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Krav Maga anyone????
Old 06-19-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
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Krav Maga anyone????

This is a longshot, but has anyone here taken Krav Maga classes? If so, could you please share your opinion of this self-defense technique?
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #2
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Get some Mace.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:24 PM   #3
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FWIW I am a Ju Jutsu practicioner on and off for about 30 yrs. From what I know Krav Maga is not used as a sport. It is Israeli military defensive techniques with emphasis on taking the defense initiative. Meaning: the opposition starts the defense finishes. Need good physical conditioning along with no nonsense mental attitude. I had the pleasure of working with a fellow member in the Dojo where I practiced about 20 years ago, who was prior member in the Israeli forces, was good at it, and I was suitably wrung out by him many times. An excellent learning experience!
I'm sure others will pipe up as well and add their info.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:53 PM   #4
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This is a longshot, but has anyone here taken Krav Maga classes? If so, could you please share your opinion of this self-defense technique?
I think that the most important component of any martial arts technique is:

the instructor.

It doesn't matter how big or fast or coordinated or dedicated you are, or how suitable the technique is for your desired application. If you can't find a good instructor then it just won't be fun, and it could even be dangerous.

If you know a good instructor who just happens to teach Krav Maga then you'll do fine with it. If not then your time (and money) might be better devoted to finding a good kickboxing instructor... plenty of them to choose from.

If you expect that you're actually going to need to learn how to take a blow, then I recommend a full-contact martial art like taekwondo or escrima or silat-- something where you get kicked or punched and you're expected to keep on fighting. All the fancy moves and speed in the world won't help if you can't shake off a good smack to the head or torso.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:42 AM   #5
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I took one of the off-shoots of Krav Maga called Haganah for a better part of a year. I agree with Nords, the instructor can make a world of difference, but there are "licensing" requirements that need to be met to teach Krav Maga, so most teachers will have training and some credentials.

I can tell you that it is one of the more extreme ways to get exercise! It is not a sport, it is purely for self defense, so you will drill many practice "attacks". It is more comparable to boot camp than something like a karate dojo. Everything is done for practicality, not art or sport. It will be brutal, I won't lie. Many moves involve smacks to the crotch, eye gouges, gun removal techniques, knife defense. You will be attacked by 5-10 padded opponents and have to fight your way out. One drill involves rotating you until you are dizzy then having to fend off an attacker. Basically, they mess with your equilibrium and comfort to train you to be a machine.

It is certainly not for everyone, but it will make you fairly confident (and competent) in a short amount of time. They teach a technique that involves "muscle memory" where you just react instead of having to think.

Remember, it was intended for street combat against armed terrorists, so the main goal is to first protect yourself, then immobilize or incapacitate the attacker in as short amount of time as possible.

If you just want a low-intensity cardio workout, then, I would say try Tae Kwan Do or another martial art. If you want pure self-defense training and quite a burn, then go for it! Most schools will at least give you a few free sessions to check it out. I suggest you try it!

This is the system I trained with, and they have many schools around the country:

Fight 2 Survive (an offshoot of KM)

Or you can find the main Krav Maga federation schools here:

KRAV MAGA - US Locations

You will learn to take a punch in KM though. The teachers are sometimes psychopaths, and enjoy kicking you in the side while you do pushups, smacking you with this rubber baton thingie while you are being attacked from the front, and anything they can think of to freak you out

I also don't suggest taking a class on your wedding week. I trained with a new guy and took a badly thrown elbow to the eye. My wife didn't enjoy the black eye as much as I did during the wedding pics!
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:02 AM   #6
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No nonsense self defense techniques worked out to be effective and sufficiently simple that you might even be able to remember and use them should a need ever arise. You have a high likelihood of hurting or maiming your opponent, so they are not for sport but only for serious self defense. I've seen a few classes, but never taken one. I was impressed by the techniques as well as the class, and have friends who swear by the method. There are no half measures as I understand it. If you would use Krav Maga, you intend to defend yourself and hurt (perhaps very seriously) your attacker. There are no offensive moves, only defensive ones, but they are brutally effective and can be so for both men and women. It's the most effective school of self defense that I am aware of.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:20 AM   #7
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what they said:

short, sweet, nasty, with adrenaline-driven training so your body remembers it, not your mind.

however - will the instructor also deal with your local legal requirements? depending on the state, in some situations one has a duty to try and retreat [or an awareness that one can't] before restoring harmony to the world. Useful to have been told what to do / not do before it all goes south.

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Old 06-20-2008, 09:11 AM   #8
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My kid's dojo has a certified instructor who taught Krav Maga in Israel. You will inflict severe damage on an opponent once you are adequately trained........
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #9
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the best self defense option would be to get a conceal carry permit, a decent handgun, and proper training.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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I don't want to be a sitting duck for Mr. Robber/Rapist/Mugger, since I am an older woman. Krav Maga sounds perfect for what I want. And, even if I learn just some techniques to help me survive, it is better than nothing.
And, yes, I did learn how to use a gun from an ex-secret service Israeli who now teaches at the Police Academy; but, good luck on using that gun in the State of Illinois or Michigan (no right to carry here). And who knows if that gun will be close by when trouble does happen.
Krav Maga sounds like a tough course, but--in a situation where it's him or me--I choose me, so I'd better learn some techniques in fighting. Granted, I expect just to learn the best I can at my advanced age and ability...but I am working on the theory here of some training is better than nothing.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:35 AM   #11
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This is fascinating - - I have never even heard of Krav Maga. It sounds Hungarian (?).

When I was 19, a man with a gun unsuccessfully attempted to grab/abduct me off the streets (I screamed, he ran). After that I signed up for a self-defense class.

Upon hearing my reasons for being there, the instructor told me that if a man was much bigger than a woman, he believed that screaming (or a gun) was probably a better means of self defense than anything I would learn in a self-defense class.

I think he might have been right. I see martial arts as a valuable form of exercise, self-discipline, and possibly meditation.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:32 PM   #12
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I agree with Nords, the instructor can make a world of difference, but there are "licensing" requirements that need to be met to teach Krav Maga, so most teachers will have training and some credentials.
Anyone can get training & credentials, and anyone frequently does.

I was referring to the "Double-Goal Coach" type of instructor who has authoritative knowledge yet can still inspire and encourage. In my experience (both martial and in martial arts) too many martial-arts instructors think they're running an authoritarian boot camp. We still have a sizable problem with that issue in taekwondo and I'm not sure that it's better in other martial arts.

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You will learn to take a punch in KM though. The teachers are sometimes psychopaths, and enjoy kicking you in the side while you do pushups, smacking you with this rubber baton thingie while you are being attacked from the front, and anything they can think of to freak you out
I'm not sure how this type of treatment improves a student's ability to take a punch. I'm referring to wearing proper protective equipment, learning how to roll with the momentum of the strike (foot or hand), using an opponent's momentum against them, and recovering from a strike to administer a counter. Many people take self-defense classes but few have learned how to recover from the shock/pain of an attack.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:58 PM   #13
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Krav Maga anyone ? No thanks , I just drink wine .
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #14
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Granted, I expect just to learn the best I can at my advanced age and ability...but I am working on the theory here of some training is better than nothing.
Take this in the gentle spirit it is meant please.

There is no chance in God's green earth of you learning Krav Maga or any other martial art to the extent of being able to defend yourself against some young aggressive dude. 0. Now granted I don't know you, but this is the voice of real experience talking.

If you want to train, great. Train. That's all there is anyway. Forget the rest.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:50 PM   #15
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IMO, your best skill to develop is awareness. Are you in a potentially dangerous situation? Is the parking lot dark and empty? Is the guy walking down the sidewalk scoping out potential victims?

Self defense doesn't start when you are attacked; it starts when you become aware that there is the chance of physical violence.

Couple awareness with a good level of physical fitness, and you've done a lot to help your chances. However, I agree with Ronin. Krav Maga is as "street-savvy" martial art as you'll find, but you would probably be physically overwhelmed in a street situation regardless of training. I don't think that "to defend yourself" will get you through more than a couple of months of training, if that. It has to be something you want to do for its own sake, or you won't last.

If there is a school near you, go and watch how they train. It might be to the point where people are coming home battered and bruised every night. Some schools train with higher levels of contact than others. Also, if the demographics of the class are all 20-something guys, it might be tough for you to fit in.

I don't think either Ronin or I are trying to discourage you, but I believe it is best to have a good idea going in what you'd be getting into.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #16
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Take this in the gentle spirit it is meant please.

There is no chance in God's green earth of you learning Krav Maga or any other martial art to the extent of being able to defend yourself against some young aggressive dude. 0. Now granted I don't know you, but this is the voice of real experience talking.

If you want to train, great. Train. That's all there is anyway. Forget the rest.
It would seem she DID defend herself against a 'young aggressive dude'. Old peaceful ones rarely seek to abduct women off the streets. [well done - obviously 'and then she screams like a banshee' wasn't in his mental map . heh. ]

Now, if you are talking about a 'semi-fair fight', ok. or the challenge stuff that happens in male/male situations - tougher.

If you are talking about defending oneself against the kinds of approach / test / close approach / attack pattern that women so often experience - successful defense happens every day.

One needs to break the attackers mind / will to continue.

Sometimes it is just 'the hairy eyeball'
sometimes it is yell / make a scene / run
sometimes it goes to 'directly physical'.

Success can happen at any point along here.

Now, size does matter... the short form of the funny story about my 4'9" Japanese shiatsu lady goes like this: A New York night, on the street. Big guy bends over to grab. She helped him continue to go over. Thump. He got up yelling 'she hurt me!'. The cops were highly amused

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Old 06-20-2008, 09:01 PM   #17
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Personally, I think the best self-defense technique is situational awareness, because the best way to defeat any attack is to not be there when it happens. Regardless of what means of physical force you use for self-defense, whether it's Krav Maga or a Glock 27, if you find yourself being forced to use it your first line of defense has already failed you.

When I go somewhere I always scan for two things - stuff or people that might hurt me, and where all the exits are.

Prime example of the usefulness of that came just this afternoon. I went into the big bad city to run some errands and I made a stop at a convenience store to grab a bottle of water and some gum. It was in a busy strip center with a pawn shop, chicken place and a nail salon along with the c-store. There were 15-20 people in the parking lot going to and from their cars, but one guy stood out because he was just hanging out. That didn't make him bad, just somebody to watch because he wasn't doing what everyone else was doing. People were busily going about their business and not paying much attention to anyone else, while his business seemed to be watching what everyone else was doing. When I got back in my truck to leave I saw him walking toward the front of the store just as a teenage girl came out gabbing on her cell phone, juggling purse and snack food while trying to get to her keys. He was watching her like a hawk looks at its prey, and then he started to look around to see if anybody else was watching. They were practically in front of my truck when he saw me and maybe it was just because he saw me watching him intently, or because I was putting on what my wife calls "the cop look", but I saw recognition in his eyes. His demeanor changed instantly and he just strolled on like he had someplace to go. He walked around the corner and as I left I saw him getting into the car that his buddy had waiting on the side of the store.

If that guy hadn't aborted what he obviously was intending to do, he would have been done and gone before that girl was even aware that he existed. That's if he was just looking to snatch her purse or car.

She was not paying attention to anything outside of her immediate physical space. The problem with that is, once the predator gets that close - it's too late.

Most predators count on two things: 1) They can get close to you because you're not paying attention, and 2)you won't have the first clue how to defend yourself.

I've seen just a little Krav Maga training, but it does seem credible for self-defense purposes. I like the fact that it's full contact, you have to face real-life situations like an armed attacker, multiple attackers, and reacting when you're surprised. I chose Taekwondo for my kids because the classes they take have many of the same elements.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:52 AM   #18
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This is fascinating - - I have never even heard of Krav Maga. It sounds Hungarian (?).

.
It is Hebrew: Contact Combat
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:54 PM   #19
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IMO, your best skill to develop is awareness.
Self defense doesn't start when you are attacked; it starts when you become aware that there is the chance of physical violence.
Couple awareness with a good level of physical fitness, and you've done a lot to help your chances.
There's a lot to be said for "not looking like a victim".

After a couple years of taekwondo training, spouse and I were walking through a realtor's open house. It was full of people talking to other people over their shoulders, looking everywhere while not really watching where they were going, and distracted by everything around them (including us). As we walked around a corner, a huge guy appeared in a doorway. We each saw the other's movement in our peripheral vision, snapped our heads around in surprise, and made eye contact. Before I could even think about what I was doing, my brain said "You can take him" and I was scanning his weak points as well as his eyes. By the time I regained control of my reflexes we were both stepping back and saying "No, sorry, after you." As we walked away spouse said, "What was that all about?" She could tell from my body language.

But you don't seek out conflict just because you happen to know how to do something about it. A few months ago I was waiting outside a doctor's office for my daughter when a 20-something guy and his girl sat down next to me to have a quiet little vicious dispute. He was abusing, she was appeasing. He was holding her in an "affectionate" headlock and quietly telling her that he was going to "cut her %^*ing lips off" if she kept arguing with him. I carefully avoided eye contact, looked at the clock, closed my book, got up, and walked away to the nearest security guard. I watched from around the corner while he went over to discuss things with them. Unfortunately the guy got a little lippy with the guard when confronted, but the police managed to calm him down. I doubt that I solved any problems for either of the couple, but I kept myself (and my daughter) out of trouble.

Orchid, find an instructor you like, especially for something widespread like kickboxing, and see if you want to pursue it to a more difficult form. It's the process, not the goals.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #20
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I appreciate everyone's input, and I probably have a snowball's chance in hell of really being able to defend my old bones; however, just taking it is...well...not me, let's say.
Lots of positives here regarding Krav Maga, so I'm going to give it a look-see when my duties here are done and I've settled into my new place.
Thanks so much for your opinions on this subject. Hopefully, I get the attacker who will tuck tail and run if I just scream, but...just in case...
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