Wednesday, January 10, 2018

5 Tips for Starting Krav Maga - Guest Post By Carl Turner

5 Tips for Starting Krav Maga

Let’s face it, we live in a dangerous world. Every day when you leave your doorstep, you are, on some level, facing risk of unpleasant and potentially violent confrontation. Survivors of these encounters often wish they had some form of martial preparedness to assist them during this traumatic event. However, even for people with multiple martial arts resources at their convenient disposal may experience a layman’s embarrassment, fear, or even just general confusion regarding where to begin.

Krav Maga is a military system of defense and combat developed carefully by a collaboration between the Israeli Defense Forces, Shin Bet, and Mossad. It combines techniques derived from various martial arts such as Boxing, Aikido, Judo, and Karate while taking special focus on the realistic fight preparation that is often overlooked in styles practiced as an art. Krav Maga is widely known in this regard for its extreme focus on efficiency and practicality. The goal of Krav Maga has always been to take the most effective and relatively simple techniques from other martial forms and make them rapidly teachable, mostly for the sake of quickly training military.

With the effectiveness of this system proven time and time again, not to mention the physical health benefits that it can provide, Krav Maga is a great system for even a complete beginner interested in self defense to take on. If something like this seems to appeal to you, here are five tips for starting Krav Maga.

1. Knowledge is Power

One of the most important things to do first is to wrap your mind around the true nature of Krav Maga. If you are already a martial artist skilled in another fighting system, this may be an even more important step for you to take in order to break any preconceived notions about this system of fighting. Fortunately, there are several resources by which to learn more before you decide to commit, such as forums and youtube videos by masters. Educate yourself before going in.

2. Maintain a Responsible Mindset

Like most martial arts, Krav Maga discourages heavily seeking out or instigating any sort of violent situation. However, if this is impossible to avoid in any situation, Krav Maga focuses on dispatching a threat as quickly and effectively as possible. Unlike in other martial arts, attacks and techniques are often aimed at the most vulnerable parts of the body, such as the eyes, neck, or genitalia. It should go without saying that training is not at all limited to relatively superficial techniques like the kind used in competitions that emphasize sportsmanship.

In fact, many techniques learned are meant to deliberately cause severe injury or even death to an assailant. This is all to say that if you’re looking to show off at a party, this is the wrong combat system to learn.

3. Equipment Preparedness

Your instructor may demand that you supply certain equipment at any given point during your training, and preparedness is key. Krav Maga supplies are readily available and relatively inexpensive for the most part. Many practitioners swear by simply keeping a large bag relegated exclusively to your training along with an up-to-date checklist as well as a strict laundry schedule. You don’t want to be the only one showing up unprepared or smelling like a teenage locker room, after all.

4. Dietary Changes

When practicing Krav Maga, you’re going to be sore, sweaty and out of breath. You’re going to feel unable to move after some rigorous days. Many practitioners find that subtle changes to their diet have a strong effect on their efficiency. Some swear by always having a banana at a training session as a potassium supplement, having not loaded up too heavily on food before such strenuous exercise, and – of course – hydrating religiously.

5. Punch Through
This is where practitioners of other arts often run into trouble. When using a technique in Karate, for example, a practitioner would stop about an inch short of delivering a blow, just to demonstrate the technique. Krav Maga is not about flash or flourish, but aggressive reactions. If you were punching the face, for example, you would demonstrate by punching “through” the face by punching above the shoulder. When you’re practicing Krav, you’re going all out, all the time.

Walk Through the Door

One final tip? Just do it. Make yourself get to the gym and walk through the door. Don’t compromise with yourself or skip a day because your ‘just not feeling it’. Many practitioners find that this initial action is one of the most difficult parts, and the training is much less painful than their mind was conjuring it up to be. It’s important to be strict with yourself and stay the course if you’re serious about becoming a true practitioner of Krav Maga.

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