Krav maga is more popular now than ever before. Every day, new people are discovering this valuable self-defense system and improving their bodies and minds exponentially. But the more well-known something becomes, the faster the rumors start to fly, and not everything you hear should be accepted as truth without some serious fact-checking. That’s where we come in.
Many people have heard of krav maga but are still fuzzy about krav maga’s definition. For example, did you know that krav maga isn’t technically a martial art? How about the fact that training for it is actually safer than the conditioning process for most full-contact sports? Even as it grows in acclaim and recognition, there’s a lot of misinformation being spread about this ever-growing self-defense practice. Let this guide help you set the record straight.
Myth 1: Krav Maga Is About Fighting
The first thing to keep in mind is that being aggressive in a combat situation isn’t the same thing as instigating a fight. When considering krav maga’s definition, it’s important to keep in mind that the practice has its historical basis in being an art of self-defense, not a way to start trouble. In fact, it has roots as far back as the 1930s, when founder Imi Lichtenfeld had to find a way to protect himself and his kin from the fascist violence erupting across his homeland of Bratislava.
The definition of krav maga, above everything else, is that it’s a collection of effective self-defense techniques, not a carte-blanche excuse to start brawling with everyone who looks at you sideways. From the very beginning, the system has been about efficiently defending yourself when you have no other options left. Krav maga isn’t just about teaching you good ways to take down an opponent; it’s about using that ability with responsibility as well.
By definition, krav maga is a way of letting you effectively defend yourself, not a way of harming others. It’s a powerful way of disarming an aggressor, and as such, it’s only to be used when all other forms of conflict resolution have failed. Speaking of which, this leads us nicely to another common misconception, which is that...
Myth 2: Krav Maga Is a Martial Art
You might think it’s nitpicky at first, but the difference between a martial art and a self-defense discipline is more important than you might think. From Shaolin to karate, martial arts have historically been used to train the fighters of peoples and nations. Krav maga’s definition is distinct from this because it isn’t focused on training a warrior, but rather on giving the everyday person the practical tools they need to defend themselves. It’s used by police and soldiers, but only to disarm attackers and contain dangerous situations, never to instigate conflict. In some ways, the goal of krav maga is to stop any fight before it can get out of hand.
Many martial arts also contain a ceremonial element to their use, and while fun to watch in a movie or tournament they may contain little utility in terms of actual self-defense. Krav maga, by contrast, is all business. Whether you’re sparring with friends or deflecting a mugger, in its purest definition krav maga is designed for efficiency as opposed to flash. Nothing about the form is about showing off. It’s all killer, no filler.
Myth 3: Krav Maga Is Dangerous to Practice
This is the one that tends to scare a lot of people who would otherwise be interested in practicing krav maga away, and ironically it’s also the problem they should worry about the least. Some people are under the impression that because it’s such a brutally efficient method of disarming attackers, it must be extremely painful and dangerous to learn how to do. They want to learn how to defend themselves, but not at the cost of bruises and broken bones.
But in its proper definition krav maga is incredibly safe to train for. It’s as rigorous about safety as it is about technique. Our instructors are attentive, practiced experts; they know not to challenge you with moves you’re not ready for, and which parts of the human body are and are not safe to demonstrate on. The mats are well padded, the education is thorough, and the teachers themselves know exactly what they’re doing.
Plus, the training process is less dangerous than that of many full-contact sports. Thanks to hands-on, eagle-eyed instruction, sparring and training is thoroughly guided and has almost no leeway for physical accidents to occur. It’s practically as safe to learn as golf (and a lot more useful, in our opinion).
Keeping Grounded In Reality
So, let’s recap. Krav maga is not:
- About fighting
- A martial art in the traditional sense
- Dangerous to practice
Krav maga, however, is:
- About defending yourself
- A practical self-defense discipline
- Totally safe
If this definition of krav maga sounds good to you, we recommend giving us a call at 1-800-KRAV-MAGA and starting on the path to fitness and security that only our training can provide. Our facilities have open doors all over the globe, and any of our trainers will be glad to tell you anything you want to know—and help you realize if what people are saying is true or a bunch of bunk. You can’t trust everything you hear, but you can trust your fists and feet, and our trainers will help you use them to the utmost as your mind and body get into shape.