Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed in Israel that focuses on practical techniques to neutralize real-life threats. With its emphasis on instinctive movements and situational awareness, Krav Maga has become a popular choice for people seeking to learn effective self-defense skills. In this Q&A session, we have the privilege of speaking with a Krav Maga instructor who has years of experience teaching and practicing this discipline. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced martial artist, join us to gain some valuable insights into the world of Krav Maga.
What is Krav Maga and how is it different from other martial arts?
Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art system originating in the IDF. It combines only the most practical and effective techniques from a variety of other martial arts to provide the practitioner with a skillset that is highly attuned to the real world. Krav Maga differs from other martial arts in that it is not intended for competition. In the real word, there is no octagon, no referee and no rules. It is based on principles of survival, making it a valuable resource to anyone who values their personal safety.
What are some of the core principles of Krav Maga, and how do they guide training and practice?
Generally speaking, there are 4 core principles to a “Kravist’s” methodology that I teach to my students:
- Always move forward – In Krav Maga, we are defending ourselves in a potentially life threatening situation. One must drive forward with determination and aggression.
- Be on the offensive – In the heat of combat, it is counterproductive to worry yourself about what might happen to you. Rather, think about what you can do to the assailant. Having an offensive mindset is key to promoting a positive outcome.
- Understand the concept of 0–100 – In many street-related incidents, a situation will escalate from almost nothing into a full-blown physical assault in a very short period of time. Krav Maga will train you to act instinctively and with full commitment to the fight.
- Target vital areas – understanding which areas will have the greatest effect at rendering an assailant as incapacitated will give the Kravist greatest likelihood for escaping to safety.
Can anyone learn Krav Maga, or does it require a certain level of fitness or experience?
Absolutely anyone, no matter the experience or fitness level, can learn Krav Maga. As long as the trainee is medically-cleared for exercise, a qualified instructor will be able to work around the constraints of each individual and create a safe and enjoyable training experience.
What are some common misconceptions about Krav Maga?
People tend to think that a proficient fighter is keen to engage in combat and will do so given even the slightest opportunity. This simply isn’t true. The very first thing I teach to all of my trainees, is the power of situational awareness and vocal command. Physical fighting is always the last resort, and a good Kravist will always seek to de-escalate and avoid combat in any way possible. At the earliest opportunity, no matter your skill level, one should escape and seek refuge in a safe place, then call the Police.
Can Krav Maga be used in real-life self-defense situations?
Given that Krav Maga originates in the military, the entire system is designed around real-life situations. We train techniques that are the most instinctive, easiest to learn and most effective at keeping you and your loved ones safe.
How does Krav Maga training benefit overall health and wellness, in addition to self-defense skills?
Self-confidence is a huge one. The psychological reassurance you gain knowing that, in most situations, you can look after yourself and your loved ones is an underrated but hugely rewarding feeling. I also promote anything that encourages someone to move in a way they aren’t used to. As humans, we’re highly adaptive and incredibly complex beings which means we are literally designed to be movers! In my own (biased) opinion, Krav Maga checks all the boxes: learn a new skill, get stronger, improve cardiovascular fitness and develop balance & coordination. You may even find those nagging pains you’ve been having lately start to subside…