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KRAV MAGA’S PRINCIPLES

When I am asked about the principles and/or the philosophy of Krav Maga I say the main principle of Krav Maga that all others branch off of is to STAY SAFE. We stay safe by first and foremost, not being there. Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things! The second rule is RUN. Really, run when in danger…run when in doubt. I don’t care if the local paper has a picture of me running from a knife wielding punk with the headline “krav maga expert runs from knife”. I would be a smart, still living Krav Maga expert! Our third rule is to pick up something to whack the bad guy with. Why go into a knife with just my hands when I can pick up a pipe or stick and have distance and impact on my side? The fourth rule is to DESTROY the attacker. We aren’t safe if we merely fend off the attacker but still have to go to an ER afterwards. We aren’t safe if we win the fight but have months of rehab ahead of us. We are safe if we are unscathed. If we go hard, go first and go until the threat is gone we have a much better chance of being unscathed. Notice how far down the list that the actual Krav Maga techniques are used. If you get to the techniques you weren’t paying attention or were in a stupid place to begin with!

Wikipedia says the principles of Krav Maga are: 1. Do as much damage in as little time as possible. 2. Change from defending to attacking as quickly possible (including simultaneously). 3. Use items around you as weapons. 4. Be aware of everything that is happening around you. Let’s look at these one at a time and think about why they make sense for self defense.

1. Do as much damage in as little time as possible. This goes back to a few of my blogs where I talk about not sparring but ending. Sparring is moving around, throwing a combo, backing out, changing levels, going back in, etc. This is never a good idea as it extends the time that we are in danger. The attacker may be a better sparrer than we are and (more importantly) extending the fight gives his buddies time to get to you. As a wise man once said “every asshole has an asshole friend nearby”. Our goal in a real world violence situation should be to end things and get out of there…as quickly as possible. This is why in class we teach to go forward with rage, swing as hard as you can and strike targets that do the most damage. Keep hitting until you can escape, which is when the attacker is unconscious generally.

2. Change from defending to attacking as quickly possible (including simultaneously). I talk about this in my self defense for women book. When we are attacked we are a victim. As soon as we fight back there is no longer a victim and an attacker, there are two opponents. Most scum bags are looking for a victim, not for someone who will fight back…and fight back hard!

3. Use items around you as weapons. Absolutely! I know some “great” unarmed knife defenses but why would I want to use them if there is a pipe laying close by? Something with impact and distance is a good idea…I bleed! As I’ve said in previous blogs, a person with a weapon and just a small amount of training will beat a well trained person who is empty handed more often than not. I’d take a ball bat and an attitude over a black belt in any system!

4. Be aware of everything that is happening around you. This is talking about self protection and being aware at all times. Self defense is you grabbed me so I had to react. Self Protection is I saw you coming and avoided you. Self defense is I went into a seedy looking bar and, sure enough, I got into a fight. Self protection is the bar looked seedy so I didn’t go in. Self defense is you were hitting me so I smacked you back. Self protection is you were in my space looking like a threat so I smacked you. We are much better off (and we must teach this) to learn and live by self protection than we are self defense. We must teach our students to be aware of their surroundings, to avoid trouble and to “mind set” (we covered this in a few past blogs). We are doing our students a disservice if this isn’t taught and talked about in every class. If we are only teaching self defense techniques we are failing them. Self defense is recovery from stupidity or bad luck. BE SAFE!


The Big 5 Friggin 0!!!

“The young man looks at the thug and thinks ‘If I had to, could I take him?’ The old man looks at the thug and thinks ‘If I had to, how would I take him?’” M. Young

For only the fourth time in over three years of blogging my blog today isn’t really abut self defense. This one is about a life changing (life shattering?) event…I turn 50 this weekend. Yippee…not. How did I get that old this fast? Heck if I know. I set out a year ago to see how good an old man of 50 could look at feel. Now, just in my small Krav circle I know several guys who are older than 50 and in way better shape than I am (yep, talking about you Rhett Ricart, Guy Bruno, Scott King, Al Guinne, Scott Lorenz and Tim Fisher). However, I know many, many more than that who have big guts, couldn’t sprint if they were paid, don’t work out and look older than they are. I teach young people (I am almost always the oldest in the room when I lead training) and I refuse to be that instructor who can’t see his feet because of his belly, teaches by talking a bunch and demos half azzed!

A snippet of my 50th birthday workout;

When I turned 49 I weighed 230 pounds. I vowed to get below 210 by fifty…and I did it. Now, don’t congratulate me. Letting myself get to 230 was pathetic and I don’t deserve congratulations for now weighing what I should have all along! Here are some lessons for anyone looking to lose some weight and live a happier & healthier life…and feel half way decent in their golden years.

It wasn’t like I was eating fast food and Krispy Kremes all day. I was eating organic, not really eating a lot and doing a good job of being healthy. Yet, after I hit 45 I just kept gaining weight. For four years I had tried different approaches to losing weight and nothing worked. I am sure it was a slowing metabolism but at that rate I would have weighed 300 pounds in a few more years! What I did to lose the weight was easy, anyone could do it. It does take discipline and some life changes, so automatically 95% of Americans won’t do it!!

I boosted up my exercise routine, but nothing crazy. I had been travelling so much that I wasn’t exercising nearly as much as I should have been. I work out every other day and alternate kettle bells, heavy bag and sprint work. I do try to walk an hour at a time twice a week. Other than teaching that’s about all I do…but it’s more than I was doing a year ago.

Next, I read two books…and followed them religiously. Read Mark Sisson’s PRIMAL LIVING and then Dr. William Davis’ WHEAT BELLY. Trust me, these aren’t just thoughts on what may be keeping weight on…they are truth that flies in the face of what the medical and dietary communities preach. How do I know what they write is true? Personal experience. I followed it and lost 20 pounds without dieting.

I have a lecture I give in USKMA instructor training about thinking for ourselves. Most people believe 1) the majorities opinion and 2) whatever an “expert” tells them. Our medical community and govt. agencies tell us to stay away from grass fed beef, raw milk, eggs, animal fat, butter, etc. and to eat whole grains. They started preaching this in the mid 80′s. Since the mid 80′s obesity and diabetes has sky rocketed. WTF kind of advice was that? Yet, thirty years later we still believe it…because that’s what they tell us even if opening our eyes tell us that they are wrong. Following this advice has made America the sickest nation in the history of the World. 7 out of 10 Americans have taken a prescription med in the past sixty days…I haven’t taken one in 9 years. I’ve come to honestly believe that the healthy thing to do is the exact opposite of what the “experts” say!

The crazy thing is that as much as I am griping about fifty I wouldn’t go back to any other point in my life. I’ve never been happier…I have a great life! A few more things that have worked for me. 1) Quit being stressed. Get rid of that which is causing stress in your life. There really isn’t much worth getting upset about. Looking back on my life I can tell you that I’ve never made any situation better by worrying about it or stressing. Whatever you are going through there are literally billions of people in this world who would trade problems with you! 2) Find a good significant other, the kind who makes you a better person. My wife is my best friend! 3) Get right with the Lord. Accepting Christ as my savoir has given true peace and happiness! 5) Be nice. I was a jerk most of my life. Nice is better. 6) Have a baby in your old age. I am fifty and have a six year old. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!!

There you are…all my secrets on how to be happy and healthy at 50! BE SAFE!


Lorde of the Tweets: Lorde tells fans it’s ok to have flaws

On Good Morning America this morning, we talked about Grammy-winner, Lorde and her most recent viral tweet that showed two photos.  One photo showed Lorde with flawless skin, photoshopped to perfection.  The other photo showed Lorde completely natural, skin imperfections and all. Why is this significant? Lorde is a superstar with millions of fans.  And […]

Lorde of the Tweets: Lorde tells fans it’s ok to have flaws is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

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WHAT I DID IN MARTIAL ARTS CLASS…

“Listening to the average martial artist talk about real world violence I like listening to ten year olds talk about sex.” SGT Rory Miller What I did in martial arts class…and why it was pretty worthless for self defense; This isn’t a put down to those doing martial arts. I spent a big chunk of […]

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OUR TRAINING IS FLAWED!

“Instructors, if you aren’t putting everything you teach under stress and exhaustion you are teaching self defense techniques, not self defense. There is a big difference.” M. Slane Some self defense training is better than others but ALL training has flaws. The flaws are built in on purpose. Think about it, we are training to […]

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OUR TRAINING IS FLAWED!

“Instructors, if you aren’t putting everything you teach under stress and exhaustion you are teaching self defense techniques, not self defense. There is a big difference.” M. Slane Some self defense training is better than others but ALL training has flaws. The flaws are built in on purpose. Think about it, we are training to […]

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How Can Parents Instill Their Top Values in Their Children?

Resilience, empathy and leadership. Respect, compassion and perseverance. Authenticity, gratitude and integrity. In preparation for my presentation Creating a Community of Character: Inspiring our children to become role models for The American Camp Association tomorrow, I asked my Facebook audience yesterday for their top 3 values that they would like to see in their children.  […]

How Can Parents Instill Their Top Values in Their Children? is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

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SELF DEFENSE THOUGHTS…

When I first started teaching Krav Maga in 1998 very few people had heard of it. When they had heard of Krav I almost always got the comment “Oh, that brutal stuff”. My answer was always “I don’t look at it as brutal, I look at it as effective. I didn’t start the attack.” Problem […]

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FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE!

I am sent videos of other defense systems quite often by friends across the nation. They always want to know what I think of the system and of the system’s head honcho. More often than not the video is awesome. It shows an expert smashing people, flipping and throwing big guys around and whooping three […]

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AMERICANIZED KRAV MAGA?

If you have read our book American Krav Maga you know that we don’t claim to be teaching Imi’s Krav Maga (Imi Lichtenfeld is regarded as the founder of Krav Maga). The United States Krav Maga Association is teaching a self defense system based off of Krav Maga’s philosophy and techniques. After training with Grandmaster […]

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