First, Krav Maga isn’t a martial arts. It’s a self-defense system. We don’t focus on the artistic aspects.
Second, as a Krav Maga Instructor, I don’t insult other arts. Krav Maga is a mix of other martial arts, and we are constantly learning from other styles. As Grandmaster Imi said “We don’t say that way isn’t good. We say any way is good,” because we have something to learn from it. Even if we think something won’t work, we can still learn something from why it was created and how we can modify it to work.
Yes, Krav Maga is a great way to defend yourself because that is what it was created. Imi wanted to teach people how to defend themselves from hate crimes and focused on creating a system that anyone could use.
He based his system on modifying the human body’s natural self-defense instincts, hardwired into our brains at birth.
If someone aims a slap at your face, your hands naturally go up to block it. Your brain is sending signals, sacrifice less important parts (your hands) to protect more important parts (your brain) because you can survive a hand injury much better than a head injury.
Krav Maga modifies that by having one hand to block, and the other hand available to block a second strike or counter-strike as needed.
We also aim to the weak points. I know that my opponent will be bigger and stronger than me, so I have to make every strike an efficient and effective one. A really great sidekick to the thigh will not cause very much damage, but a precise strike to the knee will cause a lot of damage. Krav Maga focuses on targeting those points and drilling that into muscle memory.
Third, Krav Maga focuses on de-escalation. Fighting is our last resort. Our goal is to create distance and get as far away from danger as possible. This means using awareness to make sure we are constantly considering how to be safe. I found this video recently, and I plan to show it to many of my students, who have their heads in phones. This makes them easier targets.
Fourth, Krav Maga utilizes additional tools like using your voice. When we are scared, our breath catches in our throat, choking us and making us seem weak. Just learning how to speak firmly and loudly, can make attackers think twice about attacking, as well as attract the attention of others. Many people are afraid of making a scene and looking crazy. It takes a lot of time and practice for people to be able to shout and demand their space.
Fifth, Krav Maga is for everyone. I've taught elderly people in wheelchairs, I've taught US Marine, I've taught mothers with kids, I've taught teenagers, and I've taught kids. Krav Maga can be modified for everyone so that they can defend themselves.
Thank you for reading,