Avi Nardia Academy
Avi Nardia

I teach KAPAP and Israeli Martial arts as well as Brazilian Jujutsu (BJJ).   I love BJJ because of the art of control that comes with it.  With BJJ you can dominate without the “blind eye” that sometimes is a result of training in “reality based” systems.  What I mean by this is that it sometimes seems that the students of today seek only the end (street fighting) while ignoring the actual journey toward the goal.  Yet, there is a lot of value in the finding of the “way(s)” to the goal.  

Self-defense is more complicated than most “reality based” martial arts claim it to be.  There is no way, in only 5 lessons, that students will have the same knowledge as someone who has trained 1 or more years (assuming they have a good teacher).  

However, there is also a concern for those that have trained long-term; a large ego sometimes results.  Dangerous mistakes can happen due to over-confidence.  Long-term students sometimes think they know more than they really do.  

Today I’m seeing several new “reality based” systems popping up.  Most of them have people who are said to be “experts” in “Israeli MA”.  Many students and consumers do not see that any solider of 3 years in the Israeli army can come to the US and become an Israeli MA “expert” by spending a lot of money on marketing.  They say they are a “commando” or that they have the “most devastating system”.  They also plug their name by adding the words “International Organization”. 

Few people ask them the important questions.  For example – “Did you teach for the Israeli army?” “How do you, Mr. Israeli MA expert, know what the Israeli army teaches?”  “Okay, so you taught for the Israeli police?  Have you been a policeman in Israel?  Have you been an official trainer to any unit?  Which unit?”  Or, how about asking the guy who is a “hero” holding the picture of the “last” grand master: “You said your background was in boxing in Israel?  Even a boxing champion?  Where?  When?  How was your record?  Were you ever registered in Israel?”

It seems to me we are today facing more of a “want-to-be” market.  All you need is to put some commando clothes on and say “we are not a traditional martial art, we are a no nonsense martial art”.  Does that mean traditional martial arts are nonsense?  All that is needed to hit the map in the new “Israeli MA” is some great advertisements of beautiful women in tights doing some aerobics with large “alpha female” egos.  I’m being sarcastic…

Well after 5 years of teaching in the civilian market, I’ve grown tired from this “joke”.   There is no other better way to express this...what I see are clowns running systems calling themselves the “best ever martial artist”.   All of them seem to be so good, that in only 1 year they have their black belt from “leading grand masters” of what I call new “Mc-Krav” clubs.  I don’t currently see, and I have never seen, the Israeli army in tights (I wish we had those girls there though!). Few, if any, of the “grand masters” hold a black belt or knows a martial art such as Japanese Karate or Judo…yet they are teaching people how to kill themselves “in style”.  I’ve decided I’m definitely NOT part of this festival of “grand masters”. 

I know exactly what Israeli Martial Art is – the good and the bad.   The majority of the Israeli army doesn’t receive any hand-to-hand training.  Only a few units receive some basic training, which is more to develop aggressiveness based on their power and not on any techniques.  This is all done in a very limited amount of time.  The Israeli Police Academy does teach a few basic techniques of restraint, but again it is very limited.  Hagana (a defensive tactics system) for better or worse will try to cram as much as possible into a short period of training.  There are also the counter-terror units, which get their training in a few different schools around the idea system called Lotar.  Some of the Lotar schools are for the border police and others are for the army…and there is virtually no cross contact between, so not much is shared.

I have been an official instructor for all 3 major areas in Israel – the Israeli Army, the Israeli Police, and the Israeli Counter-Terror units.  I can say that the level of training in these areas are not as good as some people claim.   If I use my martial arts background, I can even say it’s a bad joke to think some of those guys with “Israeli MA” training can come here and offer what they learned in their limited training and label it the “best system”.  

Most self-defense systems have good and bad things about them.  We need to discover what we can learn and study from each system.  We should not think or claim one system is better than the other if we do not have any experience in them.  

Many civilians I have in my seminars claim they study Judo or karate or other systems, including BJJ.  It makes me wonder all the time where they study, because immediately I can see they have no knowledge in the system they claim to be experienced with.  I’ve even seen someone who is a certified as a Krav Maga instructor also claim to be a kapap instructor (because he got his certification by email).   He even represented a certificate from Imi (one of the founders of Krav Maga)…and its funny because Imi was dead already for like 7 years!!  Well, the market is funny.  People run to do the next “in” or “cool” martial art instead of looking for a good instructor in their area.  The thing is, the name of the martial art is not important, but the name of the instructor is.

In 5 years no one has gone beyond Level 1 yet with KAPAP Academy.  All are Level 1 and first Level 2 course will be in 2008 for KAPAP.   We don’t sell certifications, and we don’t have in 5 days a Level 1, Level 2, etc., nor if you pay in one payment can you become a KAPAP “grand mater” or the “pointed one”.  KAPAP is for simple people that want to work hard and develop skill that no one can ever take from them.  They don’t need papers to point out their level.  They can step onto any mat and you can see their level for yourself. 

When I recently opened my school in Rochester (Avi Nardia Academy), I wanted to do the training the right way, with my family knowing all my students names.  I roll and spar with all my students every day.  I love to teach BJJ under Professor John Machado.   When we step on the mat, we train hard by the old way - the traditional way -  and yes, we are truly a no-nonsense martial arts school.  My students are self-motivated and do not need some sort of bully to keep them coming back…

I love to teach kids and my son even takes my class.  My best friends have also joined my classes.  Most of my students know who I am and what I do and don’t look for just the “Cool”.  They get good training and they work and train hard in a friendly and safe environment.  

I find it interesting when people claim a system to be street or battle-tested…I often wonder, which battle?  I’m Israeli and don’t know of any battle in recent history that was won by hand-to-hand combat in Israel.   I ignore this as marketing fluff.  There are more Karate students that used it in real life and in war situations than most of those systems claiming to be “battle tested”.  To ride on that level is not what we look for.  I think in BJJ the training is more real and battle tested because you fight every day and every training…and not only the students but also the teacher.   That is the proof of their level based on real experience.

I try to teach the Israeli MA the way I know it and today.  We don’t see what we do as really as “Israeli MA” anymore because Albert Timen (KAPAP Academy president) and I are now more than 6 years in the USA.  We have changed so many mistakes that are at the origin of Israeli martial art based on sharing experiences with other martial arts.


In Israel they may use the same mistake and try to “sell back the dead donkey”…as my friend Patrick McCarthy told me…A businesses man name Eyal come up to the farm and all the farmers told him to buy a donkey.  So he went and bought one and the farmer told him he could pick it up the next day because he need the donkey to work today…The next day, the farmer told him he was sorry but the donkey was dead. But the businessman still wanted to buy it. A few years later the farmer saw the businessman was very rich and asked him how he did it?  “Do you remember the dead donkey?  I got it from you for 5 dollars.  Well, I put together a raffle for the donkey and each ticket cost one dollar.  I sold 1000 tickets.”  “Yes, but no one complained that the donkey was dead?”, asked the farmer.  The businessman replied, “Yes, only one…the one that won the raffle…so I gave him back his 1 dollar back…” 

The moral of the story: A businessman can sell anything! And yes, some of those “reality based” systems are actually dead donkeys that keep coming back under different names and are marketed by business people.  They want to sell it to us again and again.  Well, I don’t sell or buy a dead donkey.  

The sad thing with martial arts sometimes is that the person who is in the fight for his/her life and needs to use his/her martial arts training but does not win, will not have the chance to come back and tell us how he/she was wrong and bought the dead donkey…That’s why I don’t teach dead donkey systems and also why I love to teach Kendo, BJJ, Thai Boxing, Karate, and Judo.  All of these are under the concept of KAPAP Academy – Combat Concepts that are based on my life experience with Israeli MA and traditional MA.

Israeli MA is a young MA but make more noise than old and traditional once that are in market for many years working hard training hard and with not big noise so we should study this quality from them and just train hard and keep sweat and ear our credit before claim to be better than any others.  It is now starting to gain respect in the market but won’t do well if there are people with the wrong attitude saying "we are not traditional MA - we are no nonsense MA".  This shows an attitude that is not the way of MA. 

I’ve been criticized by Israeli MA “grand masters” because I said the truth about them...they try to put rumors into the market that I’m a fraud and not a military major and other lies.  It is almost like the Dreyfus Affair ( just this time made by Israeli “Grand Masters “ as don’t like to see the true or look for the true, my Israeli army rank is major and unfortunately even they cant take it…this is something I earn  same as martial art rank if you earn it you don’t need paper to prove it you can step to the mat and it will be clear your rank.

Before anyone can put out a rumor, I suggest they take “The Triple Filter Test” from Socrates per my friend Patrick McCarthy (


The Triple Filter Test, by Socrates, the Classical Greek Philosopher
In ancient Greece, scholar and intellectual, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about one of your friends?"

"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test.  It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?" asked the man.

"That's right," Socrates continued.

"Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth.  Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and wanted to tell it to you."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of goodness.  Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"

"No, on the contrary, it is bad."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of usefulness.  Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really." Replied the man.

"Well," concluded Socrates, if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, and nor even useful to me, why tell it to me at all?”

This old story can teach us a lot about modern martial arts.  We hear lots of rumors and bad mouth from others who cannot pass the triple filter test and do it mostly out of jealousy.  

I teach BJJ because the type of BJJ we do in my academy passes the triple filter test as a martial art, as does the KAPAP we teach through KAPAP Academy.  It is true, it is good, and it is useful.

More reading about critics  

About Avi Nardia and Avi Nardia Academy – Israeli Martial arts and Fitness
We are a training studio specializing in private, semi-private, and small group classes in the areas of personal fitness, martial arts, self-defense, and personal protection for adults and children. We also do weight loss and life style management consultation.

Children’s Programs
Parent and Me is based on sharing time with your child as a training partner. We help you train your child to analyze situations and become more aware of his or her surroundings so that the child can help avoid dangerous situations by using basic principles of awareness and self-defense.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ( BJJ ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position.

Krav2Go for Children is a new program to teach kids awareness and realistic self-protection. We teach them who they can and can’t trust and that their best weapon is their brain.


Adult Programs
Krav2Go for adults is a modern martial art class for men and women based on Israeli martial arts.

BJJ for Adults is affiliated with Professor John Machado’s BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) Academy.  BJJ is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position.

Kapap - Krav Panim el Panim with Kapap Academy

Fitness - Muscle Confusion is an important program based on the muscle confusion training principle.  This principle ensures that you have variety in your workouts and focuses on the development of a strong core to protect the back from potential injuries associated with sport participation.

Impact Cardio Workshop is a kickboxing, "Boxercize", program for men and women.

About Avi Nardia
Avi Nardia has a lifetime of experience in Martial Arts.  He trained in classical martial arts since childhood, including Judo, Jiujutsu, Karate, Kendo, Iaido, Jodo, Thai Box, Boxing and Kickboxing along with the modern martial arts of Krav Maga, Kapap - Lotar and Hagana.  He has taught for more than 26 years, and he has studied and trained in different martial arts, fitness programs, gymnastics and combat athletics for almost 40 years. 

He began teaching martial arts at the age of 20 as an assistant instructor and later as the senior instructor, teaching kids and adults traditional martial arts and modern martial arts.  Avi is "always a student, sometimes a teacher" and he continues to study martial arts as a student.  He spent seven years in Japan, studying Kendo, Iaido and Jodo. He avidly studies BJJ under Professor John Machado.

With his years of experience Avi has determined that it is most important to train safely with no injuries and that the martial arts is first about education and discipline, the study of awareness along with mobility training, self control and the maintenance of a strong healthy body.  Healthy life management is the most important self-protection, as most people will face a heart attack before someone attacks them.

Avi has trained with some of most renowned practitioners from around the world and he brings this experience to his academy and to KAPAP Academy to teach you and your family.