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Prepared to be Surprised

January 25, 2015

By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International


January 18, 2015, Israel


Inspiration can be found everywhere, you just have to open your eyes.

I often find myself at airports, I like to arrive early, to be safe. Always a good idea to be safe. And there are always advertisements trying to catch your attention. I recall something along the lines of “Prepare yourself to be surprised”, I think it was referring to the new model of some car about to come out.

Prepare yourself to be surprised because the next generation of this car will be, well, totally awesome I guess.

Does not really interest me.

Krav Maga interests me.

Survival interests me.


I am never satisfied, no self defense is ever complete, the war on crime and terrorism never ends. So we must keep working hard.

I have trained in many styles, and while I have gained from each and every one and hold all the instructors in high esteem, I was still not satisfied.

You see I feel that they are still in the dojo/training hall mindset. I feel we have an exaggerated sense of our own abilities.

In the training hall there are few surprises. We are there to train, not to have lunch, we are ready.

On the street we are not ready.

On the street you will be surprised. Yes, I can prove it.

Most of martial arts training is, truthfully, not geared towards the surprise, and yet the surprise is the reality of any “real world” attack.

For if we are not surprised, if we see the attack coming, why then are we still there? We should be gone, out of trouble. Surprise is in the nature of the attack.

Most training involves a certain knowledge of the coming attack. We try not to anticipate it but….lets be honest, we do. And honestly, that negates the vast majority of our training and makes it “real world irrelevant”.

We need to change that.

The way we train at IKI Krav Maga is for “prepared to be surprised”.

On one hand we stress awareness at all times. On the other hand we teach that the attack will catch you by surprise. However, your awareness and your training will give you a greatly improved chance of survival.

The point of our training is that the surprise should trigger our trained response. This is totally different from standard training. This is not only about better techniques but about a whole different way of training.

Expect to be surprised, prepare to be surprised. I.e. Train in a way that anticipates that we will be caught by surprise, and take it from there.

The surprise must trigger an instinct because our thinking mechanism may very well shut down due to stress.

Over the years I have learned many techniques that basically involved “beating the other guy to the punch”, being faster, stronger, etc.  but none of these techniques say..”I will be caught by surprised, my opponent will get the first punch, etc”

We at IKI Krav Maga accept this reality, drop the illusions, and train for the reality of life.

Prepare to be surprised and you just might survive.

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