Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Knight In Shining Armor Is A Man Who Has Never Had His Metal Truly Tested

“A knight in shining armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested”
~UNKNOWN

©Copyright, 2014 Maj. Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

Copyright © 2014 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

 

In a forthcoming DVD produced in conjunction with Budo Magazine, we’ll share ideas from traditional Martial Arts and CQB with modern day variations and techniques.

Teaching Martial Arts and Combatives, I often see ‘heroes.’ It’s said that after a war the marketplace is loaded with heroes and hero stories. Israelis at the age of 24 are writing autobiographical books about themselves. I’ve met many new Grand Masters. I’ve met men that after taking only a few days training with me, where they could hardly survive, are now Grand Masters! Students that I’ve kicked out of the Army and Police Academy are now the ‘real-deal’, accompanied now with their own war stories and life experiences. It all makes me wonder how the Israeli Martial Arts got watered down to the level that is prevalent today.
This new wave of Martial Artists and web-surfers run from one movie to the next movie fad, and they seem to only study the Martial Arts in waves and set their dreams and goals on a movie depiction of what some hollywood-type thinks is the latest/hottest Martial Arts and they fail to understand that it’s the man who makes the title and not the title that makes the man.
Close Quarters Battle (CQB) ideas are not new.
“To study the old is to understand the new.” — 
Hanshi Patrick McCarthy

Suijutsu (水術 in Japanese) history tells us that fighting could take place anywhere, and that thereby a Samurai had to be ready to fight in every situation — immersed in the water of a river or the sea for example. In the old days a Bushido person had to study many arts from horsemanship to swimming and even writing and music and culture so as to be open minded and to have a broad viewpoint and to also have skills.

As a joke I always said that in Israeli Martial Arts we have also ‘Sue Do’: the art of suing! Around 2000 there were many lawsuits all over due to some dirty moves by a few greedy lawyers that had travelled to Israel for a few days, including sight-seeing, and when they got back they were experts in Israeli Martial Arts and they actually tried to trademark it. When I moved to the USA, I was one of the few to fight it. As a result of that, they attacked me in many forums, in any way they could including paying internet criminals to slander me by building an on-line blog that called me a fraud, citing that they were the real deal. None of them served in the Israeli Army an hour or even n the Israeli Police but somehow they miraculously knoew the real Israeli Martial Arts and sold certificates to teach it! It was really funny as the certificates were signed by Imi Lichtenfeld, who had passed away 15 years before, but he still managed to sign the certifications.

During that time I said I’d fight in court, or on the on-line forums, anywhere on the internet, in sea or air as that’s a part of my trust of what is CQB. You should able to fight in any field that you may find yourself in. I fought the slander and I never went down. It wasn’t and still isn’t right.

When we teach and study combatives remember: the point of Combative Martial Arts is aggressiveness, fearlessness and determination. The spirit of not giving up. And when I see different combative systems I can see no matter where and when they were ‘made’, they have a common lineage back to all of them. But this line is also brutality and we have to remember one more fact – age. And don’t forget injuries. Most combative arts are taught to kids between 18 to 22 who are in th best fitness of their lives! Any former soldier will admit that ‘yes, we were young and yes the body paid the price with injuries that we carry for a life-time.’ All admit that we must listen to the body and train smart.

I was invited to Wingate Sport University in Israel to lecture on the subject ‘slow is fast.’ I was paid by the Isaraeli government to explain the idea of how bones are on a continual growing process until we’re almost 22, and how all the stress on bones and joints can create damage for that will last us a life-time. How the muscles are faster to grow and adapt, but how the bones, joints and ligaments are slower to gorw and adapt and why we need to train slower to build a system. When asked why we get our young people into the Army in Israel at the age of 18, the answer is simple: they are too young to understand, easy to manipulate and direct. At an older age they would be smarter and maybe also refuse.

After seeing so many soldiers, police officers and special forces soldiers for so many years as a trainer I could see also different injuries. What does it mean to kill a person? “The weight of knowing that you’ve killed another person: is heavy. I’ve seen guys lose religion over it, and I’ve seen guys gain religion over it, through a course entitled ‘The Anatomy of a Kill.’ It was about what bullets do to people” he says. “How they tumble through the body, what kind of damage they do, the difference between soft organs and hard organs, what happens when the bullet hits what, how to deploy the round earlier so it pulls earlier and does more damage.” A friend asked me how do you train for it and how do you teach for it? It’s a hard issue. Do we talk to civilians or Army?

In my days I used to take my Counter-Terrorism Unit student to the hospital mortuary and show them bodies. The parts after bad accidents. I remember two friends that had been in suicide bombing situations and both said that each time they went in with the right mindset, they acted professional as a doctor or nurse would in the same situation, but that once they made a mistake and went in with the wrong attitude and mindset and lost it. So we can build, but that doesn’t mean that one day we won’t fail.

Combatives is a hard subject and this is why I like to keep teaching part of swordsmanship when I teach combatives as it’s the ultimate CQB using a sword in a mêlée. A mêlée is disorganized close-combat with a group of fighters. A mêlée happens when groups fight together in combat with no regard for group tactics or fighting as a unit. Each combative fights alone.
“Among many types of fighting encompassed by the general term ‘close combat’ includes the medieval and ancient mêlée and the modern terms hand-to-hand combat and close quarters combat (CQC.) Close combat occurs when opposing military forces engage in restricted areas, an environment frequently encountered in urban warfare. Military small unit tactics traditionally regarded as forms of close combat include fighting with hand-held or hand-thrown weapons such as swords, knives, axes, or tools. In modern times (since World War II), the term ‘close combat’ has also come to describe unarmed hand-to-hand combat, as well as combat involving firearms and other distance weapons when used at short range. William E. Fairbairn, who organized and led the famous Shangai Riot Squad of the Shanghai Municipal Police, devised a system of close-combat fighting for both soldiers and civilians which bears his name, ‘the Fairbairn System,’ incorporating use of the handgun, knife, and unarmed martial arts fighting techniques. Since that time, the term ‘close combat’ has also been used to describe a short-range physical confrontation between antagonists not involved in a military conflict, for example in riots and other violent conflicts between law enforcement personnel and civilians. Hand-to-hand combat, sometimes abbreviated as HTH or H2H, is a lethal or non-lethal physical confrontation between two or more persons at very short range (grappling distance) that does not involve the use of firearms or other distance weapons.

[1] While the phrase ‘hand-to-hand’ appears to refer to unarmed combat, the term is generic and may include use of striking weapons used at grappling distance such as knives, sticks, batons, or improvised weapons such as entrenching tools.

[2] While the term hand-to-hand combat originally referred principally to engagements by military personnel on the battlefield, it can also refer to any personal physical engagement by two or more combatants, including police officers and civilians.

[3] Combat within close quarters, to a range just beyond grappling distance, is commonly termed close combat or close-quarters combat. It may include lethal and non-lethal weapons and methods depending upon the restrictions imposed by civilian law, military rules of engagement, or ethical codes. Close combat using firearms or other distance weapons by military combatants at the tactical level is modernly referred to as close quarter battle. The U.S. Army uses the term combatives to describe various military fighting systems used in hand-to-hand combat training, systems which may incorporate eclectic techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports.Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Close Quarters Battle (CQB) or Close Combat Fighting is a physical confrontation between two or more combatants.

[4] It can take place between military units, police and criminals, and other similar actions. In warfare it usually consists of small units or teams engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, up to 30 meters, from proximity hand-to-hand combat to close quarter target negotiation with short range firearms. In the typical close quarters combat scenario, the attackers try a very fast, violent takeover of a vehicle or structure controlled by the defenders, who usually have no easy way to withdraw. Because enemies, hostages/civilians, and fellow operators can be closely intermingled, close quarters combat demands a rapid assault and a precise application of lethal force. The operators need great proficiency with their weapons, and the ability to make split-second decisions in order to minimize accidental casualties.Criminals sometimes use close quarters combat techniques, such as in an armed robbery or jailbreak, but most of the terminology comes from training used to prepare soldiers, police, and other authorities. Therefore, much material relating to close quarters combat is written from the perspective of the authorities who must break into the stronghold where the opposing force (OPFOR) has barricaded itself. Typical examples would be commando operations behind enemy lines and hostage rescues.Although there is considerable overlap, close quarters combat is not synonymous with urban warfare, now sometimes known by the military acronyms MOUT (military operations in urban terrain), FIBUA (fighting in built-up areas) or OBUA (Operations in Built Up Areas) in the West. Urban warfare is a much larger field, including logistics and the role of crew-served weapons like heavy machine guns, mortars, and mountedgrenade launchers, as well as artillery, armor, and air support. In close quarters combat, the emphasis is on small infantry units using light, compact weapons that one person can carry and use easily in tight spaces, such as carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, pistols, knives, and bayonets. As such, close quarters combat is a tactical concept that forms a part of the strategic concept of urban warfare, but not every instance of close quarters combat is necessarily urban warfare—for example, a jungle is potentially a stage for close quarters combat.

source: CQC Manuals

After teaching for many years I see how spirit and mind must be in place. Many times it’s more important than just the body conditioning in combative arts. The problem is in thinking about how to share it with students, mostly young and inexperienced, who may have their eyes on only the shiny armor and the brave knight, and also how to make them understand Zanshin and Kamae.

While talking with a friend from traditional Martial Arts I could see how Kendo explained it to me and that’s what I learnt best from Kendo, and now as a teacher. I was very surprised, but at the same time happy to hear and understand Kamae.
(心の構え) Kokoro no Kamae is the posture of your heart and mind. In Budo training you assume a posture so that you guard your weak points and make it difficult for an enemy to attack you; and at the same time, it is a strategy to expose the enemies weak points.
If you face an enemy without a kamae, you will be an easy target. Learning basic usage of kamae is among the first lessons beginners study. We physically adjust ourselves in certain ways in response to what the enemy shows us. We learn that from each kamae there are more favorable ways to move attack and defend and less favorable ways. You learn the strengths and the weaknesses of each posture and how to use them strategically against various types of attacks. You even see kamae in sports. Football and basketball for example use formations to respond to their opponents formations and have options to use based on their opponents adjustments. Kamae is also present in games like chess and of course in war in terms of battle formations.
Beyond physical kamae (just placing your arms legs and body in specific ways) there is mental kamae. If we look at he physical basics again, even there is present a mental aspect. You want to use your body in such ways as to lie to your enemy. This is basic Kyojitsu Tenkan 虚実転換…  Kyojitsu Tenkan basically explained means that what the enemy can perceive and react to is not truly what your intention is. If it looks like your leg is open to an attack, it is not, if it looks like your arm can be grabbed, that is because you want them to grab it. Your true openings are hidden, and your true strengths are hidden as weaknesses. Many people never develop these skills, even at this level (and they miss most of the art by doing so) so it is not surprising that when it comes to mental and spiritual kamae not only do the vast majority never even think about it, they never train it nor gain skill with it.
Life is combat NOT sport!
Make your fighting stance your everyday stance.

– Miyamoto Musashi



“Beware the ego, it will be your downfall…”

Ritual Cat

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

source: traditional

A few days ago radical Muslims kidnapped three young Jewish kids and murdered them in cold blood. This act set about a new wave of hatred in Israel. Many Israelis demanded revenge. This is an ongoing story and was broadcast internationally – touching everyone. ‘An eye for an eye’ is the demand of many for revenge.If this is the way it will be the way, then we will soon be blind. This one act led to the attempted kidnapping of an eight year old by Jewish radicals, religious terrorists, that was at the last minute saved by his mother. SHe was able to thwart the kidnapping. The very next day these Jewish radcials managed to kidnap a 15 year old Muslim kid and burned him alive. What a shame, and how inhuman. The mother of one of the Jewish kids that had been murdered, Naftali Frenkel, R.I.P. said “there is no difference in blood to blood, or religion… a murder is a murder.” These words by a mournfing mother show that she is a warrior. Warriors do not lower themselves to the standards of other people; they live independently, according to their own standards and code of honor.

I find these words most important in these sad days in Israel as I see how low people can go. It makes me sad, and sick at the same time. Three terrorist’s kidnapping three kids and killing them simply because they are radical Muslims and the kids were Jewish. In Return six radical Jewish men kidnap a poor Palestinian Muslim child and brutally murder him in the most evil of ways — by burning him alive. These actions are not representative of Israelis and nor by the religious belief. These people are sick criminals and evil humans. These are not warriors, these are cowards. It’s a shame to even call them human. Terrorists are terrorists and war criminals, whether they be Muslim or Jewish or represent any religion. As responsible teachers, we must stop this crazy world from degrading further through education and by making warriors that will follow friendship love and peace.

Religion is not the problem, there are plenty of wars started by atheists (Hitler, Stalin et al). The problem is human nature. Unfortunately far too many people are just sheep who will blindly follow the dogma of whatever group they identify with. Whether it be Islamic fundamentalism or political correctness, the problem is still the same: group think, intolerance and the arrogance to believe that you are right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

To hate is easy. This is why in traditional Martial Arts we teach our students to teach with Love and peace and tolerance and when we need to teach combatives, sometimes it’s just teaching how to hurt or how to kill, but we forget the manners and values. When you research the old Japanese military ways, they always followed Jutsu: Kenjutsu changed to Kendo Jujutsu to Judo from just art and skills to ‘The Way.’ The way of the modern era of teaching is from love and peace and tolerance, and not just skills. Today in MMA we face going backwards to just teaching skills and how to hurt and win, but not to make a very important point. Do we also teach in the right way and to the right people?
This made me leave the ‘family’ and build my own family that will follow those values and morals and here is the story of the ‘family’:

One day a man travelled deep into the jungle and met a monkey. He said hello to the monkey and was surprised when the monkey returned his greeting with “hello my friend!” The man didn’t know monkeys could speak, and so he asked the monkey to about this. The monkey said “yes we can speak, we just hide it.” The man then said “we humans say that monkeys and humans are of the same family.” The monkey was really happy to meet his ‘new’ relative and didn’t stop exclaiming “my family, my family!” Suddenly, out of nowhere a lion attacked both of them and the monkey pulled the man up into his tree and climbed high up to a safer place. The lion said “throw the human to me, and I will eat only him and I will set you free.” The monkey replied “no way, he is my family.” Through the long night the man eventually got tired of trying to out-wait the hungry lion below, and so he asked the monkey to watch over him as he slept and said that when the monkey would go to sleep and he would watch over him. While the man slept the lion asked the monkey again to let him eat the mand, and he’d let the monkey go free. But the monkey replied again “No. We are family.” When the man woke, he told the monky to sleep and stated that he’d keep watch over him. The Monkey went to sleep and the lion asked the man to “throw the monkey down to me to eat and I’ll set you free! The man didn’t think twice, and he threw the monkey down to the lion, but the monkey woke up quickly and before the lion could set his paws on him he jumped back into the tree and climb back up to where the man sat safely. This was really embarrassing to the man. Both knew what happened, but no one spoke of it. Then the lion fell asleep and the monkey said to the man “let’s go!” and he walked him safely all the way back to the edge of the jungle and said goodbye. As the man started walking, the monkey called him and said “can I ask you favor?” “Yes!” the man said, happy that the monkey still considered them friends depite what the man had tired to do to the monkey. The monkey said to him “would you please not mention to anyone that we are family?”

This brings me back to the Israeli Martial Arts, as I have been stabbed in the back by ‘friends’ and other greedy people that had been too ready to sell my friendship for almost no money and I decided to simply say “Please don’t mention that we’re family.” I have since buil my own family called WARRIOR, as warriors follow their heart and keep their values and morals! This is my family!

 

Authors: Avi Nardia and Tim Boehlert ©copyright 2014

Authors:

Maj. Avi Nardia [www.avinardia.com, www.kapapacademy.net]

Tim Boehlert [www.avinardiablog.com]

©Copyright, 2014 Maj. Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

Inferiority Martial Arts

Inferiority Martial Arts
Authors: Avi Nardia and Tim Boehlert ©copyright 2014

This is Article #8 co-written with Avi in JUN 2014 – unpublished to date

“Think outside the box” – Hanshi Patrick McCarthy

Skills that were taught to me by Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. The skill I’m most grateful to Sensei for! Respect! I keep reading books and many books not just one book.

There is a saying – “Beware the man of one book.” Homo unius libri, meaning “I fear the man of a single book.”

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_unius_libri
Homo unius libri – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org

I hear every day in Martial Arts the words ‘this is the BEST martial art.’ My next question is then how many Martial Arts and what kinds of experience in Martial Arts do you have? It’s typically none, meaning they’ve done only this one. Many times it’s good medicine for inferiority people to feel good with themselves as they feel they are doing the best, knowing the best.

I have devoted my life to Martial Arts and hold Black Belts in many different Martial Arts and I continue to explore more and more. Show me that reading just one book is as good as it gets for Self-Defense and understanding self-defense.

To understand the body, the mind, the spirit we need more than one book and method. Our research and exploration leads me to creating the group study of KAPAP and Practical Martial Arts.

When you’re looking into Martial Arts teachers who lead and create Martial Arts and are the most creative you’ll discover that they’ve read more than just the one book from O Sensei Gigoro Kano Oyama but they’ve read books from all of the great teachers in the past. Hanshi Patrick McCarthy knows this is the only way to gain knowledge. He’s most definitely not a one book man that think’s that one book has the answers to all in life.

“Keeping an open mind is the most skill I own.” Hanshi Patrick McCarthy

When we feel inferior we want to hold onto what we have or know, and we’re scared to keep walking as on the way we may see that we’re wrong or that maybe we need to study more.

My advice: Don’t be an Inferiority Martial Artist, but study to be creative. As Albert Einstein said “Creativity is intelligence having Fun.” Have fun in your training, don’t run around in fear.

Understand the difference between Self-Defense and Fighting.

Sometimes fighting comes about as a result of feeling inferior. The inferior may feel that they have something to prove.

In fighting we want to confront the object we try to confront and don’t avoid the fight. We want to fight and it’s our goal to fight.

In Self-Defense we try to avoid the fight doing all that we can to not be confrontational and confrontation is the last thing we want.

When a solider or Police officer tries to confront a subject, his/her goal/agenda IS to confront, to fight and herein lies the problem of not understanding the difference and thinking that fighting is self-defense.

In Self-Defense your goal is to avoid and escape from any and all confrontations and to save fighting as your last option. It doesn’t mean that you’re not ready to, but all of your training and education is not about your ego. It’s not about “Touch me and your first lesson is free.” as many proclaim and then state that it was self-defense. This is purely egotistical, clearly and not self-defense.

There are many mistakes between what is self-defense what is fighting.

Teaching to fight is not teaching self-defense and many times it’s teaching to get into your student into problems with life and ultimately the law as well.

Attitude, education and study are the most important tools to keep you away from becoming an Inferiority Martial Artist. Teaching from a love, peace and fun point of view gets you better results than teaching with fear and using a victim attitude.

Teaching and studying Martial Arts have lead me to try understand the mind and spirit of myself and my surroundings. I remember talking with a Krav Maga student in one of my workshops while taking lunch and he started to talk about himself and said “I was a fat boy and all of the kids bullied me… but look at me now, I do Krav Maga now and if anyone ever touches me, I’d tell them ‘touch me and your first lesson is free.'” It got me to wondering about how extreme his inferiority complex was, and how big his ego. I said to him “have you looked in the mirror lately? You’re still out of shape and trust me you don’t want to fight. Even today your performance in Martial Arts is so bad. Now forget the past, you are over 35 and who would want to bully you at all? Just enjoy life.”

This scenario stayed in my head as I saw more and more students from ‘real street self-defense’ courses and saw how theses courses were lead by bully teachers using ego slogans like ‘touch me and first lesson free.’ It worried me that if someone really touched them it might be their last lesson. They would kill themselves with their self-illusions.

Martial Arts are about love and peace, and being yourself, free of ego, smiling more and enjoying life, as life is Martial Art. If you take only one part of life you don’t get the whole of it, it’s the same as if you took only sport or combatives from the Martial Arts — you didn’t take the whole thing, even though you could see the mountain of Martial Arts.

Over the years I have started to call these Martial Arts ‘Inferiority Martial Arts – I.M.A. They always need to challenge others, to show off, show how strong they are and critique all Martial Arts. “You don’t want to fight on the ground?” Who wants to fight at all? Who wants to fight with or against a knife? For the same reasons that we study blades, we study the ground. Martial Arts, like many things need to be practical. If you have nice chair but can’t sit on it, it’s lost its target audience.

Martial Arts can also be used for self-defense but the term self-defense is so complicated. What is self-defense? Defense first from ourselves. Lots of Martial Arts teachers target vulnerable people with their video-clips and advertise “don’t be a victim.” Once you’ve answered their ad and joined these classes, you have defined yourself as a victim! While talking with a friend, he’d said that Brazilian Ju-Jitsu was his therapy. It relieved his stress and made him feel so great after training, and also benefited him with great conditioning, strong stomach muscles and body, and provided skills useful for self-defense.

An inferiority complex is a lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to society’s standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme asocial behavior. The term was coined to indicate a lack of covert self-esteem. For many, it is developed through a combination of genetic personality characteristics and personal experiences.

Classical Adlerian psychology makes a distinction between primary and secondary inferiority feelings.
· A primary inferiority feeling is said to be rooted in the young child’s original experience of weakness, helplessness and dependency. It can then be intensified by comparisons to siblings, romantic partners, and adults.
· A secondary inferiority feeling relates to an adult’s experience of being unable to reach a subconscious, fictional final goal of subjective security and success to compensate for the inferiority feelings. The perceived distance from that goal would lead to a negative/depressed feeling that could then prompt the recall of the original inferiority feeling; this composite of inferiority feelings could be experienced as overwhelming. The goal invented to relieve the original, primary feeling of inferiority which actually causes the secondary feeling of inferiority is the “catch-22” of this dilemma.] This vicious cycle is common in neurotic lifestyles.

Feeling inferior is often viewed as being inferior to another person, but this is not always the case in the Adlerian view. One often feels incompetent to perform a task, such as a test in school.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferiority_complex

So what makes students into Inferiority Martial Artists? Mostly it’s inferiority instructors (they can’t be called teachers) that are overloaded with Ego, that use ego-laden video clips and an egotistical attitude to attract his students and ‘convinces’ them to ‘don’t be a victim’,’Train with me, it’s the navy seal real deal’, ‘I’m the real deal.’ What is ‘the real deal’ at all, as we’re all real aren’t we? These people give themselves grandiose titles and I see guys that have been kicked out of Karate, Arnis, or some Martial Artist programs in Israel. Now they are ‘Grand-Master of Krav Maga!’ It’s a good sale, and he is suddenly more true, more tactical, more Rambo or military, and so on to attract these students. My question: Why does anyone want to dress-up with an Army-style uniform for 2 hours and train in a mid-city mall and then drive back home? If you want to join the REAL Army, the Army is there, as is the Navy Seal program or Real Special Forces programs, unless you can’t get in and it’s your inferiority style.

Many of these will claim Judo is a sport like Aikido and will not work, Karate is old and so on. If you think Aikido doesn’t work, that’s because you’re either looking for a quick fix or too lazy to dedicate your time to train and understand the art. Study Martial Arts and perform Martial Arts. I wonder why the current market is so loaded with people that haven’t even earned their black belts in any style like those in Krav Maga that claim to be Grand Masters!
Remember this:

“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.”
Niccolo Machiavelli

First be a good human. Keep your integrity. Having the title of being a good father is more important than showing off all of your other titles.

“If you don’t know the difference between what you’re doing and what you should be doing you’re destined to fail.” – Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince”

One of my friends complained today about how Integrity is missing in the Martial Arts, and that many teachers SELL certificates. I told him its more interesting how many people will actually BUY those ‘certificates’ as they know there’s no integrity in buying them! The Paradox is easy: with no ‘integrity students’ how can you find ‘integrity teachers?’ When integrity students are rare you will find only a small handful of teachers with integrity. So who need’s to feel the shame more, the Seller or the Buyer?

BUT is it bad? No, as it helps us explain the principle of Dark and Light: To see Light, we need Dark. Wrong is wrong even if no-one is doing it, Right is Right even if no-one is doing it. Even a broken clock gives the right time twice daily. Yes, even some of these guys can show one or two good moves, does that make them Grand Masters?

In my Army officer training my commander said “Now you’re in the officer course, where a normal solider can make 100 mistakes a day, BUT, as an officer you’re allowed only 1 mistake a day. To lead men, you need to make less mistakes, not to get two things right in a day.You need to make less than 100 mistakes in a day, every day.”
This is how we view our KAPAP Leaders – less mistakes!

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” Bob Marley

..this is how I feel as a Martial Artist. I don’t see it as showing off how strong I am. I know when the day comes and I will have no other choice — when I have to fight with 6 tumors and life than Martial Arts will be there for me, and I’ll win.

To all ‘Real Self-Defense systems’ to study from: As my father told me before he passed away when I asked him about war he said “we did what we had to do to defend ourselves and our families.” It’s not done for marketing promotion or posting on FaceBook. When you must defend you will find how much you know from playing with life and living right with love and peace.

“Love everybody, but never sell your sword.” Paulo Coelho

Here is one more principle: trust all and trust none, only trust yourself. But if you don’t trust yourself, for sure all will not be there for you as you need. It happened to me, and since I trust myself I recovered from being sick with tumors. Lots of ‘Friends’ failed me or more-so themselves. Do I need them?

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. And if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” Muhammad Ali

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground, does it break? Now say you’re sorry, did it go back to the way it was before?

But I study a great lesson: Storms make trees take deeper roots. All these lessons make me stronger!

Sometimes it’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls away.

In Japanese we say Honne and Tatemae. Honne and Tatemae are Japanese words that describe the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires ( honne?) and the behavior and opinions one displays in public ( tatemae?, lit. “façade”).
Honne may be contrary to what is expected by society or what is required according to one’s position and circumstances, and they are often kept hidden, except with one’s closest friends. Tatemae is what is expected by society and required according to one’s position and circumstances, and these may or may not match one’s honne.
The honne–tatemae divide is considered to be of paramount importance in Japanese culture.

Cat in a Tree: Only One Way or Many Ways?
[a Wingate University teaching story]

I was demonstrating a series of techniques when I was interrupted by another instructor who criticized Avi’s teaching, saying it was wrong to give students choices. In order to function under stress he asserted, students should only be given one simple response. In this way they would be able to act instantly without thinking. To illustrate his point he began to tell a parable about a cat. I will have to paraphrase the story but the gist of it goes something like this. One day a cat was walking with a buffalo when they came across a crocodile. The buffalo tried to gore the crocodile but was killed and eaten whilst the cat simply ran up a tree and escaped. The next day the cat was walking with an elephant when they encountered a hunter. The elephant attempted to swat the hunter with his trunk but was shot and killed whilst the cat ran up a tree and escaped. The story went on and on with the cat befriending a diverse range of unlucky animals. Unfortunately they were all killed in tragic circumstances whilst the hero of the tale simply ran up a tree and escaped. Avi patiently listened whilst the other instructor finished his story and then having skillfully made his point the man looked smugly around the room. Nodding his head sagely Avi paused for effect and asked if he could just ask one question: “what if there is no tree?”!
The fact is that although I know where the other instructor was coming from he had demonstrated the old adage ‘a little bit of knowledge is dangerous.’ When initially teaching students to survive under stress, it is important that in the early stages students should be provided with a small range of options which deal with the most likely situations using classical or operant conditioning methods (‘stimulus – response’.) This will help students to quickly acquire the requisite key skills, build confidence, avoid ‘mind freeze’ and enable them to respond at the more unconscious level. This type of training will prepare students to act and react. Once those responses are mastered, students will then be taught the ‘what-if’ and the more advanced techniques as this is the element of training which will ultimately allow the student to adapt under pressure.

The Japanese say that it’s better to start to study 15 years later with the right teacher than to start with the wrong teacher. In the current market of Martial Arts where the sale of achievement/rank certificates, where many instructors earn 7 levels in 3 days, you should ask about the roots of your teachers. Most teachers talk about other teachers, but I always explain to my students about my roots as a Martial Artist, as this is what we teach. “I don’t teach you to be soldiers.” I help them trace my roots, introduce them to my teachers in Karate, Aiki Kenpo Jujutsu, BJJ, Kendo and so on. I earned it all, I didn’t buy it!

“When you have money in your hand, only you forget who you are, but when you do not have any money in your hand, the whole world forgets who you are.” Bill Gates

This is not a saying for a Martial Arts teacher. A Martial Arts teacher is not there for money, we are here for students, for any need, to help support, and for direction. Yes we need to earn our incomes, but we don’t live by the dollar, we live by integrity.

To close-out this column, and with everyone now thinking, The last thing in Martial Arts is the self-defense “Fight”, sharpening your moves is more important than hitting the tree – make-ready your axe first!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln

It’s the same in Martial Arts: Be a good Martial Artist and carry a sharp axe. Train yourself in mobility and stamina and all, then you will be ready when there’s a need to cut down a tree, and it’ll be easier, but if you try to cut the tree with no preparation, it may not work.

Authors:
Maj. Avi Nardia [www.avinardia.com, www.kapapacademy.net, www.avinardiablog.com, www.kapapusa.com]

Tim Boehlert [www.avinardiablog.com]

© Copyright, 2014 Maj. Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert