The Yabut Monster

‘’Yeah, but a diet like that is very hard to maintain when you’re living with a family.’’

‘’Yeah, but after a day at work, even ten minutes of exercise is asking for too much.’’

‘’Yeah, but exercising in the morning will totally throw my day’s schedule out of gear’’

‘’Yeah, but I’m a foodie, sticking to a diet like this will totally drive me nuts.’’

‘’Yeah, but quitting cigarettes really messes with my head.’’

yeahAll of us know the Yabut monster – he kills our quest for a better life while it is still a thought. Most of us have some sort of a life goal – something that we want to change about ourselves to be stronger, wiser, healthier, or more attractive. Being thinking people, we also know what would get us there. Unfortunately, the evil Yabut monster rears his ugly head to nip our efforts with a ‘but’.

Growth is a never-ending process, and especially in matters involving the human body or mind, change is never a phase. If you strive towards something, you will have to push far beyond, because complacency and stagnation at your goal will cause you to lose your gains.

This means that any change that you wish to make in your life requires a much greater commitment than you actually think. Indeed, as soon as you make a decision to change, your mind starts putting up resistance, giving you reasons to back out gracefully with the satisfaction of having noble intentions that were unfortunately thwarted by insurmountable obstacles.

All the obstacles are inside your head – it is mainly the really smart people who fall prey to the Yabut monster. Only once you have defeated the voices inside your head, will you be able to make any lasting changes in your life. So every time the possibility for a desirable change comes up, and your response to it begins with ‘Yeah, but’, remember that the Yabut monster is just behind you, setting you up for failure.

– Ajit Nathaniel

You can read more of Ajit’s writing at www.nathaniel.in

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Master Avi Moyal

Born in 1966, Master Avi Moyal took up Krav Maga at a very young age. He honed his skills under the tutelage of legendary instructors such as Master Eli Avigzar and Master Imi Lichtenfeld.

Avi received his ‘Expert’ level certification in 1985, and joined the IDF Marines soon afterwards. He served as a platoon commander with an elite Terror Demolition Unit and participated in several missions, many of which were carried out in hostile territory. Avi was also part of a security ring for a high-ranking IDF general and an intelligence officer. After active service, he served as a reserves platoon commander in a special operations unit.

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Avi Moyal then completed the trainer’s courses, including the Senior Trainer’s course at the Wingate Institute. He went on to conduct instructor’s courses at Wingate for seven years, and is one of the highest ranking Krav Maga Masters today.

On a side note, the Wingate Institute is a sports facility that is home to several Israeli national teams. It also serves as a military training base where soldiers are schooled in physical fitness and hand-to-hand combat. The institute is named after Orde Wingate, a maverick British soldier and staunch Zionist, who is best known for creating the Chindits, an unconventional Second World War-era commando unit.

Master Avi Moyal is currently the Chairman of the International Krav Maga Federation. He continues to instruct military units and security organizations across the world, and serves as Advisor to the Israeli Minister of Sport and Education in the domain of Krav Maga. He was also chosen by the Israeli government to develop specific techniques and teaching programs for women’s self-defence, children’s self-defence and road rage situations.

Food for Thought

An interesting fact about Master Avi Moyal is that he has been teaching Krav Maga for over thirty years. If you do the math, it means that he started doing so at a relatively young age! This is because Avi displayed a degree of proficiency that impressed his instructors so much that they permitted him to teach every now and then.

Here’s another fun fact…

Check out this little picture closely! Spot anyone familiar?

Avi Moyal was part of Michael Jackson’s security detail when the King of Pop toured Israel in 1993.

The information and images in this post have been drawn from the IKMF website

– Salil R

Down Memory Lane – Two Boys Went to Delhi

“Already on a water break? You have a kind instructor.”, Sensei smiled benevolently as we ran eagerly out the training area for a much needed drink of water. Ram and I looked at each other. This was going to be a long week.

We had been attending Krav Maga classes for a little over a year and it had become an integral part of our lifestyles. The Hyderabad chapter of the IKMF was the youngest at the time, and we sometimes wondered what it would be like to train at their Delhi headquarters.

3 at dojo

An opportunity came up soon after our first grading test, when a week-long P-level camp was announced. Having wangled a week’s leave from our workplaces, Ram and I packed our bags and headed for Delhi.

Looking back, the camp was an incredible experience in more ways than one. For seven hours over a period of seven unforgettable days, we were pushed beyond what we thought was the limit of our endurance. Our day was filled with practicing punches, kicks, chokes, bear hugs, breakfalls, rolls, groundfighting, conditioning and a variety of bag drills, and then it was time for the chief instructor to put us through the grinder.

A typical day went something like this:

8 AM – Prepare survival kit

2 all setOur best friends while training were three 1-liter bottles – one with plain water, the second had Glucon-D, while the third contained a generous helping of Electral. And this was only for the morning session!

The survival kit had to be restocked in the afternoon, which meant that we ended up drinking well over six liters a day during class alone!

10 AM to 1 PM

An intensive warm-up followed by an even more intensive class! The rivers of sweat never ceased, and we often found ourselves running to wring our shirts in the midst of training. Eventually we accepted the futility of trying to wring our shirts and simply went with the flow.

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2 PM to 5 PM

The afternoon session was much more rigorous because this was when the Chief Instructor, Mr. Vicky Kapoor usually stepped in to replace our ‘kind instructor’. As soon as he entered, the atmosphere in the dojo changed. After all, we were now being closely observed by someone with more martial arts experience than all of us put together.

‘Bags!’ he would say without preamble, and proceed to put us through a series of drills that required us to tap into energy reserves that we never thought we had. One of these drills was, for example – front breakfall5 push-upscomplete the technique and and deliver multiple punches and kicks.

This drill may sound easy, but executing them to the Chief Instructor’s satisfaction after five hours of Krav Maga took a great deal of effort! On other days, we were made to pummel the punching bags till he told us to stop, which he did only after what seemed like a very long time.

7 training

We sneaked several peeks at the clock as it neared 5 PM. But there were times when Mr. Vicky Kapoor was in a particularly good mood.

“I have good news for you all.”, he smiled as we stood about with our chests heaving.

“Class will end at 6 PM today.” But the day was not over for the two of us even after the clock struck six.

7.30 PM to 8.30 PM – attend regular class

As we were the only students from out of town, Sensei wanted us to get the most out of our time in Delhi. This meant that after camp, we attended the regular classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

It was during one of these classes that we encountered a little practitioner who was unperturbed by having to practice with two boys who were twice his height and thrice his age. He executed techniques with absolute confidence and his reflexes were no less impressive.

Needless to say, with a schedule like this, we slept like logs. Our training probably followed us into dreamland, because I saw Ram kicking in his sleep on at least two occasions while I gave the bed an elbow strike at least once!

Over the course of the week, we also hoarded almost every water bottle we bought for the mindless joy of taking a picture like this. We couldn’t fit all of them into the frame, and here are the sixty-five lucky bottles that made it.

20 bottles

After seven intense days, the camp was over, and both of us had survived. We were leaner, perhaps a little more meaner, pleased with having learnt so much, and well aware of how the journey was far from over!

16 post training– Salil R

It Doesn’t End in Class

Okay, so you’ve signed up for Krav Maga, and you’re regular with your weekend classes. You train, you appear for tests, you get your levels, and you’ve bought the T-Shirt. What next?

A martial art is not just an activity that you complete by showing up – it’s a lifestyle. The aim of this lifestyle is not just to survive, but to win. As a martial artist, you’re learning to use your body as a weapon. Your weapon’s performance is based on two things – how well you maintain it, and how well you know it.

Fuel Up

A strenuous activity like Krav Maga requires rest and nutrition for your body to recover. Without this, you will become more injury-prone. As soon as your session concludes, make it a point to drink one liter of water – this will purge your muscles of metabolic waste, and lower the intensity of cramping and muscle soreness. Within an hour or so, have a meal that is high in protein – this will provide your body with the necessary components to repair muscles, and will also cut cravings for sugary foods.

Drink up!

Keep Active

On other days, make it a point to set aside a minimum of 30 minutes for some exercise. Even if you do it in three 10-minute tranches on a busy day, it’s all right. Do push-ups, squats and pull-ups. These three exercises are enough to bring about a serious gain in strength in just a few months. An Android app called ‘Just Six Weeks’ can help you follow a progressive programme to improve.

Get Rest

When you’re in training, you need to get sufficient sleep to give your mind time to recharge, and your body the time to heal. Aim for seven hours a night. Avoid caffeine four hours before bed-time, and avoid staring at a screen for an hour before. Eat dinner in soft light from candles or an incandescent light bulb, rather than a harsh source like a tube-light – this will soothe your senses towards sleep.

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Treat your Injuries

Injuries wage a war of attrition on the martial artist. Each untreated injury will leave you with lower mobility, lower strength, and increased vulnerability. Spurn the temptation to return to full-intensity training when you’re ‘somewhat okay’. All muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries require a rehabilitation routine that extends to beyond the time that the discomfort ends. A return to strenuous activity before this healing is complete will likely result in further injury, and extended or permanent disability.

Keep Learning!

Your growth as a martial artist must span beyond the confines of a single discipline. Do you know a Jujitsu practitioner? Train with him in locks and ground fighting. Know a Thai boxer? Ask about the conditioning they do that lets them kick with their shins. Know a ballerina? Ask her about training for her insane power-to-weight ratio and flexibility. Spend some time each week reading about new trends in fitness and injury rehabilitation as well.

– Ajit Nathaniel

You can read more of Ajit’s writing at www.nathaniel.in

Judgement Day 2011 – Our First Grading

A mixed bag of emotions prevailed in the hall where IKMF Hyderabad’s very first grading was to take place – anticipation, eagerness, and perhaps a touch of apprehension as well. The Chief Instructor himself was coming down from Delhi to see just how good IKMF India’s youngest chapter (at the time) was.

We started off with an intense knife defence workshop.

krav maga hyderabad

As we practiced the knife drills, Mr. Vicky Kapoor, IKMF India’s formidable head, walked about inspecting his newest students with the piercing gaze of someone who has over thirty years of martial arts experience. He occasionally asked a trick question every now and then.

“Are you all feeling tired?”

“Yes sir!”, we naively responded the first time.

“Very good!”, he beamed, “Then give me ten more push-ups.”

krav maga hyderabad

Two hours later, it was time for the Practitioner Level 1 grading test. We were also the first batch of students being sent up by Ajit N, our instructor at the time. Big day for everyone!

The test started off with being made to demonstrate the various stances, straight kicks, punches and elbow strikes.

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We were then split up and made to execute Practitioner Level 1 techniques that included countering front chokes and ground chokes, tackling straight punches, and getting up from the ground to resume fighting stance.

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grading4

We lined up once the grading was done, with the anticipation of students waiting for a college admissions list to be put up.

Mr. Kapoor surveyed us with a stern eye before saying, “All of you have passed Level 1. But this is just the beginning. A lot of hard work and training lies ahead, so keep at it!”

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Our certificates eventually arrived, and IKMF Hyderabad was firmly on the map! A big thank you to Mr. Vicky Kapoor and AJit Nathaniel for getting us started on this amazing journey.

krav maga hyderabad

– Salil R

Xtreme Outdoors 2012 – When KMH Visited Songs of Earth

The first weekend of March 2012 was yet another chance to sleep late, watch a movie or two, or do nothing in general. Sixteen-odd KMHers however, had other ideas, and descended on Songs of Earth for a spot of outdoor training.

The swimming pool seemed to have more humans than water in it, and so we started off with the obstacle course instead. Here’s Vasu, our penalty push-up champion on the commando nets.

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Then we went bar-hopping, KMH Style!

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krav maga hyderabad

Notice the fine angle of the camera in the picture above, which makes it appear that KN is trying to scale a wall in a bid to enter a Lover’s Commune.

As dusk fell, the punching bags were brought out for a fantastic two-hour Krav Maga session under the stars.

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And then we used a carpool to go to dinner!

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Having eaten a hearty meal, our weary group settled down around a bonfire. Vasu tried to get his beauty sleep, but was carried out of the tent and deposited back in his chair. The josh built up during the course of the evening was still coursing through our veins because the aptly named Jolly, one of our group’s most jovial members, challenged us at 1,12 am, 1.30 am, 1.55 am, 2.47 am and finally 3 a.m, to do this…

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After a short nap, because that’s what it’s called when one sleeps from 3.00 am to 6.00 am, we were shaken out of our beds and kicked off our Sunday with a two-mile run. We wrapped up the outing with a quick game of touch rugby!

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The trip had come to an end. and It was time to return to reality, but not before we took this group snap for posterity!

outdoors 12

P.S – I take this opportunity to give out the Legen-dary Quote award:

“Yes sir, I’m almost there! I’ve just crossed the railway tracks!” – KN to sir, when asked if had reached Songs of Earth. He had in fact crossed it several miles ago!

– Salil R

Know Krav, No Fear

My attacker swung his knife at me. Instinctively, my left arm shot up in a block, while my right fist sped towards his face in a counterattack. Grabbing his attacking arm and hooking my right hand behind his neck, I pulled him forward and threw a series of knee kicks at his torso. His knife fell to the ground as he collapsed in a heap, and I turned towards the door to flee.

“Great job Ajit!” my instructor gushed, “But make sure to deliver the knee kicks as early as you can, so that he doesn’t have time to struggle.”

My training partner rose to his feet and picked up his rubber knife. “Let’s go again?”

krav maga

Welcome to a Krav Maga class!

Krav Maga is a system of self defence that originated in Israel in the 1950s. Hailed as the combat system used by the Israeli military and intelligence organizations, Krav Maga gives practitioners the skills to defend themselves against a variety of armed and bare-handed attacks, regardless of the size and strength of an opponent. This makes it perfect for women, and even children.

By design, the techniques are easy to learn and replicate under stress, as they are based on the human body’s natural responses. The system’s key principle is to maximise damage to an attacker while keeping oneself relatively unharmed, and to make an escape without a prolonged engagement.

Krav Maga is not a competitive sport, and has no rules. When you’re fighting for your life, you’re entitled to use all the tools at your disposal, so improvised weapons and vicious strikes like groin kicks and eye gouges appear in many techniques. These techniques can be performed well in street clothes, and perhaps even when the potential victim is impaired by illness or injury.

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Fitness Benefits  

Training sessions are intense, and through the use of bodyweight exercises and training drills, help build strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, and reflexes—crucial qualities for a martial artist.

Kravists can burn up to 1000 calories per session, making Krav Maga useful for weight management as part of a broader programme of diet and exercise. (Experts have found that that any short intense workout elevates the metabolic rate and helps burn more fat).

Working on the punching pads can be cathartic, and the ‘in control’ mindset that the system espouses can be a tremendous boost to self confidence.

krav maga hyderabad

Krav Maga is taught in a congenial and safe environment. Undue pressure, humiliation, and brutality are never a part of training, and questions are encouraged. Krav Maga came to India in 2003, and is represented by the International Krav Maga Federation (India) headed by Mr Vicky Kapoor.

Training in a martial art can be a life changing experience. It brings improved health, increased confidence, presence of mind, and a more favourable body image. Add to it the confidence that you have the means to protect yourself and those around you if ever required, and you have the makings of a very important life skill.

“Personal protection is not a choice, but a responsibility”, IKMF India’s Vicky Kapoor opines.

This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of B-Positive, a health and lifestyle magazine published by Apollo LIfe. The author, Ajit Nathaniel, was a Krav Maga instructor with IKMF Hyderabad, You can read more of his writing at www.nathaniel.in