What is in a name? Confusing the client about krav maga

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Remi Lessore, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    A few years ago, when I began teaching krav maga, I found that a lot of people were being taken in by something called: Commando Krav Maga. I posted this comment on another site:
    "Why does Moni Aizik call his style Commando Krav Maga?
    He claims that in combat situations ordinary KM was not as effective as his competitive judo, he therefore had to create his own style of Commando Krav Maga. It makes sense that under stress he should revert to judo – he was a judo champion. All his reflexes were conditioned by his judo training and the brief Krav Maga training that soldiers receive could not recondition these reflexes. Nor should it – judo is an effective close quarter art as well as being a sport – so too are Western and Thai boxing.
    Without detracting from Mr Aizik’s no-doubt deserved reputation as a fighter, what he does is no more Israeli Krav Maga than karate, kung fu, or taekwondo.
    OK, in the literal sense krav maga does mean ‘close combat’, so Moni Aizik claims justification naming his style. But, all of the above arts are forms of close combat (krav maga) … Then again, all are ‘empty hand’ (kara te), all require ‘hard work’ (kung fu), all are ‘ways of fist and foot’ (tae kwon do). We follow the convention of respecting names to avoid confusion between quite different arts.

    So, why would Mr Aizik promote this confusion?

    Krav maga is based on security, simplicity, ease of learning, and speed of execution along the shortest line.
    What Moni Aizik does is clearly based on his judo/jujitsu. Out of respect both for these and for krav maga, he should choose some other name for his style - perhaps Commando Judo … or even Israeli Jujitsu if he wants to honour his roots along the lines of Brazilian Jujitsu?"

    Since I posted that it has been discovered that the founder was a PTI and not an unarmed combat instructor, nor even a commando. (I stand to be corrected if anyone has more up to date information).

    shows an intelligent article by Stuart McGill demonstrating that the CKM claims are nonsense.

    However, Stuart himself has, with others, founded his own system called Urban Krav Maga. He has enough integrity to say: "We do not make any claims that our techniques are used by any military organisation. We're happy for them to be judged on their merits, not assumed to be good because of their supposedly being taught to a regular army or Special Forces Unit. "
    My problem is that he keeps the Hebrew name of Krav Maga, meaning close fighting - implying some sort of Israeli root which will confuse those who know no better.
    He seems justify this use by saying:
    "Combined the best elements of the systems referred to above [Krav Maga: Karate; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Traditional Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Boxing, Muay Thai, Tae Kwan Do and MMA.] with the Israeli mentality of "this is the problem - what is the solution?" as opposed to the more abstract, indirect approach of many traditional arts."

    But I would submit that practicality is something most of us seek. I do not think it is enough reason to give a discipline an Israeli label nor that that label carries much meaning.

    Without initially wishing to comment on the technical aspects and probable efficiency (or not) of UKM in this thread, I would invite MAPpers to consider these videos of KM and compare them with videos of UKM (why are all the comments disabled on Youtube?).
    I would then ask why would you call something by a name that is generally used to describe something very different?
    So for example, to compare like with like, consider knife defences in two instructional videos, one KM the other UKM:
    For KM look at time mark 32:04 (This video is long, so make sure you start at the right time mark.) in [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNwpk41Q6R4"]YouTube[/ame].

    For UKM look at [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdKKYtLmIsg"]Urban Krav Maga - Defence against Oriental-style knife stab - YouTube[/ame] . (On time mark 0:19 he actually denigrates the beginning of the real KM drill without having understood it.)
    Again, my question is not which defence do you prefer, but why would someone teaching things so apparently at odds with KM, give their system that name?

    For a UKM gun defence, see: [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4S-7gH6xqI"]Urban Krav Maga disarming gun threat to head - YouTube[/ame]
    You will see that the technique is completely different, look at time mark: 2:26 on [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z3YAFm8hVI"]Krav Maga Aragón FEKM-Richard Douieb. Sección España. Diego Mínguez. - YouTube[/ame]
    For what it's worth, I actually quite like the UKM defence which seems workable, but the two bear no resemblance.

    I do not hide that part of my gripe is commercial. All credit to UKM's internet investment. But I study and teach a discipline that is what it says on the tin and I accept competition from others that offer a similar product under the same name. Then we all have to see who offers the best location, standards, prices, teaching, etc. But UKM is no more krav maga than Wing Chun is western boxing, or judo is catch wrestling. Imagine looking for a ninjitsu class and finding a dojo full of karateka dressed in black gis; or a western boxing club calling itself British Kung Fu and dressing everyone in Shaolin robes. If you did not know what you were looking for, you might be taken in.
    It does irk me to have to compete with people who use the same name, and thereby benefit from the general notoriety of the discipline, and then offer something very different.
    Why not call their style Urban Close Combat, or Street somethingorother Jitsu? At least the uninitiated would not Google Krav Maga in South London, looking for a class and be bombarded with ads and links to a system that is not what they set out to learn.

    Perhaps some UKMers would like to comment.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter


    We don't allow masked profanity on MAP. I've edited that out. But you raise some good points here about naming conventions and marketing creating confusion. I'll be interested to see where it goes.
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I've noticed quite a few clubs in my area that use MMA in their search terms or in the club advertsing without really being associated with or competing in MMA.
    Same sort of deal I assume but using KM instead. Using terms and words that are in vogue to draw people in
    People often need a "label" or "hook" in order to be insterested in something.
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Yep. That's why I can sympathize with Remi's post. I don't think it's appropriate to use the term "MMA" unless you're training using that methodology for that format. I don't think you necessarily have to compete to call it MMA. But I also don't think that you can legitimate cashing in on the name simply because you happen to be using elements from two or more styles (literally mixing them).

    Terms take on specific meaning through use. And, after a fashion, the only reason to use a particular term is to plug into those associations, whether rightly or no.

    Also, I'd like to take the words "tactical" and "extreme" off the table as well. ;)
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I'm willing to bet the house that this has everything to do with money.
  6. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Good luck finding someone to take that bet. No question about it, I'm afraid. ;)
  7. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    Apologies. I stand corrected.
  8. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    No worries. It's fixed. And you raise a good point.
  9. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    ... and did you find that video, Chadderz?
  10. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

  11. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Sorry man, I didn't check that thread in a few days. I'll try and find it over the weekend and pm it to you? :)
  12. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    No, I figured it out. And tried to delete my response to alleviate confusion.

    Worked like a charm. ;)
  13. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Well, there goes my 'X-Treme Tactical Capoeira!' DVD series, then. :(
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Tell you what. If the featured capoeiristas are wearing BDU pants, then you can call it tactical. I've said it once. I'll say it again. Side pockets are crazy tactical.
  15. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Just wait till I unleash the fury of my Tactical Extreme Appalachian Combat Clog Dancing Do Te !!
  16. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter


    So Remi, what would you say is required to properly use the term "krav maga"?

    Direct lineage to Imi... I'm so confident I'm going to mess up the last name that I'm just going to leave it alone. Hell, I probably screwed up the first name already?

    Experience in the IDF?

    Certification with one organization or another?
  17. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    Is Urban Krav Maga really Krav Maga?

    No, I don't think these things are essential, although they would be an indication.
    In fact UKM do have a lineage to Imi Lichtenfeld. Stuart McGill was trained by Eyal Yanilov and Yanilov was trained by Imi. My problem is that he no longer teaches what he was taught, if the videos are anything to go by, yet continues to cash in on the name.

    To answer your question...
    I'm not sure. But there is a point at which one thing is no longer another.
    WTF Taekwondo is like Shotokan karate, it has been described as Korean Karate, but it wants to be sufficiently different that it calls itself by another name.
    I know that there are nationalistic reasons for this, but the reasons are also technical.

    Kapap is very different from KM and is honest enough to use a different name (though the lineage seems to me a bit suspect).

    The Gracies adapted and perfected Japanese JJ, but what they do is close enough to the original principles to continue honouring their source.
    If they had abandoned what JJ had given them, they would have been honest enough to use a different label.

    Should a club that separately teaches MT and wrestling advertise itself as Mixed Martial Arts?
    They might argue that they are being literally truthful, but unless you know how to flow striking into grappling, unless you have an understanding of MMA's strategies, etc. then you mislead people by pretending that this is what you will give them.

    I would say that to use the KM label a discipline has to
    1. have originated with Israeli close combat and
    2. continue to abide by the principles (as kapap and Urban krav maga do not, as a first priority)
    Speed, Simplicity, Efficiency, Control.

    There are not many takers for this thread, are there? I thought that some UKMers would step up to explain what they do.
    Perhaps we could change the name to:
    Is Urban Krav Maga really Krav Maga?
    I do not think they will answer for the same reason, I suspect, as comments are disabled on the Youtube videos.
    Sales are more important than technique.
    Perhaps I'm wrong.
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Did you have cause to think we've actually GOT any UKM folks here? I'm just curious.
  19. Remi Lessore

    Remi Lessore Valued Member

    UKM members

    Only insofar as they advertise on this site. Whenever krav maga comes up in ad choices they seem to be there.
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Ah! I'm not positive about this, but I think that's automatic and doesn't really have anything to do with membership here.

Share This Page