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Military Fads and Mistakes

July 20, 2014

Moshe Katz, with IKI Instructor Brian Moffatt, Arizona, Teaching real effective and useful Krav Maga.

March 3, 2014, Israel

As I turned on my computer the other day and the Israeli news flashed on there was something that caught my eye, “Israel Special Forces learning new form of Self Defense“.

Naturally as a Krav Maga instructor this caught my attention. And naturally I would be very disappointed by the usual fraud and falseness of this world we live in.

I watched the video clip. The “new” special form of self-defense the Special Forces were learning was non other than the same jujitsu that I was learning twenty years ago! I recognized all the moves, goodness! this was terrible.

I saw a defense against a common choke hold (headlock), yes, we learned this one too, perhaps in 1989. As a obedient student I learned this, never liked it but I mastered it. In time this was replaced by another technique and then by a better technique, it is OLD. My experience with thousands of students in thirty countries has proven that the technique I currently teach for this situation is more effective and much easier to perform.

I should not have been shocked. I should not have been disappointed, I should have expected this.

When we hear the news; “Israeli Special Forces learning new form of self defense” yes, it sounds exciting but in fact it means that some guy with connections managed to get a class to teach a few guys at some base, perhaps. This is all part of the great myth that anyone who did some “Krav Maga” (which could mean anything) in the Israeli army, is now a recognized Krav Maga superhero ready to travel the world and start his own “association” on Facebook. (and lure some naive Americans or Europeans).

Having served in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) does not make you a Krav Maga expert. Even being a certified IDF Krav Maga instructor does not make you a Krav Maga Expert. It means you did a basic three week course.

I have trained for more than 30 years in Krav Maga; this does not make me a pilot, it does not make me a tank commander, it does not qualify me to command a submarine. These are totally different skills.

I watched the pathetic video and I heard the instructor, all dressed in his traditional white Judo gi. He told how his students easily defeated IDF officers. Well of course! The officers have no real fighting skills, so naturally they might lose a match to a well trained Judo or Jujitsu guy. So what? What does this prove?

Again I repeat, IDF soldiers and officers are not Krav Maga experts. The rank of officer or Major does not have anything to do with hand to hand combat skills just as my Krav Maga skill has nothing to do with commanding a tank.

Lets be honest, Israel has a great army but you know what? The military has made huge blunders in every war it has fought. It was the bravery and initiative of field commanders and common soldiers that brought victory. Read any book (in Hebrew) about any war and you will find that huge mistakes were made. Just because the military did something does not mean it is correct.

Just because some guys on a base are learning some “new form of self-defense” does not mean it will save your life. Wise up and think about it.


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