Hanna Szenesh and the journey of a hundred paratroopers


By Avi Nardia Contributing Sharon friedman
vigilanceandtranquility.com

Red boots walking down the streets of a hot city. A young child holding hands with his father the paratrooper hero. But who was that father’s hero? Seventy-seven years ago, a young girl called Hanna jumped from a rotor propelled airplane into the forest of eastern Europe at night. A jump most trained paratroopers would hesitate to make in modern times with modern gear and extensive training. This year, A hundred paratroopers from the Israeli Defense forces and many others from countries who were occupied during the second world war jumped in her tracks and learned of the history of the brave women who jumped into occupied lands in harsh conditions. Frail in body and indestructible in spirit. There have been many wrongdoings during World War two. People marked for their race, religion, ancestry and more. Some took the side of opportunity and aided the occupiers and others fought for freedom with meager means, bringing hope and courage to generations since. We remember a young girl from Hungary who came by way of boat to what was once Palestine and volunteered to the SOE (Special Operations Executive) at the height of worlds war two. She and dozens of others, parachuted into occupied land, and were hunted by both the locals and the military of Nazi Germany. A few years prior, Szenesh, a pupil in a religious school in Hungary and paying double for tuition as a Jew tax, joined the Maccabea organization. A Zionist organization named after the family who led the revolt against the Greek occupiers. One of the feats of the Maccabi warriors was to take down an armored elephant single handedly. The equivalent of taking on a modern tank without any modern arms. Later on, Hanna immigrated to Israel and joined the Haganna (The Defense in Hebrew) which later evolved into the modern IDF. What was the drive for such people? To take off from their motherlands, learn new languages, create a state out of nothing in the midst of a world war and then, again, leave everything behind and go back into the hell of war in Europe. It was the person on their left and the person on their right. They families and their traditions. Like a Martial art school is made out of generations of learning and passing on old and new traditions, so was the choice of those thirty seven people obvious to them. The die was cast to see beyond the person and to give all in service of something higher. What does our martial path say about us? Do we actually perform it in military uniform and if so, is it a marketing ploy or just what we wear day to day? For many, the martial art lives in the dojo. For some, it is a true way of life. The martial art guides through life’s choices both small and big and inspires us to greatness beyond our own time. It can be humbling to the bravest warrior or soldier to read about the lives of ordinary men and women. People who exemplify what true budo spirit is and, in most cases, would go unnoticed if we passed one of them in the street. Pride in muscle, in gold medals and belts can blind us to what true martial spirit is and what a Sensei really is. The word Sensei means in Japanese, the one who walked the path before us. This is the legacy of these brave souls. Not just fighting against unimaginable odds but inspiring generations of soldiers and warriors to be true mentors and devote themselves to a higher purpose than fame and gold. A little diminutive girl through her life story which ended in her resisting torture all the way to a firing squad is a torch burning in the dark. A fire brighter than led lights and computer screens. Something to ignite a human soul on fire. The premise of martial art technique is that with the right timing, leverage and position, the weak can prevail over the strong. Hanna trained as best she could under the conditions of clandestine warfare, yet she never gave up despite being tortured and brought before a firing squad. What was her special ingredient? All the things we hang on the walls of the dojo but most disregard. Honor Commitment Community Sacrifice

Sensei on the Road – GM Dennis Hanover The Father of the Israeli Martial Arts

 Sensei on the Road – GM Dennis Hanover the father of the Israeli Martial arts

Since my return from Israel I’ve been trying to edit the new Sensei on the Road column on an extraordinary life journey and achievements of the father of the Israeli Martial art GM Denis Hanover and could not find the right and enough of words to describe this outstanding person. Maybe I can start with his philosophy of life, which influenced both my work and my personal life. He said that education which is not based in moral and ethics doesn’t have any value and is worthless. During the Second World War and Holocaust Jewish people faced atrocity, which was orchestrated by very intelligent people who were psychologists and therapist with high university ranks, medical doctors, important lawyers, engineers and scientists. All those, at that time, top people have received great education and many of them were great thinkers who knew what will break people and how to break people. In one word they were the masters of TERROR –FEAR. They were experts in hiding the true and spreading false information in order to control the media.  Their misleading news and propaganda have facilitated the implementation of the biggest terror and horror in the world in form of the Holocaust.  We can say that their inttelligence and education didn’t serve the humanity but were against it and they will not be remembered for good deeds.

GM Dennis Hanover is a champion with bare feet and no shoes, but with pure heart and spirit.  A shoes or bare feet that we can only wish we can walk in.   He has thought us about moral and values and how to give and receive respect based on the memory of anti-Semitism and how it should not be repeated ever again. He thought us how to be strong and proud Jews so we can teach our students in every country what is a love for the country of Israel. His devotion and devotion of his family  (sons Guy and Yaron and daughter Orlly) to serve the country, security forces and students never ceased and took place even during wars. He was an example of how to defend a home. Every year on Memorial Day he goes to the cemetery to show respect to the fallen students who gave their lives for Israel. He places a medal and a flag on their graves. He also takes his students for a visit to Holocaust survivals and Memorials so they can learn from the history.  

Dennis is a giving person. His life style is humble. Hi lives in his dojo where he also teaches. He wakes up every morning to feed 200 birds and 70 cats. He loves life and he is a big lover of animals. When we first arrived in the morning he was already siting outside in his garden and feeding birds and cats, which follow him for almost eighteen years such as Gingii the cat. His mornings continue with visitors who suffer from posttraumatic war experience and who come every morning for a short walk and talk and to give blessings to Dennis. This is how his days start.

He has kids classes in his dojo and you can see can see how much love he invests in kids and how he educates them in the right spirit of a true warrior – to be kind and polite.  If some kids miss the class he gives them a call. He hugs and motivates those ones who feel discouraged and you can see how the kids’ energy change and how they wants to give the best and train hard. After kids class the one for the adults follows. All his students are successful adults with medical degrees; company owners and all of them sit in silence when Dennis talks. You can feel and see a big respect they have for him. Even though he is in 84 years old his eyes don’t miss a thing, He feels the energy of the class and students and behaves like a conductor of a symphonic orchestra. He is in control of any second of the class and takes care that the team is strong, that they hit and kick and throw with full power. And it is as same as a music piece. The class runs in harmony and no one gets injured.

 It amazes me how he loves his life in the dojo, how he enjoys teaching every day 365 days in a year. Dojo is his life and it is where his family and home is. It’s a place where he and his students celebrate important events. As we move to the backyard where tables and chairs are set for the party you can see how they live as one big family. S.D stepped in and since he is one of the highest ranks and also one of the top instructors in Israeli security force he explained how Denis was his teacher and second father. And not only to him but to all other Israeli top security personnel. They all own a lot to Denis and his classes, which are fundamental studies in their facilities. GM Dennis Hanover is a Pillar of Israeli Martial art and he is also a founder of Israeli Museum of Martial art. He has done so much for the community and the country. His dojo has sponsored more than 700 Bar Mitzvah for children who come from poor families. He takes care of children with special needs as well.  We can say that he is the most important figure in the history of Israel and a true living legend that built judo federation, karate federation, competitions and world champions but mostly he is the one who built the spirit of Israeli martial art.  As an example, let us go back in time when Israeli karate team was denied of participation at the world Karate championship in Japan.  It was a poor decision made by Japanese Karate federation and Oyama sensei, which later on led to the establishment of Survival Hisardut Israeli Jiujutsu – an example to all Israeli Martial artist that we should not follow any system but make our own lines of defense.  

GM Dennis Hanover is a true living legend and very difficult to describe in such a short column because his life achievements and contributions are immense.  I recommend to everyone to travel to Israel and see it with his or her own eyes.  

Armed Combat – Learning Through Play

While Larping (Live Action Role Play) often takes a lot of criticism for its exaggerated moves, ‘patty cake’ style of back and forth and anachronistic theme, it can be a great learning tool in a safe environment while also being a lot of fun. With its origins dating back to the 1970s, Larping has taken on many forms as it has grown in popularity and evolved throughout the years, ranging from small events to large festivals with hundreds or even thousands of participants. While much of the culture and activity around the event is not related to martial arts, there is certainly a component of Larping which has real value and can be leveraged to help teach core martial arts principles: single combat. The weapons and costumes of certain players are generally based on the medieval or renaissance period, though the weapons are foam or padded and the armor is a replica and much lighter. This certainly brings a different dynamic to how the combat is conducted, but many of the principles still apply and can be practiced without fear of damaging your partner.

Avi, in his recent travels to Israel, trained a group of Larpers who were looking to improve their skills in single combat and group teamwork on the battlefield. With a 6th degree black belt in Kendo, Avi knows quite a bit about combat with swords. The training began with a quick introduction to some of the weapons and the philosophy behind them. While a shield is seen as primarily a defensive tool, it can also be used as an offensive weapon or be used to disarm your opponent. While a second sword or even a knife in the offhand may appear to be an offensive weapon, this can be used as a defensive tool, intercepting or trapping an incoming attack to open the line of attack for the primary weapon. He also provided guidance on holding a shield in different ways to ensure that an attack doesn’t collapse or pivot the shield and leave the defender vulnerable. After describing some of the philosophy of swordsmanship, he allowed the group to practice, giving them tips and guidance along the way. Then he began instructing them on strategies for fighting two-on-two and how misdirection and relative position can serve to confuse the opponents and open new lines of attack. In the end, he was able to add some concepts and techniques to their abilities and give them a unique advantage in single or team combat in the future.

One of the drawbacks of using foam weapons is the difficulty in building momentum and inertia while executing a movement, slowing attacks, and making them seem ineffective. Naturally, to compensate for this, practitioners will over exaggerate movements, which can start to build bad habits if the idea was to transfer this to real weapons in the future. Some of this can be helped by just padding weapons to maintain some of the weight, but of course, this can be difficult for larger weapons such as axes and large swords. Another drawback is the inability to execute precise movements, such as penetrating strikes and stabbing movements. Most foam weapons rely on large slashing movements so as not to damage the tips of padded or foam weapons. While through practice and using higher quality, higher weight equipment can help in some ways, these habits can be worked out to some degree, there is another solution: Use more realistic weapons that aren’t sharpened, but increase the amount of protective gear.

From January to September 2010, Christian Eckert led the Gladiator Project, taking students from Regensburg University in Germany to a real historical ‘Scoula’ to train as the gladiators would have, paying close attention to every detail of the diet, lifestyle and arrangements that a real prospective gladiator would have gone through. By giving the students weapons and armor that would have been very similar to the actual gladiators, he found that the students, through play and his guidance, were able to reconstruct much of the combat that would likely have been seen back in that day. Interestingly, he discovered that despite popular belief that these were bloody matches to the death, most of the gladiators that were paired together were specifically designed to not be able to easily strike a lethal blow, but rather a wounding blow that would end the match. Gladiators were expensive to train and maintain, the initial training lasting a whole two years. If they were simply to be led to a slaughter, it wouldn’t be a lucrative business for those who bought and trained these warriors. One of the keys to replicating the training was using realistically weighted weapons while also having a great deal of protective equipment to prevent injuries.

While realistic training isn’t for everyone, training with foam weapons has the advantage of being safe and fun for kids as well. This is useful to help teach children some of the basics in martial arts concepts and principles, which can also be used to supplement existing children’s martial arts programs. However, in order to gain real proficiency, it will be necessary to introduce more realistic conditions, which isn’t appropriate for children. A revival in recent years of Medieval and Western armored combat has led to the creation of a number of groups, federations and competitions that are based largely in realistic style combat, often requiring the use of costly, authentic armor, true to the time period. The M-1 Medieval fighting tournament, Western Martial Arts Workshop, Historical European Martial Arts and International Medieval Combat Federation are just a few of these organizations that have grown in popularity and have attracted a number of martial artists and individuals drawn to the historical aspects and unique allure of the culture surrounding this.

Whether training with foam weapons or more realistically, the openness and freedom of play allows practitioners to hone their abilities and discover what attacks are effective and which ones open them up to attacks. This paired with guidance to provide insights into the principles of combat and even by the study of historical documents from the period itself can help elucidate the techniques that are most effective against an enemy combatant. Avi is working to put together more material for individuals training and fighting in edged combat, providing a more enriching experience for those who enjoy the free play of one-on-one fighting. As more details emerge and other groups are trained, updates will be forthcoming.

Marketing and Martial art

A man once visited his friend, who was very wealthy, and noticed that he had an elephant in his yard. Stunned, he asked his friend “what are you doing with that elephant?”  “Oh him?” the wealthy man responded, “That’s the best deal I ever got! I initially got him as a pet, but turns out, he’s saved me so much money. He eats the grass, so I don’t need to hire anyone to do it. The kids can climb up and ride him and play all day and he’s so much fun to watch, I hardly even watch TV anymore. When my wife goes out shopping, she’s so happy because he can carry all the groceries no problem.”

“Wow, that’s amazing” responds the friend, “you need to sell him to me, please!” “No way that I can sell him, he’s part of the family now.” “Please…” begged his friend. After a while thinking about it, the wealthy friend finally responded, “Alright, alright… I can sell him, but I’ll need $300,000.” His friend enthusiastically agreed and took the elephant home that very day.

After a few weeks, the two met again and the wealthy man asked, “How is everything going with the new elephant?” His friend, despondent, responded, “Horrible. My wife and kids are scared of him and he knocked over all the trees in my yard and trampled the garden. It was a huge mistake to buy him from you.” The wealthy man replied, “Well, with that attitude, you’ll never be able to sell this elephant.”

Marketing and sales are essential nowadays, especially in Martial Arts.

It reminds me of a story about a guy name Eyal who moved into a village and decided to buy a donkey. Since he was a city boy, they sold him an old donkey which died the moment he brought it home. He then posted a raffle, for just one dollar you can have a chance to win a donkey. People in the town flocked to purchase tickets and he made thousands, way more than he initially paid for the donkey. When the winner came to claim his prize, he found a dead donkey and complained to Eyal, to which he replied, “You’re right, it’s not fair. Here’s a full refund on your purchase”, to which he returned the winner’s 1 dollar.  Every day I see ‘masters’ from Israel who have only a basic understanding of Kali or a green belt in Karate who recycle bad material and try to sell it using marketing and video editing. People buy into their system because it looks nice on the outside, but they don’t realize that they were sold a dead donkey until it’s too late.

People with a talent for sales and marketing can be found in all fields, dead donkey dealers are now using the internet to extend their reach and finding victims who are happy to buy in to something that has no substance behind it, but that has a good appearance. Don’t be a victim.

I’ve been asked a lot lately about Israeli Martial Arts ads and what is it that makes them so popular. My answer is that they have great marketing and there’s low demand from students and instructors to become masters. I’ve seen instructors who have yellow belts in Karate and all of a sudden they are listed as experts in Krav Maga and are Mossad secret service who can’t post on Facebook because they are undercover secret agents without having been a soldier for a single day. They teach Police forces without a single day of being a Police officer or functioning in any law enforcement capacity. In Israel there are so many Martial Artists who have their Doctorate degree, yet when the news contacts them to ask what university they received their degree from, they suddenly can’t remember and curiously, they never received a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree either. In order to cut down on the corruption, the Israeli government no longer recognizes PhD degrees unless it has been certified, which many of these fake degree holders will never do, lest they be exposed. Yet still they promote themselves using this degree outside of Israel and dozens of people fall for this.

New Israeli Federations that you send money to and they promote you to blackbelt or give you instructor of the year and any other title is a great marketing strategy, but I refuse to be a part of this. Maybe it’s bad marketing on my part, but I’ve dedicated more than 50 years of my life to Martial Arts, traveled the world and studied under real masters, not through YouTube or TikTok. Unfortunately, I see many falling victim to dead donkey salesmen, giving them an easy way to advance with titles and certificates but with no substance behind it.

When dealing with this, each of us needs look in the mirror and decide whether we began this journey for the love of martial arts or to try and gain profit as a salesman. As the stoic Epictetus once said, “Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap.” While marketing is important to spread the word and make a name for yourself, understand to what lengths you are going and who you choose to associate with. Focus on the substance of your martial arts, not what empty titles you can get and never, never compromise your integrity in the pursuit of marketing.

Argentina: Sensei On The Road

When the lion gets old, the monkeys try to pull his tail… Many times, I had to put younger students in their place – those who judge me, but couldn’t handle half of what I have survived. Teaching Martial Arts is a mission that doesn’t get easier with age and with time, I gradually close and cut my circle through understanding that the smaller the circle, the less you need to worry about snakes and rats. At the same time, I push my students and instructors to try, always try – don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to have tried in the first place. Martial Arts is a life time study and no one way is always right. You learn nothing from life if you think you’re right all the time. Over the years, I’ve seen how many times people say they can’t or they can and it all comes down to your will and spirit, as the saying goes “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.”

My journey of Sensei on the Road started many years back as I never stopped traveling and studying while at times also teaching. It takes me back to the war in 1982 as I saw how many eyes were lost in the dark. To see this transformation is the most beautiful thing in the world, watching the light come on in someone’s eyes when they have been lost in the dark for so long. This is something you can’t put a price on, bringing this light back into lives again, whether they are human or animals. Even by saving a stray cat or dog, you will notice how the eyes light up once someone reaches down into the darkness to bring them into the light.

In my recent trip to Argentina, it was great to see so many students and teachers brought back into the light through training after so much time being locked down with Covid restrictions and regulations. This helped raise me up and bring some light back into my life, as we see things going back to normal and the distance that separated us being forgotten during the seminar. While the travel isn’t always easy, the reward of seeing so many eyes filled with light and joy was worth it.

When I landed in Buenos Aires, I met with two old friends, Sensei Maximo Sanchez and Fabian Garcia, who have been with me so long on this Martial Arts Journey, from Kapap Krav Maga to BJJ and Mobility Survival to Army skills training, a total of nearly 20 years. It’s as we say, “Blood makes us related, but Loyalty makes us family” and we shared so many travels to Chile, Brazil, Amazon, Patagonia. It was a wonderful experience to be able to see so many familiar faces from my teams from Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, even though we missed some members that could not make it due to ongoing Covid issues.

There is a saying “No man ever steps in the same river twice. For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” and is same for the river of Martial Arts. When we started our journey almost 20 years ago, many things have changed… some students passed away, even during my visit we lost another great soul, but it’s part of the circle of life. Some students have changed and many old students who we continuously training, such as Marcelino who was like a step son for me since he was a child, and now he is Shihan Santi Garcia. It’s wonderful to see such talent flourish in a martial artist who was my Uke for so many years.  

To teach is to study and explore and during my time studying Argentinean and South American culture we learned so much. From the drink chimarrão or cimarrón, which is known as Mate as well as the Gaucho, the nomadic and colorful horsemen and cowhands of the Argentine and Uruguayan Pampas (grasslands), who flourished from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century and has remained a folk hero similar to the cowboy in western North America. We hosted a traditional Gaucho at our camp to teach and explain and demonstrate his art and culture and we let students spar in the traditional Gaucho ways.  

We started traveling at first light and set a big fire to bring light and spirit to the training, followed by “Kapap-oeira” where we take mobility and dance from Capoeira and fuse it with the rhythm and fighting movements that I picked up during my time teaching in Angola. We studied breaking the rhythm mid flow with half beat movements as tactics in a fight while letting all the students explore and study so many mobility and acrobatic moves and drills to improve their body control. All day we studied different training that ended at midnight with a paramedic class to share first aid, as many who carry a gun or a knife don’t know how to dress wounds that they may need to cause in combat, which is a critical component of being a responsible Martial Artist.

In the near future, we will share a few more articles from our travels to South America, as Kyoshi  Fabian Garcia  has also served as a Sensei on the Road for so many years and can share so many stories from his experience.

The Balkans

The Balkan has long history and cloture that even living here its not easy understand yet all as carry back years of history

The Balkan mean mountain and its amazing mountains with breath taking view to travel at Serbia , my first visit in Yugoslavia  was  with Israeli National Rugby team to play against Partizn and we found most strong warriors stand in front of us and after won they open their big heart hug and been most friendly human we could meet great hospitality and no limits friendship make you part of their family

my next travel was during the war and than on all others visits it was already Serbia and not Yugoslavia and years of visiting in amazing Serbia with top warriors that carry to Partizans warriors against Nazi and on same time most hospitality and family and peacefully , and from that moment visiting Serbia for years met my wife and Belgrade become my home so write on my home and introduce on my Column Sensei on the Road is honor.

My first seminar was organized like all my work in Serbia by Sensei Igor Sucevic  a life time martial artist that start with Judo Karate Wing Tsun followed into BJJ Jiujutsu MMA FMA with Guro Dan Inosento and many many great teachers By the years. Igor bring to Serbia top Martial artist for many years and set workshops and Im happy also and honor be one of them before we set team and work on one team for years including bring MMA and UFC legend Carlos Newton the Ronin and also Igor took him around Serbia to more Balkans countries. serbian are natural born athletic ,The people of the Dinaric Alps are on record as being the tallest in the world, with an average adolescent height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in). The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have the highest recorded average of any single country, with 183.9 cm average for men and 172.72 cm for women , Serbia world legend Tennis Player Novak Djokovic born in Yugoslavia and grown during the war into lead dominated sport player Tennis and been national hero at Serbia

Water Polo and football and Hand ball and many sports we can see Serbians lead world wide and play professionally and when I start teach in Serbia Martial arts I always said that here be easy make MMA UFC Champions and body type and Im sure we will see soon Combat sports champions by many coming from Serbia

Belgrade is nominated best city as a live by Lonley Planet – Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade (‘White City’) is by no means a ‘pretty’ capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of Europe’s most happening cities. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its chaotic past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between art nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics and socialist modernist monoliths. This is where the Sava and Danube Rivers kiss, an old-world culture that at once evokes time-capsuled communist-era Yugoslavia and new-world, EU-contending cradle of cool.

Grandiose coffee houses and smoky dives pepper Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Belgrade Fortress. The riverside Savamala quarter has gone from ruin to resurrection, and is the city’s creative headquarters (for now). Deeper in Belgrade’s bowels are museums guarding the cultural, religious and military heritage of the country.

The Darina river is the longest in the Dinaric Alps and split Bosnia and Serbia The Sava and Danube met in front of Belgrade and make any wish to come true by Serbian say.

teaching Seminars and class in this amazing country as also teaching special forces of Serbia and Gandramare making me honor work with such caliber warriors and also work with sports MMA BJJ and Kapap Krav Maga team under Igor as also I always host Students coming from all over world here , Mexico , India and Even Israeli team that all been in Army and wars but got to visit out team here and study fire arm and combat at Grom Academy with Zeljko Vucic and Aleksander Punos and my self and also to host Sifu Sapir Tal South Mantis Kog Fu teaching here on Spikey and Kong Fun and share knowledge with out Serbian team and I happy as see Israeli and Serbian team together and my friendship to gorw and Share knowlage as always I said KAPAP is a bridge in between system and human and we welcome all to visit s at Serbia the home of Sensei on Road

Slovenia Question


1. how and when did you start with martial arts?

2. The highlights of your career?

3. What are you most proud of?

4. When you teach, what is the most important message you want people to hear?

5. Who do you look up to?

6. When and how did Israel become such a big name for martial arts?

7. When did you meet Borut?

8. What do you think about him, his school and students?

9. In which direction will the world of martial arts go in the future?

10. If you think about your legacy, what do you wish it would be?

11. Message for our readers?


1. how and when did you start with martial arts?

 I always joke with students as we all start from one Cell of sperm swimming faster than the others who pushes through with elbows kicking all others aside to be born…that’s when all of us begin our lives and  Fight and survival in this world with the wish to born and to live , nine months later, with my mom having a hard time and almost loosing me too but I kept alive and was born and was rushed to the emergency room barely alive and had my entire blood supply replaced in a transfusion and my mom always joked that there were never more pipes and needles than a baby there…and for years I remember my childhood as a sick kid in hospitals  and that whole start changing as I went to school and started training in Gymnastics  as my father didn’t like martial arts at the time they started in Israel and since he had training as Judo and Jiujtsu and Krav he said he will teach me and it was not Fun as he was hardcore and I didn’t like the pain….at the same time I also looked at movies but the school janitor opened class being a former commando like my father and started teach us kids, a mix of Judo Karate Jiujutsu and Krav and we are talking at the late 60s so Martial arts haven’t been popular and established as today  , even though it sounds funny but I think this was my main and paramount part for my martial art study building character to never give up and WIN and wish and love to martial arts that lead to the first “Enter the dragon” and Bruce Lee introducing martial arts as Magical and I run to study Judo and looked down at Karate thinking it looked ridiculous to me at the time with those strange non logical moves until I was faced a good friend Ofer  Zaltsman ( a sad story as someone so talented ending bad ) who introduce me to Karate in the proper way and I started respecting and loving Karate and after my military service I went in Portugal to Gashuku with Morio Higahona and my eyes opened to see that I was right, got close to him and decide that If I wanted to study I must go to Japan , in Japan I studied under Tadano Tomiyaki who was seventh dan black belt under Morio Higahona , and from the second day in Japan I started Studing Kendo under Kubo Akira Sensei  who was one of my best teachers ever and I remember myself becoming so exhausted in my private class and he would go have coffee and Sake while I had to take a nap. When he returned, he would wake me up and keep the class as it was too hard, one on one, while the public class looked better but I found Kendo to be very demanding and hard , when I got shodan in kendo, I had to travel time to time to more than a hundred other sensei to explore other styles by direction of Kubo Sensei and keep my class with him , he had in mind that I needed roots and than to explore more styles. I also started my Iaido and Jodo class and Jiujutsu Tai Ho Jutsu and Police Kendo at Shin Kiba and Kokoshikan university and Kyudo under Ono Sensei in ChiChibu it was an awesome period, very demanding with no time to breath and relax while starting improving and learning and planning for the World championship

When I returned to Israel I was ” Very Good ” at Israeli standards and funny as I moved to USA and been lucky to start studing under Professor John Machado I find out that  there is so much more to study so the answer to when I started my study of martial art is TODAY and we are always students some time teachers agenda and the way and How are not important as we are always told its not the system name which counts, it is the teacher. Many times, students look at the name and not understand that one hundred teachers can name Krav to what they do but it is never similar

2. The highlights of your career?

The Highlights of my career changes with age. In my younger days, it was by winning and the ego took over as yes I’m the man, I’m strong and can defeat others , I’m the best and that is a segment changing fast as one understands that this kind of glory runs out fast and the champion of yesterday is forget in a few years and also it is not the way of martial art but still an important part of competition time

later as I had my own awesome dojo I had in mind I’m in my peak but after moving around and opening and closing so many dojo with my moving around the world, I also stopped seeing dojo as my peak and for me any field can be a dojo , my students winning competitions also looks at some high point and pride , and teaching special forces first in Israel and later worldwide also looks as a high career point but with time I have also grown from that phase and started teaching handicap kids and helped them change throughout, physically and mentally and see the change in them made me see it as highlight more than anything, then I started helping in Africa in poor slums and take kids into martial art study and keep them away from drugs and bad ways seemed as highlight and I think I’m still picking high ights and I’m not yet in my apex but its will come and only one day as I get too old and look back I can tell as which is my high lights

 
3. What are you most proud of ?

I think it’s hard to say and easier to state I’m not proud of as doing so many things I have also done so many mistakes and I can say I wish I could have fixed them but at the same time, it is better making mistakes and being sorry than feeling remorse later you didn’t do it…we study by making mistakes and that’s also my way to teach I don’t think students can perform all perfect from the beginning and they need do it even with mistakes with patient correction and each time you do more it gets better and by doing it for ever you will perfect the mistakes or if now teachers step in and get you direction you can clean mistakes but in end we are all teachers of ourselves and it depends what we look for, if we seek titles and ego, we will find that and if we look for what is true it is great but even than some small white lies are needed as truth can be also dangerous. I say we are here to be a light in the dark but not set fire consuming all, I’m mostly proud on successes to open and bring light to eyes who were cast in the dark and bring back light into eyes sunk in the abys , that is what I can say I am most proud of , many people with harsh experience in life lost the light and hope and you can see how the eyes turn dark and the ability to light the eyes again is within Martial art and in being a  good Sensei

4. When you teach, what is the most important message you want people to hear?

It may sound bad and I smile for this question but first message is have the students paid ? many times students forget that teachers are just senior students and we have obligation to pay rent make sure to keep training safe and in good spirits and in Covid times I see many good teachers close the door as no training take place with no students paying and they cannot keep the doors open so when the students will want training the teacher will not be there anymore, the Relationship between teacher to student is very important message and also there is a difference between Sensei and Coach , there are many coaches, mostly in sports but to be a Sensei is much more than a Coach

 Sensei is obligated to also teach Moral Ethics, Friendship becomes like Family ,we need to remember  that education sans morality  and ethic is without value and worthless. During the. holocaust we faced war that was orchestrated by evil who were at the same time very smart and educated.  They were psychologists and therapists with high university ranks as MD doctors , important lawyers engineers and scientists  and these top people were highly educated and thinkers yet evil at same time by missing the study of moral and ethics and they knew what will break us and that’s terror – fear , hide the truth and real information to control the media using propaganda and news which lead into depths of terror and evil , many coaches teach only the knowledge using good marketing in news but those miss the moral values and ethics and by that we create strong evil people yet again.

5. Who do you look up to?

unfortunately I don’t look up to anyone , I try studying and correcting my mistakes by looking into myself and work on my own ways and fix my evil and correct my wrongs , we are all human and to admire another person is only because we not know them well , we all have parts we want to hide and change and if someone put on himself a dress and special cloth and now is a Bishop or Rabbi it does not mean they are better than anyone else and I prefer to look on the way I need to walk on than look onto a person as you may be disappointed that this Bishop is a rapist or a Pedophile and this can is true for  a Sensei we admire. So that is why I advise not to look up to anyone just seek the truth and way inside to become a self-sensai, I had many teachers that I have criticized and I study the movement but not the attitude and wrong way they follow and it is important to walk on the right way even when teachers we know choose the wrong ways. look inside and up into yourself to climb as high up as only you can from self-knowledge ,unless you also have the Dunning-Kruger effect, in psychology, a cognitive bias whereby people with limited knowledge or competence in a given intellectual or social domain greatly overestimate their own knowledge or competence in that domain relative to objective criteria or to the performance of their peers or of people in general.

6. When and how did Israel become such a big name for martial arts?

its start around the nineties as big paid marketing advertisement campaign as Magazines presented Israeli Martial art as great while using also the war cloud of Israel victories and none stop terror fights on create a good image for Israeli Martial art that perhaps presented as more reality based , I think its only Marketing as no martial art is greater than another and it is more about the teacher always. In all honesty. if Israel had such great level in martial art, pioneers who left to find better martial arts would never have traveled out of the country and would have studied only in Israel and honestly, I can’t even see most Israeli Martial art get close to many teachers and schools I have met on my travels but again media and marketing can sell anything but it’s not mean if it is true.

there are many good martial arts and the study from all good creates a mix and that is possibly where Israeli Martial art going also these days

7. When did you meet Borut?

 we met more than eighteen years ago I believe. Sensei Borut used to teach regularly in Israel and  by this he was also exposed to Kapap and afterwards he invited friends from my Organization to teach in Slovenia for a seminar. He told me he understands there is a different and asked me to visit and give a workshop , we met in Italy’s Terieste airport and drove to see Venice as he used to teach over there to many Krav schools and for me it was first time seeing Venice, then we kept Flying , I smile as in some part just before cross from Italy to Slovenia we were stopped by traffic police and he had lost his fly permit …and to return me had to drive by another student and again traffic and we were late to our flight back to Slovenia and stayed for a few days of fun and a great family dojo he created ,I see Borut Sensei as I see Carlos Newton a UFC and MMA champion as both of them were wild and I was already a senior and old and I can see the big changes in both of them and they both evolved from Sport and being a coach into amazing Sensei’s

8. What do you think about him, his school and students?

I have always said Sensei Borut is a young lion. He still hunts but the more years pass, Sensei Borut is a Lion with an amazing tribe of wonderful students and teachers and organization he runs at the higher level and brings the students the best of the best with seminars but most by himself as he is a workaholic and study addict and he keeps students and involved more and more into Kenpo and Arnis and exposed students and teachers into much more studies following Great teachers as Hanshi Patrick McCarthy , many Escrima and arnis styles , Krav , and BJJ Machado , Ill say that Slovenia is very Lucky to have him as a higher caliber martial artist and teacher and also teaching different units as tactical and combative

Sensei. Borut is a high-level Martial artist himself but as a teacher if anyone look at these awesome students growing in his dojo and how high a level they are and how they follow the right way in Martial art, we all can agree he is a great teacher

  9. In which direction will the world of martial arts go in the future?

the world is during strange and critical times, we cannot be only a man or woman and now it is also unclear if someone decides in the morning to be a woman we all need to agree and a transgender who is a low ranked swimmer as man turns into woman swimming and becomes a champion , we are not allowed to voice ourselves much unless we repeat the voice media transmites constantly for all to hear. we can’t have opinions unless they are what those behind  Facebook decide are right with media is all but paid and sold , we see a world that is confusing and we can’t even witness the face of those we talk with as all are vailed with masks that may protect from Bacteria but not virus and , we are on very critics times in world direction and with load voice I can say we see more evil these days while the good stay seated and avoid taking sides. that also effects the martial art world as we see how combative are slowly taken out and governments want citizens that hold guns and know how to use and not want citizens that can fight which in one way is logical that only army and police to pursue but then we may be  unable  to defend our freedom again. and at the same time we loss combatives we see the world of MMA taking over and again neglect the teachings of the right way by not seeing any need to share values and ethics and morals as part of education and see only the Fight skills

this is why only by the right teachers such as Borut Sensei we will keep the martial art way and the martial arts at all , we need to fight to keep the martial arts as part of education

10. If you think about your legacy, what do you wish it would be?

Well I hope to live long and keep directing my Legacy myself , and I think my legacy is to create better people better character , good people and push the evil to hide again as it was done after the second world war because too many evils pop up again and begat power and if we refrain from chaining the veil down first in ourselves  and as a society, then we face again many years of being controlled by evil…it is better to stop it even before it get power and if not we all loss our legacy

11. Message for our readers?

my message is simple training –  training – training , avoid letting any virus or anything stop us from training , we want to disarm a gun or knife and fight against three attackers and we let fear defeat us , we say that fear cuts deeper than a sword and I say don’t fear go train , I never stopped teaching during Covid times and traveled all over the world and most of Africa and more people die in car accident and from bad habits being overweight or badly conditioned and fed, people die in Africa from Malaria Ebola and starving and hunger , get back in the dojo that is my message

Sensei on the Road: GM Dennis Hanover the father of the Israeli Martial arts

Since my return from Israel I’ve been trying to edit the new Sensei on the Road column on an extraordinary life journey and achievements of the father of the Israeli Martial art GM Denis Hanover and could not find the right and enough of words to describe this outstanding person. Maybe I can start with his philosophy of life, which influenced both my work and my personal life. He said that education which is not based in moral and ethics doesn’t have any value and is worthless. During the Second World War and Holocaust Jewish people faced atrocity, which was orchestrated by very intelligent people who were psychologists and therapist with high university ranks, medical doctors, important lawyers, engineers and scientists. All those, at that time, top people have received great education and many of them were great thinkers who knew what will break people and how to break people. In one word they were the masters of TERROR –FEAR. They were experts in hiding the true and spreading false information in order to control the media.  Their misleading news and propaganda have facilitated the implementation of the biggest terror and horror in the world in form of the Holocaust.  We can say that their inttelligence and education didn’t serve the humanity but were against it and they will not be remembered for good deeds. 

GM Dennis Hanover is a champion with bare feet and no shoes, but with pure heart and spirit.  A shoes or bare feet that we can only wish we can walk in.   He has thought us about moral and values and how to give and receive respect based on the memory of anti-Semitism and how it should not be repeated ever again. He thought us how to be strong and proud Jews so we can teach our students in every country what is a love for the country of Israel. His devotion and devotion of his family  (sons Guy and Yaron and daughter Orlly) to serve the country, security forces and students never ceased and took place even during wars. He was an example of how to defend a home. Every year on Memorial Day he goes to the cemetery to show respect to the fallen students who gave their lives for Israel. He places a medal and a flag on their graves. He also takes his students for a visit to Holocaust survivals and Memorials so they can learn from the history.  

Dennis is a giving person. His life style is humble. Hi lives in his dojo where he also teaches. He wakes up every morning to feed 200 birds and 70 cats. He loves life and he is a big lover of animals. When we first arrived in the morning he was already siting outside in his garden and feeding birds and cats, which follow him for almost eighteen years such as Gingii the cat. His mornings continue with visitors who suffer from posttraumatic war experience and who come every morning for a short walk and talk and to give blessings to Dennis. This is how his days start. 

He has kids classes in his dojo and you can see can see how much love he invests in kids and how he educates them in the right spirit of a true warrior – to be kind and polite.  If some kids miss the class he gives them a call. He hugs and motivates those ones who feel discouraged and you can see how the kids’ energy change and how they wants to give the best and train hard. After kids class the one for the adults follows. All his students are successful adults with medical degrees; company owners and all of them sit in silence when Dennis talks. You can feel and see a big respect they have for him. Even though he is in 84 years old his eyes don’t miss a thing, He feels the energy of the class and students and behaves like a conductor of a symphonic orchestra. He is in control of any second of the class and takes care that the team is strong, that they hit and kick and throw with full power. And it is as same as a music piece. The class runs in harmony and no one gets injured.

 It amazes me how he loves his life in the dojo, how he enjoys teaching every day 365 days in a year. Dojo is his life and it is where his family and home is. It’s a place where he and his students celebrate important events. As we move to the backyard where tables and chairs are set for the party you can see how they live as one big family. S.D stepped in and since he is one of the highest ranks and also one of the top instructors in Israeli security force he explained how Denis was his teacher and second father. And not only to him but to all other Israeli top security personnel. They all own a lot to Denis and his classes, which are fundamental studies in their facilities. GM Dennis Hanover is a Pillar of Israeli Martial art and he is also a founder of Israeli Museum of Martial art. He has done so much for the community and the country. His dojo has sponsored more than 700 Bar Mitzvah for children who come from poor families. He takes care of children with special needs as well. We can say that he is the most important figure in the history of Israel and a true living legend that built judo federation, karate federation, competitions and world champions but mostly he is the one who built the spirit of Israeli martial art.  As an example, let us go back in time when Israeli karate team was denied of participation at the world Karate championship in Japan.  It was a poor decision made by Japanese Karate federation and Oyama sensei, which later on led to the establishment of Survival Hisardut Israeli Jiujutsu – an example to all Israeli Martial artist that we should not follow any system but make our own lines of defense.  

GM Dennis Hanover is a true living legend and very difficult to describe in such a short column because his life achievements and contributions are immense.  I recommend to everyone to travel to Israel and see it with his or her own eyes.  

Marketing and Martial art

A man once visited his friend, who was very wealthy, and noticed that he had an elephant in his yard. Stunned, he asked his friend “what are you doing with that elephant?”  “Oh him?” the wealthy man responded, “That’s the best deal I ever got! I initially got him as a pet, but turns out, he’s saved me so much money. He eats the grass, so I don’t need to hire anyone to mow. The kids can climb up and ride him and play all day and he’s so much fun to watch, I hardly even watch TV anymore. When my wife goes out shopping, she’s so happy because he can carry all the groceries no problem.” 

“Wow, that’s amazing” responds the friend, “you need to sell him to me, please!” “No way that I can sell him, he’s part of the family now.” “Please…” begged his friend. After a while thinking about it, the wealthy friend finally responded, “Alright, alright… I can sell him, but I’ll need $300,000.” His friend enthusiastically agreed and took the elephant home that very day. 

After a few weeks, the two met again and the wealthy man asked, “How is everything going with the new elephant?” His friend, despondent, responded, “Horrible. My wife and kids are scared of him and he knocked over all the trees in my yard and trampled the garden. It was a huge mistake to buy him from you.” The wealthy man replied, “Well, with that attitude, you’ll never be able to sell him.”

Marketing and sales are essential nowadays, especially in Martial Arts.

It reminds me of a story about a guy name Eyal who moved into a village and decided to buy a donkey. Since he was a city boy, they sold him an old donkey which died the moment he brought it home. He then posted a raffle, for just one dollar you can have a chance to win a donkey. People in the town flocked to purchase tickets and he made thousands; way more than he initially paid for the donkey. When the winner came to claim his prize, he found a dead donkey and complained to Eyal, to which he replied, “You’re right, it’s not fair. Here’s a full refund on your purchase”, to which he returned the winner’s 1 dollar.  

People with a talent for sales and marketing can be found in all fields, dead donkey dealers are now using the internet to extend their reach and finding victims who are happy to buy in to something that has no substance behind it, but that has a good appearance. Don’t be a victim. 

I’ve been asked a lot lately about Israeli Martial Arts ads and what is it that makes them so popular. My answer is that they have great marketing and there’s low demand from students and instructors to become masters. I’ve seen instructors who have yellow belts in Karate and all of a sudden, they are listed as experts in Krav Maga and are Mossad secret service who can’t post on Facebook because they are undercover secret agents without having been a soldier for a single day. They teach Police forces never having served as a Police officer or functioning in any law enforcement capacity. In Israel there are so many Martial Artists who have their Doctorate degree, yet when the news contacts them to ask what university they received their degree from, they suddenly can’t remember and curiously, they never received a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree either. In order to cut down on the corruption, the Israeli government no longer recognizes PhD degrees unless it has been certified, which many of these fake degree holders will never do, lest they be exposed. Yet still they promote themselves using this degree outside of Israel and dozens of people fall for this. 

New Israeli Federations that you send money to and they promote you to blackbelt or give you instructor of the year and any other title is a great marketing strategy, but I refuse to be a part of this. Maybe it’s bad marketing on my part, but I’ve dedicated more than 50 years of my life to Martial Arts, traveled the world and studied under real masters, not through YouTube or TikTok. It’s unfortunate, but everyday people are unable to distinguish between effective martial arts and snake oil salesman. 

It reminds me of a story of a Native American selling handmade pots. There were two pots side by side and a European was comparing the two, as they appeared the same size, but one was selling for 5 dollars and the other was selling for 10. The European inspected the pattern, the interior, the quality of the material and the more he inspected, the more he realized they were identical. He asked the Native American, “what’s the difference between these pots to justify the cost difference? They appear to be identical to me.” The Native American responded, “some like to pay 5 dollars, some like to pay 10.” 

Very often people tie a value to a product based on what they paid for it, which very often it’s easy to see the difference in quality between a more inexpensive product and a costly one. However, in Martial Arts, it’s often very difficult for the common person to distinguish an expert instructor who has dedicated their life to Martial Arts and a snake oil salesman who got a few certifications and belongs to a federation. They attribute a false correlation between marketing and actual substance. As students of Martial Arts, we need to ensure that we are careful with whom we associate and verify that an instructor or school is really able to help us achieve our goals. 

Conversely, as instructors when dealing with external federations and organizations, each of us needs look in the mirror and decide whether we began this journey for the love of martial arts or to try and gain profit as a salesman, potentially selling our integrity for a short term bump in marketing. As the stoic Epictetus once said, “Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap.” While marketing is important to spread the word and make a name for yourself, understand to what lengths you are going and who you choose to associate with. Focus on the substance of your Martial Arts, not what empty titles you can get and never, never compromise your integrity in the pursuit of marketing. 

The Way To Win In A Battle

“The way to win in a battle according to military science is to know the rhythms
of the specific opponents, and use rhythms that your opponents do not expect.”
—Miyamoto Musashi 

What does it mean to pierce an opponent’s OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) loop?

We reach the answer through the generational experience of the western professionals who revolved through the OODA loop swifter than their adversaries in theory, but have they done so in practice?

Does this stand the test of history? Would it not mean that the fastest opponent would always prevail? There are factors beyond speed such as agility and breadth of thought as displayed in General MacArthur’s haste push of the X corps into Korea which ended up pulling the Chinese into the conflict resulting in numerous defeats during the end of 1950.

Swift movement is but execution. The process of choosing the action and tactic is of equal importance as defeats of forceful swift actions as enacted by General Lee  in Gettysburg. Gunslingers know it is not the fastest draw but the righteous aim who wins the day. 

THE OODA LOOP

Colonel John Boyd, an innovative aviator of the US air force, developed an iterative feedback model, what is now known as the OODA loop, discerned from his days dogfighting in the Korean War. It has seen use in both military and civilian trades and is also used to hone athlete’s responses and decisions alike.

The process holds constant revolution between the following stages:

Observation, which leads a participant 

Orienton possible options,

Decideon an appropriate course of action

Acton that decision. 

People tend to overlook observation. The evolving and myriad skill to be aware and discerning of constantly changing environments. All stages of the OODA look are intertwined as the changing sensory input and mental picture alter our perception of the previous moment. Fluidity in decision making is a skill emerging from all phases blended.

DETAILED OODA LOOP

A vital stage in understanding the OODA Loop is to look at it through the lens of the scientific method. In this perspective, decisions are hypotheses, and actions are essentially the process of testing selected hypotheses. If the quality of the information is imperfect, or if one’s orientation to the resultant knowledge is flawed, then speed may not be useful; it will only hasten an inappropriate decision or action. 

In other words, faster might not be better. Like a dancer who loses their balance, the solution is not to go quicker, but rather to stop, recover, and get back in tempo. The same applies to the OODA Loop. To employ it effectively, a participant must understand timing as well as the broader concept of rhythm.

TEMPO, SPEED, AND TIMING

Tempo has been defined by many from official publications to renowned martial artists. One of them was Bruce Lee whose definition of tempo as “that little fragment of time which is the most suitable to accomplish effective actions.” In this definition, successful combatants sync their speed, so their actions coincide with those of their opponent’s, with the goal being to be able to act at “the exact psychological and physical crux of weakness in an opponent.” This specific rhythm in which movements are executed could be called cadence, and to apply this concept, it helps to look at combat through the idea of beats.

 Beats are commonly found in the arts, such as meter in poetry or the time signature of music. More broadly, a beat could be considered as any action or moment of change. They are present in fights as well. Consider the one-two combo in boxing, a simple count that integrates rhythm into a punching drill. In such a combo, the one count is a jab with the lead hand, while the two count is a back hand cross. The drill can be made more complicated, with threes, fours, fives, and sixes added in to represent hooks and uppercuts on both sides, but, whatever their number, the punches are the beats.

A ballet instructor counts in  “one-and-two-and-three-and-four.” To represent the space between each beat which enacts the same rhythm of the punching combo. We are most vulnerable in between each beat when we calibrate and when balance and tempo can be shattered..

HITTING THE OPPONENT ON THE HALF-BEAT

The goal of each fighter is to sever other’s OODA loop. Have them miss a beat. Speed is just one factor here. The psyche’s capacity to recognize opportunities assessing fluid scenarios and as Bruce Lee wrote  speed in delivering a stroke will lose most of its effectiveness unless the stroke is properly timed.”

In practice, it takes more than speed as at a certain point this approach becomes divorced from one’s opponent and their actions. Instead, decisions and actions should ideally happen in a way which sets up the opponent and makes them vulnerable to having their rhythm disrupted.

Bruce Lee identified two traditional methods by which a fighter could use their cadence to accomplish this setup, the first was to adopt slower than normal actions in the lead up to a decisive attack. In this application, after an opponent has adapted to our cadence, they are vulnerable to sudden accelerations in our actions. Alternatively, the lead up could be at a normal or quicker than normal speed, setting up a final attack at a slower cadence. This strategy effectively forces the adversary to commit to an action, allowing a combatant to watch the reaction and strike once the adversary is misaligned. Bruce Lee labeled these methods as “striking on the half-beat.”

Military application of the OODA will have greater complexity; however, the principles remain the same. Advantage is met not by cycling through the process as rapidly as possible as this approach supports dissociation of one’s own decision-making process from that of one’s opponent. Instead, the OODA Loop should be used to identify those little brackets in time when the opponent is most vulnerable to having their rhythm broken to enact their disruption of rhythm. In other words, the OODA’s loop is maximized when it is used to identify and exploit the opponent’s half-beat. Of note, this is consistent with Boyd’s own emphasis on the importance of the orientation stage of the OODA loop.

A recent practical example of this strategy was the September 2019 drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, which briefly wiped out half of Saudi Aramco’s production capacity. In this case, the timing of the attacks may have been more important than the physical effects, since they occurred in the lead-up to Aramco’s initial public offering.[ What’s more, the longer term impact of the attacks may have contributed to reduced investor interest and an Aramco valuation that did not meet its initially intended target.[ At the very least, the attacks succeeded in compelling Saudi Arabia to focus on restoring its production capacity, in effect breaking their rhythm and forcing them to stop, recover, and get back on time In addition, Iran, widely believed to be responsible for the drone strikes, found increased influence with the Houthis in the aftermath of the attack, which was precisely what the Saudis had been hoping to prevent by entering the Yemen War. The timing of the attack, then, could be argued to have benefitted both the Houthis and Iran by catching the Saudis on a half-beat.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boyd’s OODA Loop has long been held up as a means to reduce reaction time and enable quicker and more streamlined decision-making. While greater speed is clearly an advantage in combat, viewing the OODA Loop through the lens of faster is betterover-simplifies the model, and prevents combatants from realizing the full potential of this decision-making framework. By understanding that speed and timing are complementary, the potential of the OODA Loop can be maximized by focusing it to recognize these moments when an opponent is at the apex of vulnerability, and providing options to exploit those openings at the most opportune time.