Q&A Abir Qesheth - Question 7
Question: How effective is Abir Qesheth in a real fight?
Answer: The reality is that fighting techniques are inanimate objects. Techniques are often ideas created by people that rely solely on the one performing them for their effectiveness. Take any fighting technique which is considered effective by various members of the martial arts world and you will find practitioners who cannot adequately perform the techniques to save their lives, protect themselves from harm, or to win a match. (Take the name of any martial art and add the word fail to the end of it and you will find numerous videos of both average and less than average students failing to perform techniques.)
The other reality is that virtually all videos made by the leaders of many systems, as a means of advertising their systems, are choreographed to present the best of their system in ideal situations. Many of the moves one finds in these videos are not performed as smoothly when in a real-world conflict and even some of them are unrecognizable when one is in the heat of battle. Further, many of the techniques presented in those type of videos are performed by people who are masters and have spent years practicing them vs. the average person who may only train for a few hours a week.
As Dr. Jerry Beasley describes it in his article in his 2013 Black Belt Magazine article:
"Ultimately, it’s not the art that’s important; it’s the individual. It’s not the technique that makes the difference; it’s the delivery."
There are those who, of course, will argue the above point and the source of it but it must be openly stated that there are some people, throughout history, who have successfully defended their lives with no martial arts training what so ever. In some cases, there are those who survived by sheer force of will and not giving up.
Since the historical emphasis of Abir Qesheth has always been to provide methods for the average Torath Mosheh focused Jews/Israelis in either avoiding or surviving conflict its success or effectiveness is only measured by the practitioners ability to do either of the two.
For example, there have been those who have criticized Abir Qesheth's use of the Hebrew letters in the Hebrew language without ever understanding why it is even done. The response to that critique is simple when one turns it to a Jew/Israeli who trains in Abir. In order for the average Jew/Israeli to master a set of techniques as quickly as possible it is best that these techniques be easy to perform based on both mental and muscle memory. Generations ago it was discovered that using the letters of the Hebrew language to teach "basic" striking, blocking, and kicking techniques was a fast and easy/quick method to transmit information to any level of practitioner, young or old, since the letters of the Hebrew language already is already known to them. Further, ancient Hebrew language sources have always conveyed meanings to each letter thus, an Abir practitioner already has the background cutting the train time down and giving an easier learning curve to master the "basics."
Many of our critics are also not experts in surviving middle eastern terrorist attacks and cannot speak to their own personal combat experience in areas such as Ramallah, Gaza, Hevron, or East Jerusalem. Often they cannot reference their history of saving Jewish lives from pogroms or their extensive experience training Jewish youth in combat from a Torath Mosheh perspective. This experience is a baseline requirement in this part of the world.
It must also be noted that some of our critics make claim against some of our techniques not realizing that there are even experts in the martial arts world who promote similar tactics for similar reasons. Here area few examples:
Testing the power of an open-hand/slap vs. punches. HERE
Bas Rutten's palm strike KO technique. HERE
See the section called "Additional Offensive Techniques & Targets". HERE
As an aside to these points, in this video HERE you will see a fight between a security guard, with obvious martial arts training, fighting a potential suspect, with no obvious martial arts experience. In the video you will notice all of the techniques used by the security guard (such as closed fist punches, knees, and kicks) never put a halt to the suspect. Further, depending on what angle one wants to take it appears that the security guard may have been the one to instigate the actual fist fight.
Imagine how different this scenario would have been if the guard had tried a) simply calling the police and letting them handle it, b) using verbal skills to avoid the conflict, c) using techniques to "quickly" restrain the suspect rather than brawl with him. It must also be noticed the man the security guard fought was later releaesed by the police with no charges filed. In short, was all of that effort worth it if that was the end result? Did his training in away contribute to his choice to engage in such an unnecessary display of force?
Now, compare that incident with the following incident HERE from Turkey where a man is able to single handily and quickly end a conflict where he is persued by numerous attackers using limited, but precise, strikes and movement which quickly takes down his attackers and quickly ends the conflict. Off hand, one cannot say without doubt what fighting background the man has without knowing his personal history. His techniques don't bear a clear identifier to any particular style of fighting and could have been learned from either practice with family members, actually take part in a fighting system, or military experience. Further, it is obvious that he has some experience with situational awareness since even w/o looking he never backs himself in a bad position and he is able to take down several of his attackers with single well-placed strikes.
Further to this point, see the following video HERE of a store owner defending himself from suprise-ambush attack from a machete wielding attacker. The store-owner defends himself and overcomes his attacker with similar techniques to those presented in one of our videos on this site. The store owner's experience is not readily written on the wall but irregardless he used what was available to him to survive and overcome his attacker.
Lastly, in this situation HERE a convience store customer use a slap kick to successfully disarm a knife-wielding robber.
So which is better? The least amount of technique which puts down the attacker quickly or lots of flash: punches, kicks, etc. that do not end the fight? Also, note that even a simple punch to someone's jaw has the ability to shatter, or cause breaks, in the bones of one's hands. This event could be a very dangerous situation to be in for a self defender.
This then brings us to the point of what does a Torah based Jew consider the definition of "effective fighting techninques?" That can easily summarized as:
A system taught in an environment where Torah and Halakha are taught and put into practice.
A system that teaches how to avoid conflict when possible.
A system that teaches how to either escape or survive conflict with the least amount of personal injury.
A system that teaches the reality of protecting others and working together to confront terrorist attacks.
A system that teaches how to deal with the aftermath of conflict including the emotional and legal aspects.
Since the founding of the modern Abir Qesheth school our students have been a mix of both Jews with extensive experience in various diverse wrestling and striking fighting systems as well as Jews who have no experience in fighting systems at all. Also, given the fact that Israeli men perform, at the least, 3 years of compulsorily military service the majority of our students have some background in military combat. The effectiveness of Abir, like with anything one trains in, rests in the hands of the student and his ability to learn from both their successes and their failures. For the Jew/Israeli who trains for the various possibilities Abir Qesheth is extremely effective, especially when they do so with Torath Mosheh as their focus. Given that the Jewish people have thousands of years of experience at survival our success rate speaks for itself.
In the modern era a number of Abir students have been able to survive attacks using the training received in Abir Qesheth classes. Some of these men have been Israeli soldiers who were attacked in various locations and they attributed their survival on the lessons learns and the techinuqes of Abir Qesheth.
Lastly, it would be silly of us to provide our full system on the internet to those who are already searching for ways to hurt Jews/Israelis both in Israel and abroad. The reality is that there is no magic formula to winning a physical conflict and surviving to return home to one's family. There are no magic death blows, chi movements, katas, or mystical insight to protecting the lives of one's community. Effective combat training involves hard work, awareness, intelligence, and the ability to conquer one's fears. For a Jew who keeps Torath Mosheh - Abir has the tools to help one improve and strengthen all of these.