Modern martial arts are something for people to show off their athletic prowess in sport fighting, board breaking and dramatic self-defence demonstrations. It keeps the parents happy by providing a challenging activity for the kids; it fosters discipline and builds self-esteem. When the world witnessed spectacular terrorism of a few men armed with box cutters who managed to subdue planeloads of passengers; the reality of the types of issues normally faced by the Israelis began to manifest themselves globally. Many started to ponder exactly how they would cope with a weapon threat, and how they themselves could use simple tactics to facilitate escape and to use weapons of opportunity in their environment.
Even before I got involved in Krav Maga my driving force has come from original expression and seeking the higher truth in martial arts. My bookcase is filled with books that I read and reread and DVDs which I have studied thoroughly. I have works by Geoff Thompson and Peyton Quinn providing anecdotal accounts of street and bar violence which also focus on tactics, training methodologies, and psychology of using martial arts in real-life situations. My library now also has lots of Krav Maga material, books and DVD’s that deal with pure military hand to hand skills as well as defence against armed assault. My aim is never to impress, frighten or antagonize but to share my own insight with like-minded people.
When I started up in Rotorua rather than seeing a tourist resort famed for its mineral springs and natural beauty what I found was a small city with pockets of immigrant and Maori communities. I had ideas on how I wanted to promote and run my school; I had a heart full of passion and something to express or transmit. Starting my school was a bit like hurling myself at indomitable chaos and trying to yank and haul as much of it as possible into order and beauty using the only way I knew, through my skills and knowledge of the martial arts. Using the light of my own judgement I made contact with key people, arranged seminars, demonstrations and distributed advertising material.
Rotorua’s historic Maori tours and exhibits bear witness to the fact that even amongst the most refined people there still is a fascination with ancient warrior culture that predates civilization. There is still an admiration for the elemental man; men capable of exceptional violence. We all recognize this as coming directly from human nature. Exercise and fitness fads come and go, but fighting arts communicate directly from the soul. The martial art skills bring to life the ghosts of those driven to fight to defend themselves from oppression or totalitarian injustice. The internet age is a very exciting time to be a martial artist we can all exchange thoughts and nurture ideas; those with a passion to learn have the eyes of mental experience spanning centuries of history thrust upon them at the push of a button.