From Shihan's Desk

3 Faces of Power and How to Have It When You Need It

3 Faces of Power and How To Have It When You Need It

    Power- it’s an often used word that everyone uses, most want and few understand. It can mean a lot of things. It is defined as: the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality;the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events; physical strength and force exerted by something or someone; and/or energy that is produced by mechanical, electrical, or other means and used to operate a device. The first three are relevant to our training and today’s discussion, wherein I will share three important powers we train in Krav Maga Martial Arts, the importance and application of each and some practical ways that you too can develop these powers in your life.

    The first power is that physical strength and force applied by someone on something webster defined for us earlier. This is the power of a boxer in a punch, a baseball player or golfer in a swing, weightlifter in a lift or a martial artist in a kick. In my dojo (my martial arts academies) this month we are teaching students the principles of power to break boards with a side kick. The ability to do so is  physical evidence of the presence of physical power. It’s also powerful for a student’s confidence when they succeed, but we’ll leave that for another discussion.

    We train to be physically powerful in two ways: one, by strength and cardio, H.I.T, plyometrics and sport specific training that develops our slow and fast twitch muscle fiber for explosive strength and endurance relevant to our sport or martial art endeavors. The other way we train to be powerful is to understand and apply the principles of power; proper body alignment, speed, focus, rotation, body sponsorship, explosiveness, follow through, correct stances and breathing are some examples.

    The second power we develop through our training in Krav Maga I pray no student ever has to use. We pray for the best but train for the worst when it comes to our students’ ability to defend themselves against real violence in the world. I pray no student ever has to actually apply this power because, if he or she does, the worst is happening. As the self protection piece of our system is for just that, self protection, and our self defense techniques are designed to deal with the worst threats, it is best that we never have to use them. I often explain however that the only thing worse that preparing and not needing is needing and not being prepared. So we train students to be prepared to survive the worst should, God forbid, the worst happen.

    Training this type of power is physical, mental and spiritual. The physical includes the aforementioned training to be able to generate great power and endure the stress of a fight, and also the physical skills to defend against strikes, kicks, chokes, grans, holds, and stick, knife or gun attack. In reality, though, a student only physically prepared, but not mentally, is not prepared to deal with real violence. This is why the krav maga self defense part of our art also trains the mental and spiritual attributes needed to survive; confidence, decisiveness, aggressiveness and tenacity are amongst these.

    The third power we will discuss today I pray you do get to use! This power is within all of us but unique to each of us. It is a power that, unlike the second one, we will certainly get to use on a regular and even daily basis if we develop it but, like the first, requires training. In fact, the first and most important part to developing this power (and also the most challenging) is figuring out what it is.

    The third power is your gift, your calling, your superpower. It’s the power that supports the mission that you were placed on this earth to do. The sad part is that many people live lives of quiet desperation, never having found their calling and therefore never having discovered their power. Your gift, or Superpower, is in your for the express and sole reason of coming out. We each have a unique superpower our creator gave us meant to be developed and then applied to our world. Unlike the power to defend yourself, which we must train diligently to be prepared if something we hope never happens does, the tragedy of this power is if you never get to use it. The calamity in this instance is to die having never discovered and/or never sharing your gift with the world.

    Like all powers, your superhero power must be developed. By way of example, I have some amazing instructors on my team at KMMA. Each was chosen because I recognized their power, but none are allowed to take the floor and share until completing comprehensive instructor training to make sure their superpowers were honed and focused in a way conducive to empowering people’s lives through martial art. First, we discover our power, then we train it and then we share it. I believe this is the secret to finding purpose in the world.

    I will share some tools for discovering your superpower in coming blogs and vlogs over the next few weeks. Please subscribe to each or one or the other if you interested. If you are near a KMMA location, I’d love to have you try some classes and experience how we can develop all 3 of these powers through our program. If you’re not, however, I still look forward to serving you in these ways. I am planning on also starting some videos and other content around the self defense piece of what we do. Feel free to comment and let me know what you’d like to see more of or learn more about.
                    Stephen Del Castillo
                    Founding Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts