December 3, 2004 at 10:17 pm #28274seekerMember
I am considering enrolling in an introductory level krav maga course. I have no prior martial arts experience. My interests are general fitness and to some level of \”practical self defense\” training. I am very impressed by the material I’ve seen on this board and elsewhere about K.M.
The question I have has to do with the character / nature of this sport and its suitability for me personally. Unfortunately I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – however it is not disabling enough that it prevents me from a reasonably normal daily life. The symptoms I have from RA are mostly sensory in nature with some joint pains, etc. and a sometimes-limp that are excascerbated by overly strenous physical activity such as running, aerobics, etc. But as long as I can keep my body temp down things are pretty OK. And, I have had some degree of muscle atrophy from it, this is actually why I’m looking at K.M. as a possible \”get in shape\” regimen. In other words I’m not as strong or as fit as my age, body type and size would otherwise imply to the average observer.
So here’s the question: what level of physical contact occurs in the sparring exercises, how aerobically strenuous is this form, etc.? How \”friendly\” is the culture of K.M. towards less physically able people in general? To contrast, some martial arts like tae kwando, bjj, etc. seem VERY high energy, full-contact, and sparring oriented, breaking boards and bricks with hands/feet etc. Also, from what I’ve seen some of the instructors have a poor attitude towards the less physically fit – at least to me their attitude and demeanor has seemed intimidating to me as they seem to emphasize \”survival of the fittest\”.
From what I’ve read in Israel they teach K.M. to a wide variety of folks of varying fitness levels including elderly, young children, as well as the predictibly healthy young males in the army, police, etc. That would appear that K.M. has a place for people like me?
I am trying to avoid actually asking this question directly to the school where I would attend – I don’t want them to think any less of me or treat me any differently than any other student. In fact I won’t even tell them, I’ll just do my darndest to keep up with the class and try not to get hurt too much.
So I thought I’d post here and get some opinions. I’ve also considered tai chi, it seems to have little value as a self defense skill but it is good conditioning and avoids contact. I’ve also considered judo, etc. but again the contact issues are a problem. Also, many / most martial arts seem to be just that – \”an art\”, with pseudo-religious rituals, flowery uniforms, very point oriented scoring systems, etc. I just want something real world in nature, and K.M. seems to fit that bill!
Appreciate any help you forum readers can give.December 3, 2004 at 10:39 pm #35071ehulse-d7Member
Seeker, I’ve taught KM for a little while and my background is in Tae-kwon-do. First of all, you don’t ever have to spar if you don’t want to. Certainly, there is physical contact in self defense classes, but at the beginining stages, it should be very controlled by the instructor.
Secondly, I can only speak for the \”personality\” of the traning center in Los Angeles and the training center where I train/teach, but I can say without reservation that both centers are the least intimidating, most positive and encouraging traning environments I’ve encountered.
I would recommend that you participate in an introductory class and see how you like it. Be very upfront with the lead instructor about your concerns and if you encounter any negative attitude, it’s probably not the place for you. Honestly, I’d be surprised if the instructor isn’t welcoming and honest with you. Let us know how it goes.December 4, 2004 at 5:44 am #35087guerriereMember
I’m definitely no athlete, and I’ve found the atmosphere very positive. I sometimes can’t keep up during the warm-up but otherwise KM is very do-able for me.
You should tell the instructors what your limitations and conditions are, and your partner as well. In fact, our classes always begin with the teachers asking if anyone has an injury that needs to be accommodated. It’s just not worth risking worse injuries to hide a problem that can be worked around. There’s more to self-defense then punching and kicking ya know! 😉
As for keeping your body temperature down, lotsa luck!December 4, 2004 at 4:03 pm #35094straykatMember
The two schools that I have attended have been very accomidating towards people with various disabilities. The cool thing about KM is that you can work on your strengths. It is very positive. Where I currently attend, sparring is strictly optional. Yes, there is contact, but you must remember that it is a contact sport. Don’t be afraid to talk to your instructor about your disabilites. A good one will work with you, not against you. I wish you well.December 4, 2004 at 6:36 pm #35095johnwhitmanMember
I do want to say, for everyone’s benefit, that you should not think of it as a \”sport.\” Yes, you can train light to accommodate your physical condition, but if you use the word \”sport\” you will think of it as a sport, and it is NOT. We chose the new slogan, \”It’s a matter of life,\” because that is what we are dealing with.December 4, 2004 at 9:28 pm #35096dv8njoeMember
I Likeeee! 😯December 10, 2004 at 12:50 am #35200krunchyknucklesMember
have question about suitability of krav maga
I, like you had no prior martial arts experience prior to signing up for KM classes, and as I have an artificial hip joint I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions prior to committing to lessons. I am happy to say that the instructors at my location are extremely good about working around any problems I might have and can usually offer two or three alternative methods of accomplishing whatever we are learning that night. As mentioned in the other posts, there is contact during class, but both the instructors and the people I’ve been paired with have been great in making sure I’m challenged and I learn what I need to learn without crippling me for life. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and if your experience ends up anything like mine, you will start to notice some real improvements in your problem joints.
To address your question about how aerobically strenuous a class is, I’ve found that it can be a very challenging workout, but once again at least where I’m training, they work with you, not against you. You do what you can do and while they will encourage you to push your limits, they have no desire for you to drop dead on them 😀 . Hope this is helpful.December 10, 2004 at 5:12 pm #35210brogersMember
Sir I am A Tae Kwon Do Practitioner as well I recently had a chance to learn a little bit of the self defense techniques I read this post and wanted to ask how was the transition from TKD to Krav for you? I found it was difficult to change or adjust defensive techniques how much should a practitioner adjust what he or she already knows? I am not sure on the ranking i Krav so I was wondering what is required for an individual to instruct it properly? How long should they be training and a what rank should they consider teachingDecember 11, 2004 at 3:21 am #35219ehulse-d7Member
For me, the transiition from TKD has been challenging, a little more so in sparring (which really isn’t Krav Maga, per se) than in self defense. The sparring I did in TKD was point oriented and had more limitations than the sparring we do in fight class, so I sometimes find myself relying on speed alone to make contact rather than power.
I have read lengthy and heated discussions about how long a person should train in Krav Maga before they’re ready to teach and I don’t want to be responsible for fanning that flame again. That said, I attended Phase A training after about 1-1/2 years of training and only after my instructor decided I was ready to go. The week of training and final test were without a doubt, the toughest physical/mental test I’ve experienced, and the instruction I received at the national training center was absolutely first rate. There were a number of students in my class with backgrounds in traditional martial arts, including TKD, and I think the training methods our instructors used and taught us to use helped all of us adapt to Krav Maga very well. Hope that helps.December 12, 2004 at 3:55 am #35225brogersMember
Yes that Helps abit 🙂 😮 😉 Iguess it would be safe to say the one teaching me has not yet reached the level where he can be proficient I wanted to give this a fair shake so I rounded up the video and watched all of it I can see that it will be neccesary for me if I am to continue learning Krav to find a more suitible instructor as he has only trained for a short time . How does this work with kids I have found Tae Kwon Do to be a exellent base for children to develope self defense tactics that they can use the rest of thier life I s Krav something that children can grasp and become confident in a reasonable amount of time.
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