Krav Maga looks brutal. Come into any lesson and you will see punches flying, kick shields getting pummeled. We teach our students how to fight with devastating precision: the scientific principles of how to cause a concussion; the exact direction to send a groin strike (hint: it's the beans, not the frank).
Yet, the slogan of Krav Maga is, "So that one may walk in peace" (Founder Imi Lichtenfeld). And when we hear success stories from our students - and even our instructors - this is the uniting theme. Not the headline news story about the Krav-trained granny who took out three assailants with her cane. We all love to hear these David vs Goliath stories, but they are rare. In reality, the greatest learning that comes with Krav Maga is the assurance and confidence to manage a situation and avoid the fight. Accept the insult; hand over the wallet; run away. To most, these feel like failures. To those trained in Krav Maga, they represent success, because they mean being home, safe, with loved ones.
One of our young students coined the phrase ''I learn Krav Maga so I don't have to fight'' and we think it sums up everything that's great about this system of self defence. Here are four success stories from real people here at Dynamic Krav Maga - none of which involve fighting.
Miss M is a delightful, athletic 10 year old who has trained with us for three terms. Recently, a girl at her primary school has started picking on a friend of hers. Miss M, with a confidence that has come from Krav Maga, has stepped in to defend her friend. As a result, the bully has turned on Miss M and has been trying to get her to fight. Her reply? "I learn Krav Maga so I don't need to fight". She continues to protect her friend, and is even passing on some of the skills she has been learning in class.
Miss B is a talented 13 year old on a specialist program at one of Perth's high schools. She came to us because she had a specific issue: a boy in her class who is autistic and sometimes physical with other students. This boy had on several occasions grabbed her inappropriately, but being a school environment, she was not allowed to respond physically to remove him, and she was afraid and unsure how to handle it.
We taught her to manage this specific situation, including a simple but effective technique known as the 'Educational Block'. A term later, she happily reported that the boy had approached her again, and that "She hadn't had to fight". No contact was required. What she did, was deploy the stances, confident bearing and verbal tactics she had been taught, to convince this boy that she was not to be messed with - Now or Ever.
Mr D is pretty much our typical male adult student - a suburban Dad whose main interest is protecting his family from crime and aggression in the community. Recently, he was at his local shops after dark and had an experience with a stranger in the car park, who had obviously "selected" his as next victim.
He had the hard stare on and Mr D firmly in his sights ... until this average good guy Dad re-positioned himself and made eye contact, in just the right measured way to convey to the stranger that he was not, in fact, a victim or someone to be messed with. The antagonist backed down and Mr D was able to get in his car and drive home, safe.
Even our instructors say it. Garry often tells the story of an encounter at a Perth train station, with a drug and/or alcohol affected man who was clearly ready to start a fight. As a small man, and the only one around wearing a suit, Garry would have seemed a good target ... except he had about a year's Krav Maga training under his belt.
Garry read the signs and used his voice (a calming, conciliatory tone) to deescalate the situation. At the same time, he had moved into a ready stance with hands up. Not up aggressively, but rubbing them together in front of him. The potential attacker was confused by these contrary signals, but could read from his position that Garry knew how to fight. He ended up apologising to Garry, before moving off.
The peace that comes with Krav Maga
All of these tales are no coincidence. They are proof of the control and confidence that Krav Maga teaches its students from the very first lesson. We talk about developing four skill sets:
Tactics (behaviour before, during and after contact)
Mental conditioning (confidence, resilience and stress management strategies for honing responses under pressure)
Physical conditioning (the strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health required to execute "fight or flight" properly)
Technical ability (knowing and performing correctly the appropriate defence for any situation)
You will notice that in every one of the four stories, only 1 and 2 (tactical behaviour and mental conditioning) were actively required. Each person's ability to manage the situation was a result of training, including the confidence that they DID HAVE the physical conditioning and technical ability required to fight if necessary ... but they CHOSE not to use it.
This is why we believe Krav Maga is such a complete solution for "normal people wanting to live peaceful lives". Even if you never find yourself in a situation where you need to physically defend yourself or loved ones, the skills you learn will permeate into every area of your life. You will become more confident, able to read situations, better able to manage difficult people and deal with stress, wherever it comes from .... all while developing some impressive fighting skills and all-round fitness.
And then one day, you might find yourself with that glint in your eye, almost-wishing someone does do something that you need to defend against ... because it's always fun to see the bad guy taken aback by the surprise warrior who doesn't follow the script!
Think Krav Maga might be for you? Learn more about our regular classes