Krav Maga is a hand-to-hand combat system that was developed in Israel in the 1940’s. It has become one of the most popular and tested self-defense systems around.
The philosophy behind Krav Maga is simple: one punch can often be better than 10 punches with regular boxing gloves. Krav Maga utilizes punches, kicks, throws, takedowns and grappling techniques to take down an assailant quickly before they have a chance to inflict serious injury. Twenty three steps are defined for this process with each step outlined in detail on their website, if you want more information about each step or how it will work feel free to watch their video:
The instructor I took the class from is David Kahn, he has been training people in Krav Maga since 1993 and teaches classes all over the country. You can take classes at his school or your local YMCA. The cost per class is approximately $150 per month which includes a uniform, training gear, martial art insurance and more. The location I went to was located in Rockville, MD.
The class had a small number of students (about 5), this was so that we could get one on one instruction for some of the tougher areas such as disarming someone pointing a gun at you (the room has a mirror so you can see what the other person would be doing). David is an excellent teacher (which is why his students love him) and I was able to ask him about anything I felt could be improved. He has clearly taken the time to write down a lot of information on how self-defense works in theory and practice.
The class started out with a warm up before moving into the actual techniques. This portion of the class went over body mechanics, breathing, proper wrist locks, choke holds, etc. The first technique taught was how to shove someone away from you, I have included what I saw in this video: Next was how to hit someone in the throat which is extremely important when fighting in close quarters, this is where you hit someone in the Adam’s Apple which makes it hard for them to talk:
The last technique we went over was a combination of kneeing someone at their groin and stabbing them with an elbow into their face (I’ve included a video below):
When I looked over what they were giving us I thought great this will be easy to do, but then we started practicing. It took me awhile to get used to kicking with my left leg while holding onto something else (my partner) with my right hand. I’ve included what I did in this video:
The moves that I presented from ‘Krav Maga’ are not really the actual moves of Krav Maga, but rather modified versions of the techniques that work for something that will happen in a real self-defense situation. As you can see from my videos above these modified techniques are very effective and can be done quickly so they are no slower than regular boxing.
The real strength of Krav Maga is that it’s a martial art that allows you to learn to think on your feet and analyze the situation before you take action, which is why it works for both beginners and more advanced martial artists.