Category Archives: Budo Interntational

Keep Your Distance!

Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert © 2022/01/21

Man has utilized various techniques, strategies and weapons during recorded history, not only to hunt, but to do battle as well. Typically, if a weapon was discovered, it was used perhaps until a better one was found. Sometimes it was a matter of finding that tool in the environment, sometimes it was making that tool, either through serendipity, or through passed-down knowledge.

Perhaps the first tool was simply using a strike with a hand, or foot. Maybe it progressed to wielding a rock in that hand, or using a switch. That discovery may have been followed up by a rope, which may have led to the club, then the war hammer and finally the hatchet.

With those natural progressions, discovery included ingenuity, thought, observation, and ultimately conclusions. “If I hit an animal with a rock, eventually it becomes a meal.”

As the brain developed, so did the tools. Man learned to better use them, to devise new and better weapons, and new and better ways to access the food resources all around them. It also developed awareness – this tool works best on this animal, in this way, and by doing ‘this’ with it.

Eventually the brain developed the ability to quantify methods based on observed results. Those observations would have had to include – accessibility, ability, prowess, favorable results. Those would develop and progress further to include – risk vs. gain, favorable odds, element of surprise, planning, strategy, tactics and ultimately the addition of distance as a factor to be considered to attain not only victory, but mastery.

In ancient times in order to engage in conflict, one had to be in contact with another. They had to both be within reach of each in order to escalate conflict into combat. Distance. To do that, one or both parties would have had to move closer to the other, or each other. Contact then becomes possible, dependent in proximity, and the weapons range. If that weapon was merely a fist, they’d have had to be with arms reach to be effective at all. If the combatants were a football field away, that would not have resulted in contact/combat.

At the same time, limiting contact/damage/casualties would also require distance – retreat, withdrawal, or simply by not being there!

Distance can be both beneficial and a deficit to your personal safety and that of your tribe/clan/family.

While engaged in contact, you can continually use the gift of distance to improve your tactics, improve your odds of victory and limit the damage your are subjected to. By using it wisely you can counter their attack strategy, eliminate their effectiveness to do damage, and quell their strike capabilities due to their dependence on using distance as well.

Close-in fighters, like boxers, often rely on their own abilities to ‘get in and get out’ during heated matches.  They use their feet way more than they use their hands – the striking tool. Their feet provide mobility, which helps them create distance to eliminate distance issues. They can use one leg to pivot either in or out to create targeting opportunities – the liver punch is an excellent example of delivering a devastating blow to an opponent that absolutely requires good use of distance.

We can use distance to effectively avoid conflict, and thus contact – by simply using the gift of remote location, If we’re not there, the opportunities for contact and damage are limited, or entirely eliminated! If we run away (run, hide, fight), we avoid conflict and contact.

If contact is inevitable, then we must master the use of distance. It needs to be prioritized and mastered to assure positive outcomes – for our team. Closing distance is but one strategy – it provides unique opportunities and may be the only answer, or the best answer for the situation that faces you. Leaving the room may also be the only answer, or the best solution to your conflict/contact.

Distance provides many opportunities. It provides ability. It provides advantage. It can provide surprise. It can provide access. It may ultimately affect the psychological state of the other party – which can include disrupting their OODA loop, and thus their ability to continue the conflict/contact. Which could hand you victory. Yes, it’s effective when used as a psychological tool as well as a physical tool.

You know what it feels like when you have been one-upped in sparring, and your opponent has suddenly taken your base, you’ve lost your balance and you are in free-fall – on your way to the mat, and in that instant, you are in shock, and realize that your strategy just failed. That is a psychological fail for you, and a victory for your opponent. He just used distance to affect victory… and the point. He used distance to get within striking range to sweep your leg, or to attach his center of gravity to your framework and then he effectively used simple leverage to take your center of gravity off axis. Distance. It was really that simple.

You’ll need to consider distance, and all that it provides, all that it entails, all that it can reveal. Use it effectively, and you may prevail. But certainly ignore it, or don’t use it to good effect and you will become the vanquished, the defeated, just another victim of it’s abilities.

…Distance is your friend.

Distance – study it, play with it, learn from it. It really is a gift.

© Copyright 2022 Tim Boehlert/Avi Nardia

Angola: African Roots of Brazil’s Martial Art Capoeira

Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert © Copyright 2022

I have been really lucky to travel during the worldwide Covid pandemic. I’ve recently traveled into Africa for different security projects and I was on a mission to teach, as one example.

I always try to do my best to study, and while I was in Angola I had met Israeli Karate and former Champion Feras Faur,5th Dan.Feras has been involved in Israeli Jiujutsu and is a long-time student of mine in firearms, security and Krav Maga Kapap.Hefound his home in Angola a few years back and met with me and with former Israeli commando officer Yosi Aviram and I’ve been following them both to study much about Angola and the land of Africa’s East side. 

From learning about the witch ceremony and Juju culture to learning unique-to-the culture survival skillsincluding discoveringwhat to eat that you find in nature. We explored learning how to use anything you find in the field and to appreciate the explorationof the magicof Africa.

Using and teaching these skill sets led me to the Favela, the poor neighborhoodwhere we met students that have been training in the Martial art Capoeira that has it’s roots in Angola.

I want to be clear that I’m no expert in the art of Capoeira and have no expertise about Africa, but I would love to share with Budo magazine readers some of the magic I met and that was shared with me.

Capoeira Angola, is a version of the martial arts that is rarely practiced either in Brazil or in Angola itself.But it’s name speaks to the origins of an art that reaches back centuries – before people were enslaved and transported from the Southern African coast to South America.It was developed in what is now Brazil using rhythms and call-and-response singing found in the African traditions. The inclusion of instruments was crucial for distracting onlookers.

African influence downplayed

Capoeira Angola has a ritualistic feel and the movements are predominantly low to the ground, with the focus on precision. This is why the music is slower than in the dominant version, known as Regional.

The difference between Capoeira Angola and Capoeira Regional is subtle, but Capoeira Angola includes more instruments and its practitioners feel it is more spiritual.

I sometimes feel a little angry when I think about how Angola’s contributions to Capoeira get dismissed.

The African influence was deliberately downplayed, partly because of racism.

“It was recognized as a part of African culture and labeled as aggressive because of the slave association”

In the mid-16th Century, while working in the fields, slaves created what later became Brazil’s earliest form of Capoeira, disguising fighting techniques as folk dancing.

Following the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, the government banned Capoeira, fearing its use could make any revolt by freed slaves more difficult to overcome.

It went underground, and many black people continued to practice what is now recognized as Capoeira Angola in hidden spaces, using nicknames to protect their identity.

Around 1930, Reis Machado, better known as Mestre Bimba, developed a way of teaching Capoeira that made it easier to learn.

After persuading the authorities about the cultural value of the martial art, the ban was lifted, and Mestre Bimba opened the first Capoeira school in Brazil.

Capoeira was still looked down upon however, especially by the upper class Brazilians.

In response, Mestre Bimba set new standards – he introduced clean white uniforms, required students to show good posture and brought in a system of grading.

As a result, Capoeira began to attract a new audience that became interested in practicing Capoeira indoors.

This was the beginning of Capoeira Regional.

As some practitioners continued to follow the older form, they agreed on the name Capoeira Angola to differentiate it, but over time it was marginalized and largely forgotten.

Regional has a faster pace than Capoeira Angola. Mestre Bimba also simplified the use of instruments relying on only the Pandeiro (hand frame drum) and one Berimbau (bowed instrument.)

‘It relieves my anger’

Despite the name, the claim that Capoeira originated in what is now Angola remains a matter of speculation, as the slaves that left the Luanda docks came from across Southern and Central Africa.

Manuel dos Reis Machado or Mesta Bimba as he was better known, was born on 23 November, 1900 in Salvador, in the home country of Capoeira, Brazil.The youngest of 25 children, his first job was as a carpenter on the docks where he developed his physical strength; by the time he was 18, he could carry 120 kg.
He learned 
traditional Capoeira (known as Angola) from a Mestre called Betinho and went on to teach it for ten years before he developed his own style, which he called Regional.

© Copyright 2022 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

Training Changes Behavior

“Training must change your behavior, make you smarter, faster, stronger and harder to kill.”

Copyright © 2020, Tim Boehlert

“Can I out-think, can I out-mentally maneuver (cognitively overmatch) my opponent. If I can’t out-think them, then I may be a victim. Training has to have a cognitive component.”

—Greg Williams, Director of Training & Innovation: Arcadia Cognerati, Left of Greg Podcast, Episode 1

So much of our lives are controlled by an over-reliance on technology.

Training has been defined as “the practical application of educational material,” by Greg Williams of Arcadia Cognerati (, a U.S. Based Training conglomerate based in Colorado.

Arcadia Cognerati is a small, agile team of Human Behavior Pattern Recognition & Analysis experts who believe that risk should be mitigated, not managed.

We all train, and we all have goals that fit out training regimen, our pursuit, and all of us have one tool in common – our brains.

Greg says that all training should be “Inspirational, memorable, and should also create spirals within our minds”– that unique ability to be creative, to engage one’s abilities in critical thinking skills, (if/then) scenarios.

When you apply advanced critical thinking skills, you will use visualization – scenario training to enhance your training. This is one skill that I learned to develop many years ago, and while in an environment that required critical thinking and quick decision-making skills, with the ability to physically engage when necessary, and without hesitation.

There were several aspects to consider – and therein was the conundrum. I’d learned through my martial arts training, that questioning every possible application of skill was impossible – the “What if?” that we all find ourselves in at one time or another. I knew what my needs were – I needed something that I couldn’t even define at the time, and I needed it right now!

I started to learn from resources that seemed to be farther and farther away from my martial arts training. Along the way, I discovered the concept of visualization. “Well, that doesn’t seem like it’s too useful – seems to be more like daydreaming and fantasizing to me!” It turned out to be one of the best tools I have ever picked up and used.

Brian Marren, VP of Operations, and host of the Left of GregPodcastsays this:

What’s the “so what? What’s in it for me? Why do I need this?” factor in the material being presented to this class. My bottom line is that I need to understand so that I know how to apply it conceptually.”

When looking at any training, ask yourself  – “How is this useful to me?”

Visualization Is Training:

You are learning to train your mind. My methodology was simple: It was never negative; it was always with a positive outcome for me. I would look at an aggressor and visualize the best way to overcome his abilities. It was never “can I?” but always “how will I?”

“You need training that’s going to enhance your ability to make those hard decisions when the alarms are sounding.” 

Training vs. Education:

The skillset that Arcadia Cognerati can give you is based on some very simple logic:

“The difference is that training changes behaviors. Education passes knowledge. If you can’t change the behavior, that is NOT training.”

According to Greg, good trainers use these three things:

Cognitive Task Analysis:

              [1] As trainers, we need to understand what it is that we are trying to train.

              [2] We need to know that there is a need for that training.

              [3] What specific skills do we wish to pass along?

Enabling Learning Objectives:

              What pieces are essential to getting that core task across to the student?

Terminal Learning Objectives:

              [1] What is it that we want the student to take away?

              [2] As trainers, we need to transfer a skill to those students.

              [3] Those skills need to be tangible skills – skills that they didn’t know before the training, then after the training they did know.

In Greg’s Combat Hunter program, developed for the USMC, he’d put together an observation technique: 

“Our algorithm is simple: Baseline + Anomaly = Decision. Anytime you have 3 or more anomalies you need to make a decision. (Obviously if the anomaly is strong enough you don’t have to wait for 3.) The algorithm can be broken down this way: Baseline – what is normal in this environment or scenario? Anomalies – what doesn’t fit or what is missing from the baseline? As an example, watch for body language and physical cues.”

This can all be stretched across a timeline – and again is defined by Greg as Left of Bang (pre-event), Bang (moment of act), and Right of Bang (post-event.) Greg also defines anomalies in two states: Above the baseline are defined as indicators that are there that should not be there, and Below the baseline are defined as indicators that aren’t there that should be there.

It’s a great tool for everyday use. It’s all tied into observation skills, and it’s universal – you can do this in any environment, in any culture, anywhere in the world – it’s that universal.

Greg teaches one simple concept: All decisions must be legal, moral, and ethical. His teaching relies on science and human history to backup the methodology that they employ.


Profiling as used in their training “has nothing to do with human pedigree or lineage, but everything to do with how humans interact as a species. Using context and relevance and measuring against a baseline anywhere in the world, the profiler can make a moral decision, a legal decision and an ethical decision. It’s the first non-material solution that up-armors the brain.”

Cody Bandars, trainer, describes it this way: “information in the human terrain is there for the taking.”

Greg continues: “clusters of cues are orbiting us 24 hours a day, everywhere that we go. When we had to rely on reading those environmental cues we were much more in tune with our personal safety and security. We’ve devolved. Those skills have retarded over time because we haven’t used them.”

“If you can outthink a human, if you can predict their next likely move, you can save lives on the battle space.”

Mindset is everything.

Reality-based Training:

While discussing a shoot, no-shoot scenario where one chair in a room was labeled ‘cover’ and an identical chair next to it was labeled ‘concealment’ Greg expressed his thoughts:

“Your brain knows bullshit and your brain will call bullshit with that type of training and it will put that into your pre-frontal cortex, and it will say, ‘that was really good training, and it’s helpful to a point, but, training for the real event you’ll need to train your brain ‘what would I do in that situation.’”

Training needs to be a continuous commitment.

Brian uses this mental rehearsal mantra daily. It’s simple. It wakes up the brain: “Someone may try to kill me today.” That simple statement preloads his survival instincts.

Human Behavior Pattern Recognition & Analysis

Making Order Out of Chaos

“All people, events, and vehicles give off certain ‘signals’ when they are measured against context, relevance, and societal or environmental baselines. Once learned, the operator can read these ‘signals’ as anomalies or as benign behaviors. 

Learning how to quickly establish a baseline and then detecting and acting on these anomalies are the essence of Human Behavior Pattern Recognition & Analysis.”

Understanding a “Left Of Bang” Mindset

“While the majority of training and education throughout the globe provides individuals with the skills necessary to REACT to high-stress incidents (IED’s, sniper, crowd violence, individual violence, border incidents, security breaches and the like), only HBPR&A trains individuals to be both predictive and proactive, thereby completely avoiding or mitigating the catastrophic event.”

“HBPR&A is the only vetted, tested, and validated method currently available that is proven to increase your situational awareness all while promoting advanced critical thinking. This skillset will give you the ability to ‘read’ human behavior. That means you can predict danger if you can read these pre-event cues and clusters.”

“Whether you’re fighting on the battlefield, the boardroom, or on the playground, our programs will give you the cognitive edge you need to be successful!”

The 10 MAXIMS of Arcadia Cognerati:

[01] Memory is Fiction 

Your brain cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy during recall. The brain’s reward chemistry can be manipulated. This means that the more positive or negative emotion you attach to a memory, the easier that memory will be to recall in an emergency. This also means that you can ‘add’ human memories to overcome cognitive shortcomings through training.

[02] Training Changes Behaviors

There is a distinct difference between Training and Education.

[03] Memory and Emotion Links Make Humans Creatures of Habit

All humans will repeat behaviors when given the choice. Being able to read human emotions gives the operator the ability to predict what will likely happen next.

[04] Humans Won’t Pay Attention Unless They Have To

Humans have evolved past being able to detect predatory looks and mission focus without training. This creates an environment where predatory looks and mission focus will allow us to find terrorists, criminals and predators hiding within and among us.

[05] Humans Are Predictable

Humans are lazy and they follow simple patterns. These pattern are observable, measurable, repeatable, and can be analyzed and defined to satisfy a legal or professional standard. Science proves that human behavior will likely repeat over and over again unless acted upon by external arousal or influence. When given a number of choices humans will follow the path of least resistance.

[06] The Harder Humans Try To Mask or Hide Their True Behaviors, The More Those Behavioral Traits Will Stick Out

Deception can be detected, and all criminals, terrorists, or insurgents must use deception to hide in plain sight. Humans lie often, yet they are terrible liars and those deceit cues can be detected when compared against the baseline.

[07] Your Brain Hates Divided Attention

The more humans engage in polyphasic skills or multitasking, the worse their performance becomes. Especially their cognitive performance!

[08] All Humans Telegraph Their Intentions Unknowingly

Your unconscious mind controls your behavior. Anything a human being touches will likely retain a trace of that humans influence. This allows a trained operator to detect subtle ‘signature’ cues to use as artifacts and evidence when prosecuting them or impeaching their testimony,

[09] Cognitive Illusions Can Be Overcome With Training

This allows us to determine where a sniper needs to be to shoot us, where an IED needs to be placed to kill us, and how an insider threat will hide in order to betray us.

[10] Humans Betray Their Affiliations Unknowingly

This allows us to track humans and their relations within a group in order to determine their leadership and structure.

If this presentation opened your eyes to a whole new world, congratulations! I confess that this material is something that speaks very deeply to my brain, and I encourage you to explore the possibilities that this training suggests – we are all humans, and we all behave in similar manners, thus, we can predict, detect, and avoid a lot of violence, if we open our minds to another way of training!

“Violence is a simple, powerful means of communication, it is a currency…” 

–Greg Williams

Edited Excerpts from a 30 minute Q&A with Brian Marren & Greg Williams of Arcadia Cognerati:

From what I have learned from a variety of resources, your program was initially designed for the military, and was originally known as Combat Hunter in the USMC version. Greg was one of four subject matter experts called upon to design a program to help our troops while they were deployed overseas. It reminds me of the process that Law Enforcement went through in the early 1980’s when too many officers were dying. During that process data was revealed that changed the face of training forever. I get the feeling that this does the same, and was born of the same ideas. Was this your intent?

A1: Greg: Remarkable, because you tied everything together very succinctly, and so the simple answer is this: I was a martial artist back in the mid to late 70’s in Detroit. That really meant something. That was the advent of true, and mine was Japanese martial arts. There were only a few really good practitioners. That was still the days where you walked into a dojo and challenged the other senseis. I mean it was rough and tumble. And one of the things I noticed being a hood-rat was that there were certain patterns of the police in the neighborhoods, so I knew when to ply my trade when the cops weren’t around, I also had a dad that was a Marine and a mom that was German, so they were very detailed oriented, so I found a way to navigate around them.

After I went into the military, I found that the military was all about structure and organization and there were seams and gaps everywhere, and my special knowledge of how to read humans and landscape would allow me to read the military landscape and get through and solve problems based on the sense-making that I had taught myself on the street.

The only good jobs in Detroit were General Motors and cop work. I got into cop work and the first thing I noticed is profiling a cop and profiling a criminal were the same thing, so I created Human Behavior Profiling and was teaching it to police agencies all over the world. So that, that you saw, and it wasn’t just me and I’m a humble guy, guys like Massad Ayoob and many others were legendary in bringing these street skills to coppers. So I was part of that and then I continued my professional career in teaching and training and the military goes, “hey if that works, would it work for us?” So, out of that was born Combat Hunter. We built programs for the Marines, ASAT for the Army, US Border Patrol, ICE, Customs. Once people see that this is a classic, people go to that. And one cautionary thing: on the shoulders of giants. A broken clock is right twice a day.

What I did is I assembled a whole bunch of great theories that went back to the 1600’s and said, “This is how to explain those things” and created my own lexicon. So if you run into weird words on Combat Hunter or ASAT, those are words I had to invent because there was no scientific word for it.

Brian: It starts out with that Street Survival, or you called it Edge Courses, right here at Bang for Police. And it looks like to me that Greg went with continuing so deep into human behavior. And what you get is farther and farther ‘Left of Bang’, and you’re 1000 meters out before anyone knows you’re there. It’s the same skill set, it’s done from the advantage of time and distance. You can continue using it right through to ‘at bang’ and ‘after bang.’ 

Greg: Brian is a martial artist as well. He started out in Aikido in Japanese martial arts as a young kid too. Miyamoto Musashi, very influential in my youth, said, “you win or lose before you ever draw your sword.” And that fascinated me. How did he know how to read humans? That was a genesis. Funakoshi said “if the nail sticks out, pound it down.” That was amazing to me. That meant baselines and anomalies. So history is full of these examples, I just codified it.

Q2: Can you explain the concept of what you teach in terms that anyone can understand?

A2: Greg: I took a nebulous concept and put architecture towards it that anybody, any human can follow. You don’t have to do it all even if you do a little bit because I believe that you’re responsible for your own health and safety and security. Even if you do a little bit you’ll find out that the answers are right there. Just like escalation and de-escalation there’s an answer right there you just have to take time to study it.

Q3: For martial artists specifically, do you have a program designed to teach the many aspects of your architecture in terms that they could relate to for example in their self-defense programs?

A3: Greg: It all started with the martial arts! My martial art was out-thinking the opponent. I did a Boyd’s OODA loop on my martial arts training and said “here’s where you could de-escalate, here’s where you could break this down, and psychological de-escalation telling the person before you fight, I don’t want to fight —  how to work that dialogue and stances into suggesting to this person that this isn’t the time and place for this fight. The shortcoming of all of this is that it’s ‘at bang’, and slightly left of bang.” 

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room.”
—Greg Williams

Brian Marren, Greg Williams, Shelly Williams

tim boehlert



Hero to Zero

© Copyright Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert, 2020

Understanding Use of Force. Seeing things that others don’t. Learning to not rush to judgment – we can’t know many aspects of violence that we see, because we only have limited access to all of the facts.

I learned one exceptional piece of information from my teacher, many years ago while sitting at the dinner table in his home. Besides being a very deep thinker, he was able to pass on to me the ability to ‘see’ where I was blind.

Avi and I would sit in his home and have the most impromptu conversations, and I would just sit and listen in awe, as he could talk for hours, non-stop. It was hard to catch my breath, and I forgot so much during the course of those lessons, but the one thing that stuck was that I was being gifted with insights that most of his other students would never get. Humbled does not even begin to cover it. Thankful? Of course, but how can that word cover the totality of the process and opportunity?

I specifically recall one conversation where Avi pointed out to me a flaw in a common Krav Maga technique. While discussing it, Avi inserted his insights, and the switch flipped in my head. I was stunned – and hooked. I want to learn how to do THAT! Because learning the technique is one thing, the bigger takeaway is finding the flaws, but the BEST takeaway is SEEING it in the first place.

Avi has a very analytical mind, and it’s no doubt because of his unique training opportunities.

Can that ability be passed on? Can we as educators change our path and start to build better programs based on evaluations? Well, we can certainly affect some changes in our industry, perhaps starting with a few basics – so let’s discuss a few of these.


All programs need to have a solid foundation built on and with some basics, a solid base to build upon, a base that is thoughtfully constructed, and that requires high standards of moral conduct.

One concept that has been in use for an unknown length of time to me is called operant conditioning, or behavioral modification:

“Men have always used a variety of mechanisms to convince themselves that the enemy was different, that he did not have a family, or that he was not even human. Most primitive tribes took names that translate as ‘man’ or ‘human being,’ thereby automatically defining those outside of the tribe as simply another breed of animal to be hunted and killed. We have done something similar….” (e.g. using derogatory names to describe a person, a culture, a race, or a group/tribe)

Grossman, Lt. Col. Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

“Othering is the ability to convince yourself that another human is different from you. In most cases the ability to other determines how much force can be used on another person.”

Miller, Rory. ConCom: Conflict Communication A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication.

The principle is to minimize and de-humanize others to the point that we would be able to inflict more severe harm than we would without this conditioning. We use psychology and words designed to help us overcome our natural tendencies to resist these changes in our personalities. Name-calling is one tool. When we diminish others by using their faith, race, sexual orientation, beliefs against them, we have successfully been indoctrinated.

As one common example, we might use the term ‘engage the target’ as a substitute for saying ‘kill the man.’

This concept is in fact a very useful tool. It can be good or evil, and that depends on its intent. We all know the evil use, as previously illustrated. The good use would be to use it to move others do things they would never normally consider – as an example, to save a childs life from a sexual predator – a pedophile, we might goad (indoctrinate) a mother to envision the evil acts a pedophile may perform on her child to get her to intervene and do damage to the predator.

It’s what we do with this tool and how we teach it that defines its ethical purpose.

When a training program uses this technique to define everyone that is not a part of their particular tribe as a threat that is when it has the potential to be used for evil. As an example, when a security company or martial arts studio trains its students to view everyone as a threat, they provide a disservice. Everyone is NOT a threat. But, that mentlaity persists, and soon the employees or students begin to get it ingrained into them that every situation is threatening. Everything becomes a nail, and the answer is always a hammer. They forget to train in a manner that presents the  hypothesis that training should be about the probable, and not the possible. One is the best route, the other is the trap.

Having the ability to distinguish when to use ‘othering’ is an absolute requirement.

Avi and I have written another article recently for Budo International where the My Lai Massacre is mentioned, for one reason – to point out the ONE individual that was able to step up, and speak out to prevent any further acts of violence against the citizens of the small village in Viet Nam during the war. These acts were no doubt fueled by and enabled by the ability to ‘other’ the Vietnamese people, which included their children. When this ability to ‘other’ becomes so strong, it also becomes the most dangerous. The one person that was able to see through the fog in this example personally paid the price of speaking out, for years, and no doubt carries the burden for a lifetime from the costs to he and his family. The military machine was successful with it’s indoctrination techniques in this instance to overcome one’s natural inability to kill another. 

In this instance, group dynamics were also at play:

Hive mind (noun)

A group mentality characterized by uncritical conformity and loss of a sense of individuality and personal accountability.

This can be seen in rioting situations, where any large group gets together for what they perceive to become a common purpose, but the resulting protest turns into a riot situation, based on the actions of one or more individuals and where the majority of that same crowd follows suit. It may result in looting, property damage, or violence against any other factions not directly related to their tribe.

This can also happen in groups of as few as two.        

Group dynamics – crowd-think – can be a very powerful force. It usually doesn’t take much to spark off events that can then spiral down to basic primal actions by many within that grouping. The result is anarchy.


We have always spoken out against our group using uniforms of military design. What we teach is not military entrenched dogma, nor aimed at a military ideology. Wearing any uniform of camouflage sends a very clear message to the group/tribe and also to those outside the group. It’s not a good signal to be sending out necessarily, especially during these trying times. As a group, our intent is to teach the civilian market self-defense, not Para-military or an at-war ideology.

We don’t train our students to kill; we train them to defend themselves. If we teach techniques that could result in damage, harm, or death, we also teach about proper recovery techniques to counteract those movements, medical application for recovery, and we try to convey a better understanding of the technique as it relates to physiology, and psychological damage that could occur. This then is only appropriate where death or grievous bodily harm may be imminent. We teach to use only the force necessary to stop an attack.

We weed out those from the group that step over specific boundaries through their actions or through their words. This includes displaying specific behaivor, social media posts, and training taboos.

T   H   I   N   K

I was having a discussion today, re: UODF – Use of Deadly Force between two civilians with a few members of a specific training group. Most do not understand what their eyes are telling them. They THINK they see one thing, while I see another. When I point it out, it immediately draws some fire. My ego tells me one thing, but when I stop to think, I respond differently. I educate instead of criticize. I try to make valid points without making it personal. I struggle at times, but then remember that I was there once as well – BLIND.

Knowing what tools to use is a game changer in many instances. The true magic, the power, is in knowing WHEN, WHERE and WHY and HOW, and also in when knowing enough to STOP.

“THIS is what’s important – the thought process, NOT so much the actions. If we are to use our training properly, we need BOTH components – the hardware to do the act, the software to dictate the when, where, why and how.” tim boehlert

If we are to truly teach, we need to include everything that we possibly can – and that includes the MORAL use of force. Most Police officers are taught that the threat is over when the threat stops. When active resistance ceases, the arrest can continue. A Police officer is a human being, and susceptible to the same flaws that we all face and perhaps struggle with.

It may be impossible to ever know what one’s true intent is or what drives one to do something egregious to another – outside the norm, outside the legal remedy. We get blinded by our own interests while acting in the interest of others at times. We make things personal – and it matters. So, we need to be aware of our emotional investment when using force against another, and to not only see that change of attitude, but to also respond appropriately to those changes. If we take on the role of judge/jury, we enter into legal waters that are over our heads and we’ve now participated in signing our own guilty pleas! 

We need to therefore work on learning more about how emotion drives us, and to be aware of it – recognize it when it takes over, and learn how to throttle back any emotional response, maybe with the exception of empathy and compassion. We should merely be trying to STOP a threat, as quickly and decisively as possible. When we let emotion color our response, we lose the moral high ground. 

Tim Boehlert

Avi Nardia

The Kapap Teaching Standard

The Kapap Teaching Standard

© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia & Aleksandra Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

Teach your students by failing them and show them the reality of what violence really is. Teach them that there are no problems without solutions. Do so not by developing their ego and self-confidence, or by allowing them to fall prey to their own inferiority complex from someone that sees himself as a victim by buying into silly marketing agendas like: “Don’t be a victim!”, or “touch me and your first lesson is free” Don’t paint him a nice view of success through choreographic moves that have nothing to do with reality. He may only develop his ego and false confidence by buying into all of these egotistic slogans and end up walking around like too many do with cool T-shirts but risking his peace and life by looking for problems.

Here’s a short story to help convey what I mean:

One day a king invited two painters to paint his picture. The first completed a very realistic picture of the king seated on his chair and painted the king including his disabilities. You see the king was disabled with one blind eye, and missing one leg! The king got so mad that he sentenced the painter to prison!

The second painter painted the king as he rode upon a fine horse befitting a king. The painting depicted the king only from the one side showing his remaining leg, shooting his bow as he aimed with one eye closed (yes, the blind eye!) The king was so happy that he  paid him a large sum of money!

This is the talent of having a ‘good eye’: able to see the disabilities and yet make them appear as an advantage.

As a teacher I see it in many classes and work around my students’ disabilities: mental physical, spiritual and help them to become stronger by paying attention to the details as we say the devil is in the details and showing them the mechanism that can work for them personally. Because behind the generic body each of us builds differently and needs different adjustments specific to each of them. This is why feedback to each student may be important and is part of the training portion that I call ‘story-time.’

Some say “the sky is the limit” when what’s really true is that the ground is the limit and this is why I like teach ground and BJJ and Jiujutsu whats better than be locked on ground and in corner near wall to explore – Confined place.

Some time we need Risk your life to make life but training must be always safe – Today I see many Charlatans claim as formers special forces teaching un safe using load gun to teach gun disarming and   Many un safe training that as former top unit in Israel I know these guys never been in any special force and maybe been soldiers but for  sure never instructors as anyone that bern on service know and aware how much safety is first and last rule.

Defense mechanism
2. Reaction formation is the fixation in consciousness of an idea, affect, or desire that is opposite to a feared unconscious impulse. A mother who bears an unwanted child, for example, may react to her feelings of guilt for not wanting the child by becoming extremely solicitous and overprotective to convince both the child and herself that she is a good mother.

Personality: Freud

…of those drives. Other methods of defense include repression, a kind of withholding of conflicting ideas from recall; projection, the attribution to others of one’s own rejected tendencies; and reaction formation, turning into its opposite a tendency rejected in oneself—as in excessive generosity as a defense against avarice. The basic conflict between drives and control processes,…

Reaction formation

Watch out from In psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation (German: Reaktionsbildung) is a defensive process (defense mechanism) in which emotions and impulses which are anxiety-producing or perceived to be unacceptable are mastered by exaggeration (hypertrophy) of the directly opposing tendency.[1][2]The reaction formations belong to Level III or neurotic defense mechanisms, which also include intellectualization, dissociation, displacement and repression.

The concept of reaction formation has been used to explain responses to external threats as well as internal anxieties. In the phenomenon described as Stockholm Syndrome, a hostage or kidnap victim ‘falls in love’ with the feared and hated person who has complete power over them. Similarly paradoxical reports exist of powerless and vulnerable inmates of Nazi camps creating ‘favourites’ among the guards and even collecting objects discarded by them. The mechanism of reaction formation is often characteristic of obsessional neuroses. When this mechanism is overused, especially during the formation of the ego, it can become a permanent character trait. This is often seen in those with obsessional character and obsessive personality disorders. This does not imply that its periodic usage is always obsessional, but that it can lead to obsessional behavior.

The more you take the less you have.

What I’m looking for in a Kapap Israeli Krav Maga leader: At this point, what I look for in a self-defense instructor is a human being who knows how to exist and thrive on this planet, a spiritual warrior. He/she also needs to understand my unique point of awareness to life and have the ability to lead, but not to use it for his own ego.

Self-preservation starts within the mind. I look up to educators that not only know techniques, clear concepts of fighting and effective escapes, but who touch on philosophy and psychology of violence and conflict communication. On top of it all, they MUST be happy.

I have great respect for people who can communicate their wisdom in a way that I respect and retain. It usually goes hand-in-hand with personal experience and being AWAKE!

I always watch to see how teachers conduct themselves. I look for humility and accountability. And then, I look at GENEROSITY. This is why I set 4 levels first as eligibility into my Kapap program as most will never manage to pass this simple test first. THAT is always what makes my decision. Anything that I learn from this person will touch many lives, so I look for it to be a POSITIVE model.

I’m looking for a person who considers inner peace and balance priorities as a human being. Someone who has taken a deep long look into the dark side and not only DEALT with it, but understands it profoundly, accepts it, and responds to it in reality, without judgment.

These people are mentors, LEADERS and teach and spread the word of Kapap Israeli Krav Maga.


© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia & Aleksandra Nardia w/Tim Boehlert


Outside is better Relative Position than Inside for self-defense.

Zarathustra was a smart and wise character created by Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, in his writings who tried to bring awareness to humans and to open their eyes, but no one understood his words. He understood that he was ahead of his time and that the world was not ready for him yet…

The name Nikola Tesla is a great example of a man that was ahead of his time. Only in the last few years has his name gained recognition. Tesla is now known for his work with electricity, his radio patents and many other ideas that demonstrate his genius, a man truly ahead of his time. Many now benefit from his ideas and inventions and patents.

It is hard to give unlimited power to limited minds.” Nikola Tesla

I was talking to a friend and great Martial Artist, a young talent, tell me that he joined my Sensei Hanshi Patrick McCarthy  workshop and that at last he could really understand. It made me understand that sometimes teachers may lose their students and forget that their students do not have the proper tools, knowledge or wisdom. As we try  to push them, they need more basics and knowledge that may appear to be common sense. It’s important to teach that and as we say “slow is fast.” When we teach too fast we may lose the students by using martial arts terms that they don’t understand enough to understand our meaning. When teaching conceptual martial arts it’s harder to teach and study than just teaching techniques. When you understand a technique you know a technique and when you understand a concept you know endless  techniques.

Masters have unfair advantage over most people – they were willing to fail, but tried anyway. 

Most people do not even wish to try to get their own White Belt’s because their ego prevents them from doing so,  but they instead prefer to take weekend ‘Master Certification’ programs in Military uniforms from YouTube ‘Masters” ex Solider  – Rambo. ‘Keep this in perspective: a White Belt is a higher level of learning than people sitting on a couch watching the video will ever achieve! It demonstrates their respect and willingness to study from a real Sensei.

In combat we have 3 dimensions:  front, back and side. We also have 3 ways you can move: forward, backward or to the side. We can only react in 3 ways: linearly, circularly or in a trianglular fashion and these compose Kapap’s ‘relative position’ concept. We use relative position to the aggressor and situational awarness which also includes use and awareness of the environment.

The best relative position is to not be there!  Avoid the fight! If we can’t escape, the next best relative position would be to be at the aggressors back or to his side. A bad relative position would be to stand in front of him, as he would then have all of his ‘tools’ to hit you with:  legs, knees, elbows, head, body and  hands. That’s why we always need to try and get to his blind-side where we can better control his center and creating ‘The Guard’ – Kamae in Japanese. It’s also the BEST position for us to strike and defend from.

Also in some situations we can’t  move backward but must stand fast and we’d need to know how to transfer our force against him and control him from the side or from his back.

As a combat and self-defense system this must be our first step, our prefered goal: to be ‘outside’ his body and not ‘inside’ his body. ‘Inside’ his body when discussing relative position means that you are in between his hands and legs and it also means that he can hit you the as same as you can hit him, and the stronger man will win. But, if you by step to the outside of his body you have the advantage of levarage and control of his body center and gain more power! It’s really an important issue in self defense. We assume we are not as strong as our aggressor and thus we must take advantage at any point in the process where we can that we will gain us more the advantage of creating more power. That’s why we prefer the outside or the ‘shadow-blind’ side and not the inside, between his arms. We also need to study dealing with the inside but as a secondary priority, for those times when there is no way to move to the outside.

If you choose to only fight from the inside, he may counter your moves and gain the advantage over you. You can gain advantage by using the unexpected – relative position is just such a concept. Using relative position in relation to your adversary means gaining advantage by using your special knowledge and training to end the conflict in your favor. Placing your body and thus your ‘weapons systems’ to his detriment automatically gains you the upper hand. He is now struggling with adjusting to an uncomfortable feeling – a situation for which he is not familiar, odd angles, closer proximity perhaps, and his mind will lag behind as he tries to adjust to an unfamiliar situation.

You have changed his attack to your advantage by using a different tactic than what he may have ever anticipated, or ever trained for. You now have his mind engaged and distracted enough to gain you time – a very good prospect. His mind is now reeling. He won’t be able to catch up to you IF you take advantage NOW, and stop his aggression, by using your own to stop him. By going to his side, or to his back, you have taken away his ‘sight’, his focus. He is now working hard to catch up to the new positioning, and has to slow down to comprehend those changes, evaluate and respond – which gives you many new options.

In Kapap we also use the ‘Rule PLUS One’ concept: If he has a gun, he may also have a knife. You will need to keep an open-mind, and always expect the unexpected. Never assume anything about a conflict – all things are possible, and those aspects and possibilities that you don’t account for will not be to your advantage, but to his.

You can lead a human to knowledge, but you can’t make him think. 

© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail

“Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail “
© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

One of KAPAP’s fundamental modern Martial Arts goals is to enhance it’s traditional Martial Arts roots by assimilating hand-to-hand and combative skill-sets but also CPR and emergency medical components that can save lives. We also add skills such as Rope Adventures that work on team building and rescue operations through the use of ropes including how to even make ropes from toilet paper! Knots can play an unexpected important roll in making fire, or can be utilized for rescue, but ropes can also come into play in self-defense. Someone having a heart attack needs CPR. Someone choking on food may also need that skill applied on them. We also incorporate nutrition and fitness education, and  as I’ve said in the past when some have asked me how to disarm a knife –  I try to teach people how to disarm a fork first! More people die from over-eating and being over-weight and more yet will likely die from living the wrong lifestyle. This is why Kapap is more about teaching people how to live a quality lifestyle and not to live fearing people. All of the “Don’t be a victim” slogans are generated for those that are most likely to be become a victim through their own hands and by living a dangerous lifestyle. Fear cuts deeper than swords and this is why we teach people not to fear others, but to approach them with love and peace and friendship.

Another Part of KAPAP – Israeli Krav Maga, is survival. We include survival skills as yet another component of our modern Martial Arts package. We teach subject matter that includes SERE school components, which used in the Army teaches Psychology, mental preparedness and mindset skills, and also teaches hand-to-hand (CBQB), medic skills,  navigation and more. In the U.K., SERE is an acronym for Survive, Evade, Resist and Extract. SERE also provides U.S. military personnel, U.S. Department of Defense civilians, and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills.

We do not go so deep in training these skills as our military models do, but we do try to teach the mental aspects that you’d need to deal with a bad situation that you might face and how to keep calm and not panic. We teach escape, hand-cuffing and  escape from kidnapping situations in part to prepare our students to know how to deal with a ‘bad day.’

We add urban survival techniques to prepare our students how to deal with situations that can happen within inner-city neighborhoods in bad times and during crisis incidents that come about due to terrorist events, mobs, protests or any other urban unrest due to any number of unseen events, including storms, floods and other natural causes.

We teach parts of what is professionally called ‘TradecCraft.’  These skills can include cleaning runs, surveillance, counter-surveillance and third-party protection. We also teach basic security training – how to secure your own home, and also how to build your own security program. Kapap is a progressive and dynamic Martial Arts program, but also much more than to be simply labeled as a Martial Arts discipline  – we are progressive in that we always strive to expand our educational program, to always include new technologies, new ideas, but we also strive to learn from what has already been examined, and to re-examine and improve on that, to revise, and expand on what came before us.

We are not a ‘normal’ Martial Arts training program, because we provide more tools for our students including training in tactical driving, swimming and free-diving and cold weather survival – all components that make Kapap a Modern Martial art.

“Genuine wilderness exploration is as dangerous as warfare” Theodore Roosevelt wrote after nearly dying on an Amazon river tributary in 1914. Survival skills are an important component in what Kapap offers, and for good reason. You may be more likely to need those skills than fighting skills! I can add the words of my friend and trainer from Thailand “in our jungles everything is designed to kill you.” After experiencing it first-hand, I thought: so true. If you study how to survive and survive, you also get a great bonus: mental training and mental stamina! We are starting to build a seminar we call ‘Warrior by Nature.’ We’ll have you start your day meditating somewhere deep in a jungle, where all of the insects and creatures of that habitat will be bothering you and this is where and how you will learn to keep your mind calm and relaxed.


Kapap can also teach you to understand how much your own ego will not help you here, and show you that you’ll need your integrity – and here we can say that using your integrity is doing the right thing because no one will see what you do here. There is no Facebook, or Twitter, you’ll have no access to mist modern electronics devices or personal media. You won’t be able to post your very own ‘hero’ ego pictures as many do from their own comfortable surroundings while pretending to be warriors. This is where we will introduce you to our unique program that we call ‘Only Knife.’

Survival teachers will tell you that people who try to be heroes quickly die. They may have stamina but they lack the proper attitude. A Martial Arts teacher will say the same thing same as self-defense starts and ends with proper attitude, and there are no heroes in self-defense. This is why in Kapap – Israeli Krav Maga we always avoid slogans like  “touch  me and your first lesson is free.” When your ego is driving the bus, it’s not about self-defense.

The ‘Only Knife’ seminar concept came about as an idea to demonstrate that most knife teachers and systems only demonstrate the evil aspects of using this simple tool. They teach you how they can kill with knives, but we should all know that any fool kill someone with something as simple as a stone. As an example of one of the problems within the knife culture, and the recent love of the Karambit knife specifically, we feel it was designed for only one purpose – to kill, like the gun. A lot of this comes from the movie culture, and our own gullible nature – we get sucked into the newest fad and buy into it without ever questioning it.  Think of the Karambit as a tool – and wouldn’t you really be better off having a survival knife due it’s multiple use nature and it’s multiple functions, than having only a one-trick pony like the Karambit in your survival kit? A knife is a tool first and can also be used as a weapon if necessary. But, keep in mind that you can kill someone with almost any other item used as a weapon too. You will be much better prepared and for more possibilities if you learn how to use a knife for survival.


We will come out with a new DVD soon, produced by Budo International Magazine, that will  introduce you to why survival skills are important skills that we need to add into our Martial Arts programs. We hope that our friends, instructors and students all enjoy this lastest production hosted by our Survivalist Trainer Toby Cowern and gain knowledge and skills through viewing it. This DVD is not to teach survival skills but more to explain the connection between Marial Arts and survival. To truly study survival you must take the  training. It’s not something you will learn simply by watching a DVD or by being a YouTube Sensei!

© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

The Kapap Gideon Test

“The KAPAP Gideon Test”
By Avi Nardia, Ken Akiyama, Tim Boehlert © 2015

Trust people is the ONLY way to know if you can`t trust them,But been as a bird that trust her wing and Not the brunch its seat on ,and when a weak brunch break the trust the bird just fly a way as the bird know each branch that fall from tree is green for few days and than dry out ,that’s my simple test in KAPAP for years to Instructors and “partners “ as also to my student that think after got the first level of Trust after week training as kapap level one or as a second week as level 2 they took anything they need which is nothing more than empty papers with out the moral ethic and code of warriors. Its more as self test they are not aware as their ego that this is a mirror test into them self and that’s why most of them failed and in ANA I found fails of 75 % of people as seem today we missing the code of moral in life and also in Martial arts as present life. there actions will show better than their talks .
In order to maintain the highest quality instructors, we at ANA (Avi Nardia Academy) use the Gideon test. At any given time, we have dozens of KAPAP instructor candidates in levels 1-4 of our program. Depending upon the person, successful completion of the KAPAP instructor program is either very easy, or else completely impossible.

With enough time and effort, virtually anyone can gain the technical and tactical skills to become a KAPAP instructor. However, the biggest test in KAPAP is to demonstrate integrity – an attribute which candidates either embody completely, or not at all. For instance, those who only seek to collect ego certificates will find our KAPAP program impossible. Thus, we use the Gideon test to distinguish our team members.

The story of Gideon tells us how God quickly distinguished the 300 best warriors from amongst 32,000 soldiers. First God instructed Gideon to proclaim, “Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.” In response to the Lord’s directive, two-thirds of the soldiers retired. With ten thousand men still remaining, God told Gideon that there were still too many men. He told Gideon to march his men down the hill, as though they were going to attack the enemy.

As the army passed by a body of water, Gideon watched the men stop at the water’s edge to drink. Most of the men set their shields and spears down, dropped to their knees, and drank heartily with both hands as a cup. Gideon ordered those men to stand in one company.

There were a few warriors who took water differently. These soldiers cautiously stooped at the riverbank with their spears and shields in their right hands while cupping water with their left hands. If the enemy would suddenly appear, they would be ready. God said to Gideon, “These are the men whom I have chosen to set Israel free.”

Even though there were only 300 men in this company, every one of them embodied the spirit of a true warrior. They were focused on their purpose and held their bearing in spite of thirst and distraction. They were vigilant – neither would they be victims of a surprise attack, nor would they miss their opportunity to seize victory at the opportune moment.

That is how Gideon selected 300 warriors from amongst 32,000 men. I have written before that it is better to search for 15 years to find the right teacher than to study for 15 years with the wrong teacher. In KAPAP, we think that it’s also about finding the right students.

Fifteen years ago, I began to open my teachings to civilians. Before that time, I had only taught my system of KAPAP to select military and police personnel in Israel. As the first step of opening KAPAP, we ran a course called Kapap Level One Instructor and it was a full 5 days basic training. The primary objective of the course was to assess how much progress the students would have to make in order to be called full KAPAP teachers.

I emphasized that the course was more like an “interview” phase for the students. Even though I read the student’s credentials and many where ranked as “experts”, they quickly demonstrated that their previous ranking was far from reality when it came to fighting on the mat.

These candidates, came from a particular modern martial art that specifically states it is “Not Traditional Martial Arts – It’s No Nonsense Martial Arts”. When they came to us to learn KAPAP, the top system, our assessment was that they were ‘full’ of nonsense and nothing more. They carried exaggerated titles and their idea of self-defense was based on three basic moves with lots of sound effects (fu, fu, fu…) and choreography.

Even if a candidate has low skill, I am happy to teach them as long as they have a good heart and maintain integrity. I have never turned a student away merely because they lacked physical talent (in fact, one of my most rewarding projects was to teach handicapped children). While I have no shortage of instructor candidates who want to learn the physical skills of KAPAP, only a a fraction our candidates are interested in upholding our morals and ethics.

At ANA (Avi Nardia Academy) we constantly work to distinguish our Gideon Fighters/Instructors. In order to find those who will lead KAPAP into the future we actively weed out others who only chase certificates and titles but fail to behave like professionals. This constant process ensures that our team maintains the highest standards.

After all, Gideon could have instructed his troops to maintain their weapons. Instead, he preferred to observe their actions in order to learn about their nature. Similarly, I believe the fastest way to to find out if a person is trustworthy is to afford them your trust and see if they will maintain it each day. Along this route, some people forget that KAPAP Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are a screening process. If one of my students forgets morals, ethics, integrity, or skills development, they fail the Gideon test.

Gideon dismissed the soldiers who momentarily set their shields and spears aside. At Avi Nardia Academy, we dismiss those whom set their morals and ethics aside. This is the test of a person’s spirit. We can try to teach techniques and fix errors but without the right spirit, one can’t learn much.

So far, only a very small number of KAPAP instructors have passed all four levels. We give Level 1 certificates so we can begin to learn who people really are. I say that I never ‘test’ my students. Rather, people reveal their own character through their actions. If someone fails the Gideon test at any level, they fail completely and are out of KAPAP.

I can only smile when I see new “grandmasters” appear in Israeli Martial Arts who have failed KAPAP or simply watched our DVDs. Suddenly, techniques which are unique to KAPAP become the “New Official Curriculum” in their systems.

Anyone who is not my student who claims to teach KAPAP or “the real KAPAP” is either dishonest or deranged. Can you imagine during Bruce Lee’s lifetime that a person would suddenly appear and claim to be the “Real Jeet Kun Do?” Much to my surprise, some of my former students who only learned a small fraction of KAPAP now open their own “federation” and claim to be the “Real KAPAP”. There are other people who I have never even met whom claim to teach KAPAP.

Nobody can be the “Real KAPAP” if they never learned the first lesson: Integrity. There is a saying, don’t argue with stupid people, or they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. It’s funny and true. There are times when one must fight but mostly the way of a zen warrior is to allow ones foes to destroy themselves. At Avi Nardia Academy, we ask people to either stay real, or stay real far away.

As the founder of KAPAP combatives I lead KAPAP worldwide with a family model. I am very pleased to attract so many good quality members and representatives. Today, 15 years since I first began teaching KAPAP to the public, I am proud to see KAPAP spreading its wings and beginning to soar very high with new members around the world joining my team each day.

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself.”

“The KAPAP Gideon Test”
© Copyright 2015 Avi Nardia, Ken Akiyama, Tim Boehlert

Tokku: True Jutsu

Tokku in Japanese: True-Jutsu
©2015 Avi Nardia w/Tim Boehlert

Tokku in Japanese Budo means to win with honor and integrity.

A win is only for yourself as no one else can see it, but you will always know that you can hide the truth. Even in Zen it’s said that you can’t hide 3 things: the moon, the sun and the truth. The truth is that humans always hide the truth. All leaders do it daily, friends do it, even parents do it with their kids. The truth will pop out, but it may be well after the win. With some Olympians we see sports players lie, cheat, and fake to show a win, but truth will find a way out and show as does noon and the sun.

There are two Japanese words that describe this: ‘Tatemae’: the mask that we present – the fake us and ‘Honne’: the truth – us as we really are.

We can hide the truth to win, but we can’t win ‘Tokku’, meaning the respect of ourselves as we know that we lied and just hid the truth to win, and so you will die as a loser.

For Samurai whom carry the honor code, what’s the use of it if you disrespect yourself and die as a loser with a fake trophy? This is where true-jutsu plays a role in the ‘go’ or code.

In Samurai movies we see how he died by the sword of another samurai, and thanks him for an honorable death and in Tokku death carries his integrity to the grave. It’s better to win with honor than to win, but lose Tokku.

This is hard for westerners to understand as a win in life for us means to do anything to win, but the samurai way is the art of death. He needs to be ready each day to die, and to die with no respect and honor is the most shameful loss in life. He would ask to die in honor by seppuku, by blade, and earn Tokku honor death. This is why the code forces the budoka to live by the honor code and Tokku, true-jutsu integrity as one of it’s principles.

In kapap we teach to keep the Budo Code. The western lifestyle is to break any of them and lie and live by that lie, where that win means money, and where more money is better than even the price of friendship. Cheating and loss of the Tokku, the truth that you know inside means a loss of your integrity.

This is why I teach that principles in life are more important than any techniques. Keeping a clean hearth is hard to teach and that’s why we teach principles first and foremost over techniques.
“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colors (blue,yellow,red,white and black) yet in combination the produce more hues than can ever be seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet and bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.” Sun Tzu – The Art of War
There are not more than five principles in modern Kapap (push and pull, balance displacement, high and low, relative position, two points of contact) yet combinations of them produce more techinques than can ever been seen!

One is the most common principle in all martial arts, it’s done by humans but to be called human we need to first keep the Code. To teach only techniques and to build the body strong but neglect a weak mind and spirit will never win you Tokku.
The Mind controls the Hand. The Heart controls the Mind. The Soul controls the the Heart and only then will you live by BUSHIDO.

A Knight In Shining Armor Is A Man Who Has Never Had His Metal Tested

“A knight in shining armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested”

Copyright © 2014 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

In a forthcoming DVD produced in conjunction with Budo Magazine, we’ll share ideas from traditional Martial Arts and CQB with modern day variations and techniques.

Teaching Martial Arts and Combatives, I often see ‘heroes.’ It’s said that after a war the marketplace is loaded with heroes and hero stories. Israelis at the age of 24 are writing autobiographical books about themselves. I’ve met many new Grand Masters. I’ve met men that after taking only a few days training with me, where they could hardly survive, are now Grand Masters! Students that I’ve kicked out of the Army and Police Academy are now the ‘real-deal’, accompanied now with their own war stories and life experiences. It all makes me wonder how the Israeli Martial Arts got watered down to the level that is prevalent today.
This new wave of Martial Artists and web-surfers run from one movie to the next movie fad, and they seem to only study the Martial Arts in waves and set their dreams and goals on a movie depiction of what some hollywood-type thinks is the latest/hottest Martial Arts and they fail to understand that it’s the man who makes the title and not the title that makes the man.
Close Quarters Battle (CQB) ideas are not new.
“To study the old is to understand the new.” — 
Hanshi Patrick McCarthy

Suijutsu (水術 in Japanese) history tells us that fighting could take place anywhere, and that thereby a Samurai had to be ready to fight in every situation — immersed in the water of a river or the sea for example. In the old days a Bushido person had to study many arts from horsemanship to swimming and even writing and music and culture so as to be open minded and to have a broad viewpoint and to also have skills.

As a joke I always said that in Israeli Martial Arts we have also ‘Sue Do’: the art of suing! Around 2000 there were many lawsuits all over due to some dirty moves by a few greedy lawyers that had travelled to Israel for a few days, including sight-seeing, and when they got back they were experts in Israeli Martial Arts and they actually tried to trademark it. When I moved to the USA, I was one of the few to fight it. As a result of that, they attacked me in many forums, in any way they could including paying internet criminals to slander me by building an on-line blog that called me a fraud, citing that they were the real deal. None of them served in the Israeli Army an hour or even n the Israeli Police but somehow they miraculously knoew the real Israeli Martial Arts and sold certificates to teach it! It was really funny as the certificates were signed by Imi Lichtenfeld, who had passed away 15 years before, but he still managed to sign the certifications.

During that time I said I’d fight in court, or on the on-line forums, anywhere on the internet, in sea or air as that’s a part of my trust of what is CQB. You should able to fight in any field that you may find yourself in. I fought the slander and I never went down. It wasn’t and still isn’t right.

When we teach and study combatives remember: the point of Combative Martial Arts is aggressiveness, fearlessness and determination. The spirit of not giving up. And when I see different combative systems I can see no matter where and when they were ‘made’, they have a common lineage back to all of them. But this line is also brutality and we have to remember one more fact – age. And don’t forget injuries. Most combative arts are taught to kids between 18 to 22 who are in th best fitness of their lives! Any former soldier will admit that ‘yes, we were young and yes the body paid the price with injuries that we carry for a life-time.’ All admit that we must listen to the body and train smart.

I was invited to Wingate Sport University in Israel to lecture on the subject ‘slow is fast.’ I was paid by the Isaraeli government to explain the idea of how bones are on a continual growing process until we’re almost 22, and how all the stress on bones and joints can create damage for that will last us a life-time. How the muscles are faster to grow and adapt, but how the bones, joints and ligaments are slower to gorw and adapt and why we need to train slower to build a system. When asked why we get our young people into the Army in Israel at the age of 18, the answer is simple: they are too young to understand, easy to manipulate and direct. At an older age they would be smarter and maybe also refuse.

After seeing so many soldiers, police officers and special forces soldiers for so many years as a trainer I could see also different injuries. What does it mean to kill a person? “The weight of knowing that you’ve killed another person: is heavy. I’ve seen guys lose religion over it, and I’ve seen guys gain religion over it, through a course entitled ‘The Anatomy of a Kill.’ It was about what bullets do to people” he says. “How they tumble through the body, what kind of damage they do, the difference between soft organs and hard organs, what happens when the bullet hits what, how to deploy the round earlier so it pulls earlier and does more damage.” A friend asked me how do you train for it and how do you teach for it? It’s a hard issue. Do we talk to civilians or Army?

In my days I used to take my Counter-Terrorism Unit student to the hospital mortuary and show them bodies. The parts after bad accidents. I remember two friends that had been in suicide bombing situations and both said that each time they went in with the right mindset, they acted professional as a doctor or nurse would in the same situation, but that once they made a mistake and went in with the wrong attitude and mindset and lost it. So we can build, but that doesn’t mean that one day we won’t fail.

Combatives is a hard subject and this is why I like to keep teaching part of swordsmanship when I teach combatives as it’s the ultimate CQB using a sword in a mêlée. A mêlée is disorganized close-combat with a group of fighters. A mêlée happens when groups fight together in combat with no regard for group tactics or fighting as a unit. Each combative fights alone.
“Among many types of fighting encompassed by the general term ‘close combat’ includes the medieval and ancient mêlée and the modern terms hand-to-hand combat and close quarters combat (CQC.) Close combat occurs when opposing military forces engage in restricted areas, an environment frequently encountered in urban warfare. Military small unit tactics traditionally regarded as forms of close combat include fighting with hand-held or hand-thrown weapons such as swords, knives, axes, or tools. In modern times (since World War II), the term ‘close combat’ has also come to describe unarmed hand-to-hand combat, as well as combat involving firearms and other distance weapons when used at short range. William E. Fairbairn, who organized and led the famous Shangai Riot Squad of the Shanghai Municipal Police, devised a system of close-combat fighting for both soldiers and civilians which bears his name, ‘the Fairbairn System,’ incorporating use of the handgun, knife, and unarmed martial arts fighting techniques. Since that time, the term ‘close combat’ has also been used to describe a short-range physical confrontation between antagonists not involved in a military conflict, for example in riots and other violent conflicts between law enforcement personnel and civilians. Hand-to-hand combat, sometimes abbreviated as HTH or H2H, is a lethal or non-lethal physical confrontation between two or more persons at very short range (grappling distance) that does not involve the use of firearms or other distance weapons.

[1] While the phrase ‘hand-to-hand’ appears to refer to unarmed combat, the term is generic and may include use of striking weapons used at grappling distance such as knives, sticks, batons, or improvised weapons such as entrenching tools.

[2] While the term hand-to-hand combat originally referred principally to engagements by military personnel on the battlefield, it can also refer to any personal physical engagement by two or more combatants, including police officers and civilians.

[3] Combat within close quarters, to a range just beyond grappling distance, is commonly termed close combat or close-quarters combat. It may include lethal and non-lethal weapons and methods depending upon the restrictions imposed by civilian law, military rules of engagement, or ethical codes. Close combat using firearms or other distance weapons by military combatants at the tactical level is modernly referred to as close quarter battle. The U.S. Army uses the term combatives to describe various military fighting systems used in hand-to-hand combat training, systems which may incorporate eclectic techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports.Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Close Quarters Battle (CQB) or Close Combat Fighting is a physical confrontation between two or more combatants.

[4] It can take place between military units, police and criminals, and other similar actions. In warfare it usually consists of small units or teams engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, up to 30 meters, from proximity hand-to-hand combat to close quarter target negotiation with short range firearms. In the typical close quarters combat scenario, the attackers try a very fast, violent takeover of a vehicle or structure controlled by the defenders, who usually have no easy way to withdraw. Because enemies, hostages/civilians, and fellow operators can be closely intermingled, close quarters combat demands a rapid assault and a precise application of lethal force. The operators need great proficiency with their weapons, and the ability to make split-second decisions in order to minimize accidental casualties.Criminals sometimes use close quarters combat techniques, such as in an armed robbery or jailbreak, but most of the terminology comes from training used to prepare soldiers, police, and other authorities. Therefore, much material relating to close quarters combat is written from the perspective of the authorities who must break into the stronghold where the opposing force (OPFOR) has barricaded itself. Typical examples would be commando operations behind enemy lines and hostage rescues.Although there is considerable overlap, close quarters combat is not synonymous with urban warfare, now sometimes known by the military acronyms MOUT (military operations in urban terrain), FIBUA (fighting in built-up areas) or OBUA (Operations in Built Up Areas) in the West. Urban warfare is a much larger field, including logistics and the role of crew-served weapons like heavy machine guns, mortars, and mountedgrenade launchers, as well as artillery, armor, and air support. In close quarters combat, the emphasis is on small infantry units using light, compact weapons that one person can carry and use easily in tight spaces, such as carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, pistols, knives, and bayonets. As such, close quarters combat is a tactical concept that forms a part of the strategic concept of urban warfare, but not every instance of close quarters combat is necessarily urban warfare—for example, a jungle is potentially a stage for close quarters combat.

source: CQC Manuals

After teaching for many years I see how spirit and mind must be in place. Many times it’s more important than just the body conditioning in combative arts. The problem is in thinking about how to share it with students, mostly young and inexperienced, who may have their eyes on only the shiny armor and the brave knight, and also how to make them understand Zanshin and Kamae.

While talking with a friend from traditional Martial Arts I could see how Kendo explained it to me and that’s what I learnt best from Kendo, and now as a teacher. I was very surprised, but at the same time happy to hear and understand Kamae.
(心の構え) Kokoro no Kamae is the posture of your heart and mind. In Budo training you assume a posture so that you guard your weak points and make it difficult for an enemy to attack you; and at the same time, it is a strategy to expose the enemies weak points.
If you face an enemy without a kamae, you will be an easy target. Learning basic usage of kamae is among the first lessons beginners study. We physically adjust ourselves in certain ways in response to what the enemy shows us. We learn that from each kamae there are more favorable ways to move attack and defend and less favorable ways. You learn the strengths and the weaknesses of each posture and how to use them strategically against various types of attacks. You even see kamae in sports. Football and basketball for example use formations to respond to their opponents formations and have options to use based on their opponents adjustments. Kamae is also present in games like chess and of course in war in terms of battle formations.
Beyond physical kamae (just placing your arms legs and body in specific ways) there is mental kamae. If we look at he physical basics again, even there is present a mental aspect. You want to use your body in such ways as to lie to your enemy. This is basic Kyojitsu Tenkan 虚実転換…  Kyojitsu Tenkan basically explained means that what the enemy can perceive and react to is not truly what your intention is. If it looks like your leg is open to an attack, it is not, if it looks like your arm can be grabbed, that is because you want them to grab it. Your true openings are hidden, and your true strengths are hidden as weaknesses. Many people never develop these skills, even at this level (and they miss most of the art by doing so) so it is not surprising that when it comes to mental and spiritual kamae not only do the vast majority never even think about it, they never train it nor gain skill with it.
Life is combat NOT sport!
Make your fighting stance your everyday stance.

– Miyamoto Musashi

“Beware the ego, it will be your downfall…”

Ritual Cat

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

source: traditional

A few days ago radical Muslims kidnapped three young Jewish kids and murdered them in cold blood. This act set about a new wave of hatred in Israel. Many Israelis demanded revenge. This is an ongoing story and was broadcast internationally – touching everyone. ‘An eye for an eye’ is the demand of many for revenge.If this is the way it will be the way, then we will soon be blind. This one act led to the attempted kidnapping of an eight year old by Jewish radicals, religious terrorists, that was at the last minute saved by his mother. SHe was able to thwart the kidnapping. The very next day these Jewish radcials managed to kidnap a 15 year old Muslim kid and burned him alive. What a shame, and how inhuman. The mother of one of the Jewish kids that had been murdered, Naftali Frenkel, R.I.P. said “there is no difference in blood to blood, or religion… a murder is a murder.” These words by a mournfing mother show that she is a warrior. Warriors do not lower themselves to the standards of other people; they live independently, according to their own standards and code of honor.

I find these words most important in these sad days in Israel as I see how low people can go. It makes me sad, and sick at the same time. Three terrorist’s kidnapping three kids and killing them simply because they are radical Muslims and the kids were Jewish. In Return six radical Jewish men kidnap a poor Palestinian Muslim child and brutally murder him in the most evil of ways — by burning him alive. These actions are not representative of Israelis and nor by the religious belief. These people are sick criminals and evil humans. These are not warriors, these are cowards. It’s a shame to even call them human. Terrorists are terrorists and war criminals, whether they be Muslim or Jewish or represent any religion. As responsible teachers, we must stop this crazy world from degrading further through education and by making warriors that will follow friendship love and peace.

Religion is not the problem, there are plenty of wars started by atheists (Hitler, Stalin et al). The problem is human nature. Unfortunately far too many people are just sheep who will blindly follow the dogma of whatever group they identify with. Whether it be Islamic fundamentalism or political correctness, the problem is still the same: group think, intolerance and the arrogance to believe that you are right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong.

To hate is easy. This is why in traditional Martial Arts we teach our students to teach with Love and peace and tolerance and when we need to teach combatives, sometimes it’s just teaching how to hurt or how to kill, but we forget the manners and values. When you research the old Japanese military ways, they always followed Jutsu: Kenjutsu changed to Kendo Jujutsu to Judo from just art and skills to ‘The Way.’ The way of the modern era of teaching is from love and peace and tolerance, and not just skills. Today in MMA we face going backwards to just teaching skills and how to hurt and win, but not to make a very important point. Do we also teach in the right way and to the right people?
This made me leave the ‘family’ and build my own family that will follow those values and morals and here is the story of the ‘family’:

One day a man travelled deep into the jungle and met a monkey. He said hello to the monkey and was surprised when the monkey returned his greeting with “hello my friend!” The man didn’t know monkeys could speak, and so he asked the monkey to about this. The monkey said “yes we can speak, we just hide it.” The man then said “we humans say that monkeys and humans are of the same family.” The monkey was really happy to meet his ‘new’ relative and didn’t stop exclaiming “my family, my family!” Suddenly, out of nowhere a lion attacked both of them and the monkey pulled the man up into his tree and climbed high up to a safer place. The lion said “throw the human to me, and I will eat only him and I will set you free.” The monkey replied “no way, he is my family.” Through the long night the man eventually got tired of trying to out-wait the hungry lion below, and so he asked the monkey to watch over him as he slept and said that when the monkey would go to sleep and he would watch over him. While the man slept the lion asked the monkey again to let him eat the mand, and he’d let the monkey go free. But the monkey replied again “No. We are family.” When the man woke, he told the monky to sleep and stated that he’d keep watch over him. The Monkey went to sleep and the lion asked the man to “throw the monkey down to me to eat and I’ll set you free! The man didn’t think twice, and he threw the monkey down to the lion, but the monkey woke up quickly and before the lion could set his paws on him he jumped back into the tree and climb back up to where the man sat safely. This was really embarrassing to the man. Both knew what happened, but no one spoke of it. Then the lion fell asleep and the monkey said to the man “let’s go!” and he walked him safely all the way back to the edge of the jungle and said goodbye. As the man started walking, the monkey called him and said “can I ask you favor?” “Yes!” the man said, happy that the monkey still considered them friends depite what the man had tired to do to the monkey. The monkey said to him “would you please not mention to anyone that we are family?”

This brings me back to the Israeli Martial Arts, as I have been stabbed in the back by ‘friends’ and other greedy people that had been too ready to sell my friendship for almost no money and I decided to simply say “Please don’t mention that we’re family.” I have since buil my own family called WARRIOR, as warriors follow their heart and keep their values and morals! This is my family!

Maj. Avi Nardia

Tim Boehlert

©Copyright, 2014 Maj. Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert