And Is It For Men and Women?
A new form of self defence is shaking up the world. A practical combat system is gaining popularity in fitness clubs all over the land. Its aficionados are empowering themselves by fighting hand to hand, arming themselves with the power to protect not only themselves in potentially dangerous and confrontational situations, but also the ones they love.
Welcome to the world of Krav Maga.
How, where and why?
First off: Krav Maga is not a martial art. It is too pared down for that (in a good way). There are zero sporting rules. Krav Maga is simplicity in action; we’re talking ease and flow, strong, powerful and precise movements which become second nature should somebody find themselves in a real life situation where they need to call upon them to defend themselves.
In fact, Krav Maga isn’t so new after all. It was designed in the forties by the Israeli military as a foolproof method for conscripts to either escape or survive a ‘battle field’ situation, but it has proven so successful (and its techniques so compatible with ‘everyday life’, both from a health and self defence point of view), that its teachings are spreading like wildfire and more and more men and women are checking it out for themselves… and becoming addicted!
But are its fans really an equal split of men and women? And what specifically can women take from Krav Maga?
Well, to find out more, I chatted with Peter Hallett from Somerset, UK, who has recently taken up the sport at his local club:
“Krav Maga is self defence, and as such, aimed at both men and women. There are a lot of women who learn, although the bias seems to be toward men taking it up – in my exposure to Krav Maga anyway. That said, the best Kravist in my group is female (with the exception of the instructor!). Krav teaches techniques which allow a smaller, or physically less strong person (be they female or male) to get themselves in control of a situation. So as horrible as it sounds, it is perfect for females and young women who may easily become victims to sexual predators and the like; as such I would teach it to my daughter or niece without hesitation.”
And what about the difference it has made to his life, is this just another fitness craze, or something a little bit special?
“Krav Maga has made a huge difference to my life. After six months of training twice a week I feel healthier physically in a way I have not felt since my teenage years. Mentally, it’s helped me focus too, learning the techniques has sharpened my mind, especially when we ‘pressure test’ our learning. It is a very empowering and confidence boosting thing to do. I cannot think of any negatives to learning Krav Maga at all. Krav Maga as a self defence fighting technique has been around since the 1940s, however the BKMA (British Krav Maga Association) wasn’t founded until 2010.
Personally, I think Krav Maga is so simply effective that it will not be chalked up as another fitness craze. I have attended several self defense/conflict resolution courses over the years through work and not until I started Krav Maga did I ever feel I had been taught the effective skills to be able to defend myself in a real life situation.”
High praise indeed. I wonder what I can possibly add to that?
Perhaps those of you who are regular Glass House readers are wondering why I would pen an article on self defence in the first place… being a Positivity Guru who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses and all that.
Well, yes, that I still am… but I am human too.
We certainly do attract fearful situations if we give off a fearful vibe. No two ways about it, I know from my own rather terrifying experiences. And Quantum Physics will back me up there. However, not all of us are aware of this (or the mechanism of the good old Law of Attraction), and even if we are kind of semi aware, we can still have our off days.
But having a string to our bow such as the efficient techniques Krav Maga offers, means that if we ever do find ourselves in a tricky scenario – as I was on more than a handful of occasions in my late teens and early twenties – we have the capacity to deal with the situation quickly via brutal and explosive movements.
Which could make all the difference between life and death.
By striking at the vulnerable points of an attacker (the groin or eyes for example), a woman creates her escape route from headlocks and weapons, punches and kicks when she uses her body weight to put power behind the moves. Since most attackers are likely to be larger than their victim, this is pretty empowering stuff.
Awareness, prevention and self-confidence with the added bonus of focusing the mind and keeping in great shape. Female fitness doesn’t get better than that!