Krav Maga is a tactical mixed martial art/combative system used by Israeli defense forces. It means “contact-combat” and this phrase is in fact pretty telling. Namely, this system is not shrouded in mystery like some other disciplines. This technique harnesses the raw power of “street fighting” and blends it with the principles of self-defense in order to create an amalgam which is more martial than art. You could say that Krav Maga is realistic fight training at its best.
Packing a Punch
The roots of this technique can be found in the pre-World War II Czechoslovakia, where a young Jew named Imi Lichtenfeld decided to stand up against fascist and anti-Semitic groups. He was a professional boxer and wrestler, yet he learned the hard way that scoring points in a match is much different to thwarting street thugs. Thus, he started to develop techniques that are capable of disarming and neutralizing opponents.
In the midst of wartime destruction, Imi joined the Zionist Movement and its paramilitary squads. Soon, his fighting prowess became evident. Israeli military leaders took notice and entrusted him with the training of elite combat forces, later the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He borrowed from aikido, boxing, judo, jujutsu, and wrestling and formed a combat system which still remains an official discipline of the IDF.
Military recruits had to pick up the technique in a matter of weeks, and that is why simplicity and efficiency are in the focus. There is a lot of continuous movement and swift attacks that target opponent’s weak spots such as soft tissues. On the other hand, you do not have to learn katas or patterns. Just immerse in a furry of blows, blocks, groin attacks, eye gouging, and other strikes.
In a nutshell, the prime goal is to deal with a target as soon as possible. It is important to note that this overarching principle dictates everything. Hence, Krav Maga is applicable in a variety of lethal situations, and pretty much anything goes as long as you manage to overcome or incapacitate the attacker. This may seem borderline barbaric to some, but when your life is on the line, there is not much time to moralize.
Attack is the best defense
This straightforward philosophy has attracted disciples throughout the world. Krav Maga is no military secret, and today there are even gyms that offer suitable programs. You also have the option to turn to online resources like Kravmagasystems and use video material to get a hold of the basics. There are various self-defense training options available, including kids Krav Maga, practitioner programs, and personal training.
Another peculiar thing about Krav Maga is that it does not treat defensive and offensive moves as separate. In fact, they are an integral part of one fluid, potent technique. In practice, this means that you simultaneously defend yourself against enemy attacks and launch your own counterattacks. To pull this off, you have to accomplish a flow of continuous movement called Retzev. Think of it as a seamless explosion of aggressiveness and ferocity.
How does one summon such power? Well, the trick is to rely on your instinct, not a predetermined set of routines. You are encouraged to improvise, combine with other techniques, and utilize anything at your disposal, especially weapons of opportunity. Of course, Krav Maga also teaches you how to use and defend against conventional weapons like knives. Just remember to aim at soft tissue and pressure points, and you will be able to stop any attacker in his tracks.
Walking human weapons
Krav Maga is all about brutal reality-based effectiveness and a logical approach. You need to act with lightning reflexes and strike with crude force. There is not much dancing like a butterfly, but there is quite a bit of stinging like a bee. Krav Maga is designed as a tool you can put to use as soon as possible, so are you prepared to unleash the inner warrior? There is no better way to get into shape and protect yourself than to train like the soldiers who go through the greatest physical trials and tribulations of them all.
About the Author:
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Check out his website ripped.me and follow him on Twitter.