12/1/12

Can Krav Maga be Recreated Using Imrich's Formula?/by Boaz Aviram


"The essence of krav-Maga is economy of motion coupled with imaginative embellishments on the other martial arts, which are too inflexible. (Imrich Lichtenfeld)"

How do you reach the essence of Krav Maga? Take the economy of Motion, use your imagination to enhance the Martial Arts that are too rigid?

Perhaps you learn all the other martial arts and then try to flex your mind? Perhaps you use your imagination? Perhaps you try to make all the other martial techniques you have learned more efficient?

Embellishments in this case mean additions of enhancing details. So it looks like there is a summary of all the other martial arts in the conclusion of what it Krav Maga. Perhaps we should take rigid martial arts and flex them?

What is a martial art? It is a method of fighting. A method of fighting is usually associated with a group of fighters more likely military type, since in that type of a group there is more likelihood to have some uniformity of teaching.

It could also be mass students of one particular instructor that is teaching all his students the same method. To be more accurate about methods of fighting historians and writers have tried to extract commonalities mostly applied on the battle field.

Most types of these documentations however refer to battle as a whole, trying to make sense from its tactical approach, the type of equipment the fighters had, type of weapons, etc.

The human element is described if at all as brave or of fallen spirit, but really there is not much of complete documentation to a fighting method, perhaps because the author did not have knowledge on the subject, or perhaps it was too complicated to understand and to write about.

More than that perhaps the trainer of the military was not available to tell his story, or perhaps it was kept in secret then and therefore was not documented.

Since traditionally each individual that won Martial Arts tournaments, or won fights on the battle field, had his own preferences than his mates, his winning techniques tactical approach and physical ability which translated to strength stamina and judgment or intuition (subconscious judgment) were tailored according to his make.

Calling a Fighting System a Fighting Training System makes a distinction and attention to the system used to train someone how to fight.

You cannot teach anyone how to fight using a fighting system. You have to change some of the conditions in your training to prevent injury. At the same time it would cause students to be prepared for something slightly different than the battlefield or a street violent scenario.

If you think about Martial Arts studios that break down the training to safety first, learning how to fall. Then learning striking techniques, defenses, throws, blocks etc and then train to spar applying rules that prevent injury, if they do weapons, they use wooden knives and sticks, and they use a motion slow enough that still would not cause injury.

Of course the speed of defense should increase when gaining confidence, but usually it involves judgment and reinforcement.

But when resorting to a weapon demonstration with a sharp blade or a blunt object like a wooden stick or a club, many martial arts studios neglect to have students train in the most efficient attacks methods that could be used with this object, and to remember that still the opponent can use his free hand and free leg for kicking and punching. Economy of motion pertains first to methods of attack.

Overall efficiency is achieved by using your body in the best way in sequential motion to achieve greater speed without projection.

If you are projecting your attack, you are giving your opponent plenty of time to prepare for your attack and block it. Then you need to be efficient with your defenses. If you are taking too long to prepare to meet the attack and the attack is coming fast, you are going to be late in blocking.

Let’s say you use competitive boxing to teach hand sparring, and then competitive wrestling to teach grappling. What do you teach to combine them? 


Do you just leave it to each athlete to figure on his own during the competition what is the best “balance” of using boxing and grappling? If you do then some students will learn from experience, and some will not and at a very different pace.

This is a natural phenomenon and can be used to enhance the entertainment effect and mystery in a competition that sells tickets. Many times coaches resort to the concept of “being a good sports,” having the athlete feel good at his failure. Yes it is sports.

But the winner usually has something under his sleeve that the looser should have had as well. After all in sports competition, weight matching and stamina and strength training are standards.

But if you teach so called “Self – Defense,” you better teach the student exactly what to do and exactly how to do it why to do it and why not. If it does not make sense to him, he will not be confident in doing it. Are other Martial Arts too inflexible?

I have heard stories that some Martial Arts Instructors tell you this is how to do it; don’t ask questions, you are asking too many questions, I think you should not come back to this school for training, etc. Usually in many martial arts class, you would not even know what to ask, and you will be kept busy in fitness drills to exhaustion.

Many times students are afraid to ask fearing to be called for a “friendly Demonstration”. Many Martial Arts Instructors are in a habit that these are the techniques and this is the system, they were developed by the founder, of by the instructor himself because this is what he finds to be best working and that’s it. 
It sounds like baloney doesn't 
it? 

Imrich started with Jujitsu boxing wrestling and gymnastics and then got engaged in brutal street fights realizing that to train others in defending themselves quickly would mean that they would need to learn from his mistakes and they cannot afford making mistakes in the street. 

Therefore they need to learn before the experience the street, and it is not Martial Arts that they need to learn. Imrich became the first Israeli Defense Forces Krav Maga Chief Instructor. 

William Ewart Fairbairn, a well known Hand to Hand Combat Instructor that taught the Shanghai Police and then British and Allied special forces during world war II, was a pioneer in Hand to Hand Fighting Training. 

He also started with Jujitsu, then learned boxing and then got almost killed in the streets of Shanghai fighting with local gangs.

Many other martial arts black belts got surprised in street fights stabbed, cut, kicked punched or were just unsuccessful applying their striking or kicking in the street and had to flee the scene if it was possible to do so. In fact Krav Maga have became Rigid overtime, and sometimes reinvented by adding Rigid Other Martial Arts to it without knowing what efficiency means, and without having the imaginative brain to recreate it…



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