Have you ever been interested in learning self-defence for yourself and for the protection of those around you that you care about in your life? Were you wondering where to go, to learn or where to start? For a simple approach to these questions combined with a gradual increase in general fitness, look no further than learning the beginner friendly art of Krav Maga.
What is the best self-defence?
Before we discuss the intricacies of Krav Maga or any other form of self-defence, let’s discuss our own inbuilt, automatic survival mechanism. Through proven research it is well-known that each person is equipped with an automatic reaction that helps each one of us to survive any situation that threatens our very physical survival. This is commonly known as the “fight or flight” reaction. A more detailed explanation of this can be found here. Another important factor whether a person can successfully defend themselves and survive a violent encounter, is their attitude and level of commitment to their personal safety. I think what I am trying to highlight here is we can go out and do this and that self-defence training but it can come down to avoidance, escape, evasion or the right skill set and correct attitude that will tip the odds in your favour of surviving and winning a potentially violent encounter. Speaking from personal experience, just knowing that I have commenced learning Krav Maga, has made me feel more self-confident in what to do if I was ever confronted with a physical threat to my personal or my loved one’s safety.
Where did krav maga come from?
Krav Maga was founded by Imi Lichtenfeld (1910-1998).Imi Lichtenfeld was born in Budapest in 1910, but grew up in Bratislava. From his early years, Imi embraced and excelled at sports such as wrestling, boxing as well as several other different martial arts. He and his family were forced to immigrate to Israel when anti-Semite riots broke out in his hometown. As the world moved into the horror of World War II, Imi found his countrymen threatened by fascists. In order to protect his Jewish people, Imi used his street fighting experience and his father’s training to form a brand new technique.
Imi soon realized that street fighting and competitive fighting are incredibly different, and he was forced to further develop Krav Maga into an intense, Israeli self-defence system. At the request of the organisation that was to become the Israeli Defence Force, Imi drew on his work and experience in Special Forces Units’ to create a self-defence and combat system which could easily be taught and quickly applied by anyone irrespective of their age, gender, body type, or fitness level.
So, just what is Krav Maga?
Krav Maga is a modern and proven reality-based defensive tactics system for men and women. Based on simple principles and instinctive, natural movements of the human body, it is designed to teach practical self-defence for the real world in the shortest possible time.
Krav Maga, which in Hebrew means “Contact Combat”, is a system with a simple and logical approach. It is very easy to learn and retain. One of the best parts about it is that the movements taught and executed actually stem from our own natural reflex actions to protecting ourselves when attacked e.g. putting your arms/hands up in front of you if someone is trying to assault you. This is not a system taught to help you get belts or grading e.g. karate, judo etc. This is real world, fight for your life stuff performed naturally and intuitively. An important part of Krav Maga is the way it is taught, real world scenarios emphasising setting, aggression and skill set.Additional information and resources can be found here to learn more about krav maga
The training sessions I attend usually run for 1-1.5hrs twice a week. Its optional to go as many times as you please. Instructor and class make up can vary with men and women between 18 and up. Experience and backgrounds range from military, law enforcement, students, tradespeople,secretaries,artists etc. Class usually starts with a half hour warm up followed by an hour practical instruction. Instruction can cover :
- escape and evasion
- armed attacks with guns, knives, other weapons
- multiple attackers
- confined space attacks e.g. public toilet
- surprise attacks
- using your surrounds as weapons and protection
One thing that is emphasised over and over in each class is aggression. The lesson here is we want to use that aggression in training. This is so that when it comes to the real deal, our own personal aggression against the attacker combined with our skill set should step forward and become the deciding factor in keeping us safe in any physical encounter.
How did I get involved with Krav Maga?
I got involved with Krav Maga about in about February 2018. I don’t know how I came to find it, I think it may have been an ad I had seen somewhere online.I decided to give it a go for a couple of reasons being:
- It was just an opportunity to be a part of the local community and meet and make new friends.
- I had always felt like a bit of a letdown when it came to physical confrontations in my life so I decided to take a practical approach to this and just go out and learn about a self-defence methodology.
What do I like about it?
- . I like the exercise/fitness part of it. Sure there is a routine to it but every member of the class can participate to their ability. This is not some fierce army boot camp every time there is a class on. :))
- The training /knowledge becomes power I.e. I quietly know that if stuff goes pear shaped for me anywhere I have knowledge and skills to help me get out of that situation safely. I have found that just knowing some of this stuff, has made me more likely to avoid prickly situations as a first option rather than become involved.
Where do I go to learn Krav Maga?
Wherever you are in the world, there is probably a good chance there will be a local training group near to you. As with anything these days, just google ” Krav Maga” and your town, state or country and you should come up with a result.After developing in Israel it has pretty much spread out all over the globe. It is practiced in Asia, Europe, Australia,North America, Canada, Africa etc. It has also become the preferred method of self-defence training for conventional military, special forces, law enforcement, personal protection agencies, prison services etc. the world over. The global reach of this teaching to me suggests one glaringly obvious factor…. It’s simple to teach and learn and in turn because of this it was able to be duplicated easily, hence the global community of Krav Maga followers !!!
Whilst we can have a lot of fun at training and learn a new skill e.g. Krav Maga, we should always remember self-defence is a serious issue. If you or your loved ones are ever confronted with the possibility of a violent attack the consequences can be further reaching than a few bruises etc. These attacks can be sexual, physical or mental in nature. The outcome could affect health, finances and mental state of you and your family going forward. I say keep the odds in your favour by honing your focus to your own personal safety(aggression) and learning, retaining and practicing a Krav Maga skill set. If you are in the market for learning some self-defence I hope you are able to get onto your local Krav Maga group and give it a try and see where it takes you from there. I hope you enjoyed this article and if so please feel free to leave a comment below.
Stay safe and well !!