Frequently Asked Questions
What makes KAPAP unique?
What is the difference between MMA and KAPAP?
Is KAPAP an Israeli Martial Art?
Is the KAPAP you are learning today the same as historical KAPAP?
Is KAPAP the same as Krav Maga?
The KAPAP I teach is based on my knowledge and experience. The federation/organization I am a part of is under Lt. Colonel Chiam Pe’er of Israel.
My school’s World Wide Mat exists entirely under my supervision and my name. This is why it is called Avi Nardia KAPAP Combatives and I use my own Logo KAPAP Combatives.
Today the KAPAP I teach is an International system based on my travel around the world and experience living in the United States for over 10 years. My students and friends hail from every race and religion without any political bias or prejudice.
I don’t represent Israel any more than I represent the USA. I am a private civilian who teaches based on my life experience in training, combat, fitness and health. I have the honor of enjoying the friendship of students from all over the world – from Japan, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe, USA, Israel, Australia and Lebanon. Most important, my students train as a family of kapap practitioners with no conflicts over politics or race.
What is the difference between Krav Maga and other Israeli Systems?
When they retired to civilian life sometimes these people named their Krav Maga or hand to hand program a different title, and they developed an organization and logo to differentiate themselves. Each one brings different experiences from the unit he served in and reflects his martial art background. People should do their research and train with organization that resonates with them.
Any civilian organization that claims to be the “official system of the Israeli Army” is misleading. In the Israeli Army we have no Cardio-Krav Maga and we definitely do not have children’s programs in the Army.
These organizations have the right to create children’s programs but no one organization is more official than the others.
In Israel every citizen is required to serve in the Army. A lot of Israeli Martial Artists who serve as hand to hand trainers in the Army teach in civilian life arts such as Karate, Jiu Jitsu and Judo. Sometimes they create their own Israeli Martial Art programs, for example: Dr. Dennis Hanover, GM for Hisardut Survival, GM Gadi Skornik and his system Kempo-Jitsu, GM Chiam Pe’er and KAPAP and many other names. Each one has their own organization. It might be called something as generic as Krav Maga, but each specific organization teaches what they believe and trust to be effective, and they run their own organization in the way they see fit.
How does the rank system work in KAPAP?
Attending a Level 1 Instructor Course does not authorize a student to perform as a KAPAP instructor unless we find that individual to be proficient enough in Martial Arts so that he can safely run a basic KAPAP course.
Each Instructor needs to be certified in first aid and CPR as well to obtain a KAPAP Teachers License Permit under Shihan Avi Nardia. Certain individuals may become supervised KAPAP Instructors in Training until they graduate Level 1 with full Instructor privileges.
We encourage students to attend as many Level 1 Courses as possible. After attending a Level 1 course, you are welcome to return to any Level 1 class at any time, anywhere in the world at no charge. Our aim is to help you become a better teacher. Once an instructor has earned our trust they will be on our School List.
After passing Level 1, students are welcome to join me at my Academy for training at no cost at any time. Our goal is to produce good instructors that we trust and we will do that to the best of our ability.
Unfortunately, many people who took the Level 1 course think after that it makes that makes them a Grand Master. This is not KAPAP and these individuals are not listed in our directory or affiliated with my Academy.
We wish them all the best but this does not follow our philosophy, ethics and the way of KAPAP.
Some people do Level 1 purely for enrichment and we encourage people who want to gain intensive knowledge of KAPAP to do so, even if they have no desire to teach. It is a good experience as a whole and you will gain excellent hand to hand combat instruction.
There are exceptions in which a Level 1 candidate will enter with an extremely high skill level. They may be trusted to teach more than we would normally allow for Level 1. We have had some very skilled martial artists take Level 1 that we cannot immediately move to higher levels but view them almost as a full Instructor.
Level 2 and higher will be mostly comprised of one on one training with me at my academy. I will open these Levels up from time to time as a course as well. My goal is to help bring students and Instructors to Level 4. By completing the KAPAP program they will be independent KAPAP instructors.
Fees and contracts
We welcome students with the attitude “Always a student sometimes a teacher.”
This is why students who step into KAPAP with a business or franchise agenda or to build an organization and become Grand Masters are finding themselves dismissed.
I teach the ‘old way’, by tradition with modern concepts. Start with respect, not ego.
We are friendship and family oriented and we do not welcome, evil, rude or unethical people.
I follow Lt. Chiam Pe’er as the leader of KAPAP and so does my network of schools. We are affiliated with respectable teachers and also offer instruction in Martial Arts like Kendo, Iaido, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Karate and so on.
I am still a follower of my Kendo teacher Kubo Akira Sensei, my Karate teacher Hanshi Patrick McCarthy, and my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teacher Professor John Machado. I have been following their teachings for years and expect the same attitude from my students.
I keep my academy affiliated with my teachers and their knowledge has helped it to become what it is today.
How do I progress with KAPAP after Level 4?
Is KAPAP one organization?
What is KAPAP’s relationship with the Israeli Army and Special Forces?
Historical KAPAP began as a system to teach the Israeli Special Forces until roughly the 1940’s.There are a few famous names surrounding KAPAP from this era such as; Yehuda Marcus, Avraham Zackai, Gershon Kupler and Michel Orovitz.
It is important to keep in mind that this method was created solely out of the sheer necessity of self-defense. There was no thought of developing a new martial art.
About 1960, a military man by the name of Moshe Pink decided to call this self defense form Krav Maga instead of KAPAP.>
Imi Lichtenfield (Imi Or-Sade)
Also around the same time frame, Imi Lichtenfield (a.k.a Imi Or-Sade) retired from the Israeli Army. Lichtenfield is credited for being one of the main developers of the civilian Krav Maga that is taught today. Imi himself was a KAPAP Instructor and fitness instructor for the Pal’Mach.
His contribution as the developer of Civilian Krav Maga made him one of the pillars of the Israeli Martial Arts.
Throughout time martial artists from different backgrounds contributed to the development of hand to hand teachings in the Israeli Army. Each individual then retired from the army and created his own system, like Lt. Colonel Chiam Peer, myself and many others.
As I took part in the Israeli hand to hand instruction while serving in the Army, I came to the realization that it was simply filled with fundamental mistakes that are dangerous to the user. These were deadly misconceptions based only on fighting spirit and aggression.
In the army there are a few slogans such as; “aggression, aggression, aggression” and “keep it simple”. I agree with this spirit and aggression as long as it is accompanied with sufficient skill to execute the actions and monitor the level of aggression released. You don’t want to be stuck in the heart of a battle with no reserve of energy because you have no clue how to use your body stores efficiently.
Lt. Colonel Avi Harush asked me to create a new training program for hand combat because he knew that I was a good martial artist with good understanding of fitness and physical education. Many new Army recruits were getting injured during training because the training was too intense and did not allow for their bodies to adapt.
He wanted me to design one and two-year programs to train candidates for Special Forces so that their bodies would be better able to handle the intense training that is demanded of them. He wanted me to develop this program based on my philosophy of learning that ‘slow is fast’. I served as the Safety Officer for this program.
Later on one of the top Israeli Counter Terrorism units, Yamam, made it known that they were recruiting a professional instructor for a hand to hand program because they found the same problems within their units.
Over 182 instructors, including Yamam soldiers, applied for that position. I was selected and recruited for a full time position as the hand to hand instructor for the unit. About a year and a half later, a new Commander took over the unit. Since I was a uniformed soldier in the unit, he assigned me a secondary duty with the unit and sent me to the Intelligence Team.
As a drill sergeant with the rank of Staff Sergeant Major, the highest NCO rank, I served as a part time drill sergeant training the new recruits, active team members and all the unit members. At the same time I served a secondary duty in the unit intelligence team which provided me the perspective of seeing the unit’s activities and operations. It is from this experience that I gained a better understanding of how to train and prepare them for their jobs.
When I examined the training methods being employed, I was appalled. The training was a complete farce.
I had to build a new program based on the principle of “slow is fast” – skills and not ego. I met with Lt. Colonel Chaim Peer, founder of KAPAP, and asked him for advice. The resulting program forms the basis for of the civilian KAPAP program that is taught worldwide today.
Avi Nardia KAPAP Combatives
We recruited professional trainers who then offered to share their knowledge and skills. The most famous teacher to help, visit, support and train the Yamam was Hanshi Patrick McCarthy.
Several years later, after my son was born, I decided I no longer wanted to be part of war.
For me, holding a pure, innocent baby in my arms, and working in something that is not normal work and involved bloodshed was no longer acceptable. I decided then to leave the unit.
I switched over to the Israeli Police Operational Academy as a full time instructor and began to teach their hand to hand combat program which is called Hagana.
Eventually, I made my way to the United States to live. As I began to teach, the first question that came up was “is this Krav Maga?”
No, this is not. It is a completely different program. I have been involved in teaching both Krav Maga and Kapap programs that are taught by the Army, Police and Counter-terrorism units in Israel.
I don’t believe that military style Krav Maga or Kapap is completely suitable for civilian life because these programs are based on the fact that their practitioners are soldiers, and as such will be carrying at least one weapon, wearing a Kevlar vest and a helmet.
To make a simple analogy, a tank is a great machine for Army use, but in civilian life we need a car.
KAPAP’smost recent transition into civilian use progressed with the involvement of Professor John Machado. I got involved with Professor Machado when I became his student and later one of his Brazilian Jiu Jistu Official representatives.
Lt. Colonel Chiam Peer, Founder of KAPAP, and David Arama who serves today as the chief instructor for the International KAPAP Federation, represent Professor Machado in Israel.
David Arama became an expert instructor in the military counter terrorism school called Lotar and introduced to the unit all of the new developments of KAPAP, including ground-gun work based on the study by Professor John Machado.
As mentioned before, KAPAP has many facets and is a bridge between systems. Now with the addition of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there is another dimension to the ever-growing repertoire that is KAPAP.
At about the same time, my KAPAP academy recruited a military shooting instructor named Albert Timen to manage the Academy and to start to develop firearm programs for civilians.
Albert Timen was a part of KAPAP academy in the US for about 3 years. Albert Timen is not a martial artist and did not come from a martial arts background. He was a military shooting instructor. However, over time I found that when it comes to civilians, it is important to teach them how to deal with self defense laws and issues of liability, and not assault like the military. The military style of shooting and handling firearms is not realistic for a civilian.
Furthermore, military style shooting does not take into account civilian laws concerning appropriate use of force in self defense contexts. The military’s approach is also based on teamwork, while civilians often are alone.
If I decide to teach firearms to civilians I have to adapt my system to the civilian needs. I need to consider issues of liability, appropriate use of force, and the physical condition of the civilian. Regardless of what the civilian’s capabilities are, I need to be able to teach him to defend himself with a firearm.
KAPAP does not teach our students how to drive a tank or how to become a soldier. Neither do I want to train the market to be a civilian militia. If you are interested in becoming a soldier, there are enough military organisations around the world to recruit you.
KAPAP is a martial art and not a replacement of army service. Anyone who has aspirations of engaging in military war games is not the right fit for KAPAP. We now have a civilian face and aim to train those who want to learn to defend themselves, achieve fitness and maintain their health.
For me the Military, Counter terrorism and police were purely a circumstance. I am a great believer of love and peace and that you should defend yourself only if you have to.
I have seen instructors come and go in KAPAP for years because they did not adapt to the philosophy of learning, ‘always a student, sometimes a teacher’, and keep progressing.