It’s a common expression in many martial arts that injuries come from white belts, or, “white belt mentality”. Whether Brazilian JiuJitsu (left side ribs were separated from the cartilage), Taekwondo (left hand was compound fractured), kick boxing (rib fractures, both sides), Krav Maga (broken nose from a knee), it’s inevitable that some sort of injury likely will happen, even if it’s just pulled muscles, “rolled toes”, etc.
I recently asked a student of mine (big, strong guy), referring to his recent verbal assault (from an even bigger guy), “What would you need to defeat that idiot if he attacked you?” This had happened at an eight-year-old basketball game, of all places, and the bully I am referring to was one of the coaches, for Christ’s sake, which goes to show that anything can happen anywhere (see previous blog “Reality preparation versus Sport Training”).
As with most martial arts that become very popular, greed inevitably raises its ugly head and the pursuit of money and status, accompanied by cowardly social media degrading and accusations, especially via YouTube, Facebook, etc., start to take over. I’ve seen this many times and to be quite honest am disgusted by it all.
The father of a teenage boy, both adept Brazilian JiuJitsu practioners, not that long ago answered my question of “why don’t you take a few Krav classes, just in case you two ever get attacked” with this reply, “I do not frequent ‘those’ kinds of places.” Really? I looked at him and just shook my head, as sometimes there are simply no words for such ignorance. Smart guy, too, but not here.
Whenever I am giving a Krav Maga seminar, or talking with a prospective new Academy student or private client, I stress that Krav education and practice will focus greatly on the importance of the realization that one has to re-train certain God-given reflexive responses to threats, as they are the very reactions that many times fail under an assault. Yes, it’s always eye-opening and somewhat confusing, as our intuitive “replies” to being attacked have been naturally imbedded, seemingly forever! However, when you learn a new technique, and see how obvious and successful this “re-training” becomes, it’s not a hard sell.
Here are the facts:
1) One out of four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus;
2) one out of eight women will be raped while in college;
3) 84% of women who were raped knew their assailant;
4) 57% of rapes occur on a date; and, 5) 75% of male students and 55% of female students involved in date rape had been drinking or using drugs.
If one learns that a fast and effective strike to the throat of any person, no matter his (or her) size, can collapse a larynx, and even kill, then one also realizes that this works both ways. Krav Maga teaches us to end a fight as quickly and efficiently as possible, mainly to minimize the time spent in conflict, as ultimately both parties will usually get hurt, to some degree, in any serious fight.
You start as a white belt, as in most martial arts’ systems, including the Israeli, and then: yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and ultimately the coveted black belt; in other words, six very distinctive and noteworthy levels of achievement. It is conventional wisdom, as with most legitimite Krav Maga systems, that once attaining a green belt (or level three) that one’s Krav Maga skills are starting to truly take shape; however, even from day one of your training, you essentially are a Kravist!
The proverbial “out of sight, out of mind” saying is a well-known and time-honored adage. Based on empirical data, it is a fact that only 10% of the human population are actual “fighters”; meaning, they will absolutely exchange blows when attacked personally and in order to help others. One of my training partners, a very tough Marine Special Forces Colonel (ret.), who is experienced enough to have “seen and done everything”, reminds me, as Krav Maga instructors, “it is our duty to train the other 90% to become fighters, and the 10% to become great!” I agree, most definitely.
My school, the Blue Chip Academy, is a spacious, clean and well-equipped facility, with plenty of parking, cushioned mats for ground fighting, and some of the best training gear available. However, can one effectively study Krav Maga in the smallest of places? Your corporate office, home gym, kitchen, living room, etc., and even your car, can be productive training environments, as many attacks occur in these restricted settings, and you may just not have enough room for your jump-spinning hook kick, ala Jean Claude Van Damme.