“The Rabbi” of MMA

There are certain combinations of words that catch a person’s attention because they’re not normally synonymous with one another. “Rabbi Wins First Amateur MMA Bout by TKO” is just one of those combinations. A Rabbi? Winning an MMA bout? One might ask, what is a rabbi doing in an MMA bout in the first place?


Yossi Eilfort is an Orthodox rabbi based out of California. Like any Orthodox rabbi he wears a yarmulke, prays each day and observes the Sabbath. Besides for spending his life mastering religious nuances and understanding the Torah from which his beliefs are based, Yossi also spent 12 years studying Krav Maga – a self-defense martial art developed by the Israeli military.


Eilfort began training in MMA as both a personal challenge, and to educate people on the benefits of physical fitness. Anyone who has ever trained in MMA can attest that, while a combat sport, the training regimen leads to superb physical fitness and conditioning. Those who master the art of Krav Maga or MMA also, by default, become highly skilled in self-defense.


Eilfort certainly brought both aspects of his character into the Octagon with him. He found the balance between the violence of MMA and his own natural instincts to show restraint and self-control. Something can be learned from that fact that, despite his restraint, Yossi Eilfort still succeeded in defeating his opponent via TKO (Technical Knock-Out).


Considering the attention his story has gotten, Yossi has certainly succeeded in getting the word out about the benefits of mastering the martial arts. He’s also taught that it doesn’t have to be about violence, but preparedness. Someone who wishes to master these techniques doesn’t necessarily have to hop into an Octagon or a Boxing Ring. The skills people can learn will help their body and, possibly, help them to one day defend themselves or others if ever the need arises.


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