Two female Israeli soldiers training in Krav Maga
(keep your mind out of the gutter!)
It is an understatement that mixed martial arts has dominated the conversation where martial arts are concerned over the past five years.
Schools have been popping up everywhere emphasizing instruction in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Thai Boxing, and Boxing, the most notable arts making up most the arsenal used by mixed martial arts practitioners and fighters.
But UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator contracts are few and far between. For most people, the primary aim of martial arts training remains the ability to defend one’s self.
MMA training sometimes misses the mark when we get down to where the rubber meets the road martial arts wise: neutralizing a threatening situation effectively, then getting the hell out of Dodge!
Enter Krav Maga.
Krav Maga was created by Imi Lichtenfeld, a Jewish man living in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. With increasing anti-Semitism in the mid to late 1930s, brought about by Nazi occupation, he developed Krav Maga to protect the Jewish community in Bratislava.
He left in the early 1940s and continued to develop this practical form of self defense.
Upon the establishment of the Israel state in 1948, Lichtenfeld taught his brand of hand-to-hand combat to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
As Krav Maga became more prominent among the defense communities of different countries, many organizations, such as the Mossad, FBI, and U.S. Special Forces undertook the learning of this brand of self defense.
Krav Maga is about one thing: REALITY. In Krav Maga, there are no rules where your personal security is concerned. It is brutal, vicious, and aggressive. But so is the sonofabitch attempting to assault you. The basic tenets of Krav Maga include:
1. Neutralization of an opponent by any means and by any number of means that are necessary.
2. Counterattacking, if not pre-emptively attacking, as quickly as a threat is ascertained.
3. Targeting the most vulnerable points in the body such as the eyes, throat, and groin, to exact as much punishment to ensure your safety and escape from the situation.
Krav Maga training is often centered around simulated defense situations utilizing very practical and simplified movements to create the most direct assault on the attacker.
Training is not simply limited to hand-to-hand combat. Techniques are taught in various ways to neutralize weapons (gun, knife, etc.) attacks.
This type of self defense is something that should be explored by every DVM reader. But as much as a contractor may face numerous personal defense situations, housewives should heed the lessons of Krav Maga.
The empowerment and confidence that accompanies this type of knowledge would benefit everyone from the most battle tested military operator to the average Joe or Josephine just trying to get through the day.
Remember the words of Clarence (played by Christian Slater) in the great movie “True Romance”, “It is better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it.”
Chief Martial Arts Industry Correspondent
Paul Zelinka, is the owner of Titan Fitness & Martial Arts, a MMA, boxing, and fitness business located in State College, PA. Paul has been involved in the martial arts business since 1993.