What comes to mind when you think of self-defense? Do you imagine yourself fighting off an army of home-invaders, guns blazing Rambo-style? Or maybe you’d incapacitate that mugger with a flying kick, à la Bruce Lee.
For most of us, self-defense is just about making it home safe and sound, about protecting our loved ones, and about defending our home from attack.
But what if you aren’t Bruce Lee or Rambo or even the Karate Kid, and you’re pretty sure a flying kick would do more to incapacitate you than your attacker?
The answer is simple—Krav Maga.
What is Krav Maga?
Right about now, you’re probably thinking “Krav Ma-what?” That’s ok. Stick with me for a second…
Krav got its fancy name from Hebrew. It’s a self-defense system that was developed by a badass named Imi Lichtenfeld, a boxer, wrestler, and judo expert, who got a job teaching hand to hand combat to the Israeli Defense Forces (Think: Special Forces). Imi realized all the things he learned wrestling in spandex didn’t amount to much when someone came at him with a knife in an alley. So he took all his experience in competition-based fighting systems and adapted them for the streets. He developed principles that were easy to learn and easy to perform under stress.
I can see you nodding right about now…we like easy!
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Well, to be honest, Krav is more simple, than easy. Think back to that KISS principle from high school—Keep It Simple Stupid. It probably would’ve been Imi’s favorite saying if someone would’ve translated it to Hebrew for him.
He created Krav to be principle-based v. technique-based, meaning the system doesn’t have a million techniques for a million different scenarios. Instead, Krav has a set of core principles that fit many different situations, keeping it simple (stupid).
Those principles all come back to a basic few things: Defend, Counter-Attack, and Improve Your Position.
And while Krav Maga was originally designed for the military and law enforcement agencies, Imi adapted it for civilians after retiring from the IDF. It kept all the aggression and explosive counter-attacks, but it doesn’t rely on you carrying an automatic weapon to work every day.
What do you learn in a Krav class?
Beginners at Xtreme Krav Maga learn to punch, kick, knee, elbow, and head-butt, along with learning how to defend against chokes, grabs, bear hugs and weapons (guns, knives, and bats) from all angles. The intensive training teaches you to function under stress, shock, and adrenaline. And to top it off, every single class is a killer workout.
(See what I did there? KILLER workout?)
One last thing to keep in mind, Krav Maga is for EVERYONE. People of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels can learn this system. We work together to challenge each other and improve, every time we hit the mats.
And there is nothing that brings you closer together than practicing groin kicks on a friend.
Don’t believe us? You’ll just have to come take an introductory class to find out.
Written By: Margaret Torres