The Cost

Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy has now been operational for a year in Rotorua. I have seen students come and go, some have stayed and others dropped out for one reason or another. As my school’s reputation has grown through promotions, seminar work and student gradings I have had members from other Krav Maga associations contact me wanting to train with me. I have also had people from other schools and styles approach me wanting to try Krav Maga.

After I graded a batch of students in September one individual who trained with me on a few occasions approached me asking whether I would grade him. According to my log book he had not trained with me for over a month and his attendance record was inconsistent. I told him that if he continues training regularly for the next three months I will grade him if I feel he is ready. The point I am getting at is that the IKI certificate has a cost and I don’t mean the grading fees. The currency that I am talking about is time, dedication, commitment and overcoming your own fears. The certificate is there for anyone willing to pay the price; if not then they will simply be window shoppers.

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Close Combat

When I used to work the doors I was determined to be effective at my job working in a busy and often violent night venues in the UK. I knew that a mistake on the doors could lead to a visit to the hospital or worse. In my time on the doors I have seen edged weapons, bottles, glasses and chairs used and knew that most of the dojo stuff goes out of the window when responding to an incident. Operational tactics often would involve immobilizing and restraining the attacker, disrupting balance and sometimes using takedowns.

I and other doormen yearned for training which would closely resemble the operational environment. The SIA licensing scheme that had come into effect in the UK only addressed the customer service side of door work and did not provide any hard skills in terms of restraint and close quarter combat. Personally I view this as a big mistake by British Home Office and since then I have seen amendments to the SIA scheme at the cost to the patrons injured by untrained door-staff. I and many others felt let down that after so much planning and pilot testing the SIA scheme just did not deliver the standard which it set out to maintain in the security industry.

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Celluloid Peer Pressure

When I started training in Krav Maga I was a black belt in TKD and ran two morning and two evening classes a week at the local dojang. When I mentioned the Krav Maga training to other instructors at the dojang they would tell me they have a lot of respect for Krav Maga, but it is just not their thing. The master who operated the business even said to me that I am wasting my time with Krav Maga and should fully focus on Taekwondo. When I told him that the system deals with many threats not covered by our Taekwondo and Hapkido training the master simply told me that martial arts are not truly about self defence; he went on to say if someone wanted me dead they would just shoot me.

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Law of Familiarity

Last night in class I covered the basic plucking defences against chokes. We must be wary of the law of familiarity where we start to take the basics for granted as we progress and learn more advanced techniques to add to our arsenal. Fundamentals need to be practiced daily particularly in Krav Maga where many techniques are built around several instinctive principles.

This week I was watching episode ten of the ultimate fighter season twelve where Freddie Roach made a guest appearance. This is a man whose stable consists of four world champions and who has trained twenty seven world champions in his career. Freddie said that if he can make someone a better fighter he would; this is what he was born to do. Watching him train the Ultimate Fighter contenders he was simply working on basics, one two combos, advising one fighter not to bring the head forward as he jabs, footwork and staying loose until the moment of impact.

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In New Zealand according to the statistics released by the Women’s Refuge one third of the women live in fear of violence. World Health Organization study in Auckland and Waikato has concluded that one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence. Without fear mongering I have to say that continuous physical and sexual abuse suffered by women in this country has to be psychologically most damaging because it goes contrary to the natural instincts of self protection for the victim who is stuck in such a relationship. The victim gets to a point where they believe they are not worth protecting.

No logic can persuade a woman to leave a violent relationship; that can only be achieved through emotional leverage and establishing in oneself a sense of self-worth. Where do you draw the line, the slap, the escalation to choking, being slammed into a wall or being threatened with a knife? I tell the women, who come to me to learn combatives, choke and weapon defences that there is no need to be a victim ever again with Krav Maga. Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. It may be easy for me to say but I think that the first time a woman experiences violence she is a victim, the second time she is a volunteer. It is important to have the assertiveness to leave the violent partner.

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