The Niche of Self Defense/Boaz Aviram

The Niche of Self Defense.

Samuel a Prominent Police Officer, a circus acrobat, a Jujitsu Pioneer ran the Hercules Athletics Club in Bratislava.

Immi Samuel’s Son trained by his father in Boxing, Wrestling, Jujitsu and Gymnastics. Chose volunteering to the British Legions after the boat he was smuggled on route to Palestine was caught by the British. There he learned the Fairbairn Hand to Hand Fighting Methods.

Was granted entry to Palestine at the end of his Military Service, and was teaching the Israeli Underground Forces. 

Upon the Independence of the State of Israel, Immi became the Chief Physical Fitness and Krav Maga to the Israeli Defense Forces.  Immi had built on Fairbairn hand-to-hand fighting system with his athletic and street expertise.

While Fairbairn was trained in Jujitsu and Boxing by a prominent Chinese Martial Artist, after being beat up by a Chinese street gang, he had gone to research what are some of the lethal elements of fighting.  

He then ensured they will be part of his newly formed hand-to-hand fighting training system. 

His principles were preemptive attack, stressing teaching of pressure points, training in reinforcement of strikes and kicks. Fairbairn also strove to define simple principles of defense and attack using arms and legs. 

Immi’s major principles were prioritization and timing or reaction time limitation. Immi’s system focus was to identify and use the windows of opportunities. 

Call it simultaneous defense and attack, as this is when an opponent also exposes himself at the moment he attacks.

Later, that department increased its staff, and a small Krav Maga Department was created. Krav Maga was then developed as a Unique Hand to Hand Fighting Training System that could be taught to the average newly recruited personnel male or female.

Twenty years later, Immi started teaching Self Defense and Gymnastics in Civilian Life, and 10 years later the first Civilian Krav Maga Association was created with a modified curriculum modeled on the Japanese Judo ranking system preserving the “lethal Elements” in the Israeli Defense Forces.

His top student Eli Avikzar, replaced him as the Israeli Defense Forces Chief Krav Maga Instructor. Eli Avikzar background was his training in Immi’s Krav Maga to Mastery, Completion of Judo Black Belt Training, and Aikido Black Belt Training. Eli Avikzar had modified Aikido techniques to fit counter boxing and Karate Fighting.

Boaz Aviram replaced Eli Avikzar in the Israeli Defense Forces as the Chief Instructor of Krav Maga. His contributions were to publish the book Krav Maga – Use Your Body as a Weapon. 

He researched and distilled further the principles of Krav Maga through his hands on IDF teaching, and his book research forcing himself to come to conclusive training methods. 

His major principles include teaching the most efficient attacks and giving his students the opportunity to understand all aspects of training, techniques, tactics, and the philosophy behind them so they will be able to use their judgment in applying their knowledge in all possible learned scenarios and new scenarios they yet to encounter. For example when you learn how to Kick and Strike, you learn how to utilize maximum range, maximum output of force with minimum use of energy, maximum total speed of execution in minimum time. 

When you learn to choose which attacks are preferable, you learn to prioritize which is the most preferable depending on all your option and your opponent’s counter options or maximum capabilities of Humans. 

Boaz realized that the essence of good self defense capabilities lie in the training methods. The modification of the training drills, techniques and principles of all the other Martial Arts to a form that will be inclusive and interlocked into one system to fit intensive training for self defense for humans. 

Learning intensively to extract out tactical approaches, drilling methods, techniques that do not pass the strict criteria of best option to most scenarios, and learning how the extract principles from these techniques and build on site techniques based on these principles is what Pure Krav Maga students do. 

You basically need to learn, understand and be able to use your physical built to judge and execute the best choice for defending yourself. One of the major concepts is to understand how your whole defense system works as a whole.  
It starts with the reaction time which limits the parameters of awareness and preemptive attack, continuing with last chance improved instinctive defense and counter attack. 

Above all, the intensity of the training works well with your overall memory retention as all the pieces of the puzzle of unarmed combat fit in together and you see a complete picture. This is what he calls Pure Krav Maga…

Boaz’s Martial Arts experience before he became the IDF Krav Maga Chief was seven years of Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido and Kyokoshin Karate. He later completed Immi’s civilian Krav Maga Association requirements for a 2nd Dan Black Belt which was a precondition to the certified Krav Maga Coach from the Wingate Institute for Physical Education. 

Boaz admitted that after his second session in the Israeli Defense Forces Krav Maga, he came to conclude that his seven years of prior Martial Arts training were a complete waste of time as he started training in them hoping to reach a good self defense capability. 

Boaz also admitted that when he took the one month Israeli Defense Forces Krav Maga Instructor Course, he learned it all. His follow up five years at the civilian Krav Maga Dojo did not enhance his knowledge by much, since it was more of a social trickling of partial knowledge lingering over years, although his dedication and show of effort to help his masters to teach in their civilian school, had them reveal to him more knowledge and insight in return. 

One good thing about any civilian Fighting sport or martial art school is that you have an opportunity to train with people. If you know more, you have the opportunity to test your theories even if you end up the winner in any confrontation and it could be boring a little. 

However, an experience that not many people get to live in is being in charge of teaching unarmed combat to newly recruits and well experienced fighters in one of the most reputable military in the world. 

Many of these soldiers had been ambitious athletes in their youth including almost any Martial Art and Fighting Sports out there. 

While they come and perhaps expect endurance and hardship training including psychological confrontations, learning how to use firearms and military tactics, the last thing that they are looking for is someone to teach them Martial Arts or Fighting Sports. 

Most of them already done this for years, and if they did not have the inclination, they might just have to take it with not much pleasure. 

So dealing with alpha units with naturally aggressive men that had already tasted Fighting Sports and Martial Arts, is a constant challenge to a Krav Maga Instructor that is trying to keep the integrity of his department. 

You are not standing in a retirement home with semi senile people teaching them how to poke people’s eyes or kick them in the balls. 

You are teaching how to be able to attack and defend against skilled and resisting opponent and prove that your principles and therefore methods work. 

From special forces fighters that constantly strive to make fun of “Krav Maga” to competing boxing wrestling and other martial arts athletes that often get to serve in the Fighting Fitness Academy and get time off to keep their National and International Sports representation, you get to train with the current Fighting Sports Champions as well.

While prevalent in most armies including the Israeli Defense Forces, and even in many martial arts schools, I always tried to avoid the use of excessive force on unsuspecting students as an exemplary to the rest of the class said Boaz.

Ten years later, breakage in Military Krav Maga Lineage resulted in reversal of fortunes where Civilian Krav Maga infiltrated the Israeli Defense Forces Krav Maga.

· Lethal Elements of a Martial Art system is a concept pertaining to the preservation of training methods and techniques that could be applied in the context or real Efficient Hand to Hand Fighting Scenario. 

If one of these elements is missing, the trainee might not be able to defend himself in real danger due to a learning gap. 

By excluding one or few elements of a fighting system (if it was indeed ever a complete useful system) so called “Instructors” can pull the time frame of membership retention of their students over many years to a lifetime keeping them at bay. 

Another way of adding to this extraction of lethal elements is turning a Fighting System into a sport where the training effort are being modified through drilling to win in sports environment which are not the same grounds for survival fights.  
At times training becomes one sort of fitness training or another.


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