Showing posts from 2013

Banglore ATM robbery attempt - Lessons

Quite a few friends asked me what were the options for the victim, Jyoti UdayWell, the first option is 'personal safety".. Period.

Even though, as a KravMaga instructor I teach defence against knife threats and knife attacks, we first tell the student " Its not worthwhile to fight against a knife to save your money"

Money can be earned again but not life. See what happened to the poor victim Jyoti. She is in the hospital with grievious head injuries. Even though doctors say her life is not in danger, she may probably have serious physical and mental trauma for the rest of her life
So, to save a few thousands Jyoti paid a much higher price.
Please be clear about the priorities. Self-defence is NOT about fighting. It is all about survival.

There are 2 kinds of crimes.
1) Crime for gain
2) Crime of Passion

This ATM assault and robbery attempt is obviously a crime for gain. A criminal is not keen to increase his crime magnitude. So why resist and force him to assault!

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS vs FINE MOTOR SKILLS in Martial arts training

Which is effective in a fight -Gross motor skills or Fine Motor skills?  This is an argument going on for ages, amongst martial arts instructors. Much has been said on both sides. Now I am adding my own thoughts to this argument, with the benefit of having practiced Karate and KravMaga and the hind-sight acquired after having taught KravMaga to civilians and police.
Actually experts say there are 3 levels of motor skills - Fine, Complex and Gross.
Here is my simple description which explains the 3 motor skills in the context of fighting
(click for readable view) .To make it even simpler – 1. Practice = swimming on dry land  2. Sparring = swimming in a shallow swimming pool 3. Actual fight = trying to survive in rough waves, blindfolded!
See how complex skills fail in an actual crisis, even for trained police men!

"So, I need NOT learn fine movements?!"
Let me clarify that I am NOT against teaching Fine motor skills. The more time spent in exercising fine and complex motor skills will…

As a Kravist,what can I learn from Sachin

Sachin is a great athlete. For many cricket fans he is more than that.. He is God! Today, when I read Sachin is retiring I asked myself " What made Sachin what he is!?”
The most obvious quality that set Sachin apart from the mortals was his natural talent for cricket. We cannot emulate that, since not all are born blessed with it. But, there were many cricketers who had the same talent as Sachin. But none could rise to that height and sustain that level for years, like him.
So I looked at Sachin's qualities which differentiated him, other than natural talent.
Its common knowledge that Sachin practised for at least 12 hours. He took every aspect of the game apart and gained expertise in each of them.
Passion backed up with Dedication!  That sets apart the champion from others. They dedicate time for practice, time for introspection and time for learning; more than their peers.

Fame is heady. Especially in the glamour world of Indian cricket, it’s easy to lose …

The girl who kicked her way into my heart - A picture story

Yesterday, I went to a small rural hamlet Karumarapakkam, somewhere in between Kalpakkam on ECR and Thirukazhukundram. I was there to do KravMaga self-defence workshop for women. For the third year I was going there to do a workshop for rural women, who suffer domestic violence and sexual harassment, due to rampant alcoholism. I started doing this workshop in a classroom of the local school. The girls were mostly between 13 to 17 years. While I was slowly warming up to the task at hand, I noticed 2 small girls peeping through the window.  After a few minutes, I noticed these 2 small girls have quietly slipped into the classroom and were sitting in a corner. Especially the smaller girl looked sharp and intelligent, and she was listening very intently to my talk. When the workshop entered into the kicking and punching phase, I could sense this kutty girl was eager to kick the bag.  I called her to come forward and kick the bag. She and her slightly bigger friend came forward without h…

12 signs of a true teacher

I have been writing only about the pretenders so far. Enough of those negative characters!
Now let’s talk about identifying a teacher, who can even become a mentor for you. This is not only relevant to the martial arts teacher, but anyone who is in the business of disseminating knowledge.
The signs of a true teacher - 1.He has long years of dedicated practice  I read somewhere that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field.  So, if somebody puts in say 10 hours a week in pursuing his passion, he would have totalled only 500 odd hours in a year. At that rate it would take 20 years to claim to be an expert in any field of interest.
Most of the great teachers I have come across put in not less than 30 hours a week in practice..and they have been at it relentlessly for at least 20 years! 2. He has a clear road map for the student's progress
The teacher is able to chalk out a route and mark the milestones for the student.
The student is clear where he stands at any point of ti…

6 Signs of a Stupid Street Fighter

Recently, in Brazil, UFC Featherweight champs Maiqul Falcao and his training partner Kaue Mena was beaten up by a gang outside a gas station. Kaue Mena is now in critical condition at a hospital. The video clearly shows Falcao hitting a girl unprovoked, which brings to the scene a gang of local youth. The gang vastly outnumbers these 2 UFC fighters and they proceed to make mincemeat of the fighters, with rods and merciless kicks to the head.
So these heroes of the ring become pathetic zeroes on the street.
What's the net take?
What are the signs that differentiate a victim of his own Ego, Ignorance and Stupidity?
What makes a guy a stupid street fighter?

1) Tendency to initiate brawls
Some people have a negative cloud hovering over their heads always. They keep on goading others by being rude, provoking and abusive. They get away with it when they are in dominant positions, inside their home or office cabin. But once outside the safety of their domains, they invite trouble, like f…

Any martial art is good, if the instructor is NOT bad

In my recent blog I criticized the technique of a guy in Chennai, who claims he is a martial arts teacher . He also wrote a rejoinder, which without mentioning the art by name, criticized every aspect of KravMaga. This guy was also intelligent enough to make his prejudiced bile sound like a dispassionate comparison of martial arts. But ...
... Why is it NOT intelligent to compare different martial arts?
This half-baked guru's comparison of different methods itself is misleading, like comparing apples and oranges, to use a cliché. What he missed to understand was the fact that every method is different, because they evolved in different environments, and for different objectives.When analyzing any particular fighting art one has to look at the anthropological, sociological and sometimes even the political aspects of the environment in which that art evolved. Another major differentiator in a method of fighting is, for what job-profile it is designed for. I will extrapolate this a bit…

7 Dictums of what NOT to teach in self-defense for WOMEN

WARNING to WOMEN! After the Guwahati molestation and Delhi gang rape, more women are enquiring about self-defense courses. This blog post is to warn those women. They could end up with martial-arts schools which will actually put them in greater danger, when they try to repel a sexual aggressor.
Many martial arts instructors DON'T understand the specific problems of women, like -
1- The average Women is SMALLER than the average Man
2- The Woman will be under extreme FEAR and STRESS during a sexual attack
3- Most Women are PUT OFF by Violence; so, learning to fight does NOT appeal to them
4- Most Women DON'T see themselves as capable of fighting a bigger & aggressive Man
The martial-arts instructor should factor in this reality before making a curriculum for women. But do they?
The emphatic answer is a big "NO"!
Recently I saw a video of a self-promoted martial-arts guru, in Chen…