Krav Maga: The Basics
Krav Maga is a self-defense training system that started from humble beginnings over a century ago. Samuel Lichtenfeld, the Chief Detective Inspector in Bratislava, was well known for teaching his fellow policemen self-defense techniques at Bratislava’s first gym. These techniques were passed down to his son, Imi Lichtenfeld, the founder of Krav Maga.
Imi used his skills to protect himself and Jewish neighbors from those who would persecute them, but soon the Nazi regime had taken over, and Imi was forced to flee his homeland. He eventually settled in Israel and joined a paramilitary organization in which he taught fellow soldiers basic self-defense. It was during this time that Imi became the Chief Instructor for the military school for Physical Training and Krav Maga. While the Middle East was in a constant state of war, Imi was able to test and improve his techniques in real-life battle situations.
After Imi retired from the service, the Krav Maga Association was formed. The Krav Maga basics were adapted into an organized system to suit aggressive situations that average citizens might encounter. In 1981, Imi and the lead instructors of the association held an international instructors course. Upon the conclusion of this rigorous class, few people received passing marks. Darren Levine, with a background in martial arts and physical education, was among those who completed the course and became Krav Maga instructors. A few years later, at the request of Imi, Darren Levine formed the Krav Maga Association of America.
The Krav Maga Association of America went on to open multiple training facilities to teach Krav Maga basics of self-defense, fighting, and fitness classes to U.S. law enforcement, military, and everyday civilians of all backgrounds including men, women, and children. Since its beginnings, Krav Maga Worldwide has continued to grow in popularity and has continued Imi’s legacy of helping people “walk in peace.” In addition to the training facilities, the association has expanded to release books, videos, and an online academy to widen the reach of Krav Maga to anyone who is willing to learn.
Why Should You Learn Krav Maga?
Diffuse Aggressive Situations
Self-defense techniques are something everyone should learn about, and there are many benefits to doing so. Let’s start with the obvious: it’s a dangerous world out there. Individuals who want to indulge in crime, steal your belongings, and harm you or your loved ones are out there lurking. You most likely won’t recognize these individuals, and they can and will strike when you are least expecting it. In such situations, if you are unprepared to respond, your reaction will likely be one of panic and stress. By learning self-defense, you will train your body and mind to react appropriately in the heat of that fight-or-flight moment. Such training will increase your muscle strength and physical fitness as well as your reaction and reflex time, which are key aspects of any aggressive encounter.
Self-Discipline & Self Respect
The basics of Krav Maga are about effective self-defense to improve and save lives, but you will also learn self-discipline and self-respect. Deciding to attend classes or learn with books and videos is a voluntary action to better yourself and create positive habits. The simple act of practicing and returning to classes are steps toward commitment and self-discipline. The self-respect automatically follows as you tune and improve your physical and mental self. As you recognize your self-improvement, so too will you see a higher level of confidence in yourself and your everyday life.
Krav Maga Worldwide offers a vast community of like-minded individuals including instructors and fellow students who will give you the support you need to learn and push yourself. It is their underlying mission is to ensure individuals learn the training they need to deal with hostile threats. You can also visit our forum, in which instructors and students can post their questions, thoughts, and experiences.
What to Expect in a Krav Maga Basics Class
If you’re considering Krav Maga Worldwide, the important thing to know is that everybody is welcome to attend. Come on in and give it a try, and we’ll work with you at any experience or fitness level. We’ve got the facilities, the knowledge, and the expertise, and we’re here to help you become safer and stronger.
Krav Maga offers three adult programs in Self-Defense, Fighting, and Fitness. You need absolutely no martial arts or self-defense experience to get started with a class. Self-defense training starts at Level 1 and teaches techniques like punches, kicks, and movements while on the ground. Other modalities include:
- Indoor and outdoor training
- Heavy bag training
- Functional movements with equipment including kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and a whole lot more
- Gymnastics, weightlifting, plyometrics, aerobic, and anaerobic training
In Krav Maga Level 1, your chances of injury are very slim. In fact, you have a better chance of getting hurt on a treadmill. Nevertheless, you’re going to be in for some vigorous physical activity. We understand that people have limitations, so we’re not going to make you do anything beyond your limitations.
In Level 2, you’ll begin drills that involve light sparring, but you won’t have to do any real sparring until Level 3. Even then, we maintain a completely controlled environment and are committed to your personal growth and safety.
The average member trains two to three times per week, but you can choose to attend as many or as few classes as fits your schedule. As you progress through the Krav Maga basic training system, you can earn a belt ranking for each level. You can learn more about belt progression on our FAQs page.
What You Will Need to Bring to Classes
Start with a good foundation! Instead of wearing an old pair of tennis shoes that might slip out from under you, get a good pair of supportive athletic shoes. We encourage clothes that would be appropriate for keeping you cool while working out, like gym shorts, T-shirts, sports bras, and breathable socks. You may also want to bring a towel to help keep you dry. And always bring a water bottle and snacks to give you the hydration and energy you’ll need.
Other gear you will need to bring includes striking gloves and proper protective gear, like a mouth guard and protective pads. You may want to speak to an instructor before purchasing your gloves and protective gear. It is optional, but you may also want to consider bringing a notebook to write down any information you may forget later. Check out our blog article, “The Essential Krav Maga Training Equipment You’ll Use in Your Next Class” for a more detailed look at what you will experience in a Krav Maga basics class.
Krav Maga Worldwide is available at physical locations and as an online academy offering training in self-defense, fighting, and fitness. Check out our homepage at www.kravmaga.com and learn how you can protect yourself and improve your physique today with Krav Maga basics.