Enjoy that frappe' as long as you can my friends! Life's too short!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Enjoy that frappe' as long as you can my friends! Life's too short!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It is always good training and this month was no exception. I especially liked the material that we worked on this time. December is also the time that the Buyu has their Daikomyosai which is a celebration honoring Jack's teacher Masaaki Hatsumi. So after the training everyone gets duded up and has a fancy dinner and drinks. It was wonderful to share that with everyone!
Without staying calm in a situation you put yourself and others more at risk.
Some hints for staying calm are:
Keep a good attitude:
Have a certain amount of faith that things will workout alright even if...especially if you don't know exactly how it will happen, be open to opportunities that you weren't expecting.
Positive internal dialog:
Keep that coach inside your head telling you positive things that will help you to keep yourself under control (rather than not).
An example of this would be:
Let's say you were having a conversation with someone who you don' t think is listening to you how do you respond to them? Or how about if you were waiting for a loved one to get home and they were late: If your Internal Coach was telling you that the person that you were waiting for was in a horrible accident you might be anxious or upset; but if you were thinking that they may be running late because they were picking up something nice for you, then you may be in a different state of mind.
Our Internal Dialog frames the neutral event and we tend to play into how we frame things.
Taking a deep breath helps to clear the mind. Maintain a slow steady breathing pattern from the abdomen.
Remember the acronym T.A.C.T.E.? We went over it in a previous blog:
T- Take a deep breath & think clearly
A- Assess the situation
C- Create a simple plan
T- Take action
E- Evaluate your progress
So there you have it.
Happy Holiday's everyone!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I'm sitting here listening to some Dishwalla, thinking about my life, my past, my new career directions and just reflecting on the day.
It's been a good day. Krav class in the morning was good. We worked on some clinching and talked about negotiation and de-escalation tactics and how it relates to Universal Values.
After class wrapped up I went to another great seminar taught by Buzz Smith. Chuck Pippin from Innovative Martial Arts brought Buzz in to teach this all day seminar.
Buzz taught with great thoughtfulness, insight, and respect. I've grown to admire those qualities in him. He always shares his unique perspective and art openly with the skill and care of a true artisan. He explains the concepts in a way that everyone can understand. By making the complex simple he doesn't just show you what he can do, he shows you what YOU can do. The mark of a good instructor. I'm sure everyone left with more than what they came in with on many levels.
I saw and trained with many others that I haven't seen since The Gathering in Spring or at one of the other seminars. It was great to see and train with everyone! Also thanks to Chuck for bringing Buzz in! Much appreciated!
One other thing happened that I want to mention: Buzz asked his childhood sweetheart Deb to marry him! She accepted...of course! :-)
Buzz told us that he chose to propose to Deb at the seminar because he considered us all his family and wanted to share that moment with us as well... people who he cared about and who cared about him. It was a touching moment for all of us. Congratulations Buzz and Deb! Thanks for sharing that with us!
Ok, now here is the educational part of the show... well sort of. For your education and entertainment I picked out some videos and pasted them below. I labeled each with a thought. You should find them rather informative, educational, but mostly just entertaining. Enjoy!!
*For those who offend easily or are upset by profanity you may want to skip this next part! :-)
When to Give Up:
How to Properly Profile a Threat (Will Smith Style):
Private Security 101... I thought you'd be bigger!
Confidence and Being a Good Host:
The 4 Big Questions:
Preparing for the Impossible Krav Style:
What a Real Car Jacking Looks Like (well...in your dreams or if you're Jeremy Wiersma):
The True Origins of the UFC & Life Perspective:
The YOU you Want to Be:
Is This Reality?
A Life in a Dream:
One Night Stands, Melancholy & Serendipity:
Follow Your Bliss, But Ignore This Music!
Predator & Prey / Protecting & Defending:
What We'd Like to do When Someone is Trying to Screw Us in a Business Deal (Explicit):
Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed my fun little tangent!?
Talk to you all soon.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Here is a little video clip I shot at a place where I go to get perspective when I need to. This goes hand in hand with the poem called "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. I like the poem and thought you might too.
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
© 1996 Linda Ellis
Be here NOW, don't waste a minute because we all know it goes fast. We don't know when or how our time is going to end, only that it will. As Mel Gibson so eloquently said in the movie Braveheart, "Every Man Dies, but Not Every Man Really Lives!" Sad, but often too true.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I was just asked by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Denny Gillem and to be the Official Personal Defense Subject Matter Expert for his Military - Veteran Talk Radio Show called Frontlines of freedom - AM 1260 - It is currently airs in Michigan and Florida and is being recommended for national syndication. In the West Michigan area it airs Saturday nights 7pm EST and is Podcast at www.frontlinesoffreedom.com.
You can hear my first segment here:
Click on the segment labeled - 09 Oct 29th part 3 - to listen.
I am honored to be a part of this program and to be able to contribute to a larger community through the show's reach. Thanks for the opportunity Denny. I appreciate your confidence in my perspective and experience and insights regarding Personal Defense!
Take care all. Talk to you soon!
Friday, October 16, 2009
If you have any brothers or sisters you may remember when you would fight as kids; once your parents finally got wind of your shenanigans and began their interrogation of the guilty parties you always seemed to get in more trouble if you did the named offense "on purpose." My punishment would be much worse if they thought that whatever I did was "on purpose," rather than it being "random and accidental." Like that time I was grounded because I "accidentally" (ha ha) hit my brother in the head with my sneaker that just happened to fly off from my foot while he was in front of me! Ahhhh the memories!
As we grow up and become adults many of us hold this same fear; the fear of doing things On Purpose! So, as American writer and philosopher David Thoreau said the result is that many people begin to "live lives of quiet desperation."
What is YOUR purpose? If you don't know your purpose is it is difficult to choose your direction. If you don't have a direction then any direction you take can't be wrong. Right? If you can never be accused of doing something On Purpose, you won't have to take any responsibility for what you do, thus you'll never get in trouble for it. It's all an accident right?! Your decisions, your career, your training, your relationships, your life! Nothing On Purpose...
This is all fine and dandy I guess. As J.R.R. Tolkien said "All that wander are not lost..." right?! Maybe, except if for whatever reason you are not happy, fulfilled or passionate about your decisions, your relationships or your life.
You've all heard it, the complaining, the whining, the talk of always being the victim of circumstance. Granted life rarely works out exactly the way we want it to, but that doesn't mean that we are victims. It means that we have to learn to let go of our attachment, have faith, embrace change, learn how to be tenacious, persevere, survive and keep going!
Finding the balance to be able to go full throttle toward something, giving it your best shot yet not being overly attached to the outcome is something that is not easy to do. It takes constant practice. It is so easy to externalize our problems; to blame things that happen to us on events, people, circumstances, whatever we can to avoid the one thing that is constant in all of our lives... US!
Ok, now back to Purpose.
What is your purpose? If you know what it is, prioritizing and keeping focus is much easier. It doesn't have to be complicated, just clear.
Let me share with you what my purpose (take a seat, fasten your safety belts and hold on!)
Here it is (drum roll please):
My purpose in life is to:
Experience life authentically
& never stop learning
Tim Ferris wrote in his book "The 4 Hour Work Week" that his purpose was to love, be loved and to never stop learning it rang true with me and seemed to get directly to the point, so I added the authentic part and adopted it as my own! Oh, and by the way you should read "The 4 Hour Work Week" if you haven't it is a great book! In the upper right hand side of this blog site is an Amazon link if you want to check it out!
As far as martial arts go many people train for different reasons: Sport, competition, self defense, survival, preserving history, health, because it's fun, to meet people, to experience another culture, etc. The problem is if the purpose doesn't match the practice. For instance training in an art that is based on strict tradition in attempt to preserve a particular historical cultural experience and thinking that it is tactical street defense. Be open and honest with yourself.
My purpose in martial arts is the following:
~To help stay healthy mentally, physically and spiritually throughout my life.
~To train tactically to protect the life of myself and others. What others? All others!
~To share what I know with individuals who want to live more empowered lives and contribute to an enlightened local and global community.
My question to you is simply this:
What is YOUR Purpose?
Paradox, Humor and change
*I chose this picture of Jack Hoban because he often inspires me to train and live my life On Purpose! Thanks Jack!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Events rarely happen randomly, there are typically recognizable patterns and dynamics that set up and follow the event through. This is what we call “the game.” Although combat and survival is not a game, we have found it to be very successful to break down the elements of what typically happens using terminology that is less threatening, thus easier to talk about, recognize and define. “The Game” is a metaphoric term used to describe any situation that may present a challenge in life. If you can learn to recognize the patterns and how everything comes together you will have a better chance at making more empowered decisions. Being able to recognize, assess and deal with these dynamics will dramatically increase the odds of survival and success in whatever challenge you may face.
Elements of The Game
The Players – Characteristics of Predators and Prey.
The Objective – What the Predators want.
The Board – The environment needed for Predators to get what they want (primary & secondary locations)
The Rules of Conduct – Behavior profiles of both Predator & Prey. How both parts are played.
The Rules of Engagement – How predators and prey interact & play their roles together.
The Playing Field – How all of these elements come together & how to stack the odds in your favor.
If you can control the playing field you can better control your chances of success in anything you have to tackle in life!
Like I said before, think like the general, not the soldier!
P.S. I'm heading out to train at the Bujinkan Buyu Camp this weekend! I'm looking forward to training with Jack Hoban and everyone again. I am honored once again to be asked by Jack to teach a session! I look forward to sharing also.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I received an e-mail the other day regarding a person who was wondering about Krav Maga and the viability of the techniques in a real situation. He, as many of us was very concerned about the effectiveness of the system. Although I feel it is a legit concern to make sure the tactics that you learn are going to be there for you in a pinch, as I read the e-mail further it seemed that this person had a perspective that many hold: 1) Always being prepared for any circumstance 2) Basically looking for a system that would give him the ability to be able to take out anyone no matter the person, situation or conditions. He described a circumstance where he was facing 6 guys at least one of whom who had a weapon. From his description he did make it out alive, hurt, but alive. He admitted that he was very lucky because they were probably drunk and he got the jump on them so to speak. I would agree that he got VERY lucky!
I don’t know of any system that would protect you from this if you were hoping to pull a Steven Segal and want to take all of them out via empty handed. It seems like it is the age old quest, to be invincible. We all would like it to go down like in Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” or most any other action flick, where the hero is surrounded by numerous bad guys where upon he systematically takes out everyone of them because… well, because he is clearly waaaaaaaay cooler and can kick some major booty! That should show everyone who’s the “big boss” (The Big Boss aka Fists of Fury) right? We all know what the real answer to that is don’t we? Yes, we would like for it to be different somehow, especially for us, but alas it is the same answer: We are merely human like everyone else and although some people are more athletic and may have more legitimate skill we all have limitations.
In light of this I believe that if you look at things from a slightly different perspective you can increase your odds of survival in situations that are stacked against you.
1) Identify what game is being played
2) Don’t play their game
3) Think outside of the box
4) Control the engagement
5) Control the playing field
So what do I mean control the playing field and not playing the adversaries game? Let me use an example:
The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was a tragic, but good example of controlling the playing field. If the terrorists would have gone toe to toe with the United States military forces in conventional warfare they would have been utterly destroyed, they wouldn’t have stood a chance. However they knew our game; didn’t play it and were able to unknowingly make us play theirs by using civilian aircraft as weapons. The result was the most devastating attack on American soil ever in our history from a foreign threat. It was a tragic day for the US; but a tactical success on the part of the terrorists. They were able to do what otherwise would have been impossible had they fought toe to toe with us. They really followed the above five principles. They identified what game the US was playing both militarily and socially, they didn’t play our game militarily and they also thought outside of the box to used our civilian freedom and trust against us by creating a tactical advantage through the use of domestic civilian aircraft as weapons to execute a devastating strike; they controlled the where, when and how of the engagement and we didn’t know what game they were playing so we weren’t able to successfully adapt and defend. By utilizing all of these strategies they ultimately controlled the playing field and the game forcing us to play the way they wanted.
So how can we utilize this same strategy? First by not looking at an engagement as you would a duel (a sporting match is in effect a duel). Rather think of it as more a chess match regarding controlling the playing field (game board, tactical space etc.). It is not whether or not the pawn is tougher than the king, or the queen tougher than the bishop. It is about how you use tools, tactics, tricks and environment to give yourself the best strategic advantage to survive or conquer the situation. Only a portion of it is fighting. Unfortunately too many people are thinking about it as a duel and being able to beat the other guy. Although many great things come from sport training and it is absolutely necessary to become proficient at fighting there is so much more to it than that. If you only train in the physical aspects of a sport mentality you will only view situations as you being able to “beat” the other guy. Be a general not a soldier. There is more to the encounter than just the fight! You can be a world class BJJ athlete but if the goon has a knife and isn’t playing the sport bjj game you could be in for a big surprise: If you are a knife or stick guru and can balisong your way through even the toughest Dog Brother; that may not do you any good if the other guy has a .40 caliber, 20 feet and is a crack shot: You could be great with your pistol but find yourself in the crosshairs of a sniper 200 yds away: You could be a UFC champion and think you are going to walk straight through this goob who you want a piece of and you could, but it might be harder once you realize he has three mean and ugly brothers w/tire irons. The situations are limitless but the principle is the same. There is always a “what if.” Someone can always be younger, stronger, meaner, more aggressive, more skilled…and their all uglier! Don’t fight and if you have to don’t fight toe to toe. It is not a duel / sporting match. Simply put, your ego can kill you.
There is a good video on Hock Hocheim’s site that shows a scuffle in a convenience store where one guy clearly knows some grappling. He puts the other guy in a closed guard and guillotine choke just before getting stabbed numerous times with some sharp pointy object that was found on the ground. The guy who got stabbed was clearly a better grappler and had the advantage …well up until he realized he was in a knife fight without a knife. His ego got him into trouble because he thought it was a duel/fight and he didn’t respond tactically he tried to “beat” his opponent. Incidentally he died from his wounds at the scene.
Don’t let your ego get you in trouble. It is not just about the fight; control the playing field by whatever means possible using strategy which may or may not involve fighting. It is better if it doesn’t! And if you do have to go to blows; the more you control the how, where and when of the engagement the better off you’ll be. Think outside of the box, be creative. Once again be the general not the soldier.
Monday, August 3, 2009
What is the difference between a fighter and a warrior?
A fighter trains to fight and sometimes they learn to live. A warrior trains to live and sometimes they have to fight protecting themselves and others. What others? All others.
Yes the warrior does train to fight, but the fighting is not the focus of the training.
A warrior fights because he has to.
A fighter fights because he wants to.
A warrior fights to protect others.
A fighter fights for himself.
I have trained with both fighters and warriors. I have fought for myself and to protect others. I prefer warriorship over fighting. I feel it is a richer, deeper, more fulfilling path although it is more challenging. Your steps along this journey are sometime difficult to see clearly. The greatest obstacle has always been yourself. Giving and sacrifice to others over seeking self gratification is tough because we are all human and none of us are perfect.
Being a warrior isn't about some belt, trophy, title, job (solder, officer, bodyguard, gladiator, etc)or any goal that we achieve, we don't ever really master it really, it is just a choice that we make every step that we take. Sometime we stumble and sometimes we fall, but warriors get up, brush themselves off and "Keep Going!" It is our actions, what we DO and our intentions behind those actions. If we ever really think we are "there" or that we "got it" we are fooling ourselves. It isn't something we get it is something that we do over and over again. You are either walking the path or you are not. It isn't a journey with an end. Only one step after the next. It is really about the practice and EVERYTHING, everyday, every moment is practice.
All the best,
Monday, July 27, 2009
Holy cow! This weekend was a great one! I could write a book on everything that transpired, but we don't have time for that today. I only have time to share a little bit of what went on during that 36 or so hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
You see this past Saturday Jack Hoban and I gave a seminar at Ronin Martial Arts / West Side Fitness in Grand Rapids, Michigan (the place where I hold on going classes). I picked Jack up from the airport late Friday afternoon, we hung out, watched some good friends of mine play in their surf band at Rocky's Tavern, a local watering hole near downtown Grand Rapids then cut home to get some shut eye. We didn't stay out long because we has a full day of training Saturday.
Although both Jack and I covered a lot of physical tactics, what I want to talk about in this blog entry is a little of what Jack was sharing regarding Dr. Robert Humphrey's view's concerning Living Values & Warrior Ethics. It is important for us to clairify what training is really for and who we are trying to protect.
Jack shared with us how warrior training whether it is done by the military, law enforcement or in the local martial arts studio can act as a vehicle for a higher purpose. If done correctly this physical training along with insightful discussions can help to align our purpose with our actions regarding ourselves and the lives of others. What others you ask? All others.
These ideas are something that seem to ring true in every individual that I have met. They are simple ideals that strike so close to home with each individual human being that it is almost impossible to deny their effect upon us. I say these principles are simple, not to be confused with easy! These very simple concepts that everyone seems to resonate with yet they are so easily lost from us.
By now you may be wondering what the heck I am talking about... Well, let me very simply tell you: It is about R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Aretha Franklin had it right, it IS all about respect.
How do we begin to combat all of the hatred in ourselves and out there in the world? How do we take steps closer to peace and further from war? How do we overcome many of the differences between us all regarding culture, language, ethnocentrism, religion, etc? These are common obstacles that we have to overcome when dealing with people of the world and in our lives. Here's a question for anyone who wonders about violence, self defense and protection: How do we justify physical violence and/or killing if we find ourselves in a position where we feel that we have to do it in order to survive or protect the lives of others?
Believe it or not, it still boils down to respect! Respect what? Life! Who's life? Your life and the life of others! What others? ALL OTHERS! So, when would you then physically defend or kill someone? To protect life. Who's life? Everyones life! Your own life and the life of others! What others? ALL others! Do you see the pattern here?
Now you may be thinking, "Well that is a great theory, but there are bad people out there. People who need to be dealt with, some of them probably should even be killed. What about them? There are terrorists, murderers and many others out there who mean to do us in.
Yes that is true and those people do need to be dealt with and some of us reading this have a duty to protect others from this type of threat, but how can we do it within the context of this "living Value" principle? Well, it still boils down to respect, and relative values vs. universal values!
Let me explain:
We will do what is necessary to protect the life of ourselves and others from the ACTIONS of those who are threatening those lives. Even if we don't condone an action or need to stop that action of someone else, it doesn't mean we should disrespect the person as being human or hate them in some attempt to justify our actions. Remember it is stopping the action, not justifying and dehumanizing the individual or group through prejudice, bigotry and hatred. It is all too easy to see the differences in people and use that as justification to perform sometimes extreme acts of violence to each other. We've done that for centuries! Hatred and killing due to religion, skin color, heritage, financial class, gender, language, social class, etc. etc. the list is endless! Over the centuries we've perfected the art of justification and brainwashing people into killing over relative values only to become sick in the aftermath of it all. Hopefully we can evolve past all of that and embrace a more peaceful path.
When do we take a life? To protect life. Who's life? Our own life and the life of others. Period. All other reasons are relative values. You might be thinking: Well what about freedom that is a universal value isn't it? NO it's NOT! That is relative. Everyone's view of freedom is different. What about equality? Shouldn't we be able to kill for equality? Equality is still a relative value, because everyones idea of what equal is can be relative. The ONLY universal value is life! The only time taking life is justified is for the protection of LIFE!
If you are still somewhat confused maybe this analogy that Jack shared with us will help: If you had a child that you loved yet they were stealing from others and not being a very nice person, chances are you wouldn't condone their behavior and would probably even punish them for their actions, but despite their behavior you still love and respect them as a human being. You are punishing their BEHAVIOR, and when those actions changed so would the way that you treated them. You didn't punish them because you hated them, although you may have hated their actions! The only reason that you acted in the way that you did was in response to their actions, to change their behavior, not disrespect them as a human beings nor justify what you did through some false rational. Well, I know it's hard, but take that sentiment and try to expand it to include everyone! Wow, I know that is a tall order, and that is why we have to keep being reminded or we lose that feeling, then when we come across a difficult situation the universal values often become fuzzy and unclear.
Does that help to clear things up at all? I hope so. If not visit Dr. Humphrey's website: www.lifevalues.com to get a clearer idea of this life changing concept.
Speaking of Dr. Humphrey, here is a simple way to show respect to people who may even speak different languages or are from different cultures with customs that may be foreign to you. Oddly enough this exercise will also work with those in your life who are not strangers as well! This method comes from Dr. Humphrey's "hunting story" in his book Values for a New Millennium.
The Sergent from Tennessee looked at Humphrey and said, "You got to be able to look them (the natives) in the face and let them know, just with your eyes, that you know they are men (or women) who hurt like we do, and hope like we do, and want for their kids just like we all do." You gotta let them know that you respect them for the humans they are dispute all of the differences that you see, smell, hear, taste and experience.
It seems that the timing is right to share with you something that I wrote in my journal about 15 years ago or so. Here it is:
"To find truth seek similarity, not difference. Look not at outward stylistic separateness, but at the inward principle sameness. Understand the core, the why, the principles that make the manifestation work. Recognize differences, but seek similarity. The embodiment of truth comes in many forms. The word of truth translates into many languages. Although outer appearances may differ, look deeper and you shall see the truth."
Dr. Robert Humphrey's Warrior Creed:
Whereever I go people are safer because I am there.
Whereever I am anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I go home people are happy that I am there.
...its a better life.
One last thing before I go:
Jack, thanks for coming out man! It was good hanging out with you again and training. I also appreciate that you took the time to share your insight and skills with some of the folks in this neck of the woods. I am looking forward to training with you soon my friend!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Ok, here is a little technique for you to use when you face a challenge that needs to be overcome. This method can be used during a tight spot and/or just in general.
Whenever you face a challenge you need to create a plan. If you don't have a plan you are at a huge disadvantage, so here is an easy method to use it is called T.A.C.T.E.
Think calmly and clearly (as much as the situation allows)
Assess the situation
Create a simple plan
*repeat as needed.
The elements are simple. The calmer you stay and the clearer your thinking the better your chances of overcoming the challenge at hand. Assess the situation at hand and make your plan. The plan needn't always be complicated. As a matter of fact if you are in the middle of an emergency or conflict you may need to quickly asses and create a very simple plan in order to save your skin (or the skin of another). After creating your plan of attack, you need to act on it. Doing nothing is an action if you choose to do it rather than simply freeze. The final step is to evaluate your success. If what you did is not getting you the results you intended change what you need to be successful.
Well, that's it for now.
Talk to you all later.
All the best,
Friday, July 3, 2009
I wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July.
I know the above picture contrasts such a cheery intro, but as you read the article below it will become more clear why I chose the above picture.
I began writing my blog for the 4th when Moshe e-mailed me this article. I thought that it was written very well and said everything I was trying to convey, so being one for efficency I thought I would share his words. I ran it by Moshe to make sure it was alright with him and indeed it was, so here you go!
Krav Maga for me is more than a 'martial art', or even a method of self defense. It is part of my essence; it is part of who I am.
I am an American citizen and an Israeli citizen, and I am proud of both traditions and I am loyal to both flags. I signed up for the US draft, although I was never called, I vote in every election, I support our troops.
The United States and Israel share the same core values, values which are not shared by many other countries. At the outset the USA was an experiment in democracy. Kids often ask me, "Why should I study history? What's the big deal?"
Well, you must study history. Without the knowledge of history you will never understand the present. When you study early American history; the founding fathers, their struggles, their passion and sacrifice, their goals and uncompromising attitude, you will understand what America is about, or what it was about and should be about.
At the time of the founding of the United States of America, the personal freedom which we see today in America and in many parts of Europe was unheard of. Most people today could not even imagine that kind of life, a life without the freedom of personal choices, a life without the freedom of diversity or self expression. We are free to choose our life style and beliefs.
Early Americans struggled, fought and died, so that you today can have the life you have. We are still indebted to those early freedom fighters and we must never forget that we too must fight; we must always remember that freedom is never free. I can not understand how an American can not know the lives of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin. I do not know how an Israeli can not know the lives of Jabotinsky, Begin, Trumpeldor and Herzl.
Why do we train in Krav Maga? Because we want to be free. We train so that when a woman walks down the street she is empowered to stand up to sexual or verbal abuse, so that a child or teenager can feel strong enough to say 'No' to peer pressure, so that an older person can walk the streets without fear.
We train in Krav Maga to retain the basic freedoms that the USA and Israel stand for. The government, army and police protect us on one level; we must protect ourselves on another level. To live in fear is not to be free, we train to be free.
Each person who stands up to personal abuse, each person who feels secure to be whom they want to be, each person who lives without fear, is a triumph in freedom. Each one of us contributes to this freedom.
I see Krav Maga as an Israeli contribution to American life and to the lives of all those who value freedom. Give it as a gift to someone who needs to feel the confidence, the power. This is the spirit of freedom, the spirit of America, Israel and all people who stand up to tyranny.
By Moshe Katz - IKI Krav Maga Founder and Head Instructor
I wish everyone a great 4th of July!!
All the Best,
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
So basically tools are those things that act as an extension of ones self to assist in completing a particular task. As our tools evolve so shall our choices, options of the situation and also the evolution increases our ability to create and use even greater tools.
Friday, June 19, 2009
All the best,
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Here is the crew from our last Krav Maga Boot Camp. It was a month long training session that met 2x per week for an hour... well, except on Saturday's when we would sometime train for 3 or more hours (What can we say?! We like to train!!). The crew pictured above met the Krav challenge head on and did a great job!
Meet the Peeps:
From left to right back row: Denny Mossen, Nate Koets, Jon Koets, Chris Carpenter. L to R front row: Sandra Jewell, Me (Craig G.), Staci Carpenter, Josh Gekeler.
Five of these fine people went on to join us in our intermediate class!
Great job gang!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
On Saturday, Feb. 21st we brought in Krav Maga instructor Moshe Katz from Israel to share some authentic Krav Maga with us. Moshe is Itay Gil's (star of the History Channel's Human Weapon Krav Maga episode) highest ranking student. Moshe stayed with me at my condo for a few days. Living in Israel just outside of Jerusalem Moshe shared stories of a vastly different cultural and life perspective than I hold. He has a gentle heart and was a true gentleman to me and all who he came in contact with here in Grand Rapids.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
It was a good night for a walk...
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I am looking forward to training with all of you at our next class.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Written by Krav Maga instructor Moshe Katz