Krav Maga Touring and Training in Israel: The Institute Experience, Days 5, 6, 7 & 8
Apologies for the ‘radio silence’ we have been touring and training all around Israel, the days have been long and intense but very enjoyable and getting the time to sit down and write each blog and get it online has been challenging, we we’ve clubbed together to update you on the last few days as the event comes to a close.
Day 5 – By James Worker
Day 5 of the Touring and Training trip was packed full of action. We set off at 4:30am and climbed Mount Masada, beginning 200 metres below sea level and finishing 300 metres above sea level. The IKM UK Team led from the front and reached the summit in perfect time to watch the sun rise. Institute Director Jon Bullock arrived a few minutes later, conserving his energy 🙂 to teach an excellent gun threat defense session on top of the mountain. It was an amazing place to train, given that many battles have taken place in this region in the past, including an invasion by the Romans!
After a cable car journey back down and a huge breakfast, we set off for the Dead Sea. Our tour guide Avi suggested we should cover ourselves in mud from the sea bed, which is full of minerals, and let it dry in the sun before dipping into the water. It was a slightly surreal but enjoyable experience floating around on the surface of the sea.
Later in the day we had another training session with Jon, this time on defenses against knife attacks and chokes. The whole group have been training hard and getting along well on the touring part of the trip, there’s a real mix of personalities from around the world which is making it a really great experience.
Krav Maga Global hosted dinner at a local restaurant and the team made the most of the delicious food. We went for a late evening swim (and took a few turns on the water slide) before relaxing in another thermal spa and returning to the hotel for a well-earned rest. Cheers, James Worker – London Member
Day 6 – By Daniel Agoston
As every day a different person is writing about the T&T program, here goes a little about myself.
My name is Daniel Agoston, I’m from Brazil but I have been living in London for the past 7 years or so. I first came into contact (a little bit) with Krav Maga when I was serving my Country in the Brazilian Army, as it was one of the hand-to-hand combat styles they were teaching at the time. I have been a member of the Institute of Krav Maga UK since July 2012, and obviously everything I know about the system is thanks to IKM UK, the top quality instruction and the events like the MasterClasses. It was because of all of this, and the effort that the IKM team puts into to training the system, that really inspired me to carry on training. I have always had a passion for Israel and its history, so the next natural step would of course be to train with the source and also experience the culture. That is why I signed up for Touring and Training.
But that’s enough about me. Let’s crack on with day 6, which was a packed day full of…. you guessed! Touring and Training in Israel!
At 0900, we traveled to the Golan Heights. We learnt about the 6-day war in 1973 and the battle for the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria from Avi Weinstein our amazing tour guide! We visited a military bunker (deactivated, at least for now!), which looked over the Syrian border; while gaining an insight of how troops were positioned throughout the battle.
After the tour, we began the training session in front of the bunker, as usual! Jon Bullock (Expert Level 2) led us through an intense training session of defending against headlocks and self-defense with sticks. Back on the Krav Bus, and already en route to the Jordan River Valley for some mental training and relaxation… refreshing our-selves from the intense Israeli heat!
After some well deserved refreshment, more training ensued, courtesy of Jon B, training defense against multiple attackers and returning attackers armed with guns, knives and sticks. After a very intense day, we were taken to a Bedouin tent. It belonged to Zeehan and his lovely family, who warmly welcomed us. Mr. Zeehan told us about the Bedouin way of life and traditions. We were served with some traditional, and very delicious food and drink. He even played a! It was a really really great experience and I believe we all enjoyed it! We headed back to the hotel for some sleep after a day packed with action!
Shalom from Israel
Stay safe, Daniel
Day 7 – By John Vincent
To point out the high lights on this day requires a re cap of the antics of the night before
It can be confirmed that tequila tastes the same in Israel as it does in London, the same for vodka and it goes without saying that the local beer, Goldstar, is excellent also. So after confirming all the above and rolling into the hotel room at 3am I set my alarm for 6am.
This morning we conducted water training in a nearby swimming pool. This involved one of the simplest and yet effective moves in breaking the grip of an attacker grabbing hold of you. It may not be a dynamic move as that of Jason Bourne with the razzmatazz of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it was a relevant move breaking you away from the attack and as the saying goes ‘keep it simple stupid’.
We headed towards the Lebanon and Israeli border for another photo opportunity. Then bus training. The most important point about self defence on a bus is to have a strong grip on something. As when the bus brakes there’s only one direction you go in, it ain’t pretty and the driver doesn’t like a human pyramid dirtying the floor of his bus beside his seat.
We then headed to the crusader city of Akko. This was the last tour we had with our guide who then departed from us. Avi, our guide, was passionate about his country and held a wealth of knowledge he wished to impart to us all. An all round great bloke! We then finished our day in Haifa. Training in a pub…….A real pub…….A pub with several impressionable American tourist having a birthday party……. A pub with bar staff, with one certain individual from the tour, who shall remain nameless, actually buying pint of Guinness during training – for added realism obviously!
After training, Nithin from the Institute, who lost a dance off with Alex (An american participant on the course), was witnessed telling grossly exaggerated stories of his exploits in the field of Krav Maga to our American friends celebrating the birthday. He then offered to share his wisdom with Eyal’s daughter. She accepted this invitation with the graceful contempt that it deserved, and then let rip with a torrent of blows that could only be described by the American saying as, ‘she opened up a can of whoop ass.’ Much to everyone’s delight and amusement. Cheers, John.
Day 8 – By John Shepherd
My name is Jon shepherd and I’ve been keen to do Krav Maga for a while. I’m currently serving in the 3rd battalion the parachute regiment. I have recently represented my battalion in boxing and was a member of the team. We trained three times a day, five times a week, for the last 8 months.
I jumped at the opportunity to come on the tour and training in Israel and I have not been disappointed as I had high expectations and it exceeded them.
After last nights training session in a local bar, with locals watching while eating and drinking, which added realism. We learnt how to use common objects found in the bar and learnt how to take control of situations, while dealing with limitations such as restricted space using. The realism of the bar continued as a few drinks were swiftly countered!
Feeling a little worse for wear after a few too many and rolling in at 04.30, we were up to train a few hours later. The group went to a local park close to the hotel to train in stick defence which was really effective after a few repetitions. Once we got the basics, the group was split into two; with one half slow fighting before running the gauntlet of the other half of the group armed with sticks. Singularly, we manoeuvred through multiple opponents either thrusting the weapon or swinging it, using the techniques learnt earlier in the session to work your way through the on coming attackers. It gets you thinking and really puts what you’ve learnt to the test so when it comes to it it will actually be effective on the street.
The week has been action packed but has gone at a good steady pace. As I said we are on the way to tel aviv one of the best beaches in the world! We’ve had free time during the tour and train but today we have the rest of the day off to enjoy the beautiful Israeli weather.
Now I have the time, as soon as I get the opportunity when I return to the U.K I will be joining the Institute of Krav Maga UK and cannot wait. Thanks, hope to meet you all soon, John.