Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4 Reasons I Train and Teach with the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF)

A fellow instructor recently asked me why I have been with the International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) since 2005.  It was a great question and I mulled over it for a day or two.  So after some thought, here are 4 main reasons I am with the IKMF.

1. Leadership
You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit. Harry S. Truman

One of my favourite business books, Good to Great by Jim Collins, explores what kind of leaders lead the most successful companies.  The research found, not surprisingly, that Level 5 leaders "embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious for sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves." (38)  I believe our IKMF chairman, Avi Moyal, embodies this leadership style.  Just as importantly, the people around him, including the Global and Expert Instructor Teams reflect this same mindset.  They believe in something bigger than themselves.  It is the larger goal of giving people the means to be safe (rather than personal ego) that drives the organization forward.

2. Global Instructor Team (GIT) and Expert Instructor Team (EIT)
Besides believing in Krav Maga and being dedicated to building a quality organization, members of these teams are extremely skilled, and are excellent instructors.  All of them continue honing their own technical and teaching skills set.  Every time we work with them we improve as practitioners and as instructors.

3. Innovation
With their collective knowledge and perpetual efforts to offer better self defense, the IKMF is very innovative.  Techniques, are changed or altered if they can offer more effective alternatives. Moreover, since they teach and travel the world, they always discover new situations that require adaptive solutions.  They are, pardon the pun, on the cutting edge of practical self defense.

4. A Focus on Teaching
Avi and the GIT/EIT know that even with formidable skills you need to be able to teach your students in a way that resonates with them.  As much as our sessions with the GIT and EIT spend time on technical proficiency, there is a substantial focus on how to better serve our students.

5.  Focus on Inclusiveness
The IKMF want everyone regardless of ages, fitness, disability etc to be able to protect themselves.  Over the years, I have seen Avi and others explain that if the technique does not work (for someone small against larger and stronger, for example), then we need to find something that does.

6. Local Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Team
Being good people and, I believe, being inspired by IKMF leadership, my colleagues in the GTA embody the IKMF mindset at a local level.  There is a sense of building something together, without as Harry Truman stated, minding who gets the credit.  They are a pleasure to work with. 

There are many more specific examples but these are my overriding reasons.  If you have other reasons feel free to add your comments!

Stay safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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