These are the stories that will make you check out the closest Krav gym to you…
Krav Maga is a combat system, which has become popular among fitness and martial arts enthusiasts all around the world. While Krav is often considered as an over-marketed fitness trend, there is much more to that discipline than losing a couple of kilos. I have gathered for you some of the most amazing stories from Krav Maga practitioners and instructors who are reflecting on what inspired them to start and what motivates them to continue their journey. Read on!
Krav Maga training was used by Kfir Brigade, the youngest infantry brigade of the Israel Defense.
“Once I understood that being able to defend yourself was a personal journey that should not be bound by a single style, then I knew Krav Maga was for me”
“I decided on Krav Maga after first studying the concepts of Jeet Kune Do. Krav Maga takes basic techniques from many fighting arts, and then adds pressure and intensity to form an easy-to-learn, practical self-defense system.
I’ve trained in Aikido for 7 years, and I am currently a Certified Commando Krav Maga Instructor. My background also includes Small Circle Jujitsu, Boxing, Goshi Shun Karate, Taekwondo, to name a few.
My students have backgrounds in Krav Maga, Boxing, Aikido, Karate, Taekwondo, Ninjitsu, BJJ, MMA, Wrestling, and Broad Sword. So you see that we never fight about styles, but instead, share information. A student’s cup must be empty before I allow them to join our class„
Jason, Krav Maga Instructor
Because there are so many variations of martial arts styles, it’s inevitable that many people would have different opinions on which martial arts is the most effective. The truth is that each of them has its pros and cons. After all, the effectiveness of each style depends on the situation and the skills of your opponent, so the best way to become “a well-rounded fighter” is to train in various disciplines. The great thing about Krav Maga is that it combines the most effective and practically applicable techniques from other martial arts like Aikido, Judo, Muay Thai Boxing, and wrestling. Some martial artists would refer to Krav Maga as ‘militarized MMA’ and I do agree with this definition.
In a nutshell, during your Krav Maga training, you will acquire a deadly mixture of the best skills sourced from different martial arts. This is something that is close to impossible to get if you’d limit yourself to a certain style. This is why Krav Maga proves to be efficient for 99 percent of people, regardless of their gender, weight, or age:
“I started Krav Maga at age 41. My dojo has had people who were in their late 60’s. Krav is designed for ages 7 to 70. In addition, one gentleman in our class is in his 50’s and weights about three times more than what he probably should. Krav has been the greatest thing I’ve encountered in my 41 years and my only regret in life is that I did not discover it earlier.”
Dan Rudman, Krav Maga Practitioner
Krav Maga fits virtually to everybody, regardless of their gender, weight, or age
“I always asked myself the same question though: would this work for real?”
“I’ve been doing some form of martial arts for most of my life. I always asked myself the same question though; would this work for real? It seemed a lot of the “self-defense” that I was learning were cookie-cutter responses to very specific attacks. Not once were my techniques put in a pressure test to see if they would work under stress.
I then joined the Coast Guard, and had to leave my old school behind. In search of something to fill the void, I stumbled upon my current Krav gym while shopping. I came in for my intro class and immediately fell in love. I learned some combatives and defenses, and then got to pressure test them in a stress/exhaustion drill. I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.”
MDeane, Krav Maga Practitioner
While Krav Maga techniques prove to be very effective, it’s not only them that make this style so special, but it’s also the way in which these techniques are learned. At your Krav Maga class, you will firstly learn a set of basic techniques, and then spend time testing those techniques under safe, but significant pressure.
For instance, in order to truly simulate real-life threats, Krav Maga practitioners often practice stress drills which can entail a circle of people pushing into you with punch pads and screaming in your ear, or the rest of class surrounding you with knives, guns and punching bags, so your task is to escape the crowd. Another popular drill involves a crowd of people, who are standing in a circle around a bunch of knives (plastic!) lying on the ground. Your task would be to grab a knife and stab somebody before you get stabbed.
These may sound a bit scary, but in fact these drills are designed to exhaust your body and disorient your senses, so that you can practice the techniques under stress similar to real-life attacks. As a result, you will be confident that you can repeat them no matter how scared or exhausted you are.
Important note: While Krav Maga training mirrors real-life attacks, there is no danger for your health or life. In fact, this combat system is statistically safer than Squash or Football.
Krav Maga stress drill: stressful, but safe and practical way to make the techniques your second nature
“I wanted to train in martial arts that was focused primarily on practical self-defense as opposed to competitions.”
I briefly trained in Taekwondo when I was in college, but dropped out because I couldn’t execute the high kicks very well as I’m not that flexible. Also didn’t feel 100% confident in my ability to defend myself in a real-life fight or assault.
A year after starting my Krav Maga practice, I’m only a level 2 student but still feel like I could defend myself and my loved ones long enough to get to safety if the need ever arose.
And for those of you who think you’re too old to do KM, I’m a 49-year-old heart attack survivor who is able to hold his own with the 20-something boys and girls in his classes.”
Magpie, Krav Maga Practitioner
Your have probably already gathered, that Krav Maga is all about practical approach that would work in real life situations. Many other martial arts styles encourage practices that are not applicable to real-world survival. For example, in around 80 percent of all crimes the victim is outnumbered by at least one more person, while in the majority of martial arts competitions, you will have only one opponent. Since the main focus of Krav Maga is your safety, there will be no competitions. The best reward you will get at your Krav Maga class is your life, not a trophy or a medal.
“Krav Maga teaches you not only combatives and self defense, but you start learning to think outside the box when it comes to self-defense”
“I started Krav Maga almost six years ago. Krav Maga teaches you not only combative techniques but to think outside the box when it comes to self-defense. You consider things you may not have considered before, things that will help you in a fight. You put things into real-life scenarios and in class, you fight like you are fighting for your life. It is realistic, creative, challenging, exhilarating and powerful. It uses basic human instinct so the self-defense you do will fly out of you if it needs to.”
Megan, Krav Maga Practitioner
Creativity is not something you would think to develop at martial arts class; however, it’s critically important in order for you to survive in unpredictable circumstances. Upon completion of your Krav Maga class, you will learn how to critically assess the situation and use even the most trivial objects to your advantage.
“I’ve never been worked out as hard as at the Krav classes.”
“Over the years I have played around with Tae Kwon Do, Wu Ying Tao (An American eclectic style), Wing Chun, Wushu Kung Fu and Arnis. I’ve never been worked out as hard as at the Krav classes; and I’ve never been encouraged to go all out.”
PDX Vance, Krav Maga Practitioner
“I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in, in a long time.”
“When I started Krav Maga, I was merely curious. I could now say I do it because I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in, in a long time. I could also say I do it because I’ve become more confident from the skills I’ve learned. If it were down to one thing, and someone asked me, ‘Why Krav?’, I’d say because after training a few months, an instructor looked at me and said ‘You look good.'”
Mr Jones, Krav Maga Practitioner
As I already mentioned, Krav Maga is also great for fitness purposes. Your instructor’s responsibility is to make you strong enough to be able to carry out the techniques you learn and to last longer in a fight. Every class will start with a warm-up, followed by power drills and exercises that combine cardio and straight training at intense intervals, so you will lose a sufficient amount of calories (around 500 calories per hour), increase your stamina and strength.
Krav Maga involves lots of exercises that combine cardio and straight training at intense intervals
“In my short Krav Maga career, I’ve found that work or other problems seem less serious after spending time trying to escape from a choke.”
“I’ve tried Judo, Karate, Kung Fu and Boxing and never stuck with any beyond a few years. Now I’m 40 and would like to actually become proficient in something. I want the spillover confidence that comes from training in something physical. In my short Krav Maga career, I’ve found that work or other problems seem less serious after spending time trying to escape from a choke.”
Just_hilts, Krav Maga Practitioner
Another amazing paradox of Krav Maga is that while it seems pretty intense, it’s actually very powerful for boosting your self-confidence. According to the survey conducted by the director of Krav Maga International (KMI), Patrick Lockton, (graciously interviewed by Alicia Lu of Popsugar), it turns out that it is actually the main reason that keeps his students going. Indeed, Krav Maga will help you to discover that you’re capable of much more than you thought, which may totally change the way you see yourself and others. As Lockton puts it,”The KMI mindset helps people start believing in themselves, and this can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Students can easily translate their success in training to success in their lives.”
“During my month in the jungle I was taken hostage. I vowed then and there to never get into a situation like that again and as soon as I got home, found the nearest Krav Maga studio and began.”
“In 2003, I was sent on a project in the jungles of Nigeria. I am in the oilfield and instruct the local engineers in new technologies. During my month in the jungle I was taken hostage. I vowed then and there to never get into a situation like that again and as soon as I got home, found the nearest Krav Maga studio and began. My wife and son also joined and we made it a family affair. I would not trade that time with my wife and son for anything. Since then my son has had to use his new skills twice.”
Lcash, Krav Maga Practitioner
It’s hard to imagine performing a stress drill on your wife as part of your quality time together, but signing up for a Krav Maga class might just be one of the greatest things you could do for your loved ones. Apart from learning to keep each other safe, it’s a great team-building activity that will surely make you stronger as life partners. .
“Self-defense or not, that could very easily have ended with me in prison, and that was truly scary.”
“I thought I had been in fights before, but I changed my mind after I was in a life-or-death battle two years ago. A friend of mine got in an argument with some gang-banger (guy 1) and his friend (guy 2), who went to his car and got a metal bat. The scene I walked onto was guy 2 advancing on my friends blind side with what looked like every intention of bashing their heads in. I charged the guy, he turned and swung at my head, I ducked in and cut of his swing with my forearm and shoulder followed up immediately with two elbows to the face, which busted him wide open and then I took him down in a solid choke hold. I know there were flaws with this approach, but it worked and the people I care about walked away safe. Three things I walked away with are:
1. I never want to be the guy who loses, ever.
2. I need more control; I may have killed the guy if my friends hadn’t pulled me off. I had a solid game-ending choke hold and I was in a red haze of fury. Self-defense or not, that could very easily have ended with me in prison, and that was truly scary.
3. What if I just got lucky?
These led me to redouble my efforts to find some training. I had never heard of Krav Maga, but saw it on the sign of a defense school right near my house and went right home and looked it up. Watched some videos and knew without a doubt that was where I needed to be.”
Silas, Krav Maga Practitioner
For a lot of people, Krav Maga may appear too violent. However, those who have experienced real-life attacks truly appreciate their Krav training because it allows them to not get stressed and to be able to protect themselves. Krav Maga teaches you to fully control the situation and when danger strikes, it’s the only thing that matters.
Have you ever tried Krav Maga? What do you think of this discipline? I would be curious to hear about your Krav Maga experiences in comments.
Photo credit: Getty Images