By: Matan Gavish
There are many reasons New Yorkers come to Krav Maga Academy. There are the obvious reasons, getting in shape, meeting new people, learning a skill that might save your life. These reasons are all wonderful and are important on your journey to self-empowerment.
But we know that there are deeper more primal goals you come to class, and these have nothing to do with how many calories you’ve burnt or which choke or bear-hug escape you have mastered. It does, however, have everything to do with your underlying desire to be stronger – and not just on the outside. You want to be able to meet any curve ball with the confidence of a true “Alpha”.
There are many ways to call it: Aggressive, Assertive, confident, in control. It is important to stress that these qualities are not a function of how you see or treat others, but rather how you see and treat yourself. If you found yourself going along with something you preferred not to go along with, because of how you thought it would affect others, or because of how it would reflect on you – it is a first sign you need to start practicing “soft aggression”.
Soft aggression is the ability to consciously decide and control every aspect of your life. It is deciding what to do as well as deciding what not to do. What to give, what not to give, without feeling guilty, uncomfortable or awkward.
The first habit you must develop is saying no. An alpha cannot be convinced into doing anything. People have a tendency not to take no for an answer. It is true for sales people, our friends on a Friday night and violent predators. Society made it ok to keep pressing after hearing the word no (Think of any romantic movie where the guy ignores the girl’s no only to charm her by the end of the movie) – and many of us have accepted it as ok. If you can point to a time in your life where you said no but ended up engaging with whatever you initially refused to – you are displaying beta/follower traits and you are letting others be in control of your fate. Some may find this idea comforting, others will find it terrifying. So going forward, start practicing saying no and make sure that no is firm and unwavering. No need to give excuses when you don’t want something to soften the blow on the other side.
There is a difference between “No – I am not interested thank you” and “I want to but I can’t because of X, Y, Z…” – The first leaves no room for discussion, no cracks in your shield. The second – an open invitation for rebuttal, convincing and negotiation. If you find yourself negotiating something you don’t really want – you didn’t say no, you said maybe.
Once you have mastered the power of NO, start engaging in the power of “I Can and I Will”. I can and I will are the backbone of overcoming any hardship, be it financial, entrepreneurial, medical, professional or athletic. If the No is your shield, I can and I will is your spear. It is the mantra that will crack through any difficulty, shatter any fear and eventually propel you to the heights you desire. The best plans in the world are useless without I can and I will. And greatness can be achieved with very little resources because of I can and I will.
Use these tools wisely and learn Krav Maga to protect your body and mind from those who don’t take no for an answer.