Posts Tagged ‘Reality’

Unless you have been living under a rock, the media has been covering more and more situations involving death of a civilian by a police officer using a firearm. While the majority of these covered are out of the United States, there is occasionally such an event in another country that makes media headlines. Though it is not as widespread or as widely covered in a country like Canada, “death by cop” as the media often calls it, is something that happens whether you hear about it or not.

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In Canada’s case, the death of Sammy Yatim by Toronto Police constable Forcillo has been in headlines since it occurred in 2013. As I am writing this the date is January 25th and the verdict of the trial against Constable Forcillo which started in October has been announced.

The results are as such:

On the charge of Second Degree Murder – Not Guilty

On the Charge of Attempted Murder – Guilty

For a little bit more of a detailed breakdown of the trial and history of the events leading up to the trial see this National Post article:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/jury-has-reached-verdict-in-trial-of-toronto-cop-charged-with-murder

Before I continue on with this, one of the main reasons the public went into a frenzy over this particular case was because within minutes of the death video footage of the event was made public on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG6OTyjzAgg

Another video is the released footage from the bus can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx2iQnYMQfM

First of all, if you found that disturbing, please take a breath and understand that this is the kind of thing that any and all police officers may have to face at any point, and before you sit and judge, ask yourself what you would have done in his place.

Of course, you most likely easily answered – oh, of course I would not have shot! But despite what many of you think, it is not such an easy decision to make, especially in the moment. Here is a short clip (Yes, I know its fox news but still, it makes the point clear) of an activist who is critical of police actions going through simulated real training:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfi3Ndh3n-g

OK! So let’s go back to the case. The question you have to ask is – how can someone be found guilty of attempted murder when the person in fact died, and then not be found guilty of more severe charges? Here is the first problem in logic with the verdict.

Does this mean I think he should have been charged with the more severe charges? I want to be perfectly clear, that NO, I do not think he should have been charged with any of these charges.

Now before you jump down my throat for saying that, you must understand this DOES NOT mean I think he should go unpunished.

Before I go on with my opinion on the events that occurred I would to establish that unlike most of you reading this, I am far more qualified to asses a use of force situation objectively. Why? Because I served in the IDF for two years, which in itself doesn’t mean anything but most of my active service was in the West Banking doing police work. There were numerous times when I faced potential threat to not only my health and wellbeing, but also to others, and I know exactly how I react in such situations. In addition I have dedicated my life to studying and teaching use of force through Krav Maga and firearms training. In addition, I am also a certified machine gunner and infantry sniper. But I am not here to talk about myself, but I would just like to give you some idea as to why my thoughts have a little more weight than the court of public opinion.

Ok, so let’s break down the event. Here are the facts that matter in my eyes:

  1. We have a knife wielding individual on a bus that has made threats to the general public
  2. Before the police arrived, passengers vacated the bus in a panic and Sammy remained on the bus
  3. Sammy is relatively contained in the bus
  4. There were multiple officers some, with guns also drawn but then re-holstered and others with guns still drawn
  5. The first 3 shots from the constable are potentially justifiable
  6. The next several shots were not really justifiable
  7. After shots were fired and Sammy went down, not one of the police immediately jumped in to either
    1. Take the knife away
    2. Offer immediate first aid until medics could arrive
  8. The constable has a history of misconduct among other things.

So 1 and two are fairly self-explanatory and I don’t think I need to get into this any further.

Number 3 -The fact that Sammy was in the bus with a knife and no hostages means that he was relatively contained, which should have made it more comfortable for the police to attempt to calm Sammy down. They could have (any or all of them, tried to calm him down with relatively little worry that he would harm others or themselves. This means that putting the fault for not to attempt to calm him down cannot be exclusively put on constable Forciillo because any one of the officers should have done this.

Number 4 – Many of the officers made the assessment that it was necessary to draw their weapons. This means that any one of them knew that they could have potentially needed to use lethal force. Some decided to re-holster because for one individual you really do not need that many guns drawn. In this situation, with Sammy contained, 1 or 2 drawn pistols would have been enough. If you are sitting there saying that they did not need to draw their guns at all then you are mistaken. They were in relatively close proximately and were under 21 feet which means that had they had their guns all holstered Sammy could have easily charged and stabbed any one of the officers before they drew their guns. If you don’t believe me, believe myth busters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckz7EmDxhtU

This means drawing their guns at that range was 100% justifiable in any and all circumstances when a knife is present.

Number 5 – The first three shots are justifiable in the moment because Sammy walks into the bus then quickly turns to the door at a faster speed. IN THE MOMENT, not one of you could have determined if he was charging or not. If you assessed he was charging, which officer Forcillio clearly did, then the correct response is to shoot. This is a split second decision and making the wrong one could be fatal to more than just the knife wielder.

Number 6 – Because Sammy was already CLEARLY down the next round of shots is not really justifiable unless he was trying to get up and attack, which he was not. This action is most likely what caused the crown to seek charges in the first place and potentially caused the public to freak out (I say potentially because the public is generally very anti-police in Canada).

Number 7 – After the first 3 shots were fired and Sammy was CLEARLY down officer, Forcillo or any other officer for that matter should have immediately charged in to remove the knife and control Sammy, and then offer medical treatment. While I cannot specifically say why this was not done even though it is what should have been done, it is very likely that this comes down to Canadian police training which is what his defense attorneys are saying is why he took the actions he did. I have talked to many Canadian police officers and it is my opinion that due to their training they are severely lacking in hand to hand combat and arrest training, and as such do in fact rely a little too much on their firearms as a means to deal with a situation. This means that if training is a big factor, which is based on what I know and the lack of reaction from the other officers present that it is potentially the police force and the governments fault for such behavior.

Number 8 – This is a big reason why the constable should be punished. Due to his historic bad performance as well as the poor judgment and potentially negligent action causing death it is clear that no matter what happens he should not be allowed to continue as a law enforcement agent.

So why do I think finding him guilty of attempted murder is wrong you ask? The obvious is the logic of finding someone of attempted murder to someone who died is completely illogical but that’s far too easy an explanation.

In my opinion, charging a law enforcement officer of ANYTHING to do with murder when responding such a call, regardless of good or bad judgment, is wrong and irresponsible. This is essentially saying that anytime an officer uses lethal force against someone with a weapon even if it was a good kill, will potentially result in a murder charge for doing their job.

You may not think this is a big deal, but in a legal system based on common law, which all of Canada except Quebec uses, means that this case sets precedents. This means that any time an officer kills someone in the line of duty the Crown counsel can seek to use this case as a means for various murder charges. This also means that if this charge is to stick, all future judges and Juries may be required to use this case as a general standard for future decisions.

So you are now putting another legal hurdle in the way of officers from doing their job, which is protecting the public form unwanted harm.

This means that instead of simply forcing officers to continue to be judged by the court of public opinion which is based on emotion and BULLSHIT usually, there is now that, plus legal precedents working against them.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely scenarios when an officer should be charged with murder but these should be reserved for very specific unique scenarios that does not involve an officer doing their job.

For example a police officer just off work but is still in uniform with his firearm. Their neighbor whom they do not get along with just let his dog shit on their lawn. THAT’S It, the officer had enough draws is gun and shoots. This would be murder because it has nothing to do with the officer doing his or her job but rather is an emotional outburst resulting in death. Which, by the way, in Canada would be manslaughter.

So how do we solve this problem? Clearly In constable Forcillos case, he should no longer be allowed to continue as a police officer and should in the future not be allowed to do any work in a similar line of work.

I would like to point out that I do not find fault in the jury but rather in the Crown Counsel, the legal system and the government. This is because he clearly should have be punished, but the only option of the three charges they could punish him with was the lesser one. Because if they didn’t find him guilty of something then another bad cop (Which is an extreme minority, despite what you may think or what the media may say) gets to walk free. This would not only make the situation worse but most likely lead to protests and potential riots. As such, I think this verdict is more of a political decision than actual justice.

What should happen is the legal system and government should create a new charge. Let’s just call it for arguments sake extreme negligence and judgment in the line of duty. This new charge, would result in a criminal charge. Would result in a dishonourable discharge. Would result in a ban from any job of similar nature and would result in probation.

Such a charge would:

  1. Rid the force of any actual bad officers from a legal and moral perspective
  2. Prevent them from doing any such action again in the future
  3. Give them a criminal record
  4. Give them punishment in which the public so often demands.

Such a charge would NOT:

  1. Set legal precedence potentially further restricting officers from using legal force when required
  2. Continue to aggravate police public relations

So, Again, Forcillio should NOT be found guilty of anything to do with murder but he SHOULD be punished and SHOULD NOT be allowed to continue as a police officer.

Now with that being said there is clearly a BIG problem with training for the overall police forces in North America, but this is largely political and related to budget concerns.  This of course, is an issue for another article but is definitely a problem.

So before you jump on any anti-police bandwagon, please consider the following:

  1. Legal ramifications of any decision in court under common law
  2. The fact that you were most likely NOT there in the moment
  3. The fact that you most likely DO not have any training on the subject matter
  4. The fact that it wasn’t you in the moment and if you say you know how you would have reacted with no prior comparable experience, then sorry but you are lying to us and to yourself.

Regardless, there definitely needs to be improved relations between the police and the public lest we descend into either an anarchist state or a police state, because if things continue as they are these are, these are two potential devastating outcomes.

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  Imi Lichtenfield, founder of Krav Maga, said that the reason one should learn to fight, is “so that one may walk in peace”. I started taking classes with Urban Tactics because you never know what can happen to you. Just a few weeks ago, I was attacked when I did not expect it. I quickly learned the importance of being prepared for the worst.

        It was the last weekend before school started up for university students, and thus also the last weekend I had to see off a good friend of mine before he left for the school year. We went out drinking, clubbing, and generally having an obnoxious good time in the way that young men do on summer weekends. By 2 or 3 in the morning we headed toward our homes, and fortune had us walking into a bad neighborhood to be caught in at such a late time.

        I don’t consider myself all that stupid, or reckless. I have family in this area, and have been through it by myself on countless occasions over the years. The incident I am about to describe caught me completely off guard. I didn’t for a moment think that I was in danger. As we approached this part of town (the specific place we visited and who we were going to see will not be disclosed for my own privacy and safety), we saw a crowd of twenty or so people gathered in the street of this suburban area. Unafraid, and slightly drunk, I took my friend and headed straight for it, eager to meet some new friends. Unfortunately, and rather unexpectedly, a member of this crowd stole my friend’s glasses. I pleaded with him to return them, naively confident that he might, and bang, seemingly out of nowhere, he elbowed me in the side of the jaw, right by my ear. While I was reeling, he punched my friend in the mouth.

        Before he struck me, he was leaning on a fence, hands by his side. The quickness with which a person is able to throw a strike is why it is absolutely essential to always be protecting one’s head, as is taught in Krav Maga, as soon as one suspects they may be at risk of physical attack. As soon as I got hit, I threw a wild hammer punch (which missed) while toppling, caught myself on a fence, and entered what we refer to as semi-passive stance; close to fighting stance, but less aggressive, palms facing forward to communicate a wish to cease or prevent violence. The first sight I took in was three figures surrounding me from a couple strides away, and my friend on the ground. Had I not displayed some level of competence in self-defense, the attack might have continued, and my friend and I would have faced much worse risks and consequences. As it were, I pleaded with them to stop, and we walked out with only minor injuries (and wounded pride, but fortunately, that doesn’t land you in the hospital).

        I wish I could say that I taught that guy a lesson. I wish I could say that we lived in a world in which bad things don’t happen to innocent people. I cannot say either; he got away with it, and people prey on the unsuspecting every day. What I can do is strive for excellence, and prepare myself for the worst. It’s possible that my training saved me and my friend from serious injury. I hope that this is the only occasion in which I find myself having to use what I have learned from Krav Maga, but I know that it very well may not be. I choose to practice in combat for many reasons, primarily so that I am better prepared for situations like these. One should not learn to fight so that they may bring harm to others; that is not in the spirit of Krav Maga. One should learn to fight so that they are able to protect themselves, and others.

Written by: Daniel Kennedy

This will be the last post of 2014 and I thought a good topic would be the evolution of technique. In the New Year we always make resolutions to be better and improve so evolution or improvement is a good place to end 2014.

Many months back, I went on a trip to Buffallo NY, with my partner in crime Borhan Jiang to re-take the CT-707 Instructor course under Nir Maman. For me it was my third time training with Nir and for Borhan it was his first.

In a conversation we had with Nir the question came up, why is it, that many of the techniques developed by Imi and others, are either no longer effective or are less effective than they once were.

The answer we got was so simple it was shocking. With the evolution of attacks, so too must the defense evolve.

I spent much time thinking about this over the past few months and the one area that so many Krav Maga organizations seem to struggle with is adapting the moves to the new types of attacks. Not only do some, not want to change their defense, others come up with options that sometimes leave me scratching my head.

The area of defense I see most problematic is knife attacks. If you look at most systems, even early Krav Maga, the answer is usually some kind of block or grab that is meant to stop the attacking knife and arm in one move. The problem with this is that the real weapon is the person, their brain and their nervous system and not the knife. The knife like everything else we use to be more efficient in this world is simply a tool.

Recently, there have been numerous Knife attack videos presented to me and It always shows one thing. A person with a knife, attacking, often wildly one….two…. 10 plus times in succession.

Knife

Which means, they are attacking fast and repetitively. It is really easy to demonstrate to a student how it is extremely difficult to simply grab or block such attacks as many systems would have you believe.

So I thought I would break this all down a little bit further so that you too can better understand how to properly deal with various knife situations.

To start off lets break down some of the different types of Knife scenarios:

  • Static knife scenario – This is a stick up like situation where they are simply holding the knife and demanding something
  • Committed Knife attack – This is an attack that is now kinetic (Energy and motion) but is in one committed direction – Down, up, forward (Thrusting)
  • Non-Committed knife attack – these attacks are kinetic and have no direction, they are slashing and stabbing rapidly with no pattern

Much of the older techniques deal with primarily the committed and static attack type and offer little or poor solutions to the non-committed type. This is very problematic as if an initial committed attack fails they often turn right into a non-committed attack until the attack is satisfied with the amount of damage they have done.

So why has much time ibeen spent developing good techniques for the first two attacks and not the latter. I thought about this long and hard and perhaps I am right or perhaps not but this is what I think.

It was not until the mid-late 1800s’ that guns, due to the advancement of rifling and bullets, became the primary tool for killing. Before this, and for 100s of years swords of all types were the primary tool. This meant that specific styles and techniques were developed both offensively and defensively around sword techniques and strategies. Depending on the sword type, they either rely on direct thrusts or a wide slashing movement. As such, knife techniques also followed similar patterns.

This means that older techniques in many styles may in fact work as they are dealing with primarily static or committed attack types. But as guns began to take over as the preferred tool, less and less people were being trained in proper sword techniques and with the World Wars speeding up globalization new styles could easily spread.

One such style came from the Philippines, a style that predominantly deals with knife and shorter bladed techniques. Be it Kali, ilustrisimo or Escrima these styles really began to change the way trained individuals looked at bladed attacks. Individuals both trained and untrained are realizing the best way to attack with a knife is with short quick movements in rapid succession. It does not matter if it is a stab or a slash, if the movements are quick, and rapid they are very difficult to stop.

Which means, organizations that due to tradition or simply laziness who choose to only use techniques that do not deal with all possible attack types as simply as possible are no longer living in reality. This could be Krav Maga or other martial arts styles.

The flaw is always when you treat the knife as the weapon and not the person. If you simply block and re-direct, you are ignoring the person as this does nothing to stop them from resisting.

When it comes to knives you have a few options.

  1. Simply RUN!, this is and always will be the best choice
  2. Block while simultaneously disrupting their attack pattern then Run
  3. Block while simultaneously disrupting their attack pattern control the means of Kinetic energy deliverance to the tool (The arm) and continue to disrupt the individual until the knife can be safely taken away.

So I have made this explanation a little complicated on purpose, as I want you to understand how it is a knife becomes dangerous.

A knife on its own, is a static object with bladed or sharps sides usually under 12 inches. On its own, it is harmless. However, as some kinetic energy (motion) to it and that blade now can cut or pierce soft tissue with ease. The knife is not the weapon it is a tool and the person wielding it is the weapon, more precisely their brain and nervous system. You must disrupt these things to stop the attack pattern and it must be done so with speed and confidence.

However, if you ignore the knife you are doomed to fail as well. This means you must both disrupt the attacker and control the knife with as little motion as possible.

If you block and disrupt. For example the standard 360 Krav Maga defense, and then continue to fight them then you are ignoring the knife and you now have a problem.

However, if you do a 360 defense and then IMMEDIATLEY grab the attacker’s arm you can now control the knife and can disrupt the attacker with kicks, knees and head butts.

For the record when I say grab the arm, I do not mean simply with your hand. I mean with BOTH arms and hands with vice grip clamping onto that arm. This turns it into their arm and hand vs your entire body weight.

An example of a reference point 1 or Live side two on one Grip

An example of a reference point 1 or Live side two on one Grip

An example of a reference point 2 or Dead side two on one Grip

An example of a reference point 2 or Dead side two on one Grip

TO many times I see demos where a person is controlling a knife wielding person by the wrist, but this is only the illusion of control.

When it comes to knives, if you lose control and of the knife arm, and are not a significant distance away…well I will leave it to your imagination.

So what happens, if the attacker starts with a non-committed wild attack?

Did I not say to run already? That is the best option.

Because the reality is, if you do not find a way to disrupt their attack pattern while maintaining your distance long enough to get a hold of that arm, there are very little techniques that will be able to stop such an attack without sustaining significant damage to one’s self.

So, if you cannot run, find another tool that is longer and bigger to fight them with. Throw things at them. But you must find a way, to create distance or cause them to pause. A pause is all you need to dive in for that arm. Otherwise, your only option is to run.

Evolution, it is how things improve. It is not just biology that adheres to this principle but also the learning process. It is far too easy to get stuck in a pattern because we are comfortable. This is what causes complacency. Complacency is what causes trained individuals to fall short of defending themselves and their loved ones. So, we must always evolve and be better. This does not only apply to evolving knife defense scenarios. This applies to all Krav Maga and self-defense scenarios. If you cannot keep up with the evolution of the attacker’s strategies then you too will fall prey to Darwinism.

So to you I say, make sure it is not just you who is evolving for the better in the New Year but also your methods, strategies and techniques.

I wish everyone a good, and prosperous new year in 2015 and wish that all of you out there, may continue to walk with peace.

Written by: Jonathan Fader

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

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

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

Let us be clear about something:

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

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

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

holding cellphones

I noticed a funny thing the other day that I have never put much thought into. I had forgotten something at the grocery store so at 11pm at night I headed back out to walk to the store.

I currently live in a relatively nice area of one of the suburbs of Vancouver, Cars lined the street and the trees grow tall hanging over the sidewalks. It was a clear mild night perfect for a late night outing. I looked up and about 200m down the sidewalk I saw a young woman. Her hands were out, and she was walking at a comfortable pace. As we got closer and closer she pulled out her smart phone and looked down at it as she walked passed me.

It dawned on me. Our technology is increasingly giving us a false sense of security. In this case, her looking down at her phone would do nothing to prevent me from attacking her if I was a bad person. Not only this, from a self defense point of view, the fact she has taken her eyes off of me for the perceived safety of the phone has actually put her in a worse situation.

If she had been looking at me and I attacked she would be able to have some kind of normal human instinctual flinch response, such as throwing her hands up to protect her face. However, now with her eyes down, focused on the screen pretending I was not there she would have no time to even do that. Technology has gotten in the way of our ability to even react with our normal instinctual reactions. This is bad.

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I thought about it even further and I am partially guilty of this myself. I know that if I am walking and I have my phone in my hand, while I am always paying attention it will drastically reduce the speed at which I can react. Why? because in the back of my head I think, this phone is my life, I run my business from it and it is expensive thus, I must protect it. I even may try to justify this fact by suggesting that the phone cannot defend itself so I must protect it.
This of course is not a good mentality, as a phone is just a thing and my life is well, mine and I would like to stay alive.

I know that with the phone in my hand I am at least initially operating as if I only have one good hand as my other will be holding on to the phone. Instead of the dropping it immediately or throwing it like I know I should it is likely that I will protect it first. Again, this is bad.

Granted, If I am in an area that I am really not comfortable in I always put it away and remain observant, but complacency can happen and I could still potentially be in a bad situations and not know it because I am still focused on my phone.

Imagine this, you are on a crowded subway or light transit system. What will you most likely see now in the 21st century?

You will see the same thing, many people looking down at their phones. If someone is attacked or being aggressive the only thing people will do is look up, see what’s going on and then look down back to their “safety”. There may be even one so bold as to film it and post it on YouTube for later viewing. Of course this is the Bystander effect at its greatest. The advantage now, compared to 50 years ago, is that there is evidence for later prosecution or arrest, but for those being attacked this is too little too late.

So I say to you, stop using your phone to avoid paying attention, it does not make the situation safer. If you see someone or something your are unsure of or do not like, pay attention. Put your phone in your pocket or purse and observe. You do not need to look at the person or thing in question, simply pay attention. Your phone will not save you in the moment but your situational awareness will.

Written By: Jonathan Fader

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)