Since we announced the 21 challenage, many of you got on board! I am really excited to have the prize for those who complete it, but I’m also excited to see the changes in you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I hope you have gotten the chance to try new teachers and classes, or have forced yourself to carve out “me time” for well-needed self-care. If you haven’t started, it’s not too late to catch up and join the party. 

In the end, if you try your best, you are already a winner. Life is better when we feel challenged, and rising to achieve a goal is a great way to motivate yourself through the hard times. The last weeks have been incredibly stressful. Seeing the protests over the brutal murder of George Floyd, as well as dealing with the misery of Covid-19 isolation has been brutal on all of us.  I also want to say I’m proud of each and every student who spoke out in favor of civil rights. 

As told to us by Grandmaster Imi himself, our statement of principles is: 

  • To educate and build people mentally, spiritually, and physically, so that in a time of need one will be able to defend and attack with maximum speed and efficiency. 
  • To establish in one a sense of self-worth 
  • To work towards the bringing together of hearts and ending violence around the world between all peoples, irrespective of color, race, or religion. 

This is our duty, but it is very hard when the world feels so stressed. The stress has been getting to many people, and it feels like everything is falling apart around us. According to a study by the University of Connecticut,  97% of those polled have been feeling high levels of stress.  

The pain and suffering feel so sharp, you can taste and feel it. I’ve seen the social media of students, expressing their pain and it really makes me sad that we can’t be on the mat together so we could just benefit from being in each other’s presence. 

    That is the one thing that makes things especially hard is that we are so isolated from our friends. When we had bad days, we could go out to lunch, or go to a museum or a music concert. We could do things together and have a sense of companionship. We could do lots of burpees and frogs and canoe and reverse evolution and be so grateful that we wanted to do more. 

    So many of us are facing a problem we don’t often talk about. We are feeling alone. Although this seems like a “small” problem, it’s actually very serious. Loneliness is as deadly as smoking for our bodies. Being alone hurts our immune system and increases inflammation in our bodies, which leads to arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and depression. 

    Because of Covid-19, many are unable to see their families and loved ones. Birthdays and special occasions are squashed into Zoom calls and social media and telephones, and even those of us who are stand-offish might just want a hug right now. 

    What’s just as hard for us is when it’s our friends who are suffering and we can’t run over to be with them. All we want to do is drag them out of their apartment to have a fun night out to take their mind off their problems, but instead, we have to remain far away. Nothing can replace being physically close to those you care about. 

    Whether it is us who is feeling lonely or someone we love, I really advise having an adventure together online. Sign them up for a Zoom class, and it feels a bit like you’re doing the class together. You can laugh at your mistakes and cheer each other on.  After class, you can talk about what you learned and feel like in some way, you were together. 

    It’s the gift of self-esteem and self-protection. It’s the promise that someday, we’ll be back out in the world and I want you to be able to walk in peace when we have more incredible adventures together. Yes, it’s not the same as being in class together in person. In life, there is good and there is better. Normally, I say always look for better, but sometimes, good is good enough. 

    I want to announce a ten-week series, where I’ll be re-introducing a series of videos Krav Maga Experts did. Not only can you see the videos themselves, but I am going to break down the steps even further and make suggestions for you on how you can improve on the individual steps. We’ll be starting with arm grabs next week, one of the most common attacks and one that has a spectrum of responses to consider. 

    I am hoping by breaking it down, you can use it to make your online Krav Maga classes much more efficient and do some self-study so that you can return to the mats someday soon, even better than before. The harder you work now, the better the future will be. 

Take this time for yourself. Eat well, have enough sleep, call loved ones, and take some socially distanced time in nature. Make sure to laugh as often as you can, and make sure that you still take time in class to kick some butt. 

When training, you can just let your mind go blank of all its problems and focus instead on how awesome the class (and the Krav Maga teacher) is. You will find that despite the long time away from the mat, you will be able to look at yourself and say “I’m so good at Krav Maga.” And it’s even better if you can share it with a friend. 

    I want to end with a message I have been given a lot. I’m proud of you all. Every time you show up for class, every time you are making good choices, you are proving to me that I have been a good teacher to you all and helped you see how strong and capable you really are.