Given the current legal and social climate, carrying a firearm isn’t a viable option for most people much of the time. Many employers have so called “anti-violence” policies that include bans against possessing a weapon in the workplace or even in your vehicle if it is parked on company property. Some countries/states/counties/cities make it virtually impossible to legally carry a gun for personal protection. If you are like me, and are plagued with such restrictions, consider signing up for Krav Maga lessons.
Krav Maga is the fighting system of the Israeli military and has recently been making its way into numerous
Krav Maga is all about self defense. It is not a ritualized art and it most definitely is not a sport. It emphasizes brutally effective moves that some would consider “dirty” or “dishonorable”. Groin kicks are a staple of this system, as is attacking throats, eyes, knees and anything else that can quickly neutralize an attacker. It is all is about doing whatever it takes to give you the best chance of making it home safe and sound after an attack.
I recently became a student of Krav Maga, and have been extremely impressed with this fighting system. I like how they always try to prepare students for the worst. It is always assumed that that an attacker will have an advantage, such as superior size, superior numbers, weapons, the element of surprise and possibly all of the above. In my very first day of class I was taught to throw a basic punch and kick, and then told to close my eyes and stand in a relaxed casual position. A training partner would then run at me from a random direction and slam into me with a pad, partially knocking me off balance. I then had to immediately open my eyes, face the pad and throw a series of punches and/or kicks at it. Since then, I have often been required to stand in a casual position (i.e. not in a fighting stance) when learning to defend and counterattack against various moves. The idea is to change the shock reflex so that rather than freezing up during a startling attack students immediately launch an overwhelming counterattack.
Much of the training is done full force against one or more pad wielding partners. This conditions the striker to hit hard and use the proper technique. It also teaches the person with the pad to recognize what it looks like when someone is attacking them and to not be intimidated by it. Tell tale indicators such as a slight twist of the hips or shoulders, tensing of muscles, etc., can all be safely studied so that the pad holder learns exactly what an attack looks like when it is first initiated. Holding the pad against strong attacks also strengthens core muscle groups as they tense to absorb the blows.
Krav Maga also gives you a really good workout. When I first started the class, the intensive warm up routines had my heart hammering and my lungs heaving and was nearly more than I could handle. This cardio workout is then followed by stretching and then vigorous combative training. The intense beginning serves both to get students in better physical condition and to tire them out so that when they are practicing they will get used to fighting while tired. After all, muggers and other attackers aren’t likely to give you a pass just because you happen to feel fatigued on the day that you encounter them.
If you’d like to get in better shape, lose some extra weight and/or would like to learn how to protect yourself, seriously consider taking up Krav Maga. My physical condition has improved noticeably in just half a dozen weeks, and I am told that after only a few months of training I likely will be better trained for hand to hand combat than most ordinary police officers. Given how much I have improved already, I’m inclined to believe it.
Labels: Self Defense