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20 EXPERTS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR KIDS CK BELT 7 World's Leading Magazine of Self-Defense ‘MUTANT X’ STAR GETS A CHARGE OUT OF ; TAEKWONDO 1 Ne) ‘ SECRET a dS aati 7\ Ro} 4 icant ae EN a aaa * U.S. Army’s Taekwondo Program eke inne vlielts Oa cel-\ee scr icol | Fighting VII Le Forthe past several months, the world has een exposed tan almost nightly fernage of disturbing images from the Middle East aac ores batling i out vith Palestinian gunmen, suiide bombers bowing themselves up i the mile tf Jewish crowds, and ahost of world leader who are powerless to stop the car nage, Jump on at and fly halfay around the world to the United States, and in between news reports you will stil find thet Israeli warriors are in the news. ‘Thousands of Americans are enrolling in schools that teach the Israeli martial arts of Kray Maga and hisardut, and even pop diva Jennifer Lopez stepped into the dojo to learn Krav Maga for her feature film Enough. Are the fighting arts of Israel justa passing fad, or wll they revolutionize the ‘way we train? This article will attempt to answer that question by examining the orgins ofthe Israeli martial arts and taking an in-depth look tthe systems now ‘boing taught there. Note: The techniques shown in the photos which were taken inside ISRA when two Israeli Special Forces soldiers recently visited the Black Bele studio, have never been seen outside their nation’s military training camps. The History Prior to 1948, the state of Israel did not exist. The last time the world heard anything about Israel was in A.D. 70 when Roman legions under Gen. Titus bru- ly nzushed a Jewish revolt ipered the majariy ofthe Jewish popalation throughout the Roman Empire and renamed the nation Palestina (the Latin word fic lsreTs ancient enemy, Philistine). Tey, that land is the Gaza sip and Tel Aviv area. Although Jews have lived in the Holy Land for the past 1,932 years, they haw: Seen ander constant subjugation by foreign powers: the Byzantines, the Arabs the Crusaders, again the Abe andthe Ottomans (r Turks), The Otioman En ‘ire (1300-1918) ruled over both the indigenous Jews and the Arabs in the re- fon wnt its defeat in World War | and the implementation ofthe British Man ate of 1919. The same yea, the Jews formed an underground army known as ‘the Haganah (Hebrew for “defense") to deal with the ongoing conflict with Arab gangs and in anticipation of the creation of a Jewish state promised to them by. ‘the British in the Balfour Declaration. Yet despite the popularity of the Zionist movement and increased Jewish immigration, statehood was slow inthe mak ing Instead, the clonal powers allowed the local police to form an ete unit called the Notrim (guards) to defend isolated Jewish agricultural settlements The Martial Arts of the World's Most Highly Trained Fighters by Jim Wagner and Maj. Avi Nardia oor wenanow /s13@¥0E {sh fighters and formed the first oficial Israeli Special Forces unit on May 14, 1941, Teas known as Palimach, a He- brew acronym for Plugot Machatz, ‘which means “strike platoon” ‘The original number of personnel sanetioned for Pal'mach training under British supervision was 1,000, but the ‘aganah overstepped its bounds and trained roughly 3,000 men in prepa~ ration for a future Jewish army to be ‘used after the war ‘The training thatthe Pamach com= ‘mandos recived was called kapap, an acronym for krav panim Ipanim, or andthe Balkans. When the war ended, ‘odd Jewish-Dritsh cooperation. The Jews expected the Brits tool up their fend ofthe bargain with respect toa Seve homeland When twas appar tentthat the deal would not go through, the Pal'mach used guerilla tacts against British military and police i Sallations. There were aso terrorist stacks cated out by the Jewish-ron Stem Gang and Ingun, but they were strongly condemned bythe Hagan "The newy formed United Nations ‘new it was only a mater of time be- fore an all-out war between the Jews Kote ‘otonse: Won the defender faces an armed attacker, he keeps hs hands high and {urs his body sat sideways (1. He thon ues is fad band to gra the Stoove ofthe attacker's wespen hand Nov, tho defender pulls the rie Dond tons shoulder and locks in poe 3 He finignos with sre to the face (8) finda knee to the ribs. Cese-Up oF {he knitesmebiizing lock dence, the Israelis managed to not only survive, butals to form one ofthe most respected militaries in the world. Jn 1949 the Pal'mach was disbanded because of political considerations, but {in 1953 the IDF created an elite force Tknoven as Unit 101 Commanded by “The original concept of Krav Maga was to Maj. Ariel Sharon, the current prime absorb any martial art that was useful by taking ninisteroftsrec,it its most effective techniques and teaching wea one them quickly and efficiently.” “face-to-face combat” Kapap was not one stem, but a misture of rigorous ‘physical conditioning, firearms and plosives training, radio communica tions, survival training, frst aid and foreign-language courses. The empty- hhand combat training was a combina tion of Wester fighting systems such asboxing, Greco-Roman wrestling and standard British military knife and ba ton training. At the time, there was no single word or term used forthe slf- defense techniques in the program; ‘apap was an all-inclusive name “The Pal'mach’s three combat bri- zades assisted the British in a variety ‘of missions in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Arabs broke out when the British ‘cated, sit ried to intervene by par- tioning the region: a Jewish state on the west side ofthe Jordan River and an Arab state onthe east side (today’s Jordan). When the British lowered the ‘Union Jack and lef the region, the Jews ‘eclared their independence on May 4, 1948. Hours later, the forces of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Haypt, Syria and the Palestinians attacked the newborn tion of srl, The unofiial-turmed-le- aitimate Haganah faced its greatest challenge and was officially renamed the Teava Haganah Le Visrae (literally, “army defense to Israel” or Israeli De- fense Forces). In theit war of indepen filtrating enemy Tines and launching raids. Since the unit ‘was closely mod- led after Palimach, its hand-to-hand combat training continued to be re- {ered to as hapa. “Raving achieved great success in its six months of existence, the unit’ role expanded and it was merged into the 90th Paratroopers and redesignated Unit 202, In 1957 an ultra-secret unit named Sayeret Mat kal (Unit 216) was formed by intelligence officer Avraham Aran, ‘who closely modeled tater the British SAS. In the 1970s, the unit gained ‘worldwide fame after a series of spec- tacular counter-terorst operations, the most famous of which was Operation ‘Thunderball on July3-, 1976 (known against marauding Arabs and to quell "aca rots in the urban centers. Although the Notrim was successful at protecting the small outposts, twas, not as effective in handling the deadly riots or pursuing the enemy behind his ‘own lines. A Haganah officer named Yaak ade, who considered the father oh rach Spec Fores dest he ples nits fandom new army united the Nodedt andere). hen Weld War roght Beit ih rns nce gun into gal flict, the need fora reliable supply of oil was deemed paramount. However, the flow was threatened by German troops advancing eastward in North Africa and by many Arab tribes openly Siding with the Nazis. Reluctant at fis, the British turned once again to Jew- a be fete the weapon ‘2gainst his back, tho ‘etondor looks aver his ‘Shoulder to assons the threat (1). He pivots his lott and saps tho weapon Phan with hilt hone Before ocking the arm ‘th hi ight hand 2) He Minishos the lock and steps forward to brook the attacker's balance ‘Naxt, the defender grabs Torces his head backward (Aer staryming hin Into the ground be strips ‘the gun from his hand (). a the United States as the Raid on Entebbe). Init, Israeli operators flew intothe African nation of Uganda and Tescued 103 hostages who had been Ihjacked by German and Palestinian terrorists. Building upon the successes of Unit 101, Unit 202, Sayeret Mat’kal and other elite commando teams, the Israe- liscreated many other specialized units to deal with the ongoing state of war: the Navy's Ha’Kommando Ha’Yami (SEALs), Mitsta‘aravim (a unit dis- Jguised as Arabs), Sayeret Tranhanim (Airborne), Sayeret Golani (Mountain ‘Warfare Unit, Sayeret Egoz (Special Forees), YAMAM (a paramilitary-po- lice counter-terrorist unit) and soon. In the IDF, the Special Forces units ‘had a monopoly on the martial arts training. Kapap became known as Tochama zehira ("miero-fighting” or “miero-combat" in the 1970s. The sys- tem included a variety of military sills, aswellashand-to-hand combat. How- ever, with Israel being under attack by fone Arab neighbor after another, regu Jarunitsalso needed somesort of hand~ te-hand training. What they got was a basic no-nonsense system. Birth of Krav Maga “To prepare soldiers for combat and to instill a warior spr in the 19808 the IDF crested a bootcamp-syle hand-to-hand program called Krav “Maga (krav means “combat” or “fight,” and maga means “ouch” or contact) The Isr Specil Fores continved to refer to their own brand of fighting techniques as kapap or lochama zehira to distinguish it from Krav Maga. Tnjatsuand judo were the ist Asian martial arts introduced into the IDE by apap instructors Moni Aizik and Imi Lichtenfeld. Then in the 1970s, the lex- endary Dennis Hanover, along with ‘other Special Fores instructors such as Lt. Col. Chaim Pe'er, helped lay the oundation for today’s Krav Maga. In the 1980s, a Jewish-Frenchman named André Zeitun introduced muay Thaito ‘the military, and that influenced many ofthe kicks used in the system today. Kray Maga isa well-rounded hybrid system which encourages stidents tobe aggressive and decisive in conflict. It includes hard-hitting hand and elbow strikes, Thai-style knee strikes, low kicks, grappling, knife defense, gun and rifle takeaways, and lot of physical con- ditioning. The original concept of Kray ‘Maga wasto absorb any martial art that ‘was useful by taking its most effective techniques and teeching them quickly and efficiently, Krav Maga Offshoots In the late 19805, Krav Maga vas also being taught tothe Israel public. Sine almost everyone in that society snvoittheribatyceatot apooe: Iation had been exposed to it anyway. Th fact the name ofthe art became s0 ‘common that it was used as loosely in Ineel exthe word ‘laste fe west ‘America Variations sprang up every where. By the 1990s, everbody was ‘aiming tobe a Krav Maga master or 2 10th degree black belt. ‘Some ofthe orginal instructors of Key Maga~men ie Dennis Hanover Se eotel ts et peek ces thattheir Krav Maga asthe‘ tre ver= sion taught to elite units” that they dropped the ter Kev Maga from their ocbulry gether Hater ended tp ealling his art hisardt (meaning survival") and taught Special Forces units under this new name, Masetey seer ye be cate and Yaron asoinstructed cians une derthe ene aytem name. One oftheir seatest claims to fame vas having taught at the prestigious Isact Mil tary Counter-Terroist School (Loch ims Bolero) With so many peopl ying aim to the Krav Mage sytem, many veteran instructors fa ned to regulate what was and was not, pure Krav Maga. Sev tral organizations stepped up tothe Plate: the Kray Mage Assocation, Keay Maga Federation, Krav Maga Union, Tare Krav Maga, International Krav Maga Federation, Krav Magen (run by the famous instructor El Avia) and Soon few years ago, the Wingate In betta respected lee ports orga ‘ration, claimed to have the excusve Fights to Krav Maga for licensing and curriculum purposes. Although it was recently defeated in cour, the organi 2ation is appealing tothe IraliSi- rete Cout Many inthe altar com- ‘munity are outraged at the Institute's empt toga contol ofthe name. hecommerdlation of Krav Maga and hisardt in nal there has eon a movement away from using these terms altogether Many lite mili- tary une sll refer to their hand-to- hand combat as kapap, buta new aco- nym has also made its way to the Counter-.rrorism community: lotar (Gerived ffom the counterterrorism ‘school Lochama Be'Terror). All kapap/ Jota instructors ae Krav Maga insta: tors inthe military, but not all Krav Maga instructors are kapep/otar ine Mnictors, Many teachers now call themselves madrch china meaning “combat instructor), en the Israel police re switching; hey now al hit defensive ates haganah ait Ta adion tothe fighting sl of Krav Maga, kapap/lotar includes ter rorist-takedow techniques, assassina~ tion techniques, pressure-point meth- fds and anew component called “boil- ing” which refers to physical and psychological pressure {raining designed tohelp students deal with combat stress. One fits exercises tna a student being circled by 10 to 20, fellow students who slowly close in on him, The center student mast overcome any claustrophobic feelings and keep fighting unit he ean no longer move Israeli Arts in the USA ‘So ate the martial arts that are taught in the United States genuine I= ‘eli military-based systems or not? Tt depends on who is teaching. ‘The organizations that we can vouch for are Kray Maga, headed by Darren Levine, and Dennis Hisardut, run by Alon Stivi Both are based in Southern California. Levine iseredited with having raised Kray Maga to the level of popularity it now enjoys in America. He is an out- standinginstructor. Ifyou everhavethe change to train with him, you will be ‘motivated by his energy and straight forward approach to street survival ‘The techniques he teaches are practi cal, hard-hitting and reality-based. Dennis Hisardats Alon Sti isa man who teaches his eraft based on hard- tamed experience. A former Israel paratrooper and master sergeant, he fought in the Israel-Lebanon War (1982) and has had some hair-raising missions. He is also an expert on cor porate security and terrorism aware- ‘ess and soften featured in magazines and on TV. Siva superb athlete, and anyone who trains under him cannot helpbut get inshapebecause he always adds a healthy dose of Israeli military calisthenics and drills to his fighting techniques. Dennis Hisardut of America, sanc- tioned by Dennis Hanover himself, s ‘much smaller in scope than Kray Maga is, but the quality of instruction is just as good. ‘The only organization authorized by the Israeli government to teach apap, in the United State is HSS Interna- tional. To enrol in a course, you must beinlaw enforcement, corrections, pro- bation or the military * About the authors: Jim Wagner is a law-enforcement officer and defensive. tactics expert who has served as a guest instructor ofthe lrael goverament. He thas rained in Kraw Maga, hisardut and apap. Avi Nardia isa major in the IDF Resercs. He is a defensive tactics in ‘ruetor for apap, lotar and Krav Maga.