I came across a video today that I wanted to share with you. It’s not exactly pleasant viewing but it does help to illustrate a point. Basically, it shows a convenience store robbery where the store owner decides to disarm one of the gunmen – and fails. This costs him his life, and while it’s a good example of why you should not risk your life for the sake of money, it also helps me to emphasize another important point:
If you are going to take Krav Maga make sure you are doing classes with a legitimate instructor!!!
Legitimate in my book is someone who is currently affiliated with a reputable organisation. KMG is one reputable organisation, and there are a couple others (all Israeli). Unfortunately however there are a ton of people who did some training and think that qualifies them to teach indefinitely. So they go off and they teach the basic defences, which are pretty easy to remember (they’re designed that way after all), but often it’s the subtle details that make them effective – and often that’s where you loose out. Each student is different, and a properly trained instructor can see where YOU need assistance, and help accordingly. Also, Krav Maga is a dynamic and always changing system and instructors should stay current if they want to be sure their students are getting up to date information. Nobody has all the answers, but shouldn’t you at least be confident that you’re taking your journey with a reputable, well researched and dedicated organisation who actually use this stuff in real life?! Remember, an instructor is not a guru – he is a student like you, just with more training and experience from which he can pass some benefit to you. Before you go spending your time and money investing in your safety, ask yourself if you’re really doing it wisely.
Anyway, on with the video (warning – it’s a real robbery and not pleasant).
Now any Krav Maga student who’s seen a gun defence will recognise this as familiar, though they may or may not see exactly what’s wrong with the technique. This is an example of the insight you’ll get from a proper instructor. Furthermore, if the instructor is affiliated, he can humbly say “I don’t know” and then go about finding an answer for you from the top – and if he’s KMG he can get it straight from the source Eyal Yanilov himself! Remember, this is a large, professional, and well funded organisation dedicated to finding solutions to such problems so you can have confidence that you’re getting the best KM information available. That’s not to say there are “magic bullets” that you can guarantee will work – in fact my personal advice in the situation in the video would have been to comply and let them take the money if you have that option – but at least you know you’re not wasting your time learning stuff that simply doesn’t work. The consequences are too high!
Having said all that, I also accept that there is a difference between instructors (affiliated or not), they’ll all have their own styles and training methods and you should find the one that’s right for you. Do yourself a service – find an instructor you have confidence in, and make sure he’s connected to the top. That way, not only have you found a good instructor, but you’ll be getting the latest information and your gradings will actually count for something! (Anyone can give you a belt or a certificate, but it’s value is only as high as the head of the organisation – I’d rather get mine from Eyal Yanilov thanks :))