Why do I Train?

By Lior Katz

Ninjutsu Lion

From time to time I face the question: “why do I train?”

My friends, even strangers and of course my wife ask me on many occasions.

When I began to train, I was 14 then, my answer was “because I want to remain the only secular Jew in Jerusalem”. This was right after reading “Jeremiah’s inn” (a satirical book by Israeli author Benjamin Tamuz), I was so enraged by it that I wanted to be strong enough to stand my ground.

Thus, training rigorously, I became strong (I also understood that this would not make any difference, but this is another story altogether).

Upon understanding I had indeed become strong (this took several years) I realized something additional; I realized I was training because training was fulfilling a very basic need for me, maybe even a primitive need. This primitive desire is to engage my body in fighting, playing and sweating.

Defining myself as a man (not to mention a macho…) includes my physical ability and my readiness to use my force in order to defend and attack at need.

Practice provides me with a suitable feeling. This requires constant upkeep. I am aware: this is a primitive feeling. I could always be defeated by a bullet shot by anyone, but this does not matter. The Power, the ability to control my body, and if needed (theoretically) control others, provides me with what I need in order to feel good and whole (in this matter, at least).

If one looks deep enough, all of our desires and feelings have this primitive basis (at times this does not even require too much introspection).
There is an entire field in Psychology (a much disputed field), emphasizing “the evolutionary approach”, maybe its perspectives are relevant here. Many psychologists agree: we are driven by primal impulses and desires in a more powerful manner than most of us are willing to admit.

After practice I feel like a lion. This feeling is wonderful. This is an another excellent reason to train in martial arts.


An Open Letter to the Beer Sheva Group

By Lior Katz

Hi everyone

About a month has gone by since I handed the group over to Dan. This has been an extremely long month for me. It is fun being home in the evenings, though the work is difficult and Sisyphean even more than coaching…
This is a time in which my wife and I need to gather up a lot of strength and take care of our little boy. This, along with raising our older son, work and married life is a big challenge.

I miss you all, I miss practice: the insights, the sweat, the laughter, tea and biscuits at the end…

Thank you very much for your gift which I received through Dan. I understand that almost everyone is persistent and coming to practice, this makes me very happy.

I train in Yossi’s group once a week and try to meet up with at least two other people for more practice on a regular basis in addition to my own training, so I’m not letting myself rust.

The hard work seems to be paying off and my personal task is slowly making progress. I have some visits from students, and Dan comes over regularly to train with me. You are all gladly invited. I am available on the phone to everyone.

I love you all very much,
See you soon,


Due to insurance and bureaucracy reasons, the responsibility for the group is still mine until the end of March 2007.