I have always wanted to do a World Tour (WT). Why? Why do the Rolling Stones, or the best acts in the world do it? I am sure they have their own reasons, but for me it is about teaching what I know, connecting with people and seeing the fruits of the work done by KMG (how the branches, schools, instructors and students are doing and progressing). I just needed a reason for “party” and the year 2014 was perfect as we celebrate different milestones in KM history. In the last part of this blog you can see which ones.
So coming to the end of the year 2014, today we are left with the last five seminars of the KMG World Tour, and it is time to make a small summary. I have met and taught over 4,000 people during the WT events this year, in more than 50 events and 25 countries. Most of the seminars were similar; I wanted to explain about the system, bring techniques from the past and present, emphasize the four directions of training: mental, physical, technical and tactical and more. As I am not good enough to make everyone a KMG expert in one seminar, I compensated by trying to give the best taste of the system and way of doing things.
Theory and way of behavior
- In self-defense we aim to avoid violent confrontation. De-escalate, prevent and minimize chances of getting into a violent conflict
- In Combat and fighting we aim to cause maximum damage to the assailant/enemy in the minimum time, while sustaining minimum harm
- In 3rd party and VIP protection we get into the line of danger in order to save another person, as a member of family, a friend or the politician we are assigned to protect
The goal in each of the above is to win; however, winning in training is for both sides. You win and your partner wins. Both of you got better, this is your win. In reality it is a win-lose situation. You, the KMG trainee, must win, your enemy/aggressor/attacker should lose. Losing for the other person means that he is unable to continue, he must be defeated, whether physically or mentally. In self-defense you can escape so the attacker will not be able to reach you; when another person that needs your help is involved, running away may not be possible; during war and combat times, retreating may be a tactical choice but giving up is putting your life in the hands of the enemy, putting yourself in his mercy. We train not to reach this point. So the nature of winning will depend on the problem, the situation, who is involved, your own capabilities and other variables. But the result of winning is always the same – the “opponent’ cannot continue.
There are two kinds of attackers. The first one wishes to dominate you, humiliate you, control you mentally and physically, and put you in a certain place in the hierarchy. It can be just between you two, or several others may also be involved. It can be in the middle of the street, in a school yard or in a low light environment of a nightclub. Fighting and attacking may be a solution; another solution is correctly done compliance.
The second type of attacker is one who sees you as a resource, or wishes to take resources from you. This can be a mugger, a robber who wants your money, smartphone or car; This can be a kidnapper who wish to take you for ransom or to exhibit your head to the international media; a bank robber who takes you as a human shield while facing the police force; This can be a person who attacks you for his own psychotic pleasure of causing pain and harm; or an attacker who wishes to revenge a past incident; or for violent sexual dominance and aim, such as rape. Depending on the situation and incident, KMG techniques and tactics are exactly built to answer and solve those scenarios.
In KMG there are no rules, but there are the laws of the land. If you break the law you may find yourself in jail. So in the WT seminars I was explaining the general rules existing in most countries, when you can and should act. In summary, if the danger is immediate and substantial; if you have no alternative; if the aggressor has the ability means and tools to hurt you, you are obligated to act. Why obligated? Because the axiom is that no one else will do it for you. Of course you can and should call the police, but if the danger is immediate, no one will reach you in time, or you just don’t have the possibility to call for assistance. So acting in order to defeat the aggressor is your mission. Whatever you do, it should be proportional to the level of threat that you are facing. Without good justification and a real reason, you can’t just break the head of someone who just slapped you face.
Talking about being a good partner in training was the end of this theoretical part. One should acknowledge that the regular education given by the parents, other members of family, as well as the school system is to behave nicely to others. The result is a partner who doesn’t wish to attack and harm you. So there is a necessity to understand how to be a good attacker, one that simulates a real problem while accepting the fact that he or she doesn’t need to act psychotically. The name of the game is control and correct training. I went on to demonstrate what it means to do correct attacks and marking of attacks, how to perform realistic attack without the fear of damaging my partner.
The physical part
The mind is our greatest asset. It is also controlling the body, so the physical part was also about the mind and brain. We did a warm-up combined with coordination, balance and worked on the better functioning and communication between the two hemisphere (left and right sides of the brain); we did several power drills with a partner that were analogical to the techniques expected in the seminar and more.
The mental part
Every conflict and confrontation requires mental resources and capabilities. In KMG we have specific mental conditioning, combat mindset drills and mental training that are directed in 3 categories: courage, controlled aggression and determination; focusing and concentration; and relaxation and defusing of stress. Lately we release a 2.5 hours DVD set that is focusing on these mental aspects, but in the WT I gave just some small parts from this vast subject, including how to change the mental state by using power postures and different body languages, as well as developing courage and channeling aggression. Some of the techniques and training methods I learned from Imi and other sources, and some I developed during years of working with military, anti-terror and undercover units. To present those to civilians sometimes need adaptation and sometimes they can be taught without alterations.
The technical part
Everyone wish to sweat in training. I was focusing on the technical challenges during the WT seminars but I believe I didn’t neglect the physical aspect, especially in the beginning and the end of the event.
The techniques during the seminar were focusing on defending knife attacks coming from the sides. The attacker may be at closer or further distances when his actions were detected. The defender may have an aggressive attacking response or natural reflexive and defensive responses that should be rapidly converted to efficient defenses and counterattacks, all depending on the situations. So we practiced kicking the assailant from a distance, defending and countering, getting out of channel to avoid further dangers; we did active (and dynamic defenses integrated with efficient counterattacks; we trained on defending another person when the knife attacks are directed towards him or her; in most World Tour seminars we had enough time to deal with knife attacks while the defenders were lying on the ground and also to deal with multiple attackers. It gave great satisfaction and it was fun to see how even beginner students managed to perform well in such conditions, that usually higher levels meet during the training J
We finished every event with giving each participant a certificate, an envelope to contain it and a unique pin, all specially made for the World Tour seminars.
Celebrating Milestones in Krav Maga
One thing that I managed to talk about was the reason for the world tour and what it celebrates. In 1944, 70 years ago, Imi Lichtenfeld (founder of Krav Maga) started teaching in the resistance before the formation of Israel. In 1964, after 20 years of service and at the age of 54 he composed the first non-military curriculum and started teaching in civil life. In 1974 I started training, I was almost 15 and it was 40 years ago. In 1984, 30 years ago, we started turning KM into a system. Imi was just a genius in giving the best solution for a specific problem; he did it intuitively and methodically, and till that moment KM was taught as a collection of techniques. My task was to form KM as a system, so some things went out, new things went in, new curriculum was formed and another revolution was made. In 1994 I started the intensive spread of KMG in the world. Till that year there was only one instructor active in France, and a group of ex-students of mine were operating in America. Now, 20 years later, KMG’s global and international team (GIT) of instructors and I, have trained several thousand instructors, who are active in over 60 countries. So the fruits of this work are changing for the better the lives of so many people that are in contact with Krav Maga Global.
Without the hard work of the instructors, directors and organizers, and naturally the guys in HQ, I could not have done even a fraction of what I did during the World Tour seminars. My deep appreciation and thanks are for all of you who worked and contributed, and for all the trainees who attended.
KOL TUV and see you ASAP