Dancing into martial art – Egypt and Rajastan

Sometimes we rejoice in a little mystery. Instead of trying to reveal it all one can embrace the intangible. It is happier this way, more exciting.

When I was young, years ago, we played a bad game. My kindergaten teacher gave a kid a wrapped box. Then one kid would open the outer wraps, pass it on to another kid and at the end the so called “winner” would be left with some stupid eraser. Why open it? The box can sit, unopened, till the very end 

Insights about martial arts can be this wrapped secret, this is why I love Ninjutsu Kata.

To is it should all be revealed as quickly as possible. This lack of patience is the mark of very disturbed kids. Everything should be understood immediately.  

Maybe just a little bit, a hint. When I look at the video my Yoga teacher, Nir Adin, posted I see the Yoko Aruki step, I see work against several opponents, but even more – I see harmony. As we, martial arts practitioners sometimes guess, not all humans come to attack us, the majority just want to interact.

These insights, these experiences, are embedded inside many folk dances, from Egyptian Tahtib to the dance done during the Holi festival in Rajastan. Here is the mesmerizing thing.

Video of multiple friend – opponent dance, Rajastan



Download the methodical pyramid on the amazon kindle

For many years I have been using a systematic model to plan the intersection between a very traditional martial art and the modern warfare that shadows us here, in Israel. I wrote it about 15 years ago and posted it in Hebrew and on our English site (Methodical pyramid on AKBAN.org). It is still here, free for all.

From today you can download the Kindle edition of the core AKBAN training plan – (Methodical pyramid – Kindle edition).

Preserving the respect and spiritual frame that stems from our Ninjutsu is a heritage I owe to my teacher, Doron Navon. During the 15 years I spent as his student I had many opportunities to watch him grapple with the necessary hard realities of self defense situations and at the same time maintaining a very spiritual perspective.

I think that for the AKBAN instructors the years ahead must be a time of further exploring, both of the hard realities of self defense and warfare and the spiritual insights of our very unique disciplin.

Video of last year gun seminar in AKBAN


Thoughts about giving, learning and teaching

Every year I make it a point to donate my time for some kids who want to learn martial arts and can not afford to pay for it.

This makes me happy and this way I return the gift my instructor, Doron Navon, once gave me when he allowed me to train even though my mother did not have enough to pay for dojo fees.

This year I am fortunate enough to be teaching a wonderful youth group in Tel Aviv, about thirty kids.

My friend, Shai Reshef, sees a far horizon from his lofty perspective, he sees more then 30 kids, he sees a change. He once told me: “I want people to be able to learn higher education, not only read the news”.

And that’s what he did, after only three years he built the world’s accredited people’s University that teaches students from Israel, Haiti, Egypt, well, actually from every country where there are students who can not afford University tuition. 1200 students from 121 countries, so far.

Every dollar contributed to the www.uopeople.org pays the tuition of an able student who would otherwise be doomed to a life of cultural and economic poverty.

I think my teacher would have approved. I intend to donate not only time but money in this round of contributions. Maybe you would choose to do the same.

Here’s a link

Yossi Sheriff


Video, police, security and methodical pyramid

A Former Police Officer from Oakland Police was found guilty of manslaughter of a suspect – Oscar Grant Jr. – who was handcuffed during the act. The court ruled the sentence. Since the officer is white and the suspect a black youngster there are concerns of racial riots in the Bay Area. This case reminds the Rodney King case that broke the Los Angeles riots in 1992. The Grant and King events were filmed by viewers.
A paper from 2007, in the Journal of AKBAN, warned that the certainty of documenting personal acts must be part of the strategy of fighting, self-defense and security. ERA, Exposed recorded action, is here to stay and planning according to this certainty is as important as preparing for the enemy’s specific weapons. The Gaza flotilla case is another fatal incidence in which not only the intelligence was lacking but the utter certainty of video documentation was not considered. Combat personnel and security forces must do the new data integration: ERA of what we do is a certainty, not an option.
AKBAN, The Academy of martial arts, leads the integration of ERA into personal and group techniques. One of the main conclusions we’ve had is that learning and practicing with non-violent and low aggression techniques improves overall target acquisition.
In the video the officer shoots detainee’s head. This is one of many videos taken by spectators in the event. The picture attached was taken by the deceased, using his cell phone, seconds before he was shot.



The Answer to Gun Stockpiling: Less Restrictions

It transpires that telling people they can’t buy guns is exactly what improves firearms sales. Recent market research shows that the sales growth outlook for the coming years has dropped significantly, supposedly due to the revelation that the Obama administration did not intend to impose any restrictions on firearms ownership.

Similarly to my intentions to stockpile beer prior to the recent increase of alcohol prices in Israel, Texans fearing that democrat driven laws would prevent them from arming themselves for the coming apocalypse rushed to stores to buy ammunition and weapons. Great minds think alike, eh?

Here’s the article from BW:


First round of planning the new Tel Aviv Akban dojo

Students of architecture presented the first drafts of the new Akban Academy in Tel Aviv. Yossi Sheriff, Akban’s founder, commented on the interesting and successful plans: “Our martial art is the picture. I love this picture and I think that a good martial arts Centre should be the beautiful frame. It should be approachable to students who wish to apply to our rigorous training regime”.

The current Tel Aviv dojo is spacious, has parking nearby but lacks the added benefit of daily practice. A new Academy will give the students the ability to train all week long. The opening date is scheduled for September.

On our way to strengthen our core and our learning assets this is an important mid station. We thank the students and their teacher Michal Dolev Hashimshoni and her colleague Yehiam Kru.

Link to the facebook gallery


Wikipedia will add video, Just like the Akban-wiki

Wikipedia will soon provide its editors and users with video editing capabilities. Users will be able to import, edit and review videos inside Wikipedia. This is a true revolution – the ability to use the immense Wikipedia community to tag and append content to video media will contribute new insights and add knowledge.
The huge Wikipedia community and its dedicated editor section that are supported directly by contributions and indirectly by Google’s algorithm are in a good position to enter this almost virgin field of scholarly tagging of media.

Earlier this month I wrote here about the reasons we had for building an independent wiki here in Akban. I wrote about the problems that still exist for Wikipedia: “Wikipedia has an unsolved problem with the copyright of non textual media types, a hurdle we solved by videoing and editing all the Akban-wiki techniques.” Concisely, mediocre content will always be relatively free of copyrights while top content, content that takes time, effort and money to produce, will always be copyrighted for lack of other decent revenue generating models.
We met with Kaltura team back in the beginning of 2008 and were happy with the solutions they generated in the Akban wiki. These same great innovators are now implementing the Kaltura video system into Wikipedia.

Is the time ripe then for a merge of Akban-wiki’s content into Wikipedia? I don’t think it is. The Wikipedia will evolve around documenting existing content while this part of our project, as phrased in the last paragraph of our ethical code, will evolve around creating and disseminating new research material.
Link to Technology review article
Beginning of Kaltura in Akban wiki cooperation