Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lie Detector

O.K. last post before I'm off the grid sailing in the Bahama's... (yea, I know life really sucks right now...)

This comes from the Tips, Tricks & Tactics section of my PeaceWalker Program. It's called the Lie Detector. It was inspired by my Mom. She was the master of this... I think pretty much all Moms are. So if you don't have access to a polygraph machine or Wonder Woman's lasso of truth, this is the next best thing. It is very useful when dealing with people. It goes like this:

If you feel you are being lied to and you want a better chance of extracting the truth from someone, use this tactic. It’s the same one that your mom used on you when you were a kid. Give them “the look.”

Here’s how you can do this simple yet effective technique:

  1. Ask them your question.
  2. Shut up and listen.
  3. Give them “The Look” - Stare at them for 3 or 4 seconds without saying a word, nodding, using any facial expression, or blinking.
  4. Let the truth spill forth!    

I know what your thinking... The answer is...

"No, it doesn't work ALL of the time with EVERYONE. However, it works a LOT of the time with MOST PEOPLE." 

Try it!!       

Why does it work so well? Probably because we were conditioned by our mothers to tell the truth of course. 

I'm not a mind reader, but I know what you're thinking now.  

"So, Craig, how am I able to tell when they ARE lying to me?"                

GREAT question! That sounds like a great blog AFTER I get back from sailing the Bahamas! I'll post that next month w/some cool pics of manning the sails, swimming with the sharks and napping in a hammock on a deserted beach!

 <  Insert me here! =)

Anchors away!

See you when I get back!

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Power of Verbal Agreement

Get Them to Verbally Commit

When trying to get someone to agree to complying to your terms one good method is to get them to verbally commit to what they agreed to. The strategy might sound something like this:

You: “Suzy, so if I let you get a drink of water then, you’ll go to bed? Is that right?”

Suzy: “Yes.”

You: “Just so I know you have it, can you repeat back to me what I said?”

Suzy: “If you let me get a drink of water, I’ll go to bed.”

You: “Ok then, we have a deal.”

If you think that sounded a bit condescending, good, I agree with you. So, how can we get someone to verbally commit without talking down to them? Easy, try it this way:

(After debating and negotiating about getting a glass of water and going to bed.)

You: “Suzy, just so I understand you, could you please explain to me one more time what you are proposing?”

Suzy: “I said if you let me get a drink of water, then I’ll go straight to bed.”

You: “Ok, it sounds like we have an agreement then.”

 Suzy: "Ok."

Another way of getting verbal buy-in is by simply asking them and getting them to agree. Often a simple yes is sufficient to gain the leverage needed while negotiating. If you treat them like a child and talk down to them, you could escalate the level of conflict and cause an argument. If they don’t do as you agreed, then you can remind them of your former conversation. As you work it out, keep your cool (baseline) and then calmly ask them to repeat back to you what the deal is. You can add something like this: “Just so I know we’re on the same page could you repeat to me what we agreed to?” Remember, don’t argue with them. Verbally out maneuver them.

Here’s an example:

You: “So, Suzy, if I let you get a drink of water, then you’ll go to bed. Is that what I’m hearing?”

Suzy: “Yes.”

You: “Ok, we’re good to go then.”

(Suzy gets her drink, but doesn’t go to bed.)

You: “Suzy, I see you’re not in bed yet. That wasn’t our deal.”

Suzy: “I didn’t say that I’d go straight to bed.”

(Remember, stay calm and don’t argue with her! Also, this example illustrates that you are giving her another chance.)

You: “Well Suzy, we had an agreement and you didn’t do as you said you were going to."

Suzy: “Yes, I did. I didn’t say I was going STRAIGHT to bed.”

You: “Suzy, I’m not going argue with you over it. Is there anything that I can say that’s going to get you to work with me tonight?”

Suzy: “Ok, I’ll go.” 

You: “Just so we’re on the same page Suzy. What did we agree on?” 

Do you get the idea? 

This is a powerful tool. Keep a good tone. Be tactful, firm but respectful as you agree on a new social contract.

Keep going!

All the best,


Friday, February 17, 2017


  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  2.       the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Resiliency: A word many seemed to have forgotten. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," has been replaced by 'safe zones,' trigger words, speech codes and zero tolerance policies. At the other extreme; killing and suicides resulting from varying forms of mental illness and repressed anger from bullying.

It appears that the idea of 'being offended' has gone from rude or controversial to illegal, as has knowing how to appropriately stand up for yourself. Speak out against the public majority (whatever that is) and pay the consequences. Overreacting to a situation a.k.a. "making mountains of molehills," is something that seems to be prevalent as well (thanks Ricki Lake and reality TV). It seems that we struggle with perspective and balance. We over react to certain things, under react to others, complain, feel entitled or hold emotions in until it bursts from us with venomous fury, be it riots, active shooting, or other forms of violence.

I'm not condoning disrespect toward others, treating people like crap or calling someone (or a group of someones) derogatory names. Nor am I trying to trivialize discrimination or the tragedy of someone taking a life (be it their own or others) due to any form of bullying including that of an emotional, social or institutional nature. However, when did it become a law that being offensive was a punishable offense? I'm not talking verbal slander or threats of harm. I'm referring to "Land of the brave, home of the free." stuff. Does that statement hold any truth, or is it just a cool "'Merica" bumper sticker that goes on the back of a built in the USA truck w/a gun rack in the back window?

Now let's be straight, freedom of speech doesn't mean that you or I can yell "BOMB" in the middle of an airport, or use my 'Freedom' to continually harass or physically threaten others. Our freedom stops where someone else's begins. But, where is that? What does that look like? It seems we aren't sure. It's our clarity, confidence and our ability to protect the right things that allows us our personal freedom, differences in beliefs, perspectives and opinions. Our freedom to discuss, debate, and yes, even offend! Political correctness is the thin veneer that has replaced respect. Are we so fragile that we can no longer handle someone disagreeing or (heaven forbid) even insulting us?

 "If necessity is the mother of invention than adversity is the father of resiliency."

If I call you a son of a bitch, will that land me in jail? If I tell you to go fuck yourself or say that you are a douche bag, should I be fined or put on probation? What if I spout off about how all bald headed middle aged men are stupid assholes who don't deserve to live in this country, so they should be thrown out? Yes, a rude, offensive and prejudiced statement, but should that be a punishable offense? Who will be our moral police? Who will choose what is acceptable and what isn't, as well as what the cost should be if you violate the rules?  More laws to keep us in check? Who will those laws favor? Is forced moralism necessary, effective and even possible? If you don't act properly, we'll make you. What's acting properly?! We'll tell you!

How about suing a school or organization because someone felt as if they weren't treated well? Yes, some cases are totally legit, however is every perceived harsh statement, off color comment or difference of opinion grounds for dismissal or a lawsuit?

I think we are bigger than that. I believe we are capable of being confident in the face of adversity and can distinguish what is rude vs. unlawful or dangerous. Clarity, courageousness, and skill can accomplish this more effectively then acting like spoiled adolescents who make demands, whine and throw temper tantrums when we don't get our way or aren't the center of attention.

We can't just blame the young "Millennial" generation either. Where are our leaders? Our mentors? Parents? Teachers? Elected officials? Who's setting the pace? Leading the charge or helping folks re-calibrate? We can't put all of the blame on today's youth. We're in this together, so we all have to take responsibility. It's time for leaders to step up to bring balance, not push an agenda, over-react, take advantage, displace or defuse anger and responsibility.

Help people realize that we need adversity. We can take it.We can rise above it.

As we become more diverse, we will also need to work on being more resilient as well.

Keep going,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Peace Love & Krav Maga

Yesterday a group of individuals came together to share adversity and a higher purpose. Each of us was challenged in our own individual way throughout the three month testing cycle. This gauntlet is the forging process developed to build clarity, confidence and resiliency not only in the testing candidates but everyone who is a part of the process.

There is no replacing the experience of the journey. No amount of observation, thought, or word will take the place of doing. The forging process is something that can only be experienced directly. However, our journey here is not taken alone, it is shared by everyone at the Academy. We come together to train in an art of war in order to embrace peace. We are Protectors. PeaceWalkers.

Josh Brockway
Mike Smith
Ryan Ruffini

The day of the test was 5 1/2 exhausting, yet exhilarating hours. I can't speak for everyone, however I would dare to wager that no one came out of the experience unchanged in some way. 

A couple of times during the day I took a breath, looked around and couldn't help but feel a deep sense of gratitude toward what I was a part of. The energy in the room is difficult for me to explain: Challenging, yet supportive. Connected. Alive. A unique intersection of personal development, group connection and a bridge to something bigger than any one of us alone. We were joined as protectors to challenge ourselves for the sake of a higher purpose... Peace. Within ourselves and others. 

It was a peak experience.

I should have known it was going to be a profound day from the start, when a man named Chad, someone who I never met before, bought me a couple cups of my favorite coffee. It was a chance encounter with someone who wanted to be generous and possibly bridge a perceived larger gap between two people, possibly two groups of people. More on that later... For now it's enough that my day began on a good note and continued to ascend to a crescendo that I am still basking in. 

It's all about the...


Thank you to everyone who is a part of this journey. I am honored and humbled by those who came before me, those who walk beside me, and those who will carry on after me on this path.

Keep going,


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Gift

The Story of the Angry Man and The Buddha

One day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, saying all kind of rude words.

The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

~ Unknown


This story came to mind after I read a couple interesting articles: 

Although the issues the articles raise are more complex, never-the-less the old parable came to mind.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ranks & Techniques by Moshe Katz


Ranks and Techniques
By Moshe Katz

Perhaps there is no more controversial issue in martial arts than rank. People chase after it, some buy it, some quit over it. Friendships are destroyed, relationships are ruined over rank, ego, and competition.

What is the value of rank?

Rank serves several purposes and has several advantages and disadvantages.

Rank serves as motivation for students. You are excited to earn that first yellow belt and are already doubling your effort for Orange belt. You dream of someday wearing the black belt and joining that elite club.

Motivation is important for most human beings.

Rank offers recognition. You worked hard you deserve to be recognized for it. That is why the police and military offer medals for bravery. You did an act of bravery, you deserve our recognition and respect.

Rank is also important within the dojo/club. The yellow belt should respect the brown belt. The brown belt should respect the second dan black belt. It is correct and proper.

But it is not really the rank that matters. An undergrad student recognizes that the graduate student is at a more advanced level. The Grad student recognizes that the doctoral student is even more advanced than himself.

So it is not only rank, it could also be number of years. In some styles of Karate the highest rank is fifth dan but the one who earned his fifth dan ten years ago is more highly regarded than the one who earned it yesterday. So rank has its' limits.

There is also a difference in terms of school. A Yale or Harvard degree is more valued than the local community collage or an on line program. A black belt in BJJ is more highly regarded that a similar rank in certain other styles. I  have seen styles of Krav Maga where in one year or even less you can "earn" your black belt.

In summation rank is at best an inaccurate gauge of ability.

While rank is important and one should certainly feel proud of earning one we should not get to caught up on it.

Allow me an old story.

My high school Talmud teacher, Rabbi Jacob Wehl of blessed memory, gave out only three grades. I think they were 75, 85 and 95. He wanted to teach us not to be obsessed with grades. What really mattered was the long term affect of studying. He used to tell us, If I gave you a 95 and then I see you ten years from now but you are no longer studying the Talmud, then of what use is that grade to you? It is the long term that matters. If you really want a 95, fine, I will give you a 95.

The lesson sunk in for me. Yes, grades matter but true knowledge is more important.

When I travel the world and I am in each country, each town, each school, a short amount of time, I cannot view each student in great depth. So I naturally rely upon my certified instructors. If teacher A tells me that student Y is ready for green belt, I will value his opinion as he knows the student better than me. Of course I shall still observe the student the best I can, and sometimes I will say the student needs more time, but in doubt I will trust the teacher. He has more experience with his own students.
And what if I gave the student a rank that was too high? What would happen? My own teacher would always tell me that all ranks below black are simply for motivation, that do not mean all that much.

So if you have a blue belt but you are really only a little above green, so what?

Many years ago I tested a group of students, children, for yellow belt. All passed but one. He went out and cried his eyes out, he quite and never returned. Years later I saw him as a young man, he said that failing totally destroyed his self confidence, it took him years to recover.

Give the student the yellow belt and he will keep training. Deny him the belt because he is not 100% and you will crush his spirit.  A wise teacher knows when to be flexible. And a wise student respects his teacher's decision.

Ranks are important but techniques, knowledge of self defense, are far far more important. Always remember that the bottom line is your ability, not a piece of paper or a piece of cloth.

by Moshe Katz
Head Instructor of Israeli Krav International, Ma'ale Adumim, Israel

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Boxing and Krav Maga by Moshe Katz

 Boxing is a sport, with spectators, rules, rings and judges. It has little in common with Krav Maga.

Boxing is a sport, a fight sport, a brutal sport, but always a sport. There have always been rules to boxing. There are more techniques that are not allowed that those allowed.

Krav Maga was born for self defense. There can be an exhibit of Krav Maga but no tournaments. There can only be a tournament in the same sense as you can have a tournament of art; i.e. a panel of judges chooses the best piece. But there can be no Krav Maga sport. It is a contradiction in terms.
Boxing and Krav Maga have different roots and different goals. They have certain elements in common such as striking and blocking but just like basketball and ping pong both are played with a ball, yet they are more different than similar.

So why the confusion? Why do I see videos labeled "Advanced Krav Maga" where in fact it is fancy boxing moves? What is going on over here?

First allow me to say I am familiar with boxing and have trained with a few champions. Now I know that some Krav Maga styles feel they are taking the "best of every style" and that that includes Western style boxing.

I strongly disagree with this approach. There is no place for boxing in our style of Krav Maga.

1. Boxing is a skill. It is not just a matter of "throwing punches". The art of boxing actually takes a great deal of practice and it takes a long time to get good at it. Even learning to make a proper fist so that you do not break your hand or your wrist is not a simple matter.

2. Punching must be directed only at certain parts of the body. Great boxers have broken their hands in street fights, unprotected by thick boxing gloves. The bones of the hand are very delicate. The wrist is delicate.

3. We find palm strikes and elbow/forearm strikes easier to execute, less likely to cause damage to the practitioner and more likely to hurt the assailant.

4. Boxing involves strategy, timing, fancy footwork, taking a few blows and dancing around for a better position. NONE of this has any place for the average person just trying to get home. All this bobbing and weaving is difficult for the non-athlete, difficult for older people, and highly impractical outside of professional boxing.

5. Watch any boxing fight. At the end of the match the winner usually looks just as bad as the loser. Both take a lot of blows. Recall the Rocky episode where he applies for a job at a bank? The man asks him why he wants to give up boxing. Rocky answers, Do you know what it feels like when you are lying in bed and need to go to the bathroom but it hurts so much that you want to call a taxi?
That is too much for the average person to endure. And Krav Maga is designed for the average person. A self defense art where the winner looks like he got run over by a truck will not work for most people. We need something more effective.

Boxing involves landing a very small source area (basically two knuckles) on very specific parts of the body (soft areas, to avoid breaking your delicate unprotected hands) in a perfectly timed way. As I said earlier it involves more skill than most people think. While doing those punches most people, even professional boxers, expose themselves to serious damage. Max Schmeling noticed that while punching, Joe Louis dropped his guard. Schmeling used this to defeat Louis in their first match despite the fact that Louis was a better boxer.

We do not use boxing as part of our Krav Maga program. We used to but we evolved past that and only use certain elements sparingly. "Advanced Krav Maga" is not Western Boxing.

Baseball and Basketball are not the same. Ping Pong and bowling are not the same. Krav Maga and Boxing are not the same, at least not the way we do it.

~ Moshe Katz   
   Head Instructor of Israeli Krav International