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Old 02-18-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
KevinMack
 
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Default My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

I have been thinking about some things lately and the Alain Cohen thread led me to post this commentary. Let me preface this with saying that this is not an attack on Darren Levine and Eyal Yanilov. They are both great instructors. My instructor is good friends with Darren and has said nothing but great things of him and Marni(RIP).I even plan on training with him next week. Eyal as well. But both created a template for the expansion of KM and instructor development and that is what I am discussing.
Throughout history martial arts instructors were developed in-house using the apprentice model of education. Even most military systems promoted instructors from within their own ranks. This allowed for instructors to not only learn techniques but to also absorb the finer points of training and pedagogy that only close contact/long term training provided. If you were training with a martial arts instructor most likely they had years of training under their belts. There were always shortcut training certifications sold in the back of magazines but the common understanding was that this was the realm of frauds.
Until 1981 KM also used this model yet it existed in only Israel. In 1981 the first international instructors course was held to train the first American instructors to spread the system here. This was considered "extenuating circumstances" as there were no instructors here. The instructor course was long and intense to mimic long term training. Six weeks,Six days a week,Eight hours a day. But that was it. Once it was here it was expected to grow here from the seeds planted. The courses that followed were for the students of those who graduated. It wasnt marketed to new territories.
Thats how it remained until the late 1990s. Eyal and Darren both had the idea to spread KM(Darren across the US and Eyal the rest of the world). So they started the instructor courses and affiliate programs that we know to be the standard today.
My opinion:
First of all it is not my place to judge the actions of my elders in the system. The path they chose got KM in the hands of many people who otherwise would not have had it. It may have saved lives. That makes whatever they did worth it. I also think the idea was that the initial batch of instructors would grow into their positions...many did...many did not.
What it also did was ti instill this template of instructor certification training for instructors in the KM world. Many frauds take advantage of this template for selling their own certifications. Many school around the country are run by people with these certifications.
Long story short...I think changing the culture of hard work and long term training via an apprentice model for developing instructors is healthier as it breeds a students mentality before an instructor mentally. People who jump to instructor mentally right away or too early tend to do this out of laziness or ego. This damages the rep of the system and short changes students looking for qualified instructors.
Any thoughts?
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

A couple of things that got deleted.
1. One thing I see as a result of this is instead of people looking for good teachers they shop around for certifications. You can actually learn alot about an instructor bsaed on how easy the certification they chose was. I have seen one or two schools start with KMWW...go to IKMA or IKMF and now are moving on to another.
2. There are instructors that dont even bother training students at home or have a school..they just travel around certifying people.
3. Does short term growth and profit outweigh the long term effects on standards and practices?
4. I see "legit" KM instructors accept belts and ranks from obvious KM frauds and have no problem doing that but have BJJ programs in their schools and they would never put on a fraudulent BJJ black belt. Does all this just show an innate disrespect for KM?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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I think you have many valid points.

As any martial art I guess KM can not avoid the frauds and those that see an easy buck to be made from people looking for a system in which to earn belts and grades for the sake of ego rather than actual martial skill. I do not think this can be avoided. Hopefully serious students are able to pick teachers that are the real deal and in it for the right reasons. For this to happen easy it would help if the big organisations were clear and distinct about what they do and what separates them from each other (which is not much, comparing to other martial arts organisations under the same "label", karate for an example...). And above all - they should be clear what separates them from the cons!

Here in sweden we have "krav maga" org´s popping up rapidly lately. With instructors who have trained KM, but now teach stuff far from KM. Defendo and C2:core combatives and Senshido seem to have the biggest part in their systems. So - should they call what they do krav maga? I leave the question to you out there. This is something that makes it hard for people to know what they are to expect, when we speak of KM.

The other issue at hand then; I see problems in wishing to make krav maga a martial art that demands years and years of study as oppossed to instructor courses of shorter terms, as part of the essensce of KM as I have understood it is that is should be easy to learn. Tricky this, as of course an instructor should have developed the finer qualities in the system. A student does not need that. Not trying to make a point here.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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I strongly dislike and disagree with how easy it is to get a certificate to instruct in KM. Granted, the Phase certification process is no walk in the park... but still.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #5
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Couldn't agree more, though with one caveat.
While structure and long-term commitment should be required to achieve an instructor certification from a reputable individual or organization, it's important that the lines not become blurred between instructor and student, so the focus remains on training that gets students operational quickly.
Sometimes I see school pages that list just moderately senior students (2 or 3 years of experience), even within the kmww world, as "instructors." Putting students in this mindset is really dangerous because it takes someone used to learning techniques quickly and changes that focus to learning how to teach quickly, often by trial and error.
We'll have the best balance when the road to becoming an instructor is trying, but the techniques remain fast and efficacious for the student.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

think that the overall governing principle here should be quality. Does the instructor provide truth and legitimate Krav Maga and the highest quality Krav Maga training he/she can. Not all instructors are created equal. Lineage is not always the dominant indicator of an instructors credibility or ability. However to ignore lineage is foolish. There are many frauds in Martial Arts. Krav Maga is not immune to this. There are certain truths that will never be known regarding the spread of Krav Maga globally. I have my own opinions and theories but I will keep them to myself.

The IDF instructor course though very tough, is not all that long. So length of time is only one method of measurement. I know people who have been doing and teaching Krav Maga longer than I have and they are excellent instructors. There are others who have been around for a long time and they suck. So it's really a matter of personal development.

I personally do not recognize any Grandmaster. It's bull****. I have never met a Grandmaster who did not appoint himself the Grandmaster. So forgive me if I don't bow.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #7
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I personally don't have any problem bowing. IMO, such a simple and small gesture is the least I can do to show my Respect (to the style/school, to the founder(s), to the instructors, to those who came before me, and to my training partners, etc) and Thanks/Appreciation (for accepting me as a student - even if I'm paying and especially when I'm not, for sharing their knowledge and expertise, and for their time and effort in instructing me or training with me, etc). If I feel someplace/someone isn't worth bowing to, then I simply just don't go back...

Last edited by Don; 02-20-2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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The point is..I am not against instructors courses. Just because you know the system doesnt mean you can teach it. Though Imi himself said "when you are a green belt you are an instructor whether you like it or not" Meaning by that time you have seen a large chunk of the system and should be able to explain it to others. What is important though is your "time in". Yes the IDF instructor course is not that long built it taught to people who are already soldiers and have been trained already. Many Law Enforcement officers take certification courses to teach things to their departments that only take a day or two to learn but the person being certified already graduated the police academy and worked in the field.
The difference is in certifications and professional degrees. You can be certified rather easily to be a personal trainer(online,one test,etc) but you need to go to school to be a physical therapist. Sometimes I dont think KM instructors really understand what we do. People put there lives in our hands. We are teaching them what to do when they are in the most vulnerable positions in their lives..they could be raped,shot,stabbed,etc,etc. I would expect that the person training me for that extreme danger at least trained in the system before he entered an instructor course for at least a few years. Would you want your child operated on by a MD or someone who was CPR certified or even a paramedic?
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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Some points on Krav Maga,the IDF and Wingate.1. Contrary to popular belief..civilian KM is not some watered down version of the system and the military does not hold all the secret techniques. Its just the opposite. The IDF KM training is short in time,has some basic techniques focusing mainly on using long gun and tons of aggression drills. Krav Maga became much more developed in the civilian sector. Both Eli Avikzar and Shachar Klarfeld(both headed the IDFs KM program at different times) have stated that the IDFs KM was informed by the advances made in the civilian sector and not the other way around. Being an IDF KM instructor was never accepted as a creditential in teaching KM to civilians. The Association under Imi and Eli Avikzar would make an IDF instructor train and test in order to teach civilians. The system we train in as civilians has more content,tackles more situations and provides you with more techniques and options. It was meant to be easy to learn but also to be a progressive learning model.

Also..I dont think most people know this and an Israeli can correct me if I am wrong. But I Israel iff you want to work as a professional in any sport or physical education field you have to be certified by the government. This is for martial arts instructors,gymnastics instructors,PE teachers,tennis coaches,etc,etc. Thats why Wingate exists. A black belt or experience in a sport doesnt allow you to work in that field. Thats why KM instructors also get teacher certified through Wingate. Its teacher training,CPR training,etc on top of you learned experience in your field.
So you need your time in and experience in your field,sportmartial art but you also need to be properly qualified to teach it. Thats also what I am saying.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:41 AM   #10
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I believe to be eligible to take the IKMF instructors certification course you must have a minimum or four years experience in KM or a martial art, a recommendation from your training center and a background check. I believe the course itself is 80 hours for the Civilian Certification. Are other organizations similar?

Last edited by bear34; 02-21-2012 at 02:42 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:19 AM   #11
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http://www.wingatekravmaga.com/wkm-i...qualification/
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
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brown belt or better
at least 2 years krav
60 hour instructor course/testing for assistant rank
another 60 hours for practical instructor
another 70 hours for senior instructor
30 hours apprenticeship under another instructor
133 hours of classroom studies to teach in Israel


Send a video to Alain Cohen and get an instructor's certificate without ever setting foot inside a krav gym, my ass.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinMack View Post
Some points on Krav Maga,the IDF and Wingate.1. Contrary to popular belief..civilian KM is not some watered down version of the system and the military does not hold all the secret techniques
In Nir Maman's interview CD, he says IDF recruits may not even learn krav. They learn whatever martial art their instructor is good at and that may or may not be krav. Special forces trainees all learn the real deal though.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

There’s been a lot of discussions recently about fake instructors or credentials certificates instructor training etc.

Just thought I’d share a funny story. I got flipped a business card today from a guy, it read Krav Maga Instructor. Except the guys never taken an instructor course – anywhere and is currently a green belt. So of course he opened his own studio now and has 10 students.

I may go take him up on his offer for a free trial class.

On second thought, maybe I’ll take Trish, tell him she’s a soccer mom who needs self defense training LOL
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:54 PM   #15
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Down the street from one of our locations is a guy teaching Krav Maga. He was certified to teach buy a guy who is only a green belt and was an assistant instructor under another instructor who used to work in the area. So an assistant instructor can now certify instructors who can open schools/programs? Besides that their Krav Maga is actually a mix of whatever that green belt was interested in so it barely resembles KM. I dont know who to feel bad for...the students who think they are learning proper Krav Maga? The instructor who thought he was being certified in a legit manner? Or the guy who felt that he was qualified to certify people when he didnt have the experience or rank in the system to do so.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:54 PM   #16
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Bullshido.net is a great site for weeding out the BS. Unfortunately, because of the wide marketing campaign coupled with the fact that instructor certs can be had relatively easily, Krav Maga is looked down upon at that forum.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

My two favorite frauds of the moment are these guys:

A 500lb Italian Grandmaster who has no KM lineage but created an organization...he friends everyone on facebook and tags legit instructors in his pics. He even photoshops his logos on others and recently got in trouble for photoshopping his logo on Grandmaster Haim Zut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbP3_...layer_embedded

And this homegrown favorite. Started under a legit guy and then went and got certified by a phantom legend. A google search will show a long history of falsified credentials. He even started a martial arts hall of fame and inducted himself. But of course now he has his own KM association and certifies instructors and tons of students will be misled and poorly trained.

http://kravmagaassociation.com/Instructor.html


I also get a kick out of the Israeli karate instructor who goes around giving out black belts in "Authentic Krav Maga"...the irony is that it is the exact opposite.
Man...the pathologies you will find in the martial arts world amaze me.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #18
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and these are just the ones who I think are mentally disturbed. Three new orgs have popped up recently started by ex-KMWW black belts some of whom started their own groups and self ranked themselves and their top students and now certify instructors nationwide. At least these guys were properly trained at one point and have experience in the system.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:52 AM   #19
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Kevin, I used to joke with my instructor about how every week there's a new KM ORGANISATION that pops up offering "authentic" KM. We don't even joke about it now as it has blown up in a major way...
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:39 AM   #20
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I just re-read the Italian guys bio and I cant stop laughing. Near the end of the list he doesnt even bother putting any thought into the made up groups..it reads like he just picked random words and threw them together. Its just insanity. http://fikm.org/president_head_master_40.html

My bio seems totally lame in comparison. I actually need to update it soon so hmmmmmm.
http://atlantickravmaga.com/instructors.htm




I think I might start the Actual Obvious Verifiable Krav Maga Federation of the United States and Israel.
The AOVKMUSI.

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:57 AM   #21
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You should. it is obvious this is going out of hand and hurt those who legitly providing authentic service.

Regulation in this case is probably the best solution. not only for KM.

I honestly think that someone who teaches a martial art has much more responsibility than a gym trainer. a MA trainer, just like you said, is responsible to provide exact what he sell his client. which are tools to defend himself. if the instructor is a fraud and know nothing of what he actually teach, then that is a national security issue and only for that sole reason there should be some regulation especially when it comes down to SD lessons.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:33 AM   #22
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I honestly think that someone who teaches a martial art has much more responsibility than a gym trainer. a MA trainer, just like you said, is responsible to provide exact what he sell his client. which are tools to defend himself. if the instructor is a fraud and know nothing of what he actually teach, then that is a national security issue and only for that sole reason there should be some regulation especially when it comes down to SD lessons.
I agree completely, people who do this are actually (at times) making their students more vulnerable to danger and injury (or death).
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:14 AM   #23
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Could be worse, someone could be combining KM with Yellow Bamboo... (search YouTube for Yellow Bamboo)...
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:49 PM   #24
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.... what the f.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhnvETs4F6Q

Not sure if the BJJ guy is just trolling them or did the YB members ask him to do this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1ykNZ7rAcw

Anyways.... before I derail this thread.... There is no real "authority" to govern KM. You have different organizations but that's about it. Then you go into the politics and whatnot which has been beaten to death time and time again. I think prospective students and students alike just need to research their instructor/training studio and make informed decisions.
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Last edited by KMyoshi; 02-22-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I think prospective students and students alike just need to research their instructor/training studio and make informed decisions.
I couldn't agree more. The bottom line is "caveat emptor"!
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:42 AM   #26
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Question is: do you leave the research and the background check for the one who represents only himself and just simply, with no MA experience seek authentic SD lessons? or you try and help him and assume, that he may fail or be lazy enough to really put the effort to steer between all the frauds out there.

If someone doesnt have the time, or, the power to search for an authentic trainer - he shouldnt be doomed to be trained by a fraud. not when it comes down to SD lessons. it can work when you buy bubblegums. it can work when you buy cloths perhaps, but not when you going to train in a MA or a reality based system you may relay on in the future.

look, i dont argue that even a legit trainer might not make his student a worthy fighter who can pull of everything he has learnt at the time of need. though, the least he can do for his trainee is teach what he know under the umbrella of krav maga authentic curriculum. now if the trainer claims he teach KM but in practice he doesnt.. he already puts his student in a disadvantage against any possible threat.

This stuff must be regulated. this is not a joke.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:03 PM   #27
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IMHO I think things like this needs to be self regulated by Krav Maga's higher ranking members. I do not think the entire MA community should be yet another burden on the government. That's what I got when you say "regulated" anyways so I apologize if you meant otherwise. I'm not privy on what goes on in the secret circles of KM organizations but from my understanding, once Imi passed away, all the higher ranking KM students broke off into their own organization. In order for any order or regulation to be had, all KM organizations need to come under one roof. Without that, it'll be "well my organization does it this way..." etc. etc.

You are right in that a student should not be doomed to train under a fraud instructor but sometimes that's all you get. Sure if you live in a big city you can have many other arts/options when it comes to self defense, but if you live in a smaller city/town and the only instructor in KM is some TKD studio that just got certified or is teaching their own "style" of KM mixed with traditional MA (TMA) etc. etc. You don't have much choices. I think that the whole honor code of doing whats right and not just trying to make a buck should make its return, but that's a moral thing and you can't teach morality. They themselves have to make that choice.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 PM   #28
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See...I dont think something needs to be done in an organized manner by KM orgs or the government. The different KM orgs are never going to be able to work together as long as money and business is the their prime motivation. I also dont expect people to agree on every aspect of curriculum and standards and practices.
But I think things would change for the better if everyone agreed that the certification course model of educating instructors and affiliates is not the way to go and to return to the apprentice model that most martial arts followed up until 12 years or so ago.
For instance...in the tattoo business the apprentice training model is the standard for bringing up new tattoo artists. If you want to learn how to tattoo and to do it as a profession you find an artist that will take you on as an apprentice...he trains you till he feels that you are ready to work on your own. This is the excepted standard. Tattooists that are self taught or took other shortcuts are called "scratchers" and are looked down upon and not accepted by the community. There is no organization that regulates this. Every tattoo shop has the right to run his own business the way he sees fit. They dont even chase down frauds or try to expose them because they all agree on a professional stand so the frauds stand out.
Even KM orgs stop looking for the quick buck that lies in speading affiliates and certifying instructors and returns to a more organic method of growing instructors in-house then the frauds and instructors who buy their qualifications will be more obvious and everything would be much better in the long run.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #29
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i honestly think that firstly: when fitness is on the matter, or even when not, instructors should learn the basics which fitness trainers may go through. before they're KM instructors, they also are fitness instructors.

i think the scenario of someone passing knowledge from one to another doesnt really hold ground when it refers to KM, or maybe even most MA's.

KM organizations dont hesitate to mention everytime how KM is a military based program, however, what they ofcourse tend to forget and implement in their structures is that every KM/fitness trainer in the army must pass a course that certify them to train before they even teach any curriculum.

the drills might be similar, the idea is the same. but when it comes to safety and making sure you put the lives of your students in worthy hand is totaly left out. imo, in the civlian world it is even more critical for an instructor to know anything about the human body before putting anyone under severe stress, and be examined for that.

i think that all the legit organizations, like you said kevin, should come down to their senses and make an effort to build a program they can all agree to. some steps any instructor will go through in the way of becoming a teacher.

and perhaps have a universal exam that every future instructor must go through to prove he knows the matirial. otherwise, it's not worth that much.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #30
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Check this guy out, he's here in Miami and just decided to form an alliance on his own.

http://www.kravmagaalliance.net/
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:34 PM   #31
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Here's the same guys personal protection site. Love the glasses.

http://www.ultimatebodyguard.com/paginalaz.html
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #32
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Seems to me, Wingate is the closest thing we have to an impartial referee since Imi died. They will certify anyone who meets the (real) requirements. There are plenty of good instructors who aren't Wingate certified but, as the frauds get more numerous, it seems like it would be worth the good instructors' while to get Wingate certified and to put out the word that that's a test for frauds.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:08 PM   #33
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I love how that guys site has no mention at all of any qualification in any of the things he offers. Style over substance.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:37 PM   #34
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Here's the same guys personal protection site. Love the glasses.

http://www.ultimatebodyguard.com/paginalaz.html
REAL professional site, the Matrix and the character from the Hit Man video game? Also, dude needs to learn finger control and keep his fingers off the trigger. Oh, and the glasses put his credibility over the top .
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:24 PM   #35
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I am digging the Terminator 2 theme though.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #36
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

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Here's the same guys personal protection site. Love the glasses.

http://www.ultimatebodyguard.com/paginalaz.html

THE BADGE. WTF.

I just shot coffee out my nose. Is this Damien Ross' cousin?
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:44 AM   #37
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

The "martial arts" page on his bodyguard site has me rolling, apparently Krav has trained me so that I can only react once an attacker has started choking me or grabbed my wrist

Also, he's created his own martial art to address these problems: http://www.hokutoshinken.com/
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #38
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For only 65.00 an hour he can escort you to south beach nightclubs....hopefully he takes the shades off!
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #39
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

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For only 65.00 an hour he can escort you to south beach nightclubs....hopefully he takes the shades off!
I'd be afraid he'd accidentally shoot me.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:19 PM   #40
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Default Re: My observations on Krav Maga culture,it's growth and instructors.

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Here's the same guys personal protection site. Love the glasses.

http://www.ultimatebodyguard.com/paginalaz.html

He obviously spends more time being a bad ass than he does examining the possible IP infringement lawsuits he's looking at with that website.
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