Moishe Kaitz is a Royler Gracie Black Belt who runs Gracie Humaita Israel. He was recently featured in two articles on the BBJ Eastern Europe website, showcasing his self defence based jiu jitsu. He graciously gave us the opportunity to chat to him about his jiu jitsu story.
Hi Moshe, thank you for taking some time to talk to us
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Moshe Kaitz, I am 37 years old and I live in Israel.
I teach Gracie Jiu Jitsu under the original Gracie Academy from Rio de Janeiro, Gracie Humaita.
I am a black belt under Royler Gracie and David Adiv.
I also have a professional MMA record of 6-2 with my last win over UFC title contender (and WEC world champion), Hermes Franca.
How and why did you get involved with Grace Jiu Jitsu?
As a kid I used to train Karate and even got a black belt.
I never felt good and confidence with Karate, in terms of self defence. I never felt that I could really handle against a bigger and stronger attacker.
One day I was watching TV and came across a show called UFC. it was UFC number 4. I saw Royce Gracie defeat Dan Severn and I was hooked!!
Actually I opened the TV when this fight, which was the final fight, was starting, at that time I didn’t even see the entire event.
I started training and soon realized that it would be the best to go to Brasil.
Went there, met Royler Gracie and since then I have been traveling every year to Brasil and USA, to train with Royler and David and all my friends from Gracie Humaita.
What do you like the most about Gracie Jiu Jitsu?
I do believe that Gracie Jiu Jitsu is the best martial art and it can really gives a chance to a smaller guy or girl against an attacker.
You have been promoted to Black Belt, perhaps you could share that story with us?
Over the years I was trying to stay as close as I can to my teachers,
take as much private classes with them, join them to as much seminars I can and of course, train in the academy with everybody, from white belts to the champions
It was a great honor to get the black belt from the legendary Royler Gracie.
You were recently featured in a few articles on the BJJEE website, specifically related to the self defence aspect of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. How did this come about and what has the reaction been like?
I believe in the old way. the real Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the Gracie way.
Those who follow Helio Gracie methods are doing the real Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The aspect of self defence is the real essence of this art and should be the essence of every martial art.
Sport jiu jitsu at the end of the day is a game with rules.
Of course the top competitors are tough and strong enough to handle themselves on the street even without knowing self defense, but these are a very small percentage of the general public.
The majority needs to learn the proper techniques in order to survive street aggression.
You could combine sports. It’s fun and actually can help you sharpen your fighting instincts, but you should try to use positions which make sense in a real fight.
The berimbolo, 50/50 worm guard and other “sportive” positions, will only get you in trouble.
In South Africa, the Israeli art of Krav Maga is gaining popularity as a self defence art. You are from Israel, but you chose GJJ. Why is that?
Krav Maga is nice and has its advantages & disadvantages, like everything else.
Personally, I don’t like it too much.
Does your school take part in competitions?
Of course, if someone likes to compete, we always support. Some of my students are doing very well in competitions.
What is your favourite Gracie Jiu Jitsu technique.
My favorite move is Mata Leao
Finally, do you have any last words for our readers?
Keep training, have fun and don’t forget the roots of this amazing art.
None of us started training to learn how to score points!