I was listening to an MMA fighter/trainer reflect on Krav Maga over the weekend. Krav Maga, like many martial arts, has good and bad schools, so often one’s opinion is based on what schools they have encountered. One thing that stood out to me was a story about how he had met some Israeli military instructors of krav maga and they were confused about how in the United States, it is said to be a “self-defense” practice of the Israeli military. The reason for the confusion is that they did not feel it was “self-defense,” but rather aggression training to train people to move toward and confront instead of run away, since, in war, you want soldiers to engage the enemy.
Even though Krav Maga is sold as self-defense, I can see this underlying aggression training in class in a few ways.
- Many of the drills we do in the second half of the class are called “aggression training” and deal with things like if someone forces you to make a move.
- It encourages making the first strike when you know it is about to escalate.
- When forced to respond, it encourages full engagement.
- It has no problems with groin and neck shots, or eye gouging. i.e, if you are forced to fight, you want to end it quickly and with certainty.
That said, the level 1 class at KMA is more of a workout with drills at the end. I am definitely getting better with my punches, and the moves I have seen so far are very similar to the jujitsu I have learned. I would have to see what the level 2 classes look like before I decide if I would stay here or look into other recommended schools as far as martial arts are concerned. I would not say we are learning to fight, so much as defend. i.e. we do not spar, which I hope is the focus of the higher level classes. Level 1 is for fitness and an intro to the basic moves. I am not sure how much sparing they do in level 2 and if they only “fake punch” people I will likely pass on that. I mean, I hate to get hit, and I realize we could not be hitting each other in the groin, but I do need something that ensures I am learning to block and take a punch. These were valuable skills I learned in my last dojo.
I primarily took this 6-week challenge just to jumpstart me back into being more in shape, and as far as that goes I am on track. I am still not sure what I want to do for a long term martial art practice.