Published on Mar 30, 2013
Dennis Survival is a method of self-defense developed by Dr. Dennis Hannover. The method incorporates elements from three major martial arts: judo, karate, and jiu-jitsu.
But this Israeli method that has acquired international recognition is now moving beyond the training mat to give financial assistance to youth in distress.
Kobi Eliyahu started practicing 25 years ago as a young boy, and today, for the past 15 years, he has been a survival coach.
[Kobi Eliyahu, Dennis Survival Coach]:
“Every year we organize groups of children whose parents are financially limited, and give those children a true Bar-Mitzvah celebration. We take them on a trip to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The atmosphere is amazing — one should see it to understand how unique it is!”
The boys come from difficult environments and from families which struggle to make a living. Through their survival training they learn to build self-confidence and strengthen their self-image. This definitely helps them as children and contributes to the development of their personality as adolescents.
Some of today’s coaches themselves experienced economic distress in their past, and now they are the ones leading the younger generation and contributing from their experience.
Hai started to train after being a victim of an attack.
[Hai Sittbon, Student of Dennis Survival]:
“This is not just another course; it is actually a way of life! And this way of life makes us friends beyond the martial art! Everyone you see here has a black belt and above. We all put our hearts into it and we don’t think at all about financial gain. That is too materialistic. We always do things from the heart!”
Yet not only youth in distress come to train. Children from different social classes and of different ages come to learn survival.
Eight-year-old Gabriella has been training for the past three years. She won the first place in a competition in the children’s category.
[Gabriella, Student of Dennis Survival]:
“It makes me feel no one can mess with me! It gives me confidence and courage, and knowledge, too!”
Once I did not concentrate much on my studies until I joined judo class. Now I’m also more focused at school.”
Dr. Dennis says that what is more important than the method itself are the values it bestows on those practicing it. Values of respect for others and for yourself, and respect and contribution to society.