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. 

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 6thdegree 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. 

ANGOLA: AFRICAN ROOTS OF BRAZIL’S MARTIAL ART CAPOEIRA

 

I have been really lucky to travel during the worldwide Covid pandemic. I’ve recently traveled into Africa for different security projects and I was on a mission to teach, as one example.

I always try to do my best to study, and while I was in Angola I had met Israeli Karate and former Champion Feras Faur,5th Dan.Feras has been involved in Israeli Jiujutsu and is a long-time student of mine in firearms, security and Krav Maga Kapap.Hefound his home in Angola a few years back and met with me and with former Israeli commando officer Yosi Aviram and I’ve been following them both to study much about Angola and the land of Africa’s East side. 

From learning about the witch ceremony and Juju culture to learning unique-to-the culture survival skillsincluding discoveringwhat to eat that you find in nature. We explored learning how to use anything you find in the field and to appreciate the explorationof the magicof Africa.

Using and teaching these skill sets led me to the Favela, the poor neighborhoodwhere we met students that have been training in the Martial art Capoeira that has it’s roots in Angola.

I want to be clear that I’m no expert in the art of Capoeira and have no expertise about Africa, but I would love to share with Budo magazine readers some of the magic I met and that was shared with me.

Capoeira Angola, is a version of the martial arts that is rarely practiced either in Brazil or in Angola itself.But it’s name speaks to the origins of an art that reaches back centuries – before people were enslaved and transported from the Southern African coast to South America.

It was developed in what is now Brazil using rhythms and call-and-response singing found in the African traditions. The inclusion of instruments was crucial for distracting onlookers.

African influence downplayed

Capoeira Angola has a ritualistic feel and the movements are predominantly low to the ground, with the focus on precision. This is why the music is slower than in the dominant version, known as Regional.

The difference between Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional is subtle, but Capoeira Angola includes more instruments and its practitioners feel it is more spiritual.

I sometimes feel a little angry when I think about how Angola’s contributions to Capoeira get dismissed.

The African influence was deliberately downplayed, partly because of racism.

“It was recognized as a part of African culture and labeled as aggressive because of the slave association”

In the mid-16th Century, while working in the fields, slaves created what later became Brazil’s earliest form of Capoeira, disguising fighting techniques as folk dancing.

Following the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, the government banned Capoeira, fearing its use could make any revolt by freed slaves more difficult to overcome.

It went underground, and many black people continued to practice what is now recognized as Capoeira Angola in hidden spaces, using nicknames to protect their identity.

Around 1930, Reis Machado, better known as Mestre Bimba, developed a way of teaching Capoeira that made it easier to learn.

After persuading the authorities about the cultural value of the martial art, the ban was lifted, and Mestre Bimba opened the first Capoeira school in Brazil.

Capoeira was still looked down upon however, especially by the upper class Brazilians.

In response, Mestre Bimba set new standards – he introduced clean white uniforms, required students to show good posture and brought in a system of grading.

As a result, Capoeira began to attract a new audience that became interested in practicing Capoeira indoors.

This was the beginning of Capoeira Regional.

As some practitioners continued to follow the older form, they agreed on the name Capoeira Angola to differentiate it, but over time it was marginalized and largely forgotten.

Regional has a faster pace than Capoeira Angola. Mestre Bimba also simplified the use of instruments relying on only the Pandeiro (hand frame drum) and one Berimbau (bowed instrument.)

‘It relieves my anger’

Despite the name, the claim that Capoeira originated in what is now Angola remains a matter of speculation, as the slaves that left the Luanda docks came from across Southern and Central Africa.

 

Manuel dos Reis Machado or Mesta Bimba as he was better known, was born on 23 November, 1900 in Salvador, in the home country of Capoeira, Brazil.The youngest of 25 children, his first job was as a carpenter on the docks where he developed his physical strength; by the time he was 18, he could carry 120 kg.
He learned 
traditional Capoeira (known as Angola) from a Mestre called Betinho and went on to teach it for ten years before he developed his own style, which he called Regional.

 

© Copyright 2022 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

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Victory through Failure

In one of my interviews I was asked “Avi Nardia, who are you?” I answered to the host’s surprise “I’m a big failure… I’ve failed so many times that I lost the fear of losing which most people carry. Each failure brought me into a new place and a new adventure to study and improve.   

It reminded me of my days monitoring new recruits in top Special Forces training around the world and from so many, only a few were selected.  Some didn’t even manage to get through the first stage, and I used to tell people that most took that failure so hard, carrying that feeling of inadequacy in a bad way. My exhortation has always been – some people make it to the unit, and some make it in LIFE. Many people don’t understand that the purpose of life is to live… as simple as it sounds, no one who is a Navy seal or special forces is a success in life. Rambo is a fictitious character in a movie, but it’s really true that many carry emotional burdens and post-traumatic stress. To be a hero is not normal… being human is normal and so many pay with mental trauma and damage to family relationships by taking it to the extreme. Many people who didn’t go into Special Forces will be lawyers, writers, IT professionals and so on. Most will make way more money than if they had been in a Special Forces unit without having risked each day of their lives, undergoing constant physical and mental stress. Success is finding the right thing that you really wanted and pursuing it. I can agree with Robin Williams when he says that people don’t fake depression… they fake being okay.

Most people put up a façade, acting like everything is good in their life, but inside they’re afraid to fail. We want to see heroes, we need champions and society motivates people to be the biggest and the best and that’s why many always live in a state of constant competition, comparing themself to others while the true secret is to compare yourself to yourself yesterday and see how you progress from day to day.

We see it in sports and martial arts as everyone gets to their first class and the first question is “how long will it take me to get my Black Belt?”  From the first class, they are already looking for victory and that’s where they are lost, and we see many that don’t understand the real reason you join class is to study. Their first mistake is that they didn’t come to study, they came to earn a medal or try and prove their worth, many times because they are missing something deep inside, something that even becoming a champion and black belt will never solve because the issue is deep inside themselves.

When we study to fail and accept that failure, we study to win and how to deal with victory. There is a great quote again by Robin Williams – “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you, you’re making too much money.”

Many times, when people win the lottery or get rich overnight, they never study how to deal with that and ultimately, it destroys their life. 

In martial arts, I’ve seen many great people who, after winning and becoming a champion, they turn into a different person, putting on a new mask that they may not like. In the words of Jean Jacques Machado – “It’s great to train hard and become a champion, but it is greater to become a good human being.”

Those who have lived a full life and who have reached old age can look back on their lives and see their mistakes and smile. Some mistakes may have led to a new discovery or could have even been the source of fun and enjoyment. Certainly, most will look back and think better to have been sorry for what mistakes I have made than sorry I didn’t make those mistakes when I could… As we get older, we begin to see life in different ways and take our experiences as one long study of a well lived life. We don’t take failure hard as in the example before of the Navy Seal recruit, we smile and say “wow, god loves me enough that I failed and still managed be successful in the corporate world!” We see that the same failure that we thought was a setback and bad, in reality took us to a new place, gave us new success and a new study. 

Pursuing martial arts is a life-long study and not just a study for competition.

Not all people can be champions or Special Forces, but everyone can be his or her own family hero and success… many of us have been Special Forces or hero but failed when it came to the most important things in life. 

We fail, we study and when we get older and look back we see we collected so many failures that they become our greatest victory to win and manage to live life and stand up after each time we fall and that’s the real measure of a champion.

People come and go in your life, but the person in the mirror will always be there, so be good to yourself because if you’re friends with yourself, you will never be alone. Understand the Zen mindset and concepts for life and they will server as a tool in your martial arts journey. 

THE touchable and the untouchable

The art of defense when observing the touchable and the untouchable

All around the globe, we share the same anatomy yet are divided by religion, location, skin tone, the cultures and subcultures that guide our day to day activities and deeper. In this column, I would like to split humanity at large into two: the touchable and untouchable.

An armored knight in battles of old was as untouchable as can be and their opponents had to seek the opening in their armor to gain any leverage. So must we do.

A line can be drawn in the sand, dividing these two concerning almost everything, taxes, laws and how society casts it’s vote on their actions and words.

For the touchable, the law always apply and they are required to abide by all rules and regulations. At the same time, the untouchable is protected by the law and is unfettered by the responsibilities and consequences of their actions, protected by the same bodies that formulate and apply the laws.

These untouchables are politicians, governmental authorities, and judges, even actors, religious leaders and the wealthy are able to dodge the consequences of the law, purchasing their way to freedom and happily exempt the penalties of their crime and the consequences of their actions.

Can we defend ourselves in this untouchable society and how? At day’s end, we are all human no matter if we are a part of the clergy, born to royalty or lower on the totem pole. In the last few months, I have had to entertain this issue as to how can a regular citizen protect themselves against these forces and defend one’s self.

Years back, I found myself up against a very well known judge armed with high-profile lawyers, all dedicated to bringing me down. While others were afraid to stand by my side and gave up, I smiled, God didn’t grant all the wisdom and intelligence to just these people who were coming to get me. This brought me back to the concepts of self-defense. In Krav Maga, they looks for the weakest part of your opponent, “No groin, no Krav Maga”, whereas in KAPAP we look at the strongest part, that’s why the concept is “No brain, no KAPAP”.

In the cyber realm, we are all equal the moment you have access to Wi-Fi, you’re a top Instagram model and I’m an elite Call of Duty soldier…Have you noticed the growing demand to POLICE the free internet, the last vestige of actual journalistic freedom?

Since the media is already on the side of the highest bidder, they are constantly heralding on behalf of the politicians and the wealthy. You already see this on social networks censoring the “wrong” opinions and attempting to control our minds by curating what everyone sees. Once a blog gains some popularity, there is already someone waiting to get their hands on it and control the message. It’s hard to trust the news as we all know CNN works for the CIA for example and many times certain opinions are blacked out or censored by the army of editors and producers when it goes against their narrative.

The first thing to understand in self defense is to never give up. While everyone else got a case of cold feet when they saw I was up against a established judge, the key was to understand that you never give up and you utilize all the tools you have at your disposal, but first and foremost your brain.

We can take twins and teach one of them how to move her body and the difference in a self defense situation will be start and primal. We can do the same within out minds.

The majority can be equated to a sleeping giant, able to regain control at any time when it wakes and takes charge. OTPOR and Serbian organization counting less than a hundred was a major factor to take down a dictator. OTPOR stands for resistance in Serbian. A reminder of the strength and power values such as truth and freedom can have.

Should we not as a community be strong by taking care of each other as the phalanx is strong by covering each other’s flanks in battle and in life and the same as we can do today as people by not letting each other fall to the pull of the regarded classes.

How do we defend ourselves against those who rise to deprive us of our liberty and evade the consequences of their crimes? There is a situation where a well-known Bishop assaulted my wife and struck her. Thankfully, she was able to employ some self-defense moves to protect herself and survive. Presently, the police are involved in the case and begin to act against those who think they are untouchable and as grassroots groups of martial artists, actors and women emerge from the US  beginning with Professor Machado BJJ and his well-known pupil Keanu Reeves, and around the world to show their support and join us in the fight so we can finally see some progress. Join us in the fight against those who think they can commit crimes and face no justice because of their connections with the powers at be and wealth. Stand up and say “NiSiSAMA” — NO MORE (in Serbian)! — no more exemptions from the law and consequences.Violence against the young and helpless cannot be met with silence. 

Welcome to the battle versus the untouchables.

Shooting as self-defense

Avi Nardia Academy – Shooting as self-defense 

” There is a tremendous difference between shooting methods that work well when you`re simply trying to put holes in the Target and those that work well when the target is trying to put holes in You ” . Col Rex Applegate 

Tactical  or operational shooting can claim their methods as Practical based on actual and practical performance, as they have been developed and upgraded over years of experience. Each day, we keep progressing on the field of Firearms, same as the Hand to hand. The Instinctive shooting method has distinct advantage that has proved itself highly effectively, time after time.
The guiding principle of the Instinctive shooting method is to quickly neutralize the threat in the simplest and most instinctive and natural way possible.

To achieve its high effectiveness, the tactical shooting method integrates: aggressiveness, determination, speed and accuracy. Stress and CHAOS as noise, rough vision conditions, fear and confusion, all factor and are introduced into the training  regime, in order to accustom trainees to the typical pressures associated with actual events. It has become the preferred choice of many professional agencies around the world, due to its simplicity which is based on the instinctive reaction to stimulus which occurs under stress. This training  Instruction will take you step by step to achieve superior handgun and rifle skills for rapid reaction in changing conditions.

We are dedicated to presenting professional firearms combat and tactical concepts with hand to hand situations and close-quarter situations that will prepare law Enforcement officers, first responders, armed professionals and civilians to prevail in deadly force confrontations by providing advanced Tactical Training and customized Anti-terrorism practical solutions.

The ICPS AKA the “Instinctive Combat method of Point Shooting is often regarded as a shooting style, when it is in fact a small percentage of what makes this method unique and extremely effective. The ICPS initial form was adapted from the FSA (Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate) Point Shooting method, based on the shooter Instinctive reactions and Kinematics to quickly engage close range targets.

The major contributed change to ICPS occurred in the late months of 1974 with the establishment of the YAMAM , the first Israeli Police unit, fully dedicated to Counter Terrorism. Because of its specialty in Counter Terrorism, hostage rescue and extreme violent crime, the unit operateres in actual conflicts particularly in highly populated urban environments. This vast experience enabled the unit to develop comprehensive small arms training doctrines that were so effective, reliable and user friendly, it was generally accepted by all armed branches of the Israeli security forces such as the Secret Service (Shin Bet), Elite IDF Units, Israeli National Police , Border Police and other Intelligence and Counter Terrorism units.

Regarded as a Tactical Response and not as a shooting style, it incorporates all the necessary progressive battlefield tactical thinking, molded into a set of Instinctive actions and reactions for the operator. The Instinctive shooting method is radically different from other combat techniques; success is based on actual performance, not as score and more whether one survives a real gun fight.

The ICPS has the distinct advantage of proving itself effective time after time, probably more than any other method. It is literally practiced and perfected during daily performance by its core users. The guiding principle of the ICPS is to neutralize the threat in the quickest way possible, using the natural Instincts inherent in every human. Aggressiveness, determination and speed are integral elements of the ICPS method and proper mindset is heavily stressed.

Stress and pressure (High adrenaline levels) are introduced in the advanced stages of the training, in order to accustom trainees to pressure associated with actual events. This approach is especially geared towards deadly force on force situations rather than shooting competitions, where often times techniques which brings high levels of accuracy on the range, often fail under real life stress. 


This very same system has been taught to thousands of civilians from all walks of life around the world with great success rates in actual performance. The ICPS method has proved itself through experience, time after time to be well suited for the private citizen as well as to the Law Enforcement officer and the Combat soldier.  


Key advantages for learning ICPS:

·         Simple and easy to learn.
·         Involves Military and operational strategic thinking
·         Enhances body mechanics and muscle memory
·         Prepares the practitioner to deal with unexpected situations
·         Fast and useful CQB system
·         Elevates fighting spirit 
·         Elevates self-confidence
·         Incorporates Innovative and unique training methods
·         Applicable to all practitioners regardless of their size, strength, or gender                          
·         Tested under the most demanding conditions by Special Forces operators but also by Civilians

‘BEFORE I TEACH PEOPLE TO HIT, I TEACH THEM TO THINK’

Lee Reznik 072120

Avi Nardia, founder of the Israeli martial art KAPAP, has taught all over the world, and his students range from slum children in Kenya to business tycoons. In a special interview to Israel Hayom, Nardia discusses what makes a champion, and why he is an excellent ambassador for Israel in the world.

Avi Nardia: We teach people to survive in the snow and ice with nothing more than a knife

You know how you watch James Bond films and wonder why the director felt it necessary to go overboard? There’s no way someone could un-cuff his hands while his feet are tied, disarm four guards, and escape through the window using a rope made of bedsheets.

But after speaking to Avi Nardia, none of that seems “overboard.”

“When I make a rope out of toilet paper my students are shocked,” Nardia tells Israel Hayom, speaking from his home in Belgrade.

“It’s not a problem. It’s like making a rope out of straw or wool. You need to roll the paper in a certain way, weave it, make all sorts of folds and then you have a really strong rope, one my students can’t tear,” he says.

Nardia, 58, travels the world, doing good and sometimes frightening PR work for Israel. He is a master of several different martial arts and used his cumulative knowledge to develop an Israeli martial art known as KAPAP, which is different from the Krav Maga the IDF teaches in basic training.

“Basically, there is fighting while on your feet, fighting on the ground, fighting with weapons, and by combining those I built an Israeli martial art – KAPAP. The basic Krav Maga was developed in the 1960s and is limited to the knowledge that was available back then. Today, fighting has become much more complex and demands more knowledge – falls, punches, and kicks. In addition, self-defense demands familiarity with weapons – knife-fighting, handguns, rifles, because a terrorist will usually jump you with a weapon and you have to know how to disarm him,” Nardia says.

“The improvement KAPAP offers is that it includes everything. I put in wilderness survival – in ice, snow, and desert conditions. We have a seminar called ‘Just a Knife,’ in which a participant is given a knife and we teach him how to use it as a survival tool – how to build shelter, make a fire, and each day we teach fighting,” he says.

Nardia discusses the problems with the traditional Krav Maga: “There is a Latin saying, ‘Beware of the person of one book,’ because a person who’s read only one book in his life and bases all his knowledge and opinions on that book is dangerous. That’s the limitation I see in the Krav Maga we know, which is based on one person’s knowledge that in my opinion wasn’t professional enough. If you want to be the best judoka in the world, you need to concentrate on judo. If you want to be the world champion in fencing, focus on fencing, but to practice self-defense, to be a warrior, you can’t focus on only one thing. You need absolute knowledge. That’s the difference between doing this as a sport and as self-defense.”

Q: Give an example.

“When I taught kendo [traditional Japanese swordsmanship] in Israel, at one lecture some punk shouts, ‘What crap! Who fights like that, with a sword? What’ll you do on the street?’ I brought him onstage and used my finger to do everything I’d been doing with the sword, and he was shocked. You need to know how to transform knowledge. I don’t give people fish, I teach them to fish. The moment I give you a fish – technique – you’ll have something to eat, but if I teach you to fish, I’ve taught you a concept.”

“Before I train people to hit, I train them to think. I always say, ‘No brain – no KAPAP.’ If you want to fight me and don’t use your brain, you’ll fail. A person has to think, that’s the most important muscle. I’m a small guy, not some giant. In the US I’d pick the biggest people [to demonstrate] at my seminars, people who weighed 150 kg. [over 300 pounds], to show how I, weighing 65 kg. [143 pounds] could win.

Nardia demonstrates how to disarm a knife-wielding assailant

“First of all, you need to teach people to think, not panic. We have natural fears of choking, of being buried alive, so I run the escape seminar – training in which I kidnap people and teach them to free themselves from handcuffs, from zip ties, from tape that binds them – how to psychologically survive all sorts of situations, how to function under pressure. It’s a whole process of building, not just ‘kick and run.’

“I wasn’t born a genius, but I’m a repository of experience and that is what makes me a good teacher. I’m not a master who gets attacked by 80 people from every direction and jumps in the air. That happens in people’s dreams. I’m a master as a teacher who can see who I’m facing what they have and, mainly, what they lack, and I know how to fix it. I see myself as a martial artist. Why ‘artist’? An artist takes a rock, gives it a few whacks with a hammer, and a sculpture appears. I take a living sculpture, a person, and create something amazing.”

After being cut from the Israeli Air Force’s pilots course, Nardia served as a security officer and Krav Maga instructor. There, he realized he was destined to teach and guide. In 1984, he flew to Tokyo to fulfill his dream of studying martial arts.

“At the time, there was no Google. Suddenly, I land at a Japanese airport and realize that I don’t know where to go, but I landed on my feet. After seven or eight years in Japan, I came back to Israel and someone whom I served with suggested that I be a bodyguard for something that was classified at the time: Russia’s education minister had a Jewish lover, they had a son together, and he would come visit them in Jerusalem. They rented a car for me and I accompanied the minister on all his visits in Israel,” Nardia says.

Later, he enlisted in the Israel Police’s Special Forces, taught self-defense, operational tactics, and riot dispersal tactics at the police’s combat physical fitness school, and taught martial arts at Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University. Since then, he has taught elite anti-terror units all over the world.

“I can’t remember all the special forces [units] I’ve taught. Now I see pictures and suddenly remember that I taught there, too. I’ve trained a secret service unit here in Serbia, but my wife told me to stay away because it turned out that the unit wasn’t made up of normal people – half of them were criminals,” he says.

“Carlos Newton, who was MMA and UFC champion, was a student of mine from the age of 17. Joanna Jędrzejczyk [former UFC women’s champion], too. In Israel the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters – Ido Pariente, Eran Barak, Ora Levine – are former students of mine. I’ve worked with the Israeli rugby team, with the ASA Tel Aviv handball team, and with women’s basketball. I dealt more with sports injuries and rehabilitation, and I saw a lot of mistakes by professional coaches who didn’t know how to get the most out of their athletes.”

Q: Explain.

“In terms of physicality, elite athletes get to a point where they’re all the same. From there, what makes them a champion is a bit more psychology, motivation, emotional strength that will give you that little bit more. When I saw Arik Ze’evi crying at the 2012 London Olympics [Ze’evi lost to Dimitri Petrus in 43 seconds], I told him, ‘I don’t know who trained you, but he did bad work.’ He taught him technique, not spirit. As a trainer you need to teach body, mind, and spirit. We all study the body. Mind is how you connect the exercises. Spirit is [Diego] Maradona, for example. He might be a terrible person, a drug user, I don’t know what, but he has it. We all do, but with most of us it’s turned off and we need someone I call a ‘psychopath’ to turn it that inner fire.”

“There was a time in the army when I was working with youths who didn’t want to serve, but after talking to me, wanted to go into elite units. You need to cause people to make a mental, psychological change. When an athlete starts looking for excuses, his fire has died out. When I worked with the handball players, when a player would catch he’d go back to defense like a peacock, but when he’d miss, all of a sudden he’d start moving his hand like he had some medical problem, and would look at me and make movements as if he had some problem with his shoulder. I’d fall over laughing. After they miss, they have the excuses ready right away.

“For example, players who aren’t starting bandage themselves two hours before the game. They aren’t playing because the coach didn’t put them in, but they’ll bandage their knee and say they don’t know if they can play. They have to justify themselves to themselves, so they tell everyone they’re injured.

Q: Is that especially noticeable with Israelis?

“The most. We look for excuses for everything. When I asked my father about his paratroop wings he told me, ‘Forget about stories of heroism, we did what we had to, and that’s all.’ Today, we have excuses for everything, in every area – roads, state, sports. I let all my students know that I need results, not excuses. I see improvement in the students I bring to the edge. I saw that with Carlos Newton, who was world champion, and now he wants to make a comeback. I told him what my terms were if he wanted me to train him: that he listen to me. Not hear, listen.  A lot of the time they hear you, but don’t listen to what you say.

“For example, I was [Russian-Israeli tycoon] Arkady Gaydamak’s personal trainer and martial arts teacher. He was my worst student. He’s unbelievably clumsy, untalented, no coordination, I don’t think he could pound a nail into the wall. He went a long way in martial arts. He had no physical abilities, but he wanted to learn badly. The problem was he would hear, but not listen … Eventually, he made some good progress, but if he’d listen, I could have taken him 10 times as far as he went.”

Q: Is it all a question of mentality?

“Everything. It’s all mental … The Japanese call it “chi.” It’s an internal force that you can’t turn on, there’s no button. If I try to attack your child, you’ll see your inner mother find strength and turn into a tiger. In nature you can see a cat beat back a bear when she’s defending her kittens, and she’s not playing. You need to know how to turn on that trigger.

“There is the psychological matter of how a person should see themselves. The first work that should be done with soccer players or basketball players is psychological – creating commitment, identification with what they do. Then you need to work on their spirit, how to ‘turn it on’ when they take the field and go into battle. If the player isn’t ‘on’ it won’t work, they’ll never reach their maximum. A lot of people don’t know how to get the most out of themselves.

Nardia has trained special forces squads all over the world

“It’s a lot of psychology, a lot of tricks – how in the space of a second do you turn them from the nicest people into fighters. They can’t run after the ball – they have to be given drills that will make them fight for it. So what if they took it away? Keep fighting. I’ve seen fights in which one fighter took the other apart and then, for his ego, started to swing his arm around for one last punch and suddenly, the opponent’s head turns on and he takes down the other guy in a knockout. In battle, it’s never certain who will win until the end. If I sent you to fight Arik Ze’evi and you think that he’ll win because he’s an Olympic medalist, you’ve already lost. Because of that thinking. People need to be taught to think properly. If I take on Arik Ze’evi, I’ll eat him alive. That’s how I think. Not out of ego, but because that’s how you should go into battle.

“There’s a saying I tell my students: ‘You can kill me, but you can’t defeat me.” When Arik Ze’evi lost, the opponent ‘killed’ him, but the moment he dropped and started to cry, then he was defeated because he broke mentally. When a woman is raped, she is ‘killed’ – but she shouldn’t let them win. When you can inculcate this mentality in athletes, it doesn’t matter if they lose, because they won’t see themselves as losers. So kids need to be taught how to lose. The other guy was better, faster? Fine, I’ll come next year, next game, and I’ll train harder. I have only one hand, and my opponent has two? Find, that’s the situation, but it’s not an excuse.”

Q: How has the coronavirus pandemic affected martial arts?

“I’ve spoken to a few very famous teachers who shut down their schools and won’t open again. Martial arts is one of the fields that has been hardest hit by corona, which I think is causing needless panic. They’ve made it into Ebola, but it’s the flu. It’s sad to me to see it wiping out our field, especially since martial arts aren’t a sport and don’t get government funding. Trainers don’t receive salaries, and they’ll go broke.”

Over the years, Nardia has founded martial arts academies in Africa as part of what he calls a “social mitzvah.”

“I support schools in slums in Mombasa and in Kibera, and send them money so children there will walk a good path, rather than fall into crime. In Africa there are already 10 kids named Avi Nardia. Sadly, one of them died three months ago. It’s an honor that people are naming their kids after me, and it’s because I also teach morals and values. I won’t take on people who will go on to use what I teach them to do bad things.

“In one of the women’s seminars, where I teach how to escape all sorts of situations like attempted assault or rape, there was a student who asked me, while I was working with one of the women, ‘How can I grab her so she can’t get away?” I picked him up and smacked him in front of everyone and told him, ‘Get out, you’re a rapist.’ I could actually feel that he was a rapist who had come to learn what to do. I’m not ashamed to kick students out. When I see that something is wrong, I stop. When people ask me what they need to learn KAPAP I say, integrity. Do the right thing even when no one is watching, and that’s something lacking in a lot of martial arts.”

“I own a knife from [former Libyan dictator Muammar] Gaddafi’s collection that one of my students gave me after [Gaddafi] was executed. This was a kid who was there during the revolution, who walks around Libya wearing a shirt that has KAPAP written on it. My students have been training in Indonesia and Libya wearing KAPAP shirts for close to 15 years. My biggest achievement is that I teach in the city of Dachau. I taught there at a school in the industrial zone and from the window we could see the guard towers of the concentration camp. It was surreal that I, wearing a black shirt with a huge Star of David with KAPAP written on it, and everyone knowing I’m Jewish and Israeli, was teaching an Israeli martial art there.”

Q: Have you encountered anti-Semitism in your travels around the world?

“No. Maybe I wasn’t looking for it, and maybe it doesn’t exist in the way people talk about it. During the riots in the US, there were awful things there. Among other things, they spray-painted something about Palestine on a synagogue and immediately people rushed to say it was anti-Semitism, but when hooligans take to the streets all the hooligans show up.

“When I arrive in Israel, there’s a guy from Umm al-Fahm who has shown up for four seminars already to train and learn. I think that in sports and martial arts, we connect more as human beings. Salah al-Majaj, the son of former mayor of east Jerusalem Amin al-Majaj, trained with me. There were pilots and people from the Sayeret Matkal unit studying with me who said, ‘But he’s an Arab,’ and I told them, ‘That’s it. Anyone who want to leave, should leave.’ Kendo is a sport and I don’t mix politics and sports.”

“A few years ago, I land in Australia for a course and right away see that there are a few Arabs in the group. I grab two, give them a high-five, and put them next to the Israeli flag and make everyone stand for a group picture. I see that they’re going nuts but are afraid of me. Later, one of the guys took us all out for a meal and at the restaurant pulled out a roll of hundreds of dollars. I say, ‘Tell me who you are’ and he says, ‘I’m the son of the biggest drug dealer in Lebanon. I ran away from my father. I don’t want to be involved with crime and drugs, so I moved to Australia.’ He fell so much in love with KAPAP that he’d go to the Lebanese neighborhood in Australia wearing our shirt, which has KAPAP written on it in Hebrew and Israeli Special Forces written on it in English.”

Q: You define yourself as Israel’s ambassador to the world.

“Definitely, and I’m a good ambassador. I have students who studied karate for 20 years and never hung a Japanese flag in their schools, but when they started studying with me and then began KAPAP they hung an Israeli flag. That’s one of the things that makes an Israeli martial art unique – first of all, we hang the flag. Israel teaches purity of arms, morality, values, and a moral army. That’s what I try to teach people, not because I’m a hero or anything, but because it’s something my father taught me – morals, values, and love for Israel.”

Published:
https://www.israelhayom.com/2020/07/21/before-i-teach-people-to-hit-i-teach-them-to-think/

Kapap/Krav Maga/Israeli Jiu Jitsu

new article 02092020 w/Avi for Martial Arts Masters Magazine

© Copyright 2020, Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

Kapap is a blend of multiple systems, originating in Israel, and by design to be a bridge between systems. It is inspired by the pioneers and of Israel and thier work as the work of Moshe Feldenkrais and is based on Jiu Jitsu.

In 1933, Feldenkrais met Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo in Paris. Kano encouraged him to study Judo under Mikinosuke Kawaishi. Feldenkrais became a close friend of Kano and corresponded with him regularly. In 1936, he earned a black belt in Judo, and later gained his 2nd degree black belt in 1938. He was a co-founding member of the Ju-Jitsu Club de France, one of the oldest Judo clubs in Europe, which still exists today.

Kapap was developed in Mandatory Palestine by a group of instructors during the 1930’s and 1940’s, where the main body of it was organized and taught. Kapap and Krav Maga remained one and the same until at least 1958.

Krav Maga as a term appeared for the first time in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in 1965, but in the IDF dictionary of 1965 it was not defined yet and Only  KAPAP – Krav Panim El Panim ( Mean Face t Face combat ) define Hand-to-Hand Combat , use hands knifes rifles guns and Bayonets and any weapons use in face to face combat ( Be transalte as CQB – close quarter Battle )

Krav Maga and Kapap are terms used interchangeably for the same body( as CQB and CQC – Close quarter Combat ) but not always the same knowledge (techniques and drills) in the IDF for the entire decade between 1948-1958.

The hand-to-hand combat curriculum was adopted for the most part from that which was practiced in the Palmach.

Although the term Kapap first appeared in 1940, many of its contents were processed in the 30’s in the ‘operating companies,’ especially in boxing and jujutsu. The short stick fighting method was developed by Moshele Horowitz RIP in the framework of the ‘immigrant camps.’

Key figures in the development of Israeli Martial Arts:

Gershon Kopler

Yitzhak Stiebel

Heinrich Cohen

Emanuel Gil

Kurt Benjamin

Menase Harel

Moshele Horowitz

Yehuda Marcus

Joshua Globerman

Akiva Atzmon

Amos Golani

Musa Finkel

Raphael Atlas

Amnon Yona

Jacob Solomon

Avraham Adan

Micha Perry

Uzi Nemirovsky

Paul Beaver

Imi Lichtenfeld

Giora Shanan

Iftah Zaid

David Levy

In 2000, after no one had used the term KAPAP since the 60th anymore inside or outside of Israel, Avi Nardia established a new self-defense program for the Yamam, Israel’s top Counter-Terrorism unit as the unit’s official instructor and as the unit recruited him to setup a new hand-to-hand combatives program. Avi made the decision to respect the memory of all instructors that were not mentioned before.

He built the KAPAP Federation (IKF ) in 2001 and started to spread the system outside of Israel and later from ONLY one school around Glob today is the most Israeli martial arts known and all over from Japan Thailand Singapore Indonesia and from Asia to Most Europe and Canada and start in be popular at the USA.

Kapap has many respectable beliefs and solid values:

We teach proven techniques, each thoroughly tested and vetted.

We dress according to the mission – gi, or street-clothes.

We have higher standards and higher values and bullies are not amongst our ranks.

We are a ‘normal’ driving school, we’re not a formula one school. Me teach self defense  to Normal civilians and not Ninja

We develop confidence and skill sets, not professional fighters.

We teach by love and peace and friendship and not by fear and bully students as ” Dont be victim ” or by ” we do bad things to bad people ” thats NOT our motto we not teach our students to ego and to be evil or Tacticool or to missed understand self defense and use it as ego – we teach with humble attitude and not “with touch  me and your first class is free” thats wrong attitude

Ours is a school where you can send your wife, your children, to study.

We share knowledge freely.

We teach traditional and modern martial arts.

Kapap is a well-thought-out and researched blend of styles.

We have a ranking system suited for civilians.

We teach respect and discipline.

We use anything that can help us grow into a system.

We analyze all components included. It’s what we do.

We offer videos, but they are not meant to replace actual training or teachers.

We believe that our teachers must know their students and be legit for teach thats why we not sale certificates and demand them to work their way and earn belts and the honor and privilege to teach and lead students , we not try grow the organization more than we can handle in best way to our students need and we demand teaching quality and teaching standard and once not stand for it we are not allowed to teach.

Our teachers must gauge the efficacy of what is taught to their students.

We are a family. We grow together.

In too many training facilities, students are injured by over-enthusiastic instructors that let their egos dictate the lesson plan, often ending up in an emergency room, because as trainers, they were not following good training standards.

Others sell their systems using good and/or bad marketing, depending on your point of view. It’s good marketing, as it relies heavily on people’s fear, and lack of education. There is a market for that. It also preys on their wish to be more than ‘wimps.’ Traditionally, this tactic has worked for years, but that does not make it right, nor good. This marketing tactic ensures income, but at the expense of the students, and in many cases the instructors.

So, why all of the ego, and testosterone? Why the need to sell yourself based on a movie character? Anyone can call themselves an ‘expert’ these days and through effective marketing, they will put many students at risk. Far too many students are paying the price for this dubious marketing trend. In martial arts, all study should start with a good attitude. We must teach the proper attitude and the proper safety. It is our duty as instructors and educators. We teach martial arts. We are martial artists first and

last. With education in traditional martial arts, we wish to make it more ‘real’ to our students. We don’t require military fatigues and helmets to prove our methods and techniques work.

A true teacher is always a student and his attitude must be “always a student, sometimes a teacher,“ and it needs to remain so. As you pick your teacher avoid anyone who represents himself as a grandmaster, for in combat, no-one is a grandmaster.

Kapap is more about teaching people how to live a quality lifestyle and not to live fearing people.

We are not a ‘normal’ Martial Arts training program, because we provide more tools for our students including training in tactical driving, swimming and free-diving and cold weather survival – all components that make Kapap a Modern Martial art.

The KAPAP Gideon Test

Trusting people is the only way to know if you can’t trust them. Our Gideon Test is more of a self-test. Depending upon the person, successful completion of the KAPAP instructor program is either very easy, or else completely impossible.

With enough time and effort, virtually anyone can gain the technical and tactical skills to become a KAPAP instructor. However, the biggest test in KAPAP is to demonstrate integrity – an attribute which candidates either embody completely, or not at all. Those who only seek to collect ego certificates will find our KAPAP program impossible. Thus, we use the Gideon test to distinguish our team members.

At Avi Nardia Academy (ANA) we constantly work to distinguish our Gideon Fighters/Instructors. In order to find those who will lead KAPAP into the future we actively weed out others who only chase certificates and titles but fail to behave like professionals. This constant process ensures that our team maintains the highest standards.

As the founder of KAPAP combatives I lead KAPAP worldwide with a family model. I am very pleased to attract so many good quality members and representatives. Today, 20 years since I first began teaching KAPAP to the public, I am proud to see KAPAP spreading its wings and beginning to soar very high with new members around the world joining my team each day.

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.

There are not more than five principles in modern Kapap (push and pull, balance displacement, high and low, relative position, two points of contact) yet combinations of them produce more techinques than can ever been seen!

Martial Arts are about love and peace, and being yourself, free of ego, smiling more and enjoying life, as life is Martial Art.

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

“It is better to be a student of reality, than a master of illusion.”

Avi Nardia

“It’s not the size of your stones, it’s what you build with them.”

Tim Boehlert