Q&A Abir Qesheth - Question 8
Question: Are your videos full representations of what Abir "training" and "techniques" have to offer?
Answer: In short, none of the videos released on our site or on the internet represent the full Abir system or even "exactly" what can be done in every scenario. Our videos only give one instance of how a particular set movement works. They are not how one should handle every realistic armed or unarmed attack.
Also, one must remember that contrary to popular belief not all weaponized or unarmed attackers are trained or skilled; many of them are not. For example, some of the worst knife attacks are performed by minimally skilled individuals who keep it very simple: attack from ambush, stab-slash, and run. Other knife attackers have the plan of stab as many times as possible no matter what the outcome is. Some of these skills are learned on-line from terrorist web-sites that promote simple "how to pull off a deadly attack" proceedure. Others try to maximize the casualties by running and randomly stabbing, shooting, or car ramming any one who is in their path.
The advantage that the attacker has over the self-defender, no matter how shilled and even if the self-defender has a gun, is that they [the attacker] know when they will attack and how. The attacker also may have already decided that he/she does not care what it costs them personally to perform their attack. The self-defender has no knowledge of when or how this will happen and thus [the self defender] is "always" at the disadvange is this situation. Further, there are those who will make you beleive their are mechanics or methods to a knife attack, based on the above realities this is not always the case.
Before one can understand some of the concepts that Abir students are taught one must first see a few real life examples of attacks that have taken place here in Israel.
So this begs the question of what options do Abir students train for and how. Abir methods can be summed by following:
Being aware of one's surroundings and assessing potential threats.
Never let yourself get cornered in a closed off space.
Always be prepared with an exit strategy. (Know how to exit a location)
Always maintain distance from potential dangers.
Be aware of the correct methods and stop-gap measures to maximize your ability to receive proper medical attention as quickly as possible.
Train your weakness. (Striking, ground game, etc.)
Always try to escape first and fight as a last resort.
If possible fight with any and every object at your disposal. (Objects that provide distance from the attacker)
If you have no choice but to fight apply the right amount of force to the particular situation. (Heavy force tactics can actually cause you dangerous amounts of injury. For example, closed fist punches can actually break the bones in your hand and this kind of injury can hinder your ability to fight back.)
Fight just enough to provide the ability to escape.
Be prepared that any moment could potentially be your last; (קריאת שמע)!
Even with all of the preparations and skill building there are a dangers having to get to close to an attacker here in Israel or anywhere in the world. Some of them don't only carry knives; some of them also carry explosives on their bodies. So a light armed attack can be a tool to draw someone close, get damage, and as more people step in - boom.
Yet, there are other situations where the self-defender may be required to close the distance, clinch-punch-knee, and not allow the attacker the space to rearm or reprep their attack at maximum force. In other situations the self-defender may have to be precise in targeting a strike that may disorientate or unbalance the attacker. In reality, the attacker does not care what techniques the self-defender can or cannot perform. The attacker does not care if the self-defender is tired or didn't show up to class on the day where certain techniques were taught. In most situations the attack is not fair and the self-defender must deal with this reality.
Speaking plainly, no video can instruct someone on how to make these choices in the heat of the moment. Even with all of the training in the world a self-defender may not be ready to make a split-second decision at every turn. Thus, stance, balence, and other keystones of any type of training may go out the window when survival is the first order of business.
Thus, the videos on our web-site, for example, are not meant to be the start to finish process for handling every attacker. (Our videos are further not instructionals - many of them are snapshots from classes where basics are being learned.) Not all attackers are the same, not all altercations are the same, and not every method is relevant to every situation. Only training for as many possibilities with different individuals at different skill levels can possibly provide some options if the worst reality comes about.
Training may require that you go aginst a partner(s) who is bigger than you, smaller than, or who is unorthodox in the method of attacks they can come up with. You may also have to spend time watching videos of actual knife attacks from around the world to understand how you may have to mix it up a bit. Training may require practicing running, escaping, and proper use of medical techniques to preserve one's life. Further, being realistic with yourself and your abilities as well as overcoming your fears and increasing your intensity may be the factors that get you through the conflict.
One of the main principles we are taught is that when facing against an armed opponent one may have no choice but to directly engage the attack where the chances are high that you will be injured lightly, or severely, and potentially you could lose your life. You must be prepared that the attacker may get the drop on you and you may go out either saving another's life or not.
Lastly, there is no way to predict the unexpected and there is no guarantee that any technique, no matter how good, will work in any or all situations. There are some who call this spiritual fitness since only Hashem truly know how much time any person is allotted in this life. That is to say, being right with your Creator, yourself, your family, and your life in case someone gets the drop on you and your best isn't good enough to reamain alive. Being prepared to say Shema to boost yourself to action or as your last act in this life.