To fight or not to fight. Applying self-defense training.
If you are a black belt in any form of martial arts training, does that mean you are going to win any and every fight you are in? If you are taking self-defense classes does that mean you are ready to go out and look for a situation in which you can showcase your new skills? If you know how to choke someone unconscious, or kick someone in the groin, or you know the most effective way to head butt someone, should you be looking for the opportunity to do so?
These are, for the most part, rhetorical questions and it should be easy to answer “no” to all of them. The reality is that self-defense training is about preparing for the worst case scenario. If you are taking Krav Maga self-defense classes at a Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training center there is a motto or phrase that you will frequently hear as you progress through the Krav Maga belt system; “The best fight is the one you don’t have to be in”. Think about that for a minute.
If you want to be better prepared to defend yourself, and more aware of your surroundings you should be training in self-defense. If you are training in self-defense, you must learn how to fight. The two are symbiotic but developing fighting skills and learning how to fight doesn’t mean that fighting is going to be beneficial. In the past decade or so the surging popularity of MMA and sport fighting has made many people want to learn to fight. It’s not only a valuable skill in terms of being able to defend yourself but fight training is an incredible workout. The athletes who train to fight and compete in sports like MMA, competitive grappling, Muay Thai, boxing, etc. are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. These athletes will be the first to tell you that, by and large, they want nothing to do with getting into a fight outside of the venue they compete in. They learn to fight and hone their skills because they are competing to win. Not just to prove something in the streets. At the highest levels, these athletes are competing for money. It’s their job. Why would they work for free or jeopardize their livelihood in an unpredictable street fight? The answer is, they would only do so if they felt that their lives, or the lives of those important to them were in danger. That’s self-defense. Not just fighting.
The popularity of “fighting” as a sport has skewed the reality of what fighting really is. It’s violent. It’s dangerous. It’s scary. It’s likely to have personal, legal, and emotional consequences that aren’t even considered in the moments before a fight breaks out. One could argue that, overall, society has become desensitized to exactly what we are seeing when a sanctioned sport fight is on t.v. or being streamed online.
For the average person who wants to learn to fight the motivation is going to be very subjective. How a person feels about themselves and about their ability to defend themselves in the afore mentioned worst case scenario, is what that motivation is going to boil down to. Self-defense classes and self-defense training at Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training centers are about developing physical skills as well as a self-defense mentality. If you have both you will be better prepared to avoid dangerous situations and, should you have to get into a fight to defend yourself, you’ll have the tools to win and go home safe.
Learn to fight - physical skills.
Krav Maga is often referred to as Israeli self-defense because the system was developed by a man named Imi Lichtenfeld in the newly formed nation of Israel at the conclusion of World War II. Imi had extensive experience as a boxer, grappler, as a young man and applied his skills as part of the Nazi resistance movement during WWII. Imi’s knowledge of hand-to-hand combat made him the perfect choice for the Israeli government to lead the training of Israel’s newly formed military. The challenge for Imi was training ordinary people to become proficient in hand-to-hand combat in a very short period of time. Israel needed a capable defense force immediately. Imi met this challenge by developing Krav Maga.
Krav Maga self-defense training and Krav Maga classes at Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training centers will teach you to use punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to fight back against an attacker. The unique thing about Krav Maga training and Krav Maga classes near you at a Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training center is that, because the system was developed with a military perspective, there is no consideration for a set of rules or competition framework. As a result, Krav Maga teaches no holds barred striking and tactics, like using groin strikes, eye gouges, throat strikes, and strikes to the back of the head.
These striking skills or “combatives” are the backbone of Krav Maga self-defense training because, in order to overcome an assault, you must be able to cause damage to anyone who intends to cause damage to you. In addition to striking skills, Krav Maga self-defense classes focus on scenario specific self-defense techniques. These techniques involve, defending against chokes, bear hugs, pulls, headlocks, takedowns, and pins as well as defending against attackers armed with blunt objects, knives, and guns. These are real world scenarios. Worst case scenarios. If you want to learn to fight you should be learning based on being able to defend yourself in these sorts of situations.
Training in Krav Maga self-defense classes consistently will help you develop these physical skills and help you be more aware of scenarios in which they arise. Krav Maga is really the best way to learn to fight and be capable of defending yourself because the system is designed (thanks to Imi and the challenge he faced) to bring students to a high level of proficiency in a short period of time.
One of the great things about Krav Maga classes and Krav Maga training is that training to develop these striking skills and scenario specific self-defense skills will change your body. It will make you stronger, leaner, and get you into the best shape of your life. Having the physical skills to defend yourself is imperative in Krav Maga training. Application of them is a different story.
Learn to fight - self-defense mentality.
Imi Lichtenfeld eventually became the head instructor of hand-to-hand combat for the Israel Defense Forces and Krav Maga training at the Wingate Institute in Israel. Krav Maga Worldwide’s Chief Instructor Darren Levine began training under Imi at the Wingate Institute in the early 1980’s. Darren eventually received his Krav Maga black belt from Imi himself. Around this time, Imi’s vision for Krav Maga had expanded and he asked Darren to help him spread Krav Maga and Krav Maga training around the world. Imi wanted everyone to have access to Krav Maga self-defense training and Israeli self-defense training because he wanted every person to have the ability to “walk in peace”.
That’s really what Krav Maga self-defense training and Krav Maga classes are all about. Krav Maga Worldwide’s mission is to empower every person with real skills to be safer and stronger so, like Imi envisioned, every person may walk in peace.
Krav Maga is a self-defense system. Krav Maga Worldwide® classes will never teach students to initiate an encounter or assault. The emphasis is on reaction. Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense classes stress using your body’s natural reaction to an assault or attack to address the immediate danger, eliminate it, and then fight back with combatives until there is an opportunity to get out of the situation and go home safe. In this way, training for self-defense implies that the defender is, most like, going to be one step behind in terms of the beats of the encounter. As a result of this, Krav Maga training and Krav Maga classes also teach students to defend and counterattack simultaneously whenever it’s possible in order to make up the ground that has basically been lost in the onset of the attack.
If you want to learn to fight. Krav Maga Worldwide® will teach you how to fight. However Krav Maga Worldwide® will not teach you to go out and start a fight. The level of safety, security, and confidence any person has at any given time is always subjective. Some people get nervous and intimidated just being out in public, going to the store, running errands, etc. It’s important to know that you have the skills and the mentality to defend yourself in order to be able to walk in peace and maintain a level of happiness in your life. Assaults and attacks are unpredictable. Just look at apps like Citizen or NextDoor and you’ll see what your surroundings are really like. Self-defense is not just fighting. It’s fighting back.
Start training with us today. To get the benefits of Krav Maga for yourself, start training at a Krav Maga Worldwide® certified training center near you. Many of our certified training centers will let you take a trial class for free in order to see what we’re all about. To find the certified training center closest to you click here and enter your zip code into our searchable map or call us at 800-572-8624 we’ll help you.