed with knives, iron bars, slingshots and improvised weapons, and allegedly with firearms, including those seized from commandos. Three soldiers were captured, carried below deck, and were temporarily held in a passenger hall. The commandos initially used non-lethal force, but after this proved ineffective, they opened fire with live ammunition and seized control of the ship. Nine activists were killed, and several dozen were wounded. Seven commandos were also wounded, two of them seriously. International condemnation of the action followed.Subsequently, S’13 commandos boarded and seized the aid ship MV Rachel Corrie with no resistance.

1. Group fighting

“You are simply not going to win over a mob.” Plenty of Kung Fu movies instill false ideas of a 1-vs-Many situation. In these films, the Kung Fu master is able to fight 10 – 50 people all by himself easily and effortlessly. As you can see in the footage, it only exists in Hollywood. Shayetet 13 is among the top 3 special forces within the IDF. Members of Shayetet 13 are the finest soldiers IDF can offer and these naval commandos are probably the most aggressive and fearsome of all. One of its unofficial mottos is “When force does not work, use more force.”  The Krav Maga training of Shayetet 13 is as brutal as any other spec-op unit, if not more. However, these soldiers are human, just like you and me.


Let’s look at it more closely. A soldier is able to do 5 moves in one second. These moves include most Krav Maga techniques: e.g, elbow, fist, kick, etc.  Each member of a mob can do, for example, “about only 3 moves because of sea sickness, lack of training, etc.”

In the film, each soldier was attacked by about 10 -15 mob members at any moment. 15 x 3 = 45 moves, so a soldier can only do 5 moves countering 45 moves by a mob in one second.  5 vs 45.  You see why being a Kung Fu master or top Naval commando makes no difference in front of a mob?


2. Space & Environment

Human beings are unable to deal with attacks from all angles. In this instance, the commando fast roped down, and in the middle of the rope he was quickly overwhelmed by the mob. Generally speaking, attacks can come from the front, left, right and rear (4 angles) but most of our senses are only equipped to deal with attacks from the front. Although it might be a mission requirement to fast rope in the middle of the deck, the commandos were unable to use walls and other obstacles to funnel the attackers into a more manageable angle.

gaza-flotilla-hamas-terrorists-03_425In the video you can see commandos were thrown off the deck by the mob. In a fight, the environment is neutral. It can be used against your enemy or you. The environment takes no side.

3. Use of weapon


some of the weapons found on the ship. The dangers of these item is irrefutable.

It is the saddest thing to see some martial art & Krav Maga instructors instilling false confidence to their students regarding the power of empty hands. IDF soldiers were attacked by metal rods, knives, fists, stones, etc. Every blow is potentially deadly to a human body. In situations like this almost every military and Law Enforcement in Western society allows its members to use deadly force. The idea of using non-lethal devices or Krav Maga to fight off this kind of situation is simply unrealistic and ludicrous.

4. Underestimate the threat

Prior to Shayetet 13’s commandos boarding MV Mavi Marmara, they had boarded several other vessels, and faced no trouble. The commandos were under strict orders not to use lethal force from the higher ups and were doing search with paintball guns and pistols. The situation quickly went out of hand even before the commandos boarded the ships. The mob is swinging the rope which commandos roped from and some of commandos actually fell from the middle of the air. It is unsure if the commandos got complacent because of the previous operations on other ships but the head of operations and the IDF higher up definitely got complacent and underestimated the unpredictability and aggressive nature of these passengers on board. The threat is very real even when you are at overwhelming odds on your side: Navy vs civilian yards, commandos vs civilians.

Gaza Blockade Soldier Photos


As one of my instructors Nir Maman ( Krav Maga and Counter Terror specialist ) once said, “The essence and tactics of Krav Maga in IDF is the same as how we shoot, how we clear rooms and deploy in battle ” In North America, many civilian instructors have emphasized too much on the hand-to-hand aspect of Krav Maga and failed to recognize that Israeli Krav Maga mentality is always about using superior weapons over the enemy.  “If the enemy has a stick, I have a gun. If the enemy has a gun, I have a tank. If the enemy has a tank, I have my F-15. Krav Maga is not a martial art and is not about fighting equally but a system about neutralizing the threat with superior forces with minimum of losses at your side.

The Gaza Flotilla Raid is an excellent example of the one time that the IDF underestimated the threats and did not deploy enough forces accordingly.  A mistake that almost cost these commandos’ lives.  The same can happen to us, so as Krav Maga practitioners we should acknowledge that we are not invulnerable to harm and our tactics can be flawed.

Written By: Borki Ben-Yony

Edited By: Warren Chow


For those who is willing to do some research on the latest and best Krav Maga instructors, Sergeant Major Nir Maman’s name is definitely among the top 10. Sergeant Major Nir Maman moved to Canada from Israel when he was a young boy. His parents put him in French immersion school to help him adapt to Canadian culture. He wasn’t the most popular kid in the world and spent much of his adolescents with another fellow Jew. This could be considered a normal life for any immigrant that doesn’t quite fit in, if it wasn’t for the fact that Nir and his friend were Jewish…………. Near the end of my instructor course Nir told us the instance that set him on the path to becoming one of the leading counter-terrorist experts in the world.

One day Nir and his friend were waiting at a bus stop to go home. Between them and the school was a corner store. Out of the store came a group of Neo Nazi youth, one who was known to them and had bad blood with his friend. To Nir, this was one of those “OH SHIT” moments in life where you know that it’s only going to get worse. They were surrounded and after a few words a fight broke out. The reality of this fight was that the two of them were surrounded by superior numbers and beaten. It was pure luck that allowed Nir to escape as after taking one very strong hit he buckled and fell to the ground. This allowed him to crawl through the legs of his attackers and run. To his dismay all he could do was look back at his friend being further beaten as he ran for his life.

This act of hate left a lasting impression on Nir  and made him dedicate his life to fight those who would do evil and help protect those who just want to go home safely. When he was old enough to Nir moved back to Israel to join the Israeli Defense Forces. There he was drafted into the elite unit, the Central Counter Terrorist unit. This unit has one of the most intense Krav Maga and Counter Terrorist training programs out of all the Israeli Special Forces. While most Special Forces units spend only a few weeks training Krav Maga, this unit spends upwards of six months training Krav Maga 3-6 hours a day.


According to Nir’s biography on his website Nir went on to be more than just another Special Forces soldier.

“During his service he held several positions including Commander of the Counter-Terror School’s International Training Section where he was responsible for developing and delivering specialized Counter-Terror, Hostage Rescue, and Krav Maga training to Special Forces Units from various countries around the world including the United States (Army Special Forces, Delta, Marines Special Operations Command, Rangers and Asymmetrical Warfare Group), that attend the Israeli Special Forces Counter-Terror and Special Operations School in preparation for high risk deployments such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also held the position of Lead Counter-Terror Instructor on the Counter-Terror School’s Designated Hostage Rescue Take-Over Units Instruction Section, where he was responsible for training new recruits and active operational members of the Israeli Special Force’s Designated Hostage Rescue Units in all areas of Counter-Terror warfare and Hostage Rescue including Hostage Rescue Operations in domestic and hostile/foreign environments, Close-Quarters-Combat, Dynamic Entry, Aircraft, Ship, Train, and Bus Interdiction, Suicide Bomber Interception, Urban Warfare, Tactical Shooting, and Krav Maga.”


It only takes one look at his lengthy list of accomplishments and resume to see that Nir is one of the best Krav Maga instructors in the world. Add to that his height, at well over six feet and over 200 pounds he is an intimidating man.  Don’t let this fool you; he is an intelligent, funny, out spoken individual whose seminars and courses are completely worth the money. Nir now spends his time living in Ontario, Canada where his day job has him working as one of the most intimidating Canadian peace officers this country has to offer. He spends the rest of the time running his business, CT 707 Israeli Krav systems. Through this company he offers Krav Maga, Tactical shooting and Counter Terrorism courses to Law enforcement, Military personnel and anyone who is interested in perfecting the art of defense.


Like much of the martial arts world Krav Maga has been divided due to pissing contests and politics. I have trained with people from several different groups such as, International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), International Krav Maga Association (IKMA), Israeli Krav International (IKI). In addition to this I have seen videos and demonstrations from other organizations such as the KMF, Krav Maga Worldwide and Krav Maga Alliance. However, if there is one thing I can say about the CT 707 it’s that it is the most pure and to the point versions of Krav Maga I have seen to date.To my knowledge, Nir is one of the few top instructors in the world that was ACTUALLY in the special forces of the IDF (Itay Gil being another such individual).

Now before this information sinks in let me break down how Krav Maga actually works in the IDF.

Too often I hear from people, “Oh you were in the IDF, you must be able to kill people with your bare hands.” This is a gross overstatement. While Israel has about 15% of the army in combat roles very few people actually learn Krav Maga to the level that the outside world thinks they do. For example, I was in one of the large Infantry Regiments of the IDF Givati, in the 424 battalion. In my training I spent maybe a total of 8 hours learning Krav Maga. The fact is that my hardest Krav Maga class was actually when I was in the army’s Hebrew school for new immigrants and not in my combat unit. This puts things into perspective a little more. Furthermore, there are two types of army Krav Maga instructors. The majority of army instructors spend maybe 4-6 weeks learning to teach Krav Maga before they are sent out to teach it. The fact is, these instructors are actually considered paper pushers or “Jobniks” as the term has been coined in Israel. These instructors are actually far less qualified to teach than the average civilian instructor in Israel.

The second type of Krav Maga instructors in the IDF are Special Forces instructors. This is the type that Nir is. He spends more time practicing Krav Maga in 6 months that most people do in 5 years. On top of that, as it says in his bio, he was in charge of developing Krav for the elite forces of the IDF. These are the same elite forces that have brought fear into the hearts of Israel’s enemies. Needless to say when I found out when his next Instructors certification course was I jumped at the chance to take it. Nir has simplified Krav Maga into an efficient system that has not been watered down by sport. Though I was only training with him for 4 days there was very little if anything that I disagreed with. His version of Krav Maga is purely about one thing – SURVIVAL! He truly understands what the founder, Imi Lichtenfeld had in mind when he first started to put together this system.


There are several fraudsters and McDojos out there who pretend to be teaching Krav Maga but do little more than take people’s money. Through Nir’s dedication and experience he has proven that he is a true master of Krav Maga and Canada should be proud to be his place of residence. I look forward to taking more of his courses in the future and hope to be a part of his organization as long as it is possible. I encourage all of you to try the various styles of Krav Maga, whether it be IKMF, IKMA, IKI, KMF, KMG, KMWW , etc.. As long as your end goal is to perfect the art of survival you have not forgotten what Krav Maga is really about. Only you can decide what is right for you.

Keep practicing and Stay safe.

Written by: Jonathan Fader

Edited by: Stephanie David

Jonathan Fader was a former sniper with IDF Givati Infantry Brigade. He is also a CT707 Krav Maga instructor under Nir Maman, IKMF P5 and BJJ practitioner.  He is the proud owner of Vancouver based Krav Maga gym Urban Tactics Krav Maga.