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Orthodox Jews Take a Swing at ‘Knockout’ Thugs

NY Post

Orthodox Jews took their best swing at would-be “knockout” thugs Sunday, in the basement of a Queens synagogue.

The group of about 30 people, ranging in age from 16 to 62, were given basic instruction in the Israeli martial art of krav maga as part of a self-defense course taught at the Young Israel of Queens Valley Synagogue in Kew Gardens.

The instructor, Avraham Avramcheyiv, also counseled students to pay attention to their surroundings — and spend less time texting on their smart phones or fussing with groceries.

“The knockout game is a terrible thing, but not a lot of people know about it,” said Avramcheyiv, referring to the “game’’ in which thugs randomly approach people on the street and punch them hard enough to render them unconscious just for kicks.

“People these days are naive and unaware of what’s going on around them. The most important thing to focus on is being aware of your surroundings.”

Avramcheyiv’s students got the message loud and clear.

“It’s frightening to me,’’ said computer analyst Henry Moscovic, 62. “People should be aware if it. I know some men and women got hurt pretty badly.

“There’s no purpose or rhetoric to these assaults,’’ he said. “It’s a very random thing. I don’t know what to make of it. Why would anyone take pleasure in hurting people?

“I think these kids are bored, and they are looking for kicks.”

Avramcheyiv emphasized a series of defensive moves to protect one’s head, face and neck.

He taught quick, base-of-your-palm jabs to an attacker’s throat, as well as a range of kicks to the knee and groin.

Most importantly, Avramcheyiv urged students to run from the fight as soon as possible in order to avoid an extended street brawl.

Female student Sigalit Nissanov, 33, noted, “You never think this type of thing is going to happen to you. No one expects to be punched randomly in the street.

“When I heard about the woman who got punched a few blocks from here, I was mortified. It made me want to take some action.”

In Brooklyn, community leaders rallied against the senseless attacks, urging New Yorkers to keep an protective eye on their neighbors.

“It doesn’t matter if we leave the synagogue on Sabbath Saturday or if we leave ‎a Baptist church on Sunday,” incoming Borough President Eric Adams said in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court.

“We want to walk our streets in safety.”

Adams also announced a $5,000 reward to any tipster who provides information in a suspected hate attack on fashion student Taj Patterson, 22, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Patterson said a dozen Hasidic men savagely beat him Dec. 1 as he walked home.


  • 1. with the old breed wrote:

    Krav maga is also a great workout I hope there will be seperate classes soon.

  • 3. good idea wrote:

    These are the right steps and I applaud those who attend. As any with any fighting art it takes dedicated practice and training multiple days a week, sparring helps to, to be truly effective against an assailant.

  • 5. It begins with "fight back" wrote:

    and ends with jail time.

    Throughout the history of our people we’ve had many movements who fought back, but in the end, once our children learned how to through a punch, they used it at school, against their own people, their own families.

    When shimon and levi claimed “should they make our sister a prostitute?”, Jacob remained silent. Because he knew where these “fight back” attitude leads to. (puting a brother in a pit, etc).

    You don’t need to take my word for it; Shimon and Levi didn’t. They learnt the hard way. we all do.

  • 6. to #5 wrote:

    Wow thats the victim mentallity. Self defense ends with jail time? Leads to brother against brother? Why don’t you express that sentimant to any holocaust survivor who was part of or saved by a resistance group. You are also aware of the history of the jews where they are time and time again victims of vicious anti-semitisim, pograms, and genocide for thousands of years? Perhaps if jews were raised as fighters they wouldn’t be always the victim or a target.
    I’m beside myself with your utterly dangerous comments.

  • 7. It begins wrote:

    I agree with you. It makes no sense. That’s why we learn the hard way.

    I don’t think turning the cheek will do us any good. We have no choice but to retaliate. But in the end, our ways is not theirs. And in the end our hands will have blood on them just as theirs.

  • 8. to #5 wrote:

    I agree our ways are not theirs, but I prefer to have their blood on our hands as opposed to losing more Jewish blood.


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