Are you looking for a martial arts system that teaches you practical self-defense? Then training in Krav Maga could be the perfect solution for you.
From being the official self-defense system of the Israeli Armed Forces to being practiced by thousands of people worldwide, this self-defense technique is sure to help you feel safer and improve your fitness as well.
But with any martial art, you need to be prepared so you can practice the correct way from the start. If you’re looking to start training in Krav Maga, but are unsure of where to start, this guide is for you.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to know, so you can start training in this unique discipline today.
The Benefits of Krav Maga
Before you start training in any martial arts discipline, you need to make sure you know the benefits. Not only will this help you take care of your body after training, but you can check if the discipline is what you were looking for in the first place.
First of all, the biggest benefit of learning this discipline is that you’ll learn practical self-defense techniques so well that they’ll become second nature.
And while everyone hopes they don’t encounter a dangerous situation in real life, it’s good to know these potentially life-saving techniques.
Another huge benefit of Krav Maga is that it’s an excellent form of exercise. Since the discipline encourages you to use each part of your body as a weapon, each part of your body will become fit and strong with regular training.
Plus, your Krav Maga classes will include warm-ups and fitness drills to increase your strength, stamina, and dexterity.
And since this discipline teaches you to rely on your instincts and adapt your skills to the situation, you’ll gain a better sense of awareness, both of your body and your surroundings.
You’ll also become more confident as you learn how to defend yourself and practice these techniques until they become second nature.
Learn the History of Krav Maga
No matter what martial art you’re practicing, you need to know its history so that you can practice it in the most authentic way possible.
Krav Maga started in the 1930s when anti-semitic groups rose to power and started many violent attacks towards the Jewish community.
Imi Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian-Jewish athlete, created the foundations of Krav Maga as a way to protect the Jewish community.
Since Lichtenfeld was a well-known boxer, wrestler, and gymnast, he used his skills to create a system that is aimed at quickly disabling and neutralizing threats.
When Israel became a state in 1948, Lichtenfeld worked with the Israeli Armed Forces to teach them Krav Maga. Since he had only 3 weeks to train recruits, he developed a simple system where he could teach self-defense that could be applied to combat.
Today, Krav Maga is practiced by thousands of people worldwide. A huge part of its popularity is that it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of fitness, size, and strength. This has also made the art very popular among women.
Another great thing about Krav Maga is that the techniques are based on real-life threats, so you don’t need any previous martial arts experience to learn it.
To learn even more about the history of this powerful discipline, you can also read books, watch documentaries, and watch videos online.
Master the Basics
Anyone interested in Krav Maga training needs to not only learn the basics but master them. Many times, people rush through the basics because they want to learn fancy or cool-looking techniques.
But mastering the basics is vital if you want to improve your skills and get the most out of this martial art.
There are 3 moves that are must-know basics for any Krav Maga Practitioner.
The first is the palm strike. This move is important because it uses a strong part of your hand that won’t get injured easily if it comes into contact with bones. This move is good for striking the head and neck of your attacker.
The next basic move is the stepping side kick. This one is great if your attacker is next to you.
Finally, the uppercut punch is like what you would do in boxing and aims at your attacker’s chin.
The Principles of Krav Maga
Knowing the principles of Krav Maga is more than learning theory. It’s going to inform every part of your practice and be a part of every move that you do, so that you practice the right way from the start.
Since Krav Maga doesn’t have any rituals or “set” moves, it’s extra important that you embody the philosophy of this technique. This means instinctive movement, no rules, and protecting yourself in the shortest amount of time.
This discipline also emphasizes the practice of retzev, which is the Hebrew word for continuous motion. The theory behind this principle is that your continuous aggressive motions won’t allow your attacker the space to counterattack.
Krav Maga also focuses on offense and defense at the same time, as well as making use of any objects around you.
Know the Grading System
Knowing the principles of this discipline also helps you as you make your way through the grading system.
Although Krav Maga doesn’t have any formal movements, it has a grading system like any martial art.
Advancement in the grading system shows that you have mastered each skill and that you can also demonstrate the techniques in a safe environment.
The Krav Maga grading system has 6 colored belts, called Dargas. These are yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, and black. Remember that it can take years to get the black belt, so keep practicing and always keep the principles and basics of the discipline in mind.
Practice at Home
While it’s best to learn Krav Maga from a qualified and experienced practitioner, you can get started at home. This helps you familiarize yourself with the techniques before you go to class.
You want the majority of your home practice to be after you start taking classes. This is because you don’t want to learn the techniques the wrong way only to have to re-learn them all later.
When you practice at home between your classes, you’ll solidify the techniques and build better muscle memory. This will give you great benefit as you continue your training.
You can also partner up with a friend from your class and go practice outside or at a safe spot at the gym. This way, you can practice the techniques you learned and troubleshoot any problem areas together.
Ask your instructor or school if they have a YouTube channel where they put up videos breaking down the techniques that they’ve taught you. This way, you can reference them between classes if you get stuck or forget a concept.
Another way to improve your techniques at home is to keep improving your fitness. This includes strength training, cardio, and regular stretching.
Although anyone can practice Krav Maga regardless of fitness level, increasing your fitness level will help you get more out of the techniques and reduce the chance of injury.
Since Krav Maga has a lot of kicks, punches, and fast movement, you need to make sure to stretch often so that you don’t injure yourself while practicing.
To get the most of your workouts, consider doing exercises specifically for martial artists.
Some examples of these exercises include pull-ups, pushups, and squats.
Find the Right Gym
The best Krav Maga training gym doesn’t only have great reviews, but it’s a place where you feel safe and comfortable.
This is why it’s so important to find the right gym. And part of finding the right gym is making sure the instructor is right for you.
When looking at instructors, make sure they match up to some essential criteria. First of all, the instructor should have at least several years of authentic Krav Maga experience, as well as professional accreditations.
The instructor should also stay true to the principles of the discipline. This involves teaching techniques that are useful for street combat and situations you might encounter in everyday life.
As well, the instructor should have good striking and movement techniques, as these are the foundations of the discipline.
The right gym is also a safe space to make mistakes, learn, and try new things. Your colleagues should be supportive, helpful, and make the gym a place you’re excited to go to every week.
And who knows? You might even train Krav Maga in Israel one day!
Boost Your Fitness and Self Defense Skills With Krav Maga
Krav Maga is one of the best martial arts systems to learn if you’re looking for practical self-defense that will help you stay fit and alert.
No matter your size, fitness level, gender, or martial arts experience, you can practice practical self-defense with Krav Maga today.
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