Time is the most valuable thing that any of us has. That's because however much any of us has is all we will ever have; time is finite, irreplaceable and all of us is spending it, deliberately or not. Furthermore, none of us knows how much of it we have left. As far as I could go down the philosophical implications of any one of these facts, and however much I would really enjoy it, I am not going to do that- out of respect for your time. J But what I do want to talk to you is about the relationship between time and intensity. Learning to balance this is the secret to ultimate and lasting happiness and success. I believe that. I don’t profess to have obtained it, by the way, but I am happy to share what I have learned on the quest. You see, Intensity, which also happens to be the quality of a champion we’re working on this month at KMMA, is the ingredient that sets our goals on fire. When we apply intensity to the things we say we want to accomplish, and we do so consistently over time, we do accomplish them. This is the secret of the super successful in any area- they are more intense, and more disciplined and consistent about this intensity over time, than their competitors. I have used this formula many times in my life, but only became really conscious of the fact recently, or perhaps reminded of it, recently. For this reason, my wife and I just began a 75-day challenge to set some personal goals in our life on fire. This is day one. If you’d like to know what we’re doing, email me at email@example.com and I’ll share. The magic, however, is not in what you do however as much in as that you do it intensely over time! Time under training long enough to produce the desired results! It’s like what happens with our krav maga martial arts students. Each comes with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, goals and desires. None would be able to pass the KMMA Blackbelt test when they walk in the door. But through the law of the process, many go on to unleash their inner Blackbelt! To extend the above analogy a little further, a student training under the average intensity, 2-3 times per week, will test for their Blackbelt in 3-4 years. Some students, who up their intensity by training more often under more intensity, and opt in to additional training experiences like Krav Camp, or even my Intensive Training Course (it has the word intensity right in its name) are ready and able to test for and achieve their Blackbelt faster because of intensity! Intensity is the fuel on the fire that gives us the force to make all of our physical, professional, financial or whatever goals happen! Now, for one final word about that balance. Like any fire, the fire of our intensity must be controlled. It’s the balance I alluded to at the beginning of this blog. Like any fire, our intensity can eventually consume us if we are not aware. My pastor preached this weekend on the importance of leaving space in your schedule and in your life so that you aren’t running around stressed out all the time. It was a good reminder for me because, as you may imagine, I can be a pretty intense individual. I think the secret is that we must apply:
Maximal amounts of intensity for finite periods of time and
Reserve our time, energy and intensity for the things that really matter.
I’ll go further on each of these in the mat chats this week, and some more wiring and/or videos over the rest of the month. In the meantime, think about your time, your intensity and your balance. Think about how to apply these to your goals and who you want to be in life. As always, let us know if we can help!
Be Your Best! Grand Master Stephen Del Castillo Founding Instructor, KMMA
p.s. speaking of time, can you believe we are mid-way through March! That means we are almost a quarter done with the year that just began! Does anyone else think it’s getting faster? p.s.s. we’re also one week from Spring Break camp and only ten from summer! KMMA has great Spring Break Camps and Summer Camps planned! Scroll down for the prior and I’ll get out info on the summer camp this Friday! I have an amazing early bird special, so look out for the Friday email
You’re walking home on an otherwise nice brisk evening with your family or loved one when, out of nowhere, you are surrounded by aggressive and intimidating people that want to harm you. They may just yell and/or push at first. They may grab you, or swing or threaten you with a gun or a knife. What would you do? Would you know what to do to protect yourself and your family? How would you feel? How would you react?
Any of these scenarios are scary at best and deadly at worst. Over 1500 people die from injuries involving knife attacks each year; 5 times as many as those killed by rifles. Statistics aside, the brutal reality is that knives are prevalent and dangerous, knife wounds are nasty and becoming a victim is totally preventable. It is wise to train to defend against threats and attacks with knives, and the best time to think about this is not when the attack is imminent and real. I highly recommend that every reader get some training. For the purposes of this article, I will address 5 hacks that could save your life in a knife attack scenario.
1.Understand the Threat.
Knives are a real threat! They are common, easy to carry and conceal, and can inflict severe wounds and damage, up to and including death. I really don’t think that most people understand how nasty slashes and stabs of the knife upon human flesh can be. This is a mistake. Awareness of the seriousness of the threat is an important step in preparing to deal with it. Awareness can also help you to pay attention, noticing who around is carrying a knife well before any threat exists.
On the other hand, it’s very important to know that it’s very possible to survive an attack if you know how to. In the best case, of course, you have trained in advance. The time to condition to react correctly is when the threat isn’t real; I often remind my students that, “it’s a good thing to get stabbed with a rubber knife all day long”. What can be a painful or deadly mistake in real life is, in training, only feedback.
With or without training, it is important to understand that fighting back aggressively will more likely improve your situation. We know from the defensive wounds of attack crime reports that the victim will not often be killed by the first, second or even first several attacks. Most attackers are not trained knife fighters, but rather an angry person attacking viciously with an overhand (icepick) stab, underhand upward vertical strike, stabbing or slashing, and probably repeatedly, but probably with more aggressiveness than accuracy. It is for this reason that actively defending is so important, and this leads us to knife hack number two.
As I alluded to in number one, the victim that tries to defend without fighting back is the most likely to be killed by a knife attack. Of course, if the scum bag threatening you with a knife just wants your money, you should give him your money because, as I have also already suggested, a knife fight situation is not something that you really want to get into. The variables are many and the stakes are high; so, if he wants something that you can easily replace, the right play is to give it.
My teacher once told me, though, that when you are dealing with a terrorist, you should consider yourself already dead, and that any move that you make to improve your situation improves your situation. While I am certainly not saying that every knife attacker is a terrorist, I am saying that not everyone with a knife will leave you alone just because you give them what they want. You will have to make the call of which one you are dealing with and act accordingly.
This decision only applies to a knife threat, of course. Once the knife is in motion towards you, your decision time has been ended. This is the time when, as I say, you must deal aggressively with the problem. In my system, Krav Maga, we will use a block and a simultaneous counterattack. While the block will hopefully stop the first attack and, if not the first then the second; the aggressive counterattacks address the problem. The problem isn't the knife but rather is the attacker wielding the knife, and that problem must be dealt with aggressively.
3.Control The Weapon
As soon as we block and counterattack, we should also attempt to control the weapon. The exception to this rule would be wherein we counterattack strongly enough that we make enough distance to completely disengage and get away so quickly that we don't have to, which is even better. In close proximity to the attacker, however, by necessity or because we can’t move quickly enough, we must control the weapon hand as soon as possible, stopping its ability to continue cycling the attack. We need to control long enough and well enough to affect knife hack number four.
4.Disengage or Neutralize
As stated in number 3, making distance and getting away from the attacker and attack is the best case of all. The disengagement can happen directly after the initial defense and counterattack, if you made sufficient distance to escape and are fast enough to do so; or it could be after you entered and controlled the weapon, have already struck multiple times in the correct areas to slow down the attacker and then you disengage and exit the area while scanning for more attackers. Still other times, the situation may dictate that you can’t leave the scene; perhaps a small child or elderly parent keeps you from the ability to flee quickly. In this case, one must be able to neutralize the threat to ensure that he’ll be able to get his family home safely.
At the risk of being redundant, the very best thing that you can do to survive a violent knife attack is to start preparing for that scenario today. Be aware, of your own abilities and limitations, and also of your surroundings, including where you are, with whom and who else is in the area. Practice doing this always. At first it will feel funny, or even awkward; but like all new skills, awareness will become natural when practiced over time. If you can, get some training from an experienced instructor trained in a reality based martial art including knife defense. If you already train, practice seriously. I believe every Krav Maga student should have their own training knife and training gun. The combination of proper instruction on how to best defend yourself, with significant repetition and practice under stress, is the very best way to prepare today to defend tomorrow.
I hope that nobody reading this ever has to defend themselves against a knife attack. In the best case, should you decide to take my advice and get some training, all the preparation will be only insurance. In a great school, the training will come with some bonuses including fun, fitness, friends and family, as well as the confidence to walk in peace. I pray every day that none of my students ever has to use the self-defense that I teach them because, by definition, somethings gone really bad and someone’s going to get really hurt. The only thing worse than having to defend, though, would be to have to and not be prepared for it. This is why we pray for the best, but train for the worst today.
Stephen Del Castillo
Grand Master Del Castillo (Shihan Steve) is the Founder and Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts. He has over 35 years of martial arts experience with the last 15 specifically in the Israeli Self Protection system known as Krav Maga. He is a 7th Degree Blackbelt and Master Instructor with Blackbelt Schools International, an MBA, and the Chief Instructor of KMMA USA, with affiliate instructors and schools around the country. For more info on Shihan Steve, his schools or affiliate program, go to www.tampakravmaga.com. For any questions or comments about this blog or his programs, you may also email Shihan at firstname.lastname@example.org
The law of the process is one of John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. It is one of his best works and one of many great leadership books that have become a part of the foundation of the Leadership program I teach at KMMA. Of all of the laws Dr. Maxwell puts forth in this book, however, none other has become as much a part of our daily training focus as this one. You see, the Law of the Process says that excellence happens daily, but not in a day. I find myself reminding students of this all the time. We live in a modern society in which people are used to getting things quick and easy. The all important attribute of patience is being lost. But, as we know, great things happen to people that work hard on a specific goal over periods of time.
The white belt (beginner) in the martial arts will not possibly be able to do what the blaclkbelt can. What that white belt sometimes forgets is that the blackbelt was a white belt once too; and, quite frankly, the only difference between the skill set of the two is that the Blackbelt chose to be bad at something long enough to eventually be great at it. Focus, dedication and perseverance are what made the blackbelt great- he or she did not start out that way. On the contrary, I have found over my 18 years empowering lives and producting blackbelts (since I opened the school in October of 2000) that it is often not the most gifted, talented or even excited that stayed to be great; it's just the ones who didn't quit.
This is such a great lesson and analogy for my students, and for all of us, in every area of our lives! You have to be willing to suck at something, to start before you know what you are doing; and then be focused, disciplined and patient. Over time, if you are doing your part (showing up to class in this martial arts analogy) and have a good mentor (the Sensei in this example), persist over time and never quit, you will succeed. For the martial artist, this denotes getting the blackbelt and then degrees thereof. In the rest of that Blackbelt's life this also referes to college and careers, familes and relationships, businesses and other ventures.
One last warning reference The Law of the Process: when students do quit before they get good, it is usually due to one of two errors. Either, on the one extreme, it gets hard and/or they get frustrated and think they aren't good at it or can't do it; or, on the other, they get bored and think they "know it" already, failing to grasp the reptition it takes to ever truly master anything. I issue this warning to my students of the martial arts as well as fellow businessmen, fathers, and leaders of any kind. Don't get frustrated, or bored, or ever give up. In every worthwhile endeavor it is the fundamentals, repeated regularly over time, that take us from being good to great.
Speaking Of The Law of The Process The October KMMA/Blackbelt School International Will Be An Epic Training Event for Students Of ALL Levels!Beginners, kick start your journey by training with the best of the best in Krav Maga Martial Arts, Kickboxing, Karate, Kali, Kicking & Tricking for the youth and more! Intermediate level? Come see how much amazing knowledge you still have to learn and have fun and make new firends doing so! Advnaced and/or getting ready for Blackbelt test or a degree thereof? You definitely want to come! ALL will have fun, get a great workout and learn something new!
If so, you'll want the to have The ABCs of Success! The ABCs are Attitude, Behavior and Confidence and I am an expert at producing all 3 in kids! Just call to schedule your school aged child in for this free community event next week and see how!
We Have A Free Event for Parents and Other Adults Too!
My F3 Seminar is About Fear, Fitness & Fun- Overcoming the First and Finding the Other Two!I teach the most practical self defense system anywhere. I also help people find fun and fitness, starting wherever they are at. I was having coffee woth one of my Blackbelts this morning and he said something very astute and accurate about our program as relates to people's motivation in martial arts. He said, "most people don't want to do something bad ass because they think it won't be safe, but also don't want to do something safe, because they think it won't work", and added "you offer a safe place to learn bad ass stuff". My friend is a very succesful business owner as well as a KMMA Blackbelt. I think his statement about our unique selling proposition is spot on.
So join me next week to learn how to overcome fear, have fun, get a great workout and learn something new! You'll even make new friends! Our community ROCKS!
Just call 813-948-4844 so we can schedule you for either one of these Free community events, and/or get you in for two weeks free as my personal guest!
It's Back 2 School time in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties and that's what this issue is predomately focused on! If you don't have a child, scroll to the bottom and take advantage of our Adult Bootcamp for only $99! If you do, we have all kinds of valuable information for you!
Lesson of The Week- Respect The Process
First, here is my weekly lesson on the Black Belt Excellence of the Week. I have been talking/teaching about RESPECT this month and this week's lesson is about Respecting the Law of The Process- to teach/learn respect and/or to create success in anything else!
The next 6 weeks at KMMA are official Back 2 School Season! This means that we will be preparing all of our youth with the Attitude, Behaviors and Confidence for academic, social and sports success! The classes will also include the 20 ways to show respect to your teacher and the 5 steps to AVOID bullying.
Current KMMA Lil Ninja, KMMA Kids and KMMA Juniors will automatically get this training in class. Our Welcome program students will too, and you can get in on our 6 week Welcome Program, including: 2 classes per week, 2/4/6 week progress and goal checks, an official KMMA uniform and even your child’s yellow belt test at the end of the 6 weeks all for only $99! The 6 week program also includes Fitness, Fun, Friends and our award winning Back 2 School program that instills winning Attitude, Behavior and Confidence while also preparing children on the mental, verbal and physical skills to confront bullying and the 20 ways to show respect to your teacher! All this for only $99!
And current students, thanks for sharing the word!
Back 2 School Free Community Event
Saturday August 25th is Back 2 School Success Day at KMMA! This Free Community Event is from 1pm-2:30 and will include fun classes, free food, games, a street carnival, prizes and more! This event is Free and open to all KMMA students and guests plus ALL school aged community kids!
We will be teaching PE at Lake Myrtle Elementary September 4-7! Be sure and wear your KMMA t-shirt with pride! We’ll let you assist with classes! And, if you go to another school and would like to see us come there, let us know! Better yet, let your coach at the school know and get us together so we can arrange it!
A.V.O.I.D. Bully Proof with Shihan Steve, A Free Video Series
Shihan Steve will be teaching a lesson on his AVOID system for constructively dealing with bullying over the next 6 weeks and, while all KMMA students will get this training live and in person, you may also register to get the videos delivered to your home for free!
Fitness, Food, Fellowship & Fun! Join Us Saturday For A Free Family Fellowship Event! You are invited to our Punch & Lunch This Weekend! Join Shihan Harley and Sensei Robert for a great introduction to Krav Maga Martial Arts class and then enjoy mama's Blackbeans & Rice and Cuban roast pork in the KMMA Cafe! Enjoy the fun, food and fellowship and, if you think you'd like to give KMMA even more of a trial, sign up for a 2 week trial as our special VIP guest for free! RSVP for the Punch & Lunch here: KMMA Community Punch & Lunch