What does it take for a Pure Hand-to-hand Combat Training System / Boaz Aviram

Over my course of preserving the Israel Defense Force (IDF) lost Pure Krav Maga I had a number of students asking for me to give them a Black Belt. Technically I was authorized by Imrich Lichtenfeld to train, test and give black belts on my own through the first Israeli civilian association of Krav Maga which Immi Lichtenfeld was the president! 

Although Eli Avikzar was the head of rank committee at the time, Retired Colonel David Ben Asher which once served as the Commander of the Fighting Fitness Academy in the IDF had served as the Executive Director of the Krav Maga Association.

According to the Krav Maga Association Regulations, to test for a black belt you would need three Black Belts with a higher Ranking Dan to grade you. Immi Lichtenfeld however had the authority to bypass that. After all he was the president of the Krav Maga Association. 

But really, the man created Krav Maga in the Israel Defense Force and trained thousands of special units soldiers under the strict intensive structured learning methods of the IDF so he could have had a sound judgment of ranking.  How did Immi get his black belt? Immi was trained in Jujitsu by his father, and never mentioned that he got a belt in it. Immi was also a boxer a wrestler and a gymnast. 

He rose to the title of Israel Defense Force Chief Instructor of Physical Fitness and Hand to Hand Combat. When he retired he started to teach Martial Arts wearing sweat pants. At some point he switched to a Gi and was giving belts and later the Krav Maga Association was created. Today many corporations offer courses where you get a black belt in corporate sigma courses.   These courses are leadership and problem solution related and appear to have nothing to do with Martial Arts.  But on a second thought the belt is the key leadership characteristics in most of the other Martial Arts Organizations.

Getting out of the Israel Defense Force as the Third in Lineage Krav Maga Chief Instructor I had a mission. To spread Krav Maga to civilians intensively like it was done in the IDF!

In the Israeli Defense Force, I've started learning intensively from the Krav Maga Instructor assisting Eli Avikzar at the time, from Eli Avikzar, while teaching Krav Maga, and few months later took the three week Krav Maga course right before the instructor retired.  Thereafter,  I was running Krav Maga in the IDF. 

Eli Avikzar used to come to late morning meetings with me for another year. He trusted me, and was able to have free time during his last year before retirement but met me to hear full reports and for me to be able to honestly say that he was on the base when asked by the other swarm of physical fitness busy commanders where is the Krav Maga Chief that we never see.

Immi Lichtenfeld and Eli Avikzar persuaded me to use my free nights in the IDF to train at the civilian school of Eli Avikzar so I can get a belt and contribute to the Association when retired, and also have constantly someone to train with as an instructor in the IDF.   So while at the IDF I was the Instructor, I started in the civilian Krav Maga wearing a white belt while already having a 2nd dan in Kyokoshin, and a 1st Dan in Takekwon Do. After 6 months I was tested to a Blue belt. 

I was invited by Immi Lichtenfeld to spend Saturdays with him for consultation and advice how to teach and train Krav Maga for the next few years until I left Israel in 1985.

After a year I was tested to a Brown Belt, and after a year to a Black Belt. A year later I got the 2nd Dan rank from Immi Lichtenfeld as I needed that rank to be certified as Krav Maga Coach through the combined program with the Ministry of Education and various sports associations in Wingate Institute.

In fact I was going through the weekly hourly training once a week stretching warming up and going over the 21 hour core curriculum of practicing one little aspect in each.  But I've developed a resentment to the Martial Arts Dojan just because I've felt that It was a years of waste of time concentrating on fitness and less realistic hand-to-hand combat.  

Personally for me learning the essence of hand to hand combat after 3 hours of training with the Krav Maga instructor in the IDF I've realized that my prior 7 years of Martial Arts (Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Aikido) experience of biweekly 2 hours and extracurricular fitness and weekends daily training with the Karate team were a complete waste of time!

I've decided to stay focused on teaching intensive hand to hand combat and away from the mystical world of fear, mysticism, fascination, and dreams funneled by the inner child. You can't pay me a million to give you a black belt, but if you feel you are good enough give yourself one if it makes you happy. As Imrich Lichtenfeld used to say "Every person knows exactly what he is worth!"

On a final note, I don't think any of Imrich Lichtenfeld Black Belts who never learned his Krav Maga in the Israel Defense Force could have ever mastered hand to hand combat, nor possess the ability to teach it.

Anyone can be forced to kill or choose not to! Anyone can train to excel in martial arts and compete. Anyone can win fights against a lesser able opponent. Anyone can train to become better in many aspects. But there is a virtual concept of hand to hand combat and that virtual concept is real. It sets up the time limit and possibilities of the goals to train someone in self defense and hand to hand combat against another human. 

Other attempts to teach one fighting sport over the other or one martial art over the other and call it hand to hand combat would be futile and misleading use of the name, like Krav Maga. When you set up a core training time, and cover all the possibilities through prioritization method to counter any attacker that enters your hotzone with bare hands or holding a blunt or edge weapon or threatening you with firearm in attempt to control you temporarily, and test it as working all the time logically and empirically, you are teaching hand to hand combat not an imitation!

Some of my students don't teach.  Some of them teach under the Pure Krav Maga name and some adopted another business name giving them a free hand to teach what they want without supervision. Some adopted the belt system for marketing reasons yet attempting to keep an effort to adhere to the 21 hour core military curriculum which is the extracted number of hours that it actually takes to run a class once through all the learning and training drills of the method. Some add other fighting sports and martial arts moves as comparative methods and some will stray of the core. 

It is essential when you teach or learn hand to hand combat that you and your students do not stray from the core in a way that will be confusing to a point you will get into a habit of gaining bad habits because habits will pop up in a moment of dangerous confrontation and someone might lose their life.

At this time no one is authorized to certify instructors in Pure Krav Maga but myself as to keep the Virtual name and method of Pure Krav Maga Pure!

Some of my students however give black belts and certify instructors under their own Business Name. My attempt was to preserve the quality control of the Pure Krav Maga System. I have a book and training videos to keep Instructors and Students in the right track. However its all a mater of how instructors and student prioritize their lives and that might effect how you will prioritize your moves while trying to defend yourself. Remember whoever had better prioritization in preparation probably will have a greater chance prevailing.

Why is it that Pure Krav Maga Instructors and Master Instructors are not allowed to certify other Krav Maga instructors using the name Pure Krav Maga?   Since I've completed the 3 week intensive Krav Maga course in the IDF and was certifying other IDF Krav Maga instructors courses, I thought they should have equivalent sufficient experience to keep the true path. 

Since they were trained by me for only five days which is enough for the 21 hour core curriculum plus warm up time, I felt they should repeat it for few more times and be evaluated and corrected if strayed. In addition since they train others during longer amount of time and non intensively, I felt that I need to see them few more times and see how their students are doing. At some point and if they have the time to get evaluated sufficiently they will be allowed to use the name Pure Krav Maga and certify other Pure Krav Maga Instructors.
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