Krav Maga Training

The Krav Maga | What is Krav Maga | History | Description | The Founder of Krav Maga | Krav Maga Overview | Krav Maga Philosophy | Krav Maga and Others | Current Usage | Krav Maga Levels | The Close Combat | Krav Maga Training

In Krav Maga, there are no hard-and-fast rules, and no distinction in training for men and women. It is not a sport, and there are no specific uniforms, attire or competitions.

All the techniques focus on maximum efficiency in real-life conditions. Krav Maga generally assumes a no quarter situation; the attacks and defenses are intended for potentially lethal threat situations, and aim to neutralize these and escape via maximum pain or damage to opponents, as rapidly and safely as possible.

Crippling attacks to vulnerable body parts, including groin and eye strikes, headbutts, and other efficient and potentially brutal attacks, improvized use of any objects available, and maximizing personal safety in a fight, are emphasized.

The guiding principles for those performing Krav Maga techniques are:

  • Neutralize the threat
  • Avoid injury
  • Go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible
  • Use the body’s natural reflexes
  • Strike at any vulnerable point
  • Use any tool or object nearby

According to a description written for the self-publication media site Associated Content, the basic premises of Krav Maga are:

  • You’re not going to care how much damage you’re going to cause.
  • Cause as much damage as possible and run.
  • Do not try and prolong a fight. Do what needs to be done and escape.

The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (being choked, for example), prevent the attacker from re-attacking, and then neutralize the attacker, proceeding through all steps in a methodical manner, despite the rush of adrenaline that occurs in such an attack. The emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible.

Techniques: Although Krav Maga shares many techniques with other martial arts, such as karate, boxing, savate, muay thai, jujutsu, judo, kobudo and wrestling, the training is often quite different. It stresses fighting under worst-case conditions or from disadvantaged positions (for example, against several opponents, when protecting someone else, with one arm unusable, when dizzy, or against armed opponents). Unlike Karate there are no predefined sequences of moves or choreographed styles; instead Krav Maga emphasizes rapid learning and the retzev (“continuous combat motion”), with the sole imperative being effectiveness, for either attack or defensive situations.

Krav maga instructors emphasize two training rules:

(1) there are no rules in a fight and
(2) one must not injure oneself or one’s partner when training.

Training is an intense mixed aerobic and anaerobic workout, relying heavily on protective pads in order to experience both delivery and defense of strikes at full force. This is important because it allows the student to practice the technique at full strength, and the student holding the pad learns a little of the impact they’d feel when they get hit. It can be almost as taxing to hold a pad as to practice against one. Some schools incorporate “Strike and Fight,” which consists of full-contact sparring intended to familiarize the student with the stresses of a violent situation.

Training may employ a speaker system blasting loud music, stroboscope and/or fog machine, meant to train the student to ignore peripheral distractions and focus on causing as much damage as possible. Training might also cover “Self Protection”; ways to deal with situations which could end in fights, and physical and verbal methods to avoid violence whenever possible.

A typical Krav Maga session in a civilian school is about an hour long and mixes conditioning with self-defense teaching. As levels increase, the instructors focus a little more on complicated and less common types of attacks, such as knife attacks, hostage situations and defense under extreme duress. First, the instructor will run a very intense drill to get the class’s heart rates up.

Then, after stretching, the instructor will teach two or three self-defense techniques. In the beginning the techniques will either be combatives (punches, hammer-fists, elbows, and knees ) or grappling (breaking out of chokes or wrist-grabs, getting out from under an opponent while on one’s back). After that, the class usually moves to a drill that combines the techniques just taught with an aerobic technique. Finally, there is the final drill intended to burn out the students. Depending on the class – and on the instructor’s mood – this drill may be at the very beginning or at the end of the class.

Quotations: “The use of dirty tactics are highly encouraged in Krav Maga. In a real fight, those who fight “fair” do not get to stand afterwards. Fighting fair and defending yourself are two different things. Fighting for honor and fighting for survival are two different things. When having to defend yourself, honor does not play a role. […] In short, it teaches you how to “survive” in the worst situations of combat.”