What is Krav Maga?
Krav maga, named for the phrase “contact fight” in Hebrew, was originally developed in Israel as the official system of self defence and hand-to-hand combat employed by the Israeli Defence Forces, the Israeli National and Military Police, as well as the Israeli special operations and security units. This system is also taught under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Krav maga is a modern, practical, and proven system of self defence, carefully devised for the needs of present day dangerous and unstable world. It is characterized by a clear and logical approach to self-defence and fighting confrontations, which enables one to achieve a relatively high proficiency within a short period of time.
Krav Maga was thoroughly developed to be diversified, and thus is applicable to the military, law-enforcement agencies, and civilian needs as well.
What do I wear to class?
At first, you only need comfortable pants, a t-shirt and inside shoes (runners). On your second month, you will need to have black pants (any kind) and an IKMF t-shirt that you will purchase from your instructor.
Will I need any equipment?
Groin protection (e.i. hockey cup) will be required right away. Later on, you may want to get yourself some shin guards and boxing gloves, especially if you want to participate in the combat phase of Krav Maga. (Contact sparring)
I have no experience in any fighting system and I am out of shape, does that matter?
No experience is required to attend your first Krav Maga class. Also, you will get in shape progressively in the class.You are free to push yourself as much as you want, everyone works according to their own limits.
How does Krav Maga differ from Martial Arts?
In brief, we keep the martial and take out the art. Most martial arts have rules, codes and a spiritual aspect along with rituals. This is all very good for character building, especially in children. Krav Maga has only one concern: to teach you how to survive violence, no matter what you have to do. There are no rules, no competitions, no concern for how it looks. Martial arts rarely teach defences against real, random attacks, knives, firearms, clubs, multiple opponentsâ€¦on the other hand, this is all that Krav Maga teaches! Also, in martial arts, techniques are the most important aspect; they are passed from one teacher to the next unchanged for centuries. Krav Maga is about principles more than it is about techniques. We train people to find the proper solution to a wide range of problems using the same principles.
How long before I become proficient in Krav Maga?
This depends mostly on you. Students who attend two classes a week and give their 100%, practice at home between classes even by frequently visualizing the techniques and attend seminars with our Expert instructors usually progress through the system very fast. It is not unusual to see someone come to us with no experience or any knowledge of self-defence become proficient enough to overcome most opponents in six months. In our class, you will learn principles and techniques that you can use immediately and there are stories of students using what they have learned successfully after their first class!
What is the IKMF passport?
Student who wish to test in our federation, will require to purchase the IKMF passport ($30) and it is a one time only purchase. The passport is mandatory for testing. This passport officially enters you into our federation. The passport gives you discounts on merchandise and seminars, you need it to test for various levels, and its most interesting feature: you can train up to one month for free in any IKMF school worldwide upon presentation of your passport!
Are there belts in Krav Maga like in other martial arts?
There are no belts but there is a ranking system with grades so that students can progress within the federation. Testing for grades is NOT mandatory. The ranks are as follows:
Practitioner 1 to 5 (P1 to P5): These are student levels. You can get from one level to the next in 6 months to a year if you practice twice a week. There is a specific curriculum for each level. Starting at P2 you will also be tested on your combat abilities.
Graduate 1 to 5 (G1 to G5): These are normally instructor levels, although some students can get to these levels without taking the instructor course. You need to train/teach one year between each level.
Expert 1 to 5 (E1 to E5): These are highly advanced levels, usually for senior instructors who also specialize in teaching law enforcement, the military and VIP protection staff. Experts also teach other instructors when they join the Global Instructor Team. Instructors usually train several years between levels.
Master 1 to 3 (M1 to M3): These levels are not technical ones: they are reserved for people who have contributed to the advancement of Krav Maga, namely the founders. They are only 3 Master levels worldwide: Avi Moyal, Eli-Ben-Ami and Gabi Noah.
Will I get injured practicing Krav Maga?
All activities involving combat and full-contact exercises have an inherent risk of injuries. However, instructors are highly trained in safety measures and injuries are no more frequent than in Hockey or martial arts. I have been teaching Krav Maga for several years and none of my students have ever suffered any serious injuries. However, the chances that you will inflict serious injuries to anyone who is trying to hurt you or your family are very high!
Students are mostly men...is Krav Maga suitable for women?
Krav Maga is not only suitable for women, it is the best self-defence system as it will teach you how to realistically survive an assault by a much bigger and stronger opponent-as a woman, you will also learn specific rape prevention techniques. You will learn how to become more aggressive, more aware, and your chances of surviving an assault will increase drastically.