As Israelis face the increased risk of stabbing attacks and the deterioration of personal safety, more and more are signing up for self-defense courses. Defense experts, local, regional and national champion athletes, and “tough” amateurs are opening classes all over the country in order to provide training for the hundreds in their communities who are searching for ways to protect themselves.
Among those professionals is Amit Harel, an Israeli champion in karate, who will be giving a free training seminar at a Netanya shopping center Monday. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Harel said that many people he had spoken to in recent weeks had the wrong idea about self-defense. “It's not just about taking a course,” he said. “It requires practice, and even before learning, the body must be prepared.”
While no one should expect to come out of such a course a professional, Harel said that participants would get a good taste of what self-defense was all about. “It helps for conditioning and self-confidence, even initially,” he said. “But people need to realize that self-defense is a way of life. It is not another 'hobby' like soccer or drawing. You have to love doing it. I know of many teenagers who quit after they get hit once. You have to be a little tougher than that.”
With that, he said, anyone could succeed at martial arts – even those that did not appear to be particularly strong or aggressive. “I have students as young as four, so it is also not about physical strength. It's about dedication and practice.”