Self-Defense (Krav Maga)
Krav Maga is a military-derived type of martial arts based solely on self-defense using your reflexes, instincts, and body’s natural response to attacks. Imi Lichtenfeld, the head instructor of hand-to-hand combat for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), created Krav Maga during the time that Jews were being pursued by Nazis. He used his knowledge and personal experience to teach efficient methods of defense, which eventually became known Krav Maga, or contact combat.
Krav Maga is focused on the sparring aspect of martial arts and realistic training in order to defend oneself from attacks in any situation. There are no rules because students are trained as if they are fighting an attacker (or multiple), and the techniques are designed for real life situations that can harm someone. This is why Krav Maga is not a competitive sport, but used only for self-defense.
The skills taught in Krav Maga are used to end incoming attacks as quickly as possible in defense against the attacker or even weapons such as sticks, knives, or even guns. Instructors teach under the assumption that the situation causes the victim to only be able to rely on themselves and their skills/body. That’s why the techniques are designed to be practical and useful to anyone despite their size or age.
Krav Maga will teach you basic stances and techniques for falling and getting up safely as well as defenses such as chokes and headlocks. Important strategies include focusing on vulnerable areas of the attacker such as eyes, throat, and groin, or using continuous combat to overwhelm your attacker. These are part of the six pillars (six strategies) that are the foundation of Krav Maga fighting. You will also be taught to make use of any object at your disposal while fighting your attacker by improvising if you are in a situation that requires the help of weapons. Throughout Krav Maga classes you will notice your awareness and instinctive reflexes increasing steadily as well as your ability to fight.
Keep in mind that this combat sport will be intense and aggressive as the material advances, but no experience is required for newcomers. As you learn more, you will find yourself more capable, but only with the physical and mental concentration Krav Maga requires since its goal is to help you perform better while under stress and learning to be aware of your surroundings. Overall, Krav Maga is extremely important for keeping yourself safe using self-defense techniques.