Krav Maga & Zionism

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Krav Maga & Zionism

Postby misosoup » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:45 am

So I'm about to move to a city where I can start doing Krav Maga traning - I've been looking forward to this for ages, because it looks like a more formal version of self defence training that I do already, and also it will mean I'm training twice a week instead of once.

However, the first thing I heard about Krav Maga was that it's what the Israeli Defence Force are taught, but I didn't realise until researching later that it's deeply intertwined with Zionism and the Israeli state. Without getting into a debate on the Middle East (that's what the rest of the internet is for), I've spent time in Israel/Palestine doing anti-occupation stuff and I was deported by the Israeli government last year after I got nicked at a demo in the West Bank.

Krav Maga looks really useful to learn and it's the only discipline I've seen that I really want to train in, but I'm worried that it's going to be overly political - it looks like most of the serious training camps are over in Israel, and I've read about some associations giving money to the IDF. I'd really like to hear from people who train in Krav Maga - does politics come up at all? Should I take pains not to mention my own politics (not that i'm going to turn up in a keffiyeh or anything, but I think there's a connection drawn between vegan-anarchist-anti-zionist by alot of people, so I'd probably keep quiet about everything)?

Any other points of note on Krav Maga would be interesting as well, I'm a bit apprehensive to take a formal class because I'm used to training in an attic with mates...

Thanks alot
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Postby No other way » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:04 am

it was my understanding that all legit krav maga gyms send money to the IDF. i could be wrong but that's what i though i read somewhere.
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Postby tempehmomma » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:02 am

I've trained in KM and politics never came up during my training. My school belonged to the Krav Maga Association of America, Inc.

Which association does your school belong to? Ask the business manager, head instructor of your school, or contact the association's headquarters to find out if they send money to the IDF.

If the association your school belongs to sends money to the IDF, then you need to prioritize which is more important to you, learning self-defense or your politics.

Krav Maga Association of America, Inc.
http://www.kravmaga.com/

International Krav Maga Federation
http://www.krav-maga.com/index.html
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Postby misosoup » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:11 pm

Thanks for your replies.

[quote="tempehmomma"]
If the association your school belongs to sends money to the IDF, then you need to prioritize which is more important to you, learning self-defense or your politics.


It's really useful to hear that there's diversity within Krav Maga and different associations to train with... if I had to choose, my politics would take priority, but that's a choice I'd take relatively lightly, because I already have one class a week of self-defence training - I'd like to do KM to add breadth to my knowledge and learn new techniques, but if I don't do it, I will still be learning somewhere else. But I'm definitely going to research the class in Leeds, because it does sound good.
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Postby Muay Jin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:19 am

Ok, you might have objections to doing something that gives money to the IDF, however, say you pay $20 a lesson, say $2 goes to the IDF...
What is $2 next to the 15billion dollars the U.S. gave to Israel last year?
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Postby Gelert » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:22 am

Hi misosoup,

Perhaps for the "other points" on krav maga, it might be worth having a quick go at the search engine for threads on it. Out of sheer morbid curiosity, or if I were to be told I were deploying to Helmand in a few months for some bizarre reason, I might attend a KM class. Otherwise I wouldn't.

In terms of its usefulness, people go on about its use within the military context. The truth of that is, in "modern" warfare, most unarmed combat is surplus to requirement. Firearms are a lot more reliable these days and are often designed with close-quarter combat in mind, and there are are other options available. Most professional armies only teach UC either in the form of a few limited immediate action drills, or as a metaphor for aggressively closing with the enemy. Soldiers are still taught bayonet drills for similar reasons. That the Israelis are pimping an entire system can be viewed in that light. Off the top of my head, they only have the Russians and the US Marine Corps for company.

I would go on about how relevant it would be to you, but seeing as you live in Leeds, fair enough :lol:

In terms of connections with Israel, obviously it has spun out of the development of the Israeli defence forces. Some of the philosophies you may have seen in action for yourself are to be found in the KM class. You may find that a bit galling.

Muay Jin makes an excellent point about your possible two penny contribution relative to the massive sub from the US.

In terms of your politics, toughie. But I gather that post 9/11 quite a few classes taught by former special forces guys in the US had some curious visits by the suits, and some even more curious visits by other people. I'm not suggesting you're an al qaeda sympathiser in the least bit, but rocking up in a shamag would not be the best idea as you say - anything beyond that would be prudence, although it really shouldn't matter. Beware that sometimes people have interesting connections though, and hiding your politics may be more of a problem to them if they bring it to light than being up front.
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Postby No other way » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:32 pm

[quote="Muay Jin"]Ok, you might have objections to doing something that gives money to the IDF, however, say you pay $20 a lesson, say $2 goes to the IDF...
What is $2 next to the 15billion dollars the U.S. gave to Israel last year?


i don't like this argument because one thing i get a lot for being vegan is "what's one bite of (animal product)? There are so many animals dying already it's not going to hurt"
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Postby PaulMarsh » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:56 am

I think there is an issue for anyone who is an Anarchist doing Martial Arts, as at some gyms there is expected to be a fair amount of bowing and scraping to the instructor.

Is that compatable with your beliefs?

I suspect Krav Maga has less of that than other disciplines?
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Postby Muay Jin » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:10 am

I don't know that many anarchists would consider that a problem?
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Postby The Duke » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:20 am

[quote="Gelert"] Most professional armies only teach UC either in the form of a few limited immediate action drills, or as a metaphor for aggressively closing with the enemy.


One word ... Milling
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Postby misosoup » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:04 am

Thanks for all your replies.

With regards both to priorities (ie, isn't learning self defence more important than a few quid?) and the anarchist side of things (bowing etc), I'm fully spoilt at the moment. The once-weekly training I do is run by anarchists and is non-hierarchical (beyond the hierarchy of knowledge, but even that's pretty flexible), and is pretty uniquely non-macho, queer friendly etc. And we do alot of the stuff that Krav Maga is supposed to be good for - drills under pressure, very reality based. Also milling, ha. So that's awesome, and it does mean that if KM isn't something I want to do, I do still have one session a week of self defence training. I've been asking around and I've actually heard the local school criticised quite a bit, for being too easy going, so it might not actually be the Zionism that's the problem after all that, ha. If I don't do it, I might try and find a ju-jitsu class instead, because I'm crap on the ground... although the class my friend went to was super macho. Yep, totally spoilt by a year of training with anarchists...
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Postby PaulMarsh » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:31 am

[quote="Muay Jin"]I don't know that many anarchists would consider that a problem?


I don't, I just wai to the instructor then got on with it.

Oddly enough Muay Thai instructors in the Uk seem to expect more from one than one's in Thailand.........
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Postby Gelert » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:42 pm

[quote="The Duke"][quote="Gelert"] Most professional armies only teach UC either in the form of a few limited immediate action drills, or as a metaphor for aggressively closing with the enemy.


One word ... Milling


Exactly.
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Postby Muay Jin » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:23 pm

Milling?
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Postby The Duke » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:35 pm

[quote="Muay Jin"]Milling?


Milling is where two people face each other wearing boxing gloves and head guards.

For one minute you have to flail at the other guy while he flails at you.

You are not allowed to defend yourself at all.

If you try to defend yourself you will be beasted and have to do it again

If you do not show sufficient aggression for the whole minute you will be beasted and have to do it again.

If you show any skill (eg aimin a punch, trying to use footwork) you will be beasted and have to do it again.

There is no "winner" with milling, just survivors.

If you are knocked out the clock is stopped, you are hauled to your feet, and have to get stuck straight back in.

Usually a bout of milling sees each person on the canvas at least twice.

Opponants are chosen by the instructors to provide amusement, not a sporting contest. The smallest guy will always have to fight the biggest guy for example.

Milling is a part of "P Company".

"P Company" is what baby Paras have to do before they are allowed to jump out of a wicker basket a thousand feet above the ground.
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