“Great job Ajit!” my instructor gushed, “But make sure to deliver the knee kicks as early as you can, so that he doesn’t have time to struggle.”
My training partner rose to his feet and picked up his rubber knife. “Let’s go again?”
Welcome to a KRAV MAGA class!
Krav Maga is a system of self defence that originated in Israel in the 1950s. Hailed as the combat system used by the Israeli military and intelligence organizations, Krav Maga gives practitioners the skills to defend themselves against a variety of armed and bare-handed attacks, regardless of the size and strength of the opponent. This makes it perfect for women, and even children.
By design, the techniques are easy to learn and replicate under stress, as they are based on the human body’s natural responses. The system’s key principle is to maximise damage to an attacker while keeping oneself relatively unharmed, and to make an escape without a prolonged engagement.
Krav Maga is not a competitive sport, and has no rules. When you’re fighting for your life, you’re entitled to use all the tools at your disposal — thus, improvised weapons and vicious strikes like groin kicks and eye gouges appear in many techniques. These techniques can be performed well in street clothes, and perhaps even when the potential victim is impaired by illness or injury.
- Training sessions are intense, and through the use of bodyweight exercises and training drills, help build strength, stamina, balance, flexibility, and reflexes—crucial qualities for a martial artist.
- Kravists can burn up to 1000 calories per session, making Krav Maga useful for weight management as part of a broader programme of diet and exercise. (Experts have found that any short intense workout elevates the metabolic rate and helps burn more fat).
- Working on the punching pads can be cathartic, and the ‘in control’ mindset that the system espouses can be a tremendous boost to self confidence.
Krav Maga is taught in a congenial and safe environment. Undue pressure, humiliation, and brutality are never a part of training, and questions are encouraged. Krav Maga came to India in 2003, and is represented by the International Krav Maga Federation (India) headed by Mr Vicky Kapoor.
Training in a martial art can be a life changing experience. It brings improved health, increased confidence, presence of mind, and a more favourable body image. Add to it the confidence that you have the means to protect yourself and those around you if ever required, and you have the makings of a very important life skill.
“Personal protection is not a choice, but a responsibility,” opines KMF (India) Chief Mr Kapoor.
For details on Krav Maga training across India, visit website: www.kravmagaindia.in