On our trip to Israel we trained with Grand Master Lichtenstein of the Bukan school of Krav Maga. We had to train in gi’s and everyone who attended from outside of the U.S. were part of that organization so they wore their yellow, green, orange, etc. belts. We from the U.S. had to wear white belts, even though in other organizations most of us were black belts. Being a white belt again was enlightening. A lot of the techniques that we trained were new to us so we felt like white belts. It was cool to be a beginner again and have to humble ourselves and not be “the man” in the gym as we suddenly weren’t the head instructors but beginners.

Some of the Americans had a hard time being at the bottom of the food chain in class and instead of learning the techniques the way they were being taught they wanted to argue (sometimes very disrespectfully) with the grand master about why the way they did things was better. Our group just kept our mouths shut and tried to do the techniques as they were taught. I didn’t agree with a lot of what we were doing but I was the student and Grand Master Lichtenstein was the instructor so I did it the way it was being taught. Because of this attitude our group got a lot of special training, insights and “behind the scenes” info on Krav Maga. Humbling ourselves made us good students.

We even kept quiet when the other yellow and orange belts (in Krav Maga for less than a year) corrected us and elbowed us to move down in line because they were supposed to line up ahead of us. This all just made me smile as I have been in Krav Maga for twelve years now and head an entire organization. The point is, to learn you have to want to learn. You have to humble yourself and have no ego. I am going to start lessons in something that I know nothing about now. I really believe this will make me a better instructor in krav Maga.

The one comment I get from people who attend our gym who have been to other Krav Maga gyms is that we are so friendly and have no egos. I don’t understand the gyms where the instructors walk around like they are better than everyone else, have attitudes and think they have arrived. I think we stay humble because we know there is more to learn, we have a white belt view on what we do. We scour the internet, attend seminars everywhere and do things like this Israel trip…to learn. A quote that I live by “Nothing I say today will teach me anything. To learn I must listen”. If you want to learn get that White Belt attitude! BE SAFE!


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