Category Archives: Krav Maga Skills

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Does Krav Maga Training Really Make You Safer? 

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How to Stay Safe in the Modern World

Krav Maga training claims to make you safer, but does it really work?

Imagine parking your car at night in a dimly lit street or car park. As you get out of the car and turn to face the door as you close it, a figure appears behind you. Many people who are not trained in Krav Maga, believe that the training kicks-in at this point and the combat skills learned are used to overpower the aggressor.

If you think that’s how learning Krav Maga works, then you would be right to question its effectiveness. Let me give you some insights into the real world of Krav Maga training. Let’s explore how this practical, real-life self-defence system will keep you safe.

Krav Maga Training is About Much More Than Physical Combat – The AAEC System

You may be surprised to hear that we train in Krav Maga in order to not fight. In other words, Krav Maga combat skills are a kind of insurance policy – just in case – but only used when absolutely necessary. What makes Krav Maga training so effective at keeping you safe is in fact its emphasis on awareness and avoidance of potentially dangerous situations. By learning how to develop and maintain a level of awareness and presence you will have at your disposal the proven 4 tier self-defence system of self-defence:

  1. Awareness
  2. Avoidance
  3. Escape or De-escalate
  4. Combat

The above skill sets are the foundation of Krav Maga training and you’ll see that they make far more sense than simply training to fight with your attacker.

Awareness – The First And Most Important Step To Staying Safe

You will be trained to be present, mindful and aware of your surroundings as a natural every-day habit. You will also be trained to know what behavioural patterns to look for and so you will become alert to potential threats often before they develop. That certainly doesn’t mean walking around in a constant state of Red-Alert! It means you train to get into a normal routine of assessing your surroundings and the situations you are entering. You begin making conscious choices to avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Awareness is absolutely key to effective self-defence.

Avoidance – The Second Step To Staying Safe

Awareness then naturally increases the chance of simply avoiding many situations that can threaten your safety. This happens in two ways.

  • Firstly, by you not putting yourself in unnecessary danger
  • Secondly, your own state of confident alertness will make you a far less desirable target

Going back to our earlier car example, after a short time training in Krav Maga you would instinctively look for a different, well-lit parking spot. And if that was not possible you would certainly assess the immediate environment before stepping out of the car.

With Krav Maga training you will learn and become aware of actions that make you vulnerable to would be attackers. For example, wearing headphones while jogging alone, walking along with your head buried in a phone as you send messages or getting into your car without glancing at the back seat first.

Escape or De-Escalation – Plan to Be Safe

Having a plan to escape or de-escalate a threatening situation will save you valuable seconds and make your actions fast and deliberate.

Let’s go back to our car parking example. Think of somewhere you regularly park your car. If you saw what you thought may be an aggressor and you had already stepped out of the car what would be your first action? What do you do if they demand your keys or wallet? What do you do if they demand you get back in the car? What do you do if they have a weapon?

Most people can’t immediately answer these questions – and if a potential threat occurs they would have the same dangerous hesitation. By training with Eitan Krav Maga you will train in and develop appropriate escape measures for the common situations and environments you enter such as public transport, walking along the street, arriving home alone, using cash points and attending crowded evening venues.

Combat – Effective Self-Defence

Sometimes in life of-course, no amount of avoidance can help you and escape is simply not possible. Dangerous situations can occur suddenly and very unexpectedly. Assailants are not novices – they have done this before. If you have not become aware of a potential threat and not been able to avoid it and there is simply no time or space for an escape you can certainly rely on Krav Maga self-defence and combative techniques to end the threat quickly and decisively.

Krav Maga is not an ancient martial art, it’s a modern form of combat training specifically developed by the Israeli military for dealing with the threats of the modern, real world. There are no elaborate movements, nor hundreds of katas and forms to learn and little by way of high-flying kicks for people who are are gymnasts.

Krav Maga training uses practical combat moves that are short and sharp, and very effective. You’ll learn how to attack vital pressure points, disable your attacker quickly and simply and apply techniques that are used by law enforcement, security and military forces around the world.

Krav Maga doesn’t look pretty. It’s not flamboyant or dance like and you don’t have to be an athlete or gymnast to learn this Israeli martial art. If you would like to learn more about Krav Maga you can view our website at eitankravmaga.com and our Facebook page at facebook.com/EitanKravMaga.

How to get started?

The single best way to learn about Krav Maga is to experience it for yourself! And you can do that by contacting us at team@eitankravmaga.com or on +44 (0)7976 294 825 and come and join us for a training session.

Still not sure whether Krav Maga is right for you? Look out for our next article: Is Krav Maga Training Right for Me? We’ll be discussing what you need to become competent at this modern Israeli martial art that offers unrivalled self-defence training for everyone.

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Interview with David Fitoussi FEKM Instructor Black Belt 5th Darga

david-fitoussi-knife-defenceHello David. Thank you for speaking with us today for the Winter 2016/17 Edition of FEKM-UK Magazine. We are all looking forward to training with you in London on the 18th February for the first FEKM-UK Mastercourse of 2017. This interview is to give our students a ‘sneak preview’ of David Fitoussi and the opportunity to learn something from your formidable 29-year Krav Maga expertise. Shall we start?

What was that first clear moment in your mind when you realised that Krav Maga had connected with you for life?

David: I would say it was at my first class with Richard Douieb. After having done a year of French Boxing and having tried several martial arts, it was THE thing I was searching for. Years later, in 1996, after being injured for many months and being far from Krav Maga, I couldn’t bear to do nothing. I gained too much weight and was getting out of breath. I also really missed being able to teach others and help people to defend themselves.

David, would you mind sharing a story from your personal Krav Maga journey that had a profound, humbling or revealing impact on you?

David: During life, there will be good and bad moments. Krav Maga has always be the solid rock in my life, in all of them.

Our founding master, Imi Lichtenfeld, created Krav Maga and taught his students so that they “may walk in peace”. Would you share with us an experience where you have used Krav Maga to either diffuse or manage a potentially dangerous situation?

David: The paradox is here; the more you train in Krav Maga the less you fight in the real life. And so you walk in peace. Even when I was a bodyguard, I never used Krav Maga directly. Only management of people and situations. One time, I did have to use Krav Maga when a group of three people wanted to steal my wallet. I had the opportunity to knock-out one of them and escape. But Krav Maga can also be very good for everyday situations. A perfect example is when in 2006, a car crossed my way while I was driving a scooter. My reflex was to avoid a direct front collision but I had no other choice than to fall on the road. Krav Maga rolls and falls are very useful in the that case!

You have trained for many years directly with our FEKM director, Richard Douieb. Would you mind sharing with us what impact this has had on you?

David: At first when I was very young (about 16 years old) and I was pretty impressed by Richard’s skills and cardio. At the beginning we were only a few students (about 10-15) and I had the feeling that I was practising something very useful and very efficient. It gives you confidence. It also shows you how to choose people you might follow… Or not! Richard was a very skilled person and a good representative for Krav Maga. So it also consolidated my free will for things other than Krav Maga.

What key advice would you give newer FEKM students who are just starting out on their Krav maga path?

David: Don’t chat during classes. Practice. Experiment. Keep the objectives in mind… more and more efficient, learn to defend, learn to fight… But overall, stay humble. Personally, I have found in Krav Maga a perfect way of life. Everything has to be simple, fast and efficient.

In your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of Krav Maga that students must master as they develop and progress?

David: Krav Maga has to be taken as a whole. When you achieve the road to your Black Belt 1st Darga, it opens new perspectives and a new understanding. But in fact, it takes about 10 years to control our discipline. So I think the challenge for us all is to challenge ourselves constantly to remain out of our comfort zone as we gain experience.

We all have the 18th February FEKM-UK Masterclass in our diaries and a brand new gymnasium venue booked for the event. What are you most looking forward to in your London Mastercourse?

David: I will be pleased to find motivated people who are thirsty to share knowledge.

And finally, what can our FEKM-UK students and instructors most look forward to when training with you on the 18th February?

David: Getting out of their comfort zone 😉  It will be hard, but it will be good!

by Victoria Kitson
Eitan Krav Maga
London

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What Are the True Benefits of Krav Maga Training?

 

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The Reality – Benefits of Krav Maga Training

When you think about the benefits of Krav Maga training that you might gain, you probably first think of learning self-defence skills. Wanting to learn how to defend yourself may of-course lead you to try a training session. But if that is the only benefit you think you will gain, you may not be motivated enough to consider creating time for Krav Maga training in your life and turning up regularly for training.

Attending too few training sessions to experience the true benefits of Krav Maga is why some people give up – sometimes after just one or two sessions – and often after using a free class offer or other marketing coupon.

Learning any martial art can be challenging. It requires some of your time, physical effort and a commitment to learning something completely new. As instructors, it’s our responsibility to motivate you to train long enough for you to personally discover and experience all the benefits of Krav Maga training that you will gain! So, in this article as a first step to motivation boost we share with you some of the key benefits of Krav Maga training.

If you’re thinking of joining us at Eitan Krav Maga, or if you’ve tried the training before but not continued with it, we strongly recommend that you commit to train for at least 6-8 weeks and ideally training twice a week. In that time, you will start to see and feel the benefits for yourself and you can then make an informed decision on whether you want to continue.

Improve Your Physical Fitness with Krav Maga Training

If you find pushing weights or hitting the treadmill boring and spending hours on gym machines lacking stimulation, then you really should try Krav Maga. The varied ‘fight’ fitness exercises, learning and practicing combat techniques, development of balance, co-ordination and fight movement, shadow fighting and partner sparring will provide a workout that challenges you both mentally and physically. 90 minutes will fly by and you’ll be surprised to hear your instructor calling, “OK, shin guards and groin guards off. Time for cool-down stretch.”

There are so many physical benefits of Krav Maga training. With stretching to increase flexibility and strength, stamina and cardiovascular exercises built into the 90-minute training sessions, you’ll get a challenging healthy workout that improves your all-round fitness level rapidly.

There’s also a real benefit for your important core muscle groups that protect your spine and are used for posture and balance. Many fitness regimes don’t develop these important muscle groups. Krav Maga self-defence training works your inner core muscles and quickly works to improve your balance and posture.

Physical Fitness and Self Defence Training Lead to Confidence

Your first task towards gaining real confidence is to contact us at Eitan Krav Maga London and then turn up for your first training session.

We understand that you might be worried about being the only newcomer. Or perhaps you’re wondering what the other members are like and whether you will you fit in. Your instructors are trained to support new students and will look after you and help you to gradually build your confidence and your fitness. They went through the same process when they were Krav Maga beginners.

After just a few weeks’ training you’ll know a number of simple, practical and effective ways to defend yourself in real-life situations. You’ll also start to learn what it means to be aware of and present to your surroundings – the first and most important step for effective self-defence. Your strength and stamina levels will improve and you’ll begin to feel confident about your ability to deal with, avoid, or safely escape from, whatever life throws at you. And these changes will start to show up in other areas of your life including work and home. You’ll find that other people will begin to notice and comment on the changes they see in you.

The Unexpected Mental Benefits of Krav Maga Training

There are some surprising additional benefits of Krav Maga training that you may not have considered. For example, with regular training you will find that your mental agility, sharpness and focus increases. You may find that you are sleeping more deeply and waking up feeling good. You will start to feel ‘at one’ with your body or, in other words, a sense of body and mind working together. In time, the principles of simplicity and efficiency that are so central to Krav Maga training and practice will begin to show up in other areas of your life and work.

The Self-Defence Benefits of Krav Maga Training

If you’ve ever thought about self-defence training, or had some lessons, you are probably wondering whether Krav Maga will actually work if you are threatened or attacked.  Maybe you also doubt your own ability to use combat techniques even if you learn them.

So, how can you be certain the techniques will work for you or that you will even be able to use them? Read the next article from Eitan Krav Maga where we discuss: Does Krav Maga Training Really Make You Safer?

If you would like to learn more about Krav Maga you can view our website at eitankravmaga.com. We also use our Facebook page for great combat fitness ideas, training events, technique videos and latest information on what we and our students are up to. You can find us at facebook.com/EitanKravMaga.

But the single best way to learn about Krav Maga is to experience it for yourself! And you can do that by contacting us at team@eitankravmaga.com or on +44 (0)7976 294 825 and come and join us for a training session.

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First Fight In Paris

The FEKM Winter Course is the premier event of our federation’s training calendar.

Almost 600 students from across the globe come to train in Paris each December. Some come to grade for their belts and many others to train with the federation’s most senior instructors under the leadership of Richard Douieb our federation’s founder and patriarch. Training with 3rd, 4th and 5th Darga black belts is an honour and a privilege; add Richard Douieb into the mix and you have a truly unique experience.

Kravists are usually in top shape, preparing for many months to grade at the Winter Course. We routinely spar at club level as part of our training, however, fighting in front of over 500 of your peers is a whole new experience. It is a serious test of a Kravist’s courage, mental preparation and technical ability.

Having recently graded for my Green Belt in London and following the advice of Matt McDonough and Martin Webber our aspiring black belts from London, I really wanted to test myself in Paris.

Four minutes in the ring can seem like an eternity when your adrenalin is pumping and you have another Krav fighter standing in front of
you. Your opponent potentially knows everything you know, and possibly more, as you can be partnered with an opponent who is up to two grades above you!

Having prepared physically for some months I also prepared mentally. The thought of competing in front of a huge audience of knowledgeable Kravists is a humbling experience. On the day however, all such considerations flew out the window.

When your name is called out and the nerves and adrenalin start coursing throw your system your mind moves from fight strategy to a narrow focus. Suddenly the crowd disappears. The noise in the gymnasium disappears. It’s just you and your opponent. I remember momentarily
thinking about the famous Mike Tyson quote, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

My opponent and I were scheduled for a ‘soft fight’. This means not landing the full force of the blows when striking. That soon became a
technicality – and I’m sure this happens to everyone. You’re nervous, you’re excited, you want to look good. Sometimes that element of ‘control’ that we are taught repeatedly tends to be forgotten. You take the hits but they don’t seem to matter. You register the impact, but you don’t necessarily feel anything. Your perspective shifts from planned, wide and strategic to very focussed and present… OK, got to keep moving… how do I counter the next attack… can I pre-empt the next strike?

Gloves can limit your options. You so often want to grab your opponent and put on a choke or wrist lock but you have to get those gloves off and often you forget in the heat of battle. You notice that the more seasoned fighters only half fasten their gloves and as soon as they see and opening they flick them off and grab!

Suddenly, the referee calls an end to the fight. You’re relieved. You’re elated. You hug your opponent and you congratulate each other. The sweat comes like a waterfall and all those hits you barely registered earlier begin to throb as the adrenalin wears off. You know that’s going to hurt in the morning. It’s all over. But there’s a real sense of pride and achievement that stays with you long afterwards.

I would thoroughly recommend it.

Nicholas Kitson
Eitan Krav Maga, London

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Krav Maga – Simple Efficient Direct Controlled

In Krav Maga we have no combat contact rules whatsoever. All parts of the opponent’s body, particularly the most vulnerable points, are a fair target and can be struck with any part of your own body and with any improvised weapon from the immediate environment.

In Krav Maga we have no tournaments nor any fully competitive fights; any such competition would result in the serious injury to one of the combatants. As Richard Douieb, founder and director of the FEKM often reminds us, when we see examples of Krav Maga what we are seeing is a demonstration of some of the skills. Never the real thing. So in this sense Krav Maga is not an art and is most certainly not a sport. It is a highly effective self-defence and contact combat system designed to neutralise a threat against un/armed opponent/s in the shortest time possible.

As the founder of Krav Maga, Imi Lichtenfeld (1910-1998) instilled in all his students, we train so that we may walk in peace.

So you may be thinking now, as I did when I started on my Krav Maga journey, if there are no rules and if I can improvise with my own body and any environmental weapons, in what way can Krav Maga be called a fighting system?

Now we get to the heart of what exactly is Krav Maga. Krav Maga was created my Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli Defence Forces in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. It is designed to be an extension of natural, intuitive body movement. It is designed to neutralise threats quickly in any reality-based situation.

Krav Maga is designed around four core principles: simplicity, efficiency, directness and control.

The four governing principles of simplicity, efficiency, directness and control drive all Krav Maga teaching and practice and define Krav Maga as a unique, modern, evolving and clearly identifiable self-defence and contact combat system. This is why Krav Maga proficiency can be achieved in a relatively short space of training time. We don’t learn hundreds of katas and forms – we learn a handful of principles that are taught and applied over and over again in a multitude of defence and striking techniques.

When watching a trained Kravist fight, the four core principles of simplicity, directness, efficiency and control will be present in everything they do. And if they are not – it is not Krav Maga. And that is regardless of the situation (e.g. demonstration, Hollywood movie or real fight for survival), the combatants (of any age, gender, size) and the location (training club, night club, dark street).

Simple

Imi Lichtenfeld studied the body’s natural responses to threat and developed Krav Maga around these rapid, instinctive, responses. This makes Krav Maga defences simple, intuitive and fast to learn. There are better looking martial arts than Krav Maga but few are as effective in real-life situations where there are no rules and anything can happen next.

Direct

Each Krav Maga strike and attack takes the shortest, most direct route to the target. We don’t load, prepare or ‘telegraph’ any strike. The Krav Maga fighter will close the gap to their opponent very quickly and control the fight and the opponents body from very close range. We also train to use all parts of our body as ‘weapons’; fingers, fists, palms, elbows, head, knees, shins and feet.

Efficient

In Krav Maga we target the body’s most vulnerable points and physiological weaknesses. The objective is to end the threat quickly and decisively regardless of the opponents size and weight. We also practice something unique to Krav Maga, known as ‘bursting’ – defending and delivering the first strike in one single, simultaneous movement. We then continue to strike in a rapid, rhythmic sequence and we don’t stop until the threat is neutralised.

Controlled

Ultimately, perhaps the most important principle is that of control; rapid assessment of the situation, avoidance if at all possible and the use of appropriate and controlled force where exit is not possible. Our founder Imi Lichtenfeld created Krav Maga “so that one may walk in peace”3 and that philosophy is at the heart of all our training and all our actions.

For now, happy training everyone.
VKK

1 Richard Douieb, Beginners Guide 2014
European Federation of Krav Maga (FEKM)
2 Richard Douieb, Beginners Guide 2014
European Federation of Krav Maga (FEKM)
3 Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of Krav Maga

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