In East Asia, you probably know about the ninja and samurai. In Israel, there are soldiers trained in Krav Maga. For those of you who don’t know, Krav Maga is a martial art developed in Israel. It does not have the long tradition of respect, personal growth, and honor that come to mind when you think of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu. It was developed for one purpose, to survive.
Wikipedia say that “generally, there are no rules in Krav Maga as a defense fighting technique which is not regulated but utilized to keep the user safe and incapacitate the opponent by any means necessary.” In other words, Krav Maga and this blog have something in common: One keeps you Free From Broke, the other keeps you free from death.
What does Krav Maga have to do with your personal finances?
Quite a bit actually.
While many of us work to manage our financial situation over time, there are always going to be unexpected situations that arise. You can prepare for a lot, but what do you do when your bank goes out of business? What do you do when your credit card is closed by the bank and your score dives?
You take the Krav Maga approach.
Quickly asses the situation, kick it in the balls, and keep moving forward. Each of these principles of Krav Maga can be directly applied to your finances:
Counter attacking as soon as possible (or attacking preemptively).
The second you have a financial meltdown, react. If you see something coming, get ready.
I am so tired of hearing people complain about their credit card debt, bad financial situation, or the situation that brought them toward bankruptcy. If you end up in a bad situation, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Stop complaining and work to bring your situation back in line with your goals.
Targeting attacks to the body’s most vulnerable points such as the eyes, jaw, throat, groin, knee etc.
If you screw up and let your bank account dip below zero, you get hit with huge fees. You can just take them lying down, or you can fight them. If you are not in the habit of over-drafting, you bank will most likely refund most of the fees, if not all.
When I was a banker, I would almost always refund a fee or two if someone had not overdrawn before. If they had a lot of fees, I would usually take off at least 50%. However, I never helped someone who didn’t ask. If you fight back, the worst thing that can happen is they say no. Optimally, you are back on your feet quickly.
Neutralizing the opponent as quickly as possible by responding with an unbroken stream of counter attacks and if necessary a take down/joint break.
While you are already on the phone with your credit card company or visiting the bank branch, see what else you can squeeze out of them. Remember that you are the customer. Admit your screw up and keep pushing. I have read stories about people demanding something better than what they have, and winning.
Maintaining awareness of surroundings while dealing with the threat in order to look for escape routes, further attackers, objects that could be used to defend or help attack and so on.
While you are dealing with one problem, do not forget about the big picture. If you miss a car loan payment, you can probably talk your bank into dropping the fee if you never missed a payment before. However, if you are so focused on the car that you miss a credit card payment, you are in an even worse situation.
Don’t let a problem sidetrack you from your ultimate goal.